“A much-awaited survey on adjunct working conditions, released [in June 2012], finds what many have long suspected: Adjuncts don’t make much money, they receive little support in terms of professional development from the institutions where they teach, and most would accept a full-time tenure-track position if it were offered to them.
- Eighty percent of those who responded have taught as part-time faculty for at least three years, while 55 percent have been teaching part-time for six years or more. ‘These figures suggest that most respondents to the survey see teaching as a long-term, professional commitment rather than as something ‘adjunct’ to another career,’ the report said.
- About 19 percent of part-time faculty were teaching three courses in the fall of 2010, 30 percent taught two courses and nearly 25 percent of respondents taught one course. The rest taught four courses or more.
- The median pay for a three-credit course is $2,700, though those with a professional degree earned a median salary between $2,800 and $2,937, while a contingent faculty member with a doctorate degree earned a median salary of $3,200 for a course.
- About 18 percent of part-time faculty receive their health benefits from a nonacademic employer and 37 percent receive similar benefits from a partner’s or spouse’s work place. About 23 percent of such faculty members had access to health benefits through their academic employer.
- Part-time faculty who teach at a unionized campus are more likely to be paid for class cancelations and attending departmental meetings and receive regular salary increases than those teaching at a non-unionized campus. About 34 percent of those teaching at a unionized campus said they received regular salary increases while 12 percent of part-timers at a non-unionized campus received regular increases.
“Coalition members reacted with optimism to the survey as a tool for reform. Rosemary Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association, said contingent faculty tend to be invisible, with most people on campuses unaware of their work conditions. ‘It takes a lot of effort to have awareness happen,’ Feal said, hoping that the survey would have a snowball effect with more people finding out about the treatment of part-time faculty members.