A new adjunct faculty council has formed at the University to provide better representation and communication for adjuncts at all of the University’s regional campuses.
The advisory council is made up of six elected members, three for the faculty assembly and the other three for the faculty senate.
The senate is in charge of the policy, making process, and the assembly is in charge of overseeing things and working in conjunction with the senate.
However, since the adjunct council is new to La Verne, there is still no clear job description for the council positions, which are meant to be a midpoint between the adjunct faculty and the University administration.
“The six of us are working together to better the situation with adjunct faculty members at ULV,” Shannon Hensley said.
Hensley is a faculty assembly member and a senior adjunct instructor for the College of Arts and Sciences.
The senate members include: Senior Adjunct Instructor for the College of Business and Public Management Rick Hasse, Senior Adjunct Professor for the LaFetra College of Education Chester Tadeja and Adjunct Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences Stephen Chavez.
The assembly members are Adjunct Professor for the LaFetra College of Education Richard George, Adjunct Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences Thomas Allison and Hensley.
The council began as a result of the discussions and focus groups that came out of the unsuccessful attempt to unionize adjunct faculty at the University about two years ago.
The human resources office and the provost’s office felt a council of adjunct representatives would be a good idea, Hasse said.
One of the most important tasks the council is setting out to do is to meet with as many adjunct faculty as it can to open the line of communication and find out their concerns and needs.
“It’s a groundbreaking council for us, and I wanted to join to give myself and other adjuncts an opportunity to communicate and interact with each other and provide feedback… and to strategize ways that are integrating adjunct faculty into our University community,” Hensley said.
La Verne has 11 regional campuses and more than 700 adjunct faculty members, making it difficult for them all to meet in person.
“It’s critical (to have an adjunct advisory council) because the University is now recognizing that there are voices that are out there, and in the La Verne experience it’s all about including everyone’s story,” Tadeja said.
Another priority on their agenda is to ensure there is equal and fair compensation, though they are not trying to unionize.
There have been many activities to unionize adjunct faculty in colleges across the country because many adjuncts are not represented in the administration well and are underpaid, Hasse said.
The adjunct council provides a direct dialogue between the adjuncts, the provost’s office and the human resources office that never existed before.
The council has met three times so far. “We’re looking forward to see what kind of headway we can make,” Hensley said.
Celene Vargas can be reached at email@example.com.