Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Do Adjunct Quotas Work?

Inside Higher Ed
April 1st, 2015

As adjuncts and their tenure-track allies struggle to create more full-time positions, some of them have leverage: contracts or state laws that govern the percentage of courses that must be taught by full-time faculty members. But attempts to enforce limits on colleges’ employment of part-time adjuncts prove difficult, as an ongoing legal battle in Massachusetts illustrates. In fact, state officials have been trying a series of legal maneuvers to get around an agency's decision that could force the hiring of full-time faculty.
But attempts to legislate caps on part-time faculty employment in that state and elsewhere show that the idea is controversial -- even among adjuncts.
“The issue usually becomes money -- ‘We can’t afford it, it’s too expensive,’” said Christopher J. O’Donnell, president of the Massachusetts State College Association, which represents full- and part-time faculty at nine Massachusetts public colleges, excluding the University of Massachusetts campuses. “Some institutions are trying to get into compliance, but the rationale has been money and managerial prerogatives. They want to hire whoever they want, part time and not full time, even though they negotiated it in the collective bargaining agreement.”

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