My representative says:
The AAUP recently published a bar graph (Trends in Faculty Status, 1975-2005, All Degree-Granting Institutions, National Totals) showing trends in faculty status nationally. The following table summarizes the same information.
full-time tenured: 36.5 (1975), 33.1 (1989), 21.8 (2005)
full-time tenure track: 20.3, 13.7, 10.1
full-time non-track: 13.0, 16.9, 20.1
part-time: 30.2, 36.4, 48.0
SREB has some data on part-time versus full-time instructional faculty at four year public institutions* in Louisiana that is not broken down by tenure status. It shows that total part-time faculty and teaching and research assistants in 1995-96 was 24.6 percent and the same figure in 2005-2006 was 48.6 percent. It appears from this that we were behind the national trend (and all Southern States but Mississippi) in 95-96 but we had caught up with national and regional trends by 2005-06. The dramatic increase was in teaching and research assistants which went from 16 percent of the total in 95-96 to 36.3 percent by 05-06.
* Please note that this group of institutions (four year public) is different from the “all degree granting institutions” in the graph which is of course a much larger group.
I was shocked to see these figures. Are they a problem? asked the representative. Well, more T.A.s and R.A.s means more funded graduate students, so that is good. But there were well over 50% tenured and tenure track faculty in 1975, and just above 30% of the same thirty years later. Is that a problem? My vote is that it is a problem, and not only for labor reasons. But then I am a traditionalist in such matters.
Discuss. If it is not a problem, why is it not a problem? What views of the nature and mission of a university must be modified or jettisoned for this not to be a problem?