Tenured professors are looking rarer than motivated students on college campuses these days. To save money and allow greater flexibility, universities are loading up on part-time instructors, a trend some worry is lowering educational quality. Part-timers are less likely to have doctorates and, as they bounce from university to university, have less time to prepare or meet with students, the Times reports.
The trend is especially pronounced at community colleges and less exclusive public institutions. “Really, we are offering less educational quality to the students who need it most,” said one Cornell education researcher. A backlash is brewing: In 11 states, academics are lobbying for laws mandating that 75% of classes be taught by tenured or tenure-track profs.