President of American Council on Education Predicts Increases in Use of Non-Tenured Faculty

Sometimes our cousins on the other side of the Atlantic ask the questions that the American higher education media don’t ask. The Guardian is one of England’s must-read newspapers for its extensive higher education coverage of not only the U.K.’s system, but the U.S. higher education system, as well. The paper’s editors recently asked higher education leaders in the U.S., Australia, India and South Africa to share what trends and issues could have the most impact on the sector. They turned to Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, a co-ordinating body for all U.S. colleges and universities. What Corbett Broad focused on were the economic and political pressures faced by colleges and universities in the U.S. One prediction she makes should catch the attention of non-tenured faculty. She writes: “Higher education leaders will continue to seek efficiencies and reforms in our basic business model and our models for teaching and learning.”

“Efficiencies and reforms in our basic business model.” By now, those who have seen the increase in the number of non-tenured faculty at colleges and universities throughout the United States (and in colleges and universities throughout the world, really), know that “efficiencies” is one of the main justifications used by college administrators to employ scads of poorly-paid part-timers.

Translation: we can expect continued use of the “model” that calls for almost 70 percent of faculty off the tenure-track.

Below, you will find Corbett Broad’s entire answer, including all of her predictions:

Economic and political pressures as well as international competition will force U.S. higher education to keep adapting, but at what cost to quality?

In addressing what the future holds for U.S. higher education, we must acknowledge that the recession has brought about a series of transformative trends that will endure long past the current economic moment and fundamentally change our industry. Further, I believe the pace of change will only continue to accelerate, due to political and economic pressures as well as disruptive technological innovations.

I foresee several areas where higher education will experience ongoing change in 2012:

• Heightened international economic competition, whether it comes from the United Kingdom, China, India or other countries, will continue to force the US to produce more college-educated graduates and expand centers of graduate education and scientific research.

• In the context of the recession, endowment funds have dropped and states have cut budgets for higher education. Thus the federal government’s financial stake in higher education is now greater than ever and it will continue to grow.

• Higher education leaders will continue to seek efficiencies and reforms in our basic business model and our models for teaching and learning.

• The for-profit sector, which has been fueled to some extent by increased demand and lack of capacity in the public sector, has reshaped the higher education landscape and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

• While the adaptability and flexibility universities show in responding to these factors has been tremendous, every one of these factors has placed additional pressure on our system of quality assurance. Our policy-makers will retain their focus on higher productivity, better consumer protection and increased evidence of learning outcomes.

The new year brings enormous challenges for U.S. higher education. But in every challenge are the seeds of opportunity, and I know leaders at our colleges and universities will have the vision to see beyond our immediate problems and show the courage to embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business. To me, the outlook for 2012 is unpredictable, but also full of promise.



Short URL:

Leave a Reply

Keep in Touch With AdjunctNation

Graphic Graphic Graphic


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.



From the Archive

  • Winterize Your Car

    by Brent Romans If you were to ask your car where it would want to live, and it just so happened to be a talking car, it would most likely say “Southern California.” “It’s warm there, the roads are fairly decent, and I might get to see a movie star,” it would say. If you […]

  • Campus Threats Made in Online Courses—What’s A Faculty Member To Do?

    by Kate Mangu-Ward If a student threatens to shoot his classmates (or himself) on the online message board for his physics class, does that count as a campus threat? That’s just one of the many questions purveyors of massively open online courses, or MOOCs, are asking themselves. Universities have traditionally been asked to play many […]

  • Supplemental Income: Opportunities

    by Evelyn Beck THOSE OF US who teach on-line courses may not be the ones who revolutionized education, but we are among those leading the way as the rest of our peers are pulled with varying levels of enthusiasm into the brave new world of web learning. As a result of our place at the […]

  • Adjuncts Rally for Union at Temple University

    by Rosella Eleanor LaFevre The Adjunct Organizing Committee, a group that aims to unionize Temple’s part-time faculty, declared the week of Nov. 16th Adjunct Awareness Week. Members of the committee stood at the Bell Tower around noon every day through Nov. 20th. The AOC has worked for several years to unionize adjuncts. Its goals are […]

  • Analyzing the Trends: Distance Education–Resistance is Futile

    by Chris Cumo THE IDYLLIC UNIVERSITY has ivory-laced buildings, sprawling greens, and vast oaks through which light bathes the campus in a gentle sheen. Its nucleus is the classroom, where teacher and student trade ideas, the professor gesticulating to make a point, her hands and blouse smeared with chalk and the board covered with a string of provocative […]


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.

Recently Commented

  • Dr. Jim Sass: I can’t even imagine $9K per course. I have been teaching at my college for 15 years and only...
  • Hal: This is fantastic news!!! $9000 per course is a good middle class wage for the PT faculty. I didn’t hear...
  • Michelle Ryan: So Barnard is offering less than the national average per course pay? Shame on the administration.
  • Audrey Cody: Very creative and enjoyable
  • Nancy Collins: Students will be faced with reality once they leave college. The kindness Prof. Muhammad feels he...