Award Date

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environmental and Public Affairs

First Committee Member

Cecilia Maldonado

Second Committee Member

Ramona Denby-Brinson

Third Committee Member

Harriet Barlow

Fourth Committee Member

Sheng Wang

Number of Pages



The representation of contingent faculty in higher education is prevalent, as a result of changes in the staffing practices in academia. The American higher education system currently employs roughly 4 contingent faculty members for every one, which is tenured or on the tenure-track. As a result of an extensive study on part-time academic faculty, Gappa and Leslie (1993) developed a typology as a way to categorize them. The typology consisted of four employment profiles based primarily on academic background, employment history, and career motivations: career-enders, specialists/experts/professionals, aspiring academics, and freelancers (Gappa & Leslie, 1993). This quantitative study used survey research to test (1) whether the employment profile categories developed by Gappa and Leslie (1993) held in 2015, and (2) whether there were statistical differences in their desired mentoring functions, and in their levels of engagement, commitment, and job satisfaction. First, results of a thematic analysis of open-ended responses produced a fifth employment profile, true teachers. Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) was used to identify differences in desired mentoring functions, and engagement based on employment profile; while one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was utilized to examine differences in commitment and job satisfaction between employment profile groups. Key findings included that the aspiring academics group was larger than all of the other groups, as it represented one-third of all respondents. The results of the data analysis suggested that while aspiring academics were significantly more committed to their organizations, they were relatively less engaged and less satisfied with their jobs, and reported a significantly higher need for career-related mentoring functions compared to the other groups.


adjunct mentoring; engagement; faculty mentoring


Education | Work, Economy and Organizations

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit