10/15/15 - A Message from the President and Provost
Posted: 10/15/2015 11:20:00 AM
To Our Valued St. Louis Adjuncts:
Welcome to Webster University. Whether you have taught as an adjunct at Webster University before, or this is your first experience, we are pleased to work with you and wish you well as you pursue your teaching assignment(s).
Last spring, we made a commitment to you that we would look closely at the adjunct experience at Webster University and explore opportunities for enhancements. We believed a good place to start was by directly asking our adjuncts. As a result, we convened several meetings over the course of the summer. During these sessions, our primary objective was to listen and better understand what we are doing well and where improvements can be made. These meetings were extremely informative and provided direction as we moved forward.
We now want to take a moment to share with you our progress thus far:
- Parking – We heard loudly and clearly your concerns about parking, and we have happily implemented changes. When you request a BLUE parking permit from Public Safety, you will now be able to pay for it using a new automated payroll deduction of $7.65 per paycheck. However, if a paycheck is not received (i.e. you are not teaching during a given term), a deduction will not be taken. With this new model, no one will pay more for parking privileges, and most will pay less. If you haven’t already, please visit the Public Safety Department to obtain your permit.
- Focus Groups – We are truly interested in hearing more from our adjunct faculty. That’s why we have engaged Towers Watson, a national consulting firm, to conduct and moderate focus groups meetings with adjunct faculty in the St. Louis area. A random sampling of our adjunct faculty will be selected by Towers Watson and invited to participate in the focus groups. These sessions will take place in October and will help us identify tangible steps to take in support of our adjunct faculty. We will keep you apprised of our progress and share focus group results with you.
- Adjunct Website – We heard many of you say it is difficult to find straightforward information about the University, our policies and procedures, employee benefits, and other teaching topics. As a result, we created websteradjunctinfo.org. With links to helpful information and sites online, we have designed this website to be a comprehensive resource for our St. Louis-area adjuncts. Please let us know what you think of the site and make suggestions on how we can improve it. This is an evolving resource, and we most certainly want to hear from those of you who will rely on it!
- Private Faculty Space – This fall, based on your input, we began setting aside space in our larger academic buildings for our adjunct faculty to use when they are not in the classroom. In fact, just recently, the first one of these opened up in the Sverdrup Building in Room 208. Once completed, these office spaces will include desks, printers, lockable storage, a breakout table, and – where possible – a private office that can be checked out as needed. We will provide updates on these spaces and their availability for use via your department chairs, Webster Today and the adjunct website.
- Professional Enrichment – Throughout the year, our Faculty Development Center (FDC) works diligently to identify and facilitate professional development and enrichment opportunities for all Webster University faculty – including our adjuncts. Already, the FDC has made arrangements for St. Louis-based full-time and part-time faculty to attend regional teaching conferences, which are taking place in October and November. Faculty members who would like to attend may do so at no cost – a $100 to $300 value. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. Please contact Erik Palmore at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
At Webster University, we are particularly proud of our adjuncts and recognize and appreciate the added value you bring to the academic experience for our students. Thanks to you, theory and practice unite. You bring real-world knowledge and academic excellence to the classroom, which helps better prepare our students for the professional challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We are grateful for your service.
|Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, Ph.D.
|Julian Schuster, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President
Chief Operating Officer