Adjunct Faculty: Who are these Unsung Heroes of Academe?
A trend in hiring adjuncts exists. Adjuncts bring real-world perspectives to students, provide scheduling flexibility for department heads, and are a cost savings for colleges and universities. The purpose of this paper was to examine the role of AF within the overall professorate. Who are these part-time instructors? This research study was an archival quantitative, data mining study using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). This study identified full-time and part-time faculty according to gender and race from a total of 4,426 degree-granting universities in the United States. Examination of the data revealed that adjuncts represented 50 percent of the total faculty in degree-granting institutions in the United States for the year 2011. Implications from this study have a bearing on institutional morale, turnover, productivity, student service, community relations, employee relations, and institutional image.