Adjunct

Adjunct Professors: Jobs Are Low on Pay and Health Benefits With High COVID Risk

David Chatfield feels he transitioned from an unstable career in graphic design to what is becoming an even more unpredictable one in academia.

The 42-year-old teaches art history as an adjunct professor at two community colleges in Aurora and Fort Lupton, Colorado. He loves teaching, even when last semester the COVID-19 pandemic doubled his workload by forcing him to teach his seven classes online and figure out how to record and upload his lectures to YouTube.

Now he feels a different pressure — the prospect of returning to the classroom this fall. He doesn’t know how the schools will protect him from the coronavirus and help him if he gets sick. Chatfield is uninsured. His earnings of about $28,000 a year make it difficult to afford a plan on his own, he said.

“If I do get infected, what are my options?” he said. “Do I cancel class? Do I

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