Views from the Front Line: Insights Into the Role and Commitment of casual Business Academics

Promaco Conventions
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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 21st ANZAM 2007 Conference: Managing Our Intellectual and Social Capital, 2007, pp. 1 - 12
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Casual academic staff contribute significantly to the teaching load in many universities worldwide including Australia. However, their contribution and work needs are not always fully recognised. The aim of the research reported here was to investigate the role and support needs of casual academic teaching staff within a business faculty of an Australian metropolitan university. Data was collected through the conduct of three focus groups consisting of casual academics from the faculty and the administration of a questionnaire survey (N=106). The results showed that casual academic had a number of concerns most of which had been reported in the literature. Pay rates were generally considered not to have kept pace with workload, most casuals did not feel part of the faculty and some casuals found teaching classes with high proportions of overseas students challenging. Despite these and other concerns the general level of job satisfaction among survey respondents was high. It was clear that most enjoyed their teaching role. The relationship between casual academics their full-time academic subject coordinators was clearly very important. Satisfaction levels with coordinator support were generally high and perhaps the strength of these relationships is the glue that helps the casual teaching system to work reasonably smoothly.
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