Retention of Long-Term, Part-Time Adjunct Faculty in Academia: A Qualitative Case Study

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Study addressed adjunct positions as the lack of tenure, uncertainty, and insecurity of contingent positions added to experienced stressors. The problem is poor retention rates of long-term, part-time faculty in higher education could undermine efficiency and productivity, and on some occasions, threaten the institution’s long-term survival (Ramasamy & Abdullah, 2017). A focus on factors affecting faculty retention, together with current and applicable literature, directed the alignment and purpose of this study to identify reasons long-term, part-time adjunct faculty in higher education choose to teach for the same employer. A qualitative case study was conducted to expand the literature and focus on a sample of 15 long-term, part-time faculty teaching in the northeast United States. The sample of 15 participants was selected from the approximately 189 current adjunct faculty members employed by the university. The data collected through interviews and field notes were analyzed and manually coded using Braun and Clarke’s 6-step method. The theoretical framework of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the Herzberg two-factor theory provided context to the data collected in identifying reasons participants choose to teach for the same employer and provided a resource for institutions of higher education to address adjunct retention.