Faculty Handbook 2019-2020

I.4.f. Adjuncts: Hiring, Preparation, and Supervising

Hiring Process on a Short Timeline

Department chairs can request adjuncts through the formal process described in section I.4.E., which happens when there is a longer time horizon for replacements such as to provide course coverage during a sabbatical.  However there are other times when adjuncts will be requested on much shorter time frames, such as when a current adjunct resigns or a faculty member is not able to teach due to changes such as Family Leave.  In this latter case, the department chair should do the following:

Contact the Provost as soon as possible.  Explain the situation including what specific courses are affects and why the college needs to find another qualified adjunct for the course.  Chairs should also include information about if the course(s) are being covered through special funds, such as Odyssey or a grant.  In some cases, the decision may be made to cancel the course, to rearrange the department schedule to cover the course with current staff, or to have a current faculty member teach an overload.

Find qualified candidates.

A.  In some cases, the department chair may already have someone who is qualified and available.  The chair should be ready to provide the Provost with the following:

  • A CV for the candidate.  Chairs should keep in mind that we need to have adjuncts teaching who have an appropriate degree higher than a B.A.  Check the Faculty Handbook section C.2.c for more details.
  • Transcripts for the highest degree for the candidate.  The Provost will need these before the adjunct can start teaching.  If these are not available at the time the chair makes the recommendation, Academic Affairs can ask for them in the appointment letter.
  • Description of fit for the course(s).  The chair should explain why the candidate is qualified to teach this specific course.

B.  In other cases, the chair will need to do a search for candidates.  This can be done in the following ways:

  • Job ad through HR.  Shawn Goicoechea has a template for adjunct positions and he can work with the Department Chair to add the specific information about the courses and discipline.  Note that the ad does not ask for evident of teaching effectiveness, but the chair can certainly ask for this once they are contacting candidates
  • Consult with departmental colleagues.  Departmental colleagues may have good leads on possible candidates in the area that can be contacted to determine interest.
  • Contact other colleges and universities in the area. Colleagues at other institutions may know about graduate students who can teach or other possibilities that may have come to their attention.  Thus, it is good to cultivate connections with departments at such institutions to help with this process.

C.  Once candidates have been identified, the chair should:

  • Email to contact adjuncts who look like a good fit
    • Check if they are still interested
    • Let them know the pay for an adjunct class ($3000)
    • Set up a time to talk on the phone (discuss classroom visitation and teaching development opportunities, times they could teach to help identify a time for the course, expectations about office hours etc.)
  • Contact references – as long as you’re able to contact some, and you try to contact all, that is probably ok
  • Email recommendation to hire to the Provost, area chair, and Shawn Goicoechea and include the information listed in 2.A. above
  • Approval to hire will come from the Provost.  Once you hear that the candidate has been approved, you may let him or her know.  Academic Affairs will send out an appointment letter that tells the adjunct the courses they will teach, the required number of office hours (2 per week), the stipend for the course(s), and who their supervisors are (department and area chair).

Final steps in hiring adjuncts.  

Department chairs should make sure that the registrar’s office knows who the new adjunct is and which course(s) they will teach.  If there are any other changes to the schedule, the department chair should make sure that these are relayed to the registrar as well.

The EAF form that is generated by Academic Affairs will take care of keys, e-mail, access to campus web and other general logistical issues (Note that the college does not normally provide computers for adjuncts.)  However, the chair should work with the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs to identify an office (it can be shared with another adjunct) for office hours and other course preparation when the adjunct is on campus.

Preparing and mentoring adjuncts to teach well at Hendrix.

In most cases, adjuncts we hire will have previous experience teaching the courses we need to have taught.  However, the chair should still at minimum share a syllabus from the department with new adjunct and orient then to the academic schedule for the year (class days, holiday, final exam schedule, etc.) and make sure that know about any specific issues in your department.  All adjuncts are required to go to an orientation with the Associate Provost for Faculty Development, who will also help with the orientation process.  In addition, they will also go through an “on-boarding” process through Human Resources.

In the rare event that the incoming adjunct is preparing a new course, the department should:

  • Share any teaching materials that are available through the department and ask colleagues in the department who can assist with the topic do so.
  • Make sure they know they are responsible for prepping the class and have them write a course description if the course is new to Hendrix.  A new course would also require a curricular proposal to be sent to the Provost for an exemption to teach it one-time without formal curricular review through the curriculum committee.

For all new adjuncts, the department chair should

  • Help them get desk copies of textbooks and make sure they get the order to the bookstore as soon as possible.
  • Discuss the appropriate use of the administrative assistant’s time (printing for class, putting up notes when sick, administrative support) and make sure they know how to contact media services and other administrative support
  • Meet with the adjunct before classes to show them around the department 
  • Offer to look at their syllabus and invite them to sit in on classes taught by other department faculty
  • Set up a time to visit their class early in the semester
  • Review their course evaluations at the end of the semester to determine whether or not they should be considered for rehire in a future semester.