Staff editorial: Adjunct profs
The recent cut of adjunct professors from several AU departments is concerning for numerous reasons. While it is important to have a strong body of full-time professors, adjuncts bring a varied viewpoint to class. It is also essential to offer an assortment of classes in every department.
Cutting classes to the bare minimum directly hurts the students. It should not be a privilege for a student to have access to a variety of classes that includes special topics classes. If the reason that these valuable classes are being cut is merely because the administration wants the majority of classes to be taught by full-time professors, the school needs to reevaluate its priorities.
AU should be taking actions to benefit the students, not better its image. Sure, we are all for looking good to prospective students, but when our education is jeopardized to do this, it is impossible to support AU's actions.
There must be a better way to raise the number of classes taught by full-time professors. The University is currently hiring several new full-time professors, which is an important step for AU, but cutting adjuncts before these professors are hired is a mistake.
Full-time professors are great for a number of reasons, but the administration needs to remember that adjuncts are valuable as well. Adjuncts, for example, often work in the field they teach and can bring first-hand knowledge into the classroom in a way a normal professor cannot.
There is also an issue with the departments that were selected for cuts. AU is cutting adjuncts, and subsequently cutting classes, in small departments such as American Studies and Graphic Design. While these departments may not have the reputation and number of students that departments like SIS have, they are still important departments. Students in small departments should be considered along the same lines as those in large ones.
We fully support making the university look good and having a good amount of full-time professors, but we ask that AU consider the needs of the students before making changes that affect our education.