Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Year of Publication


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Bieber


Research on liberal arts colleges (LACs) has yet to consider possible effects of using Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF) on the character of LACs. LACs are characterized by their strong academic ethos, collegial faculty-student relationships, all at a sanctuary-like setting. Tenure Track Faculty (TTF) and administrators at three LACs were interviewed in a case study format at an urban, suburban, and rural LAC to consider whether NTTF are affecting the character of such institutions. NTTF, especially when full-time faculty, support the academic ethos, foster strong student faculty relationships, and help maintain the sanctuary like setting. NTTF use by change agents is viewed through the Theory of Gradual Institutional Change lens, identifying the types of change agents, the political contexts at the LACs and the ways NTTF are utilized on the respective campuses. NTTF are recognized as a permanent faculty type likely to persist and grow in use at LACs. NTTF are used especially to develop new curricular programs, to add curricular diversity to LACs, to support LAC financial solvency, to maintain small class sizes and small student to faculty ratios. Further NTTF support ongoing TTF development programs including sabbaticals, study abroad programs, and competitive fellowships. Further, the manner and percentage of NTTF faculty utilization may help demonstrate the health or stability of LAC. Organizational Justice Theory additionally explains faculty compliance and interactions with administrators and NTTF in response to institutional change.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)