Posts Tagged ‘colleges’


Special mention

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The new “Issue Brief” for the Delta Cost Project at the American Institutes of Research [pdf] demonstrates what all of us in the field have been seeing over the course of the past decade: colleges and universities have continued to hire new faculty members but most of the increase is from the growing use of part-time faculty, especially at public institutions. Even at private institutions, where full-time faculty have grown (but still less than the growth of part-time and contingent faculty), the number of full-time professors on short-term contracts has increased dramatically.

As the number of part-time instructors grows, job security continues to erode among full-time faculty. Academics today are less likely than a decade ago to have tenure, hold a tenure-track position, or be full professors. Although tenure systems are a mainstay at research universities and public master’s institutions, they have become less prevalent at other public and private institutions. The proportion of tenured faculty has declined across the board, even in sectors with nearly universal access to tenure systems. In 2012, less than half of full-time instructional staff at public and private four-year institutions held tenure, a decline of 4 to 5 percentage points since 2000. And among full-time faculty, the share of “professors” declined by more than 4 percentage points since 2003, as adjuncts and other contingent faculty were increasingly at the lectern.