The Chronicle of Higher Education
The American Association of University Professors has released the final version of a report urging colleges to give contingent faculty members an expanded role in governance, arguing that excluding such employees from governance matters is detrimental to the integrity of the academic profession.
The document, which follows recommendations outlined in a draft report last summer, acknowledges that while involving such part-time and adjunct faculty members in governance can be difficult, “the exclusion from governance of faculty with contingent appointments is the greater danger to the integrity of the profession and the quality of higher education.”
The report’s final version includes language that seeks to deal with concerns about the ability of contingent faculty members to exercise independent judgment in governance matters if they depend on department chairs and administrators for continued employment. The report suggests those conflicts could be diminished if hiring practices for adjuncts mirrored those used for tenure-track faculty members.
The report makes several other recommendations, including that eligibility for voting and holding office in governance bodies be the same for all faculty members, regardless of full- or part-time status. It also recommends that contingent faculty members be given the opportunity to evaluate peers who hold similar appointments.