ERIC Number: ED469020
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Sep
Use of Part-Time Faculty in Higher Education: Numbers and Impact. Briefing Papers.
Colleges and universities of all kinds rely on part-time faculty to teach students from the freshman year through graduate studies, although they are more likely to teach lower division students. Overall, 43% of postsecondary instructional faculty work part-time, while full-time tenure track positions are held by about 18% of faculty members. Part-time faculty are most likely to teach at community colleges (66%) and least likely to teach at public four-year colleges (27%). Some faculty teach part-time by choice, but others who want to work full-time may take jobs at several institutions to survive, leaving themselves less available to students and less engaged in institution affairs. Part-time faculty are deprived of the protection provided by tenure, as are nontenured full-time faculty. The increasing use of nontenure-track and part-time faculty, described as "contingent" faculty by Jane Buck, poses several problems. They may avoid writing assignments to save grading time, or self-censor in the absence of protection for academic freedom. They may inflate student grades or pander to students in an effort to assure a continuing contract. These issues must be addressed to ensure excellence in higher education. (Contains 10 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, Employment Patterns, Faculty Workload, Higher Education, Part Time Faculty, Teacher Characteristics
For full text: http://www.aacu-edu.org/gex/briefingpapers/.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC.
Note: Prepared for the Association of American Colleges and Universities Greater Expectations National Panel.