In response to the March 25 article “Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg Says Loss of Education Funding Threatens U.S. Future,” I’d like to add to the conversation about the need for education funding.
I graduated from West Virginia University in 2003 with a degree in English. I wanted to be a college professor. I moved to Pittsburgh and started a family, and now that I’m ready to get back into the workforce, family-sustaining jobs in higher education are just not available.
There are non-tenured professors who are working at four or five different universities, working 80-plus hours a week, and their job security is usually only per semester. Furthermore, adjunct professors are not paid for a host of the work time they put in. As a single parent with two small children, I couldn’t possibly count on such a job to take care of my family.
I never thought I’d have to start over and change career paths, but having a job with security, benefits and a retirement plan is critical for me. I’m now going back to school for nursing at Community College of Allegheny County. I wanted to transfer to the University of Pittsburgh, but the loans would be tremendous, even though it’s a state-affiliated university.
When university staffers and adjunct professors are living lives of financial desperation, and when many students still face staggering or unaffordable tuition, isn’t it time that corporations start paying their fair share of taxes so that Pennsylvania can invest in education again?