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Posts Tagged ‘Coalition on the Academic Workforce’

“Full- and part-time faculty members teaching off the tenure track are professionals who make indispensable contributions to their institutions.”  This point turns up in a February brief by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, called “One Faculty Serving All Students.”  The Coalition does good work, including this brief aimed at persuading universities and college to treat contingent workers decently.

But take a close look at this way of using the term “professionals.”  It has at least three common meanings.  (1) It often refers to athletes and others who play for a living, in contrast to amateurs.  No problem.  (2) It’s also often used to credit people whose work is skillful, dedicated, based on sound knowledge, and so on.  No problem here, either–except when this meaning blurs into the third one:  (3) a person who works as a recognized member of a recognized profession.
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