When College of Professional Studies Dean Kathleen Burke announced that an outside firm would conduct the search for a new director of the Graduate School of Political Management, we hoped the restarted process would include more input from those who felt excluded from the original search process. But so far, this has not been the case.
Yet this second search process provides a new chance for Burke and other members of the search committee to engage as many voices as possible – namely, adjunct faculty members.
The GSPM is uniquely positioned to provide its students with classes about politics in an environment where politics dominate, and these classes are taught predominantly by professors who divide their time between teaching and working in the field.
Adjunct faculty at GSPM are a particularly vital element of the school. Not only do faculty members comprise the majority of the faculty, they are also involved professionally, in addition to academically. This means that their contribution to the hiring process has inherent value.
We ask that Dean Burke considers the input from adjunct faculty in the areas in which the faculty wants to be involved. We agree the faculty should be involved in drafting the criteria for the search firm itself, drafting the criteria that Burke gives to the search firm in seeking candidates, and in participating as members of the final search committee. This could simply entail inviting a representative from the adjunct faculty to meetings.
The director of the GSPM should reflect the professional and academic savvy that its professors historically have shown. The hiring process should do everything it can to achieve that.
No hiring process is easy, and few processes involve every individual affected by the decision. But we believe the voice of the adjunct faculty is one that should not be ignored.