Mark Langevin - 2010 FAC Representative


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E-mail: Mlangevin@afscme.org
Division: Undergraduate Adelphi
Category: Adjunct
Program: Government and Politics

Autobiography

My name is Mark S. Langevin and I am an Associate Adjunct Professor of Government and Politics for UMUC. I teach both face to face and online courses.

I received my B.A. in Liberal Arts/Public Health Education from The Evergreen State College in Olympia,WA., my M.A. in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Arizona in Tucson.

I am a negotiator and government reform analyst for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and an Associate Researcher for the Federal University of Espirito Santo in Vitoria, Brasil. I research and write on U.S.-Brazil relations. In the past, I have worked as both a full-time professor as well as adjunct. Before coming to Washington, DC to assume my position with AFSCME, I served as both Associate Professor and Director of Social Sciences for Chapman University College's Santa Maria campus in California. In this capacity I was responsible for hiring and supervising part-time faculty, as well as extending professional development opportunities. In addition, I have served as a project political coordinator for the California Faculty Association and was elected as a delegate the American Federation of Teachers in California. I am well aware of the university extension model of higher education and the travails of part-time, contingent faculty from both sides of the administrative equation.

Nomination Essay

I seek your vote to represent UMUC's adjunct faculty on the Faculty Advisory Board. There are many reasons why one would want to serve on the board, and even more adjunct issues to be represented. If elected, I would emphasize three fundamentals: representation, recognition, and reward for part-time faculty. This is the way I understand the three Rs to adjunct faculty.

Representation: the part-time faculty is disproportionately underrepresented at UMUC just like other extension universities dependent upon adjunct faculty. We have made some progress through expansion of the Faculty Advisory Board, but not enough. UMUC should move forward with a more inclusive representation model to effectively integrate the interests of adjunct faculty into the administration and affairs of the university.

Recognition: UMUC is an administration led institution; placing great emphasis on the administrative miracle of extending higher education to over 90,000 students around the world. I think we all agree that this is an amazing administrative feat; but it is accompanied by an incompatible lack of part-time faculty promotion, recognition, and professional development at the disciplinary level (academic, rather than WebTycho training or other delivery mechanisms). Certainly faculty recognition at UMUC should be a bit different than a traditional university, but students, Maryland taxpayers, and part-time faculty deserve greater resources for recognizing faculty related achievements and the professional development opportunities required for such success. Yes, UMUC does spend a lot on trainings, but these are largely focused on the delivery and cookie cutter elements of the institution, rather than faculty centered elements.

Reward: Adjunct dependent institutions of higher learning are cash cows in comparison to such traditional institutions such as UM-College Park. Students and their families generally pay more per unit and adjunct faculty receive only a small fraction of tuition and the tax subsidies provided by the state of Maryland. Despite all the institutional rhetoric, institutions such as UMUC are sub-optimal, albeit necessary to extend higher learning to all students. The burden of UMUC is largely carried by part-time faculty and students; the adjunct faculty is paid much less in total compensation and students don't get plush student unions or faculty offices to further their learning and build professional relationships.

The average traditional college total compensation for faculty runs around $80,000 per year; with about a third going to fringe benefits such as health insurance and retirement. If the average professor teaches 8 classes per year (4 per semester) that rounds out to about $10,000 per class, probably a conservative estimate. The average UMUC adjunct contract is a bit over a third of this figure. Of course UMUC part-time adjunct faculty don't have class hours (or do they?) and don't serve on committees (or do they? I have witnessed many of my colleagues discussing textbooks and other institutional and academic issues through email threads), as do traditional faculty. However, you get the picture there is a very large gap between compensation let's call it the reward gap.

UMUC, working with the state of Maryland, should devote greater energy to find innovative ways of addressing the reward gap by finding ways to increase the bottom line, in pocket compensation for faculty. There are many ways to address the reward gap, but given the state of Maryland's structural budget deficit (FY 2009 is  billion, and FY 2010 is estimated at a billion), all of our efforts must be made in conjunction with the university administration and other important stakeholders who believe in university extension.

Finally, if we believe in UMUC and its unique mission, and we value our work as much as our students do, then we need to continue to push for greater representation, more effective recognition of our work, and work with others to make our work truly rewarding. If elected, I look forward to working with all faculty, students, and staff to make progress on these issues. Sincerely,

Mark S. Langevin, Ph.D.