I can respond to this as well. I was an adjunct at several institutions over the course of my career and generally found it to be a positive experience. Like Sweetland, I most often felt a bit isolated from the programs in which I taught though, it is fair to say that some places seem better at including part-timers than others. I enjoyed the students and used this as an opportunity to keep me reading and even had a chance to facilitate the publication of a couple of their papers. Would never recommend doing it for the money. It was always nice to have, but was not much of an incentive. However, that was never why I did it and I knew the wage going in. I have not always been satisfied with my performance, and attribute that in part to the fact that I taught infrequently and never really established a rhythm, but who knows.
Bottom line for me was that I met some good people among LIS faculty, enjoyed the students, and was pleased to do the work. I am a recently retired library administrator, and may seek to do it again if I can find someone who will have me.
From: Open Lib/Info Sci Education Forum [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of James H Sweetland [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, July 09, 2010 8:24 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: from the Chronicle of Higher Education: Tenure, RIP: What the Vanishing Status Means for the Future of Education (fwd)
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
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
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
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.
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