Like private-sector employers who turned to temporary workers during the recession, California State University relied on more part-time faculty than full-time professors last academic year as the 23-campus system looked to cut costs.
Students say the shift means they have fewer chances to meet with professors outside of class or get letters of recommendation. Part-time teachers say they have struggled to gain a foothold in the academic world, while tenure-track professors have to advise more students and serve on additional committees.
“I’ve had (part-time) faculty complain to me that they have to meet students in big closets,” said Ted Scott-Femenella, 62, who teaches social work part-time at California State University, Sacramento. “They have to meet students in the classroom or between classes. Catch as catch can.”
Across the California State University system, 51 percent of faculty had part-time status in the 2013-14 school year. Sacramento State relied even more heavily on such staff – about 55 percent were part-timers last school year. At UC Davis, by comparison, 10 percent of the faculty is part-time. CSU has not yet released its systemwide faculty numbers for the 2014-15 school year. <Read more.>