Members Statements Research Contacts News

Research and Reports



A Portrait of Part-Time Faculty Members: A Summary of Findings on Part-Time Faculty Respondents to the Coalition on the Academic Workforce Survey of Contingent Faculty Members and Instructors (2012)

In an effort to address the lack of data on contingent faculty members and their working conditions, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) fielded an ambitious survey in fall 2010, seeking information about the courses these faculty members were teaching that term, where they were teaching them, and for what pay and benefits. The survey received close to 30,000 responses, with more than 10,000 coming from faculty members who were teaching part-time at an institution or institutions of higher education in fall 2010. The responses from these part-time faculty members provide the basis for a detailed portrait of the work patterns, remuneration, and employment conditions for what has long been the fastest-growing and is now the largest part of the academic workforce.

CAW Contingent Faculty Survey Results for History

This report analyzes a subset of the 2010 CAW Survey of Contingent Faculty Members and Instructors, looking at respondents who indicated that they work in the field of history.

CAW Contingent Faculty Survey Results for Art Education, Art History, and Studio Art/Design Faculty

This report analyzes a subset of the 2010 CAW Survey of Contingent Faculty Members and Instructors, looking only at respondents who indicated that they work in the fields of art history, art education or studio art/design.

CAW Issue Brief: "One Faculty Serving All Students" (2010)

The CAW issue brief calls on institutions of higher education to work toward ensuring that all college and university faculty members are recognized and supported as professionals committed to providing a quality education to all students. “One Faculty Serving All Students” calls for improvements in the current staffing ratios at colleges and universities, increased support for faculty members serving in contingent positions, and inclusion of all faculty members in the work and life of their institutions.

Who Is Teaching In U.S. College Classrooms? A CAW Study of Undergraduate Faculty (1999)

In 1999, CAW organized a survey of staffing practices across eleven humanities and social science disciplines and found "compelling new evidence about the use and treatment of part-time and adjunct faculty, highlighting the dwindling proportion of full-time tenure-track faculty members teaching in undergraduate classrooms, and providing solid evidence of the second-class status of part-time and adjunct employees in the academy." The CAW survey includes comparable data from anthropology, cinema studies, English, film studies, folklore, foreign languages, linguistics, history, philology, philosophy, composition, and political science.

MLA's Academic Workforce Advocacy Kit

A collection of resources designed to help all members of the academic community advocate for the right working conditions for faculty members and the ideal learning environment for students. The kit includes two MLA reports published in December 2008: "Education in the Balance: A Report on the Academic Workforce in English" and "Demography of the Faculty: A Statistical Portrait of English and Foreign Languages."

AFT's FACE Toolkit

AFT's Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) initiative is a national campaign to reverse the crisis in instructional staffing at our nation's colleges and universities. The FACE Toolkit includes research and data that AFT has compiled in this area as well as links to other outside research to help you gain a better understanding of the instructional staffing situation in our colleges and universities.

The Delphi Project on The Changing Faculty and Student Success

This project offers resources that address issues related to the changing composition of the professoriate, including The Imperative for Change, which outlines the necessity for addressing the changing faculty and its implications for student learning outcomes, equity, and institutional risk management; and Embracing Non-Tenure Track Faculty: Changing Campuses for the New Faculty Majority.

CAA Resources: Contingent Faculty

This Web page by the College Art Association offers resources for and about contingent faculty, including selections from CAA News, links to organizations and projects, publications and documents, and other resources.

Humanities Indicators Project

The Humanities Indicators, a project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, provides statistical tools for answering basic questions about undergraduate and graduate degrees in the humanities, the humanities workforce and occupations of humanities graduates, humanities education in primary and secondary schools, funding of humanities research, scholarship and educational programs, public understanding of the humanities and their impact, and other areas of concern in the humanities community.

The Steve Street National Unemployment Compensation Initiative

A campaign of the New Faculty Majority: The National Coalition for Adjuncts & Contingency Equity, this project offers a general step-by-step tutorial in applying for unemployment compensation and provides links to specific filing procedures for individual states.

AHA Ad Hoc Committee on Contingent Faculty: Final Report (2016)

This report was approved by the AHA Council in January 2016. It represents the AHA's most recent work to understand and improve the condition of historians employed as adjunct or other non-tenure-track faculty and contains recommendations for action. See also this article on the work of the committee:

The Employment Status of Instructional Staff Members in Higher Education, Fall 2011 (2014)

This tabulation of employment status data from the US Department of Education IPEDS fall 2011 census includes full-time faculty members by tenure status, part-time faculty members, and graduate student employees. It provides breakouts by institutional categories, gender, and race or ethnicity, and includes the actual numbers in tables to enable further analysis. As a data report without further interpretation, it is intended as a reference to be drawn on for answers to any number of specific questions.

Contingent Commitments: Bringing Part-Time Faculty Into Focus (2014)

A special report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement that offers college leaders ways to strengthen the role of part-time faculty in their own institutions in specific areas, including hiring, setting expectations, and orientation; professional development and support; evaluation and incentives; integration of part-time faculty into student success initiatives; and, more broadly, creating an institutional culture that embraces the role of part-time faculty. The report provides data and findings from over 70,000 two-year college faculty members who responded to the Center's Community College Faculty Survey of Student Engagement between 2009 and 2013.

Physics and Astronomy Academic Workforce (2013)

These reports from the American Institute of Physics present the workforce data gathered by their Statistical Research Center. Some data on part-time faculty is included here, but their primary focus is full-time staffing. A good deal of gender and racial breakdown information is also included for many of the categories within the academic workforce represented.

OAH Conference Panel on Adjunct Employment in History (2010)

At the April 2010 OAH annual meeting, members of the OAH Committee on Part-Time and Adjunct Employment gathered for a panel presentation on the growing role of part-time and contingent faculty in history. In a session entitled “‘Come Together’: Part-Time/Contingent Faculty in History,” committee members analyzed the changing composition of the modern higher education faculty, the viability of the 2003 AHA-OAH Joint Standards on Part-Time and Adjunct Employment, the need to define contingent faculty more precisely, and the virtue of affording them greater respect and a larger role in faculty governance.

Access to Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Contingent Faculty (2007)

This booklet from the Chicago Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor provides information on obtaining unemployment insurance benefits for non-tenure track college teachers while they are between semesters. It also aims to help unemployment insurance officials, higher education administrators, court and appeals process personnel, legislators, and other elected officials understand the financial and emotional challenges the current system imposes on those charged with educating college students.

LSA Research Report on the Status of Women Faculty in Linguistics Departments (2007)

Academic Collective Bargaining (2006)

In response to the changing academic labor market, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) assembled this 2006 volume on the history and practice of academic collective bargaining, a valuable tool for contingent and tenure-line faculty alike. Part 4 may be of particular interest to contingent faculty, as it includes case studies of collective bargaining experiences gathered from faculty of all ranks and positions. This text will be an invaluable tool for anyone considering joining or forming a collective bargaining unit on their campus. AAUP and MLA members receive a discount when purchasing this book.

Depending on the Contingent: The Hidden Costs for History (2006)

Linda K. Kerber, president of AHA and faculty at University of Iowa who was once contingent faculty herself, uses this April 2006 Perspectives article to "reveal and publicize the hidden costs of reliance on contingent faculty." She counts history among the disciplines least reliant on contingents, citing Robert Townsend's data analysis for AHA showing that only 9 percent of all history faculty are neither tenured already or in tenure-track positions. This number does not properly represent the information she later includes here: that 25 percent of all history faculty at four-year schools is part-time and that just 57 percent of those at two-year colleges are tenured or on the tenure track. Kerber instead uses her piece to emphasize the shifting definition of contingent faculty members, which sometimes includes teaching graduate students and sometimes does not, and widening the problem to employment in history outside the university, which has also become subject to the economic forces that make non-permanent positions administratively appealing.

Federal Faculty Survey Shows Gains for History Employment but Lagging Salaries (2006)

This March 2006 Perspectives article discusses history-specific data from the 2003 NSOPF, most notably that part-time faculty decreased by just over 7 percent at four-year colleges and universities while full-time faculty increased by just over 33 percent since the 1998 NSOPF. Part-time faculty were 25.1 percent of the teaching population at four-year colleges and universities in 2003. Two-year colleges were a different story, with an 8.4 percent decrease in full-time positions and an 11.2 percent increase in part-time positions. While these numbers do not reflect the full body of contingent faculty as defined by CAW, this piece goes on to include data on tenure-line faculty, just 56.7 percent of history faculty at either two- or four-year institutions. The report also compares history to other humanities and social sciences in terms of tenured and tenure-line faculty numbers, salaries for varying ranks, and gender breakdown, drawing all data from NSOPF.

Educational Technology and "Roads Scholars" (2005)
This article is available through JSTOR (subscription or pay-per-view) or Questia (subscription).

Anthea Tillyer, whose central work is on educational technology, uses this article from the July-August 2005 issue of AAUP's Academe to explore the new dominance of such systems in terms of the academic labor market. She contends that adjunct faculty rarely have access to computers on campus, much less up-to-date software and systems, making it even harder for them to meet the demands made on them by students and administrators to increase use of technology in their classrooms.

Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education (2005)

This is an organizing handbook for contingent faculty—the thousands of non-tenure track college teachers who love their work but hate their jobs. It examines the situation of adjunct professors in U.S. higher education today and puts forward an agenda around which they can mobilize to transform their jobs and their institutions.

Gender Differences among Contingent Faculty: A Literature Review (2005)

This 2005 report from the Association for Women in the Sciences describes research conducted throughout 2004 and 2005, including a gathering of data on faculty in science and engineering from a variety of sources. The researchers have gathered data from a variety of sources and drawn it together in useful ways to discuss what is and is not known about contingent faculty and gender with a particular focus on the sciences.

Annual Survey of the Mathematical Sciences: Faculty Profile (2004)

This brief report excerpts a faculty profile from the annual survey data collected by the AMS. Published each year in September, these data show faculty statistics in real numbers in tables and figures and save percentages for the extensive discussion attached. The rhetoric surrounding these figures is not policy oriented but does take careful note of trends in statistics over the last number of years seven for this report. In 2004 the number of non tenure-track full-time appointments was up 45 percent from 1998, with part-time faculty up 19 percent, and tenure-line faculty down 1 percent. This data was collected from math departments at four-year schools in fall 2004.

2003-2004 CSWMG Placement Report: Division of Professional Matters of the American Philological Association (2004)

Three pages of text discuss placement statistics evolving from 2000 to 2004 in this report, which consists primarily of tables and figures demonstrating all data collected. While the purpose of this piece of writing is to illuminate the position of women and minorities in classics, the data also reveal trends in positions offered and to whom. Notably, an increase in the number of non-tenure track, full-time positions is noted, as is the likelihood that a tenure-line position will be offered to a candidate who has already held a contingent full-time position. This report also includes valuable information on part-time placements and other contingent-relevant data at the back.

Academic Relations: The Use of Supplementary Faculty (2004)

This 2004 research brief on contingent faculty in sociology uses data from the 2000-2001 ASA survey of departments (all supplied by department chairs) to examine "size, scope, and costs and benefits of those faculty members referred to as supplementary." They front their discipline-specific data with general figures from NSOPF (2002) and AAUP (2003); this early discussion also carefully defines their terms and describes analytic methodology, including their inclusion of graduate student teaching faculty in the supplementary category and of non tenure-line, full-time faculty in the full-time category. With these specifications, 61.9 percent of all sociology faculty were full-time in AY 2000/2001, with the other 38.1 percent of faculty categorized as supplementary. They have found that full-time numbers are stable, but that both student enrollments and, subsequently, supplementary faculty numbers are rising. This report includes a variety of data on supplementary faculty, including that they teach a total of 22.5 percent of sociology courses and have average salaries well below the CAW-recommended $3000 per course. The final sections discuss the reasons such faculty are used primarily lower cost and higher flexibility but careful emphasis is placed on the reporting chairs understanding of the problems of contingent faculty use.

The State of the History Department: The 2001-02 AHA Department Survey (2004)

Published in the April 2004 Perspectives, this short piece summarizes data from the 2001-2002 academic year as collected in the AHA department survey, which reported figures on just over half the total number of history faculty at that time. Three general classifications are used for faculty: full-time, part-time, and graduate faculty, and with those three types, data are presented to show how faculty are used for staffing within the historical profession with specific tables included for specialty and field of teaching. This piece does not break out non tenure-line faculty who are employed full-time; methodology and full survey description are included in endnotes, however.

Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups: Report on 2002-2003 Department Survey (2003)

A short report narrative fronts a comprehensive set of charts and tables in this short publication on classics faculty from the American Philological Association. While the report centers on gender and race in its statistical breakdown, it includes the overall staffing numbers needed to underpin more specific staffing category percentages. As such, several sets of figures show trends in hiring and staffing among classics faculty from 1997 to 2003: tenure-track hires, tenure granting, part-time specific, and non-tenure line faculty of all types.

Exploring the Role of Contingent Instructional Staff in Undergraduate Learning: New Directions for Higher Education, No. 123 (2003)

This 2003 volume seeks to foster a dialogue, long overdue, between those who believe that the academy has failed to give adequate respect and support to undergraduate instruction and those who believe that the academy has failed to give adequate support and respect to the selection and terms and conditions of employment of undergraduate instructors. It may be that the increasing dependence on contingent appointments imperils undergraduate learning no less than it imperils the future of the academic profession.

Contingent Faculty and Student Learning (2002)

The Fall 2002 issue of the Association of American Colleges and Universities' Peer Review, explores issues and trends associated with the use of part-time and full-time non-tenure-track faculty. In particular, this issue focuses on the impact of these trends on the quality of students' educational experiences.

The New Professoriate: Characteristics, Contributions, and Compensation (2002)

This 2002 report uses the numbers from the 1998 NSOPF to discuss faculty breakdown and characteristics including gender, education level, and race, accompanied by tables and figures. They use "nontraditional" to refer to contingent faculty and "traditional" to refer to full-time, tenure-line faculty as they present their analysis, which includes a look at how the academic workforce has grown since the 1980s and explores some reasons administrators have made the staffing decisions that have increased non-tenure line faculty so significantly.

Who Is Doing The Teaching... And How Are They Being Supported?: Survey on the Use of Part-Time Instructors Report (2001)

This 2001 report shares comprehensive results from AAA's 1999 survey of anthropology departments, portions of which were included in the larger CAW survey report from AHA. Pay, other benefits, and staffing structures were at issue in the AAA survey. According to this survey, just over half of all anthropology instructors were then full-time, tenure-track faculty members, and the majority of the remaining faculty were either part-time contingent faculty or graduate assistants. The percentage of full-time contingent faculty was very small (less than 6 percent), showing a different trend from many other disciplines. The report is comprehensive and includes discussions and tables for all figures, including an early section on response rates for all the CAW-based surveys done at this time.

Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Priorities and Problems of the APA (2000)

This 2000 report from the American Philosophical Association begins with a discussion of two problems and statements of priorities that are relevant to contingent faculty. First, the organization admits that it does not have current, discipline-specific staffing data often requested by members. Their 1994 member survey required extensive volunteer work on the part of the membership, especially as they have a small national office staff at the University of Delaware. They recommend that the organization strategize to improve data collection for many of its top concerns. Its top stated concern, immediately following this statement on data, is contingent faculty, which they describe as "part-time and adjunct faculty." Here, they discuss the growing concern about contingents in academia, particularly the humanities, but they couple this with their lack of data on that subject. They recommend the formation of a special task to focus on contingent faculty and begin to manage this issue in-house.

Forum on Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty: Papers from the AIA/APA Joint Annual Meeting, December 1998

In 1998 the APA held a session about contingent faculty at its annual meeting. Abstracts of presentations appear here.

The US Dept. of Education report "Part-time Instructional Faculty and Staff: Who They Are, What They Do, and What They Think" (1992)

This report describes the characteristics and attitudes of part-time instructional faculty and staff in fall 1992. It includes a compendium of tables on the characteristics, work activities, attitudes, and compensation of part-time and full-time instructional faculty and staff in public and private not-for-profit 2-year-and-above postsecondary institutions. It offers researchers and policymakers a resource for making comparisons with future NSOPF reports on part-time faculty.