The University of Michigan-Flint is one of many American campuses that has hired more lecturers than tenure track faculty in the past few years. According to AAUP research, nationally the number of non-tenure track faculty increased by more than 200 percent on college campuses while tenured faculty increased 30 percent and tenure track faculty increased 7 percent.
Anita Levy is with the American Association of University Professors. She says non-tenure track faculty are cheaper to hire because universities do not always have to offer them benefits, and many lecturers are teaching classes at more than one university.
"I think those divisions are lessening over time because what’s been happening, especially in the past since the recession and now with the attack on collective bargaining, is that many faculty recognize that they are all in the same boat."
Levy says tenured and tenure track faculty have more academic freedom and stability than lecturers.