Faculty Senate votes to create task force on adjunct issues

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The Faculty Senate passed a motion creating a task force to address the status of adjunct faculty at TCU.

The task force will review and gather information about status, types, compensation and other issues related to adjunct faculty.

Multiple faculty senators, including associate math professor Loren Spice, said this motion is overdue and praised the initiative.

Cello professor Jesús Castro-Balbi said the formation of the task force was “timely.”

“It is also important when we’re looking at campus culture, our workforce,” cello professor Castro-Balbi said.

Castro-Balbi noted adjuncts receive lower pay, no benefits, poor office space and resources despite being well-qualified. He also said they’re held to the same high standards full-time faculty have to meet, especially from the student point of view. They’re also ineligible for faculty awards.

The task force will have about nine members. Ted Legatski, the Faculty Senate chair, said eight faculty members have already committed to participating: three professors, two associate professors, two associate professors of professional practice and one instructor.

Legatski said the choice to not include any adjunct faculty on the task force was intentional.

“We don’t want the task force to be interpreted in any way as being self-serving,” he said.

Andrew Ledbetter, an associate professor of communication studies, said not having adjuncts on a committee about the status of adjuncts is counterintuitive. He compared it to having a committee on racial diversity without minority members.

“It seems to me that one adjunct on the committee would not open the committee to accusations of bias,” Ledbetter said.

According to Legatski, one of the committee members is a former adjunct. He also said adjuncts will provide the committee their input.

Legatski said the committee will gather information from the entire campus community — not just adjuncts. The task force will report to the Faculty Senate executive committee and will report its findings by March 15, 2019.