Joint Public Hearing
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE AND
ASSEMBLY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
"Testimony on ĎPart-Time Instructional Staff Survey and Analysisí"
Committee Room 6
June 9, 2003
MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE PRESENT:
Senator Robert J. Martin, Co-Chair
|Darby Cannon III||Christine Shipley||Andrew Hendry|
|Kathleen Fazzari||Senate Republican Committee Aide||Assembly Majority Committee Aide|
|Office of Legislative Services||Jennifer Langer||Victoria R. Brogan|
|Committee Aides||Senate Democratic Committee Aide||Assembly Republican Committee Aide|
Meeting Recorded and
The Office of Legislative Services, Public Information Office,
Hearing Unit, State House Annex, PO 068, Trenton, New Jersey
New Jersey Commission on Higher Education 1
American Association of University Professors 10
Elizabeth Anne Socolow
American Association of University Professors 16
Ed Tavss, Ph.D.
American Association of University Professors 17
Debra Lee Davis
Council of New Jersey State College Locals
Adjunct Faculty Union/Federation
Camden County College 22
Communication Workers of America 25
American Federation of Teachers 25
TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)
"Part-Time Instructional Staff Survey and Analysis"
New Jersey Commission on Higher Education 1x
Karen Thompson 11x
Elaine Bobrove 14x
Adjunct Faculty Representative
William Paterson University 19x
Letter addressed to Assembly Education Committee
and Senate Education Committee
from Nicholas C. Yovnello
Council of New Jersey State College Locals
Letter addressed to Assemblyman Joseph V. Doria
from Dr. Kathleen Mary Henderson
President, AFT, Local 6024
Kean University Adjunct Faculty Federation 24x
SENATOR ROBERT J. MARTIN (Co-Chair): Iíd like to get
started, as soon as we turn on the Internet, so we can make this a world-wide
learning experience. So, if youíre an Assembly person or Senator--
Iím Senator Martin. I am asked to co-chair this with Assemblyman
Doria, who I understand will be late, but is expected to be here. And I was
requested, because thereís lot of things on peoplesí schedules, to begin the
hearing. We have a discussion about -- I guess it deals with those who are parttime
persons who teach at our State colleges and universities. There was a
report done, and I would begin by-- I guess Iím not getting any instruction, so
Iím, sort of, flying here by the seat of my pants.
But we will begin, I guess, with having Mr. Sulton come up and
provide us with some information that his office had done regarding those who
are part-time professors at our colleges and universities.
J A M E S E. S U L T O N JR., Ph.D.: Good morning, Mr. Chairman and
members of the Education Committee. My name is Jim Sulton, and I am the
Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. It is
my pleasure to come before you today and address one of the more important
policy matters in higher education.
The increasing deployment of part-time faculty members in our
state and throughout the nation raises concerns relative to best practices in
classroom instruction and student learning, the economics of postsecondary
education, and fair employment principles. Some of the questions that surfaced
involve the ratio between new hires for traditional positions and nontraditional
faculty positions, the reasons that some faculty members teach part-time, and
the success of part-time faculty members in competing for full-time positions.
Public Law 2002, Chapter 27, addresses matters pertinent to
part-time faculty members and requires the Commission to issue a report on
part-time faculty in New Jersey higher education, which weíve respectfully
submitted to you, last November. The law concerns itself, particularly, with the
provision of compensation and benefits for part-time faculty members.
Consistent with statutory provisions, the Commission collected information for
three types of part-time instructional staff members: Part-time faculty, part-time
lecturers, and adjunct faculty.
Some variation obtains in the use of terminology among
institutions. However, the term part-time faculty generally refers to faculty
members who have some or all of the same responsibilities as those who are
SENATOR MARTIN: Could we just establish something? The
term adjunct is used a lot. For our purposes, is there any distinction to be made
between part time versus adjunct?
DR. SULTON: There is an important distinction, Senator, insofar
as adjunct faculties not only are preponderantly represented as faculty members
of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, but also because
their role is really that of people who are involved in private specialties that are
not usually available among faculty members regularly employed by the
university. They come in to lend expertise and teach courses in their specialty,
and theyíre differentiated from part-time faculty, who in other sectors,
particularly if we look at the two-year sector, are brought in to provide more
assistance and supplement the role of regular faculty members.
SENATOR MARTIN: So, for example, at Seton Hall Law School
where I am a professor, we have adjunct faculty members who are selected
especially for their expertise in certain areas of intellectual property and other
areas, and theyíre not-- Itís not understood that they are filling roles that would
ordinarily be assigned to regular faculty, but are chosen to, sort of, fill in niche
areas. Where the concern here is that many traditional areas of academia, such
as in the field of English, persons are chosen who could teach full-time, but the
schools are using them in evenings or to fill in some areas which one might think
that they could-- These people, perhaps, could very well be full-time, if the
schools had the resources or had the will to make those persons full-time faculty
members. Thatís sort of what weíre getting at, isnít it?
DR. SULTON: Thatís an apt example, Senator, you chose from
Seton Hall, with respect to adjunct faculty members. And your point is also
valid with respect to the distinction between those faculty members and other
folks that we refer to aspart-time, who would be filling roles, as you say, that
could be carried out by full-time faculty members, were they sufficient to man
or person all those sections that are available.
SENATOR MARTIN: Okay. Thank you.
DR. SULTON: So thatís why we say that some variation obtains
in the terminology among the institutions. Part-time faculty generally refers to
faculty members who have some or all of the responsibilities of faculty members
who are full-time, but their responsibilities are prorated, based upon the
percentage of time they work. Adjunct faculty members do not have all of the
responsibilities that full-time faculty members have. Typically, they are hired
to teach one or more courses, and their responsibilities are often limited to
classroom instruction. The term part-time lecturer is not frequently used by
public colleges and universities in New Jersey. Rutgers University uses that term,
but its definition of part-time lecturer is consistent with the characteristics of
adjunct faculty members at other institutions. For purposes of our survey, parttime
lecturers at Rutgers were included as adjuncts. UMDNJ employs nearly 97
percent of all adjuncts in our public colleges and universities, and about onehalf
of all part-time instructional staff.
I will not reiterate all of the reportís findings this morning. The
survey and analysis have been provided to you before, and I have brought some
additional copies along in case anyone cares to review them. However, I would
like to refer to some facts mentioned in the report. For example, we learned that
the average course load and compensation of adjunct faculty members during
each semester differed both within and among sectors. The average course load
was lowest at the research universities and highest at the community colleges.
Average compensation was highest in the research university sector and lowest
in the community colleges, following a pattern similar to that of full-time faculty
salaries at the respective institutions.
In addition, I would like to remind committee members about our
conclusion that the institutional survey data collected, so far, does not provide
adequate empirical support for the Commission to recommend, with confidence,
minimum compensation levels for part-time instructional staff. Responsibility
for such determination falls appropriately within the purview of the governing
boards of higher education institutions, rather than the Commission per se.
Moreover, it remains clear that additional research is necessary to determine
minimum salary and benefit provisions for adjuncts, part-time faculty members,
and part-time lecturers. The Commission further holds that the statute touches
upon more extensive matters, relative to faculty roles and rewards, that cannot
effectively be detached from an examination of salaries and benefits.
I thank you very much for your time this morning. I would be
happy to answer any questions you may have.
SENATOR PALAIA: Any questions?
Yes, Assemblyman Thompson.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: In your tables, you list a semester
course load and, also, the average course load. The way these numbers are, I
have no idea what they mean. For example, average Rutgers course load, 169;
at UMDNJ, seven. Are we talking about hours, or hours instructions, or what
are we talking about?
DR. SULTON: Well, weíre talking about credits. And when we
look at the course load, as you pointed out there, we are talking about the
number of courses that the lecturers provide at Rutgers University, as well as the
number of hours that they serve in the classroom.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: So, okay, we look at average
course load-- Then just glancing over a couple of numbers, Rutgers 5.12;
College of New Jersey, 7.41. So youíre saying your average part-timer at Rutgers
has a course load of, on the average, 5.12 hours?
DR. SULTON: I may not be following exactly along with you,
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: Table 3.
DR. SULTON: Table 3. Okay.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: Average course load there.
DR. SULTON: Yes, thatís right.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: These numbers that you have
there. Iím saying, are these the average number of classrooms hours they have
DR. SULTON: That would be correct. Yes, because thatís for the
fall, so it would be per semester.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: Okay. You say that the full-time
faculty members have additional responsibilities, and so on, that some part-time
faculty members have, and the adjuncts donít have them, etc. What are some
of these responsibilities that the full-time faculty members have that the adjunct,
for example, donít have?
DR. SULTON: When we typically consider the evaluation of
faculty members, we do so trilaterally, Assemblyman, looking at research,
teaching, and service. And in that service category, we have a lot of committee
responsibilities that full-time faculty members, particularly, fill at the
department, division, or the college or university level. Many times the
part-time faculty members are exempted from those kinds of responsibilities, but
it does occur on some occasions that they fulfill them. If they do, itís a
variation on the theme, if you will. They will not necessarily have it as a regular
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: Do all full-time members serve
on committees and such?
DR. SULTON: Full-time tenure track do.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: Iím sorry?
DR. SULTON: Full-time tenure-track faculty members do.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: They all are assigned to some
DR. SULTON: Yes, they do.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: The final question. The
Commission say that they didnít -- determine that "the institutional survey data
it has collected at this time does not provide adequate empirical support for the
Commission to recommend, with confidence, minimum compensation levels,"
etc. Couldnít the Commission have gotten the institutional data necessary to
make some recommendations?
DR. SULTON: Not within the time frame that was provided under
the laws, Assemblyman, at that time. It was also true that the law stipulated
certain inquiries for us to follow in collecting the data. So we dutifully collected
that data, but found that it did not lead us to recommend, with confidence,
average minimum compensation and benefits. The data is reflected in the tables
that you have, and that was required by the law. But it did not naturally lead
to the other conclusion, which is, what should average compensation and
benefits be for faculty members. That is understandable, because of the
variation among terminology that we mentioned to you. Part-time faculty is a
differentiated term when you look at the different sectors -- the community
colleges, the research universities -- and also within those sectors, when you look
at part-time lecturers, adjunct faculty -- as I was discussing with Senator Martin
-- and other part-time faculty members. So thereís a great deal of information.
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: With the time frame you had,
and so on, it wasnít possible. Is it possible that you could do this in the future?
DR. SULTON: Yes. We suggest in our report, that working with
legislative staff, the Commission staff would be able to come up with a more
comprehensive evaluation of what part-time faculty members earn and should
ASSEMBLYMAN THOMPSON: Thank you.
SENATOR MARTIN: Okay.
Just so you understand, weíre going to hear from representatives
who are teaching in this field, and also from unions and others. So we will get,
I think, a fuller picture of the problems from their perspective.
ASSEMBLYMAN DIEGNAN: Just one quick question. I taught
at Middlesex County College for 10 years, and I know Middlesex, to a very large
extent, is, I think, typical of most county colleges -- relies on part-timers to a
very high number. I would imagine as much as 40, 50 percent of the classes are
taught by part-timers. My sense, and tell me if Iím wrong, is that that is almost
totally economically driven?
DR. SULTON: I would agree with that, Assemblyman. I think
that there is a great deal of difficulty, from an administrative point of view at a
community college, to provide full-time faculty positions for all the students and
the courses that they want to serve.
ASSEMBLYMAN DIEGNAN: And in general, Iím sure you would
agree that a student is usually not provided the same access to a part-time or an
adjunct professor than they would be to a full-time professor.
DR. SULTON: That would, unfortunately, be true, Assemblyman,
with respect to advising, counseling, and office hours, and other intangibles that
go along with instruction (indiscernible).
ASSEMBLYMAN DIEGNAN: And involvement with the college.
DR. SULTON: Thatís also true.
ASSEMBLYMAN DIEGNAN: Okay. Thank you.
ASSEMBLYMAN STANLEY: Just one question, please?
SENATOR MARTIN: Assemblyman.
ASSEMBLYMAN STANLEY: Thank you, Chairman.
You gave -- I believe the Assemblyman was asking -- with respect
to what faculty, or whether all full-time faculty serve on committees, and you
said full-time tenure track. What percentage of the faculty members are fulltime
tenure track? And is there a distinction between those members and other
full-time faculty members?
DR. SULTON: Well, there is an important distinction. I will have
to discover that information. With respect to your first question, what
percentage are full time, we do have that available, and I will provide that to
ASSEMBLYMAN STANLEY: Okay, thank you.
DR. SULTON: But full-time faculty members can be either tenured
or nontenured. And the tenure-track faculty members are those who are
typically, in response to the Assemblymanís question, those who serve on
committees and fulfill that public service requirement for their annual
ASSEMBLYMAN STANLEY: So is there tenure track and tenured,
DR. SULTON: Thereís tenured and nontenured.
ASSEMBLYMAN STANLEY: Okay. Thank you.
I want to apologize for being late, and I also want to thank you for
coming here. I appreciate your coming, Dr. Sulton.
DR. SULTON: Itís my pleasure, Assemblyman.
SENATOR MARTIN: Thank you, Dr. Sulton. Thank you.
Weíll have some testimony. I was advised by competent staff that,
in order to try to move this along -- we do have other matters, so forgive us --
that we will call some witnesses up as a group, because they seem to have
similar positions. Beginning with Karen Thompson from the AAUP; Dr. Tavss
from the AAUP, Part-time Chapter; and Elizabeth Anne Socolow, also from the
AAUP. So, if you three folks would come up at the same time.
K A R E N T H O M P S O N: Weíre all from Rutgers. I donít know if we
omitted that from the sheets. (referring to witness sign-in sheets)
As I said, weíre all from Rutgers, but my name is Karen Thompson.
Iím not only representing the part-time faculty at Rutgers, Iím also here to--
Oh, sorry. (referring to PA microphone)
My colleagues from the full-time faculty at Rutgers asked me, also,
to represent them, the teaching assistants at Rutgers, and the State Conference
of the AAUP, which represents the faculty at institutions around the state, like
UMDNJ, NJIT, Rider University, Union County College. Thereís some 7,500
in the State Conference. Thereís 1,000 part-time faculty at Rutgers. Thereís
2,500 full-time faculty, and 1,600 or 1,700 teaching assistants. So, you see, Iím
here representing well over 12,000 faculty members.
And I really want to, first, say how much I appreciate this
opportunity to speak with you, because even though the commission asked
presidents of the institutions to confer with representatives of the employees, we
were not asked to give any input when the report was being prepared. And so
itís really very important for us to have a chance to speak on this topic, since we
werenít involved in its preparation, or we werenít allowed to comment on the
I see the purpose of my being here as twofold: One, to respond to
the report, but also to really underscore to you the importance, the enormity of
the role of part-time faculty in education and higher education, not just in this
state, but in all states, but particularly in New Jersey. Thatís what weíre looking
at right now. So, first of all, specifically, with regard to the survey report, Dr.
Sulton spoke about the terminology a minute ago, and there is some confusion
At Rutgers, for instance, we were considered, for purposes of the
report, adjuncts -- even though weíre titled part-time lecturers at Rutgers, and
even though our responsibilities are much broader than simply the teach-acourse-
and-leave, kind of, image that you traditionally get of adjunct faculty.
We serve on committees. We have three representatives on the
University Senate, which means weíre involved in governance. I myself have
been senator. We do research. We publish, even though we might not be paid
for that as part of our positions. We have had part-time lecturers who direct
and coordinate programs. So, at Rutgers -- and thatís all Iím familiar with. Iím
not familiar with the community college curriculums or the State college
curriculums. But at Rutgers, we clearly have a much broader role than just
teaching a course and leaving. So I was surprised to see us being categorized as
adjuncts, although Iím not sure thereís any significance to that in terms of the
actual outcome and recommendation of the report.
So then, Iíd like to go onto the substance of the report, because I
think youíll agree with me that it is important that this report and your
recommendations have credibility and that theyíre grounded in accurate data,
and so forth. I was very disappointed that this report made no comments about
minimum salaries. Every educational organization in the country -- not just the
AAUP and the AFT and the NEA -- but all the professional associations, like the
MLA, the four Cís, the AMS, these are organizations that represent disciplines
like mathematics, English, philosophy, and so forth. They all have statements
and guidelines about minimum salaries.
The MLA, for instance, which is my professional organization, as
an English teacher, recommends minimum salaries of $5,000 to $7,000 a
course. Thatís nowhere near the case at Rutgers, let alone at the community
colleges or the State colleges.
Then to move onto the topic of health benefits, which is another big
issue for employees, and itís a big topic in the report-- Well, first of all, Iíd just
like to thank Senator Turner and Assembly person Coleman for having that bill,
that you all know is in the works now, for allowing part-time faculty or other
part-time employees to buy into the State Health Benefit Plan. I mean, thatís
just absolutely a basic minimum. Weíre very grateful that thatís finally --
seemed to be going in. But beyond that bill, itís really unconscionable that
people who play the role that part-timers do in the educational process--
At Rutgers, for instance, weíre responsible for over 30 percent of the
education of the courses, and weíre 20 percent of the faculty, of the people.
And yet, we do not have health benefits or access to health benefits. For some
people, like the people that Dr. Sulton mentioned who have other professions,
if youíre employed elsewhere, well, that might not be an issue. But thatís, by no
means, the majority of part-time faculty. There are many people who only
(Senator Turner arrives)
Oh, Iím sorry that you werenít here. I was just thanking you,
SENATOR SHIRLEY K. TURNER (Co-Chair): Youíre welcome.
MS. THOMPSON: In any case, somebody was asking about the
constituency of part-time faculty, and thereís really three basic groups. Thereís
some part-timers who are employed elsewhere and have other professions and
bring in the expertise that you mentioned. But thereís also people who piece
together part-time positions teaching at multiple institutions, or working at a
part-time job and then teaching on the side. And those are people who would
like to be full time and would certainly like to have health benefits. And then
thereís some few people who might prefer being part time for personal reasons,
or because theyíre students, or whatever. But I donít want to get too
The point is that health benefits are really a very basic issue. We
also know that budgets are -- be concerned, these days. But itís interesting to
note that the CWA settlement that just took place a few days ago -- one of the
provisions that got worked out is to give health benefits, the State Health
Benefit Plan, to intermittent employees, which I researched a little bit, not
thoroughly. But I understand intermittent employees are, sort of, like seasonal
employees who get furloughed or who donít work all year long, but they work
with a certain regularity. And when they reach a certain hour threshold, they
will now get these health benefits.
Thatís not unlike the situation for part-time faculty, because, even
though weíre reappointed every semester and we have to, sort of, wonder what
weíre going to be doing the next semester, we come back year after year. I,
myself, have been teaching for 25 years at Rutgers. But we donít know exactly
what weíll be teaching or whether weíll be teaching two courses, or three courses,
or four courses, or how many courses. So thereís a certain parallel to the
settlement with these intermittent workers who now have the State Health
SENATOR MARTIN: Iím going to have to interrupt you. Iíve got
to put some structure on this.
MS. THOMPSON: Okay.
SENATOR MARTIN: Just-- Pretend this is a class, all right.
MS. THOMPSON: Okay.
SENATOR MARTIN: We have a period. You are speaking for a
certain period of time. Youíve got, now, two more minutes to either divide that
up with your colleagues--
MS. THOMPSON: Iím done.
SENATOR MARTIN: --because we have to hear from some other
people, and we just donít have enough time.
MS. THOMPSON: Okay, Iím very sorry.
I didnít want to read. And if I read, I would be briefer. But just to
sum up on the health benefits, we really need to have some kind of
recommendation about health benefits. Itís just such a basic human issue. I
would just end by saying that, usually part-time faculty are used to conserve
funds and for flexibility in enrollments or in hiring. I wish that somebody -- I
hope you legislators will address these things so that this conservation doesnít
become constraint, and so that this flexibility doesnít become lack of
SENATOR MARTIN: I think the best approach may be -- Rutgers
is different in some respects from others, although it has many similarities. I
think that what we need is, from you, what you think is the best plan of action,
and we will consider that. We already are somewhere there, I think, with
Senator Turner, with respect to health benefits. But it is complicated, because
your issues and the county college issues; and then the State colleges and
universities, the independent colleges-- And then the way the different unions,
sort of -- or associations -- come together and makes it more difficult. I just
hope you donít fractionalize to a point where we canít deal with it, sort of,
But Iím willing to be open-minded. I wouldnít be involved with
this hearing if I didnít think that many of the part-time people are not getting
what I think is a fair shake -- even though I understand, and I think the colleges
and universities are going to have to have some flexibility and some ability to,
perhaps, save some costs, with the way they have part time. Right now, I think
to be paid at about $600 a course -- I think, at Kean and some other schools
like that, and with no, with benefits -- I think we can do better than that. I
think that colleges still can get some opportunities for saving and flexibility
without being draconian. But we need specific proposals, especially if you think
that something should be carved out and dealt with Rutgers, specifically.
Okay. So with that, I think weíll -- unless thereís some--
Is there a question?
SENATOR GORMLEY: Yes, no, or I donít know. We understand
the answer? Weíre obviously competing with other states for straight faculty
members, even on a part-time basis. Do we have a precedent in other states for
benefits given, so that we can explain it in terms of competing with other states?
MS. THOMPSON: Yes.
SENATOR GORMLEY: Thank you.
E L I Z A B E T H A N N E S O C O L O W: Could I answer that? That
was why I came up. I have lived in this state since 1972. However, with a
Harvard doctorate, 1967, I was unable to find any way of earning a living.
Once I was divorced, I looked into the states that do have benefits at the state
universities. I went to the University of Michigan at Dearborn, where I taught
for nine years. There, that state has decided that it must give benefits to those
who teach more than one course per semester, which is more than half-time of
a full-time load. They then see to it that any teacher who has been adequate or
better than adequate with students is given those benefits, by being given two
SENATOR GORMLEY: Thank you.
SENATOR MARTIN: Thank you, folks.
Weíre going to move on with some other persons.
MS. THOMPSON: Can Ed say something, or not?
SENATOR MARTIN: Iíll give him one minute. You got one
minute, Ed, and Iím serious.
E D T A V S S, Ph.D.: I was waiting to speak for half an hour.
SENATOR MARTIN: Ed, youíre going to tick me off, now,
because weíre trying to get a bunch of folks in here. You can wait. We will hear
you at a different time. We have a very complicated schedule today. The fact
that youíre even up here-- Donít do this to me. Okay? We got a bunch of
other people who, also, want to -- here, and they want to monopolize a lot of
time. So you have one minute. Make your best shot.
DR. TAVSS: I understand. Okay. Thank you.
Let me try to be brief. I got my Ph.D. about 30 years ago from
Rutgers University. I wanted to teach at that time. I couldnít find a teaching
position. I worked for industry. I worked for Colgate-Palmolive Company for
28 years. I loved that. I did very well. And then I had an opportunity to come
back to teach at Rutgers University. I grabbed this opportunity. It was
wonderful. I love it, but there are some issues. One of the issues is the salary.
I work the same way as I worked at Colgate, about 70 hours a week, but my
salary is about $8,000. In terms of performance for pay, thereís an inequity
there. So I just wanted to bring that to your attention.
The second issue is fringe benefits, in particular health benefits. I
was covered when I worked for Colgate, now Iím covered under my wifeís
policy. Sheís going to retire. It seems reasonable that a person who works as
hard as I do, who puts in 70 hours a week, whose students do extremely well,
should receive health benefits -- at least just for us to be covered under the
program that the -- under the State plan of benefits. Thatís all that I ask for.
I, as a part-time lecturer, would be willing to pay. I donít ask the State to pay,
but at least we should be covered under the State Health Plan.
SENATOR MARTIN: Thank you.
Debra Davis, Mel Driban, Elaine Bobrove -- I apologize if I donít
have these right.
D E B R A L E E D A V I S: Good morning, Senators and Assembly people
of the Committee. My name is Debra Davis, and I am a Staff Rep with the
Council of New Jersey State College Locals, AFT/AFL-CIO. We represent
adjunct faculty, full-time faculty, and professional staff at Montclair, College
of New Jersey, Rowan, Stockton, New Jersey City, Ramapo, Kean, William
Patterson, and Edison State College. Our members are 5,500 -- 200 of which
are part-time faculty, and over 2,400 adjunct faculty. I thank you for this
opportunity, by the way, this morning.
The Council wishes to note that the Commissionís
SENATOR MARTIN: Can I just tell you -- just so everybody else--
I am prepared to spend more time on this issue. Itís just that everybody wanted
to have it today, on a day in which I have a Judiciary Committee meeting --
Senator Gormley has, and others -- and we got a whole bunch of other things.
And I donít think that this is the appropriate forum to flesh this all out. So I
will be prepared to spend more time on it. Iím just trying to give everybody who
came here at least some brief window to speak. So this is not the end of this
discussion. I think the area of part-time faculty at New Jersey colleges and
universities need a lot more time than we are willing to give it today. So I just
hope everybody appreciates it.
MS. DAVIS: Well, I intend to be very brief.
Iíll just highlight what we found -- the highlights of the
Commissionís recommendations contained in the report. First of all, we want
to say, it amounted to bureaucratic avoidance. The three next points are what
we found most distressing. First of all, the commissionís conclusion that
part-time and adjunct faculty in higher education do not deserve health benefits
-- and my colleague, Karen Thompson, touched on that. We also would like to
thank Senator Turner and Assembly people Watson and Coleman (sic), for
sponsoring S-988 and A-3424, and hope that the Committee members will urge
the Governor to sign it, when it goes to his desk.
Second, and also, too, the Commission recommended that no
part-time State employee deserves health benefits. We find that just highly
disturbing and ironic. Second, the Council is disappointed with the reportís
failure to deal with sweatshop salaries currently associated with adjunct faculty.
And I have, for your submission, an adjunctís narrative of what she goes
through to teach. At William Paterson, she earns $700 a teaching credit hour,
and thatís just contact in the classroom. She spends a lot of time with students,
and she does do committee work and university service, for which she is not
paid. She also teaches at Passaic, which addresses the multiple-work
environment. She does hold several adjunct positions for which she earned
$500 a teaching credit. And there is a distinction between part-time faculty and
full-time, in that full time have the usual community services and teach 25
teaching credit hours in an academic year.
When adjunct faculty go over a certain amount of teaching credits,
the universities are required to put them into a full-time position, and do not
choose to do so. So adjunct faculty are actually limited by how much money
they can make, because, if they go over a certain amount of teaching credit
hours, they have to be full time. So a university is obliged to keep them in the
Adjuncts receive no health-care benefits, no vacation, no personal,
no sick days. So, if they donít work, they donít get paid.
SENATOR MARTIN: My wife taught for three years with 11 and
two-thirds credits a semester. Some of us know very well what youíre talking
MS. DAVIS: Exactly. On that point, let me just say that we think
-- the Council thinks it is possible to factor in pro rata, fractional salary
increments for adjuncts, and we are more than willing to -- and well-equipped,
actually -- to help the Legislature suss out that information.
And finally, the report suggested that the Legislature should define
policy regarding part-time and adjunct faculty, and ask that it gather more
information. I think this begs a question -- and I think, Assemblyman
Thompson, you might have touched on this -- why isnít the Commission
gathering that information? We have offered -- the union has offered, in the
past, its assistance to the Commission, and we have not had a response on that
matter. But we can provide the Legislature with a great deal of information.
We keep very good databases on all adjunct activity -- including salaries, how
long theyíve been teaching.
So we are more than willing to offer you information and help in
the future, should you need it. And, also, for your submission, I am giving you
copies of the AFTís report on Standards of Good Practice and Employment for
part-time and adjunct faculty.
SENATOR MARTIN: To the best of your knowledge, this would
apply, apparently, to the State colleges and universities, since thatís who youíre-
MS. DAVIS: Right.
SENATOR MARTIN: Would it, also, apply to the county colleges?
MS. DAVIS: Well, the AFT does represent county colleges, and I
believe the report does refer to that. And I can also answer -- I forgot who asked
-- but California provides benefits and fractional salaries for adjuncts. And
thatís pretty recent, as of last year. And I believe -- I could get back to you on
this, but -- Washington state as well. But the report does go into regional
comparisons, I believe. And if not, we can also work on that with the
But I just want to close by saying thank you for your assistance in
this matter, on behalf of the Council and the adjunct faculty whom we
represent. Thatís my statement.
SENATOR MARTIN: Thank you.
MS. DAVIS: If you have any questions, Iíll be glad to answer.
E L A I N E B O B R O V E: My name is Elaine Bobrove, and Iím a
Co-President of the Camden County College Adjunct Faculty Federation. We
represent over 500 adjuncts in the college, where there are about 110 full-time
I think that I have a different perspective on whatís happening,
since we are a community college. The report had said that in the fall of 2000,
51 percent of the faculty was part-time -- and 70 percent of the faculty at the
community colleges is part-time, which was almost 5,000 people. They also
said that at the community colleges, 44 percent of the courses are taught by
adjuncts. Unfortunately, or fortunately -- whatever way you want to look at it
-- at Camden County College, there were some departments where 70 percent
or more are taught by adjuncts.
The definition of an adjunct has changed. When colleges first
started using adjuncts, they were, indeed, the professionals who could come in
and teach a specific course and bring their expertise into the college and to the
students. But over the last 30 years, a professional core of adjuncts has
developed, and we are people who have really devoted our lives to the college.
And in truth, the college depends on us as much as we depend on them for our
Seventy-nine percent of the adjuncts said that they had put
part-time jobs together, because full-time employment at a college was not
available. So they would like to be full-time, were that to be available. But I
think this is not just a problem of equity for the adjuncts. I think it affects the
quality of education in New Jersey, and I think thatís something we need to
look at. We know that the State tries to provide cost-effective education for the
students, particularly through the community colleges. And we think that these
students deserve the best that the State has to offer, if theyíre to become the
productive citizens that this State both needs and wants.
New Jerseyís students deserve the stability brought on by a
continuity of service. They also deserve a coherent curriculum designed and
taught by teachers who understand the scope and sequence of their areas of
instruction. They deserve to be advised by people who understand the
curriculum, and they deserve access to their instructors during regular office
hours. Although adjuncts are heavily credentialed -- a quarter hold doctorates,
a half hold masters as their terminal degree -- theyíre not playing on a level
playing field. They cannot meet with their students during office hours, because
they donít have offices. Because they have to work at several jobs, they canít
participate as much as they would like to in governments and attend
departmental meetings. And as contingent employees, they donít even know
theyíll be teaching.
What can the Legislature do? This Legislature, like those in other
states, can mandate a schedule that will bring pay for adjuncts into an equitable
parity with the salaries of beginning, full-time instructors at the various colleges.
At Camden County College last semester, we were making $467 a credit, which
is well below your 600. Weíd be happy with 600 for a starter. And thatís with
a union thatís been steadily getting increases in pay. There needs to be a
competitive salary -- those offered by the colleges in New York and
Pennsylvania -- so that the best of our adjuncts will not leave the state to work.
Iím well aware of the fiscal crisis that the State is now facing, and
I know that money is not available at the present time to bring adjunct salary
to an equitable parity. On the other hand, I think the Legislature can state its
intention to do so. It can set up a schedule where this can be accomplished in
the future. And secondly, the Legislature can begin to make available health
benefits for adjuncts by passing a law that will allow adjuncts to buy into the
State Health Benefits package. This will go a long way to providing a stable
adjunct faculty that will help ensure the continued excellence of instruction for
New Jerseyís college students.
SENATOR MARTIN: Thank you.
MS. DAVIS: My colleague, Mel Driban, seems to have
MS. BOBROVE: No, heís behind you.
SENATOR MARTIN: Well--
MS. DAVIS: Sorry.
SENATOR MARTIN: --weíre going to ask, at this time, the last
witnesses, including Mr. Driban, if he wishes to.
Kathleen Henderson, is she here?
MS. DAVIS: Iím sorry. Kathleen is also my colleague and wasnít
able to make it this morning. She will forward her submission to you at a later
SENATOR MARTIN: Okay.
Mr. Kaufman, is he here? Does he want to come?
And is it Loren Wizman? Is she here. (no response)
Is there anyone else who wishes to testify? (no response) Last
Then we have -- is it Mel?
Excuse me, and sir, you are?
A L A N K A U F M A N: Do you want me-- Is it my turn? Oh, no. Itís his
Go ahead. Just tell me when itís my turn.
SENATOR MARTIN: Why donít we have Mr. Driban, and then
we will conclude with you.
M E L D R I B A N: Thank you, Senator.
Iíll be very brief. I donít want to be repetitious of anything that any
of the other speakers have said. My name is Mel Driban. Iím a National
Representative for the American Federation of Teachers. And in that capacity,
I travel all over the country. Iíve worked with adjuncts, as well as full-time
faculty, across the country.
The New Jersey two- and four-year colleges are dependent on
adjuncts, as you all know. One, minimally, at least 50 percent of the courses
in the two-year colleges are taught by adjuncts, and approximately one of three
courses in the four-year colleges are taught by adjuncts. The adjuncts in New
Jersey are in a range of salaries, and the salaries are not competitive with the
surrounding states. The four-year college adjuncts, as a result of collective
bargaining about six years ago -- prior to that, they were in the same range with
the two-year colleges. And those salary ranges were not good. At that time,
through collective bargaining, they elevated their salaries somewhat, so that they
are in a separate range from the two-year college adjuncts. But if we look at the
surrounding states -- New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey (sic)-- even using the
four-year college salary, adjunct salary, as a yardstick, those institutions, CUNY,
SUNY, Philadelphia College -- Community College -- other institutions paid
two to three times as much.
SENATOR MARTIN: Is that by statute, or is that just by practice?
MR. DRIBAN: Itís certainly not by statute, not in Pennsylvania
or New York, but it is in some cases through collective bargaining, and other
cases through competition. The problem in New Jersey, as I see it, is that there
is no competition among the two-year colleges. They all pay at approximately
the same amount. The difference between the highest paid salary in a two-year
college and the lowest one is, again, depending on credentials, less than $100.
As I had said, the comparable salaries, per credit salaries, for
adjuncts in surrounding states were two to three -- in some cases, higher, than
they are in New Jersey, especially in North Jersey and in South Jersey. North
Jersey, of course, is competing with the New York market; and South Jersey, itís
the Philadelphia market. If an adjunct is offered a salary of 2,100 per credit, as
opposed to 500 or 700 per credit, where is that person going to go? And thatís
exactly whatís happening. Thereís a limited pool of qualified adjuncts, and
weíre losing to the surrounding states. And I think it has a -- notI think. It
impacts on the quality of the education at the two- and four-year colleges in
Adjuncts wonít be really paid equitably until theyíre prorated, and
that does happen in some places across the country. But short of that, I think
we need to take a hard look at salaries that would be competitive with
surrounding states, at least, so that we can be competitive.
SENATOR MARTIN: Thank you.
MR. DRIBAN: Thank you.
SENATOR MARTIN: Mr. Kaufman.
MR. KAUFMAN: Alan Kaufman, Communication Workers of
America. I will make it short.
Iím here to support the notion that part-time faculty at the colleges
and universities should have access to health-care benefits. There is an inequity
in the law in the State Health Benefits Plan, where if youíre a part-time worker
at a local government, you have access to health-care benefits. If youíre
anything less than full time at the State level, including the colleges and
universities, you donít. So you have people that are working far more at the
State level in part-time and intermittent positions than people at the local
government level, and youíre not getting health-care benefits, even though what
you are doing is absolutely, 100 percent essential to the functioning of a State
agency or a university. So this is an inequity that really has to be rectified.
Health benefits -- Iíve been doing this work for 25 years. Health benefits is --
in a lot of peoplesí minds, when it comes down to crunch time -- more
important than a raise, in terms of providing quality of life to people. Even if
you work in part-time, if you get sick, you got to be taken care of.
So that I hope that the Committee will make a recommendation
that goes beyond the survey, and to say that, as a matter of policy, all State
institutions -- all State colleges and universities -- should provide access for
part-timers to health benefits.
SENATOR MARTIN: I think what the -- this is a Joint Session of
the Assembly Education Committee as well as the Senate. I think what Iíd like
to do with the staff is, hopefully, compare notes and, perhaps, have a Joint
Committee statement that Assemblyman Doria and Senator Turner and myself
might be able to agree with, and see if we can get a majority of both the Senate
Education Committees (sic) for appropriate action, and go forward.
ASSEMBLYMAN JOSEPH V. DORIA JR. (Chairman): I just
want to agree with Senator Martin. And obviously, working with Senator
Martin and Senator Turner, I think the issue of adjunct faculty, lecturers, parttime
faculty, whatever you would want to call them, is an important one. I
think that there is a time and a place for their use, when specific expertise or
experience is brought to bear in the classroom. Thatís the initial purpose of why
part-time faculty were created and you had adjuncts.
I think, today, whatís happened is, given funding realities at both
the State level for the colleges and the universities, as well as the community
colleges at the county, and the private colleges, that adjuncts have become a
means of cheap labor. Part of the problem is, itís unfair to the person who is
teaching, but itís also unfair in many instances to students, because some
adjuncts who are teaching at two or three institutions cannot give the time to the
students. They come and they teach -- especially in some of the situations
where theyíre teaching in large lecture courses -- where they come and teach, and
just run right out. There is no type of personal relationship or ability to have
some interaction, which impacts negatively on the students, as well as upon
those people who are teaching. So itís a two-way street. It has a negative
impact on both levels.
So I think we need to look at this. I think we need to deal with the
realities of financing and funding, and also, at the same time, be fair with those
who are actually teaching, as well as the students who have the opportunity to
work with these teachers.
So I agree with you, Senator Martin -- that Senator Turner,
yourself, and myself should work with our committees to come up with a
statement, and to try to move forward, to create some kind of equity and
fairness, while at the same time guaranteeing that the students get the best
possible education; and that, where necessary, adjuncts who have expertise, who
are working in other fields, provide something thatís unique -- while at the same
time protecting the rights of those who labor in the vineyards and donít
necessarily receive fair compensation or benefits.
SENATOR MARTIN: Okay. Thank you very much.
That concludes the joint meeting of the Assembly Education
Committee and the Senate Education Committee. The Senate will continue on,
because we have a bill list which I, hopefully, will be able to dispense with