Adjuncts are devoted to teaching

In “For fewer adjuncts” Nathan Steinberg observes, accurately, that universities, including Yale, have substantially increased the use of adjunct faculty, known at Yale as “non-ladder” faculty. And he is correct that adjunct faculty are typically paid very modest amounts, usually on a course-by-course basis and often employed without the benefits enjoyed by “ladder” faculty.

But it’s wrong to say the use of adjunct faculty is harmful to student learning and wrong to imply that, because of their modest pay and non-tenure track status, they don’t spend time working with students outside the classroom, including in office hours and other meetings. Many of our adjunct faculty are outstanding teachers and have been recognized as such by their departments, by Yale College and by the students who have taken classes with them. And the great majority are exceptionally devoted to their teaching and spend a great deal of time outside the classroom advising students and providing feedback on their work. In recent years, for example, non-ladder faculty have advised half or more of all senior essays in political science.

If Steinberg really believes there should be fewer adjuncts at Yale, he should be advocating a very substantial increase in the number of ladder faculty, especially in the departments that have the largest numbers of majors. But in doing so, he should recognize that replacing non-ladder faculty with ladder faculty won’t necessarily improve the quality of undergraduate education and will cause Yale to lose many outstanding and dedicated teachers.

David Cameron

Nov. 3

The writer is a professor of political science.

Republicans must take Connecticut back

Republicans need not be disappointed in the outcome of this past election. After major defeats in all levels of government again, it is time for a new chapter of Republicanism in the State of Connecticut. A time to reflect on what we have learned and truly embrace the philosophical change for which we have been searching for the better part of a decade.

Though Heather Somers and Tom Foley made a valiant effort, providing a solid foundation for our party going forward, we need to remind ourselves the purpose of government is to make the entire citizenry better off, not feed already bloated budgets and enrich public and private special interests. Connecticut has always been the cradle of innovation and a lower tax haven for entrepreneurs seeking refuge from our over-taxed neighboring states to the north, east and west. Unfortunately, under super-majority Democratic leadership we have become virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the Northeast, with high unemployment, low productivity, population losses and anemic economic growth.

As Republicans, our party needs to stop complaining and start offering meaningful ideas and real leadership to grow our local economies. The Democrat’s model of centralized, obtrusive, one-size-fits-all government is clearly unsustainable. Other innovative states like Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, North Carolina and South Carolina under Republican leadership have already turned the corner and become blueprints for prosperity and success. Even newly installed Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo from Rhode Island (trained in Connecticut at Yale Law School) understands the need to embrace conservative values, entitlement reform and fiscal responsibility for her state to survive.

Our party’s recent pattern of nominating machine-endorsed candidates has been a colossal failure. Republicans must adopt a “best candidate for the job” mentality. We have to accept the reality that the best-financed candidate might not be the most electable candidate. Our future leaders and candidates should represent all demographics, be preferably home grown “Connecticut Yankees” and have ironclad resumes of reform, leadership and vision steeped in Connecticut values.

My fellow Republicans, we have not lost this past election. Rather, we have finally turned the page and have received a welcomed and well-deserved wake up call. Failure has allowed us to throw away the old playbook and take a step in a new direction. We do not need rich candidates, nor old political workhorses. Our mission is to find candidates that resonate with today’s voters. As a party, we can supply the support and finances to put this new breed of modern Republican over the win line. We must be diligent and offer the leadership this great state demands of us. It’s time for new leadership to rally our existing Republican base and reach out to all those former Republicans we now call independents. It’s time to take Connecticut back!

John Lucarelli

Nov. 6

The writer is a 1998 graduate of the school of management.