ERIC Number: ED251134
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Who's Mr. Staff: Cheap Labor or Valued Resource?
In the past decade, the proportion of part-time faculty teaching in the nation's community colleges has increased dramatically, and perceptions of their role have also changed. Before 1970, the typical part-time instructor was a community expert, who was viewed as a valued institutional resource providing program specialization, enhancement, and flexibility to the benefit of the institution, its students, and its full-time faculty. By the late 1970's, 57% of all community college faculty were teaching part-time. The fastest growing segment of the new wave of adjunct faculty was "would-be" full-timers, rather than specialists, who taught core courses rather than specialized courses. They came to be seen as a source of cheap labor, rather than a valuable resource, in that the institution was not required to provide fringe benefits, extensive support services, or long-range financial commitments. There are negative implications in the heavy reliance on part-time faculty for full- and part-time instructors, students, and the colleges. Full-time faculty have to spend a greater proportion of their time on administrative, preparatory, and support activities. Institutions, though apparently getting value for money, are most often not getting equal output from part-timers. Students are unlikely to get the same quality of instruction from teachers only tenuously linked to the institution. Finally, the value of part-timers and all professional teachers is demeaned. (HB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the Central States Speech Association (Lincoln, NE, April 7-9, 1983).