Date of Award

Fall 9-27-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Brianna Parsons, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Okema S. Branch, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Mary E. Robinson, Ed.D.


The increase in use of part-time faculty, commonly referred to as “adjunct,” has shifted the academic workforce. Utilization of this populace has increased steadily over the past several years and is anticipated to continue this growth as colleges and universities seek cost-cutting measures in balancing their annual budgets. With this increase, however, comes unexpected consequences for the educators who fill these roles; often they are underpaid, overworked, and employed tenuously from term-to-term with no security in employment. This dissertation examines the adjunct faculty role; including what adjunct faculty need to be successful, versus what they have been provided to succeed in their roles. The research uses a constructivist framework alongside Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation to juxtapose the adjunct work experience with traditional models of satisfaction and self-actualization; the data collected support the theory that adjunct faculty cannot feel secure and valuable in their role under the current adjunct faculty work model, and provides insights for administrators in an effort to better support these faculty and potentially positively impact student outcomes in kind.