Assessing Faculty Shortages in Comprehensive Universities


  • Zelda Gamson New England Resource Center for Higher Education
  • Dorothy Finnegan Penn State University
  • Ted Youn Boston College


Higher Education, Faculty Shortages, Faculty Labor Market


The media have been warning of a coming shortage of faculty, as a series of studies has projected a shift from a buyer's to a seller's market for faculty. This article presents the picture for higher education In general, but quickly turns to the Implications of shifts In the faculty labor market for comprehensive universities and colleges. These institutions, neither research universities nor liberal arts colleges, are at particular risk In the years ahead. This article gives early findings of a New England field study on how several comprehensive universities and colleges are responding to changes In the faculty labor market. Then, It offers suggestions about strategies for managing these changes, such as differentiated career lines, alternative sources of faculty, flexible timetables for promotion and tenure, and competitive niches.