The use of contingent school in larger training within the United States has grown tremendously over the past three decades. In 1975, only 30.2 % of school had been employed part time; by 2005, according to knowledge compiled by the AAUP from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), part-time faculty represented approximately 48 p.c of all faculty members in the United States.

This development in the use of part-time college has occurred regardless of low pay, virtually nonexistent advantages, insufficient working circumstances, and little or no alternative for career advancement. For instance, my very own analyses in a 2007 article printed in the Journal of Labor Research, “The Relative Earnings of Contingent Faculty in Higher Education,” confirmed that part-time non-tenuretrack college earn between 22 and 40 p.c less than tenuretrack assistant professors on an hourly foundation. Who are these exploited employees, and why do they seem so prepared to work underneath such terms and conditions?

Over the past few years, the AAUP has tried to address the plight of part- and full-time non-tenure-track faculty, especially via the work of the Committee on Contingent Faculty and the Profession. The AAUP’s 2003 coverage statementContingent Appointments and the Academic Profession recommends rising the proportion of college appointments which are on the tenure monitor and enhancing job security for contingent school. Additionally, in 2006 the AAUP adopted into its long-standingRecommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure a new regulation that outlines insurance policies and procedures for the treatment of contingent faculty. This regulation was followed by the publication of the AAUP’s Contingent Faculty Index, which tabulates using contingent and tenure-track appointments at completely different institutions.

Despite the widespread notion that part-time college are exploited, underpaid, and afforded depressing working terms and situations, efforts to arrange and unionize contingent faculty have had only limited success. According to the 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty, 17 p.c of part-time faculty report being a member of a “union or different bargaining affiliation that is legally acknowledged to symbolize the faculty” at their establishment, compared with more than 24 p.c of full-time school. Given the low pay and poor working conditions thought to be prevalent in the contingent academic labor market, how is it that so many individuals are prepared to work beneath such situations, and why do they appear resistant to organizing to improve their lot?

Who Are the Part-Timers?
The 2004 National Study of Postsecondary Faculty, sponsored by the Department of Education and its National Center for Education Statistics, contains responses from 26,108 educational college and staff members representing approximately 1.2 million college staff throughout the United States at private and non-private nonprofit greater education establishments offering an associate’s diploma or larger. My analysis on this article includes all of the respondents and makes use of school sampling weights to account for every respondent’s likelihood of choice into the ultimate pattern.

Approximately forty four % of respondents reported that their institution thought of them to be employed part time in fall 2003.Table 1 presents abstract measures individually for full- and part-time college. Nearly 60 p.c of full-time college are male, whereas only half of part-time college are male. Similarly, full-time workers are more doubtless than part-time workers to be non-Hispanic white (81 percent in contrast with seventy seven percent) and to have dependent kids (51 percent compared with 47 percent).

The most striking distinction between full- and part-time workers is within the proportion who maintain a doctorate or first professional diploma such as an MD or JD. Two-thirds of full-time faculty hold a doctorate or first professional diploma, whereas only 27 % of part-time school hold such a level. Not surprisingly, there are substantial differences in compensation between full- and part-time school. Specifically, the average “basic salary” from one’s institution for full-time school is $65,407, in contrast with only $11,160 for part-time college. Similarly, full-time faculty report a mean complete particular person income of $78,553, while part-time school have a median whole particular person revenue of $51,628. Finally, full-time college report a mean family earnings of $113,831, whereas part-time college report a median household income of $91,798.

Only about half of part-time college report having one other job that’s full time. While some part-time school train at multiple establishments, this is not the norm: 79 p.c of parttime school report that they don’t have another teaching job, whereas 17 percent report instructing at one different institution, and four percent report teaching at two or extra other jobs. There seems to be a whole lot of variety within the experiences of part-time school.

When part-time faculty were requested whether or not they would have most well-liked a full-time position at their present institution, solely 35 percent reported that they’d have most popular such a position. It seems that a majority of part-time college are not seeking full-time employment at their establishment.

Preference for Full Time
The 35 p.c of part-time faculty who stated that they would favor a full-time place can be further divided into three mutually exclusive groups. The three groups (in descending order of size) are (1) those and not utilizing a PhD or first skilled diploma who are not retired (68 percent), (2) those with a PhD or first professional diploma who are not retired (19 percent), and (3) retirees (14 percent).Table 2 presents abstract measures individually for each group.

Members of the first group are less likely to be male (48 percent) than female and are slightly younger than these in the different teams, with an average age of forty-four years old. They work disproportionately within the visual or performing arts or in English language and literature. These people average $10,464 in fundamental salary from their institution and have a mean complete individual revenue of $37,453 and a mean family earnings of $70,931.

Three-quarters of those workers maintain one or more other jobs, but most of these jobs do not contain instructing. A slight majority (54 percent) are of their first postsecondary job, but most have been in the job for five years or extra. Perhaps essentially the most discouraging news is that absolutely 85 percent started their postsecondary careers in part-time positions. This implies that 31 percent of those part-timers— those that wouldn’t have a PhD or first skilled degree and would favor to be full time—began in a parttime position and are still working half time for a minimal of their second institution. It seems that their lack of a terminal diploma may be limiting their career advancement.

The popular media typically depict part-time college as PhD holders who long to acquire full-time tenuretrack positions. The group that the majority closely matches this characterization consists of the 34,415 nonretired part-time workers who hold a terminal diploma and report a desire for working full time. This group is fifty five % male, eighty two p.c non- Hispanic white, and 18 percent single and by no means married. Members of this group are forty-eight years old on common, and approximately half have dependent youngsters. They report an average fundamental wage from their institution of $13,852, with a mean total particular person income of $47,616 and a median family income of $88,230. The distribution of employment throughout fields is much like full-time school, with the exception that members of this group are much less probably than others to work in the well being professions and medical sciences.

Thirty-five p.c report having no different jobs, while forty eight percent report having one different job, and 17 percent report having two or more other jobs. Once again, most of these other jobs don’t involve instruction. Approximately one-third are in their first job, and two-thirds report starting their college careers in part-time positions. It seems that many members of this group of part-time faculty maintain multiple positions, although most of them do not involve teaching. It additionally seems that many of these individuals started in part-time positions and are having a hard time moving out of those positions.

As expected, the 14 % of part-time faculty who wish to work full time and report being retired from one other place are usually older, with a median age of fifty-six years old, and are more doubtless to be male (70 percent). Only 28 p.c of those on this group maintain a doctorate or first skilled diploma. Their common basic wage from their establishment is $10,833, with a mean whole particular person income of $52,926 and a median family revenue of $94,038. Compared with full-time college, members of this group are disproportionately working in enterprise, management, or advertising (12 percent) or laptop and knowledge techniques (7 percent). The typical part-time school member in this class seems to be a male, retired from a successful career, who now teaches business or laptop science programs.

No, Thanks
The sixty five percent of part-time school who report that they would not favor a full-time place at their institution can also be divided into three mutually exclusive groups: (1) those whose place at the college or college where they educate is not their main place (72 percent), (2) these for whom the part-time faculty place is their main place and who usually are not retired from one other place (16 percent), and (3) those that are retired from one other place (12 percent).Table 3 summarizes findings about these three groups.

The proven truth that 72 percent of the part-time school who would not choose a full-time position report that their instructing place just isn’t their major job implies that nearly half of all part-time college maintain what they think about to be their primary job outside of their university appointment. Individuals on this largest group, which is fifty eight percent male and 87 % non-Hispanic white, are forty-eight years old on average and are demographically corresponding to most full-time school. Their average primary salary is $8,132, which is roughly $3,000 lower than the common for all part-time school and likely reflects their lower educating load. On the opposite hand, their common total particular person income is $64,024 and their average family revenue is $104,985, each of which are approximately $13,000 larger than the common for all part-time college.

This group of part-time school is disproportionately represented in the fields of enterprise (10 percent) and education (13 percent). Almost ninety % report that their different job does not contain instructing, and 71 percent report that their different job is full time. The typical member of this group seems to be a profitable midcareer nonacademic, working in both enterprise or schooling, who earns a greater than sufficient wage at a special, main job and thus is willing to show a course or two along with his or her major employment.

The next group of part-time faculty consists of those for whom the teaching position is the primary employment, who are not retired from one other place, and preferring working part to full time. This group is seventy eight percent female, and its members are forty-six years old, on average. Most (72 percent) of the people in this group don’t hold an extra job, and 53 percent report having dependent youngsters. The average basic salary of a member of this group, $21,608, is nearly twice the overall average for part-time school, but the average total individual earnings of $37,236 is approximately $14,000 lower than the typical complete individual income for all part-time college. The average family earnings of these college is $96,276, barely more than the common for all part-time school. Members of this group work disproportionately in the fields of well being professions and scientific sciences (19 percent), training (12 percent), and English language and literature (11 percent). It seems this group is primarily composed of women who train half time in historically female-dominated fields and do not hold terminal degrees or other jobs.

Last are the greater than forty thousand part-time faculty who’re retired from other positions and wouldn’t choose to work full time. These people are older, with a mean age of sixty-two years old. The common primary wage from the institution for a member of this group is larger than most part-time school, at $14,943, while the common complete individual revenue of $52,538 and average household income of $93,588 are fairly much like the incomes of most other part-time faculty.

No Typical Part-Timer
It appears from this analysis that there is no stereotypical part-time school member, and that part-time college have diverse motivations for pursuing teaching positions in greater education. While some part-time college seem to desire a full-time position at their current institution, a majority of part-time college specific no desire for such a place. These part-time school are not at present on the lookout for career advancement in greater schooling and produce other causes for endeavor a instructing place at a university or university. The prepared supply of individuals who prefer to hold part-time positions makes the labor market for parttime school who hope to maneuver to full-time positions more difficult.

Two factors appear to limit the flexibility of part-time college to move to full-time positions. First, the supply and willingness of so many current and retired workers to hold part-time teaching positions at comparatively modest salaries and with out ambition for a full-time teaching appointment provide an ample supply of ready replacements for directors keen to fill school rooms with part-time appointees. Second, most part-time faculty who want a full-time place at their institution don’t hold a doctorate or first skilled diploma. These terminal degrees are considered an absolute prerequisite for many everlasting, full-time faculty positions. No amount of need and onerous work is prone to overcome this shortcoming on one’s curriculum vitae.

Policies on contingent school need to keep in mind the variety of backgrounds and objectives of individuals working in part-time positions. While it could be tempting to assume that the majority part-time college would like, and are in pursuit of, a fulltime place, this view is faulty and leaves most part-time college out of the image. Institutional insurance policies and contingent faculty advocates should present help and sources designed to help part-time school obtain the terminal levels needed for profession advancement along with addressing different problems with interest to those part-time college who prefer to stay half time in addition to those looking for full-time employment.

James Monks is associate professor of economics at the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business.

Raw statistics might not tell every little thing. I taught part-time at Rutgers University and the University of Maryland – College Park and Baltimore County — for over twenty years, ) (with a historical past PhD from Duke, 1968), however began a long profession as a public historian with the Federal Government in 1972. Student load (50-70 per course) put my yearly contact fee easily on par with the full-timers, although I after all had no committee obligations and only some graduate college students from time to time. In sum, my expertise is not uncommon among government historians, most of whom chose that profession track as a end result of tutorial openings have been limited, but their selection mustn’t imply that they have no curiosity in such work, only that the passage of time makes a transition to a full-time tutorial place much less probably.


All true. But the solution to the increasingly entrenched school inequities in American larger education just isn’t in serving to abused PTers to turn out to be FTTTers; the solution is in narrowing the large gap between the 2 tracks, gaps in qualifications and duties in addition to in remuneration. When differing credentials do exist, they are a symptom of the vastness of the inequity, not a justification or clarification for it or a reason it could’t or should not be addressed. Plenty of PTers caught on the adjunct observe DO have equal credentials, though due to various different life circumstances they won’t declare equity as their due. So others ought to, as the author and others from AAUP are doing: allowing the system that’s given rise to such inequity to proceed unadjusted is like perpetuating serfdom on the grounds that serfs normally smile whenever you cross them on the street.


The Part-time school are committed to the scholars and to educating. As a part-timer for 9 years, it appears that the economics are the problem, when a part-timer is unable to assist themselves even when instructing at a couple of school. The report doesn’t account for the variables of instructing at quite a few faculties without advantages, access to skilled development and/or furthering one’s tutorial pursuits as part of the college neighborhood. Adjunct college are excluded rather than included and if not for the precise instructing, it’s a surprise that they/we proceed underneath such harsh financial and social structure within the United States. That is the most alarming part, that this can happen within the land of opportunity. I suppose that the worldwide neighborhood could be shocked.


Unfortunately your research fails to analyze one crucial situation which may affect the PT/FT “selection” — namely “research”. At many establishments, tenure-track positions are only offered to those who have analysis interests, especially these that are able to bringing in outside research dollars. Teaching is at finest a secondary requirement. For these of us who are more excited about educating than research, one might select between a FT position at a neighborhood school, which limits entry to superior courses and college students, or a PT place at an excellent college or analysis college. In other words, the FT/PT problems boils right down to an increasingly “one size does not fit all” problem on the FTTT end. Yes — I even have a doctorate. And Yes — I actually have a very understanding spouse.


There’s a trend towards “teaching specialists” — school who might be tenure-track however preferring instructing and are excellent at it. They signal five-year renewable contracts and focus on teaching massive numbers of students. See Dirk Mateer’s “Tale of Two Teachers” at /clarion_call/article.html?id=1981.

J. S. S.

One really needs to know much more about how the data here was collected. It appears that responses got here from about 2% of the pool, but what 2%? If responses had been extra likely from 4-year establishments than from 2-year establishments, that may produce an infinite skew in the results, as on the order of 2/3 of educating at 2-year colleges is done by part-timers, while nearer to 1/3 is done by part-timers at 4-year schools.

Are we together with graduate college students in educating assistantships as part-timers or not? That would clearly decrease the number with full-time levels. It would enhance the number not looking for other employment, for whom a part-time instructing job is the first job, and decrease the quantity eager to be full-time (“Not until I’ve finished the dissertation”).

Those who consider being a graduate pupil their major job would report that the part-time educating just isn’t their major job, although it could be the one income-producing work they’ve.

Even if we now have acceptable proportionate questionnaire responses from 2-year and 4-year schools and usually are not together with graduate students, those part-timers working multiple positions might be less likely to return a questionnaire, as they’re actually quite busy trying to earn a living; those that’ve been permatemping at universities for 2 or three a long time might have little persistence for filling out yet another survey, as well. We need a lot more data. in regards to the data pool to properly decide the aggregated statistics. Given that the info here was gathered in 2004, it could be time for an additional survey, additionally. I used to (a decade to a decade and a half ago) do surveys alongside these traces within establishments I worked at in CUNY, and whereas the groupings haven’t modified so much, the apportioning among them was considerably different. I do not recall ever having a lot above 1/3 of part-timers at 4-year institutions I surveyed working full-time jobs elsewhere, for instance.

T. D.

Looking on the NCES description of the survey permits me to answer some, but not all of the questions I put beforehand.

Teaching assistants were not counted, however there is a range of different conditions by which graduate college students are employed for teaching duties (most mainly, merely hiring them as part-time school after a yr or two of instructing assistantship) that’s not addressed. The breakdown of response sources just isn’t evident; although it is acknowledged in the examine design that the 2004 study coated both personal and public institutions, and that the initial survey ( ) covered 2-year, 4-year and doctoral institutions, there’s nothing readily obvious about the distribution amongst these groups. One thing that’s evident is that response charges decline with every administration of the survey. One wonders about trends amongst those who don’t respond.


Wow. That “part-time faculty are exploited, underpaid, and afforded miserable working terms and conditions” isn’t a perception, it’s a actuality. They are paid much less, work more durable, have fewer advantages, have much less safety and are accorded less respect than full-time faculty.

It is true that many adjunct professors don’t acknowledge the nature of their exploitation, but that’s even truer of full-time professors – a particularly confused group, nearly all of which doesn’t even understand that they’re employees.

The question isn’t whether or not part-time college would favor a full-time place – the question is whether they need equal pay, decent working circumstances and meaningful work.

As lengthy as our unions act as job trusts, they’ll have little attraction to the unorganized and marginalized. The future of the AAUP will be largely determined by how we relate to the contingent college. Perpetuating mistaken notions – that contingent labor is less qualified than full-time college, or that they really want awful working circumstances – does not help in the important process of building solidarity.


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