If you are paid like an adjunct, work the hours of an adjunct, and get the limited benefits of an adjunct, then you’re an adjunct, right?
Would it make a difference if that job came with a fancier or more-prestigious title? Would it matter if adjuncts were given a new title, even if it came without new benefits or new responsibilities?
Some colleges think so. To recognize the work of part-time faculty members—who account for about half of the faculty at the nation’s public and private nonprofit colleges—institutions like California’s Grossmont College are giving them new titles. Administrators, faculty members, and some adjuncts themselves say that title changes can convey an appreciation and a sense of respect for part-time faculty members on campuses, even if the change makes little or no difference in an adjunct professor’s working conditions.
At Grossmont, a community college, adjunct faculty members can now rise in ranks—in name, anyway—that mirror the career steps of their full-time counterparts. Once you could be known only as an adjunct. Now you can be an adjunct assistant professor, adjunct associate professor, or adjunct professor. <Read more.>