Expanding Leadership Roles for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: What Institutional Leaders Should Consider

Credit: iStock.com/Jirsak

Non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) make up over 50 percent of the faculty in higher education (“Percentages of Full-Time Faculty,” 2020). At associate’s and baccalaureate-granting institutions, more than 70 percent of faculty are NTTF. There are many consequences of this composition, including effects on student learning, academic governance, and faculty health and well-being. One of the less discussed consequences of these changes is the pipeline for available faculty leaders. With faculty burnout (Pope-Ruark, 2022) and workload equity (O’Meara et al., 2021) dominating the narrative, tenured faculty cannot possibly fulfill all the formal and informal leadership roles needed in higher education today. Many NTTF have the same or similar education and training as tenure-track faculty and should not be excluded from leadership simply because of their line.

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