Highlighting Adjunct Faculty


Collage of different faces


By Ryan Scrimger, MFA, Adjunct Liaison for the Center for Educational Excellence, Departments of Theatre and Music

University of San Diego’s classrooms are enriched with a greatly diverse faculty, some of whom are hired to teach one class or two. Others, who have been hired as directors of centers, administrative officers or staff, are added to a department’s teaching schedule for a class in need of their particular expertise. Augmenting our tenure and tenure-track instructional faculty with these scholars, specialists and professionals strengthens the value of community within the mission of our university. The adjuncts among us are walking with volumes of information and experience that contribute to our academic priorities, stimulating conversations, and our highly engaged classrooms.

Our entire faculty adds to the educational diversity of the University of San Diego through outside activities, both directly related to and more broadly informing the fields in which we teach. Bringing outside experience, coming either prior to appointment or concurrently with campus instructional tasks, our professors help students to apply concepts and practices from one discipline to enhance another. Students have experienced moments of deep discovery because their professor revealed an anecdote about themselves from a previous time in their lives.

 Within the offices of Deans and Changemakers and our centers of student and community expansion (Mulvaney Center, Center for Student Success, Center for Educational Excellence, and more) are faculty who were hired to advise, administer the directives of their center, and serve the mission to help USD contribute to the San Diego community. To our benefit, they’ve also picked up the dry erase batons and taught classes.

 Consider the non-academic ventures you have pursued in your life, or have wished on you by location or contact or need. Recall how those experiences have folded into your curriculum through whatever strategies you develop, Notice what responses from students were stimulated by your sharing of experiences and insights achieved by you beyond your classroom. As we approach a new semester of classes, we can bring fresh eyes to our course design by capitalizing on our individual outside pursuits and discoveries.

 In future columns we’ll take a look at some of the kinds of specific on- and off-campus experiences, talents and histories that illustrate these valuable assets of our adjunct faculty.