The national AAUP stands strongly for the rights of contingent faculty, and we at OU+AAUP embrace this position.
There should not be a cumulative disadvantage to being employed in a contingent position, which permits academics to gain experience and demonstrate competence. At the individual level, such a disadvantage is unfair. At the collective level, it is also socially unjust. It compromises opportunities for women, who hold disproportionate numbers of contingent, particularly part-time, positions, and for Hispanic and African American faculty, who hold slightly more part-time than full-time positions.
So we must imagine new ways to strengthen the academic profession that validate the work, expertise, and qualifications of colleagues in contingent positions. Otherwise we devalue academic work, particularly in the core activity of teaching, and accede to the prevailing policy perspective that suggests we cannot afford a full-time, tenure-track, autonomous faculty.
Ultimately, contingent faculty should have opportunities to move into a tenure-line position (if they wish) or to achieve job security through other means. Some campuses with collective bargaining have achieved multi-year contracts for contingent faculty.