ERIC Number: EJ861804
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Who Are the Part-Time Faculty?
Academe, v95 n4 p33-37 Jul-Aug 2009
The use of contingent faculty in higher education in the United States has grown tremendously over the past three decades. In 1975, only 30.2 percent of faculty were employed part time; by 2005, according to data compiled by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), part-time faculty represented approximately 48 percent of all faculty members in the United States. This growth in the use of part-time faculty has occurred despite low pay, almost nonexistent benefits, inadequate working conditions, and little or no opportunity for career advancement. The author presents the findings of a study of who actually constitutes the part-time faculty in higher education. The study shows that 35 percent of part-time faculty who stated that they would prefer a full-time position can be divided into three mutually exclusive groups: (1) those without a PhD or first professional degree who are not retired (68 percent); (2) those with a PhD or first professional degree who are not retired (19 percent); and (3) retirees (14 percent). On the other hand, 65 percent of part-time faculty who report that they would not prefer a full-time position at their institution can also be divided into three mutually exclusive groups: (1) those whose position at the college or university where they teach is not their primary position (72 percent); (2) those for whom the part-time faculty position is their primary position and who are not retired from another position (16 percent); and (3) those who are retired from another position (12 percent). It appears from the author's analysis that there is no stereotypical part-time faculty member, and that part-time faculty have diverse motivations for pursuing teaching positions in higher education. While some part-time faculty appear to desire a full-time position at their current institution, a majority of part-time faculty express no desire for such a position.
Descriptors: Higher Education, College Faculty, Part Time Faculty, Tenure, Occupational Surveys, Teacher Surveys, Employment Practices, Teacher Characteristics
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aaup.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States