Inadequate reporting spreads misleading news about CUNY
When a person enters any position that throws them into the public view, they do so knowing that they are sacrificing their privacy. This sacrifice is a necessary part of pursuing careers in the public sphere and should not come with penalties.
The New York Post put up two articles – “The ‘loons’ should be the least of CUNY’s faculty worries” and “How nutty adjuncts are slipping into local colleges” – both featuring ludicrous remarks about full-time and adjunct professors in the CUNY system. One such remark mentioned, in a sinister manner, that a professor had sired 29 children by being a sperm donor. This piece of information offered no relevancy to the articles as the man never committed any illegal or treacherous act by being a sperm donor. The donations were a part of his private life and should have been left that way, not used as an attempt to provide evidence that CUNY professors are “loons.”
Both Post articles go on to mention a few of the failures of the CUNY system in that, although its teaching staff is 20,000, its full-time faculty make up a mere 7,500 of that number. The rest are adjunct professors. This information shows how much CUNY values its adjuncts, but fails to showcase the real reason.
Although adjuncts require a Ph.D. like their full-time counterparts, they are more common because CUNY gets the same teaching power from someone for lower pay and fewer benefits. Often, the hiring process for adjuncts is very flimsy, which must be changed. The process, as delineated by the articles, states that hiring adjuncts is often akin to looking through a pile of résumés and picking one, or calling some friends. This description is harrowing, to say the least, as these are the people appointed to teach college students, but also because it allows for a process that can bring faulty professors into CUNY.
Despite getting this part of its opinion right, the Post did not give enough credit to some of the people teaching in the CUNY system. It makes note of the bad apples teaching, but its flagrant remarks toward the university system are often harsh, almost as if the paper was invested in making the articles more spiteful. One exemplary comment jabs at CUNY for the diversity of its hires, something that should be viewed as commendable.
Even if CUNY does need work when it comes to how it treats and views its adjuncts, the Post should not be making articles out of flimsy skeletons. What the Post did was sensationalize a topic that needs to be viewed in a more serious lens – something every news outlet should avoid at all costs.