Poverty and Part-Time Faculty

Dr. Z
The Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA) maintains a blog, keeping its members up to date on a wide range of issues.  Scott Nelson, the author, served as a chair and a faculty senate president for years before taking on a full-time job with the association.  His experience with community colleges ranges from the classroom to the state legislature.

Today, his posting highlights a largely ignored part of public higher education: the plight of part-time faculty.  As with all Nelson does, it is informed, thoughtful, and accurate.  It provides a painful insight into Texas higher education.

The full article that Nelson cites is available at Slate.

The significance of the article is apparent to those of us who have served as chairs–the full-time faculty who hire, observe, and schedule adjuncts.

Nelson ends with a troubling question–“What would the cost of higher education be without part-time faculty?”   The question is not an intellectual exercise when an adjunct calls to drop an assignment because she cannot afford to teach any longer.  It is immediate.

I have asked it more than once watching a qualified, gifted instructor give in to the inevitable.

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