When college administrators explain why they hire part-time faculty, instead of pricier full-timers, they often conjure images of instructors such as Kim Rensing, who teaches criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
A lawyer who spent a decade in the St. Louis County prosecutor's office, Rensing has a wealth of real-world experiences not typically found among academics who spend their entire lives in and around classrooms.
"It gives me an advantage over someone who's never practiced," said Rensing, who's been an adjunct instructor at UMSL since 2007.
For a university without its own law school, Rensing represents an inexpensive way to add expertise to the faculty roster. She needs no office. No phone. Only a mailbox and a university email account. And best of all, she's paid just a small portion of what a full tenured professor would cost.