Adjunct Appointments

Guidelines for Appointments of Adjunct Faculty

Overview and FTE Calculations

Adjunct appointments are, by definition, part-time and are classified according to their full-time equivalency (FTE). The calculation of FTE is based on the principle that one semester credit hour equals 6% FTE.

Adjunct Titles & FTE Ranges
Title Class FTE Range Credit-Hour Range Per Semester Credit-Hour Range Per Year (2 Semesters)
Term Adjunct 0% through 49%
0.00 to 8.33 NA
Annual Adjunct 50% through 64% 8.33 to 10.83 16.67 to 21.67
Represented Adjunct 65% through 99% 10.83 to 16.67 21.67 to 33.33

The basic FTE calculation has not changed due to semester conversion. Although quarter credit hours and semester credit hours are not equal (1 semester credit hour equals 1.5 quarter credit hours), their difference exists because of the greater number of weeks in the semester, not because the contact hours or effort during any single week of the term differ very much. In general, FTE is a characterization of the work effort in any given week during the term, not of the aggregate work effort across an entire academic term (whether quarters or semesters). Therefore, an adjunct faculty member teaching one 3-credit course under semesters has the same FTE as an adjunct faculty member teaching one 3-credit course under quarters.

The FTE limits described above apply to the individual faculty member, not to one academic unit’s appointment of that individual. Sometimes two or more academic units appoint the same individual in a single term. His or her FTE is based on total credit hours taught in all units of the university, and while each unit may wish to appoint the person as a term adjunct, the FTE calculation may necessitate an appointment as an annual adjunct.

Appointment and Pay Guidelines

Term Adjuncts: A term adjunct may not be appointed for more than one semester at a time even if the unit intends to appoint that individual for more than one semester in a year. Despite that limitation and despite the 8.33 credit-hour limit cited in Table 1 above, a unit may appoint a term adjunct to 9.0 credit hours in one semester, provided that person’s appointment in the other semester of the same academic year is low enough that the total credit hours for the year do not exceed 16.67. For a term adjunct to teach more than 9 credit hours in one term or to teach more than 16.67 credit hours in two semesters of the same academic year, the academic unit and college must request an exception. See below for details on requesting exceptions.

Tuition remission for a term adjunct is effective as of the beginning of the semester in which he or she teaches. A term adjunct accrues pay and is paid according to the schedule below.

 Term Adjunct Appointments & Pay Schedule
Appointment Term Appointment Dates Equal Monthly Pay at the End of
Full Semester August 15 - December 31 September, October, November, December
Spring Semester January 1 - April 30 January, February, March, April
Summer Semester May 1 - August 14 May, June, July, August
Summer Partial Terms:
First Half-Term May 1 - June 30 May, June
Second Half-Term  July 1 - August 14 July, August
First Mini-Term May 1 - June 30 May, June
Second Mini-Term June 1 - July 31 June, July
Third Mini-Term July 1 - August 14 July, August

Annual Adjuncts: As the title suggests, an annual adjunct receives a single appointment for an entire year (12 months), accruing pay over two semesters but paid in twelve equal monthly installments. Unless an annual adjunct appointment is initiated in January, all annual adjunct appointments coincide with the academic year as newly defined for semesters: August 15 through August 14. Assuming an appointment at the beginning of the academic year, benefits, with the exception of tuition remission, become effective for annual adjunct faculty on October 1 (the first day of the month following 28 days of employment). Tuition remission becomes effective for an annual adjunct as of the beginning of the semester in which he or she teaches.

In general, an annual adjunct’s teaching load should not exceed 10.83 credit hours in a single semester or 21.67 credit hours in the two semesters of a single academic year; those limits are associated with 49.99% FTE. However, the annual adjunct may exceed the 10.83 credit limit in one semester, provided a commensurate reduction in credit hours is made in the other semester of the same academic year, provided that the total credit hours in any single semester does not exceed 12, and provided the total credit hours for the year does not exceed 21.67. For example, an annual adjunct may teach four 3-credit courses in fall semester and two 3-credit courses in spring semester without requesting an exception. A unit that assigns an annual adjunct more than 10.83 credit hours in fall with intention of assigning commensurately fewer credit hours in spring must request an exception if plans change and would result in an assignment greater than 21.67 for the two semesters of the same academic year.

Represented Adjuncts: A part-time faculty member whose regular teaching load equals or exceeds 65% FTE must become a member of the AAUP bargaining unit with compensation and other terms of employment governed by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Entrance into the bargaining unit is not automatically triggered by a person’s occasionally exceeding the FTE threshold through exceptions. Nor can a unit simply decide to redefine a position as "represented" by increasing the teaching load of a term or annual adjunct; such redefinition of a position requires approval through Vacancy Review and typically requires a formal search to fill the position.

Similarly, a represented faculty member does not exit the bargaining unit simply by having his or her teaching load reduced below 65% FTE. Once in the bargaining unit, the faculty member enjoys significant job protection, and the protocols of the CBA govern reappointment and non-reappointment.

In recent years, the university has greatly reduced its reliance on represented adjunct faculty by creating 100% FTE "Educator" faculty positions. Such positions are also in the bargaining unit.

Emergency Exceptions

To fulfill an emergency staffing need, a unit must request an exception to exceed the maximum FTE for a single semester before making the teaching assignment. Emergency exceptions must not exceed the FTE maxima established above by more than four credit hours in a given semester. Direct the request to the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel. The request must:

  • have the college dean’s endorsement;
  • identify the adjunct faculty member;
  • list the teaching load of the adjunct, including any course(s) proposed for the exception;
  • explain the reason for requesting an exception; and
  • explain what steps will be taken to avoid the need for future exceptions.

If a unit finds itself repeatedly seeking exceptions, it should give the adjunct an annual appointment or the college should consider hiring a full‐time faculty member.

If the exception is necessary because of a secondary appointment in another college, the adjunct’s home college must send an email to the college wanting to make a secondary appointment, with a copy to the Vice Provost, indicating that an exception is necessary and requesting that the college making the secondary appointment submit the request to the Vice Provost as described above.

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