Ivy Tech Community College Blames Affordable Care Act for “Shortage” of Adjunct Faculty

by Seth Schlabaugh

Ivy Tech Community College is experiencing a shortage of adjunct faculty linked to the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.

“We know that in some areas, that’s a 30 percent to 40 percent increase in the need for the number of adjunct faculty,” regional Chancellor Andy Bowne said during a speech last Friday, three days before the start of fall semester.

ObamaCare also could limit award-winning professional development opportunities for the adjunct faculty.

The East Central region of the college employs about 120 full-time faculty and about 500 adjunct or part-time faculty.

“Even as late as maybe yesterday or the day before, I saw the need for anatomy and physiology adjunct,” Bowne said.

During the speech at the Horizon Convention Center to about 270 faculty and staff, Bowne looked into the audience and added, “Did we fill that? Did we find somebody yet?” Bowne asked.

He got a “no” response. “Nope,” he repeated into the microphone for all to hear.

“We know that at least early on, our adjunct faculty were feeling like, ‘You’re kind of pinching us; why are you doing that exactly?’ ” Bowne said. “It’s out of our hands in so many ways.”

Ivy Tech is cutting the hours of adjunct faculty to avoid Affordable Care Act requirements to provide health insurance to employees working more than 30 hours a week. Adjunct faculty are now limited to teaching 12 credit hours per semester.

Ivy Tech can’t afford to pay health insurance for those faculty.

On Aug. 13, less than two weeks before the start of fall semester, the East Central region issued a news release saying it was seeking adjunct instructors for the Anderson, New Castle, Marion and Muncie campuses.

Minimum qualifications include a master’s or higher degree. Adjuncts receive a $500 per credit hour stipend. The majority of the courses are three credit hours, or $1,500 per class.

In addition to classroom or laboratory time, the instructors must spend time preparing for class and grading exams or papers and doing other tasks.

An East Central region faculty survey released in July showed that 31 percent of adjunct faculty disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, “I am satisfied with the benefits offered at Ivy Tech,” compared to about 8 percent of full-time faculty.

“If the Affordable Care Act implications were known at the time of the survey, no doubt that issue had an additional demoralizing impact on the adjuncts,” a report on the survey said. “This is a challenge with no obvious solutions.”

The report also said the act will not allow the region to offer Associate Faculty Development Institute opportunities during the semester to many adjunct faculty, which is “a major concern for the future.” The institute is available to all faculty but focuses on adjuncts.

“It is interesting that adjuncts report greater satisfaction with professional development than do the full-time faculty,” the report said. “A corroborating piece of evidence is the findings that adjunct who participated in at least 20 hours of the Associate Faculty Development Institute experienced more student success than other adjuncts and even full-time faculty on a course-by-course comparative basis.”

Last year, the institute, which expanded in 2011 after a $1 million pledge from the George and Frances Ball Foundation, won a national “Campus Impact Award” from the Council for Resource Development.

The city of Muncie’s future success relies in part on having a globally competitive local work force, which includes the need to have skilled college faculty, according to the local foundation.

Typically, adjunct faculty are professionals who bring real-life experience to students, demonstrating the possibility of successful careers in their area of study.

In May of 2013, more than half a year before the federal health care mandate became effective, Bowne told The Star Press, “This means we have to go aggressively into the adjunct hiring process. If you’re limiting the number of hours you teach, we still have to offer the courses, so you need to hire additional adjuncts or have those at the low end … teach more courses.”

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.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.



From the Archive

  • Union Balks At New Jersey Governor’s Proposal to Move Rutgers Adjuncts To High-Deductible Health Plan

    by J. Fletcher Close to 850,000 current and retired state workers can start choosing new health care plans on October 17, 2011 — a normally routine process that this year forms part of the largest overhaul of public-employee health care in the state. The state’s unfunded liability, defined as future costs expected in the health […]

  • A New Movement is Rising—Adjunct Teachers’ Unions Spring Up Nationwide

    By Bob Peterson Northeastern University. Gonzaga. University of St. Thomas. Adjunct faculty are unionizing at college large and small. A revitalized teacher union movement is bubbling up in the midst of relentless attacks on public schools and the teaching profession. Over the next several years this new movement may well be the most important force […]

  • How to Manage Classroom Conflict

    By Dr. Bruce Johnson Have you experienced conflict in your classroom? Are you aware of conditions that can disrupt a productive learning environment? Adjuncts often find that discussions can be a source of conflict because students may share diverse views, personal beliefs, or opinions, and that creates a potential for miscommunication, heated debate, and negative […]

  • Using Humor In The College Classroom To Enhance Teaching Effectiveness

    by Neelam Kher Humor is a valuable teaching tool for establishing a classroom climate conducive to learning. This article identifies opportunities for incorporating humor in the college classroom, reviews the impact of humor on learning outcomes, and suggests guidelines for the appropriate use of humor. Of particular interest is humor in “dread courses” which students […]

  • Book Review: ‘Building a Better Teacher,’ on Secrets of Good Teaching by Elizabeth Green

    By Michael S. Roth BUILDING A BETTER TEACHER How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone) By Elizabeth Green Norton. 372 pp. $27.95   America has some of the best schools on the planet and one of the worst systems of education in the developed world. We have produced educational philosophies that have inspired […]


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.


Want to see your advertisement on Click here.

Recently Commented

  • Rick: If your looking for non-academic jobs, or “menial” jobs do not even mention your graduate...
  • AdjunctNation Editorial Team: @Jeffr thanks for pointing out the distinction.
  • Jeffr: Note that adjunct faculty are considered to be on a “term” basis and receives no protection except...
  • Scott: I believe Sami is correct in that this no reasonable assurance language will allow adjuncts continuing access...
  • Nancy West-Diangelo: It’s as if we’ve lost the ability to listen critically. If the point of the work we...