The effects of salary on job satisfaction among community college adjunct faculty: specific factors

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Goodall, Donetta Denise Beverly

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Adjunct faculty make up approximately sixty-five percent of all faculty teaching at the college level and from all indications, this percentage will increase as higher education institutions attempt to keep pace with increasing student enrollments while also attempting to remain within budgetary constraints. Adjunct faculty have long been dissatisfied with their conditions of employment and have been very vocal in expressing that displeasure. This issue will continue to grow in importance since colleges have become so dependent on adjuncts to deliver instruction, to bring current practices and knowledge into the classroom setting and provide the contact between the educational setting and the work setting. Many factors can influence how adjunct faculty view their working conditions and experience their jobs, and while there is research that adjunct faculty are dissatisfied, and that salary figures into the equation of dissatisfaction, the latest research does not adequately address what the relationship is between adjunct faculty satisfaction and salary. This research was conducted to determine if there is a correlation between salary and job satisfaction and if there are other factors which have a higher correlation with job satisfaction than salary. This research determined that there are factors identified by adjunct faculty which are more relevant and important to their job satisfaction than salary. Data were gathered by having 1236 adjunct faculty employed at Austin Community College complete a 125-item survey which was divided into broad categories of general information, demographic information, activities at ACC, employment conditions, new faculty information, relationships, role and expectations, scheduling, pay and benefits, policy, and ACC services. Research questions to be answered as an outcome of the data gathering and analysis were:

  1. what is the correlation between salary and job satisfaction among adjunct faculty whose assignment is in the community college? 2) Are there factors other than salary that are more important to job satisfaction among community college adjunct faculty? There were themes that emerged from the research and presented as part of the analysis and recommendations. Factors which positively correlate with job satisfaction are identified and form the basis of recommendations for future employment practice.