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British University Rejects Criticism for Using Academic Title of “Hourly Paid Lecturers” for Some Temp. Faculty

by Jack Grove

With so many variations of lecturer, fellow, reader and professor – such as senior, associate, visiting and principal – academic job titles are sometimes seen as confusing for British students.

But a rather blunt job description of “hourly paid lecturer” used by the University of Lincoln has attracted criticism for a different reason.

A number of staff on the university’s website have been listed as “hourly paid lecturer – HE”, a move that risks stigmatizing these employees by highlighting the precarious nature of their jobs, according to the pressure group Fighting Against Casualisation in Employment.

Lincoln’s use of these titles is “adding insult to injury”, said a spokesman for Face, a network of staff on casual contracts that campaigns for better working conditions.

The manner in which staff are listed is “about more than just academic prestige”, he said.

“While these titles helpfully lay bare the extent of casualisation in Britain’s universities, they also threaten to entrench it, damaging the career prospects of hourly paid staff to the extent that they become a permanent second-tier workforce,” he said.

Hourly paid staff at many universities “already have the worst of both worlds, lacking the security of full positions

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