Friday, November 7, 2014

National Conversation On Adjunct Professors, Part-Time Faculty Continues

The Heights
November 3rd, 2014

Across Boston and the rest of the country, adjunct professors have been exploring and, in several cases, acting on their ability to unionize. Among the reasons for doing so are a lack of job security and unfair wages. Boston College has remained comparatively removed from this movement, although the problems that plague adjuncts elsewhere are not completely absent from Chestnut Hill.
While the term “adjunct” can mean different things at different institutions, it most often refers to part-time faculty who are hired to teach a specific course or courses. At BC, the term “adjunct” as it is defined in the University statutes refers not only to these part-time faculty members, but also to full-time, non-tenure-track faculty. In the past few years, the University has moved away from assigning the title of “adjunct” to any member of the latter category. All full-time, non-tenure track faculty are now called lecturer or senior lecturer, or assistant, associate, or full professor of the practice. Part-time faculty are still called adjunct faculty.
According to Vice Provost for Faculties Patricia DeLeeuw, BC’s part-time faculty budget is allocated for an estimated 800 people, about half of whom never actually come to BC’s campus, but instead supervise nursing, education, or social work students at their practicums in Boston’s hospitals, schools, and nonprofits. A majority of the remaining half teaches in the business, law, social work, nursing, and education schools while also holding jobs in their industry.

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