Adrianna Kezar: The Faculty of the Future

Adrianna Kezar: The Faculty of the Future

This op-ed, authored by Pullias Center co-director Adrianna Kezar along with Pullias research assistants Daniel Scott and Hannah Yang, was originally published in Inside Higher Ed, January 10, 2018.

It is 2018 and we still have a crisis with the faculty. For 30 years critics have proclaimed the tenure-track and adjunct models of faculty broken.

Tenure-track models overemphasize a very narrow definition of research and do not encourage or provide accountability for quality teaching or improvement of teaching. For example, studies demonstrate that only 25 percent of faculty are excellent at both research and teaching. Furthermore, the tenure track can commit institutions to wages beyond retirement and to fields of study where enrollments may no longer exist.

Adjunct lines provide no institutional stability for the teaching force and bring in droves of fluctuating staff with limited or no experience teaching for a particular institution. Many adjuncts are not granted office space and have little support in acclimating to a particular campus, which leaves students without instructors available for office hours and unprepared for mentoring.

Read the rest of this op-ed at Inside Higher Ed.

Adrianna Kezar is co-director of the Pullias Center and professor of higher education at the University of Southern California. Daniel Scott and Hannah Yang are Pullias research associates.