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Report on Faculty Composition
Prepared by Ad-Hoc Committee on Faculty Composition: Don Coffin, Robin Hass
Birky, and Iztok Hozo

        In the last two decades, faculty and administrators in institutions and professional

organizations have debated issues related to faculty composition, specifically the

percentages of full-time tenure-track appointments versus full- and part-time non-tenure-

track ones as well as the reasons for and the effects of decreasing numbers of the former

and increasing numbers of the latter. While many factors relating to instructional practice

and integrity, the nature of faculty work and governance, and budgetary concerns come

into play, most of the participants recognize the need to reassess faculty composition by

rank and the related factors specific to particular institutions in a shared effort to maintain

academic integrity and freedom. Specific to IUN, in the Fall of 2003 the Executive

Committee appointed a three-member committee (Don Coffin, Iztok Hozo, and Robin

Hass Birky) to gather institutional data and national research on the issue to begin our

assessment of IUN‘s faculty composition by rank, and this group subsequently solicited

administrative and faculty input at meetings of the Faculty Organization in Fall 2003.

Because IUN has experienced an increase in contingent faculty and a decrease in tenure-

track faculty and such changes in faculty composition threaten academic integrity broadly

construed, this committee recommends that IUN enter a transition period in which the

administration and faculty work in concert to increase the number of full-time tenure-

track   appointments,    decrease    contingent    appointments,    and    analyze   financial

expenditures following the guidelines suggested by professional organizations such as the


        Because institutions use terms such as ―adjunct,‖ ―lecturer,‖ and ―part-time

faculty‖ to designate a variety of disparate positions, we must clarify our understanding

of the terms and clearly articulate the categories in question prior to analyzing specific

data from IUN and comparing it to national information and/or that from peer

institutions. In other words, arriving at terminology that leads to a shared sense of the

situation is necessary. According to the AAUP, ―[t]he term ‗contingent faculty‘ includes

both part- and full-time faculty who are appointed off the tenure track‖ (―Contingent

Appointments‖ 59). Suggesting that this term (―contingent faculty‖) ―calls attention to

the tenuous relationship between academic institutions and the part- and full-time non-

tenure-track faculty members who teach in them,‖ the AAUP includes the following

position configurations in the category: ―teachers hired to teach one or two courses for a

semester, experts or practitioners who are brought in to share their field of expertise,‖

―departments of full-time non-tenure track English composition instructors,‖ ―adjuncts,

who are generally compensated on a per-course or hourly basis,‖ graduate students

―undertaking independent teaching activities that are similar in nature to those of regular

faculty‖ and ―postdoctoral fellows who are employed off the tenure track for periods of

time beyond what could reasonably be considered the extension and completion of their

professional training‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 59-60).1                    When we apply this

definition to positions at IUN, we find the ranks of ―adjunct‖ and ―lecturer‖ fitting the

―contingent‖ category.        Contingent appointments are marked in a general lack of

  According to the Association of Departments of English (ADE), ―Adjunct faculty members fall into two
groups: part-time instructors and non-tenure-track full-time instructors. The first group includes both
instructors who are clearly temporary members of a department and instructors who teach from year to year
and become virtually permanent. Members of the second group have full teaching loads but, as non-tenure-
track faculty members, lack the institutional commitment given to their tenure-track colleagues. Graduate
students are distinct from both groups‖ (―Use of Part-Time‖ 1).

institutional commitment to these individuals in terms of job security, pay and benefits,

and work environment (office space, computer access, secretarial support, etc); as a

result, these individuals frequently must seek heavy teaching loads at multiple

institutions, which negatively effects teaching effectiveness.

       Rather than erroneously assuming that the hiring of all ―contingent faculty‖ be

called into question, we do need to differentiate between types of positions within the

above categorization. As the AAUP asserts, ―A small percentage of part-time faculty

bring the benefit of expertise in a narrow specialty to add depth or specificity to the

course offerings otherwise available at an institution. Another small percentage are

practitioners of a profession such as law, architecture, or business and bring their direct

experience into the classroom in a class or two a week.‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖

60). At IUN, contingent faculty, likewise, necessarily are overrepresented in areas like

Nursing and Allied Health wherein faculty with doctorates as their terminal degree are

harder to find. Furthermore, hiring contingent faculty for an expertise not offered by full-

time tenure-line faculty logically seems to occur in SPEA as well.          Bringing such

professional expertise to the classroom can, as some argue, ―keep the curriculum fresh

and current‖ (Murray 2). Further benefits include ―the high quality of most adjunct

faculty as classroom teachers and their important role in allowing full-time faculty to

devote themselves to other pursuits‖ (Adamany as quoted in Townsend 2). David Leslie

echoes Adamany‘s pronouncements; however, he qualifies them as follows: ―‘part-time

faculty constitute an exceptionally rich talent pool for most colleges and universities, and

–when treated equitably—perform as well as full-time faculty in the work to which they

are assigned‖ (as quoted in Townsend 2, emphasis ours). Any fair discussion of the

issues related to hiring practices of contingent faculty necessarily needs to grant that a)

some adjunct faculty provide needed expertise in specialized fields, and b) when treated

equitably, contingent faculty perform well in the classroom.2

         In addition to the above concessions, anyone analyzing related material needs to

acknowledge the budgetary constraints of universities. ―According to higher education

administrators, universities are hiring more part-time and adjunct faculty because their

budgets are tighter, fewer tenured professors are retiring, and hiring part-time people is

less expensive than hiring full-timers in tenure-track positions‖ (Murray 2).                         Thus,

―administrators are feeling pressured to use more part-time and adjunct faculty to cut

costs‖ (Townsend 2). The AAUP likewise acknowledges the ―budgetary pressures‖ that

have been a factor:

         ―In 1980, state governments supported almost a third (31 percent) of the cost of

         higher education in public institutions….By 1996, the burden had shifted

         considerably, with state budgets offering just 23 percent of the necessary support.

         The federal government also reduced its share of support to 12 percent [from 15

  In its 1997 ―Statement from the Conference on the Growing Use of Part-Tine and Adjunct Faculty,‖ the
AAUP, likewise, acknowledges certain benefits to using part-time faculty: ―First, they teach because they
like to teach, because they want to make a contribution to the education of students….Second, adjunct
faculty bring our universities expertise that it would be difficult or economically improvident to duplicate
through the appointment of tenure-track faculty. Third, when deployed well, adjunct faculty can serve
important institutional goals‖ such as offering courses at times more conducive to students‘ schedules (3).
In this same statement, the AAUP includes the following as ―professional and educational benefits‖:
according to Leslie, 52% (in 1997) of part-time faculty prefer teaching part-time, and an unspecified
―most‖ hold other full time jobs; ―many part-time faculty members possess professional skills, experience,
and contacts from their nonacademic employment that are valuable to our students;‖ ―[t]o cope with
fluctuations in enrollment, and to respond to changes in demand for curricular specializations, many
institutions need the flexibility afforded by temporary and part-time employees:‖ and others note that the
―introductory or less specialized courses‖ part-time instructors often teach do not demand ―the same level
of professional training, experience, or disciplinary involvement as more advanced courses‖ (4). However,
even in 1997 when the data was not as dire, the AAUP asserts, ―Reliance on part-time and adjunct faculty
appointments far exceeds the proportion necessary to provide for curricular needs that require specialized
work experience‖ and ―Cost driven use of part-time faculty also far exceeds flexibility needs‖(4).

        percent]….Recent budget constraints in nearly every state have further strained

        the support of public institutions‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 61).3

Thus, budgetary constraints have strongly influenced the current national hiring trends,

and IUN has definitely felt the burden of such budgetary concerns over the last decade.

        It is important to note, however, that during the period between 1976 and 1999,

―student enrollments in degree-granting institutions increased by 34 percent‖ (AAUP,

―Contingent Appointments 61). Pointing to the increased enrollments, the AAUP asserts

that ―institutions set new priorities…allocat[ing] proportionately less to their instructional

budgets‖ and ―increas[ing] spending on physical plant, new technologies, and technology

upgrades, and administrative costs‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 61). Furthermore, the

AAUP suggests, ―Institutions made up for these heavy expenditures by reducing

instructional budgets, which they accomplished by hiring more contingent faculty instead

of making a commitment to tenure-line faculty‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 62).

Therefore, while we acknowledge budgetary constraints as a necessarily important factor

in considering hiring practices and decisions, we also suggest that expenditures be

examined in light of the commitment they suggest with a renewed emphasis on

instructional or academic integrity.

        All of the documents produced by professional organizations have one point in

common:       tenure-track positions have decreased, contingent faculty numbers have

increased, and

        [r]eliance on part-time and adjunct faculty appointments far exceeds the

        proportion necessary to provide curricular needs that require specialized work

 See also the AUUP‘s 1997 ―Statement from the Conference‖ in which they point to institutional
budgetary constraints as a factor (3-4). However, the AUUP also refers to ―hidden or indirect costs of
which to date institutions have made no account‖ (3). We address these hidden and indirect costs below.

       experience. The relative use of part-time faculty is greatest in the humanities,

       where the supply of qualified academic job seekers most outnumbers the market

       demand, and in lower-division courses that large numbers of students either elect

       or are required to take rather than in areas that require teachers with specific

       technical or professional experience. Cost driven use of part-time faculty also far

       exceeds flexibility needs. Again, neither annual enrollment fluctuations nor the

       needs of new and innovative programs can account for the fact that more than half

       of all humanities faculty are part-time and the vast majority of introductory

       courses are taught by part-time faculty (even if graduate students are excluded

       from the equation). (AAUP, ―Statement from the Conference‖ 4).

 During the period in time in which enrollments increased by 34 percent (1976-1999),

―institutions have increased the number of part-time faculty by 119 percent and the

number of full-time non-tenure-track faculty by 31 percent‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖

61). To situate the above trends in terms of the most recent national data available, non-

tenure-track appointments constitute ―three out of five faculty positions, in all types of

institutions‖ and ―three out of four new faculty members were appointed to non-tenure-

track positions,‖ numbers that suggest that the number of tenure-track positions does not

equal teaching and research needs (AAUP, ―Contingent Appointments‖ 60).

Furthermore, ―[t]he number of full-time non-tenure-track appointments is growing even

faster than the number of part-time non-tenure-track appointments….in 1969, they

amounted to 3.3 percent of all full-time faculty positions. But between 1992 and 1998,

the number of full-time non-tenure-track faculty increased by 22.7 percent‖ (AAUP,

―Contingent Appointments‖ 60). During that same period, part-time non-tenure-track

faculty increased by only 9.4 percent….and the number of full-time tenure-line faculty

increased by less than 1 percent‖ (AAUP, ―Contingent Appointments‖ 61). Furthermore,

in 1998, ―full-time non-tenure-track faculty comprised 28.1 percent of all full-time

faculty and 16 percent of all faculty. Part-time non-tenure track faculty comprised 95

percent of all part-time faculty, and 40 percent of all faculty‖ (AAUP, ―Contingent

Appointments‖ 61).4

         We currently have ten years of data on hiring, retention, and separations for

faculty at IUN. Hiring, retention, and separation data are available by rank; however, we

are unable to perform meaningful analysis by rank because of the relative thinness of the

data.    Our analysis is, therefore, of all ranks combined (except as noted below).

Examining IUN‘s faculty composition between 1995 and 2004, tenure-track positions

have decreased by 25%, and contingent faculty numbers have increased by 68% (See

Tables 1-3). In 1998, tenure-track faculty comprised 23% of all full-time faculty as

opposed to the national average of 28.1%, whereas tenure-track faculty comprised 19%

of all full-time faculty in 2004. During the same period of time, the number of non-

tenure-track faculty skyrocketed from 13% in 1998 to the current 21%. There appears to

be an upward trend in separation rates (retirements, resignations, and other forms of

separation) (See Table 4). While this trend is irregular, it nonetheless suggests that a

  The AAUP further asserts that ―[w]omen are more strongly represented among part-time faculty than
among full-time faculty. As of 1998, 48 percent of all part-time faculty were female, while only 36 percent
of all full-time faculty were female. Women who do hold full-time positions are more strongly represented
among lecturer and instructor positions, with little opportunity for tenure. As of 2000, women made up 55
percent of lecturers, 58 percent of instructors, 46 percent of assistant professors, 36 percent of associate
professors, and only 21 percent of full professors‖ in a time when the participation of women in academic
professions is increasing (―Contingent Appointments‖ 61). For additional earlier data, see also the ADE‘s
―Executive Summary Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Staffing‖ (1-3), ―The 1999 MLA Survey of
Staffing in English and Foreign Language Departments‖ (211-28), the MLA‘s ―Summary of Data from the
Surveys by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce‖ (1-2), and ―Resolution 5: On Professional Standards
of Insruction‖ in NCTE‘s ―2003 CCCC Resolutions‖ (3-6),

continuation of the current tend will see us losing somewhere around 25 full-time faculty

per year by the end of this decade. Furthermore, hiring has tended to be less than

separations. At the same time, there appears to be an upward trend in lecturers as a

percentage of new hires. This trend, too, is irregular, but it nonetheless suggests that a

continuation of the trend will lead to 70% of new hires being lecturers by the end of this

decade (See Table 4). At the current time, we have requested (from Academic Affairs)

data related to the number of adjuncts at IUN during this ten-year period; however, given

recent changes in university software, the figures are not yet available. As soon as those

numbers become available, we will integrate them into this report.

Source    Year           Asst   Assoc    Full          Lect
 IUIS     95-96   167     44     74       27            22
 IUIS     96-97   164     45     73       25            21
 IUIS     97-98   164     38     74       30            22
 IUIS     98-99   165     40     72       25            28
 IUIS     99-00   163     32     73       32            26
 IUIS     00-01   170     34     71       32            33
 IUIS     01-02   166     33     68       33            32
 IUIS     02-03   165     33     60       36            36
 UFC      03-04   173     33     58       45            37
Table 1: IUN Raw Data

 Source      Year       Asst     Assoc          Full          Lect
  IUIS       95-96      26%      44%            16%           13%
  IUIS       96-97      27%      45%            15%           13%
  IUIS       97-98      23%      45%            18%           13%
  IUIS       98-99      24%      44%            15%           17%
  IUIS       99-00      20%      45%            20%           16%
  IUIS       00-01      20%      42%            19%           19%
  IUIS       01-02      20%      41%            20%           19%
  IUIS       02-03      20%      36%            22%           22%
  UFC        03-04      19%      34%            26%           21%
Table 2: Composition percentages (by year):

  Year         Asst    Assoc      Full       Lect
  95-96          0        0         0          0
  96-97         2%      -1%       -7%        -5%
  97-98       -14%       0%       11%         0%
  98-99        -9%      -3%       -7%        27%
  99-00       -27%      -1%       19%        18%
  00-01       -23%      -4%       19%        50%
  01-02       -25%      -8%       22%        45%
  02-03       -25%     -19%       33%        64%
  03-04       -25%     -22%       67%        68%
Table 3: Changes from 95-96 (the percentage in the table represents the change in
number from 95-96):

Year        Year Persistence% Promotion% Separation% Start Persist Promote Separate
95-96/96-97    1          93%         0%          7% 145      135        0       10
96-97/97-98    2          83%        11%          6% 143      119       16        8
97-98/98/99    3          94%         0%          6% 142      133        0        9
98-99/99-00    4          77%        16%          7% 137      106       22        9
99-00/00-01    5         95%        .07%             4%   137   130      1       6
00-01/01-02    6         84%          4%            12%   137   115      6      16
01-02/02-03    7         90%          3%             8%   134   120      4      10
02-03/03-04    8         86%          3%            10%   129   111      4      14
Table 4: IUN Persistence, Promotion and Separation Rates (figures rounded to the

nearest percent)

          Clearly, the real questions here involve how the above changes in faculty

composition influence the general nature and effectiveness of the institution, its

programs, and its individual faculty members. According to the AAUP, ―the work of

faculty comprises an integrated whole; segmenting that work threatens the quality of

higher education, undermines the reliability and effectiveness of academic decision

making, undercuts the necessary protections of academic freedom, and imposes an

unacceptable cost on student learning‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 65). According to

the ADE, ―the expansion of the adjunct ranks in English departments over the past two

decades threatens the integrity of the profession and instructional programs…and

undermines professional and educational standards and academic freedom‖ (―ADE

Statement on the Use of Part-Time‖ 1). The ADE extends its comments beyond the

scope of English departments as follows: ―Excessive reliance on adjunct faculty can

damage individual faculty members, students, institutions, and the profession‖ (―ADE

Statement on the Use of Part-Time‖ 1). To clarify, the issue here is not the effect of some

contingent faculty positions; rather, the problem comes into play when the numbers and

percentages exceed what would be reasonable and productive for particular departments

and/or divisions as well as for the disciplines as a whole. For example, the English

Department currently employs twenty-three (23) adjuncts teaching forty-six (46) sections

primarily of Elementary Composition, while the Mathematics department has twelve (12)

adjuncts teaching eighteen (18) of their forty-four (44) sections.

       Because suggesting that excessive use of contingent faculty threatens institutions,

faculty and students alike is too general a statement on its own, one must further address

the manner in which such a threat manifests itself, and this more specific argument can be

grouped according to dangers inherent in three general areas: a) curricular design and

instructional effectiveness, b) faculty governance and academic freedom, and c)

exploitation of a segment of the academic workforce.

       In terms of the effects felt in curricular and instructional areas, excessive use of

contingent faculty negatively influences program coherence, institutional and curricular

planning, the quality of instruction, educational experiences and resources, the success of

under-prepared students, and the integrity of faculty work. According to the AAUP,

―The immediate cost savings that institutions realize from widespread use of part-time

appointments to staff introductory courses are often offset by the lack of program

coherence and reduced faculty involvement with students and student learning‖

(―Statement from the Conference‖ 4-5). Not only does ―[t]he minimal institutional

commitment and relatively rapid turnover that characterizes part- and full-time contingent

faculty‖ result in program incoherence and reduced student learning, but it also ―mean[s]

that few faculty members are available for long-term institutional and curricular

planning‖ (AAUP, ―Contingent Appointments‖ 61). Pointing to studies that indicate the

value of informal interactions with the faculty outside of the classroom as influencing

student persistence, the AAUP asserts, ―Unfortunately, part-time faculty members, who

are typically paid by the course, are discouraged by their employment arrangements from

spending time outside the class with students or on student-related activities, whether in

office hours and less formal interactions or in class preparation and grading papers,‖ and

the part-time faculty members ability to interact with students is further influenced by the

frequent need to teach ―multiple courses on multiple campuses‖ for financial reasons

(―Contingent Appointments‖ 62). According to the MLA‘s comments on the Coalition

on the Academic Workforce‘s report and the subsequent Conference on the Growing Use

of Part-Time and Adjunct Faculty held in 1997, ―the data on salaries and benefits

supports the conference‘s principle assertion that ‗the terms and conditions of part-time

and adjunct faculty appointments, in many cases, weaken our capacity to provide

essential experiences and resources.      Too often the terms and conditions of such

appointments are inadequate to support responsible teaching or, by extension, a career‖

(―Summary of Data‖ 5).

        One of the primary ways in which the increase in use of contingent faculty

negatively influences faculty is in a fragmentation of faculty work. According to the


        Higher education achieves its unique standing in society because it is

        characterized by original research, teaching that is grounded in scholarly

        disciplines, and service to the larger community, all supported and protected by

        academic freedom.     Institutions rely on the professional responsibility of the

        faculty to maintain a strong commitment to student learning and to the

        development of scholarship…..The relative emphasis placed on teaching,

        scholarship, and service by a faculty member varies according to the terms of his

        or her appointment and academic discipline and the type of institution at which he

        or she works. But although emphases vary, these functions are not completely

        divisible. Faculty work cannot be sliced cleanly into component parts without

        losing the important connections that make up the whole. For example, while

        teaching may be the primary mission of certain types of institutions or programs,

        teaching faculty recognize the need to engage in scholarly work in order to

        remain current and effective as teachers in their respective disciplines

        (―Contingent Appointments‖ 63).

Keeping in mind the connectedness of the teaching, research, and service triad, the

AAUP explains, ―Tenured and tenure-track faculty are expected to engage to some extent

in teaching, scholarship, and service, and their salaries and teaching loads reflect that

expectation;‖ however, ―[t]he professional development and scholarly accomplishments

of contingent faculty are often viewed as irrelevant or simply ignored‖(―Contingent

Appointments‖ 64). Furthermore, ―[c]ontingent appointments frustrate such involvement

[with scholars in their discipline] and hamper original research because they are unstable

and because they rarely include institutional support for scholarly activities and

professional development‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 64). This is likewise true for

full-time contingent faculty appointments, which ―leave little time for scholarly

development, because faculty with these appointments tend to teach more classes than

tenured or tenure-track faculty‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 64).          Diminishing the

scholarship and service components of academic appointments impairs the teaching one.

       The AAUP also argues that ―excessive reliance‖ on contingent faculty

disadvantages under-prepared students:

       The excessive reliance on part-time faculty for lower-division and community

       college instruction also means that entering and less well prepared students may

       be further disadvantaged relative to more advanced students. First, lower division

       students are primarily taught by faculty members who are not remunerated to

       provide the out-of-class support that is particularly essential to such students.

       Second, the part-time and adjunct, non-tenure-track faculty‘s lack of collegial

       involvement or professional support makes them less knowledgeable about their

       employers and therefore less able to represent, orient, or respond to their students.

       Third, this lack of collegial involvement also lessens the coherence among core

       courses, sequential courses, and, where more specialized part-time faculty are

       involved, courses in the major. Fourth, reservation of large numbers of positions

       for part-time and adjunct, non-tenure-track positions results in the nonrenewal of

       many tenure-track faculty whose qualifications and performance often exceeds

       that of the temporary faculty, who most often are not subject to such stringent

       review. (―Statement from the Conference on the Growing Use of Part-Time‖ 5)

       Faculty composition unreasonably heavy on contingent faculty likewise increases

faculty turnover, destabilizes faculty, taints the collegial atmosphere, weakens faculty

governance, and threatens academic freedom. According to the AAUP, the ―minimal

institutional commitment and relatively rapid turnover‖ that influences curricular

planning likewise has an impact on other aspects of faculty life such as ―mentoring new

faculty‖ and ―other collegial responsibilities such as peer reviews of scholarship and

evaluations for reappointment and tenure. The faculty as a whole is less stable when its

members are increasingly unable to support these key academic activities‖ (―Contingent

Appointments‖ 61). Furthermore, ―[i]nequities and physical distance among potential

colleagues undermine the collegial atmosphere of academic institutions and hamper the

effectiveness of academic decision making‖(―Contingent Appointments‖ 62). At the

same time, ―[f]aculty governance is weakened by constant turnover, and, on many

campuses, by the exclusion of contingent faculty from governance activities‖

(―Contingent Appointments‖ 62). Referring to the relation between peer review, tenure,

and academic freedom, the AAUP also argues that excessive use of contingent faculty

threatens academic freedom:

       [T]he attenuated relationship between the contingent faculty member and his or

       her department or institution can chill the climate for academic freedom.

       Currently, neither peer review nor academic due process operates adequately to

       secure academic freedom for most contingent faculty members. The lack of

       adequate protection for academic freedom can have visible results. Contingent

       faculty may be less likely to take risks in the classroom or in scholarly and service

       work. The free exchange of ideas my be hampered by the specter of potential

       dismissal or nonrenewal for unpopular utterances. In this chilling atmosphere,

       students may be deprived of rigorous         and honest evaluation of their work.

       Likewise, faculty may be discouraged from explorations in new knowledge and

       experimentation in new pedagogies. Perhaps more important, institutions may

       lose the opportunity to receive constructive criticism of academic policies and

       practices from a significant portion of the academic community. (―Contingent

       Appointments‖ 64)

If the downward trend in full-time faculty and upward trend contingent faculty continues

at their current rates at IUN, this will create a specific difficulty for faculty governance:

According to the University Faculty Handbook, for example, within each unit, a

minimum of 60% of the voting authority must be held by tenured or tenure-track faculty.

As the percentage of lecturers grows, this will create difficulties in faculty governance for

specific programs (some of which may have already occurred).

       Related to the specific treatment of contingent faculty, inequities in pay, various

types of institutional support, and the tenuous state of employment exploit this segment

of the academic workforce; furthermore, such employment actually limits the likelihood

of future conversion to tenure-track appointments at the university in question or other

institutions. ―The AAUP believes that excessive use or , and inadequate compensation

and professional support for, such contingent faculty exploits these colleagues and

undermines academic freedom, academic quality, and professional standards‖ (―Part-

Time‖ 1). The ADE asserts, ―The conditions under which most adjunct teachers are

employed define them as nonprofessionals. Often they are hired quickly, as last-minute

replacements. They receive little recognition or respect for their contributions to their

departments; almost always they are paid inequitably and receive no fringe benefits‖

(―ADE Statement on the Use of Part-Time‖ 1). The AAUP suggests the following about

the hiring practices related to contingent faculty: ―Contingent faculty, by contrast [to the

rigorous national searches for tenure-track faculty], are often hired in hurried

circumstances. Department chairs select likely candidates from a local list…Faculty in

most contingent positions are rarely reviewed and evaluated during their appointments,

and little care is taken to enhance their professional development and advancement‖

(―Contingent Appointments‖ 63). According to a report on the NCTE Conference on

Growing Use of Part-Tine and Adjunct Faculty, ―‘the majority of part-time faculty teach

under emphatically substandard conditions…are far less likely to receive regular

evaluation and feedback,…lack job security‘ and are typically paid from ‗$1,000 to

$3,000 per course‘‖(―2003 CCCC Resolution #5‖ 4). According to the AAUP, ―This

means that a sizeable corps of college teachers lacks access to employment benefits,

including health insurance and retirement plans. To support themselves, part-time faculty

often must teach their courses as piecework, commuting between institutions, preparing

for courses on a grueling timetable‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 63). Part-time faculty

rarely receive travel or research support, and many share office space and computers

(―Summary of Data‖ 3). In addition to pay and benefit inequities as well as impossible

teaching loads many must take to support themselves, contingent faculty face the reality,

according to Kathleen Barker, that ―the longer faculty are adjuncts, the harder it is to land

a full-time position‖ (Murray 2). To say the least, this situation is less than equitable.

       According to the AAUP, the California State University system and Western

Michigan University have respectively implemented system-wide and university specific

change in the direction we will suggest below. The AAUP summarize the efforts in

California as follows:

       [I]n 2001, the California legislature passed a resolution to increase the percentage

       of tenured and tenure-track faculty in the California State University system to 75

       percent over an eight-year period. A system-wide working group adopted a plan

       that outlined a goal of improving the ratio of tenured and tenure-track faculty by

       1.5 percent per year. The plan anticipated that many faculty holding non-tenure-

       track lecturer positions would apply successfully for newly created tenure-track

       positions, and that the remaining replacements of lecturer positions with tenure-

       track positions could be handled through attrition and retirements of lecturers. To

       meet the goal, the state undertook to conduct between 1,800 and 2,000 annual

       searches for new tenure-track faculty. The cost of recruiting, appointing, and

       compensating the new positions was estimated to be between $4.8 and $35

       million in each of the eight years, which reflected an increase of .18 percent to 1.3

       percent in the system-wide budget. (―Contingent Appointments‖ 67).

While the transition process in California was system wide, Western Michigan

University‘s process to date focused more on a specific group:

       At Western Michigan University, the faculty successfully bargained for a contract

       that offered tenurable positions to a group of ―faculty specialists‖ including health

        specialists and teachers in the College of Aviation. Because the faculty union and

        the institution moved incrementally toward this step, first regularizing the

        positions by adopting job descriptions and promotional ranks and agreeing on

        some due process provisions, and then offering job security with four-year

        reviews, the cost of transition to tenure-track was negligible.                  (―Contingent

        Appointments‖ 67).

Obviously, the above examples offer two quite different precedents, and we include them

herein not as models but as potential sources of further information on variant

possibilities. Furthermore, as part of IUN‘s implementation of a transitional period, we

recommend contacting individuals involved in both of the above processes to research the

positive and negative repercussions of their specific approaches.

        Based on the institutional data and national research and guidelines, this

committee suggests that the IUN administration and faculty work together to implement

the following plan, which draws heavily from the AAUP‘s 2003 ―Guidelines for

Transition‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖) in conjunction with earlier work.5                      As the

AAUP explains,

        The professoriate‘s transition from a body composed mainly of full-time tenure-

        line faculty to a body composed mainly of contingent faculty occurred over

        several decades. Now, some institutions seek to recover stability and quality of

        instruction lost in that transition. Some simply seek to improve the ratio of

  See also the guidelines included in the following documents, all of which are consonant with the more
recent 2003 AAUP ones cited in the main text: the ADE‘s ―Executive Summary Report of the Ad Hoc
Committee on Staffing‖ (4-5), the ―ADE Statement on the Use of Part-Time and Full-Time Adjunct
Faculty‖ (2), the AAUP‘s ―Statement from the Conference on the Growing Use of Part-Time and Adjunct
Faculty‖ (5-11), the ―MLA recommendations published in Profession 2002‖ (1-2), and ―Resolution 5: On
Professional Standards for Instruction‖ in the ―2003 CCCC Resolutions‖ (4-5).

       tenure-line faculty in one or more departments. Such changes do not have to be

       precipitate and jarring to institutions, to students, or to faculty members who were

       hired on a contingent basis and have, nonetheless, tried to build an academic

       career. Both faculty and administrators participated in the decisions that have

       resulted in heavy reliance on contingent faculty, especially for undergraduate

       teaching.   Both faculty and administrators now share the responsibility for

       reducing such reliance while minimizing the costs of change to current contingent

       faculty. (―Contingent Appointments‖ 67)

The AAUP includes the following six general recommendations for this transition period:

1) ―Assess the current situation,‖ 2) ―Define and describe the goal,‖ 3) ―Consider

appropriate criteria for tenure,‖ 4) ―Stabilize the situation‖ 5) ―Design a deliberate

approach,‖ and 6) ―Recognize costs and plan for necessary resources‖ (―Contingent

Appointments‖ 67-68). This current report is the first step in assessing our current

situation by gathering information related to IUN‘s ratio of full-time tenure-track, full-

time non-tenure-track, and adjunct faculty as well as national research on the issue.

According to the AAUP, we must also address ―[h]ow many of such appointments are

needed to serve the long-term best interests of the students and the institution‖ and use

―[t]he current ratio…as a benchmark‖ that we seek to reduce (―Contingent

Appointments‖ 67). At IUN, this ratio of full-time tenure-track to full-time non-tenure-

track faculty is currently 136:37, or approximately 3.7; however, as noted earlier, we

need the data relating to the adjunct portion of contingent faculty before we can set the

current benchmark from which to reduce at IUN (See Table 1).

       Following that initial assessment process, faculty and administrators should work

together to decide the goals of programs, departments, and the institution in terms of the

number of tenure-track positions necessary to the academic integrity of each.             In

explanation here, the AAUP states, ―To determine the number of tenured positions

needed for each department, program, or institution, faculty and administrators should

begin with the premise that core and advanced courses should be taught by faculty who

have the protection of academic freedom, secured by tenure and academic due process, as

well as the ability to participate fully in their profession and the collegial environment of

the academy‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 68). The current reality at IUN suggests, for

example, that when only slightly less than 25% of the sections in English are taught by

tenure or tenure-track faculty, the quality of instruction in core courses could be called

into question. Likewise, in the IUN Mathematics department, their twelve (12) adjuncts

teach eighteen (18) of their forty-four (44) sections: approximately 41% of the courses

in Mathematics are taught by adjuncts, a situation on which similar questions of the

quality of instruction recur. The AAUP further suggests that ―[d]uly constituted faculty

bodies should determine the full complement of tenured and tenure-track faculty needed

in a department, program, or institution,‖ adding that ―[t]he number of tenure

lines…should reflect at least the number of faculty needed to teach the students enrolled

in core and advanced courses offered on a continuing basis‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖


       With reference to defining tenure requirements specific to various types of

appointments, the third part of this transition process, the AAUP designates this as the

responsibility of a ―duly constituted body of faculty peers‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖

68). Next, to stabilize the situation (the fourth recommendation), the institution ―should

avoid hiring new contingent faculty during the transition,‖ and ―[n]ew contingent

appointments, if any, should be limited to candidates whose qualifications, after a

probationary period, are likely to meet the institution‘s standards for tenure in the type of

position being filled, in anticipation of eventual tenure eligibility‖ (―Contingent

Appointments‖ 68). To further clarify, the AAUP stipulates that ―[s]uch appointments

should be made in the context of a definite timetable, coupled with the commitment of

appropriate resources, to convert the positions to tenure-track positions‖ (―Contingent

Appointments‖ 68). Rotation of faculty through various types of positions to avoid

commitment and/or the proliferation of new types of contingent positions should not


         In this transition period, the approach should be deliberate and should avoid

disruption to students and faculty: ―A transition can be achieved through an incremental

approach that relies in large part on the voluntary attrition of faculty holding contingent

appointments‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 68). The AAUP herein notes that contingent

faculty, ―who have been reappointed several times, should be included in the decision-

making process about the conversion of positions or the creation of new positions‖

(―Contingent Appointments‖ 68). Further explicating the process of converting existing

positions into tenure-line ones, the AAUP adds,

         Faculty may determine that, during the period of transition, individuals currently

         holding teaching-only positions or other positions not presently recognized as

         tenurable may be ―grandfathered‖ into tenured or tenurable positions. Based on

         their existing qualifications and consistently demonstrated effectiveness in their

       current work responsibilities, full-time non-tenure-track faculty who are

       reappointed for a period of time that is equivalent to the probationary period for

       tenure-track faculty should be recognized as entitled, in their current positions, to

       the protections that would accrue with tenure. Part-time faculty whose effective

       academic service and accomplishments lead to successive reappointments should

       be accorded assurances of continued employment….When the ―grandfathered‖

       positions become vacant through attrition or retirement, new candidates should be

       recruited according to qualifications that faculty peers determine are necessary in

       the long term for tenure-track positions. (―Contingent Appointments‖ 68).

       Recognizing the costs of such a ―transition to a full-time tenured and tenure-

eligible faculty,‖ the AAUP asserts that ―[t]hese costs represent an appropriate

investment in undergraduate education,‖ which ―are offset somewhat by the diminished

administrative expense of handling high turnover among faculty teaching essential

courses‖ (68). The AAUP further suggests that conversion of full-time non-tenure-track

positions will be less costly than that of replacing part-time contingent faculty with their

full-time tenure-track counterparts. The AAUP provides two ways to effect such a

transition: ―One option is for institutions to convert the tenure-eligible status of faculty

currently holding contingent appointments. Another option is for institutions to create

new tenure-eligible positions, recruiting broadly for these positions and gradually phasing

out contingent positions‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 69). The AAUP provides the

following specific guidelines for conversion of status: 1) ―Faculty should consider the

work to be undertaken by those holding newly converted positions,‖ restructuring or

rearranging the positions so that ―the faculty in such positions [can] assume the full range

of faculty responsibilities, appropriate to the position, and be compensated and

recognized for those responsibilities,‖ 2) ―The experience and accomplishments of

faculty who have served in contingent positions at the institution should be credited in

determining the appropriate length and character of a probationary period for tenure in

the converted position,‖ and 3)‖If the requirements of the position change when it

becomes a tenure-line position, the faculty member in the position should be given time

and appropriate professional development support during the probationary period to

enable him or her to meet the new requirements‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 69).

Similarly, creating new tenure-line positions (while reducing the number of new

contingent faculty) should follow particular guidelines: 1) To assure staffing of all levels

of instruction, ―[f]aculty should reconsider the academic work to be undertaken by those

holding both new and existing positions,‖ 2) the university needs to advertise the

positions widely to attract a diverse candidate pool, 3)‖Experienced, effective, and

qualified faculty currently holding contingent appointments should be encouraged to

apply for the new tenure-line positions,‖ and faculty ―should scrupulously avoid

discrimination against applicants currently employed in contingent positions,‖ and 4) in

replacing part-time positions, faculty ―should create timetables that rely, insofar as

possible, on attrition and voluntary termination, in order to introduce the least possible

disruption in the work lives of contingent faculty who have served the institution well

over a period of years‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 69).

       It is this committee‘s contention that reducing the number of contingent faculty

and increasing the number of full-time tenure-line faculty at IUN will arrest the negative

effects of the current trends and produce a number of positive far-reaching results.

According to such diverse national bodies as the AAUP and the MLA, such changes will

       * increase program coherence,

       * improve the quality of instruction,

       * strengthen educational experiences and resources,

       * help under-prepared students,

       * strengthen curricular planning,

       * decrease faculty turnover,

       * enhance the collegial atmosphere,

       * promote and preserve the integrity of faculty work and the profession,

       * decrease inequities,

       * enhance faculty governance, and

       * protect academic freedom, due process and tenure.

As the AAUP concludes its 2003 statement, ―Good faith efforts to strengthen the

commitment between institutions and the faculty members who carry out their academic

missions will improve the quality of education offered at these institutions while

preserving the integrity of the academic profession‖ (―Contingent Appointments‖ 69).

This report, then, is a call for us to work together to assess, plan, and implement changes

necessary to the betterment of IUN.

                                       Works Cited

American Association of University Professors. ―Contingent Appointments and the

       Academic Profession‖ (Draft Policy Statement). Academic Bulletin of the

       American Association of University Professors (September-October 2003): 59-


---. ―Part-Time and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Appointments.‖ 10/03. American

       AAUP Homepage. 11/11/03.

---. ―Statement from the Conference on the Growing Use of Part-Time and Adjunct

       Faculty.‖ 1997. AAUP Homepage. 10/13/03. <


American Sociological Association. ―ASA Research—Use of Adjunct and Part-time

       Faculty in Sociology.‖ 11/8/03. ASA Homepage. 11/11/03.

Association of Departments of English. ―ADE Statement on the Use of Part-Time and

       Full-Time Adjunct Faculty.‖ 10/28/98. ADE Homepage. 10/13/03. faculty.htm.

---. ―Executive Summary Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Staffing.‖ ADE Bulletin

       122 (Spring 1999). 4/30/99. ADE Homepage. 10/13/03. sum.htm>.

Laurence, David. ―The 1999 MLA Survey of Staffing in English and Foreign Language

       Departments.‖ Profession 2001: 211-224. 7/23/03. MLA Homepage. 10/13/03.

Modern Language Association. ―MLA recommendations published in Profession 2002.‖

       9/2/03. MLA Homepage. 10/13/03. policy/repview policy.

---. ―Summary of Data from Surveys by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce.‖

       3/8/01. MLA Homepage. 10/13/03. coalition/repview coalition.

Murray, Bridget. ―The bane of part-time faculty: satisfying work, lousy benefits.‖ APA

       Monitor Online 29.12 (December 1998): 1-4. APA Online Homepage.


National Council of Teachers of English. ―Contingent, Adjunct, & PT Faculty.‖ NCTE

       Homepage. 11/11/03.

---. ―2003 CCCC Resolutions.‖ March 2003. NCTE Homepage. 10/13/03.

Organization of American Historians. ―Joint Committee Issues Standards for Part-time

       and Adjunct Faculty.‖ OAH Newsletter (August 2003). 8/1/03. OAH Homepage.


Townsend, Robert. ―Conference on Growing Use of Part-Time/Adjunct Faculty.‖

       Perspectives Online (January 1998). AHA Homepage. 11/11/03.


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