Drexel's Adjunct Faculty Initiative
Update on Drexel's Adjunct Faculty Initiative (4/30/14)
Since the launch of Drexel’s Adjunct Faculty Initiative in 2009 by the Office of the Provost, we have continuously examined the needs and interests of our adjunct and part-time faculty members. We began by surveying all adjunct faculty members and, in response to their suggestions, took several important steps. For example, we created annual faculty resource fairs specifically geared to our adjunct faculty population that are similar to the orientations we provide for full-time faculty. We adapted key institutional policies to foster career development among adjunct faculty members and to create a logical career progression from Adjunct Instructor up through Adjunct Professor. In addition, we adapted Drexel faculty websites to offer resources for adjunct faculty, including resources on mentoring, work-life balance, and diversity, and our various faculty development workshops are publicized and open to all faculty members (Office of Faculty Development and Equity and Drexel Center for Academic Excellence). Finally, based on direct feedback from our adjunct faculty members, we developed an online Adjunct Faculty Resource Guide (see next section).
This fall we accelerated our focus on adjunct faculty members and formed a special committee to examine all aspects of their professional lives here. Membership includes representation from Faculty Senate, Human Resources, the Office of the Provost, and several adjunct faculty members at Drexel. Our first task has been to conduct a salary equity study which is currently assessing salary equity within Drexel and also between Drexel and our benchmarks institutions. In addition, the committee will be looking at issues pertaining to space, benefits, workload, notice of course scheduling changes, availability of support for scholarly endeavors, pedagogical training, and career development.
Since the best source of information about faculty is our faculty members themselves, the Office of the Provost conducted a very brief electronic survey of faculty satisfaction at Drexel in March 2014. That survey will provide current, substantive information about the needs and interests of all Drexel faculty. The committee on adjunct faculty will pay special attention to the responses of our adjunct faculty members and use those responses in shaping future initiatives.