Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

First Advisor

Amy E. Wells Dolan

Second Advisor

John Holleman

Third Advisor

Neal Hutchens


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



Through interviews of members of the 2017-2018 Faculty Senate and of the Task Force, and in the chronological order in which events took place, the following topics were addressed: the role of contingent faculty on campus and in governance, contingent faculty experiences in their academic departments, major arguments for and against representation, Senators and Task Force members’ perspectives of the Task Force initial presentation to the Senate, and the successful outcome that followed. Through the discussion, this study addresses themes such as the role of the Faculty Senate, the future of contingent faculty in governance, the work that lies ahead, and implications for contingent faculty organizing in a national context. Contingent faculty are defined as academic professionals in part-time and full-time positions not on track towards tenure; this group now occupies the majority of faculty appointments in American institutions. Various issues affect this population, including low pay, lack of benefits, lack of job security, lack of opportunities for career growth, among others. This shift in the professoriate has forced institutions to address issues such as contingent faculty participation in governance. This case study explores the formation of a Task Force for Non-Tenure Track Faculty and Shared Governance at the University of Mississippi to address lack of representation in governance. More specifically, the Task Force advocated for representation and eligibility to serve in the university’s Faculty Senate.



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