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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Improving the Status of Part-time English Faculty

1984 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Detroit, Michigan

Background

Concern among NCTE members about a trend toward hiring part-time faculty to teach lower-division, multisection courses in composition and literature prompted passage of this resolution. "Part-time faculty may be fully qualified, but typically they find themselves at the margins of departmental life, without the time, status, or opportunity to develop professionally as teachers and scholars," the proposers noted. They warned that heavy use of part-timers "often creates division within a department," between those teaching high-prestige upper-division and graduate courses and those assigned to "service" courses. This practice, they asserted, "undermines the educational mission" of introductory academic programs in composition and literature. Further, it "devalues the professional status and authority of faculty who specialize in the theory and pedagogy of introductory courses." Be it therefore

Resolution

Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English relay its concern to the widest appropriate audiences regarding the excessive use of part-time English faculty in two- and four year colleges and universities and the unprofessional conditions under which such part-time faculty often work;

     that NCTE encourage appropriate Council bodies to consider and to publicize the problems inherent in the excessive use of such part-time faculty and the consequent impact on the development of curriculum, the quality of instruction, and standards of professionalism; and

     that NCTE develop ways to work with other relevant professional associations to consider issues related to such part-time faculty.

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