Friday, June 22, 2012

What is faculty?

There seems to be some confusion about what constitutes "faculty". So here goes. The U.S Department of Education defines faculty like this:

"Persons identified by the institution as such and typically those whose initial assignments are made for the purpose of conducting instruction, research or public service as a principal activity (or activities). They may hold academic rank titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer or the equivalent of any of those academic ranks. Faculty may also include the chancellor/president, provost, vice provosts, deans, directors or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads or the equivalent) if their principal activity is instruction combined with research and/or public service. The designation as "faculty" is separate from the activities to which they may be currently assigned. For example, a newly appointed president of an institution may also be appointed as a faculty member. Graduate, instruction, and research assistants are not included in this category."

The Harrisburg University Catalog looks like this:

By my count that's 18 faculty members. 

Here is the same image minus 1 fake professor, 2 professors that don't work there anymore, 1 Provost that hasn't taught a class in at least three years (And BTW Dr. Darr, how did you get to be a "Professor"-- did faculty grant you the rank?), 4 "Administrative Faculty" (HU claims they aren't full-time faculty), and one President who never taught a class at HU.


But what about "Corporate Faculty"? 

In academia they are more properly called "adjunct faculty": 

"Non-tenure track faculty serving in a temporary or auxiliary capacity to teach specific courses on a course-by-course basis."

The HU faculty profiles page list about 30 or so adjuncts. I'm not familiar enough with the adjuncts to know how many of them still teach at HU or if they ever taught at all. For example, HU lists Stephen Reed as Corporate Faculty. To my knowledge he's never taught a class and doesn't even have a college degree. Is it fair to count him as faculty?

This is how the U.S Department of Education lists HU faculty in the Fall of 2011:

Source: IPEDS
I'm sure the numbers have changed since last fall, so these numbers are no longer accurate. The exact number isn't even particularly relevant. What is relevant is that students arrive at HU expecting to find 40+ professors and that simply isn't the case.

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