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A case study of the utilization of adjunct faculty in a private university

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Title:A case study of the utilization of adjunct faculty in a private university
Authors:Kazarian, William Howard
Date Issued:2008
Description:Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
The findings also shed light upon the differences in inclusion, support, and benefits provided by the primary site to adjunct faculty teaching in the liberal arts as opposed to part-time affiliate faculty teaching in the professional areas of business, nursing, professional studies, and diplomacy. These differences pointed to how part-time faculty were viewed in terms of their professional currency and relevance to real world terms and how that currency and relevance were valued by the institution.
The literature is split between two sources: (1) concern in the growing corporatization of American colleges and universities and the shifting labor market; and, (2) collections of anecdotal stories by adjuncts reflecting their own personal histories. Increased reliance on adjunct faculty has created issues regarding labor parity and the effectiveness and quality of teaching.
There have been few qualitative studies examining the roles and responsibilities of adjunct faculty in higher education. These found that increased utilization of adjunct faculty raised concerns about an erosion in tenure positions for full-time faculty, lack of involvement in academic and research programs by adjunct faculty, and that institutional integrity was increasingly at risk for student learners.
This research also investigated the interrelationships among adjunct and full-time faculty and the relationship of adjuncts to the coordinators and deans. The statements among these groups were examined to provide a clearer understanding of the range of values and perceptions regarding concerns about mission, service, and academic integrity. The findings pointed to how greater reliance upon adjunct faculty in composition courses affected academic integrity in terms of consistency and standards of pedagogy, faculty cohesion and stability related to collaboration with colleagues, and time devoted to research and participation in professional venues. Another component examined the utilization of adjunct faculty and how their status as "adjuncts" mitigated ways in which they could be valued by the institution. They saw their labor as limited to such an extent that there were no clear paths toward professional growth, inclusion, or rewards systems for banking their accomplishments as equity. The primary concerns emerging from this research pointed to currency in terms of professional credibility as viewed and valued by adjuncts and full-time faculty within the English department. Where no venues for opportunity, inclusion, reward, banking, and progression existed, the depth and quality in professional utilization was viewed as diminished and their teaching effectiveness was perceived as somewhat valued.
show 5 moreThis research investigated the status of adjunct faculty in terms of utilization, institutional support, inclusion, and changes in delivery of education to a broader student/consumer base. The adjunct participants for this research were those who teach composition courses at a Private University and whose terms of hire (course limitation, pay, duties, and conditions) were defined by institutional contracts for adjuncts. This research used the term "adjunct" and "part-time" faculty to apply to the same group. The participants within this group were identified as those whose livelihood mostly depended upon their employment as adjunct faculty at one or multiple institutions of higher education in permanent positions. Many wanted to teach full-time in higher education. Most of the adjunct faculty considered themselves entrepreneurs who patched together courses while many acknowledged support from their spouse's income.
This study specifically examined the culture and utilization of adjunct faculty while focusing on a clear description and analysis of what systems and opportunities existed to serve adjuncts, the institution and its academic programs, and students. Within the scope of this research, systems have been defined as the terms and conditions under which adjunct faculty are hired and opportunities reflect the physical and psychological needs within the context of the teaching institution.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 212-221).
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253 leaves, bound 29 cm
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Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Education

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