Volume 44, Number 4 - June/July 2009
Two regional conferences held for part-time instructors
Reflecting the growing importance of part-time faculty in the organization, CCA not only designated 2009 as "the Year of Contingent Faculty," but followed that up with two successful first-ever conferences for part-time faculty this spring.
"It's not enough to declare this as the year of Contingent Faculty and to sponsor legislation on their behalf, we want to make sure part-time faculty know their needs will be fully met within CCA," said CCA President Ron Norton Reel. "That's why we offered two conferences designed for part-time faculty-only this year."
Unlike CCA's three conferences that are open to delegates from local chapters, the two part-time conferences in Sacramento and Anaheim were open to any part-time faculty, and were free.
"Many part-time faculty feel disenfranchised and ignored and we wanted to change that perception," said Pamela Hanford, a CCA board member representing part-time faculty in Northern California. "We wanted to convey to part-time faculty throughout the state that they were important members of this family."
Hanford said she was surprised that many participants were unaware of retirement issues.
"There are important steps you need to keep in mind as you're approaching retirement that make a huge difference in what your ultimate compensation might be. Being uninformed can be very damaging to a group of people who have already been underpaid and under appreciated," she said, adding that she was please the conference was able to provide that information.
Reel also presented important information on resumes garnered from his own research. Reel focused on helping participants to understand which resumes do well and which ones never garner an interview.
Union involvement needed
Although several workshops focused on professional development issues, the conference also demonstrated to participants the need to be involved in union activities, according to Hanford.
"We must find a way to provide our part-time faculty with salary equity, health insurance, and job security as well as such basics as office space, access to telephones and computer equipment and participation in curricular affairs," Hanford said. "CCA continues to advocate for these goals."