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Hidden Academics

Hidden Academics: Contract Faculty in Canadian Universities

Indhu Rajagopal
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 352
  • Book Info
    Hidden Academics
    Book Description:

    Rajagopal examines the multiple ways contract faculty have emerged as an underclass in academia, with differences in status, compensation, career opportunities, and professional development.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7573-5
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Tables and Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-2)
  7. Introduction: ʹChanging Times and Changing Missionʹ
    (pp. 3-24)

    ′Professors Ripped Off: Part-Time Faculty at Poverty Level,′ read a headline in theHalifax Chronicle-Herald(Erskin, 1997), capturing the continuing malaise brought on by misplaced political and administrative priorities in academe undertaken in the name of financial efficiency. The harm caused by these policies is most severe for marginalized groups, that is, contract faculty. Canadian higher education faces an ominous situation. There is an increasing tendency to look at universities as corporate businesses and at education as a commodity for profit. John Ralston Saul warns us about the all-encompassing influence of corporatism in western civilization:

    Our civilization [is] locked in...

  8. Part One: The Contract Faculty

    • Chapter One Permanent ʹTempsʹ and Surplus Value
      (pp. 27-44)

      The comment above illustrates the frustrations expressed by part-timers in their open-ended responses to my survey.¹ In the introduction I discussed the faculty crisis in Canadian universities, which began in the 1970s, and its formative role in part-timers′ discontent. In contrast to the 1970s, however, ′the 1960s were a ″golden era″ for [U.S.] education in general, as well as for the academic profession′ (Bowen and Sosa, 1989: 147).² In Canada, too, there was a parallel strengthening of the academic profession, but increased rates of inflation and a decline in public funding in the 1970s and 1980s translated into a tightening...

    • Chapter Two Hidden Academics
      (pp. 45-88)

      The above quotation encapsulates the experiences of many qualified academics working as part-timers and frustrated by their job search. University central administration and full-time faculty are often in the dark about part-timers′ career aspirations, their motivations, and other aspects of their work life, although they are visibly working among, and along with, them in academe. It is obvious that the full-time faculty do not share a similar plight in job search and work status, but this is only part of the reason why their interests have diverged from those of part-timers.

      As we saw in chapter one, universities′ financial shortfalls...

    • Chapter Three Invisible Women
      (pp. 89-127)

      Unlike their full-time counterparts, part-time faculty women are not statistically reported on. Although more numerous proportionally than women full-timers, women part-timers are less visible. Full-time faculty women are significantly fewer than full-time men. Compared with part-time faculty women, however, full-time faculty women are far more visible and are recognized both as individuals and as a group. In this chapter I will examine women part-timers′ situation: who they are, the rhetoric of women′s work as voluntary, the realities of their work, and their influence.

      Historically, the proportion of women among full-time faculty in Canadian universities has been abysmally low, but from...

    • Chapter Four Contemporaries and Classics: Segmented Interests
      (pp. 128-154)

      Significantly different profiles of two types of part-timers emerge from my survey. Those who have full-time non-academic jobs I have called ′Classics,′ and those who hold mainly academic part-time positions ′Contemporaries′ (see chapter 2, p. 68). The two groups have distinct reasons for teaching part time and differing work needs and motivations. Classics and Contemporaries have fundamentally different work, career and decision-making roles within academe. Although both groups are part-timers, most are covered under the same terms and conditions of work, and, where unionized, belong to the same union, they have little in common. Their comments show that they are...

  9. Part Two: Fragmented Academe

    • Chapter Five Conflicts That Divide: Full-Timers versus Part-Timers
      (pp. 157-189)

      After explaining briefly how I selected full-timers for the survey, in this chapter I present results of regression analyses from the survey of fulltimers, isolating areas of conflict between them and part-timers. The two groups are hierarchically organized, each with its own interests and unique demands on the university. Full-timers hire part-timers and regulate their work. There seems to be a marked segmentation of interests among full-timers and also sharp conflicting relations between full- and part-timers. Of all the factors analysed, rank segments full-timers in their attitudes towards part-timers. Rank is a significant predictor in my regression models (discussed below)...

    • Chapter Six Interests That Diverge: Administrators versus Part-Timers
      (pp. 190-228)

      To what extent do these comments represent part-timers′ experiences in the university? To find out, we need to explore the attitudes of academic administrators and their interactions with part-timers. In the literature, the predominant image of part-timers is one of invisibility and marginality in academe. However, few studies of full-timers or part-timers elaborate on the various factors that shape their situation - the university′s mission, full-timers′ goals as academic administrators, their perceptions of part-timers, and their treatment of part-timers. Indeed, academic administrators′ relationships with part-timers are governed substantially by the complex interactions of these full-timers- cum-administrators with managerial responsibilities as...

  10. Part Three: The Emergence of an Academic Underclass

    • Chapter Seven ʹSweated Labourʹ
      (pp. 231-246)

      The above comment from a part-time member of the faculty is not an isolated perception. With the introduction of a new type of teacher, the faculty collegium has turned from a rank-privilege structure into an authority-power hierarchy. Although full-time faculty may treat their part-timers with consideration and take them under their wings to protect them from the excesses of university administration, collegiality does not extend to the part-timers. Conceptually, ′sweated labour′¹ describes exploitive production relations in which one section of workers produces a surplus whose use is controlled by other sections that hierarchically control the workers below them (Himmelweit, 1983:...

  11. Epilogue: Ivory Tower, Inc.?
    (pp. 247-258)

    What is the future that awaits the contract faculty in Canadian universities? Would they remain part-timers or would they have opportunities to move up to the regular full-time positions that may arise in a number of disciplines in the near future? What are the prospects for faculty members in universities that are clearly expected to perform for the ′bottom line′ and increasingly looked upon as business ventures? The Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada (AUCC) inTrendsreflects on faculty renewal: ′While early retirement packages have achieved savings, they have not allowed universities to reap one of the benefits...

  12. Appendix: Survey and Methodology
    (pp. 259-268)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 269-292)
  14. References
    (pp. 293-322)
  15. Index
    (pp. 323-330)