Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Brian Cole

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Kipi Fleming

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Sara Salkil


At the time of this study, there were more adjunct or part-time teaching positions at colleges and universities than full-time or tenure track positions. It is predicted this trend will persist because it is fiscally beneficial to educational institutions; adjuncts will work for a quarter of the salary and with fewer benefits, no real job security, unpredictable teaching schedules, and no commensurate voice in faculty decisions. This case study expanded the understanding of the reasons behind contingent faculty's perceptions of satisfaction and their decisions to remain in instructional positions even with the positions' blatant inequities. According to Bourdieu's social capital theory, a society's status-related inequities can be transcended, so membership can collectively gain and retain enduring qualities for interpersonal capital. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand adjunct faculty's current perspectives on whether they feel valued and supported by their departmental administrators because of institutional systems in place. Adjunct faculty were asked about their perceptions of leadership and cultures of engagement, inclusion, collaboration, and value. Similarities and differences amongst adjuncts' perceptions were examined. Findings indicated that adjuncts perceive they are valued by various means including student engagement and enlightenment, opportunities to educate future generations, the work itself, additional take-home pay, and the depth of interaction and satisfaction with their department chairs. Consequently, it is the internal drive, the understanding and acceptance of the position's defined parameters, and the intrinsic motivators that promote adjuncts' self-satisfaction and continued commitment to participate as contingent faculty.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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