“Indispensable But Invisible”

The most comprehensive study of a university’s contingent faculty working conditions to date, as featured in the Chronicle of Higher EducationInside Higher Ed, and Science Careers.

View the report, a summary of findings, and the survey, learn more about the authors, and contact us to receive updates, get involved, or submit a media inquiry!

Update: Read about our recent meeting with the deans and provost.


About This Study

As many as 3 in 4 college or university instructors today are part-time or “contingent” faculty. In many cases, they must work long hours for multiple institutions, with no benefits, minimal resources and support, and below poverty level wages.

The Public Sociology Association at George Mason University is committed to conducting research that benefits the groups we study, without sacrificing academic rigor. We’ve conducted a comprehensive survey of GMU contingent faculty, with over 240 respondents. It has been hailed as the most detailed examination of contingent faculty working conditions to date.

Topics covered include: teaching loads and compensation, time management, job market histories, hiring and training, resources and support, hidden or unpaid labor, accessibility and safety, perceptions of equitable treatment, and the effects of these working conditions on students’ experiences.

We will be releasing and publicizing results, and presenting at events and conferences soon. We have also made our survey available for use by other researchers.

To receive updates or get involved, click here.