Professional Development of Part-Time or Casual Academic Staff in Universities: A Model for Empowerment

Watters, James J. & Weeks, Patricia (1999) Professional Development of Part-Time or Casual Academic Staff in Universities: A Model for Empowerment. In Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April 19-23, 1999, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)


This paper reports on a study of part-time faculty at Queensland University of Technology (Australia) which examined concerns and issues facing part-time academic staff, and led to a collaborative and dialectic process for implementing faculty-led changes. The first phase of the project involved: (1)data collection on about 800 individuals, through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and anecdotal data; (2)a daylong workshop, involving approximately 200 part-time faculty and key administrators, which focused on concerns, issues, and claims of all stakeholders and resulted in a series of recommendations and action plans; and (3)formation of action groups of part-time academic staff to work on changing the practice of part-time teaching at the institution. In a follow-up study two years later, six part-timers who had participated in the focus sessions in the first phase of the study were interviewed and 140 part-timers were surveyed. The study did not find significant improvements in the situation of part-time faculty. The paper suggests that the current situation of marginalization and dual labor forces is dominated by the market and corporate paradigms can be expected to persist unless part-timers are afforded opportunities to contribute to course development and develop their teaching skills. The study is continuing with a multi-institutional focus. (Contains 28 references.)

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ID Code: 1586
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Adjunct Faculty, Faculty Development, Part Time Faculty, Change Strategies, Focus Groups, Sessional Staff, Higher Education, Staff Development, Participative Decision Making, Quality of Working Life, Surveys, Teacher Attitudes, Workshops, HERN
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 14 Jun 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:25

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