Academic Freedom and the 60% Law

Resolution Number
Jane Patton
Assigned to
Professional Standards
Oppose changing the limitation of the teaching load for part-time faculty above 60%.
Status Report

Due to Academic Senate opposition, SB 847 was withdrawn by the maker.

Whereas, There is legislation being written that recommends allowing part-time faculty to teach an increased load from 60% to 80%;

Whereas, The 2003 AAUP Policy Statement, Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession made the following statements:
"Because faculty tenure is the only secure protection for academic freedom in teaching, research, and service, the declining percentage of tenured faculty means that academic freedom is increasingly at risk. Academic freedom is a fundamental characteristic of higher education, necessary to preserve an independent forum for free inquiry and expression, and essential to the mission of higher education to serve the common good."
"Ten years ago, the Association (AAUP) reported that non-tenure-track appointments accounted for about 58 percent of all faculty positions in American higher education. As of 1998, such appointments still accounted for nearly three out of five faculty positions, in all types of institutions. In community colleges, more than three out of five positions are part-time non-tenure-track positions, and 35 percent of all full-time positions are off the tenure track."
". . the attenuated relationship between the contingent faculty member and his or her department or institution can chill the climate for academic freedom. Currently, neither peer review nor academic due process operates adequately to secure academic freedom for most contingent faculty members. The lack of adequate protection for academic freedom can have visible results. Contingent faculty may be less likely to take risks in the classroom or in scholarly and service work. The free exchange of ideas may be hampered by the specter of potential dismissal or nonrenewal for unpopular utterances. In this chilling atmosphere, students may be deprived of the robust debate essential to citizenship. They may be deprived of rigorous and honest evaluations of their work. Likewise, faculty may be discouraged from explorations of new knowledge and experimentation with new pedagogies. Perhaps most important, institutions may lose the opportunity to receive constructive criticism of academic policies and practices from a significant portion of the academic community."
"To protect academic freedom and to ensure the highest quality in college and university education, colleges and universities need the stability of a tenured faculty"; and

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges stand firmly behind the principles of academic freedom and its benefits for students;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges oppose changing the limitation of the teaching load for part-time faculty above 60%.MSC Disposition: Legislators, Local Senates