I have taught as an adjunct faculty member at New York University and Pace University since 2005 and 2009 respectively, and while I do it for the love of teaching and academic discourse, I also realize that my commitment to the universities is only for that semester in which I am hired to teach. There is little ongoing support or communication outside of my ongoing teaching appointments. While I do not expect anything more from the institutions–after all, adjunct faculty are effectively (highly educated) contract workers–I do have some needs for support and communication and sharing and discussing these experiences with others who may also be in the same or similar situations.
It appears I am not alone.
In fact, the Chronicle of Higher Education cites the number at 70% of higher education faculty as off the tenure track. While not all of them are adjuncts, a good number of them, or us, are.
After so much personal success and academic fulfillment while completing my PhD through the wonderfully supportive community that is #phdchat, I felt my needs begin to shift, leading to my thoughts about a similar chat for adjuncts, or those who generally teach less than full-time and are not on the tenure track. That is the initial idea behind #adjunctchat.
While I know others seem to find this idea useful, I am not sure what it may mean in practice, so with that I am looking forward to a first synchronous #AdjunctChat on Twitter on Tues, May 14, 4:00pm EDT.
All that remains now is to brainstorm what to chat about!