Who are "contingent faculty"? Depending on the institution, they can be known as adjuncts, postdocs, TAs, non-tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, part-timers, lecturers, instructors, or nonsenate faculty. What they all have in common: they serve in insecure, unsupported positions with little job security and few protections for academic freedom. And they are the vast majority of U.S. faculty today. Something needs to change.
In these videos, our members talk about their experiences with contingency, organizing, and why we must improve compensation and professional support opportunities if we want to maintain a quality higher education system.
Jeanette Jeneault, Syracuse University
Marc Bousquet, Santa Clara University
Marcia Newfield, Borough of Manhattan Community College
The AAUP works for contingent faculty in multiple ways. Our research office compiles data on trends in faculty status. The AAUP's Committee on Contingent Faculty and the Profession studies issues relating to contingent faculty appointments and works to improve conditions for contingent faculty members and to help all faculty fight the trend towards part-time and non-tenure-track appointments. AAUP staff and members of the committee participate in a number of national and local coalitions on academic workforce issues including Campus Equity Week, the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, and the Coalition on the Academic Workforce.
On Labor Day 2010, we released a new report, Tenure and Teaching-Intensive Faculty, which explains why faculty who primarily teach should be tenure eligible.
In January 2009, we released an investigating report on the case of Jessica Bryan, an adjunct instructor of English whose appointment was discontinued at the whim of administrators after she had taught part time at the institution for thirteen consecutive semesters. April 2008, we released a report on accreditors' guidelines pertaining to part-time faculty, and in May and November 2008, reports of investigations involving alleged violations of the academic freedom and due process rights of full-time contingent faculty members. Also in 2008, the entire November-December issue of Academe was devoted to contingent faculty issues.
Please take a look at our Resources page for more AAUP reports and activities pertaining to contingent faculty appointments.