ERIC Number: ED321793
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug-1
Part-Time Faculty: Recognizing an Unprotected Minority.
Spangler, Mary S.
Cost-saving considerations, the threat of declining enrollments, and efforts by community colleges to be responsive to their communities have created a temporary staff maintained on a relatively permanent and continuing basis. Between 1975 and 1983, roughly two new part-time positions were created for every new full-time position. Rather than fostering excellence, the extensive use of non-tenure track teachers compromises educational excellence by exploiting those teachers waiting for permanent positions. While the hiring of part-time instructors does carry cost and flexibility benefits, numerous problems arise when part-timers are unfamiliar with their institution's mission, philosophies, and academic policies and full-time faculty are forced to bear much of the administrative and advising burden generated by part-timers. Statistics collected from reading and writing examinations given at Los Angeles Valley College have shown that students taught by part-timers do not perform as well as students taught by full-timers. Because of the demands of other employment, part-timers may be unable, unprepared, or unwilling to give students the attention they require. Part-time instructors themselves rarely receive the financial compensation and fringe benefit packages offered to full-time instructors. In order to strengthen proficiency in part-time teachers, institutions should: (1) hire temporary faculty at least 4 months prior to service; (2) distribute information about policies and procedures; (3) recognize part-timers' professional status; (4) provide support services; (5) create a mentor program within the department; and (6) develop a meaningful orientation process. Institutional priorities must be reordered in order to solve the problems associated with part-time faculty. (JMC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A