Representing the New Faculty Majority

by VanessaVaile


We still don’t have competent statistics about contract academic faculty numbers within the Canadian postsecondary industry, a fact that speaks volumes in support of the hypothesis that ignorance is motivated.  We do know that the numbers are growing.  One report, on staffing at the University of Ottawa in 2011, located 850-900 contract faculty against 1200 tenured or tenure-track faculty.  Another found that about one-half of all undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo are taught by contract faculty.  The situation is better known in the United States.  In a President’s column, MLA President Michael Bérubé reported that “adjunct, contingent faculty members now make up over 1 million of the 1.5 million people teaching in American colleges and universities.”  By all appearances, the landscape of postsecondary teaching in Canada is being terraformed into something alien to the spirit of equitable participation and just labour: a place where the majority of “higher…

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