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ERIC Number: EJ850014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
What We Can't Say about Contingent Faculty
Tam, Teresa; Jacoby, Daniel
Academe, v95 n3 p19-22 May-Jun 2009
The effects of reliance on part-time faculty in higher education have been much discussed of late. Most observers now agree that the increasing reliance on contingent academic labor has worrisome consequences for both students and faculty. The authors recently attempted to provide needed analysis of what drives the current reliance on part-time faculty and how policy makers can best respond. Their research illustrated the inadequacy of the existing data on part-time faculty wages. They were able to find most of the data they believed were essential to an evaluation of the market for parttime labor, including rates of faculty unionization, an indicator of the potential supply of graduate students, and the percentages of students who are part time at the institutions they examined. Most of the data they used were obtained from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the core higher education data collection program for the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). But a reliable measure of part-time faculty wages was missing. Such data are not currently collected nationwide at the institutional level. Without reliable data on wages, the validity of key arguments in the debate about part-time faculty cannot be assessed. A standardized definition of part-time faculty must be agreed upon at the national level. Part-time wage data will not be useful unless institutions are consistent in how they report data. A federal mandate may be a way to create this standardization, though enforcing it to a point where the data obtained from institutions are usable will be challenging.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A