Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What do you think about your "voice" as part-time/adjunct faculty?

"Voice" is about as slippery a concept as any, especially when applied to a profession. If Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait & Switch and George Clooney's Up in the Air are any indication, a large percentage of today's working professionals feel there are forces at work that totally trash any "voice" they might have. An even trickier question is, how does "voice" relate to the experiences of part-time/adjunct faculty? I know from my research that whatever this loaded term means, a lot of us don't feel we have enough of it!  For starters, here's a checklist to consider:
  • Is having a "voice" about sitting at the table with the full-timers and taking part in department decisions that impact us?
  • Is it being invited to present our work at department meetings?
  • Is it being asked to mentor new part-time faculty?
  • Is it being asked to sit on curriculum development committees? 
  • Is it being in on the discussion when our class assignments are scheduled from semester-to-semester?
  • Is it about union representation?
  • Or, some combination of all-of-the-above?
What do you think? What would make you feel that you have a satisfying "voice" in your professional life? Your comments are welcome!

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