Employment Issues in Higher Education, Retaining Professional Viability in a Changing World

Your Name and Title:

Kara Mac Donald, Assistant Professor
School, or Organization Name:

Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA USA

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Kyung Ae Oh, Invited Professor

School, or Organization Name:

Duksung Women’s University.

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:

Monterey, CA USA & Seoul, South Korea

Language in Which You Will Present:


Target Audience(s):

Higher Education Faculty, University Administrators


Conference Strand:

Teaching and Learning in a Changing World

Short Session Description (one line):

Employment Issues in Higher Education

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

The reduced number of full-time and tenure track positions, declining academic freedom, and the increasing commercial nature of higher education are imposing new constraints on educators seeking to secure a professional opportunity and a stable income. For some time, the academic literature and public media have portrayed the complexity of part-time instructors’ employment across a range of contexts and countries, raising awareness of concerns about the lack of employment security, competitive wages and standard benefits within the education profession. This is not only a North American phenomenon but also an East Asian phenomenon in a globalized world. Teachers across countries in higher education are experiencing the privatization and commercialization of their universities, matched with the local pressures associated with these changes. As a result, well-trained and experienced teachers with advanced degrees more often than not find themselves working several temporary teaching jobs in different schools to bring in a reasonable monthly income, with no benefits, and no guarantee of rehire the following semester.

The presenters aim to generate a dialogue with attendees on employment issues in higher education through first presenting a description of current hiring practices in the U.S. and South Korea, followed by a question and answer sessions where attendees can also share their experiences as faculty and administrators. Although seemingly diametrically distinct, the U.S. and South Korea in fact share much in common. Examining how higher education and governmental policies, matched with commercialization of universities, impact faculty hiring highlights how educational leadership is influenced by numerous factors. The presenters desire to generate awareness and global collaboration on employment issues; even though it may seem each country has its own distinct employment concerns, many in fact are often influenced by several of the same factors in today’s more globally connected world of higher education.


Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

N/A at this point


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