National Adjunct Walkout Day

A diverse group of adjunct professors walking together with signs, wearing professional attire, on a bustling college campus..
National adjunct walkout day illustration

Hey there! Are you ready to learn about National Adjunct Walkout Day? Well, grab your virtual walking shoes and let's stroll through the history of this fantastic day!

When is Adjunct Walkout Day?

It's national adjunct walkout day on the 25th February.

What is National Adjunct Walkout Day?

National Adjunct Walkout Day is an annual event to bring attention to the working conditions and treatment of adjunct professors in colleges and universities across the United States. Adjunct professors are typically part-time and non-tenure track faculty members who face low pay, lack of benefits, job insecurity, and limited opportunities for career advancement.

Started in the early 2010s, this day serves as a platform for adjuncts to demand fair wages, better working conditions, and recognition for their essential contributions to higher education. It aims to draw attention to the challenges faced by adjunct professors and generate conversations about the overall state of education and the adjunct labor market.

On National Adjunct Walkout Day, adjuncts participate in organized walkouts, protests, teach-ins, and other activities to raise awareness about their working conditions. It's a day for solidarity and collective action, as adjuncts come together to share their stories, advocate for change, and highlight the crucial role they play in academia.

A Brief History

The first widespread National Adjunct Walkout Day took place on February 25, 2015. The movement gained momentum through social media and online activism, with adjuncts from various institutions joining forces to address their shared concerns. Since then, the day has continued to serve as an annual reminder of the challenges faced by adjunct professors.

Did You Know?

Did you know that some adjunct professors have to juggle teaching at multiple institutions just to make ends meet? It's a tough gig, but they do it in the name of education! Talk about dedication!

History behind the term 'Adjunct Walkout'


Rise of Adjunct Activism

In 2015, a national movement began to gain traction among adjunct professors in the United States. Adjunct professors, who are part-time or non-tenure-track faculty, started advocating for fair pay, job security, and better working conditions. The term 'adjunct walkout' was coined during this time to describe a form of protest where adjunct professors would collectively refuse to enter the classroom for a day or a longer period to raise awareness about their issues.


The Rise of Adjuncts

In 1970, the number of adjunct professors started to increase in colleges and universities across the United States. Adjunct professors are typically hired on a part-time basis and are considered to be non-tenure track faculty. They often work on a contractual basis and are not provided with the same benefits and job security as tenured professors. This rise of adjuncts in higher education would eventually pave the way for the term 'adjunct walkout'.


The rise of adjunct instructors

In 1975, the number of adjunct instructors began to rise in American colleges and universities. Adjunct instructors are part-time faculty members who are hired on a contract basis, often without benefits or job security. These instructors play a vital role in higher education, teaching a wide range of courses and bringing real-world experience to the classroom.


The Rise of Adjunct Professors

In 1975, there was a noticeable increase in the number of adjunct professors, also known as part-time or contingent faculty members. These professors usually work on a contractual basis, teaching courses without tenure or benefits. As colleges and universities sought to cut costs, hiring adjunct professors became a common practice.


The Emergence of Adjunct Faculty

The term 'adjunct faculty' has its origins in 2001 when part-time professors, also known as adjuncts, began to play a significant role in higher education. These faculty members were hired on a contract basis and were not on a tenure-track. The increasing reliance on adjuncts was a direct response to budget constraints faced by universities. Adjunct faculty typically taught a few courses and were paid less than their full-time counterparts.


The Rise of Adjunct Professors

In the year 1970, the term 'adjunct walkout' had its roots in the rising prominence of adjunct professors in the academic world. Adjunct professors are part-time faculty members who are hired on a contractual basis. As universities and colleges sought to cut costs, the number of adjunct professors increased, leading to a significant shift in the composition of the teaching workforce. These adjunct professors often faced low pay, lack of job security, minimal benefits, and limited opportunities for advancement, which ultimately led to growing discontent.


First Adjunct Walkout

The first organized adjunct walkout took place in February 2015 when thousands of adjunct professors from universities across the United States participated in a coordinated protest known as the 'National Adjunct Walkout Day.' The event aimed to shed light on the challenges faced by adjunct professors and the impact of their working conditions on higher education.


Recognition of adjunct issues

By 2002, the challenges faced by adjunct instructors became more widely recognized. This included concerns about low wages, lack of job stability, and limited access to benefits. Adjuncts, who made up a significant portion of higher education faculty, began organizing and advocating for better working conditions, fair pay, and job security.


Recognition of Adjunct Protests

In 2015, the term 'adjunct walkout' gained prominence when adjunct faculty members across the United States organized protests and strikes to highlight their low wages, lack of job security, and limited access to benefits. Adjuncts walked out of their classes collectively to draw attention to the precarious working conditions they faced. These protests became a means for adjuncts to assert their rights and demand fair treatment.


The Term 'Adjunct Walkout' Emerges

It wasn't until 1997 that the term 'adjunct walkout' came into prominence. This term refers to a collective action taken by adjunct professors to protest against their working conditions, low wages, lack of benefits, and the overall treatment they receive within the academe. Adjunct professors began organizing walkouts and strikes to draw attention to their demands for fair pay and better working conditions.


The Emergence of Adjunct Activism

By 2001, adjunct professors began to organize and assert their demands for better pay, job security, and working conditions. Frustrated by low wages and lack of support, adjuncts started advocating for their rights and interests. This marked the beginning of adjunct activism.


The First Adjunct Walkout

The year 2001 marked a turning point in the history of the term 'adjunct walkout.' Adjunct professors, grappling with the challenges of their employment situation, organized a coordinated effort to protest their working conditions. They initiated the first recorded adjunct walkout, where adjunct faculty members collectively refused to work and participated in demonstrations to raise awareness about their plight. This walkout highlighted the striking disparity between the working conditions of adjunct professors and their tenured counterparts and brought attention to the need for better treatment and fair pay.


The call for action

In 2015, the term 'adjunct walkout' gained prominence as adjunct instructors across the United States organized walkouts and protests to draw attention to their precarious working conditions. These collective actions aimed to shed light on issues like low wages, lack of benefits, and unequal treatment compared to their tenure-track colleagues. Adjuncts sought to raise awareness of their integral role in higher education and push for substantive changes.


Social Media Amplification

Social media played a significant role in spreading awareness about the adjunct walkout movement. Hashtags like #AdjunctWalkout and #NAWD (National Adjunct Walkout Day) trended on platforms like Twitter, allowing adjunct professors, students, and supporters to share stories, experiences, and information about the movement. This online activism helped to mobilize a larger audience and strengthen the advocacy for adjunct rights.


National Spotlight on Adjunct Walkouts

In 2012, the term 'adjunct walkout' gained even more prominence as walkouts began to receive national attention. With the increasing utilization of social media platforms and online communication, adjunct professors were able to organize walkouts on a larger scale and amplify their message. Numerous universities and colleges across the United States experienced adjunct walkouts, which sparked public dialogue and discussion about the exploitation and precarious working conditions faced by adjunct professors.


National Adjunct Walkout Day

Four years later, in 2019, the first National Adjunct Walkout Day was organized on February 25th. This day was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the passing of Margaret Mary Vojtko, an adjunct professor who died in poverty after teaching at Duquesne University for 25 years. The purpose of the national walkout was to raise awareness about adjunct labor issues and promote solidarity among adjunct faculty nationwide. The event encompassed both physical walkouts and digital activism on social media platforms.


The First Adjunct Walkout

In 2015, the term 'adjunct walkout' gained prominence. Adjunct professors in various universities organized a coordinated walkout to draw attention to their plight. The walkout aimed to highlight the precarious working conditions faced by adjuncts and to put pressure on institutions to improve their treatment.


National Adjunct Walkout Day

In 2007, the first National Adjunct Walkout Day (NAWD) took place. NAWD was a nationwide movement that aimed to raise awareness about the plight of adjunct professors and advocate for improvements in their working conditions. On this day, adjunct professors from different institutions across the country participated in protests, rallies, and walkouts, demanding fair treatment and recognition for their contributions to the academic community.


Growing Momentum and Nationwide Campaigns

Building on the success of the initial adjunct walkout, 2016 saw a growing momentum in the adjunct movement. Nationwide campaigns were launched to address the issues faced by adjunct professors. These campaigns aimed to raise awareness, promote fair compensation, and advocate for improved job security.


National Adjunct Walkout Day

On February 25, 2019, the movement gained further momentum with the designation of 'National Adjunct Walkout Day.' The day served as a platform for adjunct instructors, their supporters, and students to unite in solidarity and highlight the challenges faced by adjunct faculty. Walkouts, rallies, teach-ins, and other forms of activism took place across the country, emphasizing the need for fair treatment, professional recognition, and improved working conditions for adjunct instructors.


Increased Momentum and Impact

By 2015, the adjunct walkout movement had gained significant momentum. More and more adjunct professors were joining forces, organizing walkouts, and sharing their stories through social media platforms. The movement garnered increased attention from the public, media outlets, and even lawmakers, leading to discussions about the precarious nature of adjunct employment and the need for reform within the higher education system.


Recognition and Support

By the year 2015, the term 'adjunct walkout' had become associated with a broader movement advocating for the rights and fair treatment of adjunct professors. Several labor unions, faculty organizations, and grassroots movements lent their support to these walkouts, recognizing the significance of adjunct professors' contributions to higher education. Additionally, this growing recognition led to increased public awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by adjunct professors, ultimately helping to push for policy changes and improved working conditions.

Present Day

Continuing Advocacy and Awareness

The term 'adjunct walkout' is now synonymous with organized actions taken by adjunct faculty to address labor issues. It represents a form of collective action aimed at bringing attention to the challenges faced by part-time professors in academia. Despite ongoing advocacy and increased awareness, adjuncts still struggle with low wages, job insecurity, and limited benefits. National Adjunct Walkout Day continues to be observed annually, allowing adjunct faculty to amplify their voices and advocate for fair treatment.


Continued Walkouts and Initiatives

The adjunct walkout movement continued to gain momentum in the following years. Adjunct professors organized further walkouts, protests, and campaigns to raise awareness and push for change. Initiatives like the '#SaveOurAdjuncts' movement emerged, aiming to protect and support adjunct professors against unfair treatment and inadequate pay.


Continued Advocacy and Progress

The term 'adjunct walkout' continues to be associated with the ongoing fight for better working conditions and fair treatment for adjunct professors. Various organizations and advocacy groups have emerged to support adjunct faculty and their cause. Though challenges persist, the adjunct walkout movement has successfully raised awareness about the issues faced by adjunct professors and has contributed to the broader conversation surrounding labor rights and academic labor practices.

Present Day

Continued Activism

In the present day, the term 'adjunct walkout' continues to be used to describe collective actions taken by adjunct professors. These walkouts serve as a means of drawing attention to issues such as low wages, lack of job security, and inadequate benefits. Adjunct walkouts remain an important tool for advocating for better treatment, raising awareness, and fostering dialogue within the academic community and beyond. The history of the term 'adjunct walkout' stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of adjunct professors in their pursuit of fair working conditions.


Impact of Adjunct Walkouts

Adjunct walkouts have had a lasting impact on the higher education landscape. These protests have sparked conversations about the exploitation of part-time faculty, leading to changes in some institutions' policies. The movement helped bring attention to the crucial role adjunct professors play in academia and the need for equitable treatment and support in higher education systems.


Increased Attention and Legislative Efforts

In 2019, the adjunct walkout gained increased attention from the public, media, and policymakers. The movement's efforts led to legislative discussions surrounding adjunct rights and labor conditions in higher education. Lawmakers began exploring ways to provide better protection and support for adjunct professors.

Did you know?

Did you know that some adjunct professors have to juggle teaching at multiple institutions just to make ends meet? It's a tough gig, but they do it in the name of education! Talk about dedication!


awareness education protest job security

First identified

8th March 2015

Most mentioned on

25th February 2016

Total mentions


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