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Governor recognizes adjunct, part-time faculty in proclamation

Adjunct Proclamation
Governor proclaims October 26, 2012 as Adjunct and Part-time Faculty Recognition Day.

Governor Chris Gregoire recognized adjunct and part-time faculty in a proclamation declaring Oct. 26 Adjunct and Part-time Faculty Recognition Day. Requested by Green River physics instructor Antonia Bennie-George, an adjunct faculty member, the governor issued the proclamation Oct. 5.

"It's been a very nice thing. We've taken steps to make it an annual day," Bennie-George said. She noted the efforts of the Washington Education Association, American Federation of Teachers union and campus representatives for their work to make the Adjunct and Part-time Faculty Recognition Day an annual event.

"It's time to start recognizing that part-time and adjunct are a large part of the instructional workforce - it's a move toward equality," Bennie-George said.

The governor noted in the proclamation that adjunct and part-time faculty teach close to 50 percent of classes and make up 66 percent of the teaching faculty at the state's two year colleges.

"Adjunct and part-time faculty allow institutions of higher learning great flexibility and variety in the courses they offer," the proclamation said. "Adjunct and part-time faculty bring a multitude of talents, skills and areas of expertise to their teaching. Such faculty should be recognized, awarded and fully appreciated for their dedication and service to the citizens of Washington state."

Bennie-George emailed the governor's office to find out how to obtain the proclamation. She said the governor's office emailed her the proclamation within a few days. Bennie-George has taught physics, algebra-based physics and calculus-based physics at Green River for 20 years. She began teaching as a graduate student at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and Portland State University. Bennie-George taught physics at Auburn High School for two years while teaching at Green River.

"We have such a great department," Bennie-George said. "I like teaching at the community college level because you have much more contact with students. You really get to know them and their needs. It's instruction in its purest form."