Higher Education Workforce Trends

Higher Education Workforce Trends icon
Evolving Faculty Patterns

Today about 70% of faculty at U.S. institutions hold full- or part-time nontenure-track positions. The TIAA Institute focuses on such issues as the quality of student learning, making the most of the growing contingent faculty and reluctant retirees. 

Want to learn more about our higher education insights? Download our 2018 TIAA Institute Higher Education Thought Leadership Annotated Bibliography.

TIAA Institute Reports

Original research produced by the TIAA Institute—both independently and in collaboration with noted scholars—examines topics of interest to the academic, nonprofit and public sectors. The reports combine statistical findings with thoughtful, data-driven observations and conclusions to provide in-depth analyses that are informative and appropriate for both technical and general audiences.

March 2021

As colleges and universities search for viable paths to continue operating in the face of COVID-19, higher education employees have been affected in many ways, including financial.

March 2021

Since the onset of COVID-19, 22% of the full-time higher education workforce have become less confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. At the same time, 9% have become more confident.

January 2021

How will COVID-19 affect retirement patterns among senior faculty and how can institutions respond?

March 2019

The ranks of adjunct faculty have increased rapidly in recent decades. How are these individuals faring financially?

November 2018

Adjuncts are commonly perceived as recent Ph.D. graduates teaching multiple classes while pursuing a tenure-track position. This is hardly the norm.

May 2018

Has increased use of contingent faculty led to real improvements in institutional performance? This report explores the strategic payoffs of a well-documented trend in academia.

March 2018

Changes to faculty status may discourage new doctoral recipients from pursuing academic careers.

December 2017

Has increased use of contingent faculty led to real improvements in institutional performance? This report explores the strategic payoffs of a well-documented trend in academia.

October 2016

Higher education’s dual mission of research and teaching position the sector to rapidly discover and deploy new processes for teaching and learning. However, resource constraints and traditional structures in higher education can pose major barriers.