Monday, December 22, 2014

Straight Talk About 'Adjunctification'

The Chronicle of Higher Education
December 15th, 2014

It’s unclear precisely when the term "adjunctification" was borne. It’s mentioned as far back as 2000 in articles about the job market in the humanities. Linda Collins used the phrase in a speech in 2002 when she was president of the California Community Colleges’ Academic Senate. Since then, the condition she so succinctly described—academe’s overreliance on adjunct faculty members, especially at two-year colleges—has only gotten worse. More than half of all U.S. faculty members now hold part-time, contingent appointments.
That situation and what to do about it have become frequent topics of conversation in The Chronicle and elsewhere. Having followed the discussion closely, and having dealt directly with part-time faculty members for many years as a former department chair and academic dean (not to mention being a former part-timer myself), I’ve concluded that there is no single solution. Perhaps we can take steps to alleviate it over time, but only if we come to fully comprehend its various nuances.

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