Under the president’s health care law, employees who work 30 hours each week are eligible for health benefits. Since many adjunct professors teach enough classes to meet that bar, college administrators must choose between paying extra healthcare costs or cutting back adjunct work hours.
For many universities–both public and private–the decision is an easy one: punish the adjuncts.
“Am I saying it’s the right thing to do? No,” said Robert Conlon, senior vice president at Sibson Consulting, a firm that advises colleges on employment decisions, in a statement to Inside Higher Ed. “But is it the logical thing to do? Yes.”
Some 48 percent of universities–including 49 percent of public universities–have decided to place limitations on the number of hours adjunct professors can work, according to a survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed.