Being a practitioner manager, not an administrator

Despite being in a highly operational role, there has been tremendous value discovered in maintaining a practitioner’s viewpoint as a faculty member as well. I frequently facilitate courses just like any other online adjunct faculty member, and this recently offered me another opportunity to improve administrative processes.

A rather major constraint to faculty who wish to teach more often is a legal requirement that they must not teach over 100 sessions as an adjunct. This has an effect of faculty cherry picking courses that are more likely to have a higher roster that naturally has a higher pay. Since most of our accelerated adult courses run 3-6 weeks based on credit hours, getting faculty motivated to teach a 15 week post-secondary education course regardless of credit hour is not easy.

My initial solution was to offer the unwanted courses to faculty who teach less so the numbers simply do not impact their final “score” as much. This caused some administrative maneuverings that required more planning and work, but I did not really stop to think about the implications… until it happened to me. I wrote a 15 weeks college success skills course for post-secondary education and per our normal process would facilitate at least the first offering so that I could easily make adjustments to the curriculum and write the faculty guide. However, it is only one credit hour. I figured out how much I would “lose” by having to invest 15 sessions out of my 100 sessions for the amount of money I would get for a “measly one credit hour course”, and of course it was not worth it financially.

Let’s go back to why it’s better to be a practitioner than a strict administrator?

Because processes improve as this one did… it did not take long for my thinking cap to become activated with legal remedies to discuss with the Dean.

In my pride of being a practitioner director rather than an administrator’s black hole, I nearly blinded myself to an issue that inconvenienced the staff, wasted time, and discouraged faculty. The reminder only came through being a practitioner. It is so essential for managerial positions to not forget this very important lesson and be in touch with the reality of our staff, in whatever function they serve.


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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.