The following is intended to provide an updated list of books and other reading material with important and/or useful information for California Community College Faculty. It’s based on the list started on the Elchorro listserv. You’ll find one of our recent additions featured at the top of our growing selection, but you can also find it grouped below with others that have a similar theme or purpose. 

Do you have a book to recommend? Submit this form. – suggest new books here!

Did you know? A small portion of each item below purchased through the Amazon link provided goes directly to benefit CPFA!


Equality for Contingent Faculty:
Overcoming the Two-Tier System
Paperback – May 9, 2014
by Keith Hoeller (Editor)
“The picture of our exploitation that emerges is frightening to reflect on. This book is a ‘must read’.” — Robert B. Yoshioka, Legislative Analyst, California Part-Time Faculty Association


Equality for Contingent Faculty brings together eleven activists from the United States and Canada to describe the problem, share case histories, and offer concrete solutions. Read more

Read Chapter 5: 

The Academic Labor System of Faculty Apartheid


Use the links below to find books grouped by content:

PT Faculty Working Conditions

Higher Education Working Conditions

Strategies & Handbooks


PT Faculty Working Conditions


Students Losing Out: four essays on adjunct labor in higher education [Kindle Edition]
Isaac Sweeney – 2011
Amazon ~ Back to top

Personal essays that got Isaac Sweeney fired.
A collection of four creative essays. The essays were originally published between October 2009 and January 2011 in national venues, such as The Chronicle Review and Academe. The essays offer a unique perspective, backed by personal experience and research, on the unfair world of adjunct, contingent, and non-tenure-track labor in higher education, focusing mostly on the four-year institution, which relies heavily on these underpaid and often – under appreciated faculty members.

About the Author.
Isaac Sweeney spent three years as a full-time adjunct faculty member at James Madison University in Virginia, where he taught freshman composition. He is the author of three fiction ebooks, available on Amazon, and he lives in Verona, VA., with his wife, son, four dogs, three cats, and rabbit.


The Freeway Flier and the Life of the Mind
Jean Waggoner and Douglas Snow – 2011
Amazon ~ Xlibris ~ Back to top

This is a book about faculty striving to make a living that leaves time for the mind. It is also a book about true friendship, bemused observations, small creative triumphs and glimmers of hope for part time faculty and other thinking people who fly along the highways and log into the libraries of our brutal, post-modern world.


Faculty Incivility: The Rise of the Academic Bully Culture and What to Do About It
Darla J. Twale and Barbara M. De Luca – 2008
Amazon ~ Back to top

This important book addresses the prevalence of faculty incivility,camouflaged aggression, and the rise of an academic bully culture in higher education. The authors show how to recognize a bully culture that may form as a result of institutional norms, organizational structure, academic culture, and systemic changes. Filled with real-life examples,the book offers research-based suggestions for dealing with this disruptive and negative behavior in the academic workplace.


Reclaiming the Ivory Tower: Organizing Adjuncts to Change Higher Education
Joe Berry – 2005
Amazon ~ Back to top

Reclaiming the Ivory Tower examines the situation of adjunct professors in U.S. higher education today, describes the process of organizing them to improve their conditions of work, and puts forward an agenda around which adjunct labor can mobilize and transform the universities.


Academic Sharecroppers: Exploitation of Adjunct Faculty and the Higher Education System
Wendell Fountain – 2005
Amazon ~ Back to top

This is a nonfiction book which addresses the exploitation of adjunct faculty and the higher education system. The term “academic sharecroppers” is used synonymously with the nomenclature “adjunct faculty” because of the minimal financial and other support given to adjunct faculty by institutions of higher learning. This book is a result of the research, personal observations, and experiences of an academic sharecropper that spans nearly three decades. The issues of what is right, just, and fair are addressed relative to the failure of the academic system to properly recognize and reward adjunct faculty-academic sharecroppers. This book maintains that ethical and moral breaches by administrators in the higher education industry needs to be addressed at the societal level. 


Ghosts in the Classroom: Stories of College Adjunct Faculty
Michael Dubson – 2001
Amazon ~ Back to top

Higher Educations’s Dirty Little Secret Exposed in the Ghosts in the Classroom.

Corruption, exploitation and cruelty are the main ingredients in this book about college adjunct faculty, issues not usually associated with the grand manners and political correctness of higher education.

Ghosts in the Classroom is an anthology of essays written by college adjunct faculty about their experiences working in higher education. They are written by people who are now in the field, those have gotten permanent jobs, and those who have left the profession for a better life. The contributors have worked at expensive, private schools, Ivy League schools, public universities and community colleges. Adjunct faculty are paid on a course by course basis only and given few, if any, benefits and no job security. The essays in Ghosts in the Classroom show what happens in the classroom because of that.

Themes. The gross discrepancy between full-time and adjunct pay, despite the fact that adjunct faculty have the same degrees and do the same work; and how teaching suffers when adjunct faculty teach on the side of a full-time job or career or string together a series of classes at different campuses.


The Invisible Faculty: Improving the Status of Part-timers in Higher Education
Judith M. Gappa – 1993
Amazon ~ Back to top

This book presents a stunning portrayal of the complexities of part-time faculty and their working conditions, and an exemplary set of practical but universally applicable recommendations for change.
Ellen Earle Chaffee, vice chancellor for academic affairs, North Dakota University System.


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Higher Education Working Conditions


Academic Apartheid: Waging the Adjunct War
Sylvia M. DeSantis – 2011
Amazon ~ Back to top

In response to institutionalized oppression, professional disregard, and overt lack of agency, a silent majority speaks out. Academic Apartheid: Waging the Adjunct War responds to the pervasive ‘adjunct for hire’ trend with a collection of poignant international essays covering a wide depth and breadth of experience (overseas, online, small private colleges, large state institutions) while uncovering the challenges implicit with living and working as an academic on the borders of the ivory tower. Because colleges and universities have continually increased their adjunct workforce over the last decade, turning a once-trend into an explosive and exploitative standard practice in higher education, adjunct employment practices often occur outside the boundaries of professionalism; too commonly are academics hired into teaching positions without the benefits of job security, adequate wages, health benefits, or even minimal professional resources, such as office space, a desk, or even use of a copier. What does this mean for the climate in higher education? Determined to address the ramifications of this shift, Academic Apartheid documents the agency and experiences of adjuncts always already subsumed by this classist shift.


The Faculty Lounges: And Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Pay For
Naomi Schaefer Riley – 2011
Amazon ~ Back to top

College tuition has risen four times faster than the rate of inflation in the past two decades. While faculties like to blame the rising costs on fancy athletic buildings and bloated administrations, professors are hardly getting the short end of the stick. Spending on instruction has increased 22 percent over the past decade at private research universities.

Parents and taxpayers shouldn’t get overheated about faculty salaries: tenure is where they should concentrate their anger. The jobs-for-life entitlement that comes with an ivory tower position is at the heart of so many problems with higher education today. Veteran journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley, an alumna of one of the country’s most expensive and best-endowed schools, explores how tenure has promoted a class system in higher education, leaving contingent faculty who are barely making minimum wage and have no time for students to teach large swaths of the undergraduate population. She shows how the institution of tenure forces junior professors to keep their mouths shut for a decade or more if they disagree with senior faculty about anything from politics to research methods. And she examines how the institution of tenure – with the job security, mediocre salaries and low levels of accountability it entails – may be attracting the least innovative and interesting members of our society into teaching.


Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids—and What We Can Do About It
Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus – 2010
Amazon ~ Back to top

What’s gone wrong at our colleges and universities—and how to get American higher education back on track. A quarter of a million dollars. It’s the going tab for four years at most top-tier universities. Why does it cost so much and is it worth it?

Renowned sociologist Andrew Hacker and New York Times writer Claudia Dreifus make an incisive case that the American way of higher education, now a $420 billion-per-year business, has lost sight of its primary mission: the education of young adults. Going behind the myths and mantras, they probe the true performance of the Ivy League, the baleful influence of tenure, an unhealthy reliance on part-time teachers, and the supersized bureaucracies which now have a life of their own.

As Hacker and Dreifus call for a thorough overhaul of a self-indulgent system, they take readers on a road trip from Princeton to Evergreen State to Florida Gulf Coast University, revealing those faculties and institutions that are getting it right and proving that teaching and learning can be achieved—and at a much more reasonable price.


Off-Track Profs: Nontenured Teachers in Higher Education
John G. Cross and Edie N. Goldenberg – 2009
Amazon ~ Back to top

An investigation of non-tenure-track faculty at ten elite research universities and the implications for undergraduate education, institutional governance, and American preeminence in higher education.


Rethinking Faculty Work: Higher Education’s Strategic Imperative
Judith M. Gappa – 2007
Amazon ~ Back to top

Written for educators, administrators, policy makers, and anyone else concerned with the future of higher education, Rethinking Faculty Work shows how changes in higher education are transforming the careers of faculty and provides a model that makes it possible for all faculty to be in a position to do their best. This important resource offers a vision of academic workplaces that will attract superb faculty committed to fulfilling the missions of the universities and colleges where they work.


Will Teach For Food: Academic Labor in Crisis (Studies in Classical Philology)
Cary Nelson (AAUP)- 1997
Amazon ~ Back to top

A compelling examination of the human cost of today’s corporate colleges and universities. This compelling examination provides a clarion call to academic workers, summoning them to take action against the continued decline in working conditions on American campuses. “Will Teach for Food” exposes the myths and reveal what people employed at all levels of academic life are doing to improve their own futures and the future of the American university. –David Montgomery, Yale University.


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Strategies & Handbooks


The Adjunct Faculty Handbook, 2nd Edition
Lorri E. Cooper and Bryan A. Booth – 2010
Amazon ~ Back to top

Since the First Edition of The Adjunct Faculty Handbook was published in 1996, the number of adjunct faculty members in colleges and universities has increased to the point that most of those institutions could not function efficiently without them. This Second Edition addresses changes in today’s higher education environment and their impact on the role of adjunct instructors. At a time when many adjuncts may be given little more than a start date, room number, and brief course description to prepare them for teaching a course, the Handbook provides administrators as well as part- and full-time faculty members with the resources they need to empower adjunct staff.

Key Features.

Provides important tools for adjunct instructors, including handy checklists, sample syllabi, evaluation forms, and case studies
Offers a full chapter on the role of technology in teaching and learning, plus another on future trends, including network technologies

Covers the increased emphasis on student evaluations and learning outcomes assessment as well as changes in classroom dynamics and what these mean for today adjunct faculty
Addresses both theory and skill, covering topics such as course planning, teaching strategies, theories of learning, cooperative learning, student evaluations, Web 2.0, professional development, and more. 

Includes practical advice for designing policies for adjunct programs and for evaluating adjunct instructors, who comprise more than two-thirds of the college instructors in the United States today.


Teaching Strategies & Techniques for Adjunct Faculty, Fifth Edition
Donald Grieve 2009
Amazon ~ Back to top

The new revised 5th Edition! This is an intentionally brief and to-the-point book for busy part-time faculty. It is a quick and straightforward teaching reference full of tips, strategies and proven techniques that address teaching in the contemporary classroom. If you are new to adjunct teaching, returning to the profession or have been teaching for several years, Teaching Strategies will help make your teaching experience more productive and enjoyable.


Going the Distance: A Handbook for Part-Time & Adjunct Faculty Who Teach Online
Evelyn Beck and Donald Grieve – 2008
Amazon ~ Back to top

Whether you’re just thinking about teaching online, a first-time online course facilitator, or you are an experienced distance educator, Going the Distance: A Handbook for Part-Time & Adjunct Faculty Who Teach Online will help you sharpen your online teaching skills, develop and deliver more richly-structured distance education courses. This book was authored by Evelyn Beck, an educator who has been developing and teaching distance education courses for almost a decade. Going the Distance co-author, Dr. Donald Greive, is the writer of the much-used and trusted Handbook series A Handbook for Adjunct/Part-Time Faculty and Teachers of Adults, as well as Handbook II: Advanced Teaching Strategies , which together have sold more than 165,000 copies. This is more than just a teacher’s manual! This little powerhouse helps adjuncts tackle the day-to-day challenges associated with teaching online courses. From technological preparation to course design to planning and virtual classroom techniques, this book offers model materials, practical suggestions and successful strategies. Going the Distance: A Handbook for Part-Time & Adjunct Faculty Who Teach Online provides adjuncts who teach in distance education programs with the contents of a first-rate teaching workshop for a fraction of the price.


Best Practices for Supporting Adjunct Faculty
Richard E. Lyons – 2007
Amazon ~ Back to top

The number of part-time faculty members is increasing steadily, to the point that most colleges and universities could not function efficiently without them. The evening and weekend availability of adjunct faculty enables us to expand class schedules to serve the educational needs of nontraditional students, and their expertise offers students important real-world perspectives. Yet there is often a lack of preparation or support for their vital role. Best Practices for Supporting Adjunct Faculty is written for a full range of academic leaders, including instructional administrators, department chairs, and directors of teaching and learning centers. It showcases proven initiatives at a variety of institutional types – two- and four year, public and private – that help achieve the needs of adjunct instructors, while increasing their effectiveness within institutions” existing delivery systems. This book provides research data on the initiatives highlighted, and valuable ideas for institutions expanding their professional development opportunities for part-time instructors – thus enhancing student learning and improving accountability outcomes.

  • Themes.
    Deepening our understanding of adjunct faculty
    Ensuring an effective start for adjunct faculty
    Supporting adjunct faculty through face-to-face and online programming
    Mentoring adjunct instructors in a variety of approaches
    Building community and a sense of mission
    Analysis of orientation, pre-service training, recognition, and comprehensive professional development programs for adjunct faculty
    Portraits of proven programs and strategies for implementing initiatives at your institution
    An adjunct professor’s perspective on the benefits of supporting your part-timers’ teaching



Connecting Non Full-time Faculty to Institutional Mission: A Guidebook for College/University Administrators and Faculty Developers
Leora Baron-Nixon – 2007
Amazon ~ Back to top

Non full-time faculty – whether adjunct, part-time or contingent – has become the lifeline of a vast majority of colleges and universities. They teach many of the foundation and core courses taken by first- and second-year students, teach professional courses in which their own life experiences are invaluable, and step in at short notice to fill-in for regular faculty engaged in research or away on sabbaticals.

A survey of over 4,000 institutions conducted by the US Department of Education reveals that such faculty are being hired at a much higher rate than their full-time counterparts–whether in response to increased enrollments, reduced budgets, or changing administrative strategies.

The increasing presence of such faculty on campus can conflict with today’s demands for accountability and the pursuit of institutional mission. This book provides academic administrators and faculty developers with proactive, practical and results-producing approaches that can help transform fragmented faculties into integrated and cohesive teaching and scholarly communities.

In an easy-to-follow format, this book constitutes a resource of thoughtful and pragmatic strategies to ensure quality and satisfaction both on the part of the institution and the adjuncts. Topics are presented in a thematic sequence that allows decision-makers to focus on their priority areas. The author offers guidance for systematic planning and implementation.

Themes. Connecting non full-time faculty to core institutional functions and structures: to the institution; to the department; to teaching; to Students; and to scholarship.


Handbook II-Advanced Teaching Strategies for Adjunct Faculty
Donald Grieve 2006
Amazon ~ Back to top

Higher education expert Donald Greive takes experienced and long-term adjunct faculty beyond his best selling Handbook for Adjunct/Part-Time Faculty and Teachers of Adults to Handbook II: Advanced Teaching Strategies for Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty. In this book, adjuncts and their managers offer their own insights into a variety of topics, like…

  • The Syllabus and the Lesson Plan
    101 different strategies and tips to use the first week of class
    Preparing for a Distance Education Assignment
    What is Critical Thinking?
    Large class teaching tips
    Testing and Grading

From one of the most well known names in faculty training comes another tool for adjunct and part-time faculty, whether teaching for the first semester or the fiftieth.


A Handbook for Adjunct & Part-Time Faculty & Teachers of Adults
Donald Grieve – 2005
Amazon ~ Back to top

This is more than just a teacher’s manual! This little powerhouse helps adjuncts tackle the day-to-day problems associated with teaching part-time. From course planning to teaching adult students, this book offers practical suggestions, strategies and advice. With over 160,000 copies sold, A Handbook provides adjuncts with the contents of a first-rate teaching workshop for a fraction of the price.


Adjunct Faculty in Community Colleges: An Academic Administrator’s Guide to Recruiting, Supporting and Retaining Great Teachers
Desna L. Wallin – 2005
Amazon ~ Back to top

The employment of adjunct faculty is often what allows community colleges to offer excellent yet affordable education; however, this group is often deprived of the professional development and basic amenities enjoyed by their full-time colleagues.

Academic administrators are those charged with hiring and supervising adjunct faculty, and this book provides them with examples of successful programs that highlight the important connection between teaching quality and effective hiring, orientation, acculturation, and professional development practices for their constituency. These models come from community and technical colleges across the United States and can be implemented into any two-year system.

Through the use of research, case studies, and hands-on how-to guides, checklists, and samples, this volume’s expert contributors explain how to understand part-time faculty – how to motivate them and value them as members of the academy. They go on to offer practical advice for recruiting, integrating, supporting, and retaining these great teachers.


Managing Adjunct & Part Time Faculty for the New Millennium
Donald E. Greive – 2000
Amazon ~ Back to top

Faculty managers will experience increased challenges due to the continuing growth in numbers of adjunct and part-time faculty. In addition, the increase in activity of non-traditional educational delivery systems and entities will play a greater role in higher education. These factors will not only impact the training and utilization of adjunct faculty and their managers, they will also lead to such related issues as legal issues, ethical concerns and intellectual property rights. This book address these and related issues. The text, written by practitioners, offers the very best in proven management ideas and shares examples of successful and exemplary programs.

  • Themes.
    Orientation of Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty
    The Comprehensive Faculty Development Program
    Ethical Issues for Adjunct Faculty and their Managers
    Legal Issues Concerning Adjunct Faculty and their Managers
    The Academic Manager: Five Steps to Parity
    Management of Adjunct Faculty on Branch and Off-Campus Sites
    Maintaining Quality in Higher Education


The Adjunct Professor’s Guide to Success: Surviving and Thriving in the College Classroom
Richard E. Lynons, Marcella L. Kysilka, and George E. Pawlas – 1998
Amazon ~ Back to top

In recent years, colleges and universities have markedly increased their employment of adjunct professors. Unfortunately, many adjunct professors enter the classroom with little or no training in teaching and classroom management techniques and suffer frustrations which are painful to both themselves and their institutions! This book provides the guidance and addresses the issues imperative to the adjunct professor. Each chapter addresses classroom survival issues with appropriate context and bulleted lists of “Do’s and Don’ts.” The perspective of “Through the Adjunct’s Eyes,” near the end of each chapter, shares common classroom successes and challenges. “Tips for Thriving,” a bulleted review of key points and suggested additional readings, concludes each chapter. The book concludes with chapters on self-evaluation and techniques for building a part-time career in academe. Anyone who is interested in how to begin their approach to teaching.


The Adjunct Faculty Handbook
Virginia E. Bianco-Mathis and Neal Chalofsky – 1996
Amazon ~ Back to top

Colleges and universities throughout the world are relying increasingly on part-time and adjunct faculty to meet teaching needs. Complete with checklists, sample syllabi, evaluation forms and case studies, this handbook provides administrators and full- and part-time faculty with a much-needed, practical resource for helping adjuncts teach as effectively as possible. Topics covered include: course planning, teaching strategies, cooperative learning, student evaluation and professional development.


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2 Replies to “CPFA’s Must-Reads”

  1. James Wallerstedt

    I clicked the “CPFA Must Reads” link on the home page of the CPFA website but the three “books grouped by content” links on that page don’t work nor are there direct links to either the mentioned excerpt nor to a place to buy “Equality for Contingent Faculty.”

    I am adjunct faculty for a CCC in the San Diego area. I read an article in a recent CPFA Journal with the statement below. I’d like to suggest that CPFA pro-actively pursue this goal and also update all your members on MONTHLY PROGRESS pursuing it – specific, itemized updates – by email-newsletter and website posts.

    From my perspective, while CFT does nothing worth mentioning to advocate for adjunct faculty justice – despite extracting monthly dues (ie: “Insult added to injury”) – CPFA seems well-intentioned but disorganized and ineffective. While the general intentions are worthy, my impression to date is that CPFA lacks bold yet realistic objectives coupled with organized and consistent followup.

    Pursuing the following goal within a structured framework and making regular updates until the goal is achieved, by contrast, could be a real game-changer;

    “We are exploring how we might secure a front row seat at Consultation Council, and forging firmer bonds with the Chancellor’s
    Office by requesting he convene a Part-time Issues Standing Committee. On the legislative front we foresee a change in all faculty terms of employment, beginning with the removal of the 67% rule and culminating in a revitalized and merged salary schedule.”

  2. cpfawp

    Hello James,

    Thank you for your comment and for notifying us of broken links on our website. The links you mentioned have been checked and fixed where needed.

    Regarding your suggestion, CPFA would like to remind all adjunct faculty that although we do advocate on behalf of all adjuncts, we are all adjuncts ourselves (meaning everyone is overworked and underpaid), and we choose to spend what extra time we can spare volunteering to support other adjuncts who either are unable to find the time to advocate for their own rights or recognize that we may be more effective advocating collectively rather than individually. With that in mind, it is important to emphasize that CPFA is not a company and therefore membership dues should not be confused as payment for any service, rather they are essential (and minimal) funds necessary to support our collective actions.

    If you feel that CPFA should or could be doing something more (with their already limited time and resources), then it is up to you to ask yourself what more could or should you be doing? To reiterate, CPFA is a 100% adjunct run and supported enterprise, which means that what you have read or see here as positive progress is the result of your fellow adjuncts stepping up to the plate to do something about all adjunct rights when you weren’t or couldn’t step up to the plate yourself.

    If you think you might be willing and able to contribute to now or in the future to the collective fight for the rights of all adjuncts (including yourself), please consider becoming a volunteer to help, as you put it, to “pro-actively pursue this goal and also update all your members on MONTHLY PROGRESS pursuing it – specific, itemized updates – by email-newsletter and website posts” or otherwise contribute membership dues (so that we have the resources to find someone else who can do it).

    You can become a member of CPFA through our online membership form, or contact us to volunteer in anyway that you can through our online contact form. Since you mentioned you are in the San Diego area, you might also consider joining the San Diego Adjunct Faculty Association (SDAFA) at SDAFA also has a convenient online membership registration form and contact form, which was paid for by membership dues from fellow adjuncts just like you.

    Thank you again for participating in the conversation and for adding your voice to the growing chorus demanding fair working conditions for the nearly 40,000 part-time faculty in the CCC system.


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