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The UofP

February 13, 2007

Cross-posted here:

[Dean Dad offered some comments on the UofP. Here is my reply]

I think I can offer a unique comment here. I have worked for the UofP. It was during my furious adjuncting time (10 adjunct classes at three institutions), and the problems go deeper than either the article or Dean Dad describe.

DD offers that the UofP could decrease adjuncting by hiring more full-timers. In order to do so, though, they would have to rewrite their mission. They claim to hire working instructors–the myth of a well-heeled business person teaching one class on the side. In reality, adjuncts are offered multiple sections, which means that they are either working full-time elsewhere and part-time teaching, or slamming together a lot of part-time gigs (my personal favorite).

Then, there is the matter of centralized content. Instructors are required to teach only the material the UofP provides. There is little opportunity for deviation. You are given the readings, rubrics and dates (I was teaching a 5 week, online course). It was Draconian, and I walked away.

So, given that there is only limited amount of opportunity–and that opportunity is itself limited to “facilitating” (their term) their content–then the labor pool available to the UofP shrinks, and the quality of instruction suffers pushing down retention.

It is a vicious cycle that is taking, in my opinion, way too long to complete.

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One Comment
  1. SourDad permalink
    February 16, 2007 4:07 am

    That place must have sucked the big one! When i send my kids of to some U or Coll i will be sure to ask what % adjuncts they have teaching. I’ll bet they try to pawn the adjuncts off as specialists from industry with real world experience. While some are most I know aren’t working in industry, they want to teach full-time.

    I’m right there with you PPP.

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