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.

Insights

Also produced by the TIAA Institute, Insights features reports addressing prominent issues in financial security, higher education, and philanthropy. While typically written for a primarily non-technical audience, Insights are prepared using the same level of academic rigor found in our other research publications, and can serve as valuable sources of information for a diverse group of readers.

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.

October 2016

While reliance on part-time contingent faculty has helped constrain faculty compensation costs, it hasn’t produced the same level of savings in total compensation costs for all employees.

October 2016

The shift toward contingent faculty in the academic workforce is well documented; what’s less clear is the concentration of contingent faculty at different types of institutions, the nature of contingent faculty contracts, and the effect on student outcomes.

Research 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 more academic audiences.

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.

March 2016

Today, some 70% of faculty at U.S. institutions hold full- or part-time nontenure-track positions, and a return to the days of a largely tenure-track faculty is highly unlikely. What’s less clear is what future faculty models should look like.