Opening more occupations to apprenticeships could mean more job opportunities

New research indicates more job opportunities would be available if apprenticeships were expanded across more fields.

Anthropologists consider challenges of teaching in a red state

Scholars talk strategy, setbacks on teaching in a field that often aligns with progressive policy goals.

Online Learning Consortium honors innovations at three institutions

Three institutions earned the Online Learning Consortium's annual Digital Learning Innovation prize.

As debate over banning laptops resurfaces, academics seek more nuanced discussion

Amid the latest online brouhaha over use of devices in the classroom, educators say it’s time to focus on helping students however they need it -- laptop or no laptop.

Anticipating the future of technology in higher ed

Experts predict upcoming technological developments and consider their impact on the higher ed classroom.

Universities may band together to share product accessibility reviews

As reported by Inside Higher Ed, failure to provide accessible technologies for learners with disabilities can have serious consequences for universities.

How to avoid missteps in online programs

Anthony Piña says there are six ways institutions stumble in terms of distance education and provides tips and advice for how to avoid them.

Colleges start new academic programs

Study of internal grant proposal review processes demonstrates major return on investment

Many grant proposals are submitted without any kind of internal review. A new study suggests a major return on investment for institutions that help their researchers write better grants.

GAO Report on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

The Government Accountability Office on Monday released a report called “Contingent Workforce: Size, Characteristics, Compensation and Work Experiences of Adjunct and Other Non-Tenure-Track Faculty.” The paper follows up on a 2015 GAO report that found instructors off the tenure track earn less and have less stable positions than their tenure-track and tenured counterparts. This time, GAO looked at the makeup of the higher education workforce and what professors off the tenure track like and don’t like about their working conditions. Major findings include that non-tenure-track professors teach about 45 to 54 percent of all courses at four-year public institutions and higher proportions at two-year publics. Echoing other data on adjuncts, GAO found that full-timers off the tenure track may have annual or longer-term contracts providing relative job stability, while part-timers have little job stability. GAO also interviewed administrators at select institutions, who said that full-time, non-tenure-track professors often carry heavy teaching loads and sometimes take on additional responsibilities, such as research or advising. Part-timers, meanwhile, focus on teaching alone, interviewees said. 

Based on data from two states, the GAO found that full-time and part-time non-tenure-track professors at public institutions who teach primarily are paid about 75 percent and 40 percent less per course, respectively, than their tenure-link colleagues. When comparing faculty earnings on and off the tenure-track based considering teaching duties only, however, those pay disparities decreased to about 60 percent and 10 percent less per course for, respectively, according to the office. State and national data show that relatively few part-timers received health or retirement benefits from work. 

In discussion groups with the GAO, the non-tenure-track professors “cited advantages such as the flexibility to balance professional and personal responsibilities, skill development or working with students, and described disadvantages that included uncertainty due to short-term contracts, untimely contract renewals, and pay—including a lack of compensation for some of their work,” the report says. Other concerns included  Other concerns included

“limited career advancement opportunities, not having a voice in institutional decision-making, and not having certain types of institutional support.”

The new GAO study is based on data from nationally representative sources and public institutions in thee states: Georgia, North Dakota and Ohio (states were selected largely based on data availability). The office interviewed administrators from nine institutions in those states , plus one large for-profit university, and ran 21 discussion groups with non-tenure-track professors.

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