[Webinar] Assessing the Needs of Part-Time Faculty: Lessons Learned from the University at Buffalo


Friday, April 26, 2019, 2:00pm to 3:00pm


View recording at https://coache.net/2vsMtXT


pdf icon 

Download the presentation slides


According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), approximately 40% of all faculty across all institutional types are now part-time. This subset of adjunct faculty is fulfilling a critical role in the higher education landscape, yet the variability of these appointments makes it exceedingly difficult to assess their needs and, ultimately, provide adequate support.

In 2017, COACHE partners at the University at Buffalo set out to address this knowledge gap by adapting the Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey to suit the needs of their part-time faculty. In this webinar, Robert Granfield and Tilman Baumstark will share the challenges faced and lessons learned, both from their methodology and from their faculty, throughout this endeavor.

Attendees of this webinar will learn:

  • How the University at Buffalo approached the variability in part-time appointment types;
  • What considerations were taken into account in order to craft salient questions for part-time faculty, and;
  • Where the opportunities for improving the parttime faculty workplace lie, given the results of their work.

Following the presentation, Todd Benson, Associate Director at COACHE, will lead a Q&A with our presenters and will invite questions from the audience.


About the presenters:

Granfield, Baumstark, Benson Image

Left to right: Robert Granfield, Tilman Baumstark, and Todd Benson

Robert Granfield is the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at the University at Buffalo. Professor Granfield began his career in 1989 as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Denver. A noted scholar in the areas of law and society as well as addiction studies, Granfield was recruited to UB in 2004 and served as chair of UB’s Department of Sociology from 2006 to 2012. He is the author or editor of six books and over 80 articles, book chapters, and reviews. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, Middlebury College, the Singapore Institute of Management, and the University of Ottawa where he served as the Fulbright Research Chair in International Humanitarian Law and Social Justice.

Professor Granfield has an extensive record of leadership at UB. In addition to serving as department chair, he was the founder and former director of UB’s Civic Engagement and Public Policy strategic strength, the hub for UB’s community-based research activities. He was also the founder and director of UB’s Institute for the Study of Law and Urban Justice. Granfield has also served on several editorial boards, on numerous professional association committees, and has been a faculty mentor on over 50 doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, and undergraduate honor’s theses.

Granfield has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and an MA /PhD from Northeastern University.


Tilman Baumstark is Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, and a Research Associate Professor in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Buffalo.

Tilman received his PhD degree in Biophysics from the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. Before joining UB in 2013, he held positions as a tenured Associate Professor of Biology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and Assistant Dean for Professional Development at the Cornell University Graduate School.

At UB, he supports the Vice Provost in faculty engagement initiatives and data-driven development programming. He has organized a monthly workshop series for new faculty and developed a novel, one-year New Faculty Academy with separate tracks for teaching and scholarly writing. Together with the vice provost, he has been engaged in providing formal leadership development opportunities to UB/SUNY department chairs and organizing an upcoming 2019 leadership conference for MAC institutions. For the Vice Provost’s office, he has designed and administered instruments for data collection and analysis on topics of mentoring, interdisciplinary research, faculty first year experience, international student integration, and others. In 2017, he led preparation for participation in the COACHE study of faculty job satisfaction at UB, its implementation, and subsequent analysis and reporting of the resulting data.


Todd Benson is the Associate Director at the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE). Previously, he served as a student affairs administrator for over ten years before pursuing a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. Making the leap from student affairs to academic affairs began with work in service-learning and civic engagement at East Stroudsburg University where he collaborated with faculty and staff on a host of classroom based and co-curricular projects. During his doctoral program, Todd studied the experiences of doctoral students and the factors that contributed to their acculturation into their respective disciplines. This work expanded as Todd assumed roles in both the Office of the Associate Dean of Graduate Education for Peabody College of Education and Human Development and the Vanderbilt Institutional Research Group. This work culminated in his Capstone Project, Career Trajectories and Outcomes of Ph.D. Recipients from the Vanderbilt University College of Arts & Sciences. Currently, Todd is responsible for the overall administration of COACHE’s surveys, as well data analysis and reporting.