Monday, December 3, 2012

Signs of Adjunct/ Assistant Abuse?

Looking for an alternative hypothesis to
This seems to be a department/ institution that has "Walmart-ized" their workforce (keeping ranks low and using many adjuncts).

Came across a website for a science department of a medium sized university.

1. There were the same number of adjuncts listed as full-time faculty. All adjuncts had masters or lower.
2. Of the full-time faculty, only about a third were listed as associate or higher. Therefore, of the teaching force listed on the website, only 15% are tenured.
3. The website did not post credentials of many of the faculty other than where they got their degrees. Of the Assistant Professors, they didn't seem in their pictures to particularly young.
4. A few Assistant Professors listed the time they had been in the department. Several had been there since before 2000.
5. There were as many Lecturers as Assistant Profs.

Here, I'll start it off. Alternative Hypothesis 1. Everyone gets paid well enough that they don't feel the need to advance in ranks.


  1. I don't know how normal it is, but I went to a SLAC and there were... maybe two or three 'instructors' = non TT faculty, in a chem department of 10, and maybe two more in a bio faculty of 15. Two or three were faculty spouses, one was a non-PhD core facility admin, and there were no real adjuncts. They did have people take one-year contracts to cover sabbaticals but I feel like that's different.

  2. I went to a smaller (6,000 student) state school, with a Chem dept of 12-ish faculty. All but one were on the tenure track or tenured, and the last prof had a Masters and taught HS for 20 years. She only taught Gen Chem. as far as I can tell, adjuncts don't get paid very well. I think it's a case of excess supply of science teachers for undergraduate institutions.