Adjuncts Rising

Adjuncts Rising is an investigative series that looks at how northern Nevada public higher education institutions have addressed the issue of using part-time faculty to satisfy teaching responsibilities. ThisisReno.com reporter intern Chris Vega examines the life of an adjunct, how adjunct faculty fit into the larger role of a higher-education institution and he compares local institutions to national trends.

His findings:

  • The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) is attempting to buck national trends by increasing its full-time faculty post-recession
  • Truckee Meadows Community College cut, during the recession, significant adjunct positions while maintaining its tenured faculty core.
  • There has been a dramatic rise in administrators at local institutions in order to fulfill unfunded mandates and federal requirements, contributing to increased costs – and increased services – for students.
  • Part-time faculty are considered underpaid and have little role in the governance of public institutions.
  • An increasing reliance nationally on adjunct faculty may negatively impact academic freedom and contribute to a “Walmart model” of running higher education institutions, according to critics.

Edited by Bob Conrad. Video by Chris Vega and Bob Conrad.

Part 1: The Issue

Part 2: The Adjunct

Part 3: The Emerging Business Model of Higher Education

Part 4: Nevada Versus The Nation