Placing a spotlight upon a dark corner of the contemporary university

From October 25-26, the APTPUO will host a conference entitled (in)visible: the realities of being a part-time professor.

Tom Boogaart, VP Internal of the APTPUO, shares the following reflection:

“Invisibility captures diverse dimensions of the part-time professor’s experience: long hours, lack of security, unpaid work and little recognition. These  make many part-time professors feel invisible; students, alumni, administrators and tenured colleagues often do not appreciate the precarity of their existence. Invisibility also touches upon a fundamental contemporary reality: over the last two decades a revolution has swept across North American Universities. Originally a response to budget cuts, today non-tenured faculty is becoming the norm. A 2011 Canadian Conference Board survey revealed that less than 18.5% of PhDs gained tenured positions inside the academy. In an age of austerity, casualization of the professorate has become the predominant strategy for lowering costs.

Today across Canada, part-time professors keeping the lights on by teaching large enrollment classes and freeing their tenured colleagues for research. The purpose of this conference is to place a spotlight upon a dark corner of the contemporary university.

Who are the part-time professors?
How are they different from tenured faculty?
How do they contribute to the University’s mission?
How does their precarity impact student learning?”