Skip to main content

Adjunct Faculty (Policy 4220)

University Policy 4220

Download a Printable Version of Policy 4220

Effective Date

July 1978

Last Revision Date

March 30, 2021

Responsible Party

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, (208) 426-1202
Human Resources, (208) 426-1616

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all Deans, Department Chairs, and Adjunct Faculty.

Additional Authority

  • Idaho State Board of Education Policy, Section III.B.
  • University Policy 7000 (Position Definitions)
  • University Policy 4290 (Annual Faculty Performance Evaluation)

1. Policy Purpose

To provide initial appointment guidelines, the titles and pay structure, and the employment expectations for adjunct faculty.

2. Policy Statement

Boise State University recognizes the essential services that Adjunct Faculty provide to the University and its students. This policy ensures adjunct faculty employment is applied consistently across the University and is compliant with applicable federal and state laws, and Idaho State Board of Education and University policies.

3. Definitions

3.1 Academic Term or Semester

Includes fall (August through December), spring (late December through mid-May) and summer (mid-May through August). Courses may be delivered for the full length of a Semester or within one of several compressed sessions within each Semester.

3.2 Adjunct Faculty

A part-time, non-benefit-eligible, temporary faculty position paid on a per-credit basis. These individuals may be appointed to teach one or more courses or workshops for one Academic Term not to exceed five (5) consecutive months per appointment.

4. Titles

a. The pay structure for Adjunct Faculty is based on Step I, Step II, and Step III levels.

b. Promotion in level is based on time and qualifications, assuming that the adjunct faculty meets performance expectations.

c. The minimum pay rates for each step are set each year by the Office of the Provost. Additional compensation beyond the minimum per-credit rate may be offered based on factors related to the courses the Adjunct Faculty is teaching, such as but not limited to: subject matter, market analysis, enrollment, and experience.

4.1 Adjunct Faculty Step I

a. Has taught fewer than three (3) Semesters for the University within the last three (3) years, and

b. Does not hold a terminal degree.

4.2 Adjunct Faculty Step II

a. Holds a terminal degree in the field and has taught fewer than three (3) Semesters for the University, or

b. Has at least a Master’s Degree (or equivalent experience) and has taught at least three (3) Semesters for the University in the last six (6) years.

4.3 Adjunct Faculty Step III

a. Holds a terminal degree in the field and has taught at least three (3) Semesters for the University in the last six (6) years, or

b. Has at least a Master’s Degree (or equivalent experience) and has taught at least six (6) Semesters for the University in the last eight (8) years.

4.4 Senior Adjunct Faculty III

a. A Senior Adjunct Faculty III is an honorific recognition not associated with an increase in salary. It requires, with rare exception, a terminal degree within one’s discipline and more than ten (10) years of teaching experience under a Boise State University contract.

b. Each department is responsible for developing its criteria and process for promotion to Senior Adjunct in consultation with the college dean and Office of the Provost.

5. Workload

a. An Adjunct Faculty is limited to working less than 75 percent of a full-time employment workload (no more than 29 hours per week), on average, in any Semester. If an Adjunct Faculty has other part-time, non-benefit-eligible employment at Boise State, the combination of their Adjunct Faculty duties and their other employment must average less than 75 percent of full-time employment. This workload limit does not apply to full-time employees who provide adjunct instruction for the University.

b. An Adjunct faculty’s teaching hours are calculated as 2.67 hours = 1 credit hour. Using that calculation, if an Adjunct Faculty is teaching a course that spans the entire fall or spring Semester, they can teach no more than eleven (11) credits per Semester. Department chairs can use the Adjunct Faculty Credits to Standard Hours Conversation Table to determine credit limits for Adjunct Faculty who teach accelerated courses (those shorter than 15 weeks).

6. General Administration

6.1 Supervision

a. Supervision of an Adjunct Faculty resides with the chair of a department or unit, or in special cases, with the dean of a college, or designee. These responsibilities include:

  • The initial request for such position and preparation of the appointment document, including requirements for employment at Boise State University (refer to University Policy 7005 – Background Verifications and University Policy 7550 – Legal Authorization for Work), which delineate the title, responsibilities, salary, academic credentials and conditions of the appointment, and
  • Supervisory roles such as performance evaluations, consistent with University Policy 4290 (Annual Faculty Performance Evaluation), and the recommendation to renew any such appointment.

b. General oversight for the administration and interpretation of regulations resides with the Provost.

6.2 Rights and Privileges

Adjunct Faculty will receive the following rights and privileges during their appointment.

a. Per the Faculty Constitution; the Idaho State Board of Education Policy, Section III.B; and the American Association of University Professors 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, Adjunct Faculty are entitled to the protections of academic freedom.

b. Adjunct Faculty will have the access and privileges necessary to be successful in their role, which are determined by their department.

c. Adjunct Faculty may march in the academic processions by making arrangements through their dean college dean.

d. Adjunct Faculty do not earn sick leave. It is the responsibility of the Adjunct Faculty to notify their immediate supervisor, without delay, to arrange for class coverage.

e. An Adjunct Faculty is eligible for time away from work with compensation not to exceed two (2) weeks in any Semester in the event of an Adjunct Faculty’s or family member’s serious illness or injury necessitating their absence from work. Time away from work and compensation are reviewed and approved by the immediate supervisor in consultation with Human Resources. For purposes of this policy, the definition of “serious illness or injury” is the equivalent of a “serious health condition” as defined by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. Medical certification or other documentation may be required.

7. Appointment

The appointment of an Adjunct Faculty must be approved, first, by the appropriate academic department chair and then reviewed by Human Resources to ensure:

a. The Adjunct Faculty is in good University standing, and

b. The teaching assignment will not put the Adjunct Faculty at or over 75 percent full-time in aggregate for the Semester, as outlined in Section 5.

7.1 Letters of Appointment (LOA)

Letters of Appointment contain terms and conditions of employment and copies should be maintained in the Adjunct Faculty’s personnel file (see University Policy 7530 – Employee Files).

a. The terms of employment for an Adjunct Faculty are detailed in the LOA. The LOA must be completed, approved, and sent to the Adjunct Faculty.

b. The Adjunct Faculty’s compensation must be stated on the appointment document and be agreed to by the persons signing such document.

c. The Adjunct Faculty must provide the department with a curriculum vitae outlining their academic credentials and disclose all University and State of Idaho appointments in which they work to the immediate supervisor prior to accepting any appointment.

d. Human Resources will process the LOA and ensure the Adjunct Faculty member meets the requirements for part-time employment.

e. The Adjunct Faculty member must review and sign the LOA and return the original to the initiating department.

f. Upon appointment, the curriculum vitae will be maintained in the department file and made available to members of the Boise State community upon request.

g. The LOA covers one Semester, and separation at the end of the Semester is automatic. All Adjunct Faculty are employed “at will” and may be dismissed at any time for any reason, or for no reason, with or without notice, so long as the dismissal is not prohibited by law.

8. Responsibilities

An Adjunct Faculty is responsible for compliance with the terms, conditions, and duties specified in the LOA. Failure to perform any of the specified duties and/or responsibilities may result in:

  • Termination of the appointment by the University, and/or
  • Further payment to be denied until the services have been rendered.

9. Performance Evaluation

An Adjunct Faculty’s performance is evaluated in alignment with University policy regarding the evaluation of teaching. Consistent with University Policy 4290 (Annual Faculty Performance Evaluation), an adjunct faculty is entitled to the following:

a. Regular and consistent evaluation of their performance that is both formative and summative,

b. An evaluation based on multiple pieces of evidence that demonstrate effectiveness in teaching (including, for example, professional development, research, etc. that demonstrates engagement in the discipline and aligns with teaching responsibilities; peer observation of faculty teaching according to unit policies with the option to also include a second observation by someone the Adjunct Faculty chooses; and student course evaluations, etc.), and

c. The opportunity to respond in writing to their performance evaluation.

10. Related Information

University Policy 7005 (Background Verifications)
University Policy 7530 (Employee Files)
University Policy 7550 (Legal Authorization for Work)

Revision History

July 1995; November 2013; March 30, 2021