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Rising number of part-time faculty

March 28, 2007

Yet another response posting, to an article here outlining new numbers of part-time faculty.

These numbers, and they are way too over-general to address specifically, are not surprising. Neither are the reactions found in the comments. Tenured profs will wonder why adjuncts just can’t publish and get on the tenure-track train; adjuncts wonder why they are burdened with such a lot in life.

Specific distinction needs to be made between non-tenured, full-time, part-time and adjuncts. They are all different animals with different agendas and needs.

Given that, the rise in adjuncting (those without secure work, no benefits, etc.) and part timers (more secure work, no benefits) will benefit no one. To argue that “practitioners” will bring new juice to the stale present is to listen to too many for-profit propaganda (one SW institution in particular). Practitioners teach as a mission. This is true and noble (nod to Vic above), but this does not guarantees little more than dilettantes in the classroom.

I am not sure where the tipping point will occur, but I do know that I am no longer actively seeking nor teaching. My last class ended before Christmas, and I am not really looking for any more.

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