Julie’s Inbox

Executive Director

The Academic Senate receives many requests from the field, and most of them come through the Senate Office into the inbox of our own Executive Director Julie Adams (hence the name of this column). As you might imagine these requests vary by topic, and the responses represent yet another resource to local senates. This column will share the questions and solutions offered by the President and the Executive Committee. Please send your thoughts or questions to Julie [at] asccc.org.

Dear Julie,

We have many part-time faculty at our college, and the senate is considering adding a part-time senate representative. What advice can you give us about including our part-time colleagues in the senate?

Signed Love Our Part-Timers

Dear L.O.P.T.,

The Academic Senate fully supports the inclusion of part-time faculty in the work of the senate whenever and wherever possible. Several senates across the state have part-time representatives, encourage part-time faculty to serve on committees, and some are developing part-time issues committees. All these efforts are good for faculty, students and the college.

Logistically, your senate will have to determine the level of participation desired and the availability of part-time faculty to participate in senate work. There are equity issues to be considered when including part-time faculty, such as whether there will be compensation for part-timers who serve, whether the vote of a part-time representative will equal the vote of a full-time representative, who votes to select part-time representatives, and making sure that all part-time faculty feel equally invited to join in the work. Different senates have dealt with these questions in different ways, and the union may be able to help in negotiating more equitable practices at the college. Senate policies should also be reviewed for equitable practices and inclusion, not just for part-timers, but for all faculty at the college. Whatever your senate decides, all faculty participating in the work of the college should be respected, encouraged and recognized for their contributions.

It might be useful to first survey your part-time faculty to determine interest and to recruit some individuals to lead these efforts. If your college has a part-time faculty orientation during faculty development or convocation, then senate leaders could explain the options or new opportunities to the group. Department or division chairs might be able to recommend some part-time faculty for various assignments. The senate could also survey its committees to see if part-time faculty appointments would strengthen the committees and improve their work. Then the college committees can do the same.

Including part-time faculty in the regular business of the college and the senate is an important step for a more unified approach to serving students. We encourage you to continue to find ways to share the wealth of work on campus by equitably including all faculty interested in service to the extent possible.

Good luck!

Executive Committee