The working conditions of U.S. adjunct and contingent faculty—and, by association, the learning conditions of American college students—came under fire in a report issued Aug. 23 by the Center for the Future of Higher Education. The report, based on a 2011 survey of 500 adjunct faculty, finds two significant issues for those who make up the majority of the higher education workforce. Many are hired “just in time” to teach courses that are to begin three or fewer weeks after faculty are notified, and they have limited access to pedagogical resources.
- The median pay per course, standardized to a three-credit course, was $2,700 in fall 2010, and ranged from a low of $2,235 at two-year colleges to a high of $3,400 at four-year doctoral or research universities.
- Part-time faculty respondents saw little, if any, wage premium based on their credentials.
- Professional support was minimal for part-time faculty members’ work outside the classroom and for their inclusion in academic decision-making.