I hate to admit it -- but it’s not totally absurd. Unfortunately, it makes sense from the cold, hard perspective of supply and demand. There is a need for PhD-trained college instructors in all fields, including humanities. The problem is that the US higher education system produces a lot more than are actually needed. So PhDs are devalued, and they become available at a steep discount -- just like any other product where the supply exceeds the demand. It would certainly be nice to pay adjuncts more, and to offer them benefits and job security. But if adjunct jobs are made more attractive, then more people will be inclined to get PhDs, which will only increase the fundamental problem of oversupply. The problem won’t go away until universities drastically reduce the size of their graduate programs, so that the PhD becomes a scarcer and more valuable commodity. So far that doesn’t seem to be happening. I have to agree. For maximum educational value, an adjunct professor should introduce himself on the first day of class, describe his degrees and qualifications, and then reveal what the university is paying him. This probably never happens, but the students would learn a lot if it did.