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Part-Time Faculty Handbook

A colleague is putting together a handbook for part-time faculty at our college. The current booklet we are given covers legal matters and requirements, but offers little in the way of helpful advice. The e-mail request for ideas for the new handbook has been sitting in my inbox for weeks as I’ve tried to think about what information new people need.

My biggest request? Tell me and other part-timers who to go to for help. The organizational structure at my institution is confusing at best. If I need a copy of a textbook, where do I go? What about a problem with a student? Getting my room unlocked? These little details of daily class life become stressful when you can’t find the resources you need. Having to constantly ask questions also adds to the feeling many adjuncts have of being a second-class citizen.

Having a contact person is invaluable for part-time faculty. That could be a secretary, department chair, colleague, lab assistant. Anyone who has been around and can graciously point the way. A friendly ear, especially one not involved in evaluating you, makes a huge difference.

What are other must-haves for a handbook for contingent faculty? What information gets lost in the shuffle?

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