April 24, 2018

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Response from Meera Komarraju, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor to comments about proposed pilot project, 4-24-18

This is a proposed pilot project developed in collaboration with the SIU Alumni Association to connect qualified alumni with our students as mentors to enhance – not replace – the work of our faculty.

These alumni might deliver an individual lecture or lead a seminar discussion based on their expertise but would not teach entire courses. They might also participate in service roles such as mentoring students or adding expertise to thesis committees.

The goal is to create a pool of potential, volunteer adjuncts with advanced academic degrees who might contribute as needed for up to three years after their approval. Many departments welcome occasional adjunct faculty who bring special expertise that may add to the student experience and the overall expertise of the faculty. This approach is in compliance with university policy.

The project also engages alumni who are eager to give back to the university; they can serve as mentors, role models and future professional contacts for our graduate students.

The use of adjuncts is not unusual on our campus and in higher education generally. This exploratory project simply fosters the ability of academic programs to identify and connect with potential adjunct faculty already invested in the university. It benefits current faculty, students and alumni.