This Course is Your Course, This Field is My Field: On Sustainability, Economic and Intellectual

Paper delivered by Michael Murphy (SUNY Oswego) at SUNY COW 2012

In a reflection last year on the controversial 2007 Report of the ADE Ad Hoc Committee on Staffing called “Education in the Balance,” David Bartholomae, the Committee Chair, noted a development which most observers of staffing trends in higher education likely found interesting though perhaps not wholly surprising:

[figures p.10-11]

The data we gathered shows, among other things, an increase in the number of full time, non-tenure-track faculty members–and not only in PhD and Masters granting institutions but in baccalaureate colleges as well.  In order to justify the resources needed for an increasingly expensive research faculty (and, perhaps, as an attempt to improve the working conditions of part-time faculty members), institutions have shown their willingness to create full time teaching positions outside the tenure track, with competitive salaries, full benefits, and increased job security.  (1)

To see this development born out in survey data was more to confirm an ear-to-the-ground instinct than to suggest anything really revelatory….

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