I’ve been thinking about my job lately. My thoughts were published yesterday in the University Venus and via Inside Higher Ed. You can find them here: http://tinyurl.com/3qq2gls I’ve been quite pleased with the response and the conversations that I’ve had on the site, over coffee and on Twitter.
People agree that the abuse of contingent (part-time) faculty is problematic. Essentially, they are under-paid and overworked. This really causes a hierarchy in higher education where research focused faculty rise to the top and the teaching focused faculty are the one with the increased face-time with students. Now, I’ll be the first person to defend teaching. However, this hierarchy normalizes research and makes teaching appear as the least important aspect of the job. I argue that both are important and make a difference within higher education. I will also admit my frustration and almost anger, when I hear colleagues dismiss teaching. My current colleagues aren’t guilty of this, but I have heard it on this campus or others where I have taught.
We need to think about this more. As I noted via Twitter, there are no easy answers. However, the dual stream will work on some campuses and I’m in a good position that works for me, my department and I’d argue for my students.