Regarding preparation of adjuncts and the "positive" side of the

Orientation to academic instruction is time-consuming.  Will you compensate
the adjunct during this orientation period?  What are your expectations?
Too many cases with which I am familiar have adjuncts selected rather
abruptly, with little preparation and little familiarity with the
particular program.

Adjuncts are regarded as practice experts, they are chosen to fill in for
someone who has other duties, to extend electives, to effect an enormous
cost-savings (no benefits, etc.) and for any other number of reasons. I do
not dispute the adjuncts' ability and desire  to contribute. I do not doubt
that there is a real plus in having adjuncts who are working elsewhere as
special collections directors, or curators who will teach some aspect about
digital collections, or the IT director who will teach about the latest in
technology trends in the library. That is not my point.  I've had quite a
number of adjuncts as professors - they were superb. (And quite frankly,
may I say I have never had the feeling that a teacher of either sort was
pandering for my vote on the basis of popularity? Well - actually, there
was one tenure-track professor I had years ago who based part of a final
grade on the basis of the outcome of a football game - but I always
attributed that to silliness rather than anything else.)  My point is -
that if you want a better-prepared adjunct, then you must invest in that
person - must compensate that person fairly, and not have the expectation
that he or she will be as dedicated and involved as someone with a
full-time position and expectation of secure employment.

By infrastructure support - I am assuming you mean access to means of
communication, software applications, IT facilities and expertise, all of
the extras that your school has for creative applications of the subject
matter taught in the adjunct's course.  This is again requires a
commitment. Perhaps the adjunct would like to make an investment of time -
but what investment will you make in return?  Will you hire this person
again?  If you provide him or her with office space, will there also be
sufficient compensation to spend time on the campus? What about time spent
on meeting librarians and the support personnel with whom one generally
develops contacts only over extended periods of time?

What about compensation for preparing the course? Or is this a situation in
which the adjunct is simply expected to talk about his or her work
experience - or worse, take over a syllabus prepared by a faculty member?

Again - what expertise do you want to use, and in what way?  Using adjuncts
and part time employees in academe is done for same reasons as it is in the
private sector - to reduce risk, to effect cost-savings, and to some extent
- to enable "just in time planning".  Why on earth would anyone who is
contingent invest more of his or her time - when there is no promise of
continued employment - when the possibility of a class "not making" means
there will be no class and no paycheck despite the up-front time to prepare
for the course?

Adjuncts are neither better nor worse than faculty. Some will work very
hard and invest a great deal of time because they love working with
students and love what they do. *Some faculty will stop caring about what
students have to say the moment they have tenure.* Some people will assume
all students are interested in is content-free assignments. If a department
chair makes evaluations solely on this basis - he or she shouldn't be a
department chair. On the other hand, some faculty don't want to put the
effort into keeping up, preparing a good class, or providing service. Then
they suggest that poor evaluations are the result of the whole student
evaluation process being a popularity contest.

I think the burden is on administration.  If you want someone to act like a
valued employee, treat him or her like one. Pay them fairly for a time
commitment. Invest time in getting to know them - to know if they have the
preparation to teach. If you are hiring contingent personnel - do not be
disappointed if you they treat you like a contingent employer.

Nancy Poole