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Adjunct Faculty: Branding Ourselves in the New Economy

by Piscitello, Victor Joseph.

Abstract (Summary)
The field of higher education offers a wealth of literature concerning part-time, adjunct faculty. While the decision to employ this category of labor is crucial to the financial exigency of many institutions this study adopts the perspective of the individual employee and to investigate the motivations and strategies that adjuncts employ in order to teach in the field of higher education. To date, the majority of the literature concerning adjuncts has been written from the perspective of the full-time, tenure track academician. This paper investigates the perspective of adjunct faculty in higher education; specifically the personal branding efforts carried out in the execution of an adjunct’s day-to-day job requirements. Additionally the study examines the economic situation – what I am calling “the new economy” – in which an adjunct must function and how this has impacted their career. And finally, the study looks at how adjunct faculty fit in and transition among the multiple taxonomies in which they have been cast by researchers. The study was a qualitative analysis of twelve adjuncts who possessed varying levels of terminal education achievement. Some temporary laborers are clearly valued by the institutions that hire them because of the skill and expertise they bring to the schools, while others rely on relationships with the decision makers to formulate a career in their chosen field. The findings from this study indicate that adjuncts clearly employ a broad variety of personal branding and selling strategies in order to maintain a foothold in the field of higher education. Future directions include the opportunity for longitudinally investigating the impact that personal branding plays in educational career as well as the impact adjuncts have on students’ educational experience. 9
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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