Faculty Policies


UMB Policy on the Employment of Adjunct Faculty

Faculty   |   Approved June 22, 2012

Responsible VP/AVP

Roger Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA

Policy Statement

I. Policy Statement: This Policy is designed to establish baseline standards for the University of Maryland Baltimore (“University”) related to search processes, appointments, contracts, and conditions of employment for Adjunct Faculty. The goal of this 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.

II. Reason for Policy: To comply with University System of Maryland Policy II-1.07, Policy on the Employment of Adjunct Faculty in the University System of Maryland.

III. Definitions:

A. “Adjunct Faculty” means faculty members at the University who are:

  1. Employed to provide instructional services;
  2. Neither tenured nor eligible for tenure; and
  3. Appointed to teach specific courses and compensated on a course-by-course basis.

B. “USM” means University System of Maryland.

C. “School” means one of the following schools at the University: Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Work.

D. “Provost” means Executive Vice President, Provost, and Dean of the Graduate School

E. “Volunteer Faculty” means faculty members who are not compensated for teaching courses at a School. (At the discretion of a School, its Volunteer Faculty may receive an honorarium, which may not be equivalent to Adjunct Faculty compensation.)

IV. Responsible Executive and Office:

Responsible Executive: Provost
Responsible Office: Office of the Provost

V. Persons and Units Affected by this Policy: Adjunct Faculty and UMB Schools.

VI. Procedures:

A. Applicability

  1. This Policy applies only to Adjunct Faculty.
  2. Part-Time, Non-Tenure Track (PTNTT) faculty who are appointed to salaried positions are not Adjunct Faculty. (See USM Policy II-1.06-Policy on the Employment of Salaried Part-Time, Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty in the University System of Maryland.)
  3. Volunteer Faculty appointed by a School are not Adjunct Faculty subject to this Policy, whether or not a School refers to its volunteer faculty as “adjuncts”.

B. Categories of Adjunct 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 meet the criteria for designation by the University as “Adjunct Faculty II”;
  2. Adjunct Faculty II: Adjunct faculty members who are determined by the University to have a consistent record of high-quality instruction. The University, by action of the Provost, shall grant Adjunct Faculty II status to Adjunct Faculty members who meet the following criteria:

a. Have a record of teaching at least three years at the University and a total of 12 courses of three credits or more;

b. Have a series of high-level performance evaluations over the course of at least twelve full semester courses at the University; and

c. Have made a written request to the department chairperson (or to the Dean, for a School which does not have academic departments.)

A faculty member may be appointed as Adjunct Faculty II without first having served as Adjunct Faculty I. A School may appoint a qualified individual initially to a faculty position in the Adjunct Faculty II category so long as the School has in place, as part of its approved faculty appointment policies, written criteria and procedures for making such appointments.

A school may adopt alternative criteria for the designation of Adjunct Faculty II status, provided that the School’s requirements are not more restrictive than those listed in paragraph VI.B.2, above, of this section, and so long as the School’s requirements are included in its approved faculty appointment policies and procedures.

C. Recruitment and Selection of Adjunct Faculty

  1. Credentials: Each School shall develop written standards for the academic degrees or professional certifications 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 will assure that each School 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 USM to equal opportunity and affirmative action.

D. Professional Development and Working Conditions

1. Support for Teaching: Each School shall provide each Adjunct Faculty member with the support the School determines to be necessary for the execution of the appointee’s duties. Support may include access through the University’s website or other electronic resources, and may include the following:

a. information on the School’s policies, requirements, learning outcomes and goals for each course, taught by adjuncts, along with access to examples of past course syllabi (if available);

b. official schedule of classes, including academic calendar and time frames of class meetings;

c. 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 School;

d. a School or University email account along with access to University or School computing resources; and

e. for Adjunct Faculty teaching face-to-face classes on campus or at other University sites: 

    1. telephone or other voice access, as appropriate;

      ii. necessary office supplies;

        iii. copying services for course materials; and

        iv. appropriate space for meeting with students during scheduled office hours.

        2. Professional Development: Professional development opportunities for Adjunct Faculty shall be supported to the extent feasible, and may include invitations to departmental, School, University, and external faculty development events.

        3. Performance Evaluation: The Provost will assure that each School has in place approved written procedures for evaluating Adjunct Faculty performance on a regular schedule as required by USM Policy II-1.20.

        a. Schools shall evaluate the teaching by Adjunct Faculty members in a manner that identifies high-level performance, according to the School’s standards.
        b. 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.

        E. Appointment and Assignment

        1. Appointment of Adjunct Faculty Members

        a. Contracts and Letters of Appointment

        Each Adjunct Faculty member, including both Adjunct Faculty I and Adjunct Faculty II appointees, shall be provided a written contract or formal letter of appointment prior to the beginning of the assignment. The contract or appointment letter will include:

        i. position title

        ii. contract term

        iii. per-course compensation

        iv. description of the assignment

        v. institution benefits, if any

        vi. performance evaluation policies and procedures

        vii. explanation of the implications of the cancellation of a course before the start date.


        b. Provisions for Adjunct Faculty II 

        i. After designation as Adjunct Faculty II at the University, a faculty member:
        (a) Shall receive a compensation increment of at least 10% of the minimum, annual per-course compensation for Adjunct Faculty at the University, consistent with State and USM budget policies.
        (b) 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 School.
        (c) May be eligible for longer term appointments that assure the Adjunct Faculty member’s assignment to a fixed number of classes during the term of the appointment.

        ii. The designation of a faculty member as Adjunct Faculty II will not prevent the faculty member from competition for or selection into a salaried PTNTT or other faculty position.

        c. Teaching Assignments: The appointing School shall provide Adjunct Faculty with reasonable and adequate notice of projected teaching assignments prior to the start of classes. 

        i. 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 School from making an Adjunct Faculty teaching appointment on short notice based on changed circumstances in class enrollments, the availability of resources, or other factors.

        ii. If the School 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 School shall compensate the Adjunct Faculty member 10% of the payment amount specified in the contract or appointment letter for that class.

        2. Notice of Policies and Procedures: Upon signing a contract or otherwise accepting an appointment, each Adjunct Faculty member will receive access, electronically or in print, (a) to the University’s and relevant School’s faculty handbook and (b) to University and USM policies, including those policies explaining the benefits for which the Adjunct Faculty member may be eligible.

        F. 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: The University may provide designated institutional benefits to Adjunct Faculty, in either or both of the Adjunct Faculty I or Adjunct Faculty II categories, at the discretion of the President, and subject to terms of benefit plans.
        3. Sabbatical and Terminal Leave: Adjunct Faculty members are ineligible for sabbatical leave and terminal leave, regardless of length of service.

        G. Grievance and Appointment Rights

        1. Grievance Procedure

        With the exception of those policies and procedures that relate to the appointment, rank and tenure of tenured and tenure-track faculty, Adjunct Faculty have the same grievance procedures as all other faculty of the Schools, as described in the USM Policy II-4.00, Policy on Faculty Grievances, UMB Policy II-4.00 (A), UMB Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedure, and the pertinent School grievance policy.

        2. Termination of Appointments of Adjunct Faculty

        All Adjunct Faculty members shall have the opportunity for an informal hearing at the level of the appropriate dean, department chair or program director’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.

        3. Subsequent Appointments: The decision whether to reappoint an Adjunct Faculty member after the term of the faculty member’s contract or appointment letter remains within the discretion of the School.

        a. Consistent with Section E.1.b.i of this Policy, and

        b. 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.

        H. Participation in the Campus Community: Adjunct Faculty shall be invited, to the extent feasible, to participate in the scholarly, intellectual, academic, and social life aspects of their Schools and the University.

        The Provost will form an Adjunct Faculty advisory committee, with representatives elected by the Adjunct Faculty members, that will meet with campus administration, including UMB’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance. 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 the University-wide Adjunct Faculty advisory committee.

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