December 16th, 2014
Higher ed’s reliance on adjunct faculty, hardly a secret anymore, has gotten much scrutiny in the past few years.
Institutions of all types benefit from the fact that adjuncts—provided they don’t become eligible for health benefits by working more than 30 hours a week—can be employed for a fraction of the investment needed for full-time faculty. In fact, many schools now include a large contingent of part-time faculty as routine business practice.
The number of adjuncts employed nationwide has increased by more than 160 percent over the past two decades, according to the U.S. Department of Education. At the same time, colleges face growing concerns that the needs of adjuncts, as well as their potential to contribute more fully to student success, are being overlooked.