Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The academic life of part-time professors in Chile
by Berrios, Paulina A., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2014, 221; 3668405
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the academic life of part-time professors at the five biggest universities in Chile. By examining part-timers' academic life, including both who the part-time professors are and what their academic work is, this study sheds light on the complexity and diversity of the part-time world.

Based on a qualitative methodology, this study looks at part-time professors' individual characteristics, job experiences, and aspirations for academic careers. It also looks at how part-time professors interact with structures in relation to the tasks and activities they perform in higher education. Data come from 70 interviews: 44 with part-time professors and 26 with university administrators including department chairs, ex-deans, provosts, and human resource directors.

This dissertation challenges the widespread view that part-time professors basically comprise one overarching entity. To be sure, the study also discovers significant commonalities, some encompassing all part-timers, others an extensive share but with exceptions. Chilean part-time professors share a teaching vocation and teaching is nearly the totality of what they do. Most of this teaching is classroom teaching. Only a few part-timers aspire to full-time academic careers.

Mostly, however, the study finds a part-time world that is diverse and complex. As it maps out dimensions of this diversity and complexity, the study discovers significant patterns within the wide-ranging terrain. Moreover, the study probes the logic of much of the variation. It develops a typology of part-time professors and their academic work. The typology first identifies the two major kinds of part-time professors: Higher Education Teachers (HET) and Outsider Professionals (OP). HET have their main work experience in higher education, OP chiefly outside higher education. Beyond that, the typology maps out multiple sub-types within each of these two major types. Exploration of the types and sub-types unearths much information about matters such as heterogeneous reasons to teach part-time and contrasting employment profiles. Even within teaching, always part-timers' main endeavor, the study finds variation on multiple activities such as evaluation of students and development of curriculum.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Levy, Daniel C.
Commitee: Bernasconi, Andres, Kinser, Kevin
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, School administration, Latin American Studies
Keywords: Academic profession, Academic work, Adjuncts, Chile, Higher education, Part-time professors
Publication Number: 3668405
ISBN: 9781321434743
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