Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
Follow us on social
BG24 Newscast
April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Increased price of tuition undesirable, poses issues for universities, students

In my previous column I talked about how the increased use of adjunct instructors for college instruction threatens to reduce the quality of the education that students pay so much for these days.

This reflects not the qualifications of the instructors, nor the quality of their teaching, but the conditions of their employment: low pay, frequent uncertainty— often up to the last minute— whether they will even have classes to teach and a lack of attachment to the institution.

They are also paid by the credit hour, which means that any extracurricular commitments are done out of the goodness of their hearts, if they even have time for them while commuting from school to school, as many must do to pull together something like a living wage.

But what might happen with the system in the future should concern us all.

At the moment, there is a glut of people holding the terminal degree, usually the Ph.D., compared with the number of jobs available. This is a function of the downsizing of faculty at most universities, which BGSU has also engaged in. It is also a function of the great number of people who earned terminal degrees in hopes of landing the plum job of academia: the tenure-track position [in the interest of full disclosure, I was lucky enough to get such a job 27 years ago, which makes me old-school].

A Ph.D. takes anywhere from four to ten years beyond the bachelor’s degree, depending on one’s field and how much financial support one receives. It also depends, in most cases, on completing a large piece of original research, the dissertation, for which the time needed can be unpredictable.

As the prospects for a tenure-track job become increasingly scarce, fewer people will commit themselves to the long, financially insecure route toward a Ph.D.

Completing a terminal degree takes both a love of one’s field and money, but love alone can’t keep you going when direct support for graduate study has been reduced, requiring students to take out even greater loans with dimming prospects for getting a job that will help pay them off.

So the possible future scenario is this: the glut of Ph.D.s will go down as smart people figure out that academics is no longer a desirable field worth a good decade of higher education to prepare for it.

It will be harder for universities to find the highly qualified, economically desperate human resources to staff what jobs do remain.

Standard qualifications will be reduced and those people who do choose higher education will be even more overworked.

And the expensive education [which, if trends continue, may hardly be state-supported at all] will lose value, defined as benefit relative to cost.

Respond to Geoff at

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media
$825
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media
$825
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *