Higher education budget cuts hurt colleges The Center for the Future of Higher Education recently released a report detailing the university employment trends that are hurting both institutions and their students. As adjunct and part-time professors become a common sight on college campuses, they sometimes struggle to be effective educational leaders with the limited resources they are given.

Partially because of university funding cuts and lower enrollment, many colleges are no longer hiring the best professors they can find and granting them tenure after they have been a part of the university for a certain number of years. Lately, it is not uncommon for schools to hire adjunct professors and fixed-term faculty members at the last second in order to save money.

As the cost of college becomes more expensive, students may be getting less than what they paid for. Even though an adjunct professor may be an excellent teacher, bringing many of them on at the last minute is detrimental to the schools. Assigning teachers to instruct classes just a few weeks before the semester begins does not allow ample preparation or time to order textbooks, and students may end up taking a class with a professor who has no clearly outlined lesson plans or course materials.

Many part-time professors have restricted access to educational resources, such as library materials, an office and copying privileges. Because some professors lack basic resources, students could suffer the effects of not having the advantage some of their peers in a different class section may have.

Hiring last-minute part-time professors does quite a lot to save universities money. More than half of adjunct teachers said their salaries were low, and only about a quarter reported receiving benefits, according to a report by the American Federation of Teachers. The stressful working conditions many adjunct and part-time professors face can lead to a tense or less-than-ideal learning environment for students, who are often paying thousands of dollars for the course.

This hiring model can be detrimental for a university's reputation, leading it to see an additional slide in enrollment. By hiring professors just days before the start of a semester, the colleges hurt themselves as well as the students they serve. At a time when university funding is hitting a low point, some schools are avoiding this trend and striving to keep a qualified, tenured and satisfied faculty that will attract more students and bring in more tuition money.
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