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June 17, 2022

What Is an Adjunct Professor? A Look at the Role of Adjunct Faculty in Higher Education

What is an adjunct professor? An adjunct professor is a part-time or temporary faculty member at a college or university. Unlike tenured or tenure-track professors, adjuncts are not guaranteed a job for the next academic year. They typically work on a semester-by-semester basis, teaching one or two classes per semester. Adjuncts play an important role in higher education, and their numbers are growing rapidly. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the role of adjunct faculty in higher education.

Brown and black wooden chairs inside room

Who can become an adjunct professor?

Adjunct professors are instructors who teach courses on a part-time or temporary basis. While some adjuncts are simply retired professors who enjoy staying active in their field, many are working professionals who balance teaching with their day job. In order to become an adjunct professor, you typically need a master's degree or higher in the subject you wish to teach.

However, there may also be additional requirements, such as teaching experience or professional certification. If you're interested in becoming an adjunct professor, your best bet is to contact the schools in your area and inquire about their requirements. Some schools may need adjuncts, but others may not.

Adjunct faculty serve at both community colleges and bachelor's degree granting universities. Community colleges are less likely to require a doctoral degree of their adjunct faculty, but it really just depends on the system.

Can adjunct faculty members conduct research?

Adjunct professors are not full-time faculty. They usually have other jobs and only teach part-time. Because they are not employed full-time by the school, some people think they cannot do research. However, this is not true.

An adjunct faculty member can certainly do research. In fact, many of them do. The ability to research is not determined by employment status, but by expertise, interest, and opportunity. There are many adjunct professors who are experts in their field and who have the time and opportunity to conduct research.

So while an adjunct faculty member may not be able to do as much research as full-time faculty members, they are certainly capable of conducting research. I am an adjunct and I do conduct some research through my day job. I can also access some university resources (e.g., lab microscopes) by being associated with the University.

How much do adjunct professors earn?

Adjunct professors usually earn a set amount per credit hour. This means that if they're teaching an intensive (for them) course, pay can dip into "measly" as they dump hours into their instruction.

Despite their importance, adjunct professors often earn relatively low salaries. According to a recent report, the median salary for adjunct professors is just $20,000 per year. This low pay can be attributed to a number of factors, including the high cost of living in many parts of the country, the per-diem nature of the job, and the fact that adjunct professors typically do not receive benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

As a result, adjunct professors often have to cobble together a living from multiple part-time jobs. This situation is far from ideal for both professor and students.

Do adjunct professors have the same job security as tenured professors?

The job market for professors has changed significantly in recent years. Due to budget cuts and increasing enrollment numbers, many schools are now hiring adjunct professors instead of tenure-track faculty members. Adjuncts are typically paid less than tenured professors and do not receive the same level of job security.

In some cases, they are only hired on a semester-by-semester basis and may not be renewed if enrollment numbers decline. As a result, adjuncts often have to work at multiple schools to make ends meet. While tenured professors still have more job stability, the playing field is becoming increasingly leveled as more and more schools rely on adjuncts.

Do adjunct professors rely on their salary?

Adjunct faculty members are paid hourly, and they do not receive any benefits. Because of this, they are often forced to take on multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. In addition, adjuncts are typically only given a few weeks' notice before the start of the semester, which makes it difficult to plan for their financial future.

As a result, many adjunct faculty rely on their salary as their sole source of income. This can lead to financial instability and insecurity, particularly for those who are supporting a family. In addition, it can also make it difficult for adjunct faculty to dedicate the necessary time and energy to their students and to their own professional development.

As the cost of living continue to rise, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to make ends meet. Adjunct faculty members rely on their income. As a result, many are forced to rely on their salary as their only source of income. This can lead to financial instability and insecurity for an adjunct instructor, which can have a negative impact on both students and faculty members alike.

How many adjunct professors are there?

The adjunct professor system is one of the most controversial topics in higher education today. Advocates of adjunct instructors argue that they provide flexibility and allow schools to offer a wider variety of courses. Critics, on the other hand, argue that adjuncts are exploited, paid poorly, and often do not have the same job security as tenured professors. So, how many adjuncts are there? The answer is complicated.

According to the AAUP, adjunct professors or part time faculty now make up more than 50% of the college teaching workforce. However, this number varies widely from school to school. Some colleges have a majority of adjuncts, while others have only a few. In other words - there's no good definition of an adjunct teaching position.

In addition, the definition of an adjunct can vary from country to country. In the United States, an adjunct is typically defined as a professor who is not on the tenure track. As a result, the true number of adjuncts is likely even higher than the AACU estimates. Given the growing debate over the role of adjuncts in higher education, it is clear that this is an issue that warrants further exploration.

Should I become an adjunct professor?

Ultimately, becoming an adjunct professor is entirely up to you. I chose to do some teaching because I enjoy it and I miss it. But I'm not using my adjunct faculty position as living income. I will only bring in about $3,000 for teaching a summer class (after taxes). So it'd be hard to make ends meet on that alone.

If you miss interacting with undergrad and graduate students, becoming an adjunct instructor might be a good way to fulfill that need. But there are other ways to teach than higher education institutions, so don't restrict yourself too much.

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