Adjuncts are increasingly becoming more important in higher education and make up nearly one-third of VCU’s teaching faculty. While VCU has made strides in increasing the number of tenure-track and term professors, the size and needs of certain departments will always make adjunct instructors necessary. A number of schools on both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses utilize professionals from the Richmond community to enhance experiential learning, thereby making a university investment in adjunct faculty a means by which to elevate VCU’s strategic mission. Adjuncts often provide a community perspective that comes from the professional work they do outside of the university setting and as a whole are reflective of VCU’s diverse student population. As a result, they serve a critical role in student success and diversity initiatives. Keeping adjuncts connected with campus resources and engaged with the larger VCU community is also an important step in making the university more inclusive. This project will study opportunities associated with the orientation and support of adjunct faculty at VCU on both Monroe Park and MCV campuses.
This project is research-oriented and will serve as an important foundation for developing and implementing a plan for institutionalized adjunct support. To develop a detailed proposal for implementation, our team consulted with several key stakeholders including:
- academic leaders who hire and support adjuncts in the current decentralized process
- students who have taken classes with adjunct instructors
- adjunct faculty who have recently taught at VCU
Through a combination of methods, we aim to determine how adjuncts are utilized across the university, identify resources currently provided, and assess additional resource needs in an effort to inform a new orientation and support program for adjunct faculty at VCU.
Erin Brown, VCU ASPiRE Director, Division of Community Engagement
Alaina Campbell, Instructor and Director of Undergraduate Student Advising, Department of Biology
Christal Holmes, Assistant Director for Admissions Communications, Office of Admissions
Deborah McGuire, Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship, and Innovation, and Professor, School of Nursing
Miki Skinner, Staff Psychologist, University Counseling Services
Paula Spencer, RAM Care Program Manager, VCU Health System
Timothy Davey, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Recruitment and Retention, Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Quest for Distinction Theme
Theme I: Become a leader among national research universities in providing all students with high-quality learning/living experiences focused on inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global environment