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New Data on Adjunct Instructors

November 2, 2018
 
 

TIAA Institute on Thursday published findings of a national survey of more than 500 adjunct faculty members. The majority of adjunct instructors are over 40 and primarily teach at a single college or university, “countering common perceptions that faculty is younger and teach at multiple colleges while pursuing a tenure-track position,” according to TIAA. Some 56 percent of those surveyed have their master’s degree while one-third have a doctorate. Just over half of the sample (52 percent) teach one of two courses at a single campus. Twenty-two percent teach three or more classes at two or more institutions.

Half of those surveyed said they would prefer to have a tenure-track position. Ten percent would prefer a full-time, non-tenure-track position. One-quarter preferred adjuncting. Adjunct faculty are paid an average of $3,000 per course, according to TIAA, but 60 percent of those surveyed are paid less than that. Adjuncts under 40 and those with Ph.D.s reported higher levels of dissatisfaction with their academic careers than others surveyed.

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