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Non-Traditional vs. Tenured Full-Time Faculty

If current trends continue, the share of part-time faculty will continue to increase over the next decade, especially at community colleges and for-profit institutions. More part-time and non-tenure track faculty will be filling positions created by both the retirement of current faculty members and the continuing increase in traditional college-age (18 to 24) and adult enrollment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for post-secondary teachers, regardless of tenure status, will increase 23 percent through 2016.4

The share of full-time faculty who are professors, associate professors or assistant professors has been shrinking over the past 16 years, resulting in a steady increase in the number of instructors, lecturers, and those faculty having no rank. (Chart 4). While the share of assistant professors held steady over the past two years, the share of professors continued to decrease. Since 1990, the use of nontraditional faculty increased 9.4 percent, while those in the rank of professor decreased 5 percent.

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