Another Telling Report on the Increase in Contingent Faculty


What follows is a news release from the American Institutes for Research. It turns out (1) that hiring more adjunct and full-time non-tenure-eligible faculty has reduced instructional budgets but has not reduced institutional budgets and (2) that the reliance on contingent faculty has an inverse correlation with the compensation of tenure-eligible faculty—that is, the money not being spent on tenure-track positions is not going into the pockets of those who continue to hold such positions.

Colleges are increasingly hiring lower-paid part-time and limited-term contingent faculty, who in 2013 made up more than half of all instructors in higher education, finds an American Institutes for Research (AIR) study for the TIAA Institute. This trend has led to cost savings in salaries and benefits for instructors, but hasn’t translated to the same level of savings when looking at the total compensation of all employees.  

Part-time, also known as adjunct, contingent faculty…

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