SEO Headline (Max 60 characters)

About That 'Volunteer' Professor Ad

June 13, 2019

A Tulane University job ad for a “volunteer” adjunct professor of law raised eyebrows Wednesday before it was promptly removed from Tulane’s website. While many expressed concern on social media and off that Tulane was exploiting jobless academics, tempting them with teaching experience it should be able to pay for, the outrage was perhaps premature (though not necessarily undue, since academics elsewhere have been asked to volunteer their teaching labor and scholarly expertise in the name of experience or community engagement).

As Michael Strecker, Tulane spokesperson, explained via email, “For these positions, law schools seek well-established or retired attorneys, judges and industry leaders who assume a mentoring role by teaching small groups of students in specialized areas of law in which the volunteers have demonstrated, long-term expertise and leadership.” In many cases, Strecker added, “these volunteers are alumni who view their services as a way of giving back to the school and current students.”

Share Article

Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

Back to Top