October 12, 2009
The Adjunct Shuffle
One of the most annoying things about being an adjunct is being treated like pond scum. When registration approaches, regular faculty have an idea that they will 1. have jobs and 2. will teach x number of classes. As an adjunct, you are at the mercy of whomever is running the department.
Now, most college I teach for are very polite about it. You hear from them by the end of October for spring classes, and by about mid-February for summer and fall schedules. You say yay or nay, and they can plan accordingly, before registration begins. If you haven’t heard from them, they don’t have classes for you. You then start to plan accordingly.
For some reason, one of the colleges I work for has hired a person who seems completely unfamiliar with this idea. Registration comes and goes, and suddenly they are scrambling to cover the classes they have students signed up for. On top of that, we now have 3 campuses to cover (technically 4, but the one campus has been turned over to a single program, so we don’t teach there anymore). Our new person called a big meeting, and two of the three adjuncts turned up, and we made it very clear: the one adjunct covers the campus in the west, the one not there usually was given the east, and I took both east and online. Very simple. Don’t assign me west, don’t assign Ms. West to the east.
This past semester, we were still scrambling a week ahead of classes, so I agreed to take an extra class virtually (that’s through the fancy TV sets). It has been a challenge, but I have a good many of the kinks worked out, and am well on the way to finishing the kink-settling as much as one can in a given semester.
This time, I got the email with the classes (yay!) and was offered the online sections (yay!) and one in the west. That would be an hour and forty minute drive. Um… no. Why they are even trying to offer the day class out there I have no idea, the reason we never had before was because Ms. West has a day job and can’t do day classes, which we also told out new Fearless Leader at the big meeting. Yes, way to show respect to your adjuncts by listening to them, right?
My suggestion was to do what we are doing now, offer the class split with the east, and then connect virtually to the west. We’ll see how that goes.