Adjunct vs Associate Professor
Adjunct and Associate Professor are designations you may have heard in colleges. When we are in a college, we often come across designations of teachers that are very confusing. There are lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors, adjunct professors, and of course there are professors. Students rarely know the difference between these designations as after all, what they are concerned with studies. Though adjunct and associate professors perform nearly same duties, there are differences that this article will highlight.
In US, anyone desirous of becoming a teacher at college level has to first complete his research and then pass doctoral level exam to be eligible for a teaching post. But sometimes, colleges or Universities offer jobs to people who are yet to complete their doctorate. Such people, instead of getting regular designations are called instructors. It is only when they have completed their doctorate that they can start their career towards becoming a professor.
There are differences in a post with tenure from a post without tenure. A person with tenure cannot be easily dismissed and his appointment is permanent. Assistant professors have to teach for a period of 5-7 years to gain tenure. During this period, their performance is analyzed, and if tenure is denied, they get an year to find another job. If an assistant professor is granted tenure, he becomes an associate professor. Associate professors later on become full time professors.
An associate professor is a full time employee of the University with tenure which implies that he is permanent. He not only takes classes to teach students, they also advise them. They carry on with their research that gets published from time to time. They also hold positions in university committees and perform many other activities.
There are a special category of professors called adjunct professors who are not expected to perform all these tasks that associate professors perform. This is because they are not on a tenure track. They are in an adjunct or visiting position. Such a professor has a job at a college but also works for a period of time for another college. Adjunct professor is a part time position and such a person can do research at a college or teach students. However, like associate professors, adjunct professor has a doctoral degree just like an associate professor.
Being a part time professor, adjunct professor doesn’t have a full time responsibility and colleges also benefit as they are paid less than associate professors. They can be easily denied a new contract, and so when a college decides to reduce the work force, it is adjunct professors who are first shown the door.
• Associate professors have tenure which implies that they are permanent. On the other hand, adjunct professors are part time professors without tenure.
• Associate professors perform many activities and have greater responsibilities than adjunct professors.
• Adjunct professors receive lesser pay and other benefits than associate professors.