The growing number of part-time faculty members is lowering the quality of education at many colleges and needs to be addressed by accreditors, says a new report from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which is holding its annual meeting here this week.
The group represents 3,000 accredited institutions, recognizes some 60 accrediting organizations, and advocates for “self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation.”
The council’s report says the evidence “affirms that there is a lack of institutional support for non-tenure-track faculty” that is “compromising the quality of teaching and learning.”
That non-tenure-track faculty members are a majority at institutions in all sectors of higher education is well established, the report says. In 1969 nearly 80 percent of faculty members were in full-time, tenure-track positions. But by 2009 that proportion had fallen to less than 34 percent, it says, citing figures from the National Center for Education Statistics and the American Federation of Teachers. <Read more.>