The faculty, as higher education's most valuable asset, is being dramatically altered. Changes in appointment status drive this alteration, resulting in the essential work…
The faculty, as higher education's most valuable asset, is being dramatically altered. Changes in appointment status drive this alteration, resulting in the essential work of faculty being transformed. Given this change in faculty composition, this study seeks to examine how faculty appointments relate to the production of faculty work in teaching, research, and service. Faculty appointments affect faculty work and it implies that the function of higher education also is altered. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the rise of contingent faculty on the professoriate and higher education.
The National Study of Postsecondary Faculty of 2004 provided data for analyses. There were faculty and instructional staff participants (26,110) from a sample of 980 institutions in the USA and the District of Columbia. The National Center for Education Statistics provides access to its Data Analysis System (DAS) for public use. Basic calculations can result in straight counts, percentages, means, correlation coefficients, and tables. Complex analytic capabilities include covariance using both weighted least squares regression and logistic regression. The DAS was used to examine how changes in faculty composition were related to teaching, research, and service.
Overall, the results indicate that tenured and tenure‐track faculty out‐perform contingent faculty on all major items of teaching, research, and service. With few exceptions, contingent faculty can be viewed as less productive faculty members within the historical function of higher education to promote inquiry and advance the sum of human knowledge, provide general instruction to the students, and develop experts for various branches of the public. If faculty are the heart and health of colleges and universities, the future of higher education may be bleak if the reliance on contingent faculty continues to soar.
The gap between performance levels of tenure/tenure‐track and contingent faculty in teaching, research, and service indicates the quality of higher education is rapidly eroding. This study indicated that the contributions to promoting inquiry and advancing the sum of human knowledge are diminished with increasing use of contingent faculty. It suggests that not only is the work of faculty threatened by a contingent faculty approach but the well‐being of higher education is threatened also.
Overall, tenured and tenure‐track faculty out‐performed other types of faculty appointments according to essential values of faculty – teaching research, and service. Faculty appointments play a significant role in the overall performance of higher education. The function of higher education cannot help but be affected. Society relies on higher education for not only career training but an educated citizenry. If left to contract and part‐time help, it raises concern for the overall well being of society.
Although there is literature discussing concerns about the influx of contingent faculty, there is little, if any, empirical evidence of its impact on the professoriate and its relationship to the overall health and well being of higher education. This study suggests that the traditional framework of faculty work – teaching, research, and service – is being dramatically altered.
Although the organizational practice of using “contingent or non-traditional workers” has been escalating since the mid-1980s, only recently has research begun to focus on the consequences of this practice. In unionized workplaces, labor leaders have begun to organize these workers. Although it is believed that contingent workers are responding positively to union organizing drives, little is known about the attitudes and behaviors of contingent workers as union members. Using the Union Commitment scale developed by Gordon, Philpot, Burt, Thompson and Spiller (1980), the research project reported here compares the Union Commitment of traditional faculty and three categories of adjunct faculty. The results reveal that there are no significant differences across these employee groups for the factors of Union Loyalty, Responsibility to the Union, Willingness to Work for the Union and Alienation from the Union. The implications of these findings for research and practice are discussed.
This study investigates the relationship among preference for full-time employment, primacy of part-time employment, and work-related outcomes in a nationally…
This study investigates the relationship among preference for full-time employment, primacy of part-time employment, and work-related outcomes in a nationally representative sample of part-time college instructors. Results based on multilevel cross-classified random effects models indicate that part-time faculty who prefer full-time positions report working on average more hours per week and express greater work-related dissatisfaction than those who choose reduced work hours. Individuals whose part-time jobs are their primary jobs have less job satisfaction but work longer hours than those who treat part-time work as secondary. Finally, those who prefer full-time employment report more negative job satisfaction when the primacy of their part-time jobs is high.
When developing online programs, institutions have a social responsibility to safeguard academic freedom. In the United States, a perceived lack of career relevance…
When developing online programs, institutions have a social responsibility to safeguard academic freedom. In the United States, a perceived lack of career relevance, declining enrollments, and a desire to expand institutional impact have compelled numerous institutions to create online degree programs. The decision to scale some online programs, in collaboration with for-profit online program managers, into enrollments in the thousands is seen by a number of faculty and professional organizations as evidence of the rise of neoliberalism, at the expense of academic freedom and faculty governance.
This chapter begins by setting the context for the discussion of academic freedom and online degree programs. I provide a review of the growth of online degree programs and discuss some of the reasons a campus might choose to take programs online, as some of the reasons reveal tensions impacting academic freedom. I follow with case examples and strategies that may help institutions balance online initiatives with practices that preserve academic freedom and quality. The chapter concludes that the challenges raised should not be framed as “either/or” choices – the examples provided demonstrate that academic freedom can and should be sustained, especially within large programs, regardless of being on-ground or online.
Academia’s overwhelming reliance on non-tenure track, or contingent, faculty is a well-known fact. While the status and working conditions of contingent classroom faculty…
Academia’s overwhelming reliance on non-tenure track, or contingent, faculty is a well-known fact. While the status and working conditions of contingent classroom faculty have been well studied and documented, the corresponding trend in academic libraries has not been explored as deeply. As this paper reviews the limited LIS literature on the subject, the purpose of this paper is to provide administrators and managers with a deeper understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of contingent appointments. It also offers strategies for fostering a workplace culture that recognizes contingent librarians’ contributions and promotes their professional growth.
An overview of scholarly and professional literature on contingent librarianship, this paper is based on published research studies and academic articles; given the prominence of anecdotal and personal writing on the subject, columns and first-person essays from trade publications, as well as library-related blogs and job search sites, are also included.
Contingent librarians have been a steady presence in academic libraries for the last few decades. The trend is continuing. There are specific practices that can be applied to effectively manage contingent librarians.
The paper offers academic library administrators and managers a concise yet comprehensive overview of the issues related to contingent appointments.
Over the past several decades, there has been a growth in nonstandard professional work. One area where this can be seen is the academy, where tenure-track positions are…
Over the past several decades, there has been a growth in nonstandard professional work. One area where this can be seen is the academy, where tenure-track positions are being replaced by non-tenure-track (NTT) positions such as adjuncts and lecturers. Studies of nonstandard professional workers have found significant variation in job satisfaction, and this is also true for NTT faculty. Why is job satisfaction among NTT faculty so variable, and how can we understand it? Drawing on in-depth interviews with one hundred NTT faculty at two large public research universities, the author argues that NTT faculty vary in two important ways: the role of the income from their NTT job in their family and their pathway to the NTT position. The author develops a typology of NTT faculty based on these two dimensions and argues that these two dimensions intersect in important ways that affect the job satisfaction and job experiences of NTT faculty. The only group of NTT faculty that experiences high job satisfaction are those who prefer a NTT position over a tenure-track one, and who do not rely on the income from this job as the primary source of income for their family. This research has implications for understanding the job satisfaction of other nonstandard professional workers, who may vary in similar ways.
Faculty unionization is growing, and library faculty members are included in many collective bargaining units. Yet there is a dearth of information on how well collective…
Faculty unionization is growing, and library faculty members are included in many collective bargaining units. Yet there is a dearth of information on how well collective bargaining contracts address the sometimes unique nature of library faculty work. This article explores contracts in a number of Ohio universities and from selective institutions around the country to see how well they accommodate the professional and work-related needs of librarians. Major contractual issues addressed include governance, academic freedom, workload, salary, and the retention, tenure, and promotion (RTP) of faculty, among others.
During the NEA’s early years, the higher education community formed the core of the organization’s leadership, and higher education issues in turn represented a key area…
During the NEA’s early years, the higher education community formed the core of the organization’s leadership, and higher education issues in turn represented a key area of NEA policymaking. The late 19th and early 20th century Association was fundamentally a professional group with a large teacher membership but little teacher representation in its leadership. In fact, it was only after the first 100 years of the NEA’s existence that the organization made an effective transition toward becoming a labor union, led by teachers and faculty members and focusing its primary energies on collective bargaining – first in the K-12 arena and soon after in higher education. Most recently, the NEA has sought to synthesize the two roles – that of professional association and union.
Notwithstanding the rise of contingent faculty, tenured and tenured track faculty continue to play vital roles in US higher education and the tenure decision is central to…
Notwithstanding the rise of contingent faculty, tenured and tenured track faculty continue to play vital roles in US higher education and the tenure decision is central to the lives of many academics. While the literature is replete with anecdotes about faculty complaining about the process to which they were subject, there has been surprisingly little empirical research on faculty perceptions of the clarity and fairness of the tenure process and the relationship of these perceptions to work outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to examine the motivational impact of these processes on faculty who are pre-tenure as well as those who had successfully navigated the tenure process.
Self-reported survey data were collected from 410 full-time pre-tenured and tenured faculty at three universities in the Northeastern USA. Participants were assessed on their uncertainty and their perceptions of justice in the tenure process as well as their affective and continuance organizational commitment and work engagement. Data were subject to exploratory factor analysis, correlation, and hierarchical regression.
The results indicated that there was a lack of clarity with respect to both the criteria for tenure and the procedures by which institutions made tenure decisions. The results indicated no gender differences in the perception of clarity, but the results suggest women perceived the tenure process as being less just than men do. Perceived justice was positively related to both affective organizational commitment and work engagement with affective commitment fully mediating the relationship with there being no relationship between continuance commitment and perceived justice. These relations held for both tenured and later career faculty and pre-tenured and earlier career faculty.
The study extends understanding of the dimensionality of justice perceptions in higher education setting. The design was cross-sectional and data common was self-report.
The results provide empirical support to anecdotes of faculty feeling that tenure processes often lack clarity and appear to be capricious and unfair. It provides evidence that the negative impact of a process being viewed as unfair may affect the dedication and effort that the faculty who are granted tenure and remain at their institutions for decades afterward. At a time, when higher education is resource challenged, it behooves both faculty and administrators to critically review their tenure processes against best practices.
This study adds to the limited empirical literature on the tenure process and does so from a motivational perspective.
The chapter addresses the questions surrounding the politics of the academe as a reflective process. The three authors’ experiences are very different – spanning from tenured professor to sessional instructor to professor in an African university. The narratives from the authors inform the readers of their goals to join the academy as faculty; their job search; being members of the staff and then; their experiences as members of the teaching force at various universities. The chapter is based on their experiences of navigating the politics of the academe. This chapter provides their narratives of what it means to be a professor, mentor, colleague, and researcher. Each story is told from their particular standpoint: two females and one male teaching in North American universities and Africa, respectively, two Black and one racialized female who can pass, but cannot because of her name. The analysis will address numerous complications involved in addressing expectations, establishing common grounds as educators from an international perspective, and providing narratives of how we have managed to maintain our goals and aspirations as members of the academe. The tensions involved will be problematized and explored from within the context of the academy and the associated constraints therein (Tatum, 1999). The objective of this chapter is to theorize the significance of navigating the politics of the academe to deflate arising tensions that may delay your passion for teaching. The chapter is informed by an anticolonial theoretical framework in light of converges and divergences of varying colonial contexts embedded in colonial Canadian society. The anticolonial framework draws on the specific settler-colonial Canadian context (Tuck & Yang, 2012). The chapter is divided into six parts: (1) introduction that provides a general overview of what it means to be faculty at a university, (2) situating ourselves, (3) theoretical framework, (4) Universities in general and more specifically, Canadian system and Kenyan, (5) discussion that provides an analysis or synthesis of our experiences, and (6) conclusion.