Building Collaboration With Adjunct Faculty: Experiences of a Faculty Advisory Board

Building Collaboration With Adjunct Faculty: Experiences of a Faculty Advisory Board

Rick Holbeck (Grand Canyon University, USA), Kelly Palese (Grand Canyon Education, Inc., USA) and Monte McKay (Grand Canyon Education, Inc., USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6758-6.ch004
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Abstract

Adjunct faculty feel isolated and disconnected from their institution while not having time to build collaborative relationships and connection with the institution and their peers. Community of practice is a theoretical framework for collaborative learning within groups that results in increased performance for all participants. This theory was used as the foundation for a Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) that was formed at a university in the Southwestern United States. Faculty engagement and collaboration was increased through FAB by creating and presenting professional development workshops and academic initiatives for all faculty. When creating FAB, a proportional representation of adjunct and full-time faculty, along with representation from all colleges, is important. A collaborative community of faculty members is created, which benefits both faculty and the university by providing faculty with more opportunities, while giving faculty space to build community with their colleagues.
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Introduction

Building faculty engagement in an institution is a challenge most higher education academic institutions face. Many universities struggle with faculty not attending professional development workshops and only engaging in required trainings. This is one of many challenges that exist for universities to engage adjunct faculty. This chapter describes the work of a university in the southwestern United States in creating a Faculty Advisory Board (FAB) to build a community of practice and increase faculty engagement and collaboration by creating and presenting professional development workshops and other academic initiatives. The outcome of this university initiative was an increase in pride and connection between adjunct faculty members and the university. These experiences could be used by other institutions to create their own version of a FAB.

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