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 access NFM’s proposed framework to guide reform, start above at “About.”)
“Adjunct” or “contingent” or “non-tenure-track” faculty now constitute the majority — 75% — of college faculty nationwide. They consist of so-called “part-time” faculty, who together with graduate students, constitute over 60.5% of the faculty (often 80% at community colleges), plus the additional 15% who work full-time but with many 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. Meanwhile, the increase in non-teaching responsibilities placed on the remaining 25% of tenure-line faculty has also compromised their ability to serve students to the best of their abilities.
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” on college campuses in the United States. 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.