Too often, adjunct or part-time faculty members are underpaid: while they often perform the same duties as their full-time colleagues, part-time faculty members routinely receive only a fraction of the pay and none of the basic benefits, like health care, that their full-time colleagues enjoy. To help address this disparity and suggest practical guidelines for colleges and universities, the MLA has issued its Recommendation on Minimum Per-Course Compensation for Part-Time Faculty Members, based on a review of best practices across various institutions.
Many factors play a part in how much faculty members should be compensated, and these recommendations suggest that institutions take into account more than just instructional workload. The MLA believes that part-time faculty members should be compensated pro rata to salaries for full-time faculty members performing similar duties, whether by a per-course, per-credit-hour, or full-time-equivalent percentage. Years of experience, the length of the academic term, and ancillary duties like research, publication, and curriculum development should also be considered.
Taking these factors into account, the MLA recommends that minimum compensation for the 2017–18 academic year be $10,700 for a standard 3-credit-hour semester course or $7,200 for a standard 3-credit-hour quarter or trimester course. If faculty members have a full-time load of courses, this puts compensation in the salary range that the MLA recommends for a full-time entry-level instructor.
By following these recommendations, colleges and universities can put an end to unfair wages on campus and demonstrate that they value their part-time faculty members.