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Author Topic: Accreditation and Adjuncts  (Read 9572 times)
spinnaker
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« on: March 28, 2012, 9:45:56 PM »

In my experience, meeting with adjuncts is not part of the periodic re-accreditation process. Will that change, and should it?
http://chronicle.com/article/Accreditation-Is-Eyed-as-a/131292/
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 9:52:01 PM by spinnaker » Logged

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aandsdean
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 9:48:29 PM »

In my experience, meeting with adjuncts is not part of the accreditation review procedure.
http://chronicle.com/article/Accreditation-Is-Eyed-as-a/131292/

Neither, actually, is a formal meeting wit FT/TT faculty. And your point is....?
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spinnaker
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 10:20:27 PM »

In my experience, meeting with adjuncts is not part of the accreditation review procedure.
http://chronicle.com/article/Accreditation-Is-Eyed-as-a/131292/

Neither, actually, is a formal meeting wit FT/TT faculty. And your point is....?

This is in the article:

'"Accreditation can be a really good lever. It is just not commonly used right now," Ms. Kezar says. Accreditors have paid more attention to adjuncts' working conditions in the last decade or so, but "change is happening way too slowly."'

I'll make sure this thread is not a referendum on me and my attitude. I'll just see if anyone posts and read.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 10:21:19 PM by spinnaker » Logged

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lotsoquestions
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 7:04:10 AM »

I don't see it happening because of the HUGE lobbying power of the for-profit institutions.  Phoenix pays its adjuncts $1500/course and aren't ALL of their "faculty" adjuncts?  University of Maryland's online division is similarly huge and staffed almost entirely by adjuncts.  Unless they're going to have two sets of rules -- one for online and for profits, and a different set for traditional campuses, I don't see how accreditation bodies will ever seriously do what most adjuncts (and many regular employees) would like -- namely setting certain standards, such that the ratio between adjuncts and regularly faculty shouldn't exceed 3:1 or something like that.
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miadjunct
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 2:19:20 PM »

There must be a great difference between regional accrediting bodies and program accredation (e.g. NCATE, ABET, AACSB, NASM, etc.). My school recently went through accreditation and both TT and non-TT faculty were involved and were interviewed. The tougher standards on qualifications resulted in the relatively few non-TT faculty without PhD's either making significant progress toward the PhD or leaving.
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mtaja1960
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 9:44:25 AM »

I don't see it happening because of the HUGE lobbying power of the for-profit institutions.  Phoenix pays its adjuncts $1500/course and aren't ALL of their "faculty" adjuncts?  University of Maryland's online division is similarly huge and staffed almost entirely by adjuncts.  Unless they're going to have two sets of rules -- one for online and for profits, and a different set for traditional campuses, I don't see how accreditation bodies will ever seriously do what most adjuncts (and many regular employees) would like -- namely setting certain standards, such that the ratio between adjuncts and regularly faculty shouldn't exceed 3:1 or something like that.


Yes, and some places are creating more online instruction full time jobs. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/12/05/grand-canyon-u-hires-adjuncts-full-time-online-faculty

I do think the problems described in the article such as no paid office hours and inadequate office space pre-date the growth of the online accredited instruction.

In my experience, meeting with adjuncts is not part of the accreditation review procedure.
http://chronicle.com/article/Accreditation-Is-Eyed-as-a/131292/

Neither, actually, is a formal meeting wit FT/TT faculty. And your point is....?

If schools conceal from the public the two tier workforce, what do they tell the accreditors?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 9:47:40 AM by mtaja1960 » Logged
polly_mer
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 10:25:44 AM »

In my experience, meeting with adjuncts is not part of the accreditation review procedure.
http://chronicle.com/article/Accreditation-Is-Eyed-as-a/131292/

Neither, actually, is a formal meeting wit FT/TT faculty. And your point is....?

If schools conceal from the public the two tier workforce, what do they tell the accreditors?

What do you mean?  Do you think the accreditors walk into an institution, demand to speak with a representative sample of adjunct faculty, and somehow get snowed about how that isn't necessary?

I may be talking out of my hat here since I'm not a dean or someone who regularly deals with the big-level accreditation, but in my experience as a low-level person, somebody from administration sends an email saying, "We have an accreditation team coming on <dates>.  They will be meeting with faculty at <time> in <place>.  We want N representatives.  Send us names by <date>."  Sometimes the email states, "We have the accreditation visit on <dates>.  We want you to meet with the team.  Which of these three times work for you?"

I assume the accreditors would think something is fishy if they only meet with three representatives of a university that has 300 faculty or only meet with three people in a program that has 10 people listed on the departmental materials, but why would the accreditors think anything is fishy if they meet with a bunch of people over the course of two or three days, even if those people are all handpicked?  I guarantee you that anyone who wants to put on a Potemkin village and has paperwork that would support such would be smart enough to pick people who will talk about flaws, but in a reasonable way.  Apparently, that's why I get to meet with accreditors so frequently.
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busyslinky
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 11:46:46 AM »

I don't see it happening because of the HUGE lobbying power of the for-profit institutions.  Phoenix pays its adjuncts $1500/course and aren't ALL of their "faculty" adjuncts?  University of Maryland's online division is similarly huge and staffed almost entirely by adjuncts.  Unless they're going to have two sets of rules -- one for online and for profits, and a different set for traditional campuses, I don't see how accreditation bodies will ever seriously do what most adjuncts (and many regular employees) would like -- namely setting certain standards, such that the ratio between adjuncts and regularly faculty shouldn't exceed 3:1 or something like that.


Yes, and some places are creating more online instruction full time jobs. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/12/05/grand-canyon-u-hires-adjuncts-full-time-online-faculty

I do think the problems described in the article such as no paid office hours and inadequate office space pre-date the growth of the online accredited instruction.

In my experience, meeting with adjuncts is not part of the accreditation review procedure.
http://chronicle.com/article/Accreditation-Is-Eyed-as-a/131292/

Neither, actually, is a formal meeting wit FT/TT faculty. And your point is....?

If schools conceal from the public the two tier workforce, what do they tell the accreditors?

It is very difficult to conceal this.  The reports that are written have to be very clear on adjuncts, non-TT, and TT faculty.  The reports typically have to be in a standard format provided by the accrediting organization.  The purpose of the visit is to confirm the report, it is an audit trip.  Concealment of any kind would be very difficulty.  In this case the coverup would be much worse than the crime.

In terms of accreditation being better for adjuncts, not so sure.  I think the purpose of some accreditation agencies is to limit the number of adjuncts and build up the full-time TT faculty.  Of course the latter are more expensive and that is the tension.
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proftowanda
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2012, 1:05:40 PM »

I don't see it happening because of the HUGE lobbying power of the for-profit institutions.  Phoenix pays its adjuncts $1500/course and aren't ALL of their "faculty" adjuncts?  University of Maryland's online division is similarly huge and staffed almost entirely by adjuncts.  Unless they're going to have two sets of rules -- one for online and for profits, and a different set for traditional campuses, I don't see how accreditation bodies will ever seriously do what most adjuncts (and many regular employees) would like -- namely setting certain standards, such that the ratio between adjuncts and regularly faculty shouldn't exceed 3:1 or something like that.


Yes, and some places are creating more online instruction full time jobs. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/12/05/grand-canyon-u-hires-adjuncts-full-time-online-faculty

I do think the problems described in the article such as no paid office hours and inadequate office space pre-date the growth of the online accredited instruction.

In my experience, meeting with adjuncts is not part of the accreditation review procedure.
http://chronicle.com/article/Accreditation-Is-Eyed-as-a/131292/

Neither, actually, is a formal meeting wit FT/TT faculty. And your point is....?

If schools conceal from the public the two tier workforce, what do they tell the accreditors?

It is very difficult to conceal this.  The reports that are written have to be very clear on adjuncts, non-TT, and TT faculty.  The reports typically have to be in a standard format provided by the accrediting organization.  The purpose of the visit is to confirm the report, it is an audit trip.  Concealment of any kind would be very difficulty.  In this case the coverup would be much worse than the crime.

In terms of accreditation being better for adjuncts, not so sure.  I think the purpose of some accreditation agencies is to limit the number of adjuncts and build up the full-time TT faculty.  Of course the latter are more expensive and that is the tension.

Correct; every accreditation report I have seen (many), for departments or programs or for entire campuses, notes whether there is need to reduce adjuncts. 
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mtaja1960
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2012, 2:45:48 PM »

It would appear though that there is an underutilized and less expensive remedy to the situation of a student not having proper access to after class consultation, and that would be hiring the same adjuncts that you're already using for paid office hours.
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spinnaker
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 1:01:16 AM »

I don't see it happening because of the HUGE lobbying power of the for-profit institutions.  Phoenix pays its adjuncts $1500/course and aren't ALL of their "faculty" adjuncts?  University of Maryland's online division is similarly huge and staffed almost entirely by adjuncts.  Unless they're going to have two sets of rules -- one for online and for profits, and a different set for traditional campuses, I don't see how accreditation bodies will ever seriously do what most adjuncts (and many regular employees) would like -- namely setting certain standards, such that the ratio between adjuncts and regularly faculty shouldn't exceed 3:1 or something like that.


Yes, and some places are creating more online instruction full time jobs. http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/12/05/grand-canyon-u-hires-adjuncts-full-time-online-faculty

I do think the problems described in the article such as no paid office hours and inadequate office space pre-date the growth of the online accredited instruction.

In my experience, meeting with adjuncts is not part of the accreditation review procedure.
http://chronicle.com/article/Accreditation-Is-Eyed-as-a/131292/

Neither, actually, is a formal meeting wit FT/TT faculty. And your point is....?

If schools conceal from the public the two tier workforce, what do they tell the accreditors?

It is very difficult to conceal this.  The reports that are written have to be very clear on adjuncts, non-TT, and TT faculty.  The reports typically have to be in a standard format provided by the accrediting organization.  The purpose of the visit is to confirm the report, it is an audit trip.  Concealment of any kind would be very difficulty.  In this case the coverup would be much worse than the crime.

In terms of accreditation being better for adjuncts, not so sure.  I think the purpose of some accreditation agencies is to limit the number of adjuncts and build up the full-time TT faculty.  Of course the latter are more expensive and that is the tension.

There's no penalty for lying to the the press about how much of your work is done by adjuncts or the duration of the regular use of the same adjunct position though, so sure, coverup might be the word for it.

"People love to tell accreditors what they need to be doing when they are not doing it," says Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which accredits colleges in 11 Southern states. "As soon as we do something, then they get upset and tell us we are being heavy-handed."

« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 1:04:23 AM by spinnaker » Logged

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proftowanda
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2012, 1:18:42 AM »

It would appear though that there is an underutilized and less expensive remedy to the situation of a student not having proper access to after class consultation, and that would be hiring the same adjuncts that you're already using for paid office hours.

Your adjuncts do not do office hours?  That is part of the job of teaching.

But most are limited, of course, to advising students about the classwork.  They are not required, as are faculty, to do the curricular work (on committees and in other roles) and other work that expands their ability to advise.
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melba_frilkins
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2012, 1:33:36 AM »

It would appear though that there is an underutilized and less expensive remedy to the situation of a student not having proper access to after class consultation, and that would be hiring the same adjuncts that you're already using for paid office hours.

Your adjuncts do not do office hours?  That is part of the job of teaching.

But most are limited, of course, to advising students about the classwork.  They are not required, as are faculty, to do the curricular work (on committees and in other roles) and other work that expands their ability to advise.

At my institution (and it's not unique to us within the state), adjuncts are paid a small salary that is explicitly for classroom hours only. There is a separate pool of money in the campus budget designated for office hours, the amount of which is a lump sum not directly tied to the number of faculty or courses for the semester. Adjunct faculty must apply to be eligible for paid office hours and then fill out a time sheet to document each hour to be paid out. It's often a few weeks into the semester before the administration can tell each adjunct instructor whether he or she will be paid for office hours, and if so, how many hours for the semester. The allotted hours may or may not be enough to cover the entire semester. Office hours are also paid at a lower rate than classroom hours.

This is obviously not the best way to do things. Adjunct salaries ought to be increased such that they simply include compensation for office hours every week throughout the semester.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 1:35:45 AM by melba_frilkins » Logged

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spinnaker
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2012, 12:39:54 PM »

It would appear though that there is an underutilized and less expensive remedy to the situation of a student not having proper access to after class consultation, and that would be hiring the same adjuncts that you're already using for paid office hours.

Your adjuncts do not do office hours?  That is part of the job of teaching.

But most are limited, of course, to advising students about the classwork.  They are not required, as are faculty, to do the curricular work (on committees and in other roles) and other work that expands their ability to advise.

At my institution (and it's not unique to us within the state), adjuncts are paid a small salary that is explicitly for classroom hours only. There is a separate pool of money in the campus budget designated for office hours, the amount of which is a lump sum not directly tied to the number of faculty or courses for the semester. Adjunct faculty must apply to be eligible for paid office hours and then fill out a time sheet to document each hour to be paid out. It's often a few weeks into the semester before the administration can tell each adjunct instructor whether he or she will be paid for office hours, and if so, how many hours for the semester. The allotted hours may or may not be enough to cover the entire semester. Office hours are also paid at a lower rate than classroom hours.

This is obviously not the best way to do things. Adjunct salaries ought to be increased such that they simply include compensation for office hours every week throughout the semester.



Agreed.
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mtaja1960
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 12:30:08 PM »

It would appear though that there is an underutilized and less expensive remedy to the situation of a student not having proper access to after class consultation, and that would be hiring the same adjuncts that you're already using for paid office hours.

Your adjuncts do not do office hours?  That is part of the job of teaching.

But most are limited, of course, to advising students about the classwork.  They are not required, as are faculty, to do the curricular work (on committees and in other roles) and other work that expands their ability to advise.

If they are it's volunteered. It's not part of the job of teaching a course part-time.


I assume the accreditors would think something is fishy if they only meet with three representatives of a university that has 300 faculty or only meet with three people in a program that has 10 people listed on the departmental materials, but why would the accreditors think anything is fishy if they meet with a bunch of people over the course of two or three days, even if those people are all handpicked?  I guarantee you that anyone who wants to put on a Potemkin village and has paperwork that would support such would be smart enough to pick people who will talk about flaws, but in a reasonable way.  Apparently, that's why I get to meet with accreditors so frequently.

The flaws discussed in the article are probably just normal, accepted conditions so there may well be minimal risk in discussing them. I think though that the person teaching the class has a different look at what's happening from what his supervisor or dean has.
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