Alma mater, the kind mother, have you ever checked yours? I just looked up mine, the one that granted my BA.
Communication: one full time professor, the rest adjuncts.
English: two full time professors, the rest adjuncts.
Professional studies: no full time professors.
Hamster Fucking (my major): Two full time professors, the rest adjuncts.
I've been giving them a very small amount of money yearly since I graduated grad school and had money to give.
No more. I'll let them know that I'm no longer donating a penny until they stop using it to exploit part time labor and cheat students of access to full time professors. I should point out, this is a very small school, smaller than the very small SLAC I currently teach at as one of eight full time professors in the department of Hamster Fucking.
Maybe that's the way to change things: let our almae matres know that we don't think it's all that alma to exploit people. Maybe until we tell them, paedicabo ego vos et irrumabo! will they change things.
Wow, my auto-correct really hates Latin. But you know why I know that much Latin? Because I had a goddamned full time professor who had the time and energy to teach me, that's why!
- unknown sender
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Pardon me for not recalling which one but someone mentioned in a recent comment: until potential students and their parents start choosing colleges based on full time faculty to student ratio instead of housing, internships, etc. we're screwed.Delete
And class sizes. They're so focused on that, they forget the most important variable is who's teaching the class! Would you rather have a first-rate teacher in a class of 40 or a mediocre one in a class of 20?Delete
I don't think mediocrity should be tolerated from any faculty, adjunct or tenure(d)-track. I'd rather have 2 first-rate adjuncts each in front of a class of 20 than 1 first-rate adjunct in front of a class of 40, and I'd rather that "full-time adjunct" positions be converted to TT, so that adjunct gigs are used as originally intended: for practicing professionals to bring extramural expertise into the classroom.Delete
I'm not sure that I'm ever first-rate, but I'm definitely a better teacher when I have fewer students and sections (total course load as well as class size does matter, which is another reason that forcing people to teach for several different institutions at once isn't a great idea; a lot of adjuncts have 5/5 or even 6/6 loads). I'm sure there's a point below which smaller class size really doesn't make a difference; I'm also sure there's a combined student/course load above which even the best teacher becomes increasingly, and eventually utterly, ineffective. The tradeoffs probably differ depending on discipline, teaching style, etc., but they're real.Delete
Thank you for bringing total load into it. Perhaps that's a metric that should be published as well. It is definitely a multidimensional issue. But I do wish to steer clear of the inference that adjunct = mediocre (not that Peter was implying it). We must always consider how mediocrity can be thrust into the classroom by a system that pays lip service to excellence while caring only for the bottom line.Delete
OPH, you make perfect sense. That's why it has no chance of happening where I am.ReplyDelete
Sadly, I don't think the professoriate has enough combined donor power to make the slightest impression on our collective alma maters. I know mine doesn't care what I think, but I graduated from one of those places possessed of an endowment that is sometimes compared to the GDP of small countries. I'm not sure they're much swayed even by their millionaire donors (maybe if a few dozen of the billionaires got together they might pay attention).ReplyDelete
Of course, such places can afford to, and generally do, treat their contingent faculty somewhat better than average. Then again, they'd better, since even full-fledged assistant professors tend to be regarded as more disposable than tenurable (of course they tend to land on their feet even after being denied tenure, but the process does leave some psychological scars).
Sadly, I think you're right about donor power. Nevertheless, I fully agree with the OP's sentiment that when it comes to discretionary giving, one is within one's right to not support a system that is wrong.Delete