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2013 November 25 - 12:00 am

The State of Adjuncts: Key Findings from CAW Survey

A report by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce 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. The survey found that while colleges and universities rely heavily on adjuncts, part-time faculty members don’t believe they are adequately supported. Here are some key findings:

  • 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 percent 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 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.

Source: Coalition on the Academic Workforce

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