Thursday, June 14, 2012

We really ARE Flexible

We really ARE flexible, or so people seem to think. Consider, for instance, how helpful we can be in an economic crisis.

Logo is from the fine people at Flexworks: don't know if they do faculty staffing, but maybe they'd be interested.

Case? Guilford College has lost ten percent of their full time tenured or tenure line faculty since 1995, so that, by 2009, less than 50% were of this “traditional” character. This info I glean from the very handy MLA site on the academic work force.

The slack at Guilford, of course, has been taken up by full and part time non-tenure track faculty, which means in this case, mostly part-time adjunct faculty.

Were all those years boom times or lean times? I forget, Anyway, now we learn that Guildford needs to make some cuts and, no surprise, Guilford's president assures us that “any cuts to faculty will come from part-time and adjunct professors, not from tenured or tenure-track faculty.”

The comments are sparse, in this article in the Business Journal-Triad Area, but what comments there are indicate curiosity about cuts to administration.

Well, administrators just aren't all that flexible, is your answer there.

Now, to University of Louisiana at Monroe, where we see adjunct and contingent faculty flexibility in full bloom. 

From UM-Monroes Roadmap for the Future, Excellence in Action: Strategic intitatives 2008-2013, consider that, in line with the goal of sustaining a "culture of education," item d. recommends "Reduce the use of part-time and adjunct faculty to teach classes."

Now don't get lost here-that's not where the flexibility is. The flexibility is between item d. above and then this item g., which is in line with the goal of enhancing the academic learning environment by "increasing the number of fully online degree prorgams."

And then item g., get it, which is less toward the 2008 and more toward the 2013 area, recommends that UM-Monroe "Hire adjunct/part time employees to assist with startup programs."

Remember flextime? 

As America emerges from the worst recession in modern
memory, smart organizations recognize that now is the time
to take care of their most valued employees.

Is this what they mean?

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