Adjunct Faculty Frequently Asked Questions
What is my role as adjunct faculty?
Your task is to facilitate student learning in a specific content area. If the class you have been asked to teach is a three credit hour semester course, it means that students spend three contact hours per week with you and the other students in the class generally in a traditional classroom setting for fifteen weeks of instruction and then one week (the sixteenth) for final examinations. Click on the academic calendar for specifics on the beginning and ending of the semester and holidays. In general, please keep your students in class for the entire time it is scheduled every session. Students, other faculty and administrators recognize that class time is precious and the course you have been assigned has been designed to include every minute of the time allotted for it. Repetitive early dismissing of class by the instructor or missing classes for illness, travel or other reasons is unacceptable (PPM 6-22, III, B, 7, k). Please notify the department chair in advance (as far as is reasonable) if you must miss class and be prepared to make up the time in class before the end of the semester.
How much and when will I be paid?
Compensation for adjunct faculty is based on the course(s) taught each term and the department chair will notify you as to the amount you will be paid per credit hour. This amount is determined by the department instructional wage budget and your individual qualifications. Adjunct faculty members are paid in six or seven equal payments, based on credit hours/courses taught, after the semester starts. Payments begin in the pay period after 3rd week enrollment numbers are calculated, and amounts to be paid are verified by the department. Adjunct payments are paid on or before the 3rd and 18th of each month.You may access the adjunct pay schedules through the Payroll Office website. Direct deposit of paychecks is available for adjunct faculty, and may be arranged through the WSU Payroll Office.
Does my department have specific guidelines for adjunct faculty?
Guidelines for adjunct instructors are at the discretion of individual departments. Please contact the department chair or program director for specific information on this.
What if I have to cancel class?
We have learned in the past few years how life can happen and overturn our teaching plans sometimes. However, there are options available rather than canceling class.
Do I get to choose the textbook?
Class materials are at the discretion of individual departments. Please contact the department chair for specific information on this.
Are there prepared materials for my class?
Class materials are at the discretion of individual departments. Please contact the department chair or program director for specific information on this.
Do I get to choose how I will teach my class?
WSU is committed to the idea and value of academic freedom (PPM 6-22, VI, A-C), and recognize that individual teaching styles will influence how you teach your class. Please keep in mind that most courses have specific student learning objectives and outcomes identified by full-time faculty as important and instrumental in the groundwork of a student's education. A copy of those learning objectives and outcomes for each course should be available from your department chair. Since many adjunct faculty teach introductory classes, it is important to note that consistency of knowledge, performance goals and outcomes are critical to curriculum building.
How will I be evaluated as an instructor?
Most departments require evaluations of adjunct faculty. A course evaluation instrument will be administered online via ChiTester. Accumulated data and student comments from these evaluations will be available to you, and the department chair as soon as possible after the semester. If you teach a course for Continuing Education, they also have an evaluation form they have the students complete about the course and the instructor. These student evaluations are an important (but not the only) measure of your success as a WSU adjunct instructor. Each semester you should make a copy of your syllabus or syllabi and see that your department administrative specialist gets this copy. Department chairs look at these syllabi to make sure adjunct faculty are following minimum student performance criteria established for the courses they are teaching. Your class may also be visited from time to time by a full-time faculty member. Such visits are designed to provide you feedback regarding your teaching and course content. You will be notified ahead of time if a visit to your classroom is planned.
What about parking?
Parking at WSU is a challenge as it is on most university campuses. If you are teaching in the evening on campus, parking is free after 4:00 pm in any lot (except the A-1 Lot and in reserved stalls). If you are teaching at the Davis Center or any other satellite location, you need to purchase a parking pass. Parking during the day requires a university parking pass, which may be purchased through Parking Services and is good for one year. Check with your department chair for details on how to purchase one of these passes. You may also purchase a parking pass and park in the Dee Events Center parking lots and take the shuttle bus to the building where you teach. There are also 1-hour parking meters in various locations on campus. Please be warned that if you park anywhere on campus before 4:00 pm without a permit, you will be ticketed and will be liable for the violation.
Do I keep office hours?
You should maintain office hours as specified in your contract letter or as otherwise directed by your department. In addition, you should have some way for students to access you when the need arises (home phone number and/or email address). Please indicate these means of access on your syllabus, and let your department administrative specialist know about them should a student come to the office to inquire about how to reach you.
Do I have an office on campus?
Most departments (but not always due to lack of faculty office space) have an office with a phone and a computer that you may use when you are on campus. Check with the department administrative specialist for more information regarding access.
Should I be using a WSU email account and how do I get one?
Every adjunct faculty will be assigned a Gmail email account free of charge. This can be used even during the semesters they are not teaching. Please call IT Services at 801-626-7777 for information or talk to the department administrative specilaist.
How do I receive mail on campus?
Most departments have made arrangments for adjunct faculty to receive and send mail. Please check with the department administrative specialist. Students may leave assignments there as well.
What benefits do I receive as an adjunct instructor?
During the semester you are actively teaching you have the following benefits:
- ID card privileges (you will need to go to the Union Building and have your picture taken for a Wildcat card)
- Bookstore discount
- Use of Stromberg Complex gym facilities
- Discounts on certain specified University-sponsored activities and events
- Borrowing privileges at the Stewart Library
- Tuition benefits as outlined in the WSU Policy and Procedures Manual 3-42
Do adjunct faculty have representation on Faculty Senate?
Two adjunct faculty members represent all adjuncts at Faculty Senate meetings. They are non-voting members of Faculty Senate who can make motions, second motions, and discuss policies. They will be advocating as adjunct members at large, not representing any college.
Will I be hired again for next semester?
Please recognize that adjunct employment is on a one-time semester basis only and teaching one particular semester does not guarantee employment of any kind or adjunct teaching for any future semesters. However, most departments try to develop a corps of outstanding adjunct faculty and use them as often and as much as their budget allows. Please recognize that the scheduling for these classes is based on student need and demand. You will normally receive a letter from the department asking for your formal commitment to the teaching of the course. It is wise to indicate by email, letter or phone if you are interested in continuing as an adjunct faculty as early as possible as decisions about teaching assignments are made from six months to one year in advance.
What other teaching resources are available?
The WSU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning provides workshops, collaborative projects, and other initiatives in support of faculty development. They also offer the Adjunct Faculty Retreat every spring semester. Adjunct faculty are encouraged to provide the forum with contact information so they may be invited to take part in the actitivies. To email the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Training Tracker and LinkedIn Learning apps provide continuing training opportunities for faculty and staff on a broad range of topics. You can find these apps through your Weber Portal.