Monday, January 28, 2013

Should Adjunct Faculty Have a Role in Faculty Governance?

Law schools and universities increasingly rely on adjuncts to teach courses.  And given the economy, we can expect this trend to continue, if not accelerate. After all, adjuncts come cheap, and full timers are expensive. Recently one of my colleagues suggested—only half  jokingly—that in fifteen years, our law school might have only five tenured faculty on staff. Adjuncts would perform the majority of the academic tasks.

Even if this scenario never comes to pass, we should recognize that adjuncts affect the nature of our institutions, and the nature of an institution affects how an adjunct carries out the teaching task. Have we reached the point at which adjuncts should play a role in shaping the institutions in which they work?

A committee of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) says yes.  You can read a copy of its report, “The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments,” here.


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