Monday, December 28, 2015

Something to Think About

Changing Faculty Employment at Four-Year Colleges and Universities in the United States

by Liang Zhang, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

NBER working paper #21827 
December 2015

Abstract: We use panel data models to examine variations and changes over time in faculty employment at four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The share of part-time faculty among total faculty has continued to grow over the last two decades, while the share of full-time lecturers and instructors has been relatively stable. Meanwhile, the share of non-tenure track faculty among faculty with professorial ranks has been growing. Dynamic panel data models suggest that employment levels of different types of faculty respond to a variety of economic and institutional factors. Colleges and universities have increasingly employed faculty whose salaries and benefits are relatively inexpensive; the slowly deteriorating financial situations at most colleges and universities have led to an increasing reliance on a contingent academic workforce.

From the paper: [Click to enlarge.]

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