Use of Part-time Faculty in California Community Colleges: Issues and Impact

Spring
1996
Committee: 
Educational Policies Committee

This document addresses the many factors associated with the use of part-time faculty. There is an attempt to focus on the issue of how the practice affects academic integrity and what actions are necessary. Recommendations appear in the conclusion of the document.

Recommendations: 
  1. A corps of full-time tenured faculty is essential to the maintenance of educational excellence, academic integrity, and the freedom to pursue and effect the acquisition of knowledge without fear of reprisal for exercising that freedom consistent with one's academic and professional judgment. Failure to attain and maintain such a body of full-time tenured faculty threatens the very ambition, creativity, innovation, exploration, and criticism which is central to academic integrity of programs and courses of study in institutions of higher learning. Local academic senates should resolve the above statement and work with the local administration to ensure the colleges maintain such a commitment.
  2. Local academic senates should resolve to create a climate of mutual respect between the full and part-time faculty.
  3. Consistent with the intent language of state law, the decision to hire part-time faculty should be based on educational program and service needs, not perceived financial savings.
  4. The California Community Colleges should diligently work toward surpassing a minimum of 75% of the hours of instruction to be taught by full-time faculty. Consistent with previous resolutions, local academic senates should continue to support student access to faculty in all disciplines including the counseling and library disciplines.
  5. Colleges should make every effort to support the integration of part-time faculty into the institutional processes. Local academic senates should consult with the local union, where applicable, to facilitate the availability of part-time faculty to interact with students, participate in governance, and participate in curriculum decision making processes.
  6. Hiring processes for part-time faculty should have components identical to those of full-time faculty hiring processes, including proper notice, recruitment, screening, interviewing, and selection. Local academic senates should work with the designees of the board to ensure the faculty hiring policies include processes for hiring part-time faculty. A hiring process which establishes a diverse pool of qualified faculty for part-time assignments should be pursued. (See Part-Time Hiring Procedures: A Model Based on AB1725 - adopted at the Academic Senate Fall 1989 Plenary Session.)
  7. Local academic senates should work with their union to ensure evaluation processes for part-time faculty have identical components as full-time faculty evaluation processes.
  8. In order for part-time faculty to effectively perform their professional duties and for students to have reasonable access to the faculty, the local colleges should provide a level of support comparable to that of full-time faculty with similar professional duties. Support usually includes office space, communication technology, faculty development resources, and instructional media/reproduction support.
  9. The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges should seek legislation and/or regulations which would require that local colleges provide all students comparable access to instructors, whether they be full-time or part-time, and that all faculty will have comparable access to institutional support of professional services.