Mission & About Us

The USF Part Time Faculty Association
  • To improve the working conditions of our members. 
  • To strive for quality education and fair working conditions for all teachers. 
  • To seek equal quality in all classes and equal pay for equal work.

As stated in our Constitution and By-Laws, the objectives of the USF-PTFA shall be:

(1) To represent the members of the Association for the purposes of collective bargaining;
(2) To promote the welfare of part-time faculty by obtaining full and just compensation for teaching, mentoring, and professional services rendered;
(3) To promote and protect the academic freedom of the faculty;
(4) To exercise a voice in the allocation of University resources and in the formation of conditions under which part-time faculty teach;
(5) To promote the educational and professional excellence of the University and its part-time faculty;
(6) To foster and protect the rights of the individual under the contract;
(7) To promote the well-being of students and the advancement of the Jesuit educational tradition as embodied in the University's statement of Vision and Mission;
(8) To organize and empower part-time faculty to achieve the goals listed above.

The USF Part Time Faculty Association
Who We Are

Traditionally, adjunct faculty, or part-timers, have been perceived as professionals with other primary careers who “drop in” and teach a course here and there for a number of reasons, or retired professionals who like to remain relevant in the field.  This is how many administrators at USF have seen us in the past and this view of adjuncts may still persist for some.  We feel it is important to give administrators an accurate view of current adjunct faculty, the reason we teach as part-time teachers, and the conditions in which we work.

According to data collected by the PTFA from the July 2016 USF Adjunct Survey, almost two thirds (61.24%) of adjuncts surveyed considered themselves “career” or “regular” adjuncts, meaning that they teach 6-8 units per semester for 2 or more semesters a year, or 1 course each semester, respectively.  Another 17.42% of those surveyed indicated that they are career adjuncts with additional non-teaching responsibilities at USF.  Together, these adjuncts, who spend the majority of their time and career working and teaching at USF, make up more than three quarters (78.66%) of the surveyed part-time faculty. 

In terms of economics and financial standing, more than half of those surveyed (51.12%) stated that they were their family’s primary income provider, and close to half (42.86%) indicated that their USF income is their primary source of income.  Moreover, one third of the surveyed adjuncts (37.16%) were their family’s sole income providers.  Hence, the notion that adjuncts are in it for personal development reasons or just to remain relevant is far from true.  Teaching is their primary career.

USF now employs approximately 650 adjunct faculty in a given semester, or 1,000 different adjunct faculty in a year (almost twice the number of full-time faculty).  These part-time faculty members teach a major portion of lower division and core courses.  These faculty members, however, have minimal voice in curricular or departmental decision-making processes. 

According to survey results, more than half (52.57%) indicated that they had no involvement in departmental or university-wide governance, with another third (36.57%) stating they had low involvement.  In terms of level of involvement in departmental communication about important department matters, more than have (58.14%) indicated that they had infrequently to sometimes received communication.  As for being invited or welcome to participate in department meetings, almost half (49.12%) stated that they were rarely to never invited or felt welcome at such meetings.  Further, more than half (51.46%) stated that they were rarely to never invited or felt welcome to comment on curricular matters or program changes.  

The fact that these faculty, who number twice their FT counterparts and teach a large portion of core undergraduate courses, are not permitted or unwelcome to contribute to the governance of their departments and curriculum seems to many of us as evidence of inequity.

Another area of importance for adjunct faculty is opportunity for growth or teaching development. According to survey results, more than half (55.61%) indicated that there were none or minimal such opportunities.  Furthermore, over half (55.43%) stated that they had received none to minimal offers to teach new courses.  Furthermore, regarding opportunities to teach courses in which the faculty felt they were qualified to teach, 19.64% indicated that they were offered no such opportunities, while 45.83% were offered some opportunities. 

In fact, approximately one third of the adjuncts surveyed stated that they had been passed over by their department to teach a course for which they either had seniority or established competence (25.54% occasionally and 8.02% often).  It is evident that adjunct faculty are receiving minimal opportunities for growth and development while they are the force burdened with teaching in the front lines of undergraduate education. 

Finally, as professionals, one would desire to be appreciated and supported in whatever field one is in. Interestingly, USF adjunct faculty indicate that they feel the highest support for their role as teacher and professional from their students: 85.87% feel strong and moderate extent of support/appreciation from their students.  Then, the level of support falls in the order of fellow adjuncts and program directors or dept. chairs, with the second highest rate of moderate to strong support(72.88% and 74.01%, respectively), followed by FT faculty’s show of moderate to strong support and appreciation (57.38%),  ending with faculty feeling the lowest rate of support and appreciation from university administration (89.14% felt none to low support).

Part-time faculty at USF are committed to the mission and values of the University, dedicated to our students, and hopeful that the campus community will help those adjuncts who are able become more engaged in decision-making at all levels of the university.

Feb 2019

For more information on union member rights, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's page outlining union member rights and officer responsibilities under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.

Nov 5, 2019, 12:00 PM