Across the board, each college on the CSU campus employs more tenure-track faculty than adjunct faculty. However, even with the large number tenure-track faculty members, each college also hires non-tenure-track faculty members in order to meet the department’s needs.
“These are people who are by-and-large hired to contribute to the teaching mission of the university,” said Dan Bush, vice provost of faculty affairs.
There are two different categories that adjunct faculty fall under: temporary and special.
Bush said usually temporary adjunct faculty were hired to fill vacant spots within the department.
“One reason you might have a temporary adjunct instructor is that somebody is on sabbatical and the department needs to hire someone to teach two or three classes,” Bush said. “Usually it’s easy to find Ph.D., well-qualified people who are interested in teaching.”
While special faculty members are also hired to teach, Bush noted that their responsibilities could extend elsewhere.
“Especially in the sciences, there’s a good number of faculty whose role it to be a part of research teams,” he said. “They contribute to the research mission of the university. But a lot of the adjuncts in this domain — their real contribution is as educators.”
The College of Liberal Arts has the largest number of tenure-track faculty at 219. Coincidentally, with 284 adjunct faculty members, the college also holds the highest number of non-tenure faculty, making it the largest college on campus in terms of total faculty members.
According to Ann Gill, dean for the College of Liberal Arts, the school’s large number of faculty results from the department’s massive involvement in all CSU student learning.
“The College of Liberal Arts teaches one third of each student’s credit hours,” Gill said. “We are the largest college for undergraduates because we are involved with students’ All University Core Curriculum requirements.”
Meanwhile, the Warner College of Natural Resources finds it can fulfill its mission with fewer numbers of both tenure-track and adjunct faculty.
The college currently has 61 tenure-track faculty members, and with 5 special faculty and 6 temporary faculty members, the department’s total number of 72 faculty members makes it the smallest college on campus in terms of faculty.
According to Peter Newman, associate dean for the Warner College of Natural Resources, over the past five years the department’s student body population has grown by 40 percent, while the number of faculty has remained flat.
Even with the growing student population, Newman remains faithful that the college’s staff is up to the challenge.
“Our more recent hires come from the top pool of professors within the nation,” Newman said. “I think that says a lot about our college that even with a small number of faculty and a growing student population, we are one of the largest producers in research expenditures in the nation.”
Senior Reporter Sean Meeds can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.