Forging a New Way Forward to Transform College Faculty Employment Practices

This site is maintained by the New Faculty Majority Foundation in order to promote dialogue about the general framework it has proposed to guide reform of faculty employment practices in higher education.  (To learn about NFM’s proposed framework to guide reform, start above at “About.”)

The Problem:

So-called “part-time” faculty, together with graduate students, constitute over 60.5% of the teaching faculty (often 80% at community colleges).  An additional 15% work full-time but with fewer rights and responsibilities than their tenure-line colleagues. The average pay of “part-time” professors is $25,000 or less per year for having the same teaching loads and teaching responsibilities as their full-time colleagues. The number of part time faculty has grown by more than 280% between 1975 and 2009.  Most faculty on temporary appointments have very little time and few institutional resources with which to serve students or to develop professionally.

According to the Delta Cost Project, a nonprofit organization that has studied college costs, “over time there has been a gradual shift of resources away from instruction and towards general administrative and academic infrastructure.” It also reports that “institutions enrolling the most students spend the least on their education.

NFM and its Foundation were formed in 2009 and 2010 to improve the quality of higher education by improving the working conditions of the majority of its faculty.

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One Comment to “Forging a New Way Forward to Transform College Faculty Employment Practices”

  1. I do have something to contribute to your cause – to our cause as academics and citizens. Forgive the boldness, but I have a solution to the appalling adjunct faculty labour conditions in the US and elsewhere – including my home, Canada.

    (See my website for more information.)

    All faculty (with adjuncts best situated to do this, especially in the US) need to stop subscription to the university-government-union hybrid paradigm for HE. They need to discard association by union and employee vocational status, and form a formal profession (e.g., law, medicine, engineering, psychiatry, etc.). The professional paradigm has much to offer over the iconic expensive, redundant, interfering hybrid – it is not sustainable, we have to see this….

    It is bad enough we inherited this paradigm and are mercilessly and fruitlessly exhausting resources to resuscitate an institution that for a number of salient, fundamental reasons should be replace, wholesale.

    This is a social experiment worth investigation – you will recall, the hybrid was once a social experiment. We need to keep this fact at the front of our minds in these times – the hybrid (and its front man, the modern university) is nothing more than a legal entity, a social institution of our creation to serve an invaluable purpose, a functionary, that by my analysis is now and has always been redundant and certainly replaceable. Think of the implications if I am correct.

    Kind Regards,
    Shawn

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