Reports: Colleges cut professors' hours to avoid healthcare mandate

One school that has cut adjunct professors' hours — Community College of Allegheny County — would have had to spend about $6 million to offer coverage to adjunct faculty and support staff whose hours are now being limited, the Journal reported.

"I think it goes against the spirit of the [health-care] law," one associate professor told the newspaper. "In education, we're working for the public good, we are public employees at a public institution; we should be the first ones to uphold the law, to set the example."

The trade publication Inside Higher Ed has also noted the trend, reporting last month that the American Federation of Teachers is looking to the Obama administration for more guidance on the 30-hour requirement.

The group's director, Craig Smith, told the publication he's not sure the healthcare law is to blame. He sees the caps as another restriction on already strained adjuncts, he said.

“One of the biggest issues here is that the narrative is that the Affordable Care Act is the problem, but from our standpoint the [act] isn’t the problem," Smith told online publication Inside Higher Ed.