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Jeffrey Keefer

PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning (Educational Research) ~ Learning and Development Project Manager (Clinical Education) ~ Internet Researcher ~ Adjunct Professor @NYU & @PaceU in New York City.

Research interests cover educational research and interdisciplinarity. I focus on distance and online learning, internet research, digital identity, social learning and social media, networked and technology enhanced learning, threshold concepts and liminal experiences in higher education, teaching and program design in adult and organizational learning, communities of practice, qualitative methodologies, narrative inquiry, and actor-network theory.

My professional work is at JeffreyKeefer.com

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AdjunctChat Transcript from Tuesday, July 9, 2013

#AdjunctChat – Tues, July 9, 4:00pm EDT


#AdjunctChat – Tues, July 9, 4:00pm EDT

The topic is: “What opportunities exist to partner with FT Faculty & Chairs for change, allies, and development?” This is the 5th #AdjunctChat.

  1. Here we are at 4:00pm EDT, and I want to welcome anybody who is here to #adjunctchat
  2. Perhaps it will be useful to see who is here and able to join live in the synchronous discussion? #adjunctchat
  3. Anybody else in the background, reading along, who want to check in? #adjunctchat
  4. Hey. I’ll watch for a bit, I think. Maybe I’ll participate. #adjunctchat
  5. Today’s topic is “What opportunities exist to partner with FT Faculty & Chairs for change, allies, and development?” #adjunctchat
  6. I’m lurking. But am no adjunct, nor really know what it is so didn’t want to join in too actively for now #adjunctchat
  7. The full topic as voted in our poll is “What opportunities are there to partner with FT faculty and leaders/chairs…” #adjunctchat
  8. … to institute change, create allies, and enhance development?” #adjunctchat
  9. @TEBombe Welcome! An adjunct is anybody who teaches in higher education in a non-full time or non-tenure track capacity #adjunctchat
  10. Given our topic for this week, what initial thoughts or ideas does anybody want to share? #adjunctchat
  11. Ooh, that’s a tough one. Chairs seem to commiserate at no end, but to do considerably less, with a number of fair reasons. #adjunctchat
  12. @JeffreyKeefer Present. Related to full topic: How can we get FT to move past lip service in improving adjuncts’ conditions? #adjunctchat
  13. #adjunctchat I think this depends on how much opportunity you have to interact with others in your department. I work days so I get to.
  14. @IshaiBarnoy Agreed Ishai. Of course there isn’t a magic wand to fix things, but I’ve heard little more than commiseration. #adjunctchat
  15. @IshaiBarnoy #adjunctchat Yes. They may want to let you do more than they are able to b/c you may be gone the following semester
  16. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Partly, I’m relating email and in-person communication with my dept chair, generalizing based on that.
  17. I wonder about opportunities exist to partner, and think this may have to do with sharing and awareness and a sense of #WIIFM? #adjunctchat
  18. @JeffreyKeefer Yes. When I worked nights I rarely saw anyone else in my dept. couldn’t interact. #adjunctchat
  19. The kind of commiseration I’ve heard: “I used to work as an adjunct, and in my day… So, I perfectly understand your pain.” #adjunctchat
  20. Interesting initial thoughts about this, suggesting we have some rich experiences to share and perhaps leverage #adjunctchat
  21. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Oh, certainly! Always in a sympathetic way! But also in a tired, “what can I do” sort of way.
  22. @JeffreyKeefer work, although I’ve been asked to do service. Problem w/ service is I don’t get paid for it. #adjunctchat
  23. I’m here. Writing, so shouldn’t join in, but will peek in when I can. I’m FT fac, a dept chair, & want to learn all I can. #adjunctchat
  24. As this chat seems to work more smoothly with some set questions + responses, let’s transition to them to help organization. #adjunctchat
  25. @IshaiBarnoy @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat One way I think chairs can partner is in choice of course or allowing adjunct to create new course
  26. I listed 3 questions earlier with Q1, etc., and then perhaps we can reply with A1 and such to help keep conversations together. #adjunctchat
  27. Q1 Do you partner with FT faculty or chairs / leaders for change, allies, or development? #adjunctchat
  28. @MaryChayko #adjunctchat One thing I haven’t seen from dept chair/fac is advocating for adj when tenured/ft position comes up.
  29. @Comprof1 @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat I’ve asked for precisely this! But I was denied based on state BOE policy. Felt like personal distrust
  30. @IshaiBarnoy @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat My dept has “special topics” course. This doesn’t require BOE approval.
  31. A1 I find requests for service, though do not think of that as partnering per se. #adjunctchat
  32. @Comprof1 @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat It’s famously known at my school that “special topics” courses never get enough students to run.
  33. @JeffreyKeefer Q1: Only informally paired, but some have read over a document I helped write about improving PT labor in dept. #adjunctchat
  34. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat double edged sword. Gets your name out there, but then you are doing same work as TT Fac w/ % of pay.
  35. Today’s #AdjunctChat topic is What opportunities exist to partner with FT Faculty & Chairs for change, allies, and development? #adjunctchat
  36. Our first Question – Q1 Do you partner with FT faculty or chairs / leaders for change, allies, or development? #adjunctchat
  37. @ProfessorF74 @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Q1 Were there reprecussions in dept? When I made noise in dept lost courses.
  38. @IshaiBarnoy @Comprof1 @JeffreyKeefer They must B promoted vigorously…as when FT and PT fac guest lecture for one another? A1 #adjunctchat
  39. FT at my school are often just “passing through.” Those in my field, though more permanent, are personal & professional loners. #adjunctchat
  40. @Comprof1 @ProfessorF74 @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Has anyone gotten research opportunities from ft fac? This was helpful for me.
  41. @Comprof1 @JeffreyKeefer Received well. I’m unionized & have some protection. We also found something in our bylaws as impetus. #adjunctchat
  42. #adjunctchat @JeffreyKeefer A1 We are finding opportunities to partner, does need someone to drive the programme and organise though
  43. @Comprof1 Agree…this should be the practice and really should happen…or chair should make clear that it won’t, and why. #adjunctchat
  44. @MaryChayko @Comprof1 @JeffreyKeefer Failure to run is built into the system. Most degrees don’t need “special topics” credits. #adjunctchat
  45. @IshaiBarnoy are you proposing that chairs have a kind of condescending attitude to PTs? I may misunderstood you #adjunctchat
  46. @JeffreyKeefer: I do think adjuncts should be compensated for time spent on outside of class projects. #adjunctchat
  47. A1 I wonder if some chairs or departments see partnering as free workers? #adjunctchat
  48. @JozieLocks A1 Do you find it common that adjuncts get paid for works or meetings outside specific contractual teaching? #adjunctchat
  49. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat I don’t think it’s so calculated. Rather pressure from FT fac who will be there longer.
  50. @fabianbanga Difficult to say for sure. Chairs are very diplomatic. Very basically, I’d say yes, condescending. But very nice. #adjunctchat
  51. For those who just joined, our Q1 = Do you partner with FT faculty or chairs / leaders for change, allies, or development? #adjunctchat
  52. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat I was able to write a number of papers w/ FT who had chance to present because they had travel money.
  53. @MaryChayko @comprof Oh, the FT’s are ordinarily given those, at my school, pretty exclusively. #adjunctchat
  54. @IshaiBarnoy We have to think pragmatically; departments are organisms // what can I offer and wt those organism need from me? #adjunctchat
  55. A1 I currently teach in two universities, and find the cultures similar with adjuncts #adjunctchat
  56. Related: Try checking your program/dept bylaws for language about internal promotion. It may help me at GW. Maybe. #adjunctchat
  57. @fabianbanga Of course! I don’t doubt my chair for a minute. He’s a great guy, all about his department. #adjunctchat
  58. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat I find adj treated more as colleagues in unionized unis I’ve taught for. system recognizes limitations.
  59. While we can continue replying to Q1 (by using A1), it may be time to move onto the 2nd of the 3 we gathered for today #adjunctchat
  60. @fabianbanga But maybe that means I’ve somehow been left out of my own department before my chair could help. #adjunctchat
  61. Our second question to chat about and discuss — Q2 Do you have any tales of successful partnerships? #adjunctchat
  62. @ProfessorF74 #adjunctchat Q1 not at my Uni. There is program for internal promotion for PT staff but not faculty. Hoping that will change
  63. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Q2 my current univ allows adjuncts to apply for training grants. I received $1000 grant which goes thru dept.
  64. In response to Q2: One semester, I took over an FT’s class in a themed program. I took it and very subtly made it mine. #adjunctchat
  65. @fabianbanga Twitter chats are sprawling and sometimes confusing even when English is your first language! :) #adjunctchat
  66. @IshaiBarnoy Trying not to be negative, but I met some horrible chairs #adjunctchat
  67. @Comprof1 A2 How does the uni promote this adjunct financial support for travel? #adjunctchat
  68. @IshaiBarnoy A2: Do you mean you started to become the primary instructor for it? #adjunctchat
  69. @JeffreyKeefer @Comprof1 Even if schemes open to adjunct faculty, you have to be employed there long enough to take advantage. #adjunctchat
  70. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Yeah. Then the semester ended, of course, and I was back to “normal.”
  71. @MaryChayko @fabianbanga These can be a challenge to follow. I like the messiness of chats, though many like the Q1 – A1, etc. #adjunctchat
  72. @fabianbanga @IshaiBarnoy #adjunctchat My dept chair is helping me to transition into other dept b/c ta’s will be taking over courses
  73. @melovell @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Not sure what you mean. It was all done “outside the system.” FT in question was also high up in HR.
  74. #adjunctchat Q2 I worked with 2 different fac on research. My idea but they had access to funding. I got credit (but they got funding)
  75. @Comprof1 @fabianbanga #adjunctchat Yikes. Wait, am I reading you right? Are you happy about this? Still … yikes.
  76. We are discussing adjunct partnering with chairs and dept leadership #adjunctchat
  77. @fabianbanga @IshaiBarnoy #adjunctchat International Comm, marketing, writing, online ed, comm, mgmt. Interdisciplinary.
  78. @JeffreyKeefer @fabianbanga I like messy chats too…they’re like a busy noisy room with five cool conversations flying around! #adjunctchat
  79. @Comprof1 @JeffreyKeefer Q2 I’m partnering with English prof on an honors-level Shakespeare program. I teach the FY writing. #adjunctchat
  80. @IshaiBarnoy @fabianbanga #adjunctchat wonder if humanities is more diff b/c core course taught by contract employees.
  81. A2: I see partnering as different from service, and wonder if service = free work while partnering is often not considered? #adjunctchat
  82. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat As visiting prof I helped write dept long term goals document. Felt I had some input. Not same as adjunct
  83. @Comprof1 A2 Interesting that somebody not formally there long term would be asked to write them! #adjunctchat
  84. @fabianbanga #adjunctchat That’s a whole other discussion. But to put it briefly: As an adjunct my solitude is not as secure or comfortable.
  85. Perhaps now may be time to add one final Question, Q3, into the mix as our chat is indeed flying along #adjunctchat
  86. Q3 What goals or vision can we work towards to improve these partnerships? #adjunctchat
  87. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat I had been adjunct for 8 yrs & tenured track fac were new or older fac retiring.
  88. @fabianbanga @IshaiBarnoy Well said Fabian. Maybe we also think about what we (& only we) can offer in terms of OUR interests? #adjunctchat
  89. @fabianbanga #adjunctchat Which is one reason I fear I’ll never be granted tenure: Less effective solitude leads to fewer results.
  90. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Q3 I think we need to advocate internal promotion from adjuncts/visiting profs (vp).
  91. @Comprof1 A3: I always wondered about the notion of adjunct promotion, as promotion without commitment seems odd to me. #adjunctchat
  92. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Q3 our program for pt staff is they get first consideration for certain % of positions. Why not profs
  93. I’m generally not so hopeful about Q3. Partly, I’m just certain that the only proper vision involves institutional changes. #adjunctchat
  94. @JeffreyKeefer Q3 Agree with Virginia on internal promotion–in pragmatic, concrete, actionable ways. Read/revise bylaws. #adjunctchat
  95. A3: I wonder if a goal or vision for uni partnerships can benefit from stronger adjunct connections with work in a discipline? #adjunctchat
  96. @IshaiBarnoy yes, apathy is a problem that exceeds the adj-tenure issue. I saw many rude attitude from PTs > classified staff #adjunctchat
  97. @ProfessorF74 @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat I’ve taught 10 diff courses in dept so can’t say I don’t have spec they need.
  98. @JeffreyKeefer @Comprof1 Promotion options could just be in place IF needed or desired. Should be certain teaching etc. reqs. #adjunctchat
  99. A3: If adjuncts work in research or practice discipline areas and promote that, can that lead to partnerships? #adjunctchat
  100. @IshaiBarnoy Yes. Institution must value adjuncts or chair’s hands are tied…chairs can help them see why they should, though. #adjunctchat
  101. @Comprof1 @ProfessorF74 Need now, though without FT or tenure, those needs can just as readily change? #adjunctchat
  102. @ProfessorF74 @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Yes but in our dept 4 long term fac (>5yrs) applied & not considered. Said we didn’t have special
  103. Bigger issue related to Q3: How can/should we involve parents in outreach? Ss lose out when being taught by so many PTs. #adjunctchat
  104. @JeffreyKeefer I know the zen thing would be to do good research & expect change to come. But A3 feels like cart before horse. #adjunctchat
  105. @MaryChayko Interesting issue of adjuncts and institutional commitments / direction. Perhaps and area for a future chat? #adjunctchat
  106. @MaryChayko @IshaiBarnoy #adjunctchat Many fac are advocates for adj at my current univ. Important to get them to advocate.
  107. @ProfessorF74 Indeed. The word “terms” and “interest” can neutralize this issue of power and control // @IshaiBarnoy #adjunctchat
  108. As our time is slipping away, does anybody have any tools or resources in this area that others may find useful to share? #adjunctchat
  109. @Comprof1 @MaryChayko @IshaiBarnoy #adjunctchat Other problem is core course/freshman experience courses w/o dept. Need to advocate FT.
  110. @Comprof1 @IshaiBarnoy Yes, FT fac too; ideally interdisciplinary/cross-departmental. #adjunctchat
  111. Does anybody have any final thoughts or take-aways you want to share as a result of today’s #adjunctchat
  112. This is like chess / you as an adjunct have to think, what do I have that my chair needs? #adjunctchat
  113. Yes, one thing: Support my school’s local adjunct advocacy campaign. @AdjunctAdvocacy #adjunctchat
  114. One take-away from me is that the world of adjuncts is more varied than I often think, and discussing this is very eye-opening #adjunctchat
  115. @JeffreyKeefer #adjunctchat Important to network across dept. FT faculty have power to change (to certain degree) conditions for adjuncts.
  116. @JeffreyKeefer Keep trying to make connections with FTs, but temper expectations. Think about what we each can offer dept. #adjunctchat
  117. This has been a very rewarding and active (especially for July!) #adjunctchat
  118. I am trying a new tool for the archive and will share that once I get it downloaded (I hope) #adjunctchat
  119. @ProfessorF74 @fabianbanga @IshaiBarnoy surely the (intended) measurable outcome of your offer is key to forming partnership? #adjunctchat
  120. Well, didn’t get any writing done…but secretly knew that wasn’t gonna happen. A pleasure, #adjunctchat!
  121. A poll will be shared later this week to vote for suggested topics to discuss. #adjunctchat
  122. If anybody has any ideas for future topics, please post them #adjunctchat
  123. #adjunctchat Got to go rest my eyes now. Interesting chat. Thanks all.
  124. I will incorporate them into the poll and leave the voting to the majority. That worked very well for today. #adjunctchat
  125. Thank you all, the best for your teaching and learning and partnering and service #adjunctchat
  126. For anybody who comes to this after our synchronous session ends, please continue the conversation. The tag is always open. #adjunctchat

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