Search This Blog

Friday, August 1, 2014

Adjunct Facukty

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. I agree that they should unionize. As well as the economic and psychological divide described by Professor Rotella (Boston Globe,Aug 1, 2014)  there are two other dysfunctional consequences.

First there is a smaller pool of talent on campus to draw on for administrative duties. Perhaps this is why there has been a proliferation of full-time administrators -- there just aren't enough full time faculty to take on portions of those roles as part of their service contribution.

Second, the University is in the business of creating as well as disseminating knowledge. Having a large number of faculty members whose responsibilities do not include research diminishes the research production and hence the development of intellectual seed corn for the nation's future.

We must return to the days of specialist adjuncts rather than those who are generalists hired to provide lecture fodder for introductory courses.

Sent to Boston Globe