When most people think of working in higher education, they think of faculty. Well, there is a whole other group of people that work behind the scenes - the staffers.
Generally, these people have none of the protections that faculty have - no chance at anything like tenure, no contracts, lower pay, etc. For some that may be Okay - people like sectretarial staff and janitors generally don't have the educational background that faculty have.
But what about the professional staff - IT, accounting, fund-raising and the like? Many times they have similar educations to the faculty, and in some small schools may actually teach a course or two as adjuncts. But like adjuncts, they have no real security.
In our office (a consortium of small private colleges), we *used* to get an employment letter that was, in essence, a contract. That was unilaterally changed one day in June, when we were all informed that we were now at-will and could be terminated at any time. Not so good for morale for sure.