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Contingent Faculty Survey Results

Today, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, of which the AAUP is a member, released the results of its highly anticipated survey of contingent faculty. The survey, which received nearly 30,000 responses, provides a detailed look at the working conditions associated with contingent faculty appointments—an appointment type that now constitutes the majority of faculty jobs. This initial survey report focuses on findings pertaining to faculty in part-time positions and suggests that, even as colleges and universities rely more and more on faculty in part-time positions, the salaries, benefits, and working conditions of those faculty members stagnates.

Among the results:

• Faculty respondents in part-time positions saw little, if any, wage premium based on their credentials. Their compensation lags behind professionals in other fields with similar credentials, and they experienced little in the way of a career ladder (such as higher wages after several years of work).

• Professional support for part-time faculty members’ work outside the classroom and inclusion in academic decision making was minimal.

• Part-time teaching is not necessarily temporary employment, and those teaching part-time do not necessarily prefer a part-time position. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they would probably or definitely accept a full-time, tenure-track position at their current institution.

• The median pay per course during the fall 2010 semester, standardized to a three-credit course, was $2,700.

• Course loads varied significantly among respondents. Slightly more than half taught one course or two courses during the fall 2010 term, while slightly fewer than half taught three or more courses.

Read the full report at

The Coalition on the Academic Workforce (CAW) is a group of higher education associations, disciplinary associations, and faculty organizations working on the issues associated with deteriorating faculty working conditions and their effect on the success of college and university students in the United States.

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, June 19, 2012