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Section II: Faculty

Policy Number: II-1.07(A)

University of Maryland Policy on the Employment of Adjunct Faculty

(Interim Policy approved by the President August 30, 2011 pending University Senate Action,Approved by the President Amended )


This policy is designed to establish baseline standards for the 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 facilitate a continuous improvement in the status of adjunct faculty at the University.  


  1.  This policy applies to adjunct faculty defined as faculty who are: 
    1. Employed to provide instructional services;
    2. Neither tenured nor eligible for tenure; and 
    3. Approved to teach specific courses and compensated 
      1. on a course-by-course basis or 
      2. on a salaried appointment at less than 50% FTE or 
      3. on a basis whereby the faculty member is ineligible for employer-subsidized health benefits. 
  2. Policies for Salaried Part-Time, Professional Track Faculty. Part-Time, Professional Track faculty who are appointed to salaried positions at 50% FTE or more are not included as “adjunct faculty” for the purposes of this policy, and are covered instead by II-1.00(F) University of  Maryland Policy on Full-Time and Part-Time Professional Track Instructional Faculty. 


For the purposes of this policy, adjunct faculty shall be designated as one of the following:  

  1. “Adjunct Faculty I”: All adjunct faculty, except those faculty members who have been  designated by an institution as “Adjunct Faculty II”; 
  2. “Adjunct Faculty II”: Upon the written request of the faculty member to the department chair or unit head, the University shall consider granting Adjunct Faculty II status to adjunct faculty who have a consistent record of high-quality instruction. Adjunct Faculty II shall have met the  following criteria: 
    1. Are currently teaching in the department; 
    2. Have taught a minimum of 30 credits at the University within the past 5 academic years; and 
    3. Are supported by a series of high-level performance evaluations, as described in VI.C.  below. 

In exceptional cases, a unit head may also recommend faculty who have a consistent record of high-quality instruction but do not meet all of the above criteria for consideration, provided they meet the criteria set forth in the unit’s Adjunct implementation plan. 

“Adjunct Faculty II” status shall be granted upon the recommendation of the department or unit chair and  Dean, subject to approval by the Provost. 


Adjunct faculty who are designated as Adjunct Faculty I or Adjunct Faculty II by the University may hold the titles of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Adjunct Associate Professor, Adjunct  Professor, or any other professional track faculty titles as defined in the University of Maryland Policy on  Professional Track Faculty (II-1.00[G]). 


  1. 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. 
  2. Selection Procedures. The Provost shall assure that each college or hiring unit has in place written procedures for selecting adjunct faculty. Procedures shall include verification of credentials and shall reflect the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action. 


  1. 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: 
    1. Information on the university, college, and department’s policies, requirements, learning  outcomes and goals for each course, along with access to examples of past course syllabi (if available); 
    2. Official schedule of classes, including academic calendar and time frames of class meetings; 
    3. Assistance with textbook ordering and completing textbook compliance form.
    4. A University email account along with access to on-campus computing facilities; and 
    5. For Adjunct Faculty teaching face-to-face classes on campus;
      1. Telephone or other voice access, as appropriate; 
      2. Necessary office supplies; 
      3. Copying services for course materials; and 
      4. Appropriate space for meeting with students during scheduled office hours. 
  2. Professional Development. To the extent feasible, professional development opportunities for new Adjunct Faculty shall include: 
    1. Departmental orientation and overview 
    2. Campus orientation
    3. Introduction to teaching resources 
    4. Training in using UMEG, TESTUDO; ELMS and other course administration and learning instruction information technology. Subsequent opportunities for development also will be provided to the extent feasible. Such opportunities may include invitations to departmental, college, University, and external faculty development events, mentoring from senior faculty, and support for attending academic conferences.
  3. Performance Evaluation. The Senior Vice President and Provost will assure that each department has in place written procedures for evaluating Adjunct Faculty performance on a regular schedule, as required by BOR II-1.20 Policy on Evaluation of Performance of Faculty and II- 1.20(A) UMCP Policy on Periodic Evaluation of Faculty Performance. 
    1. Among other things, performance evaluation procedures shall include student evaluations and faculty classroom visitation and observation.
    2. Departments shall evaluate the teaching by Adjunct Faculty members on the same basis used to evaluate the teaching of tenure-track faculty members. 
    3. Evaluations shall be kept on record in a personnel file and shall be consulted when decisions about promotion, compensation, and any subsequent appointments are made. 


VII. Appointment, Designation and Assignment

  1.  Appointment of Adjunct Faculty Member
    1. Contracts and Letters of Appointment. Each Adjunct Faculty member, including both  Adjunct Faculty I and Adjunct Faculty II, shall be provided a written contract or formal  letter of appointment prior to the beginning of the assignment, which includes: 
      1. Position title; 
      2. Contract term; 
      3. Per-course compensation or salary rate and % FTE appointment; 
      4. Description of the assignment; 
      5. Institution benefits, if any; 
      6. Information regarding faculty policies and procedures, including performance evaluation policies; 
      7. Explanation of the implications of the cancellation of a course before the start date; 
      8. Information about eligibility for and benefits associated with designation of Adjunct Faculty II status; 
    2. Provisions for Adjunct Faculty II 
      1. After designation of “Adjunct Faculty II” status, a faculty member: 
        1. Shall be sent a letter of notification from the Dean’s Office. The letter shall stipulate the benefits of designation of “Adjunct Faculty II” status,  including provisions (2) through (4) below.
        2. Shall receive a compensation increment beginning the following year and continuing each year thereafter in the amount of at least 10% of the minimum, annual compensation for adjunct faculty at the University set by the Provost for that year, consistent with State and USM budget policies; 
        3. 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; 
        4. 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. 
      2. Designation of “Adjunct Faculty II” status does not prevent an adjunct faculty member from competition for or selection into a salaried part-time non-tenure-track or other faculty position. 
    3. Teaching Assignments. The appointing department shall provide adjunct faculty with reasonable and adequate notice of projected teaching assignments prior to the start of classes. 
      1. 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. 
      2. 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.

VIII. Compensation and Benefits

  1. Compensation. Every effort should be made to make adjunct faculty compensation professionally appropriate and competitive to the extent allowed by available fiscal resources.  
  2. Benefits for Adjunct Faculty. Adjunct faculty shall be entitled to receive institutional benefits as designated in their written contract or formal letter of appointment. 
  3. Sabbatical and Terminal Leave. Adjunct faculty members are ineligible for sabbatical leave or for terminal leave, regardless of length of service. 

IX. Grievance and Appointment Rights

  1. Grievance Procedure. 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 UMCP Policy and Procedure Governing Faculty Grievances II-4.00(A).  
  2. Process Related to the Termination of Adjunct Faculty. Prior to terminating an Adjunct faculty member's appointment before the end of its term, the faculty member shall be offered an opportunity to meet and discuss the matter at the level of the College or School. The University may remove the Adjunct faculty member from the classroom, provided, however, it shall continue to pay the Adjunct faculty member pending a reasonable opportunity to be heard. 

X. Participation in the Campus Community

  1. 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. 
  2. Shared Governance Participation: The University shall provide opportunities for adjunct faculty to communicate their concerns to campus administration, provide advice in the development and implementation of policies and procedures related to adjunct faculty, and otherwise participate fully in shared governance through participation in existing shared governance bodies, with sufficient numbers of positions designated for adjunct faculty to ensure their representation.