January 18, 2007

Dear Adjunct Faculty Colleague:

An issue was recently brought to my attention by an adjunct faculty member who was under the impression that they had to meet the class they have taught the past few semesters for the full four hours which it was scheduled. This individual explained that no one had ever told them that meeting this class for the 4th “conference” hour was optional as described in Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) 62, item 11.

MOA # 62 – Curriculum Transformation    26 June, 2006

11. Extra Scheduled Conference Hour  -

The College has revised its class schedule grid to facilitate faculty efforts to significantly increase out-of-class learning by establishing an extra “conference” section per week for all classes beginning in the Fall 2004 semester.  It is agreed that the conference hour is used at the instructor’s discretion in keeping with the best pedagogical practices of the discipline. The College shall not require nor expect any faculty to meet with the class or individual students during the conference, except in the cases of special part-time faculty or professional staff assigned to handle these sessions as part of their established load.

Again this semester the class is scheduled for 4 hours but a since a number of students complained last fall that other instructors didn’t keep their classes for the full 4 hours, she/he was prompted to speak with me about the policy regarding this issue.

MOA # 62 , item 11 describes the “conference” hour as being optional and to be used at the discretion of the instructor. The fact that this individual wasn’t made aware of item 11 in MOA 62 dealing with this issue and that she/he had the discretion to either meet the class for 3 hours (160 minutes) or to use the scheduled conference hour in some other educational-sound way is not acceptable.

When I reviewed the on-line schedule for this semester, I saw that some classes are scheduled for 3 hours and others for 4 with no indication of how the extra time is going to be used.

It is important that all faculty, including adjunct professors, are aware of item 11 in MOA 62 dealing with the optional “conference” hour and have the opportunity, where possible, to indicate to the chair or appropriate person who submits the projected class schedule whether they wish to have the 4th hour scheduled and appear as such in the pre-registration information. It is possible that some faculty announce to their students at the beginning of the semester that the class will not meet for the 4th hour even if it appeared on the class schedule although there is no way to easily determine that.

The primary issue though is that no faculty should be given the impression, either inadvertently or otherwise, that they are expected to meet their classes for the 4th hour, whatever the class meeting times shown on the official schedule. This would be contrary to MOA 62 and a violation of that agreement between the College and Local 2364.

Regardless of what class meeting times are shown in the official class schedule, the class syllabus or any other place, you have the right to determine how that 4th “conference” hour is to be used. If you have any questions about this issue, or any other, please contact me at  edelbach@tcnj.edu or X 2783.

I hope the spring 2007 semester goes well for you. We will keep everyone updated as our negotiations for a new contract with the State moves forward.

In Solidarity, Ralph Edelbach, President, TCNJFT, Local 2364, AFT  ( AFL-CIO )

Local 2364 home page -  http://www.tcnj.edu/~aft/aft.htm

Local 2364 Adjunct Faculty home page -  http://www.tcnj.edu/~aft/adjunct/adjfac.htm