Revolution Lullabye

December 8, 2010

Maid, Non-Tenure-Track Instructors at UALR

Maid, Barry M. “Non-Tenure-Track Instructors at UALR: Breaking Rules, Splitting Departments.” In Moving a Mountain. Eds. Schell and Stock. Urbana: NCTE, 2000. 76-90.

Maid explains how the creation of full-time non-tenure-track faculty members at University of Arkansas-Little Rock in 1990 played a key role in the split of the English Department in 1993 and the creation of a new stand-alone Department of Rhetoric and Writing. He asks and explores whether it is possible to integrate the labor practices, purpose, and values of a writing program (university-wide teaching done primarily by untenured teachers) into a traditional English department, and he argues that the solution for many colleges and universities can only be independence from English departments.  Maid explains the problems of a faculty made primarily of full-time non-tenure-track faculty: though hired to teach, they begin to up the ante on themselves and push toward presenting and publishing, becoming in essence like tenure-track assistant professors without the benefits or guarantees of a tenured position. He argues for clear job descriptions and evaluation expectations.

Notes and Quotes

Model of a full-time instructor: one-year renewable contract, attendance at one professional conference a year, 4/4 with benefits, pay equivelent to a public school teacher, some departmental service, expect some departmental continuity.

department split largely because of a fear from tenured literature professors that the untenured full time instructors, who had voting rights, would outnumber them and begin dictating how the department was run.

those who espouse leftest ideas or embrace difference in their scholarship or pedagogy sometimes seem like hypocrites: “Yet, when it comes to those issues that are closest to them, labor issues and the governance of the academy, some are aristocrats of the first degree. Once a group sets itself up as being inherently superior to another group – whether that group is defined by academic degree, gender, or race – the first group cannot value or respect the different skills of the second group” (86).

different should not mean less than

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