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ERIC Number: EJ1115567
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0748-8475
The Professoriate Reconsidered: A Study of New Faculty Models
Kezar, Adrianna; Maxey, Daniel; Holcombe, Elizabeth
Thought & Action, v32 n1 p65-88 Sum 2016
In recent decades, the employment model in higher education has markedly changed. Tenure-track faculty now represent just about 30 percent of the instructional faculty across all non-profit institutions. Meanwhile, most faculty members who provide instruction at colleges and universities today are non-tenure-track faculty, the majority of them employed as adjuncts on term-to-term contracts, receiving meager compensation and usually no access to benefits, and encountering unsatisfactory working conditions. A mounting body of evidence suggests that institutions' failure to support this segment of faculty is resulting in numerous negative impacts on the enterprise. Specifically, it is detrimental to student learning and outcomes. This includes problems for first-year persistence, retention, transfers from two-to four-year colleges, and graduation rates. There are signs of strain as a shrinking pool of tenure-track faculty takes on an increasing and likely unsustainable level of responsibility for satisfying the multiple obligations of curriculum development, departmental and other forms of service, and conducting research. In the face of these conditions, the Delphi Project has sought to consider different faculty employment models and initiate a nationwide discussion aimed at creating a compelling vision for the future of the professoriate that will: (1) be attractive to new faculty members; (2) more effectively facilitate student learning; (3) respond to external stakeholders' critiques; and (4) better sustain campus and systemic operations, and the health of the profession and overall enterprise. The project emerged from the belief that the best way to begin developing such a vision is to examine the perspectives of a wide array of higher education stakeholders and to identify key areas of agreement that reflect opportunities for groups to work together toward change. (This article is an excerpt of a longer report from The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success at the University of Southern California.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A