Secret lives of Bay Area part-time profs:
Here’s why they work at Safeway, live out of cars
A vice chancellor and a part-time college professor walk into a bar. They have a drink and start talking about work. Both have tough jobs and hectic schedules. Both have Ph.Ds and both are public servants.
But when it comes to pay, the joke is on the part-time teacher.
The part-time professor earns about $30,000 annually and pays for health benefits while the vice chancellor makes a six-figure salary with full benefits.
Earning more than $70 per hour, it appears part-time college instructors are well paid. But this rate is misleading because only classroom hours are counted, not actual time spent on prep, grading and district administrative work.
The result is a two-tier system with little upward mobility for those at the bottom. Far from the comfort of an ivory tower, the world of academia has led many Bay Area part-time college instructors into secret lives of hardship.