Monday, January 21, 2008

I Once Was Adjunct, But Now I Am Found, Was Blind But Now I See

It is a jungle out there! Adjuncts just know HALF of what goes on in an academic department. I functioned as an adjunct for a year for a university and a community college and I did now know WHAT was going on among assistant professors/full-time faculty.

Adjunct Power
It is amazing how many people actually teach in adjunct positions. Currently, there are more adjunct professors than tenured or tenure-track professors (Finder, 2007).With this many people having power in higher education, it is interesting that this group of people do not have decision making power. I see this from my point of view as an assistant professor, but if I step back and look at the national situation from an adjunct's point of view I am appauled.

Possible Solutions
It would actually be interesting to see if adjuncts form a national/state union. Addressing the situation of decision making authority, my former community college actually allowed adjuncts to function on faculty senate. Unheard of! It was interesting, but I do not think that adjuncts could actually run for a position.

Here is an interesting book about the adjunct experience - "Ghosts in the Classroom : Stories of College Adjunct Faculty--and the Price We All Pay".

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