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View Diary: PA State University Professor writes riveting letter about being an "adjunct" (41 comments)

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  •  yes, one year, three year, whatever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    These full time, term limited contracts are the usual entry level college/ university teaching. BTW, making everyone adjuncts severely hurts the students; adjuncts can't be as available to students, ordinarily don't have office space, don't do advising and arent tied in to the dept and curriculum

    •  Depends on the University (1+ / 0-)
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      Errol

      but in general, I have to agree. Full-time adjuncts teach more and larger classes, in general, since they teach more GE and low-level courses. I think adjuncts are often exceptionally good teachers, however. But the sheer volume of students they have can be overwhelming. There are Universities which don't give them appropriate office space, although a more common arrangement is to supply shared office space. For long-term, full-time adjuncts, it's sometimes possible to have your own office as well. Adjuncts can't do advising (and many tenure-line faculty should probably avoid it outside of their field). Thus said, if your University Advising Department happens to be overwhelmed or the question is very general, and the Department is flexible, and you're competent, you will do advising informally. You are not, as an adjunct, part of curricular or departmental decisions in almost any case which I'm aware of, with minor exceptions. I've worked to revamp several curricular issues, for example, but only because we were short-staffed and also, I took strong initiative on my own. I wasn't paid for most of that, however. It was a labor of love. My Department happens to be EXTREMELY flexible though; it's a total outlier.

      Just to agree generally but also clarify a few points.

      •  yes. I've seen adjuncts (0+ / 0-)

        well integrated into departments at some universities. But the office thing is huge. Full time faculty have offices they use, hence are more likely to be available to talk with students and interact with other faculty. Usually adjuncts have some kind of shared office space, but without office space they can settle in to, even if they don't have teaching gigs elsewhere, they will not be around campus much and miss out on collegiality with other faculty and students will miss out on the more informal interactions with them.

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