Date of Award

Spring 4-4-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick Allen


Higher education institutions are navigating budget cuts, changing enrollment, and the need to differentiate from the competition. Reductions in government funding and budgetary constraints are prompting universities to reduce the number of full-time, tenure-track faculty and rely more heavily on adjunct faculty to meet their demand for instructors. Therefore it is important to determine the distinct needs and satisfaction levels of this faculty group in order to provide appropriate resources and development opportunities for them. This study sought to determine if adjunct faculty job satisfaction levels differ based on adjunct typology (Gappa & Leslie, 1993) or institutional affiliation, and to determine professional development interests of adjunct faculty. Adjunct faculty from three institutions of higher education participated in the study. Significant differences were identified using analysis of variance tests and the results were discussed. Recommendations for senior academic leaders and department heads were offered, including a recommendation to evaluate their institutions to determine the unique distribution of adjunct types represented therein and customize interventions to address the adjuncts’ distinct interests and needs. This research describes the differences in demographics and job satisfaction needs among the four adjunct types (Gappa & Leslie, 1993), and discusses the faculty development interests of the adjunct participants. Based on the findings, the researcher suggests that academic leaders address a broad spectrum of adjunct needs in order to improve satisfaction levels and attend to professional development interests.