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Colleges, universities hiring more part-time faculty

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Nationwide in the last decade, colleges and universities have been hiring more new workers to fill administrative jobs, like advising positions, and relying more on part-time faculty and grad students to teach, according to a new study released this week by USA Today and the Delta Cost Project American Institutes for Research.

While some colleges and universities are posting dramatic changes in who’s being hired, Idaho’s colleges and universities appear to sit more mid-range across categories, from teaching to administrative roles.

Using the federal government’s data (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System or IPEDS) provided to the study, KTVB looked at Idaho’s numbers in 2004 compared to 2012 in relation to enrollment numbers.

Most schools, like Boise State, College of Southern Idaho, BYU-Idaho, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, Northwest Nazarene University, and the University of Idaho saw some increases in part-time faculty.

College of Idaho, saw decrease, according to the data.

When looking at full-time employees in Idaho’s colleges and universities, some have lost faculty in that category, including BYU-Idaho, CSI, LCSC, and College of Idaho. BSU, ISU, and the University of Idaho had slight increases in full-time faculty from 2004 to 2012.

Idaho’s numbers across the board in all hiring categories tend to be very moderate when looking numbers across the country.

According to college administrators, some schools may be shifting to more part-time instructors to save money money, but there’s also a shift in some teaching models that allows more working professionals to work part-time at universities, teaching real-world experience to students, especially in areas like business.

Some schools have their own data kept in house. NNU for example began tracking part-time versus full-time faculty three years ago, and administrators say since then, numbers have remained quite steady.

“NNU is committed to providing the highest quality education available while still remaining a strongly competitive value. With this in mind, we attempt to balance the investment expense and professional expertise of our full-time and part-time faculty in a manner that provides maximum benefit to our students,” Dr. Burton Webb wrote.

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