The Celebration

I'm a member-at-large (no, I'm not that large) and vice-chair of the Contract Academic Staff committee of the AASUA (the University of Alberta's staff association). Every year, we like to mark Fair Employment Week. (Partly, we do this because we'd like to have employment that's more stable--not just year-to-year, as it is for many "sessionals." More on this in another post...) To highlight the importance of contract academic teachers, we ask students to nominate an outstanding contract instructors for a "celebration" we're holding on October 27th. 

Have you had an instructor who has made a difference in your life--one who is a sessional? Maybe they inspired you, guided your career options, provided helpful references or contacts, or otherwise just made a difference in the way you think of yourself and your life as a student or in general.

If so, how about writing a short paragraph about how that person made a positive impact on your education? Not sure if your favourite instructor is a contract academic staff member? Just ask them! Then, send your paragraph to with "Contract Academic Recognition" in the subject line. The deadline was October 15, but nominations will still be accepted. Your paragraph won't be marked for spelling or grammar! Contract instructors work hard for their students; why not spend a moment to see someone get recognized for that?

As a Faculty Lecturer, I am also a contract academic staff member--but I am not posting this to get anyone to nominate me. (In fact, if someone does, I will turn it down.) I was "celebrated" last year, and I'd like to see other excellent contract teachers to get recognized this way.

Why aren't you studying?


Sara said...

So, Im confused....not just any of your profs can be nominated? They have to be... sessionals? What exactly is that?

Karsten Loepelmann said...

@sara: A "sessional" (or, more accurately here at the U of Alberta, "Contract Academic Staff") is someone who has a contract to teach courses, but does not have a permanent position.

This is in contrast to someone in a tenure-track faculty position, like an Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor (or a tenured faculty member, who is a Full Professor). When a Professor has tenure, it's like they have a permanent job, sort of.

If you want to nominate someone for this "celebration" and you're not sure if they're eligible, check to see if they're listed as "sessional" on their Department website, or...just ask them!

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