Updating “Part-Time Faculty: A Principled Perspective”

Chair, Part-Time Paper Task Force

At its Spring 2013 Plenary Session, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) passed resolution 19.07, which stated,

Resolved, that the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges create a task force consisting of both full and part-time faculty charged with updating the 2002  paper ‘Part-Time Faculty:  A Principled Perspective’ to reflect progress achieved and challenges remaining to the original paper’s policy level recommendations and best practice suggestions for local senates, and to make further recommendations related to the status of part-time faculty as needed by the Spring 2014 Plenary Session.

In response to this resolution, a task force was formed in Fall 2013, comprised of full- and part-time faculty from a range of colleges, to create an update to the 2002 paper.   That task force brought forward an outline to the Executive Committee which was approved in March 2014.  Over the summer, and through the fall, the task force met by phone, divided up the outline, and worked on the update.  During this process, task force members became increasingly convinced that the original 2002 paper did not need to be updated.  Instead, the task force suggested that information about specific topics regarding part-time faculty issues that fall under the Academic Senate’s purview (the 10+1) needed to be provided to the field.  At its January 2015 meeting, the ASCCC Executive Committee agreed, recommending that portions of the draft paper be crafted into Rostrum articles about part-time faculty issues, including an examination of the recommendations from the original 2002 paper.

The recommendations from the 2002 paper were that the ASCCC work towards the following:

  1. Increase the number of full-time faculty;
  2. Increase efforts to integrate part-time faculty at the local and state level;
  3. Reaffirm the guidelines in the ASCCC 1989 paper “Part-Time Hiring Procedures:  A Model Based on AB 1725”;
  4. Undertake a comprehensive review of part-time hiring and evaluation processes, procedures, and their implementation;
  5. Develop mentoring models for part-time faculty;
  6. Work with the Consultation Council and the Board of Governors to develop mechanisms that ensure equitable opportunities for effective contact outside the classroom;
  7. Reaffirm that part-time hiring be done for academic and programmatic needs, not financial ones;
  8. Enhance professionalism and advise the Board of Governors regarding policies for employment security and due process for part-time faculty;
  9. Consider a tenure-like process for part-time faculty who have been regularly rehired and have gone through rigorous evaluation.

Locally, the paper recommended that senates work with their boards, collective bargaining units, administrators, and others to

  1. Establish principled definitions and policies regarding part-time pay equity;
  2. Establish paid office hour support;
  3. Work to create office hour alternatives as appropriate.

Many of the above recommendations have been advocated for and worked on by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges since the paper’s publication in 2002.  The Academic Senate has worked to increase part-time participation at both the state and the local level, and part-time faculty members have been appointed to numerous statewide committees, including the recent (2014) technology initiatives (the Online Education Initiative, the Common Assessment Initiative, and the Educational Planning Initiative).  The Academic Senate also has recognized and supported the work of the ASCCC Part-Time Caucus and has provided for a permanent liaison from the part-time faculty to the Executive Committee.  Other efforts by the ASCCC have included the following:

  1. A change in the Hayward Award structure to ensure that part-time faculty are recognized every year for excellence in teaching and leadership, including recognition of part-time award recipients at the March Board of Governors meeting in that year.  Two of the ASCCC’s geographic areas each year nominate only part-time faculty, and the other two geographic areas nominate full faculty.  The first Hayward Awards for part-time faculty members were given in 2014, to Rebecca Sarkisian from Fresno City College and John Sullivan from Riverside City College.  The 2015 Hayward Award will be awarded to part-time faculty from Areas B and C.
  2. Scholarship opportunities for part-time faculty to attend institutes and plenary sessions, sponsored by the Academic Senate Foundation for California Community Colleges. As a result of these scholarships, part-time faculty have had the opportunity to attend the Accreditation Institute, the Academic Academy, the Curriculum Institute, and other events at no or low cost to the faculty member and his or her college.
  3. Rostrum articles on the importance of part-time faculty, including the inclusion of part-time faculty in campus-wide activities, shared governance, professional development, and other areas which fall under the purview of the Senate.  The most recent of these, on part-time faculty and professional development, was published in the Fall 2014 Rostrum and was co-authored by a part-time faculty member who is serving on the Professional Development Committee.
  4. Plenary breakouts on part-time faculty and their contributions, as well as on ways to integrate part-time faculty into the campus community.  In addition, opportunities for part-time faculty to network with the ASCCC Part-Time Caucus have been provided at the plenary sessions since the creation of the Part-Time Caucus.
  5. Continued recruitment of part-time faculty for ASCCC committees and task forces, including involving part-time faculty in the technology initiatives and other statewide appointments. 
  6. The creation of an ASCCC listserv for part-time faculty.

Other areas of involvement for part-time faculty are under discussion, including the creation of a Professional Development College module dedicated exclusively to part-time faculty.  Part-time faculty have been and remain an integral element of the success of students in the California community colleges, and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges will continue to work to provide opportunities for their professional development and involvement at both the state and local level.