If you are a college student today enrolled in four classes during any given semester, it is likely that only one of your teachers is employed by your school in a permanent position that comes with a middle-class salary, job security, and benefits. The other three are contingent faculty, often called â€œadjunctsâ€; they have job titles like â€œinstructorâ€ or â€œlecturerâ€ rather than â€œprofessorâ€ but their roles in the classroom are the same. According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), adjuncts at U.S. colleges and universities now comprise â€œmore than 75 percent of the total instructional staff.â€
So says Minding the Campus in Adjuncts and the Devalued PhD.
At my SLAC this would not be true. There are three adjuncts and fifteen full-time folks in the English department. Most departments are similarly constructed, though many have fewer full-time faculty.
I don’t even think this would have been true at the community college I was privileged to teach at last year either.
But if you are going to a big state university, most of the undergraduates get taught by adjuncts and grad students. I’d say almost 100% for freshman and sophomores at least. So that’s where the 3 out of 4 comes from.