MONTREAL -- The American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Contingent Faculty released its interim report ahead of the association’s annual meeting this week. The report includes an overview of the existing literature on non-tenure-track faculty members and recommends various policy changes. “Contingent faculty often report feeling invisible to tenure-system faculty,” says the study. “Their low pay and poor working conditions, along with disrespect, make many financially precarious … and chronically stressed emotionally and physically.”
The interim report pushes for equal pay for equal work among all faculty members and reasonable job security and academic freedom for adjuncts, among other general goals, stating that some changes are difficult to "operationalize" yet crucial nonetheless. At the departmental and university levels, suggested actions include making adjuncts part of governance and inviting them to social and intellectual events. Suggested actions for the sociological association include creating new awards designed to recognize the work of contingent faculty and possibly including them in governance, such as by designating seats on the ASA’s governing council and committees.
The report also suggests that ASA’s member newsletter, Footnotes, include a regular column on adjunct employment and that the association otherwise create ways for contingent faculty members to network and connect with one another. The task force is soliciting feedback on its preliminary work, and a final report is expected by 2019.