This policy is designed to establish baseline standards for Towson University (“University”) related to search processes, appointments, contracts, and conditions of employment for adjunct faculty. The goal of the policy is to assure a high quality of instruction by individuals with appropriate credentials and experience and to provide a set of policies that will lead to continuous improvement in the status of adjunct faculty at the University. This policy implements University System of Maryland Policy II-1.07, Policy on the Employment of Adjunct Faculty in the University System of Maryland.
“Adjunct Faculty” means faculty members at the University who are:
employed to provide instructional services;
neither tenured nor eligible for tenure; and
appointed to teach specific courses and compensated on a course by-course basis.
“Adjunct Faculty I” is defined in Section VI.B.1.
“Adjunct Faculty II” is defined in Section VI.B.2.
“Adjunct Faculty III” is defined in Section VI.B.3.
“PTNTT” means part-time non-tenure track.
“USM” means University System of Maryland.
Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs
Office of the Provost
This policy applies only to Adjunct Faculty.
Policies for Salaried Part-Time, Non-Tenure Track Faculty
PTNTT faculty who are appointed to salaried positions are not included as “Adjunct Faculty” for the purposes of this policy, and are covered instead by USM Policy II-1.06, Policy on the Employment of Part-Time, Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty in the University System of Maryland.
Categories of Adjunct Faculty
For the purposes of this policy, Adjunct Faculty shall be designated as one of the following:
Adjunct Faculty I: All Adjunct Faculty, except those faculty members who meet the criteria for designation by the University as “Adjunct Faculty II or Adjunct Faculty III”;
Adjunct Faculty II: Adjunct faculty members who are determined by the University to have a consistent record of high-quality instruction. The University shall consider granting Adjunct Faculty II status to Adjunct Faculty members who meet the following criteria:
A record of teaching at least three years at the University for a total of at least 36 contact hours; and a series of at least three (3) high-level teaching peer evaluations over the course of multiple semesters at the University, including one within the year prior to application for promotion; or
A retiring full-time faculty member with 3 years or more service.
Upon written request by the faculty member to the department chairperson, the department chairperson and the dean will provide written recommendations to the Provost on the granting of Adjunct II status.
Adjunct Faculty III: Adjunct faculty members who are determined by the University to have maintained a consistent record of high quality instruction and active engagement and contributions to achieving department’s mission. The University shall consider granting Adjunct Faculty III status to Adjunct Faculty II members who meet the following criteria:
A record of teaching at least nine years at the University for a total of 108 contact hours or more; and a series of at least three (3) high-level teaching peer evaluations since the last promotion, including one within the year prior to application for promotion; and
A retiring full-time faculty member with 6 years or more service
Upon written request of the faculty member to the department chairperson, the department chairperson and the dean will provide written recommendations to the Provost on the granting of Adjunct III status.
Recruitment and Selection of Adjunct Faculty
Credentials: The University shall develop written standards for the academic degrees or professional certification and professional experience required for appointment as Adjunct Faculty. These standards may vary depending on the level of courses to be taught.
Selection Procedures: The Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs will assure that each college has in place written procedures for selecting Adjunct Faculty. These procedures shall include verification of credentials, and shall reflect the commitment of the University and the USM to equal opportunity and affirmative action.
Professional Development and Working Conditions
Support for Teaching: The University shall provide each Adjunct Faculty member with the support it determines to be necessary for the execution of the appointee’s duties, which may include access through the University’s website or other electronic resources, including the following:
information on the college and department’s policies, requirements, learning outcomes and goals for each course, along with access to examples of past course syllabi (if available);
official schedule of classes, including academic calendar and time frames of class meetings;
assistance in the selection of textbook(s) for the course(s) and ancillaries for the text(s), if these are not otherwise selected by the department;
a University email account along with access to on-campus computing facilities; and
for Adjunct Faculty teaching face-to-face classes on campus;
telephone or other voice access, as appropriate;
necessary office supplies;
copying services for course materials; and
appropriate space for meeting with students during scheduled office hours.
Professional development opportunities for Adjunct Faculty shall be supported to the extent feasible, and may include invitations to departmental, college, University, and external faculty development events.
The Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs will assure that each college has in place approved written procedures for evaluating Adjunct Faculty performance on a regular schedule, as required by USM Policy II-1.20, Policy on Evaluation of Performance of Faculty.
Departments shall evaluate the teaching by Adjunct Faculty members in a manner that identifies high-level performance, according to the department’s standards that include consideration of student evaluations and peer evaluations of teaching.
Evaluation shall be kept on record in a personnel file and shall be consulted when decisions about promotion, compensation, and any subsequent appointments are made.
Appointment and Assignment
Appointment of Adjunct Faculty Members
Contracts and Letters of Appointment
Each Adjunct Faculty member (including Adjunct Faculty I, Adjunct Faculty II, and Adjunct Faculty Ill) shall be provided a written contract or formal letter of appointment prior to the beginning of the assignment, which includes:
per course compensation;
description of the assignment;
institution benefits, if any;
performance evaluation policies and procedures; and,
explanation of the implications of the cancellation of a course before the start date.
Provisions for Adjunct Faculty II and Adjunct Faculty III
After designation as Adjunct Faculty II, the faculty member shall receive a compensation increment of at least 10% of the minimum, annual per course compensation for Adjunct Faculty I, consistent with State and USM budget policies.
After designation as Adjunct Faculty III, the faculty member shall receive a compensation increment of at least l0% of the minimum annual per course compensation for Adjunct Faculty II, consistent with State and USM budget policies.
After designation as Adjunct Faculty II or Adjunct Faculty III, a faculty member:
Shall be given priority consideration, to the extent operationally feasible, among Adjunct Faculty for future teaching assignments in the subjects for which the Adjunct Faculty member has had consistent instructional experience at the University. Adjunct Faculty III shall receive the highest priority consideration, and Adjunct Faculty II shall receive the next highest priority consideration.
May be eligible for longer term appointments that assure the Adjunct Faculty member assignment to a fixed number of classes during the term of the appointment.
Shall maintain the new rank even if there is a break in service.
The designation of a faculty member as Adjunct Faculty II or III will not prevent the faculty member from competition for or selection into a salaried PTNTT or other faculty position.
The appointing department shall provide Adjunct Faculty with reasonable and adequate notice of projected teaching assignments prior to the start of classes.
The University has the goal of providing such notice 45 days before the class start date, to the extent feasible. Nothing in this section shall prevent a department from making an Adjunct Faculty teaching appointment on short notice based on changed circumstances in class enrollments, the availability of resources, or other factors.
If the University has a fall or spring semester class to which an Adjunct Faculty member has been assigned that is cancelled less than 30 days prior to the class start date, and has been unable to offer the Adjunct Faculty member re-assignment to a comparable class, the University shall compensate the Adjunct Faculty member 10% of the payment amount specified in the contract or appointment letter for that class.
Notice of Policies and Procedures
Upon signing a contract or otherwise accepting an appointment, the Adjunct Faculty member will receive access, electronically or in print, to the University’s faculty handbook and University and USM policies, including those policies explaining the benefits for which the Adjunct Faculty member may be eligible.
Compensation and Benefits
Every effort should be made to make Adjunct Faculty compensation professionally appropriate and competitive to the extent allowed by available fiscal resources.
Benefits for Adjunct Faculty
The University may provide designated institutional benefits to Adjunct Faculty, in any or all of the Adjunct Faculty I, Adjunct Faculty II, or Adjunct Faculty III categories, at the discretion of the President.
Sabbatical and Terminal Leave
Adjunct faculty members are ineligible for sabbatical leave or for terminal leave, regardless of length of service.
Grievance and Appointment Rights
With the exception of those policies and procedures that relate to the appointment, rank and tenure of tenured and tenure-track Faculty, as amended from time to time, Adjunct Faculty shall have available the same grievance procedures as all other faculty, consistent with the USM Policy on Faculty Grievances, II-4.00 and TU Policy 02-04.00, Responsibilities and Procedures of the Faculty Grievance and Mediation Committee and the Faculty Hearing Committee.
Grievances include, but are not limited to, disputes involving academic freedom, merit, teaching load, discipline, and other administrative actions that are not excluded from section G.1.b. below.
The following matters cannot be grieved:
Matters covered by another USM or University policy including appointment, rank, and tenure and retrenchment policies;
Matters involving alleged violations of academic freedom or discrimination resulting in the non-reappointment of tenure-track faculty or lecturers (such complaints may be filed with the Faculty Hearing Committee);
Any matter the remedy for which would contravene or interfere with any official policy, regulation, procedure, decision or action of the USM, the University, or the Board of Regents;
Matters pertaining to broad areas of fiscal management, staffing, or structure of the USM or the University; and
Matters not under the control of the University and/or of the USM.
Adjunct Faculty members can be terminated for any lawful reason (e.g., breach of contract, cancellation of a course by the department before the start date [as specified in the faculty member’s contract]).
All Adjunct Faculty members shall have the opportunity for an informal hearing at the level of the appropriate dean’s office before termination of an appointment within the term of the faculty member’s contract. The University may remove the Adjunct Faculty member from the classroom, while continuing to pay the faculty member, pending the outcome of the hearing.
The decision whether to re-appoint an Adjunct Faculty after the term of the faculty member’s contract remains within the discretion of the University.
Consistent with Section VI.E.1.b of this policy.
Provided that the decision was not made for unlawful reasons or in retaliation for the faculty member’s exercise of grievance rights or shared governance activities.
Participation in the Campus Community
Integration into Towson University Life
Adjunct faculty members shall be invited, to the extent feasible, to participate in the scholarly, intellectual, academic, and social life aspects of the department, college and University.
Shared Governance Participation
The University shall provide opportunities for Adjunct Faculty to communicate their concerns to campus administrators, provide advice in the development and implementation of policies and procedures related to Adjunct Faculty, and otherwise participate fully in shared governance, through the formation of an Adjunct Faculty advisory committee in each-college that will meet periodically, but not fewer than two times per year, with the dean of the college.
Each college Adjunct Faculty committee will elect a representative to meet with the Provost and the Vice President for Administration and Finance twice a year, in the fall and spring sessions.
The University will give serious consideration to the information, views and suggestions gained in meetings and/or discussion with representatives of Adjunct Faculty in any relevant policy decisions regarding Adjunct Faculty.
Adjunct Faculty may elect to engage an external representative, which may be a labor organization, to assist them in “meet and confer” discussions with administration over issues of concern, including compensation, benefits and terms of employment.
Agreements reached during the process that are amenable to formalization as policy may be adopted as such through the University’s normal procedures; the President retains final authority over all such decisions.
The organization of the “meet and confer” process, including the processes by which Adjunct Faculty will determine whether to engage an external representative, the selection of representatives, access to information, and minimum requirements for meet and confer meetings, will conform to principles and guidelines developed by the Chancellor of the USM, in consultation with the Presidents of the constituent institutions of the USM.
Communications between Adjunct Faculty and the University administration are based upon the free and candid expression of views. The presence of a meet and confer process at the University in which Adjunct Faculty engage a representative organization does not limit or constrain the role, function or processes of institutional shared governance. Shared governance bodies and other groups of Adjunct Faculty remain free to confer with administrators regarding matters of concern to those groups, and Adjunct Faculty members may participate in institutional shared governance bodies, consistent with University policies.
In recognition that Adjunct Faculty are compensated only for course-by-course instructional services, the University shall provide reimbursement for travel and other reasonable expenses, consistent with USM and University travel policies, to each Adjunct Faculty member who serves on a University-wide shared governance body.
Approval Date: 03/28/2011
Effective Date: 03/2/2011
Amended Date: 10/01/2012
Approved By: President’s Council
Signed By: President’s Council
This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, generalcounsel AT_TOWSON.