Archive for June 25, 2012

Underpaid and Restless: Study Presents a ‘Dismal Picture’ of Life as a Part-Time Professor

By Dan Berrett

Part-time faculty members work for low pay and scant benefits relative to their level of education and training, according to a long-awaited study, released today, of this fast-growing sector of the academic work force.

The median pay, $2,700 per course, and limited access to health insurance “stand in stark contradiction to higher education’s claims about the value—including the economic value”—of higher education, write the authors of “A Portrait of Part-Time Faculty Members.” The study was conducted by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, a group of 26 higher-education associations, disciplinary societies, and faculty organizations.

The researchers based their findings on the responses of nearly 20,000 contingent, or non-tenure-track, faculty members, of whom about 10,000 worked part time. They answered a 160-question survey made available online from late September 2010 until late November of the same year. The contingent academic work force represents approximately 70 percent of the faculty.


Read the report:

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