1st Edition

Connecting Non Full-time Faculty to Institutional Mission A Guidebook for College/University Administrators and Faculty Developers

By Leora Baron-Nixon Copyright 2007

    Non full-time faculty—whether adjunct, part-time or contingent—has become the lifeline of a vast majority of colleges and universities. They teach many of the foundation and core courses taken by first- and second-year students, teach professional courses in which their own life experiences are invaluable, and step in at short notice to fill-in for regular faculty engaged in research or away on sabbaticals.A survey of over 4,000 institutions conducted by the US Department of Education reveals that such faculty are being hired at a much higher rate than their full-time counterparts--whether in response to increased enrollments, reduced budgets, or changing administrative strategies.The increasing presence of such faculty on campus can conflict with today’s demands for accountability and the pursuit of institutional mission. This book provides academic administrators and faculty developers with proactive, practical and results-producing approaches that can help transform fragmented faculties into integrated and cohesive teaching and scholarly communities.In an easy-to-follow format, this book constitutes a resource of thoughtful and pragmatic strategies to ensure quality and satisfaction both on the part of the institution and the adjuncts. Topics are presented in a thematic sequence that allows decision-makers to focus on their priority areas. The author offers guidance for systematic planning and implementation.The contents are focused on connecting non full-time faculty to core institutional functions and structures: Connection #1--to the institution; Connection #2--to the department; Connection #3--to teaching; Connection #4--to Students; and Connection #5--to scholarship.Originally announced as "Connecting Adjunct Faculty to the Academic Institution"

    Preface; Introduction; Connections for Non-full Time Faculty. Connection #1. To the Institution. Steps in Creating an Inclusive Teaching Community; Notes for Connection #1; Connection #2. To the Academic Department. Steps in Developing a Collegial Community; Notes for Connection #2; Connection #3. To The Art and Science of Teaching. Steps in Enhancing a Culture of Quality Teaching; Notes for Connection #3; Connection #4. To Students. Steps in Fostering and Sustaining a Supporting Learning Environment; Connection #5. To Scholarship and Scholarly Activities; Nurturing the Whole Professional. Teacher & Scholars; Notes for Connection #5; Epilogue.


    Leora Baron-Nixon is Director of the University Teaching & Learning Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She established one of the first adjunct certification programs at a comprehensive Research I university, and is frequent presenter of workshops on the subject. Irene W.D. Hecht

    "At heart, this book is about good teaching. It certainly lives up to its title; it is a splendid tool for developing policies to connect non full-time faculty to institutional mission."

    Teaching Theology & Religion

    "The employment of non full-time faculty is a major issue in higher education and much as been written on its virtues and perils, especially in the past decade. In Connecting Non Full-Time Facultry to Institutional Mission, Lenora Braon-Nixon adds much needed breadth to the discussion by exploring the challenges these faculty memberse face and outlining the actions needed for their successful integration into the mission and culture of the institution... Baron-Nixon has created a concise guide by combining the exploration of current issues involving contingent faculty, the particular challenges that confront the non full-time faculty workforce, and the actions that need to be carried out to establish connections to the institution. The careful consideration of these perspectives make Connecting Non Full-Time Faculty to Institutional Mission an important addition to any higher education collection. The excellent bibliography, with its extensive list of unpublished doctoral dissertations, is also very helpful for those wishing to further explore the topic. This book, in combination with wise leadership, could have a profound affect in more tightly integrating non full-time faculty into institutional culture with a resulting rise in institutional excellence.

    Journal of College Student Development

    "Memo to Provosts, Deans and Department Chairs of institutions large and small: Buy this book. Baron-Nixon has crafted a book that will be especially helpful for those who struggle to navigate the challenge of how best to handle—in the best interests of students and programs—the 'part-time/adjunct faculty situation' on campus. This is for the reader who does not want a lot of theoretical underpinnings or politically-charged huffing and puffing about the 'part-time/adjunct problem.' This is for the reader who wants clear, practical, pragmatic guidance focusing on specific action steps that will integrate part-timers with, and connect them to, the institution’s missions and daily operations. Those who have their college/university catalogs, policy manuals, and strategic plans within easy reach of their desks will want Leora Baron-Nixon’s Connecting Non Full-Time Faculty to Institutional Mission there, too.

    Her guidebook is rooted in real-world realities, informed with cogent and practical advice, and infused with the spirit of doing what is best for our students and the whole of the Academy."

    NACADA Journal

    "This book makes an important contribution if for no other reason because the author focusses on the proverbial 'pink elephant' in the room: that part-time, adjunct, and otherwise temporary faculty constitute a significant percentage of the instruction ranks in colleges and universities and are here to stay.... I found it to be highly valuable in pointing out the truism that much of core-level education is done by part-time faculty. This point is a wake-up call to upper level institutional administrators who probably have not had the issue spelled out this clearly. It is my hope that many administrators will read this book and begin to implement many of the good policy ideas that are presented."

    The Department Chair

    “In Connecting Non Full-Time Faculty to Institutional Mission, Leora Baron-Nixon gives those at any institution with the will and the power to affect change a strong set of guidelines to fully integrate 'non full-time' instructors into their campus culture. Baron-Nixon’s descriptions of part-time faculty types are part of an important and broader discussion of the language around their appointments. She describes how some of the old terms for part-time faculty may impede progress toward connecting them to our institutions. Of particular interest to faculty and administrators who arrange programming for their part-time colleagues will be Baron-Nixon’s guide to non-faculty orientation. I found this frank and honest, yet data-driven, approach to the subject refreshing. The utility of the book lies in providing a solid opening to the journey of integrating non full-time faculty into one’s institution.”

    National Teaching and Learning Forum

    "This may well be one of the first efforts at comprehensively addressing this important topic, and its arrival could not be more timely. For any institution or department ready to look systematically at the issues of nontraditional appointments this volume poses the questions that need to be answered, and proposals for solutions."

    From the Foreword by Irene W.D. Hecht, Director, Department Leadership Programs, ACE