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Friday, November 15, 2013

There is a role for adjuncts in the academic community. When the University's local environment contains a person with a special expertise. In such a case, the education experience of the students is deepened by having such a person teach a course in her/his specialty.
However the practice of employing adjuncts as major contributors to the University's teaching function is appalling. As well as the economic and psychological divide described by Mr. Hoeller (New York Times, November 13, 2013: A26) there are two other dysfunctional consequences.
First there is a smaller pool of talent on campus to draw on for administrative duties. However, those who think that the University has too many administrators would probably not see this as a disadvantage if it resulted in a reduction of he administrative echelon.
Second, the University is in the business of creating as well as disseminating knowledge. Have a large number of faculty whose responsibilities do not include research diminishes the research production and hence the development of intellectual seed corn for the nation's future.
We mus return to the days of specialist adjuncts rather than those who are generalists even if they are better teachers than the tenure stream faculty.

Sent to New York Times

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