Contingent Faculty Positions

Who are "contingent faculty"? Depending on the institution, they can be known as adjuncts, postdocs, TAs, non-tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, part-timers, lecturers, instructors, or nonsenate faculty. What they all have in common: they serve in insecure, unsupported positions with little job security and few protections for academic freedom. And they are the vast majority of US faculty today. Something needs to change.

The AAUP works for contingent faculty in multiple ways.

The One Faculty campaign, designed to help collective bargaining and advocacy chapters or state conferences to make concrete gains for faculty with contingent appointments, grows out of the AAUP's long history as an organization seeking to improve working conditions, shared governance, economic security, and academic freedom for all those who teach and do research in our universities and colleges. It explains why a united faculty is a strong faculty and includes specific guidelines for bargaining key contract issues.

Our research office compiles data on trends in faculty status. The AAUP's Committee on Contingent Faculty and the Profession studies issues relating to contingent faculty appointments and works to improve conditions for contingent faculty members and to help all faculty fight the trend towards part-time and non-tenure-track appointments. AAUP staff and members of the committee participate in a number of national and local coalitions on academic workforce issues including Campus Equity Week, the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, and the Coalition on the Academic Workforce.

In these videos, our members talk about their experiences with contingency, organizing, and why we must improve compensation and professional support opportunities if we want to maintain a quality higher education system.

Jeanette Jeneault Syracuse University Marc Bousquet Santa Clara University

Marcia Newfield
BMCC

Please take a look at our Resources page for more AAUP reports and activities pertaining to contingent faculty appointments.