Kim Mi-seon, a part-time teacher who teaches German has a hard time finding a vacant seat in the lecturers’ room in between classes. Only one room in the Hak-gwan is shared among teachers from the departments of Korean, German, Latin, Spanish, Chinese and French language and literature.
“Sometimes it is literally impossible for all the teachers to fit into the room,” Kim said. “There are too many teachers and one tiny place.”
In addition to the College of Liberal Arts, other colleges with only one room for part time teachers are the colleges of Social Science, Education, and Law, and Scranton College. There are two rooms in the College of Business. Some colleges have no part-time lecturers’ room at all.
Teachers like Kim say, one room is just not enough. One part-time teacher from the College of Social Science, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that the only lecturers’ room in the College of Social Science holds a maximum of five people.
“Teachers just come before and after classes for a short time as there is no place to sit and do their work,” she said. She also mentioned that it is impossible to schedule office hours to talk to students or answer questions, and that teachers do not have a place to store their class materials at school.
One of the colleges that does not have a lecturers’ room, the College of Natural Sciences, says that the reason is because professors have part-time teachers come to school to teach and it is up to the professors to provide rooms. According to a faculty member of the administrative office of the College of Natural Sciences, rather than having a lectures’ room, teachers either share professors’ offices with other professors or get a space in meeting rooms.
The school administration claims that there have been no direct complaints from part-time teachers.
“There have been no complaints from teachers and we think that not many part-time teachers are actually using the room,” said Professor Namkung Gon (Politics and Diplomacy), the dean of the College of Social Science. “For those reasons, one room is efficient. Also there is no more space to make a room for part-time teachers.”
Due to lack of lecturers’ room, some Ewha students also say they go through hardships.
“As part-time teachers do not own their own professors’ offices, it is hard to contact them in person after class. Some teachers asked us to either e-mail or call them but not being able to talk to them face to face causes inconvenience and misunderstandings,” said Park Jung-eun (Sociology, 2).
These are not the only problems. “As part-time teachers are not always at school like professors, they have a tendency to be late to class sometimes,” said Jeong Yeun-hee (Social Studies, 3).
Professor Choi Sung-man (German) says the problem is a real one. “To solve the problem, room capacity should be checked regularly in every building and if a room is vacant most of the time, professors should be assigned to share an office with a part-time teacher. This will probably solve the problems that the teachers are going through nowadays and also provide space for them to research.”
Choi said that, by having one professor share a room with a lecturer, offices would be used more efficiently and the “inferior treatment” of lecturers would improve.
“I hope there to be at least one lecturers’ room provided for teachers in every department in colleges so that we can actually study and research there between classes and even stay after classes,” said Kim.