Tuesday, January 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Study sees benefit in courses with nontenured instructors

By
From page A5 | September 11, 2013 |

By Tamar Lewin

While many higher education experts — and parents — bemoan the fact that tenured professors are a shrinking presence, now making up less than a quarter of the academic work force, a study released Monday found, surprisingly, that students in introductory classes learned more from outside instructors than from tenured or tenure-track professors.

Students taught by untenured faculty were more likely to take a second course in the discipline and more likely to earn a better grade in the next course than those whose first course was taught by a tenured or tenure-track instructor, the report said.

The study, released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, is based on data from more than 15,000 students who arrived at Northwestern University from 2001 to 2008.

According to the authors — David N. Figlio, director of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research; Morton O. Schapiro, the university’s president; and Kevin B. Soter, a consultant — there was “strong and consistent evidence that Northwestern faculty outside of the tenure system outperform tenure track/tenured professors in introductory undergraduate classrooms.” The differences were present across a wide variety of subject areas, the study found, and were especially pronounced for average and less-qualified students.

“Our results provide evidence that the rise of full-time designated teachers at U.S. colleges and universities may be less of a cause for alarm than some people think, and indeed, may actually be educationally beneficial,” the report said.

The fact that the study included only one university — and a selective, private research university at that — left its general applicability open to question. And, skeptics point out, there are many reasons a student might take a second class in a discipline apart from the teaching skills of the previous instructor.

“I’m kind of dubious,” said Anita Levy, a senior program officer at the American Association of University Professors. “I’m not surprised that introductory classes might be better taught by contingent faculty members simply because most tenured faculty more often teach advanced courses. My worry is that a study like this can be used to justify hiring more contingent faculty who won’t have due-process protections or job security and might not even have offices. It’s part of the just-in-time, Walmartization of higher education.”

In its reports, the association has said that the concentration of contingent faculty “weakens the academic enterprise.” And while the new study found positive results, some earlier studies have found negative effects associated with the increase in part-time and nontenured faculty.

Comments

comments

New York Times News Service

.

News

 
Interfaith event focuses on justice

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

In vino veritas: A criminal case and intrigue in Napa Valley

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Parking lawsuit may be more than meets the eye

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Crash leads to DUI, hit-run arrest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Senate Dems block GOP effort to wind down pipeline debate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
New-home sales jump 11.6% in December

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Blizzard howls its way into Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Apply now for Soroptimist service grants

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Share your love (story) with us

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Workshop offers tips on GoPro cameras

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sutter Davis Hospital seeks volunteer doulas

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Winter produce, treats available at Wednesday market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Have a ‘Heart to Heart’ with Dr. G

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Apply now to be on Davis’ coop crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Seed swap set Friday at Davis Cemetery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

VFW post plans Valentine’s Day Heroes Breakfast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Learn nature photography from an expert

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Thorp receives UCD’s Distinguished Emeritus Award

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Innovation opportunities on the agenda

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
A winemaker’s downfall

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7

Gerber nominations open now

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Forum

Wife’s attitude costs her friends

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Taking turns as the halfway house

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Locals will join march for climate change

By Michelle Millet | From Page: A6

 
It’s foggy? Turn on your headlights

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Damage done to democracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A family was torn apart, but we survived

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Sports

Aggie women almost get a sweep of Portland tennis teams

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD women need to get in gear for a basketball road trip

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Anatomy of a hoops collapse: Can Aggie men handle the pressure?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Four DHS wrestlers soar at McClellan Air Force Base

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD swims past Santa Barbara

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Eat ribs for the Davis Aquadarts

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

Name Droppers: Lea Rosenberg leads Odd Fellows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
.

Arts

‘Ideation’ a funny, dark, thrilling farce — and more

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
DHS Idol finals will be a tough competition

By Krystal Lau | From Page: A9

Wynonna Judd will perform Feb. 13 in Vacaville

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Death notice: Lorraine Bernice DeGraff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7