NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Report Looks At Part-Time Faculty Members

January 14, 1999

Hiring part-timers to teach at colleges and universities is an accelerating trend. A new report from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities urges administrators to offer better pay, rewards and advancement opportunities to the part- timers, who are typically hired by the semester.

  • The percentage of faculty hired part-time has nearly doubled since 1970 -- from 22 percent to more than 40 percent today.
  • The report notes that holding down costs is motivating the trend to part-time faculty, but warns against undercutting quality.
  • It suggests preserving tenure, but eliminating length of service as the primary basis for granting it -- and establishing a system that assures faculty members maintain performance standards after they are granted tenure.

Part-time faculty members have been demanding more benefits in recent years and some -- in Alaska and New Jersey, for example -- are even unionizing.

Source: Mary Beth Marklein, "Study Urges Colleges to Boost Standing of Part-Time Faculty," USA Today, January 14, 1999.


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