Study of GMU contingent faculty most comprehensive to date

On Oct. 9, researchers in the Public Sociology Association at George Mason University will release the findings of their GMU Contingent Faculty Study, the most comprehensive study of contingent faculty working conditions to date.

The Public Sociology Survey, the instrument used by the study, surveyed GMU contingent faculty and includes data from more than 240 respondents. It was adapted from the 2011 Back to School Survey created by the New Faculty Majority Foundation.

Topics covered include: teaching loads and compensation, time management, job market histories, hiring and training, resources and support, hidden or unpaid labor, accessibility and safety, perceptions of equitable treatment, and the effects of these working conditions on students’ experiences.

Marisa Allison, Randy Lynn and Vicki Watson, doctoral students in sociology at GMU, and an anonymous contingent faculty member at that institution designed the survey instrument. Allison is also the assistant director of research for the New Faculty Majority Foundation.

The survey is available for use by other researchers and may be customized to serve an institution’s needs. Those using the survey should acknowledge the Public Sociology Association and the NFM Foundation. The NFM Foundation requests that campuses using the survey send it a copy of the survey instrument to further the foundation’s goal of serving as a research clearinghouse for the higher education community conducting research on adjunct and contingent faculty.

Any questions about the survey and its implementation should be directed to Marisa Allison at

For more information about the GMU Contingent Faculty Study, visit

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