Tag Archives: compensation

What adjuncts need

Karpf, J. (2015). What adjuncts need. Chronicle of Higher Education, 61(26), B30-B30.

This brief Chronicle article discusses four main needs of adjuncts, as seen by the author.  Job security tops the list, followed by livable wages, health and retirement benefits, and institutional support to do what they’ve been hired to do.  Unions are touted as one way of providing an avenue to help meet these needs.  Using the 2012 report by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce the author makes a case for meeting the needs of adjunct faculty through the unionization of contingent faculty.

A canadian college where adjuncts go to prosper

June, A. W. (2010). A canadian college where adjuncts go to prosper. Chronicle of Higher Education, 56(41), B39-B41. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/A-Canadian-College-Where/123629/

Vancouver Community College (VCC) in has, over a two-decade, period managed to develop a program that lends to solidarity among part-time and full-time faculty, creating a one-faculty environment.  Unlike many programs in the U.S. Vancouver offers its adjuncts job-security and much more equitable situations than U.S. institutions.  The Chronicle of Higher Education article details some of the differences between the VCC program and many higher education institutions in the U.S.  Some notable differences are the ability to move from a part-time status to a more “regular” status in which there is more job security.  Compensation is also based on the compensation of full-time faculty, not solely what the market will bear in paying adjuncts.  VCC adjuncts who meet certain criteria can also qualify for professional development opportunities such as the cost of conferences and  research subscriptions.  VCC and the union representatives are still working toward even more equitability, but they have made good progress.

Chronicle survey yields a rare look into adjuncts’ work lives

Wilson, R. (2009). Chronicle’ survey yields a rare look into adjuncts’ work lives. Chronicle of Higher Education, 56(9), A12-13. http://chronicle.com/article/Chronicle-Survey-Yields-a/48843/

Wilson summarizes Chronicle survey of 625 adjuncts in the Chicago area.  In contrast to the popular belief that adjuncts were working part-time because they could not find full-time work, the Chronicle survey found over half of the adjuncts preferring part-time work and satisfied with their jobs.  Wilson lists brief highlights from the survey including highest degree attained, primary reason for working as a part-time adjunct, satisfaction with working part-time, what types of classes were taught, amount of pay, types of support provided, number of institutions taught in and and types of activities involved in at those institutions.

What types of support do adjuncts need?

Kelly, R. (2014, May 6). What types of support do adjuncts need? Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/faculty-development/types-support-adjuncts-need/

This entry discussed the quantitative study done at Northern Oklahoma College comparing the perceptions of adjuncts and administrators concerning the importance of support for part-time faculty.  Kelly concisely reviews the relevant findings in the support areas of orientation (both campus and job duties, professional development, and access to support services.  Kelly summarizes the recommendation from the study’s author, Dr. Judy Colwell into three main areas; workshops or meetings must be convenient and relevant; listening is an important skill and seeking input is part of that; and keep the adjunct input in perspective.

Adjunct … and loving it

Goedde, B. (2014). Adjunct … and loving it. Chronicle of Higher Education, 60(26), 6-6. http://chronicle.com/article/Adjunct-Loving-It/145109/

In this first-hand account of being an online adjunct the author begins by thinking he is “getting away with something” as the working conditions in Taiwan were much less stressful than in the United States.  He acknowledges that learning can happen, simultaneously with other life events.  Goedde also realized that living in Tawain he was a happy adjunct because his wage was livable.  His feeling about adjuncting changed when he returned to the United States where things cost more.  Goedde chose to continue teaching most of his classes online because the “convenience is unbeatable”.

Best practices for supporting adjunct faculty

Coburn-Collins, A. (2014). Best practices for supporting adjunct faculty. Paper presented at the Higher Learning Commission 2014 Annual Conference, http://cop.hlcommission.org/Learning-Environments/coburn-collins.html.

The five best practices outlined in this conference paper are practical steps that every institution can take to help develop a campus culture that accepts adjunct faculty as equal partners in student success. From a comprehensive orientation to recognition for quality work these practices this institution set up an Office of Adjunct Faculty Support with a budget of $250,000, roughly the cost of four tenure-track assistant professors.  This program supports 350 adjuncts.  The math alone suggests that the investment is well spent and the return on investment is measured in improved student success and a “sense of belonging” among the adjuncts.

A portrait of part-time faculty members

Coalition on the Academic Workforce. (2012). A portrait of part-time faculty members [electronic resource] : A summary of findings on part-time faculty respondents to the coalition on the academic workforce survey of contingent faculty members and instructors. Retrieved from http://www.academicworkforce.org/CAW_portrait_2012.pdf.

This report looks at demographics, compensations & benefits, and professional support of over 19,000 survey respondents.  Much of the qualitative data was gleaned from the over 30,000 responses to two open-ended comments.  The report found that a higher percentage of women and a lower percentage of minority provided information as compared to the distribution shown in the 2009 NCES data.  The data also raises questions about the belief that part-time faculty are either young, up and coming faculty or those teaching in a second, part-time career as more than 70% were in their prime earning years (ages 36 – 65).  Community colleges and master’s institutions were where the most courses were taught.  Additional demographic areas of questioning include length of service, desire for full-time work and teaching load.  The section on compensation and benefits held no surprises, pay is low, with unionized institutions paying slightly better.  There is little variation by gender, but significant variation by race or ethnicity.  Institutional support was also investigated and found to “paint a dismal picture”, showing that there is little support for part-time faculty.  The tables appended to the report and the notes and works cited are valuable components of this work.