With a few variations on the theme, pretty much what Jim said. My primary
adjunct gig is with a school where I was a regular faculty member for
so I pretty much know the ropes.
Like Jim I don't miss the governance issues at all. In a sense being the hired
gun strictly teaching is on the liberating side. School/university politics
simply are not a concern. I also think it makes grading easier- there are no
pay raises tied to deeply flawed teaching evaluation surveys. One of my
students last semester commented that I was the toughest grader she'd had in
her program. "Good," think I.
Now what this conversation really needs is input from folks who are not old
warhorses like me and Jim. Practicing librarians who do some adjunct work on
the side, or newly minted Ph.D.s with no permanent gig yet doubtless
have a far
different perspective on the adjunct experience then folks who have done the
whole thing before.
Ranganathan said it all!
Quoting James H Sweetland <[log in to unmask]>:
> OK, I'll jump in.
> Was adjunct faculty when I was a librarian.
> Then full time tenure track faculty.
> Now, back to being part time temp now that I am a bookseller.
> Part 1: Good experience, and I enjoyed it. The pay was, as it
> happens, fairly good, but no
> fringe benefits of course. If I had not had another job, that would
> have been a big problem.
> Job security also was not an issue (1 semester at a time contracts
> are not the way to make
> your living). Since I wasn't all that connected to the institution
> where I taught, the lack of
> official connection with governance wasn't an issue. My second part
> time position was with
> a library school, and they welcomed adjuncts, etc. into faculty
> meetings, kept us on mailing
> lists, etc. and asked our opinion (so we had some unofficial input).
> Part 2: Based on my adjunct experience, I switched careers, and
> played the full game from
> assistant prof to full prof. Since I was generally aware of tenure
> and its historical
> background, I appreciated the job protection, and in fact become more
> outspoken once I had it.
> As the article notes, the issue of up or out after 5 years is scary,
> and could also be used
> as a club against outspoken nontenured faculty, but I do not see the
> elimination of tenure
> as s solution to that problem.
> Part 3: I took early retirement to become a full time bookseller at
> renaissance and medieval
> festivals. The ability to continue teaching has given me extra
> income, and an inducement to
> keep up on at least part of my field. And after 20+ years in
> academe, I frankly do not miss
> the governance aspects. Since I am teaching at the same institution
> as in part 2, I have
> connections with and knowledge about the institution and the specific
> college, so I don't
> really know what specifically is done for the typical part timer.
> I will also note that both my stints as part time teacher allowed me
> to connect my experiences
> (as librarian, and later as bookseller) with the more academic part
> of what I taught, which
> I would see as a clear benefit to the students and university from
> having some part timers.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Lorna Peterson" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Friday, July 9, 2010 5:05:39 AM
> Subject: Re: from the Chronicle of Higher Education: Tenure, RIP:
> What the Vanishing Status Means for the Future of
> Education (fwd)
> On July 7, 2010 "Elsa F. Kramer" wrote:
>> Tenure, RIP: What the Vanishing Status Means for the Future of
>> Education, is a July 4, 2010 article in the Chronicle of Higher
>> Available online at http://chronicle.com/article/Tenure-RIP/66114/
> Thank you Elsa Kramer for providing the link to the full article.
> I am wondering if any part time faculty/adjuncts for LIS would like to
> comment about their experiences as part time faculty. What are some of
> the challenges you face? What are the rewards? What would you like those
> of us
> in LIS Education to know about the part time faculty experience? Or
> perhaps LIS deans, directors, department chairs would like to comment on
> the importance of part timers and how the part time faculty are
> oriented, acknowledged, supported at their institutions. What are the
> challenges for
> LIS administrators in finding and keeping top quality part time faculty?
> These are just general questions attempting to start a discussion.
> Please know that I am writing this question as an individual and not in
> any official role, either elected, appointed, or employed.
> many thanks,
> Lorna Peterson
> University at Buffalo
> [log in to unmask]
> James H. Sweetland 414-229-4707
> Professor Emeritus [log in to unmask]
> School of Information Studies
> University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee