A different perspective

By on October 12, 2005

Adjunct teachers, are they treated fairly? The answer to this question can be surprising. While some students simply say adjunct teachers “suck,” others realize that having adjuncts is good because they are still in the field they want to be in.

Some applaud adjunct teachers for the work they do in the real world, and then spend any extra time they have in front of students trying to teach them what they have experienced. Hearing about these experiences from the teachers helps students prepare themselves for the real world. Full time teachers don’t have this ability since teaching at a college is their full time job.

Most students feel the only difference between adjunct professors and their full-time counterparts are the office hours. When a student wants to talk with an adjunct teacher, they have to make a special appointment since the teacher does not have an office. That can sometimes become very difficult when both student and teacher have a very busy schedule.

Full time teachers, on the other hand, have weekly office hours where their door is always open. The reason that adjunct teachers are not allowed their own room is simply a matter of space. It’s common knowledge that Quinnipiac has a serious issue with lack of space. Not just dorm rooms are affected by this issue, teachers are suffering as well. Dean Broker from Academic Services commented that “we understand that there is a real weakness.”

Although the school does not have enough spare room to give adjuncts their own personal space, they are working to improve their jobs in other ways. The first step to making adjuncts feel more apart of the community was to give them their own e-mail address. Although some students might think of e-mail as a basic way of communication, it has really only been offered for three years. Another recent improvement is the gift of free laptops. The laptops are to make up for the lack of medical insurance. Quinnipiac offers all part time faculty members a yearly survey to learn how they can make their jobs more enjoyable.

After talking to retired full time and now adjunct teacher, Larry Levine, there was one thing that he said that was very similar to what Broker had to say:

“There are simply only so many full-time positions available from a budgetary consideration. If there are insufficient numbers of faculty to cover all sections, adjuncts must be hired. In the perfect world, we’d have enough resources to hire a slew of additional full-timers and entirely eliminate reliance on adjuncts, but that world has not yet come to be.”

It was mutually agreed by Broker that in future years, administration hopes to hire more full time faculty and perhaps minimize the need for adjunct teachers. The question is: would students prefer to be taught by people in the field or just by normal teachers that haven’t had the same experience as adjuncts?


About Rachel Lagana