Panel Paper: New Faculty Types in Higher Education: The Impact of Lecturers with Security of Employment on Undergraduate Learning

Friday, March 9, 2018
Room 16 (Burkle Family Building at Claremont Graduate University)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Sabrina M. Solanki and Di Xu, University of California, Irvine

Research universities aim for excellence in research and teaching, relying on different faculty types to reach their goals. With recent rise in undergraduate student enrollment and increased teaching obligations, their reliance on teaching faculty such as lecturers and adjuncts has grown substantially over the past decade. However, given concerns about the effectiveness of lecturers and adjuncts—and the impact of these concerns on instruction—institutions have implemented other models of teaching faculty. This paper examines a type of tenure-track teaching faculty unique to the University of California (UC) system called Lecturer(s) with Security of Employment (LSOE), as current higher education literature exploring the influence of faculty type on student learning has yet to examine this group. The present study will use 6 cohorts (N = 39,096) of administrative data collected at a large public R1 institution in the UC system to examine whether instructor type—i.e., tenure-track research faculty, tenure-track teaching faculty, and contingent faculty—influences student learning and engagement outcomes. The study’s unique dataset, which links students to initial and subsequent classes they took , allows the use of a two-way fixed effects model to account for selection bias due to non-random assignment of students to classes.