Introduction The increasing use of non-tenure-track faculty began in the 1970 s as a response to projected enrollment declines and continued in the following decades based upon budgetary constraints. Over the last thirty years non-tenure faculty has grown from 22 percent in 1970-71 to over 50% percent by 2001. Part-time faculty holds an estimated 43 percent of faculty appointments and non-tenure-track full-time faculty holds approximately 20 percent. There is a large body of research identifying the changing conditions in the academic world that have lead to the increased use of non-tenure-track faculty, especially the largest group, the part-timers.
The major contributing factors for administrators to hire more part-time faculty are cost factors, flexibility and particular institutional needs especially for 2-year community colleges. The increased use of part-time faculty is affecting the quality of education and the literature shows that there both benefits and costs resulting from this shift in faculty composition. What was seen as a temporary hedge to fluctuating budgets and enrollment numbers has now become a permanent part of the faculty structure in higher education. There is growing call for the development of comprehensive plans for better incorporation, management, and personnel policies for part-time faculty. The AAUP believes that excessive use, inadequate compensation and professional support for part-time faculty exploits this group of faculty members and undermines academic freedom, academic quality and professional standards.
This study is an attempt to increase state-specific knowledge about part-time faculty that will assist in the policy-analysis process. The purpose of this research is to identify and quantify the use of the non-tenure-track faculty in higher education institutions in Arkansas over the past twelve years. Good policies can only be developed based upon good knowledge of the differences among and between part-time faculty and full-time faculty. The results of this study will provide information and further understanding of the trends occurring in Arkansas with respect to part-time faculty. In addition, the research will hopefully provide an understanding of what has occurred in Arkansas's higher education institutions in relationship to comparable national trends. Reference ListTuckman, H.
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