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Letter from the Editor

I have been thinking about what it means to be a college faculty member. What does it mean to accept the responsibility of educating young people (not to mention returning students)? It is an awesome responsibility. Hundreds of thousands of part-time faculty accept that responsibility gladly and with every intention of doing the best job they possibly can in the classroom. That is all a university can ask, I think of a part-timer. On the other hand, what does a part-timer have the right to expect from her/his employer?

Every week, I field emails from part-time faculty who are, quite simply, puzzled as to what they may expect in terms of institutional support. In some instances, the emails are easy to answer. “Ask,” I always counsel, “your department chair.” That is the point person for the average part-timer. (Sometimes, part-timers are hired by deans or VPs of faculty, but for the most part, department chairs do the hiring and firing of their own adjuncts.) “Ask.” Don’t be shy; don’t be afraid. Make an ap- pointment with the department chair and have a sit down. Figure out exactly what you need and “ASK!”

Related to those emails, though slightly different, are

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