Adjunct or contingent faculty — the part-time year to year teachers, often on semester to semester or even course to course appointments — make up an ever increasing portion of the teaching force at public universities. They are, however, largely invisible, and this formula is destined to change the university more than any other single phenomenon, internet included.
“Being an adjunct is sometimes hard on the ego as nobody knows you are there except the students and maybe the security guard, cafeteria ladies and librarians.”
Kim Burdick, adjunct instructor of history
The Daily Iowan’s editorial board posted a dirge on the dramatically increasing numbers of adjunct faculty March 29, 2010. In 1960, 75% of the faculty at U.S. universities were either tenured or tenure-track, and full-time. In 2011, 27% hold that status. At the University of Iowa from 2005 to 2011 adjunct faculty increased 19% while tenured and tenure-track faculty only grew 6%.
“Efficiencies” are the primary benefit of adjunct teachers. Adjuncts spend almost double the time in the classroom as their tenured colleagues at less than half the pay creating the facade of economy.