Jun 26 2012

Understanding the Contingent Faculty Workforce

Category: ResearchBob Hanke @ 3:57 am

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 in the U.S.

Key Findings
While the report provides details on demographics, working conditions, and professional support as reported by the faculty respondents who indicated they were teaching part-time in fall 2010, several key indicators stand out that show how heavily colleges and universities are relying on part-time faculty members while failing to support them adequately.
◆ The median pay per course, standardized to a three-credit course, was $2,700 in fall 2010 and ranged in the aggregate from a low of $2,235 at two-year colleges to a high of $3,400 at four-year doctoral or research universities. While compensation levels varied most consistently by type of institution, part-time faculty respondents report low compensation rates per course across all institutional categories.
◆ Part-time faculty respondents saw little, if any, wage premium based on their credentials. Their compensation lags behind professionals in other fields with similar credentials, and they experienced little in the way of a career ladder (higher wages after several years of work).
◆ Professional support for part-time faculty members’ work outside the classroom and inclusion in academic decision making was minimal.
◆ Part-time teaching is not necessarily temporary employment, and those teaching part-time do not necessarily prefer a part-time to a full-time position. Over 80% of respondents reported teaching part-time for more than three years, and over half for more than six years. Furthermore, over three-quarters of respondents said they have sought, are now seeking, or will be seeking a full-time tenure-track position, and nearly three-quarters said they would definitely or probably accept a full-time tenure-track position at the institution at which they were currently teaching if such a position were offered.
◆ Course loads varied significantly among respondents. Slightly more than half taught one course or two courses during the fall 2010 term, while slightly fewer than half taught three or more courses.

To read the whole survey, click here.

Next Steps
This report is only a beginning. The findings suggest numerous questions for further research. The survey data file is available to qualified researchers, and CAW urges them to probe the data gathered by the fall 2010 survey to produce further reports and insights. CAW will also be exploring how this survey might be regularized to develop trend data on the working conditions of the contingent academic workforce. For information or to request access to the survey data file, please e‑mail CAW (contact@academicworkforce.org).

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Jun 10 2012

Call for Papers — Non-Tenure Track Faculty Conference

Category: ConferencesBob Hanke @ 5:12 pm

Mid-Atlantic Non-Tenure Track Faculty Conference

“The New Faculty Majority:

Teaching, Scholarship, and Creativity in the Age of Contingency”

October 2012, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (exact date and location TBA)

This conference will be an opportunity to think more deeply about the state of contingent, non-tenure-stream faculty: the intellectual work we engage in and the struggle to survive as committed teachers, academics, researchers and artists in unstable and unsustainable working conditions. Contingent labor constitutes the majority of faculty, yet we are the lowest paid and most overburdened workers. We represent the front line in academic experiences at the undergraduate level and offer irreplaceable interactions with students. We are artists, scholars, researchers and examples of inspired teaching.  How can we use what we know to create a more sustainable and equitable system, one that will benefit everyone at the university? What change is most needed? What does it mean to constitute the new faculty majority at your college or university?

Papers and panels will be invited on the following topics:

— maintaining a scholarly or creative life in an era of non-tenured faculty invisibility

 — art and creative writing panels (framed by your experience of creating this work under NTT working conditions)

 — documenting the institutional experiences of contingent faculty

 — comparative analyses of salary, contracts, and other aspects of employment

 — histories of academic labor struggles

 — best practices for contingent faculty

 — unionization for contingent faculty

 — the proletarianization of the professoriate

Please email nttfconference@gmail.com if you are interested in presenting at or planning the conference. You will be asked to provide a brief abstract of what you can imagine presenting. Panel proposals in addition to those on this list are also welcome.

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