Where Are Your Professors?

To Bob Smith, provost at Texas Tech University, maintaining a public faculty directory is just one of those things universities do.

So it irks him to see many of the nation’s largest for-profit colleges operate without publishing faculty lists online or in print while public and private nonprofit institutions generally maintain directories listing the names, titles and contact information for full- and part-time faculty.

"There’s a certain amount of transparency that comes with listing who your faculty are; it looks like you’re hiding something if you won’t say who’s working for you," he says, arguing that the issue raises questions about accountability for the for-profit sector and faculty at both for-profit and nonprofit colleges. "And it also makes it possible for faculty to moonlight without getting caught.”

Full-time faculty at his and other public institutions, he worries, are at once reaping the full benefits of those jobs while also teaching part-time at for-profit colleges, aided by the for-profits’ general practice of not publicizing faculty lists.

While Smith has for years wanted to better understand who teaches at for-profit colleges and what other jobs they hold, it wasn’t until this summer that he got an answer, of sorts, from administrators at two for-profit colleges. At a panel discussion held at a meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council on Academic Affairs, he asked representatives from the University of Phoenix and the Art Institute of Portland whether any of their faculty also held full-time jobs at public colleges and universities.

While the Art Institute representative said that most of his faculty were full-time, Smith says the response from Adam Honea, Phoenix’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, was, “We hire a lot of your faculty,” referring to APLU institutions. Whether those faculty disclose their part-time jobs to their full-time employers, Honea said, was something Phoenix chooses to “leave … up to the individual,” Smith recalls. He asked Honea for Phoenix’s faculty roster but, close to two months later, has not gotten it.

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