JOURNAL REVIEW CRITIQUE
Kane, K. (2008). A review of “Connecting Non Full-time Faculty to Institutional Mission: A Guidebook for College / University Administrators & Faculty Developers”. By Nixon, L.B, (2007): HYPERLINK “http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3752/is_200803” http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3752/is_200803 HYPERLINK “http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3752” Journal of College Student Development. HYPERLINK “http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3752/is_200803” http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3752/is_200803
A majority of the faculty in many colleges and other institutions of learning are part-time instructors. The number of non full time instructors has been on the rise since the 1960s. According to Banachowski (2001), the heavy reliance especially of community colleges on such faculty is likely to keep the trend going. Institutions hire faculty as part time instructors for reasons such as financial resources, flexibility to fit into the varying enrollments, and to bring in the experience of such professionals into the institution. The part timers are faced with a variety of problems like role ambiguity for the instructors, overuse by the institution of the same, job insecurity and lack of benefits such as health insurance (Springborg, 2008). Leora Baron Nixon, in her book gives the reasons why such faculty is integrated into the campus culture, the advantage of this and the problems this brings about. She also gives recommendations on how to integrate this faculty into the mission of the institute. She gives five types of connections of the faculty to the institution and action plans that are well researched which she suggests as to effect this integration.
In his review, Kevin Kane further expounds on the recommendations cited in the book on connecting the non full time instructors into the mission of the institutions employing them. He starts off by acknowledging the importance of the part time faculty members to the institutions of higher learning and pointing out their vulnerability to exploitation by the institutional systems employing them. He sights lack of commitment of the institution to this faculty and budgetary constrains of the institutions as some of the problems faced by such.
Kane mentions the take of the American Association of University Professors on the subject matter showing their partial support and partial restriction on fully employing such.
The review explains how the book addresses the sensitive subject of connecting the part time faculty positively and without the political and cultural conflicts such an issue raises.
Baron Nixon has chosen the theme of connection in her book, and indeed the book is arranged into 5 chapters each of which focuses on areas where part time faculty should be more manifestly connected to give each party efficient and satisfactory result in achieving their goals. These connections are to institution, to the department, to teaching, to students and to scholarship. Each chapter gives the challenges associated with connecting a part time faculty member to the five aspects, followed by a recommendation as to how each connection can be made in an easy and common sense approach strategy. In the review, Kane explains that the connections cited in the book give a guide as to how the part time faculty can be included in achieving the institution’s mission. This was very critical since the book is to be used as a guide to achieve this connection in various institutes of higher education.
Kane in his review delves into the environment of the higher education system citing the challenges such an environment would pose to fostering the connection that Baron Nixon talks about in her book. The tension raised by comparison in role optimization between the full-time and part time faculty being among the reasons why these positions to the faculty are only offered as part time.
The review highlights the students’ take on this sensitive issue of part time instructor and their simulation into the mission of the institute. Students agree that the delivery of service should be the same, whether coming from the full time or non full time faculty. This however raises the question of student-teacher relationship which has an effect on material delivery to the students and overall performance. The time dedicated by the part time instructor to the institution is less in comparison to that of the full timer. This is partly because of the time the institution is willing to give them as well as the time they can be available for the institution. The time availability to the students has a major impact on service delivery and Kane states that it is important to foster good student- teacher interactions thus important for non full time faculty to be integrated into the institute make this relationship as faultless as possible for better learning.
Kane brings in the aspect of the non full time faculty adding a real world learning experience to an institution. The part time instructors who are professionals in their fields bring in the professional aspect of a particular course into the classroom and give the students a feel of what is expected of them once they go out into the real world. This is critical in producing students who can be easily integrated into the professional world, a positive outcome for any institution of higher learning.
By putting the problems faced by both the institution and the part time faculty in perspective, Kane shows how Baron Nixon has come up with practical solutions as that are straight forward action plans for assimilation of the part time faculty into the institution’s mission. He sight the solutions from the book that he feels will result into greater loyalty by the faculty to the institute and its vision and better performance.
The review is concluded in a very precise way, explaining the need to foster connection between the non full time faculty members to the mission of the institute, and the solutions provided on how to make this connection effectively.
The bibliography cited in the review is appropriate and very insightful for a better understanding of the review.
Although the review serves as a good overview of the book, some of the important aspects of the book were lost to readers of this journal. The review failed to mention precisely the beneficiaries of this book; the persons who should implement the directives given in the book. It is also unclear as to what role the non full time faculty ought to take up, were they to be integrated into the institute’s mission. Baron Nixon mentions that the part time faculty members can serve formally or informally as advisors, mentors, coordinators and in developing the institution’s curriculum. This should have been explored in the review to give the reader of the review a better take on the book’s ideals.
The vagueness of the subject matter which is how the non full time faculty can be integrated into the institution’s mission leaves the reader of the review wondering exactly how it can be done and more curious to read the book. The writer does not expound on the strategies of making the connection thus even the critics of such issues are open to reading the book without preformed judgments and biases. The review does a good job of enticing readers to take up the book and find out for themselves the content.
Overall, the review gives a good understanding of the general concept of the book and the topics of importance in the literature. I quite agree with the discussion of the book and appreciate the preciseness of the writing in the review.
Avakian, N, (1995). The Conflicting Demands for Adjunct (part time) Faculty. HYPERLINK “http://www.aacc.nche.edu/commun/commun.htm” l “j” Community College Journal, 65(6), 34 – 36.
Grace Banachowski (2001). “Advantages and Disadvantages of Part-Time Faculty in Community Colleges”. ERIC Clearing house for Community College Digest, Retrieved July 20, 2008, from http://ericdigests.org/1997-4/part.htm
HYPERLINK “http://www.styluspub.com/Books/AuthorDetail.aspx?id=12091” Hecht W. D, (2007), (Foreword by). HYPERLINK “http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3752/is_200803/ai_n25418467/pg_2” Connecting Non Full-time Faculty to Institutional Mission: A Guidebook for College / University Administrators & Faculty Developers, By Baron-Nixon. Retrieved on July 19, 2008, from www.styluspub.com/resources/highered.pdf
Martin Springborg, A Journal review of HYPERLINK “http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3752/is_200803/ai_n25418467/pg_2” Connecting Non Full-time Faculty to Institutional Mission by Baron-Nixon. Retrieved on July 20, 2008 from www.ctl.mnscu.edu/programs/leaders/alareports05/inverhills0405alareport.doc
HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” Steve R. Smith, (2008). Book Reviews: (Electronic Version), NACADA Journal, 28(1)