Thursday, November 6, 2008

Use of Part Time Faculty

There is a growing dependence on the use of part-time faculty at many institutions of higher education. This is self-defeating because institutions of higher education are supposed to impart quality teaching and part-time faculty, even if they are highly trained, are unable to devote the kind of time and attention that a full-time faculty could devote to the students. Most importantly, it is the level of engagement that a full-time faculty could demonstrate that is normally lacking in a part-time faculty member.

This situation is further exacerbated if there are inflexible administrators or coordinators of such courses that use part-time faculty. I am a full-time faculty but I do teach extra part-time classes in my University, where we have a senior faculty member who is the administrator of the course. I was sick recently and was on sick leave from my University. I had informed the administrator of the said course as well but he was too inflexible and was rather sarcastic, which could certainly complicate matters. The fact that I was medically sick and suffering from a very sore throat meant I was unable to engage classes. If I had forced myself to take those extra lectures, I would have committed a wrong at two places. One, I was on leave from my place of work and how could I take extra classes at the same time. Secondly, it would have been ethically incorrect to engage classes when I had a very bad throat and I couldn't even speak. But the attitude of the administrator only worsened things.