Questionable Professionalism & New Adjuncts — Drawing the Line

millerBy Melissa Miller, Ed.D., M.Ed.

True headline: “Campus Shock: Michigan Professor Actually Takes Nude Pictures…With Student.”

Wow. Just wow. Seriously? Where do I begin? When you first read that headline, since you are most likely an educator, don’t you say to yourself, “Ugh, I would never do that!”? I think of myself in this situation and cringe. Are you kidding me? I don’t want my students to see me without makeup and a brush through my hair, let alone naked! And, no offense to the beautiful form that is the human body, I don’t want to see my students naked either. Do you? I’m not a prude or squeamish about the naked body. But this doesn’t freak me out because of the nudity, but the fact that it is a professor and (former) student!

I was not an art major, so my appreciation of what is good art is limited to instinct and common sense, not scholarly study. I know art and beauty are in the eye of the beholder, and people have a wide variety of tastes. My art history knowledge is limited to undergraduate humanities courses, and I get, in the broad sense, that this is art to the professor (and the models), and he is pushing boundaries, expectations, definitions, preconceived notions, blah, blah, blah. Okay. But even I, with my limited knowledge but lots of common sense, know this is odd. But I guess that is the point. However, just because it is different doesn’t mean it is good. Even if I just saw these pictures and didn’t know it was the professor and a former student/colleague/etc., they strike me as awkward.

These photos seem to blur the line of professional standards and self-promotion. When you were in college, did you want to take nude or semi-nude pictures with your professor? I’m sure some view the experience as a learning tool, self-discovery, etc… — but I think it lowers our standards as professionals. When dealing with students, I often informally apply a rule to myself – would I want someone talking to/dealing with/treating my daughter this way? We are in a position of authority that should not be squandered or taken advantage of. If this were my daughter, I would be livid. I know, they are of age and consenting adults. Seriously, though? What is the professional standard, here? If we say it is in the name of art, does anything go?

Aside from the pictures themselves, this article led me to really think about the relationship between student and professor, even former students. As a New Adjunct, can you imagine making a name for yourself on campus with this photo shoot? What about the fact that this is a male professor? If I did this (as a female), there may be a different response from the general public, but professionally, I might have more to lose. Aren’t we responsible to set a high standard for our professional relationships? It seems the line is very blurred here. We are in a position of trust, and New Adjuncts particularly have a vulnerability as well. How would you feel about your doctor or medical resident posing nude and semi-nude (or even fully-clothed!) with patients and former patients? Yes, they are of age, but is it right? What about the professional standards? It seems to be taking advantage of the position of authority, mentor, and teacher.

What are your thoughts? “Say cheese!”

About the New Adjunct: Dr. Melissa Miller completed her Ed.D. with an emphasis in Teacher Leadership from Walden University. She holds a M.Ed. from Mary Washington University and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia Tech. Dr. Miller’s professional and research interests include adult and online learning, professional development, and literacy. Presently, Dr. Miller works as an adjunct instructor and an evaluator, while also enjoying her roles as a wife and mother.

Short URL:

Leave a Reply

Keep in Touch With AdjunctNation

Graphic Graphic Graphic


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.



From the Archive

  • Adjuncts Rally for Union at Temple University

    by Rosella Eleanor LaFevre The Adjunct Organizing Committee, a group that aims to unionize Temple’s part-time faculty, declared the week of Nov. 16th Adjunct Awareness Week. Members of the committee stood at the Bell Tower around noon every day through Nov. 20th. The AOC has worked for several years to unionize adjuncts. Its goals are […]

  • SEIU Targets Adjuncts at DePaul U. in Chicago

    by Brendan Moore DePaul could soon be at the forefront of the debate over adjunct unionization as DePaul President Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M. informed faculty last week of attempts by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to add DePaul faculty to their ranks. In an email with the subject line “Union Solicitation at DePaul,” Holtschneider […]

  • The TKO of Washington State House Bill 5802

    by Brooke Pielli Bill 5802 should have been on the fast track to passage and signing. Fifteen state senators and the American Federation of Teachers sponsored it. According to Keith Hoeller, Washington’s 7,900 part-time faculty would certainly have benefited. Hoeller, is the co-founder of the Washington State Part-Time Faculty Association, and a member of the […]

  • For Faculty: A Closer Look at the Yik Yak App

    by Virginia Postrel Yik Yak is a social-media app that in just two years has become an everyday part of the American college experience. If you’ve heard of it, chances are you think it’s awful. It has a terrible reputation as adangerous source of vitriol, threats and ethnic slurs — a reputation only strengthened by recent […]

  • Teaching TEFL in Hong Kong is an Uphill Struggle

    The teachers are comfortable with the lack of pressure for results and the easy pace of the curriculum, and they also accept quite happily that the majority of students can’t wait to leave the school at the end of every day instead of staying behind for one of the many club activities that other schools are so busy with.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.

Recently Commented

  • Rick: If your looking for non-academic jobs, or “menial” jobs do not even mention your graduate...
  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...