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ERIC Number: ED532273
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
The Changing Faculty and Student Success: Selected Research on Connections between Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Student Learning
Kezar, Adrianna; Maxey, Daniel
Pullias Center for Higher Education
It is important to understand existing research on the connections between non-tenure-track faculty and student learning and to continue to research these issues. Although working conditions vary across the academy and even within a single institution, many faculty--particularly part-timers--are not permitted to contribute to curriculum planning and design, are often hired within days of the start of the semester (which impedes planning and preparation), are not provided office space for office hours and other work, and do not receive support from administrative staff or resources to support instruction. These conditions are problematic, but so are inequitable compensation, job insecurity, the denial of healthcare benefits and retirement plans, exclusion from meaningful participation in governance and professional development, and a lack of respect for non-tenure-track faculty from tenured faculty and administrators on many campuses. The cumulative impact of working conditions impedes individual instructors' ability to interact with students and apply their many talents, creativity, and varied knowledge to maximum effect in the classroom. Many prior studies and reports have been used to justify a positive working environment for tenured and tenure-track faculty. Yet, the same rationale is not always applied to the fastest-growing segment of the faculty on campuses. This paper presents a list of five effects on student outcomes that have been tied to overreliance on non-tenure-track faculty. The bibliography that follows on page 3 includes summaries of research on non-tenure-track faculty and student outcomes, followed by a list of citations for other selected publications and reports that detail the growing numbers of non-tenure-faculty and their working conditions more specifically. It is important to acknowledge that findings do not--or should not--implicate non-tenure-track faculty, as individuals, as being responsible for negative outcomes. In fact, research finds that these faculty, whose primary responsibility is to teach undergraduate students, are largely committed to teaching, student learning, and often bring useful professional and real-world experience to their work, enhancing the classroom experience.
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