Changing Faculty Employment at Four-Year Colleges and Universities in the United States
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.
The Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI) received financial support from the Andrew W, Mellon Foundation, however all of the conclusions expressed in the paper are strictly our own. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.