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Exploring the Role of Contingent Instructional Staff in Undergraduate Learning: New Directions for Higher Education, Number 123

Ernst Benjamin (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-7879-7225-7
128 pages
October 2003, Jossey-Bass
Exploring the Role of Contingent Instructional Staff in Undergraduate Learning: New Directions for Higher Education, Number 123 (0787972258) cover image
The majority of undergraduate instructors hold contingent appointments, a term used here to include not only the non-tenure-track part-time faculty but also many instructional staff who lack faculty status, an increasing proportion of full-time non-tenure track faculty, and a substantial number of graduate student teaching assistants.

This volume seeks to foster a dialogue, long overdue, between those who believe that the academy has failed to give adequate respect and support to undergraduate instruction and those who believe that the academy has failed to give adequate support and respect to the selection and terms and conditions of employment of undergraduate instructors. It may be that the increasing dependence on contingent appointments imperils undergraduate learning no less than it imperils the future of the academic profession.

This is the 123rd volume of the quarterly journal New Directions for Higher Education.

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EDITOR’S NOTES (Ernst Benjamin).

1. The Faculty Makeover: What Does It Mean for Students? (Jack H. Schuster)
Both who faculty members are and what they do are changing at an extraordinary rate.

2. Changing Relationships, Changing Values in the American Classroom (Robert B. Townsend)
A recent survey of ten disciplines confirms the increasing dependence in colleges and universities on contingent appointees with inadequate terms and conditions of employment.

3. Part-Time Faculty: Why Should We Care? (Maureen Murphy Nutting)
Many fine scholars and excellent teachers hold contingent appointments, but part-time appointments may nonetheless negatively affect teaching and the general quality of education.

4. Contingent Faculty and Student Learning: Welcome to the Strativersity (Karen Thompson)
If we consider student access to faculty outside the classroom to be a condition of student learning, then the growing reliance on contingent appointments is a negative trend with no remedy in sight.

5. How Does University Decision Making Shape the Faculty? (John G. Cross, Edie N. Goldenberg)
The authors’ goal is to investigate the growth and consequences of the use of non-tenure-track faculty in universities.

6. The Choices Before Us: An Administrator’s Perspective on Faculty Staffing and Student Learning in General Education Courses (Gary W. Reichard)
Those who manage general education courses must choose whether they will assign tenure-track faculty to teach these classes or accede to the trend of employing mostly contingent faculty.

7. A Regional Accreditation Perspective on Contingent Faculty Appointments (Sandra E. Elman)
The central issue is the responsibility of all the faculty and the leadership of an institution for ensuring quality instruction and appropriate student learning.

8. Reappraisal and Implications for Policy and Research (Ernst Benjamin)
The less-qualified staffing, diminished faculty involvement in student learning, and impaired collegiality resulting from excessive reliance on contingent appointments in general education have grave implications.

INDEX.

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