Guest blogger: Daniel McIntosh
The adjunct teaching profession receives lots of attention for a myriad of reasons. These include the growing usage of adjuncts in both ground and online modalities, concerns about teaching quality from tenured faculty members, and even fairness in compensation. Many times, adjunct faculty are referred to as “part-time teachers.” I think that particular labeling is especially pejorative.
While many adjunct faculty do maintain secondary jobs, this is not all that different from research faculty. In fact, one could argue that traditional research faculty fall more into the “part-time teaching” label with many only teaching one course per semester in order to survive in the “publish or perish” world. The assumption seems to be adjunct faculty do not incorporate their outside activities into their teaching the way research faculty do. I could make an equally persuasive argument that adjunct faculty have an ability to provide real world examples directly applicable to their student learning outcomes while research faculty dive into esoteric concepts that students cannot truly appreciate. The point here isn’t to deepen the tensions between adjunct and full-time faculty, but rather highlight that there is no such thing as a “part-time” teacher and argue for a greater appreciation for our faculty associate compatriots.
When I am in the classroom, be it online or in person, that set of students has my full attention. This is true regardless if I am currently teaching a full load or a partial load. Both faculty associates, the preferred name for adjunct faculty, and full-time faculty desire to see their students thrive and give everything they have working toward that goal. If we as faculty can continue to maintain that focus and highlight the strengths of each of these teaching pools, we can continue to focus our energies where they should be: on the success of our students. It is through a better understanding of our unique strengths and weaknesses that we as a faculty team can best relate and support our students.
Daniel McIntosh is a lecturer in the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. Additionally, Daniel has taught at Grand Canyon University for six years. Daniel worked as a full-time faculty member, teaching both traditional and online mathematics and marketing courses. Most recently, Daniel has served as an adjunct faculty in order to remain connected to the University. Daniel is active in consulting and has worked with both sports organizations and teams including the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Arizona Coyotes, the Phoenix Suns, The University of Louisville, USA Basketball, and a host of others. Most recently, Daniel was a leader on the Economic Impact Study for the College Football Playoff, the Fiesta Bowl and the Cactus Bowl. Previously, he also worked on the EI report for the Super Bowl hosted at University of Phoenix Stadium. In 2016, Daniel was nominated for the prestigious John W. Teets award for Excellence in Undergraduate teaching. He has both an MBA and a B.S. from the W. P. Carey School of Business.