Professional staff-development of part-time faculty at four-year colleges and universities

Linda Jean Olbinski, Marquette University

Abstract

The focus of this study is professional staff-development of adjunct faculty at four-year colleges and universities. The definition of professional staff-development utilized in this study is "any ongoing formative development that introduces and sustains adjunct faculty involvement with the identity and the mission of the college." The study sought to identify programs and the implementation of programs, for professional staff-development of adjunct faculty at select four-year colleges in the Midwest. The study proposed seven specific research questions: (1) How extensively do four-year colleges and universities use adjunct faculty? (2) Is there a perceived need by the administration of these four-year institutions for professional staff-development for adjunct faculty? (3) Do the institutions with a perceived need for professional staff-development for adjunct faculty have a professional staff-development plan? (4) What are the components of the plan? (5) What is the implementation process of the plan? (6) What are the outcomes of the plan? (7) What constrains some institutions with a perceived need for professional staff-development for adjunct faculty from developing a plan? This study used a qualitative design method. An informational survey that reflected the research questions was mailed to the chief academic administrator of each institution. A database was created using the information from the respondent institutions. This database assisted the researcher in narrowing the research sample of institutions for follow up telephone interviews. Information from the telephone interviews was also added to the database. The last phase of the design was the case study methodology. The established database led to the selection of two institutions as focal case institutions. The results of the study demonstrated that this sample group of colleges and universities made extensive use of adjunct faculty. The administrators also identified a need for professional staff-development of adjunct faculty. A combination of the best practices of the two case site institutions provided a model for other administrators to consider. The conclusion of the study states that the majority of the sample colleges and universities had at least some component of professional staff-development to offer their adjunct faculty. Obstacles, however, stand in the way of further development. Additional research is needed to provide administrators with ideas for staff-development that includes a solid and ongoing formation of adjunct faculty to the college mission.

Recommended Citation

Olbinski, Linda Jean, "Professional staff-development of part-time faculty at four-year colleges and universities" (1998). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9901734.
https://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9901734

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