Adjuncts– What Those Disparities Are

If you expected my last post, “Adjuncts – Bless Their Hearts,” to be a whistle blowing article about my own institution, the University of Notre Dame, you were disappointed.

Sorry about that.

If there were a whistle to blow, I would’ve blown it. I asked Adjuncts how they’re treated. I turned up the corners of a rug or two. Notre Dame is working hard to eliminate what disparities may exist and to set appropriate expectations at hiring about how the position one is stepping into is positioned in the hiring college. But the disparities I spoke of as reported at other institutions, aren’t really in the hiring process, are they? This is what some of our institutions are doing to Adjuncts:

  • Creating and fostering an underclass of Instructors, including treatment in office space, in departmental meetings (invite and pay, or invite as truly optional, with minutes sent to those who couldn’t/didn’t make it), and in lack of respect for their academic accomplishments.
  • Underpaying for their time and effort (Do you pay for course preparation time?)
  • Not providing scaled benefits based on service hours, courses, or years’ affiliation. Being part-time for a long time should mean something.

Scaled benefits for part-time Faculty or Staff is something all of our institutions should consider, especially our tuition benefits. We should also look at employees who are in our “part-time” category, but for whatever reasons their workload is fulltime. Consider the Adjunct whose designation is part-time and yet teaches as many courses per semester as their “full-time” counterpart.

Adjuncts, face it, are  one of your institutions’ ambassadorships to the community. They are stakeholders too. Let’s recruit their loyalty and commitment just like we do alumni, community leaders, or any other stakeholder. Did you think of your benefits package as helping to accomplish these goals?      …Maybe you should.


Notre Dame’s Adjuncts:

“…fortunate to be able to draw on talented faculty from outside the University of Notre Dame.”

63 Notre Dame Adjuncts with LinkedIn Profiles