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At the Margins of University Work: The Influence of Campus Climate and Part-Time Faculty Status on Academic Values

By Cassie L. Barnhardt and Carson W. Phillips


Part-time and contingent faculty now represent the majority of instructional staff at colleges and universities in the United States. Yet few empirical studies have examined how this reliance on non-tenure-track faculty affects the cultural values of the academy. If part-time contingent faculty are now responsible for the bulk of teaching, how does their employment status affect the principles of democracy that colleges and universities seek to embody? This quantitative analysis examines how faculty’s employment status (part- or full-time), perceptions of campus climate, and personal characteristics relate to academia’s core organizational values of academic freedom, mission, and shared governance. Our findings show that part-time status has a negative influence on faculty members' engagement with academic mission and shared governance but a positive effect on academic freedom. Additionally, our findings suggest that the campus climate for inclusion plays a major role in sustaining the core values of the academy.

View the entire article "At the Margins of University Work: The Influence of Campus Climate and Part-Time Faculty Status on Academic Values."


Thank you for your research and for this excellent report. Even though we are so marginalized at our campus, by all the forces you describe, we are attending the faculty senate meetings, such as they are.

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