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University Status Could Mean Fewer Jobs for Adjunct Faculty

University Status Could Mean Fewer Jobs for Adjunct Faculty



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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- As Utah Valley State College grows into its new university status, some adjunct faculty members may get left behind.

By law, UVSC will have to decrease the number of its courses taught by part-time adjunct faculty when its finally Utah Valley University and add full-time contracted professors.

Currently about 51 percent of UVSC's classes are taught by adjuncts, school President William Sederburg said. UVSC is trying to drop that to about 46 percent.

It's a difficult change for the school, where adjuncts have played a key role.

"They've been the heart of the school in many ways," said Janette Hales Beckham, chairwoman of UVSC's board of trustees.

The looming changes make many nervous, adjunct faculty liaison Gary Petersen said. Adjuncts are used to uncertainty -- they're hired on a semester-by-semster basis. But it's unclear how many teaching opportunities there will be by fall 2008, when UVSC plans to hire 40 full-time professors.

"It's kind of hard to project. I don't think anyone on campus will know what it will do," Petersen said.

The changes will affect different professors in different ways. Those who teach just one class may not lose much, but professors teaching lots of credit hours could be seriously affected.

The new university's enrollment will play a role in determining the number of teaching positions.

"We're counting on a flat enrollment. If enrollment goes up, it will be hard to reduce the adjuncts to the levels that we want," Sederburg said.

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Information from: The Daily Herald

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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