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Board of Trustees: Policies
D-6. Employment of Adjunct Faculty
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Value Statements:

  • Adjunct faculty are valuable resources to ACC, will be effectively integrated into the core functions of the institution, and will be appropriately compensated.
  • While the full-time faculty remains responsible for the content and learning objectives of the curriculum, adjunct faculty are encouraged to participate in instructional meetings and will have representation in departmental voting.

While faculty whom the College employs on a multi-year basis and who have additional mandatory non-instructional duties (referred to in this policy as full-time faculty) have the central role in organizing and delivering its instruction, adjunct faculty also provide essential services in most instructional areas. Among other benefits, employment of adjunct faculty permits the College to schedule flexibly, to provide students direct access to working professionals in the fields they wish to enter, to refresh the instructional dialog with new perspectives, and to achieve for each area an appropriate balance of overall faculty effort between direct instruction and other needed faculty work.
However, care is required for the best employment of adjunct faculty. The President shall maintain systems that ensure that use of adjunct faculty by the College meets community standards for responsible employment and that it does not result in diminished or uneven instructional effectiveness or violation of accreditation criteria.

Accordingly:

[1] priority of instructional effectiveness: The foremost consideration in hiring and scheduling all faculty shall be to ensure that instruction systematically meets high standards for effectiveness both in imparting needed skills and in successful student completion of programs.

[2] evaluation: Adjunct-faculty evaluation, which shall be coordinated by task forces and/or program coordinators in the discipline, should be multi-faceted, based on published criteria, include appropriate observation, and determine whether the course syllabus and the skill levels covered by tests match the standards established for the course. Adjunct faculty shall be promptly and fully informed of the results of their evaluations, which shall be used to develop plans for improvement of performance where needed.

[3] appropriate balance of adjunct and full-time faculty: The President shall develop and implement plans, subject to Board approval, to hire the number of full-time faculty required to ensure quality, provide needed academic support activities throughout each area, and meet accreditation criteria, and shall make rules to limit use of adjunct faculty to a level that does not jeopardize these goals.

[4] assignment of adjunct sections: Consistent and comprehensive effectiveness in serving student needs will require, in addition to specific individual teaching skills, connection of the College to all parts of its diverse community and predictability of employment for successful adjuncts. Adjunct sections shall be assigned so as to [a] provide a controlled but sustained influx of new people into each area of substantial adjunct-faculty use, [b] make extensive use of multiple-semester appointments for adjunct faculty, and [c] make best use of individual adjuncts in light of the skills revealed by evaluation and supervisory observation; an annual report on the performance of the College in these areas shall be made to the Board. Adjunct faculty shall not be scheduled for workloads that are excessive in combination with their other commitments at the College and elsewhere. Individual adjunct-faculty preferences as to location and time of work shall be accommodated as much as is consistent with College and student needs. The principles used to guide the process of scheduling adjunct faculty shall be clearly stated.

[5] professional development: The College shall encourage professional development for adjunct faculty. Such professional development, which may be mandated and be an element in the adjunct-faculty compensation scales, shall be appropriate to the teaching tasks and prior professional competence of adjunct faculty members.

[6] new faculty: Special systems for effective orientation and supervision of new faculty shall be maintained, including immediate course evaluations whenever a faculty member has not previously taught a particular course at the College. People applying to work as adjunct faculty who may consider ACC as a potential source of full-time faculty employment shall be frankly informed of the small number of full-time faculty openings at the College and of the large number of applicants from inside and outside the College for such positions. ACC adjuncts who do apply for full-time faculty jobs shall be given equitable consideration, with the quality of their performance as adjunct faculty considered in the hiring decision process.

[7] access to instructors: The College shall provide operational support, including voice and electronic mail, sufficient to ensure good student access to adjunct faculty as well as good communication between adjunct faculty and their supervisors. The College shall also decide its schedule early enough that adjunct-faculty names are generally available to students by the beginning of registration.

[8] integration into the College: Each adjunct faculty member shall be provided a contact person in the teaching faculty in his or her discipline to provide needed consultation and assistance. Adjunct faculty shall also be informed in writing of who has primary responsibility for their evaluation, to whom they should refer students who have unresolved complaints about their class, to whom they should direct requests and questions about their scheduling, and how they should handle the provision of a substitute if they are unable to meet a class session due to illness or other causes.

[9 community/industry connection: The College shall use the connections of adjunct faculty with their other employers and/ or community activities to enrich and improve services to students.

[10] diversity: ACC values diversity in its adjunct faculty. The hiring and retention of adjunct faculty shall be subject to all provisions of policy F-1, Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action. The College must establish programs to actively seek out and recruit minority candidates for adjunct-faculty positions. ACC employees must avoid practices that tend to exclude consideration of minority candidates for adjunct-faculty positions.

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The Austin Community College Board of Trustees adopted this policy October 5, 1998 and amended it on May 1, 2000, June 5, 2000, July 7, 2008, June 7, 2010, June 2, 2014.

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