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How Academic Community and an Ethic of Care Can Shape Adjunct Work Environments: A Case Study of a Community College


This article presents a qualitative case study that explores how faculty and administrators at one community college conceptualized and experienced academic community within their institution and how that conceptualization helped shape the part-time faculty work environment. Using a combined framework of academic community and care ethics, this study utilizes data from 55 interviews with full-time and part-time faculty and administrative leaders from a large community college. Findings from this study indicate that defining membership, a sense of belonging, and shared mission and goals are key components to their understanding of academic community. From these three components, the study found that when participants included adjunct faculty as members of their academic community, they also reported a sense of responsibility or obligation to supporting them.

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Data not available due to ethical restrictions. Due to the nature of this research and consent given, participants did not agree for their data to be shared publicly so supporting data is not available.


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Correspondence to Cecile H. Sam.

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Sam, C.H. How Academic Community and an Ethic of Care Can Shape Adjunct Work Environments: A Case Study of a Community College. J Acad Ethics 19, 323–341 (2021).

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  • Academic community
  • Community college faculty
  • Adjunct faculty
  • Faculty work
  • Ethic of care