The Plight of Part-Time Faculty

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture

Part-time faculty play a vital role in university life. They teach large intro courses and classes; they are more likely to teach evening classes, which provides flexibility in course scheduling and attracts students who work during the day; and they accept last-minute teaching assignments when campuses add new class sections due to high student demand.

Part-time faculty are also a significant part of the higher ed workforce, accounting for 700,000 of the 1.8 million faculty at U.S. two- and four-year schools. Yet, part-time faculty lack access to important campus resources and the support they need to be most effective in their work.

Colleges and universities offer part-time faculty little or no job security; limited professional development opportunities; few resources to engage students; late course assignments; and low pay.