Goodbye Mr. Chips – Colleges Adopting Contingent Model

It has been a long time since underpaid college professors wore tweed jackets with patched elbows.  Current compensation would suggest something more along the lines of Armani. [Also see here, and here.]

No wonder then that college administrators, under pressure to contain tuition inflation are shifting away from the tenure-track model, and more and more in the direction of competitively-priced contingent professors.

Contract professors, or adjunct professors, often teach as many courses as their full-time counterparts; however they cannot earn tenure.  As of 2003 (the latest data available), 85% of full-time faculty made $40,000 or more, compared to only 4% of part-time faculty.

As can be seen in the chart below, 2011 is looking like it will be the first year in which "part-time faculty" outnumber full-time faculty in United States postsecondary education. 


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