“Heavy Lifters of the University”: Non-Tenure Track Faculty Teaching Required Diversity Courses

Abstract

Higher education institutions have adopted diversity course requirements while hiring more faculty members off the tenure track. Non-tenure track faculty members’ experiences teaching required diversity courses while navigating their precarious employment status has not been sufficiently explored. Addressing this need, the present study examined the experiences of non-tenure track instructors teaching diversity courses as part of general education programs at five colleges and how they understood their relationships to the diversity course requirement and the institution. Instructors perceived themselves as institutional “heavy lifters,” yet emphasized that their precarious status left them disconnected from the diversity requirement and the larger campus.

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Funding

This work was supported, in part, by funds provided by The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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First author was responsible for study design and data collection. Both authors were responsible for data analysis and developing and writing all sections of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ryan A. Miller.

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Miller, R.A., Struve, L.E. “Heavy Lifters of the University”: Non-Tenure Track Faculty Teaching Required Diversity Courses. Innov High Educ 45, 437–455 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-020-09517-7

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Keywords

  • Non-tenure track faculty
  • Contingent faculty
  • Diversity course
  • General education
  • Faculty
  • Academic labor