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Sessional Instructors by the Numbers

According to the list of academic staff members that the University Administration provides to the Faculty Association, there are currently 2,418 academic staff members at the University of Calgary (Datamart: September 21, 2021). Of these, 552 (23 per cent) are sessional instructors. Some faculties appear to rely on sessionals more than others.

While the Faculty of Arts has the most sessionals staff (189), other faculties, such as Werklund School of Education and Nursing, have more sessionals as a proportion of total academic staff with sessionals making up more than 40 per cent of the total academic staff in those faculties.

Based on the list of courses provided to the Faculty Association by the Administration, we estimated that sessional instructors were responsible for about 27 per cent of the credit course delivery at the University of Calgary in the 2020-2021 academic year. In comparison, we estimated that the Instructor stream (Instructor; Senior Instructor; Teaching Professors) were responsible for about 21 per cent of course delivery in the 2020-2021 academic year. The Collective Agreement allows for 13 reasons for the hiring of sessional instructors. With 30 per cent, the most common reason given for Fall 2021 is to enable the offering of a course in an area outside of the expertise of current ongoing academic staff. Meanwhile, only 7 per cent of sessional instructors in Fall 2021 were hired to provide teaching experience for graduate students.

About 56 per cent of sessional instructors are women, according to the list of academic staff members that the University Administration provides to the Faculty Association. For comparison, about 42 per cent of the ongoing academic staff are women.

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