ObamaCare May Lead to Cutbacks for 70% of College Professors


College. It’s a place chock-full of administrators and debt. A place where a small percentage have tenure, and a vast untenured majority does most of the actual teaching. The adjunct professors are the McDonald’s counter staff of higher education. And they’re about to lose big, thanks to ObamaCare.

In Ohio, instructor Robert Balla faces a new cap on the number of hours he can teach at Stark State College. In a Dec. 6 letter, the North Canton school told him that “in order to avoid penalties under the Affordable Care Act… employees with part-time or adjunct status will not be assigned more than an average of 29 hours per week.”

Mr. Balla, a 41-year-old father of two, had taught seven English composition classes last semester, split between Stark State and two other area schools. This semester, his course load at Stark State is down to one instead of two as a result of the school’s new limit on hours, cutting his salary by about a total of $2,000.

Stark State’s move came as a blow to Mr. Balla, who said he earns about $40,000 a year and cannot afford health insurance.

“I think it goes against the spirit of the [health-care] law,” Mr. Balla said. “In education, we’re working for the public good, we are public employees at a public institution; we should be the first ones to uphold the law, to set the example.”

Irene Motts, a spokeswoman for Stark State, a two-year community college, said the new rules were necessary “to maintain the fiscal stability of the college. There are a lot of penalties involved if adjuncts go over their 29 hours-per-week average. The college can be fined and the fines are substantial.”

That’s the problem with illegal and unconstitutional laws. They don’t just hurt the people they’re supposed to hurt. They end up hurting everyone. And they have unintended consequences.

People are not machines. They don’t just accept laws, instead they find ways to meet their own interests by navigating around them.

Total debt for American colleges is an estimated 205 billion dollars. That’s institutional debt, not student debt. That means that the institutions cannot afford more expenses and they’re going to cut where they’ve been cutting before.

For decades, colleges and universities have cut costs by hiring adjuncts instead of tenured or tenure-track faculty. In 1975, adjuncts made up 43% of the faculty at U.S. colleges. By 2009, that number had climbed to nearly 70%, according to John Curtis, director of Research and Public Policy at the American Association of University Professors, a professional group with an affiliated labor union.

Many of the adjuncts have other careers in their subject areas, and teach only a single class each semester. But a sizable number make their living from teaching, and have to pay for their own health insurance. Most adjuncts who don’t receive coverage through their employer will be eligible for subsidized insurance starting in 2014 through new exchanges set up by the federal health-care law.

In the short term, Mr. King said he expects many colleges will hire more adjuncts and have each teach fewer classes. But that could make it harder for schools to find enough qualified adjuncts, he said.

But they won’t have to. Qualifications really don’t matter. American higher education is in a state of decline. Few prospective students pay attention to adjunct qualifications, but to the big names of the star professors, the new facilities and they diversity and media gimmicks. Treating most of the teaching staff like day laborers while hiring more administrators is viable so long as the government funds enough scholarships for students to get dead end degrees with no other career options… besides teaching.

It’s called serfdom and the corporate store. Now with a mortarboard and degree. And a stamp of approval from every liberal figure in America.

  • Mary Sue

    Unintended consequences indeed. College professors make up a huge voting block for Democrats and Obama.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      As John said, it will be blamed in Republicans. It's so easy to lie when your a leftist. Future historians won't be able to deny the source of this insanity though.

      • Mary Sue

        yeah they can blame it on republicans all they like, that doesn't change that they're hurting their own base. But then, they've been doing that to inner city blacks for years.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "yeah they can blame it on republicans all they like, that doesn't change that they're hurting their own base. But then, they've been doing that to inner city blacks for years."

          True, but somehow I don't think these folks will respond kindly to being put on the Welfare, which I think is capped fairly low, when they're used to their undeservedly high salaries. Facts aside (as far as they are concerned), it will be interesting to see how they react.

      • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

        In this regard, Obamacare may be a backwards "blessing". Laying off the profs may allow for a reconstructing of academia, a cesspool in its own right – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/08/21/the-paradox-p

        In other words, conservative leaning, newly minted profs will have an opportunity to jump in at lower salaries, salaries which leftist profs would have a harder time swallowing. You never know…..

        Adina kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • gerry

      Serfves them right!They wanted it and they got It!Now wait for when the people start to die!

    • Parenthetical Phrase

      College professors not only make up a huge voting block but they create a huge voting block with the rubbish they teach to their students. This time the law of unintended consequences is biting them in the a$$ and they DESERVE it. A signifcant portion of the working population can now only get jobs as "contract workers" meaning they get no benefits, no security, no pay raises and no performance reviews. Obamacare will fine them if they don't purchase health insurance on their own. Let the professors feel the pinch good and hard. They were the driving force behind this nightmare.

  • Johnconrad

    It will be blamed on the Republicans.

    • Parenthetical Phrase

      At first they will try this. Then it will get harder and harder to convince people that the "Affordable Care Act" is anything but affordable. There will come a time when people will start talking about the "good ol' days" — before Obama.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "in order to avoid penalties under the Affordable Care Act… "

    Those words will forever be associated with the great recession of 2013.

  • Drakken

    Oh good! The leftist are reaping what they are sowing, how deliciously wicked!

    • Bright Knight

      I second that! Most of these hacks are liberal and indoctrinate the students. They can't get hit hard enough!

    • gerry

      Makes my day!

  • Arlie

    the ACA was created to end up as a single-payer system as all else will collapse into it; medicare, veterans etc. The unions pushed for it, not because it would be good for workers but because the unions want to unionize all doctors, nurses and hospitals. 0 is all about unions and centralized control. There is another article at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/education_hit_by_...

    This will affect all business. Most people will end up working 2 or 3 jobs instead of one full-time job. Companies will go to part-time and worker shared positions. Only the very wealthy and Congress will be exempt from having universal health and death panels. We were warned by many. It will only get worse because of Marxists policies and not one is stopping him. It is outrageous and sad.

    • gerry

      Yes,it will get worse,wait until the people start do die.

      • Parenthetical Phrase

        And the people dying is definitely part of the goal: fewer (old) people, lower Social Security expenses. And for the environmentalists, this is great. They love it when the population of evil humans goes down. (Except, of course, them.) Only problem is that economists are starting to realize that negative population growth prevents economic growth and recovery. We are being ruled by the angry "victims" of the world — those demented souls who feel they were treated badly in their childhoods and now want to vent their rage on the entire world. And they are getting away with it.

  • truebearing

    Just wait until none of the professors dare show up for work because they aren't Shariah compliant. It will take a few years, but at the rate the US and Western Civilization is crumbling, it won't be long.

    As far as the professors losing their jobs goes…Obama will use federal funds to pay them and thereby make them indentured indoctrinators of the federal government.

    • gerry

      Or he will enrol them as activists.

  • slider 96

    Thats a good thing aint it Daniel ? Them professors are the ones that everyone's railing against all the time , 70% less of something bad ….is something good …no ? Most are overpaid union stiffs anyway …right ?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Thats a good thing aint it Daniel ?"

      It's a good thing when bad people see the problems they create.

      "Them professors are the ones that everyone's railing against all the time , 70% less of something bad ….is something good …no ?"

      Correct.

      "Most are overpaid union stiffs anyway …right ?"

      Not for too much longer.

    • Gary Meyers

      Right! Now you're getting the picture.

  • RedWhiteAndJew

    Arlie, above, is absolutely right. The goal is a single-payer system. Anyone who gives the Frankenstein leviathan that is 0bamacare a second look (this excludes Nancy Pelosi, of course), can see that it was born to die. It takes Ram-it Rahm's axiom, "never let a crisis go to waste," to the next level: it creates the crisis.

    Wind it up, and let the ratcheting effect of creeping statism do the rest.

  • cxt

    The old British offcier corp. (that would be "core" for those that like the Presdent that thinks that word should be "copse" ;) ) Used to toast "to bloody wars and dread disese's" since the only way to advance would be by the death of those directly above you.

    Sad that the modern university is heading the same way.

    Also sad and more than a litttle confusing that the Left–whom are habitually knee-jerk readyto defend the downtrodden and those not getting their fair share and are always howling about the "little guy" not getting a fair shake are utterly silent when it comes to adjunct teachers whom do most of the work, have equal education if perhaps not equal publishing record to the full time teachers–is so silent on this issue.

    I wonder if the "70%" of adjunct's that might have their hours cut voted for President Obama and supported his plans??????

  • Jay

    Maybe they should just stop teaching Chicano/black/women's studies and get back to a subject with actual utility for society

  • Gary Meyers

    If these adjuncts work more than the 29 hrs./week, the powers that be will just look the other way and not enforce the fines and penalties or President Obama will just issue an executive order excluding institutions of higher learning from incurring said penalties.