The very aptly named New Faculty Majority blog is requesting links to other academic bloggers who are contingent (part time, adjunct, temporary–there’s a slew of terms being bandied about these days, but all mean no job security, little pay, etc etc). Please drop them a note about your own blog.
AdjunctNation is another blog with links to resources for contingent faculty. They’ve already started a blogroll of other adjunct bloggers it seems, though it’s obviously incomplete.
And, since I’ve got your attention, adjuncts, could I ask your advice?
I’m part of a small crew of full time (mostly already tenured) faculty who are working to offer some practical workshops for those who are newly part time at our college (we hired at least 3 dozen this year alone, and we have under 100 full time faculty). [Note: our faculty union is working on salaries and better health insurance; and our administrators are working on training and paying senior part timers to be mentors, so the workshops are the third leg of the stool, so to speak.]
We recently offered a workshop in Understanding Student Evaluations, which was only mildly successful at addressing the very real fear that bad evaluations. I think it would have gone much better facilitated by a fellow part timer. As a result, when we asked attendees (all volunteers who were not paid for attending the workshop, but who will get a letter in their file) to identify other topics of interest, almost all asked for basic instructional tidbits: how to lecture, how to best use Power point, how to do small group work, etc etc. All excellent ideas, and all relevant to ALL faculty, certainly, not just adjuncts.
But is there some other topic we are missing that didn’t come up in our very small sample survey? Should we offer workshops in negotiating academia? (So many of our new part timers truly believe that they have a shot at a full time position “someday” despite not having a graduate degree at all in the field–we are a community college, but one that requires a minimum of an MA in the field, and for transfer programs, the Ph.D. is preferred).
Be brutally honest, please: what workshops do you think would attract more than a dozen of the over 100 part timers (half of them recently hired)?