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ERIC Number: ED532269
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
The Changing Faculty and Student Success: National Trends for Faculty Composition over Time
Kezar, Adrianna; Maxey, Daniel
Pullias Center for Higher Education
The nature of the American academic workforce has fundamentally shifted over the past several decades. Whereas full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty were once the norm, the professoriate is now comprised of mostly non-tenure-track faculty. In 1969, tenured and tenure-track positions made up approximately 78.3% of the faculty and non-tenure-track positions comprised about 21.7% (Schuster & Finkelstein, 2006). Forty years later, in 2009 these proportions had nearly flipped; tenured and tenure-track faculty had declined to 33.5% and 66.5% of faculty were ineligible for tenure (AFT Higher Education Data Center, 2009). Of the non-tenure-track positions, 18.8% were full-time and 47.7% were part-time. The recent rate of growth underscores the significant increased reliance on non-tenure-track faculty, particularly part-timers. Analysis of data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT, 2009) shows that between 1997 and 2007 tenure-track positions increased by 34,109 or 8.6%; full-time non-tenure-track positions grew by 64,733 or 38.2%; and part-time positions grew by 173,529 or 42.6% (AFT, 2009). Available IPEDS data from 2009 demonstrate a continuing decline in tenured and tenure-track positions from 34.5% in 2007 to 33.5% in 2009, offset by a 1% rise in part-time faculty (AFT Higher Education Data Center, n.d.). The AFT analysis did not include data from for-profit institutions, which are comprised almost entirely of non-tenure-track positions. Also, whereas the AFT study considered the number of graduate assistants employed in its reports, the role of graduate assistants in instruction is not always clear. The percentages included in this report have been adjusted to represent faculty positions only. (Contains 2 figures and 1 footnote.)
Pullias Center for Higher Education. University of Southern California Rossier School of Education, Waite Phillips Hall Room 701, 3470 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089. Tel: 213-740-7218; Fax: 213-740-3889; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation; Teagle Foundation; Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Authoring Institution: Association of American Colleges and Universities; University of Southern California, Pullias Center for Higher Education
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A