Resolution on PTL Professionalization



At Rutgers University‐New Brunswick, and across the nation, the composition of the faculty in higher education has undergone a dramatic and by now well‐documented transformation since the late twentieth century. There is no longer a professoriate consisting primarily of full‐time, tenured or tenure‐track faculty members. Instead, the majority of undergraduate teaching is performed by part‐time, non‐tenure track instructors, called variously “adjunct,” “contingent,” or “part‐time lecturers.” An analysis of instructional workload distributions at Rutgers University‐New Brunswick in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 revealed that approximately 60 percent of undergraduate credit hours were taught by instructors other than tenured or tenure‐track faculty. Of those instructors, part‐time lecturers (PTLs) taught over 28 percent of undergraduate credit hours.

Rutgers University‐New Brunswick employs over 1,500 PTLs each semester, most of whom earn less than $5,000 per course and are ineligible for health insurance and other employee benefits. This low pay rate, combined with the short‐term, contingent nature of PTL appointments, forces many PTLs to teach multiple courses at multiple institutions in an attempt to patch together a living wage. A report from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education in 2015 found that 25 percent of part‐time college faculty were enrolled in at least one of four public assistance programs: Medicaid and Children’s Health Program (CHIP), Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as the food stamps program (SEE REFERENCE BELOW). PTLs, who make up the largest segment of the teaching labor force at Rutgers University‐New Brunswick, have the least economic security and the least opportunity for professional stability and advancement.

In response to recent resolutions/reports relating to part‐time lecturers, i.e.,APPENDICES 1‐5: the Rutgers University Senate (S‐1409); the Camden Faculty Council (May 12, 2016); and Newark's “The New Professoriate”; and, in consideration of ensuring quality education, optimal student learning conditions, and best practices at other Big Ten universities, the New Brunswick Faculty Council calls on the University Administration to urge academic departments at Rutgers University to speedily implement policies that will acknowledge the value of PTL faculty:

Reference: Ken Jacobs, Ian Perry, and Jenifer MacGillvary, “The High Public Cost of Low Wages,” UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education Research Brief (April 2015),‐high‐public‐cost‐of‐low‐wages.pdf.



Whereas the contributions of PTL faculty deserve professionalization, we urge the Administrations to:

  • Assign fractional appointments using 100% full faculty lines;

  • Convert part‐time faculty positions to 100% full‐time non‐tenure track positions when evidence of previous enrollment shows consistent justification;

  • Devise a career ladder for professional advancement that includes multi-semester/multi‐year appointments; and

  • Promote individuals based on openly established peer‐evaluation procedures

Whereas, the current compensation and employment conditions of PTLs undermine efforts to sustain teaching quality and to optimize student learning, we urge the Administration to value and stabilize PTL instruction by:

  • Providing adequate compensation to part‐time faculty consistent with their teaching and service contributions, including:

    • Salary, as per fractional lines, where possible

    • Benefits, such as:

      • A viable laddered menu of additional benefits with a gradual accrual of benefits based on increased fractional appointments, beginning with health benefit premiums, and

    • Facilities, including:

      • Offices,

      • Computers, with

      • Adequate Internet/phone connections

  • Emphasizing that academic freedom applies to PTL faculty,

    • Including clearly stated teaching and reappointment evaluation due processes that spell out basic protections (including rights of appeal) for PTL faculty who must enjoy the core elements of academic freedom, such as the right to express one's own views on even the most controversial issues, both inside and outside of the classroom; and

  • Developing PTL representation on University Faculty Senates,

    • Ensuring full participation from all faculty perspectives on debates about curriculum development and other faculty concerns


The University administration, in the interest of its students, faculty, and the entire university community will provide funding, as necessary, to accomplish these goals.