When it comes to pie, adjuncts get what’s left over

President's Address Pie Slices

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3 thoughts on “When it comes to pie, adjuncts get what’s left over

  • W Le Jeune’s comment is such a good summary of problems in higher ed relating to adjunct and administration issues, it would be nice, with W’s permission, if it could be posted more prominently on the website (i.e. more than just a comment on this wonderful cartoon.) Maybe there can be an faculty/student/concerned member of the public story and opinion section that could be compiled for the site.

  • The cartoon was excellent. The problem is that contingent faculty ( full time non-tenure track and adjuncts) do not often have representation within the college or an appeals procedure in place and are ineligible for merit in spite of often documented meritorious performance and often work on a flat salary scale. Therefore these often competent and dedicated faculty members ARE EASY FOR ADMINISTRATORS TO MISTREAT. This is more true in a red state where the courts are clogged with right wing jurors and therefore collective bargaining is illegal for the contingent faculty. Furthermore, in most colleges, Boards of Trustees are clogged with corporate executives who think in corporate terms.
    THEREFORE, THE FOLLOWING PROBLEMS ARE COMMON:
    .• Inconsistency in applying handbook guidelines,
    • Categorizing and labeling of faculty groups amidst growing contingent faculty numbers,
    • Uneven performance among departments in providing necessary guidance and support for competent contingent faculty members who wish to become full time non-tenure track faculty or advance to a tenure-track position with the result that interviewing and hiring decisions are based on “Do I like you ?” criteria,
    • Overuse of poorly screened and minimally evaluated adjunct or part-time faculty members as “warm bodies” to replace non renewed or retiring full time faculty members without caring if such practice is detrimental to student learning,
    • Administrators charging the same tuition for a student taking a course from a hastily hired adjunct faculty member as is charged for a student taking a course from a full time faculty member with much experience and expertise, and putting student learning and fairness aside,
    • Preference of administrators for A STANDARD CURRICULUM FOR EACH COURSE OF STUDY in a given course and not individual courses which recognizes the individual instructor’s expertise on the faulty presumption stated by a now “retired” administrator that “Anyone can teach,”
    • Lack of representation on contingent faculty and lack of due process for such faculty with the result that such faculty is “spoken for,”
    • Few written guidelines for contingent faculty, so administrators make up policy as they go along and often consciously or unconsciously ignore the few guidelines stated in the handbook,
    • Faculty and especially contingent faculty governed by fear rather than by mutual respect,
    • An administration by its treatment of contingent faculty models inappropriate values for students planning a career in teaching and/or administration on any level,
    • A bloated administration using public and tuition money to grow itself and to increase its benefits and not to educate students, showing that the same administration is more willing to invest in its own perquisites than in investing in its faculty and its students,
    • Top-down management rather than shared governance wherein faculty give input on administrative decisions,
    • Secretness in place of open communication with the present result that faculty are often uninformed of administrative directives until they happen,
    • Administrative sidestepping federal statutes (ie. Americans with Disabilities, Family and Personal Leave Act, Obamacare provisons and even its own handbook) if such action serves its purpose,
    • Administration through campus security having in house e-mail and telephones monitored,
    • Expediency rather than fairness in guiding administrative decisions,
    • Administrative over reliance on EMPLOYEE AT WILL STATUS of many faculty and staff members to avoid examining a problem or a complaint,
    • Arbitrary terminations and forced retirements affecting staff and contingent faculty who have no recourse within the college to contest these arbitrary measures.
    • Over reliance on H.R. with the result that this department may feel that it has more power than it actually has or should have.

    Many administrators have much to learn and little to teach or model, “so anyone can administer except many who are in administration.” So I’m a
    WHISTLE BLOWER. A whistle blower is often a good team player in his department and in the wider college setting.

    I am behind the efforts of the AAUP and the NEW FACULTY MAJORITY to be effective change agents. I will participate to the greatest degree possible.

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