WHO TEACHES AT PSU?
According to the university, as of Fall 2016, PSU employs:
37% tenured full-time faculty (590), 16% fixed-term full-time faculty (258), and 47% adjunct or part-time faculty (747).
In terms of student credit hours (SCH):
Tenured faculty teach 91,392 SCH (36%), fixed-term full-time teach 73,922 SCH (29%), and adjunct faculty teach 89,196 SCH (35%). This doesn't include student credit hours generated by graduate teaching assistants and non-instructional faculty.
*The above numbers don't reflect researchers.
Appointments, pay rates, and working conditions for adjunct faculty and researchers vary from department to department at PSU. Some departments employ 3-4 adjunct faculty, while others like the School of Art + Design and the School of Business Administration employ upwards of 85 a year.
HOW MANY CREDITS CAN AN ADJUNCT TEACH IN A YEAR?
The maximum amount of credits that a part-time faculty may teach in an academic year (fall, winter, spring) is 22.5 credits or .49 FTE (full-time equivalent). This usually equates to five 4-credit classes.
ACROSS THE NATION, WHAT PERCENTAGE OF FACULTY ARE ADJUNCTS?
Nationally, part-time faculty make up over 50% of the professors in higher education. According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), 70% of the professors in higher ed are contingent, meaning they are working on fixed, short-term contracts with little job security. This is quite different from the numbers in 1975, which showed that tenured and tenure-track positions made up 80% of the teaching jobs in higher ed.*
*see “Background Facts on Contingent Faculty,” American Association of University Professors, https://www.aaup.org/issues/contingency/background-facts.
“There Is No Excuse for How Universities Treat Adjuncts,” The Atlantic, September, 2015.