THE OPINIONS OF SAMPLES OF FULL-TIME FACULTY AND PART-TIME FACULTY ON THE PREFERRED ROLE OF PART-TIME FACULTY AT A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN A METROPOLITAN AREA
The purpose of this study was: (1) to determine the opinions of full-time and part-time faculty on the preferred role of part-time faculty in a private university in a metropolitan area, as reported on the Part-time Faculty Role Inventory, (PFRI); (2) to determine statistically significant differences, if any, between the opinions of samples of full-time faculty and part-time faculty on the preferred role of part-time faculty; and (3) to interpret the findings for their implications regarding needed university actions, if any, which will assist in clarifying and/or modifying the role of part-time faculty in the university of reference. Three research hypotheses were postulated, namely: there are no significant differences between the responses for full-time faculty and part-time faculty on a minimum of five of seven items comprising the Instructional Role, the Research and Professional Development Role, and the University Service Role for part-time faculty as presented on the PFRI. The study population consisted of 25% random samples of each full-time faulty (N = 110) and part-time faculty (N = 120) from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Kogod College of Business Administration, and the College of Public and International Affairs at The American University during the 1979-80 academic year. The instrument utilized in collecting the data used to test the study hypotheses was the Part-Time Faculty Role Inventory (PFRI), a Likert-type questionnaire developed by the researcher, consisting of 21 statements which elicit opinions on the preferred Instructional Role, Research and Professional Development Role, and the University Service Role of part-time faculty in a university. Five response alternatives were provided on the PFRI ranging from "strongly disagree" which is equal to one point, to "strongly agree" equal to five points. Full- and part-time faculty responses to the PFRI were computed and reported in terms of frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations. To determine whether significant differences existed between the mean responses for the two study samples, the Kruskal-Wallis H-test was used. The study results indicated that the research hypotheses were rejected to reveal disagreement between part-time and full-time faculty on the preferred Instructional Role, Research and Professional Development Role, and University Service Role for part-time faculty. The major findings are that full-time faculty preferred that classroom teaching be the major responsibility of part-time faculty, part-time faculty should hold regular office hours, the "publish or perish" policy is inappropriate as it pertains to part-time faculty, tenure and academic benefits should be limited to full-time faculty, and that part-time faculty be excluded from most university governance activities. Conversely, the preponderance of part-time faculty preferred eligibility for some duties and privileges which did not limit them to classroom teaching: access to the use of support staff, teach either advanced or introductory courses, eligibility for academic benefits and tenure, and have voting privileges on university-wide committees. Based upon the study results, conclusions were drawn and implications for policy at the study institution were made which include: (1) provisions for representation of part-time faculty interests in determining instructional responsibilities, (2) research and professional development activities do not appear to be critical as required duties for part-time faculty and should be minimized, and (3) university service activities do not weigh heavily as responsibilities applicable to part-time faculty and should be voluntary and minimal.