The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success

The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success, a partnership between AAC&U and the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, is examining principles, policies, and practices related to the work of faculty who teach on term contracts—now the majority of faculty nationally.  While full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty were once the norm, about two-thirds of the American professoriate now work on contingent contracts. Change of this magnitude raises critical questions about the connection between working conditions and students’ achievement of Essential Learning Outcomes. The project addresses the fundamental shift in the American academic workforce from tenurable to contingent faculty and focuses on the effects of that shift on student learning.  

In 2013, the Project released a paper on the institutional costs of supporting contingent or adjunct professors. Click here to read the Inside Higher Education article on this resource.  See the 2015 Delphi report "Adapting by Design: Creating Faculty Roles and Defining Faculty Work to Ensure an Intentional Future for Colleges and Universities."  More information, including resources, research, and reports can be found on the Delphi Project website

Selected Resources include:

Delphi Project Resources & Tool Kits

Program Goals

The Delphi Project takes an evidence-based and practical approach to provide institutions and policy makers with information based on research and with recommendations drawn from emerging practices and policies.  The project intends to advance this work for the benefit of all faculty, with an emphasis on the new majority.  It seeks changes that will advance innovations in teaching and learning and that are in the best interest of institutions and students, on whom the nation's collective future depends.