Subscribe

Forum

Adjuncts: Job security and grade inflation

Welcome to the newly redesigned Science Careers Forum. Please bookmark this site now for future reference. If you've previously posted to the forum, your current username and password will remain the same in the new system. If you've never posted or are new to the forum, you will need to create a new account.

The new forum is designed with some features to improve the user experience. Upgrades include:
- easy-to-read, threaded discussions
- ability to follow discussions and receive notifications of updates
- private messaging to other SC Forum members
- fully searchable database of posts
- ability to quote in your response
- basic HTML formatting available

Moderator: Dave Jensen
Advisors:   Ana, PG, Rich Lemert, Dick Woodward, Dave Walker
Meet the Moderator/Advisors

Adjuncts: Job security and grade inflation

Postby Nate W. » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:29 pm

Dear Forum:

I wanted to get your thoughts on this article about adjuncts and grade inflation:


http://www.slate.com/articles/life/educ ... on_it.html


This has become a serious issue among local professors trying to maintain standards in the classroom while trying to preserve their jobs. 70% of all local faculty are adjuncts who make below the poverty level.

The adjuncts and tenure faculty want to help their students but they also feel they shouldn't have to accommodate a student's every request when they are unhappy about their grades. A teacher has a responsibility to be a fair and objective evaluator of a student's mastery of the course material. However, this can't be achieved when the teacher is expected to treat the student as a "customer who is always right" or fear losing their job. Adjuncts are in a precarious situation financially and from a position of power.

Often Deans and administrators defend this educational philosophy to the determent of both the student and the teacher. When an unhappy and adamant student doesn't get their way, the policies often give the students the power to make false accusations against the teacher. Thus, students can use the complaint process as a coercive tool to get their way. The administration often are more interested in accommodating the unhappy student for monetary reasons than finding out the truth of the situation. When an administrator ignores the complaint process and overly accommodates the students, it only enables a student to file false complaints. This pattern of behavior eventually erodes grading standards. The student losses out when they are unprepared to take the next higher level class at a four institution where standards are more likely maintained. Plus, the student earned a grade they didn't deserve which sets a horrible example when it comes to issues of work ethics and transparency.


This only sets up a slippery slope. In order for a teacher to get good student evaluations to keep their jobs, they feel they must lower their standards and inflate grades. Why don't Deans and administrative faculty understand this problem?

A colleague of mine and an excellent teacher of 20 yrs lost her job because of one unreasonable student and a single bad complaint from this student. HR admitted the Dean didn't follow the complaint procedures and made his decision before all students evaluations were reviewed. Further, the Dean didn't talk with the teacher nor did he write a summary of his investigation as required by college policies. HR found nothing criminal and anything that violated college policies. However, the Dean has stood his ground and refuses to admit any wrongdoing. The article typifies what this teacher has faced.

What would you do in this situation? What advice would you give the teacher?
Last edited by Nate W. on Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nate W.
 
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Adjuncts: Job security and grade inflation

Postby Nate W. » Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:44 am

Here is another article that provides some background information on the adjunct problem in the US:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc ... ry/404461/
Nate W.
 
Posts: 483
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:48 pm


Return to Science Careers Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Teresa and 12 guests