It was in 1993 that a book titled “The Invisible Faculty” was published and commanded the attention of college officials from around the country.
The book seized on what was then a fast-growing but barely examined trend reshaping the higher education landscape: the burgeoning role of adjunct, part-time professors being hired as college administrators scoured budgets for ways to cut costs. The book painted a portrait of part-time faculty, took a look at their working conditions, presented a list of best practices for handling adjuncts and made recommendations for change.
Two decades later, adjuncts — also called contingent faculty — are no longer invisible. They are squarely in the media spotlight, pushed there by the Affordable Care Act. In anticipation of the full implementation of the ACA, also called Obamacare, community colleges around the country have been slashing the hours of adjunct faculty members to prevent them from qualifying for coverage under the ACA, in the process saving individual colleges many thousands of dollars. <Read more.>