Improving Support for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

Academic administrators are well aware that the faculty has changed dramatically, with 70 percent of the faculty now off the tenure track (52 percent part-time and 18 percent full-time, non–tenure track) (American Association of University Professors, 2018). This transformation of academic positions over the past three decades has created an assortment of challenges for campuses—lack of individuals to lead curricular and pedagogical transformations, inconsistent understanding of programmatic and school learning goals, lack of institutional memory about policies and practices, and inconsistent presence of faculty to support student learning and relationships. These, among other challenges, have become widespread issues that campuses are only beginning to come to grips with. It is commonplace for faculty leaders to bemoan the challenging circumstances that part-time and contingent faculty face, but there has been much less attention to solutions. The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success was created in 2012 as a partnership across dozens of national higher education organizations representing faculty, administrators, and policymakers to address this issue. In the past decade, the Delphi Project has developed a comprehensive database composed of numerous resources for campuses; the goal is to help them solve these pressing issues and to better support contingent faculty and explore new faculty models.

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