USE OF PART-TIME AND ADJUNCT TEACHERS
The following statement was endorsed
by the Executive Council of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and
Portuguese (AATSP) at its meeting of October 6, 2010.
The increasing use of part-time and temporary teachers in language programs
threatens the integrity of the profession and instructional programs. The
practice of hiring numerous adjunct teachers/faculty year after year to teach
large numbers of students undermines professional and educational standards and
also impacts academic freedom. While
part-time and temporary appointments may provide some curricular benefits and while
some individuals may prefer to accept such appointments, these teaching
positions are seldom established based on sound educational needs. In reality, the primary motivation for
such hiring practices is to reduce the costs of instruction.
These appointments fall into two groups: part-time teachers/faculty and
non-tenure-track full-time teachers/instructors. The first group includes both
instructors who are clearly temporary members of a department and instructors
who teach from year to year and become virtually permanent. Those in the second group usually have
full course loads but, as non-tenure-track teachers/faculty members, they lack
the institutional commitment given to their tenure-track colleagues. (Graduate students are distinct from
Part-time teachers and
non-tenure track faculty members are usually hired under conditions that
describe them as non-professionals. In many cases they are hired at the last minute. Such teachers receive little or no
acknowledgement, recognition or respect for their contributions to their language
programs/departments. The majority earns inequitable salaries and may receive
no fringe benefits whatsoever.
The dependence on part-time and
non-tenure track teachers/faculty can damage individual faculty members,
students, institutions, and the profession. For the sake of an institution's economic welfare, adjunct
faculty members are often denied the security that adequate salary, health
insurance, and professional status can provide. The institution, in turn,
suffers through the creation of a two-tiered system in which faculty members
have different responsibilities and expectations.
Because of these concerns, AATSP urges schools, colleges and
universities to decrease, limit or even eliminate the use of part-time and
non-tenure track appointments. We
encourage administrators to improve employment conditions for essential part-time
and non-tenure track teachers and faculty members, to ensure their professional
recognition and to recognize their important contributions both in and outside
In view of this situation,
AATSP endorses the following guidelines based on those of the Modern Language
Association (MLA) for the employment of adjunct/part-time faculty members.
Guidelines for the Employment of
Adjunct/Part-Time Faculty Members
Each program, school or department should establish an
appropriate limit on the number of part-time teachers and adjunct faculty
members in relation to the number of tenured or tenure-track teachers and faculty
members (and of graduate students serving as apprentice teachers.) The norm in language programs at all
levels should be full-time, tenure-able positions. As tenured teachers and faculty members retire, they should
be replaced by tenure-track teachers/faculty members. Programs and departments that routinely
assign a large part of undergraduate instruction to part-time and adjunct teachers/faculty
members should reconsider their staffing practices.
All part-time teachers and adjunct faculty members should be
treated as professionals. Each program
or department should develop a set of guidelines for such employees. These
guidelines may vary from institution to institution but should address the
Part-time teachers and adjunct faculty members should be
hired, reviewed, and given teaching assignments according to processes comparable
to those established for full-time, tenure-line faculty members.
should be given mailboxes, office space, and clerical support.
They should receive adequate introduction to their teaching
assignments, programs and institutions.
should be paid equitable prorated salaries and should receive basic benefits
such as health insurance.
should be eligible for incentives including financial support for professional
development, merit pay/raises, and funding for professionally related travel
appropriate, they should participate in determining departmental and