- University Business profiles four of the major issues of contention between adjunct faculty members and colleges nationwide: job stability, compensation, inclusion in governance and promotion.
- Adjunct faculty members account for more than 75% of all instructional positions at colleges and universities nationwide, but command low wages and are often denied comprehensive benefits by institutions.
- 35 private colleges now work with adjunct faculty unions, all formed over the last three years.
While unionization could ultimately mean increased costs for schools that will be passed along to students and families, it may be an expense campuses must confront and meet to ensure the future of the academic product. Full-time professors carry the load for research and publishing in higher ed space, but it is frequently the adjunct, full-time practitioner who offers the most training and insight for undergraduate experience in professional development.
Colleges and universities may want to broker with organizations like the American Association for University Professors to create a new tenure and promotion system for adjuncts who bring unique skills and assets to a university because of their work outside of academe, or their ability to promote higher education through their innovation in the classroom.