Policy 2104
Part-time and Adjunct Faculty

Date of Current Revision: January 2012
Primary Responsible Officer: Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


This policy is designed to provide for the appointment and employment of adjunct and part-time faculty members. The university recognizes the contribution made to the successful accomplishment of the mission of the institution by the dedicated group of faculty members who teach and/or provide services on a part-time or adjunct basis.


The Board of Visitors is authorized to enact personnel policies for all employees of the university. Where the board has not exercised this authority, it is delegated to the president.


An adjunct is a specific type of part-time faculty member. There are two types of adjuncts at JMU:

  1. The title given to a person who teaches at the university on a limited, special or provisional basis, but in the role of an adjunct, is not required to perform other regular duties of a faculty member (i.e., scholarly activity or service). Adjunct faculty members are qualified individuals hired for limited or special teaching assignments, such as teaching particular courses or sections. In their adjunct role, they have no duties other than teaching.
    1. The honorary title granted in limited other circumstances by the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (provost) to an individual who is not employed by the university.

Electronic Transcript
An official transcript either sent electronically via email or via a hyperlink from which a transcript can be printed from an institution participating in the eScrip-Safe (or other approved third party vendor) electronic transcript network.

Part-time faculty
Any faculty member who is employed on a temporary basis for less than a full academic year, or who is employed for an academic or calendar year at less than a full work load. Part-time faculty members are qualified individuals hired for limited faculty duties, or for temporary teaching, service and scholarly assignments. They may be recognized as part-time members of the instructional faculty with a role in the academic or administrative unit, and they may be assigned teaching, scholarly and/or service duties, as individually negotiated. Part-time faculty members who are assigned only teaching duties are adjunct faculty members.


This policy applies to all part-time and adjunct faculty members at the university.


5.1 The provost may grant honorary adjunct status to an individual in appropriate circumstances without using the procedures outlined in this policy for service to the university in a significant capacity without compensation, or for other appropriate reasons.

5.2 All part-time faculty member appointments, including adjunct appointments, are at will, with no legitimate expectation of continued employment. Failure to re-hire is not an appealable action under the terms of the JMU Faculty Handbook.

5.3 There is no limit to the number of successive appointments that may be given to a part-time or adjunct faculty member. A part-time or adjunct faculty member may be hired each semester for as long as needed by the academic unit. Service in an adjunct or part-time position does not constitute a guarantee of future employment at the university.

5.4 With the written prior permission of the employee's home unit, a current employee of the university may be hired into an adjunct role in an academic unit. If the employee is a full-time non-exempt classified employee of the university, the academic unit will be responsible for paying the employee at least the equivalent of his or her hourly wages on an overtime basis for his or her adjunct duties.

5.5 Part-time and adjunct faculty member are not eligible for tenure, tenure-track appointments or renewable term appointments. Time spent in an adjunct or part-time appointment will not be counted toward the award of tenure, and adjunct and part-time faculty members may not apply for tenure or promotion.

5.6 A part-time or adjunct faculty member may be terminated during the term of an appointment for any reason upon written notice from the AUH or supervisor. Part-time and adjunct faculty members do not have any appeal rights for the termination of an appointment before its expiration.

5.7 The Faculty Handbook and all other policies relating to faculty members generally apply to adjunct and part-time faculty members. Adjunct and part-time faculty members are bound by the same responsibilities as full-time faculty members, including academic responsibility, professional ethics, academic honesty and integrity, and the responsibility to abide by all university rules and policies. They also enjoy some of the same privileges, including equal opportunity and privacy protection.

5.8 The procedures in this policy must be followed in the hiring, assigning and separation of adjunct and part-time faculty members.


6.1 Eligibility

The conditions for appointment as an adjunct or part-time faculty member at the university are as follows:

a. The individual has academic or other qualifications which could qualify the individual for appointment as a full- or part-time faculty member at the rank of Instructor or higher, or
b. The individual brings a special expertise or honor to a program or academic unit, but does not have the traditional academic qualifications to teach at the university.

6.2 Rank
The rank of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Lecturer or Instructor will be given to the part-time or adjunct faculty member commensurate with the academic qualifications and professional experience of the individual and must be specified in the appointment letter.

6.3 Duration of appointment
Adjunct and part-time appointments are generally limited to a single semester. Adjunct or part-time status and employment by the university may be removed at the discretion of the university at any time upon written notice from the AUH or supervisor.

Procedures for appointment

6.4.1 Proposals

Proposals for appointments of adjunct and part-time faculty members are made by the appropriate AUH or supervisor to the dean of the college or appropriate vice provost. If the dean or vice provost approves the appointment, it is sent forward to the provost. The dean's decision on adjunct and part-time employment is subject to final approval by the provost.

6.4.2 Offer and Appointment
Once the candidate has been identified the AUH, supervisor or other authorized official will contact the candidate to make the offer of employment. The offer is followed up with a letter that includes a description of the teaching or other assignments, faculty rank and compensation. The letter also includes a statement that the university reserves the right to cancel an assigned course on or before the first day the course is scheduled to meet. The letter states that adjunct or part-time employment does not carry with it a guarantee of or a priority for future employment at JMU. The potential adjunct or part-time faculty member formalizes the letter by signing and returning it to accept the appointment. A Personnel Action Request (PAR) form must be completed by the hiring department and processed in accordance with the hiring procedures of the university.

6.4.3 Onboard Process, Official Transcripts & Other Hiring Documentation

At the time of the offer, the university official will inform the successful candidate that the offer is contingent upon the candidate providing appropriate documentation such as an official transcript, identification and eligibility to work for the university. Until all information is received by the university, the offer may be withdrawn by the university.

For all Adjunct Faculty who will be teaching a for-credit course documentation includes but is not limited to:

  1. The official transcript of the highest degree attained. If that degree is not directly related to the teaching assignment, an official transcript of the degree that is relevant to the teaching assignment must also be submitted. When the degree(s) represented by the official transcript(s) is/are not directly related to the employee's teaching assignment, the hiring department must also submit written justification for the hiring. A Hiring Justification Form is available for this purpose. This justification will describe the employee's qualifications for the particular teaching assignment in the absence of a terminal degree in a related subject.
  2. JMU is a participating member of the eScrip-Safe electronic transcript network. Candidates who wish to submit their transcripts electronically may do so by having them sent to: humanresources@jmu.edu. Candidates who possess degrees from foreign institutions must provide a written equivalency report prepared by a university-approved provider to meet documentation requirements.
  3. The hiring authority must submit the Onboard Form to the Human Resources Service Center. The selected candidate will be required to complete the Onboard process prior to the hire date.

6.5 Pay status
Adjunct and part-time faculty members are generally paid by the class or on a salaried basis. If a full-time non-exempt classified employee is hired as an adjunct for an academic unit, the employee must be paid at least the equivalent of the hourly wage on an overtime basis. The method and rate of pay must be specified in the appointment letter, and must follow university guidelines.

6.6 Assignments and responsibilities
The teaching responsibilities of an adjunct faculty member, and the teaching, service and scholarly activities of a part-time faculty member, are assigned by the AUH or other academic administrator and must be specified in writing in the appointment letter. Only teaching responsibilities are to be assigned to an adjunct faculty member.

6.7 Privileges
Privileges of part-time and adjunct faculty members include:

  • Listing in the Undergraduate Catalog and the Graduate Catalog, as appropriate.
  • Assignment of a JAC card, use of the library and other university facilities (other than computer resources, use of which is limited and will require special permission) upon the same basis as that enjoyed by full-time faculty members.
  • Participation in scheduled university activities, events and meetings upon the same basis as full time faculty members.
  • Eligibility to purchase parking passes.

Adjunct and part-time faculty members (except for full-time employees hired on an adjunct basis in an academic unit other than his or her home unit) are not eligible for regular employment benefits granted to full-time faculty members other than those listed here.


The academic unit heads are responsible for recommending appropriate individuals for part-time or adjunct employment, assigning duties and filling out the proper paperwork to appoint a part-time or adjunct faculty member, including the letter of appointment and PAR form.

The potential part-time or adjunct faculty member is responsible for returning the signed offer letter and completing the HR Onboard process before employment begins.

The deans are responsible for reviewing and approving the appointment of part-time and adjunct faculty members, and of sending notification to the provost on any part-time and adjunct appointments to their colleges.

The provost is responsible for final approval of part-time and adjunct status to appropriate individuals. The provost will send a letter to honorary adjunct faculty members.


Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.


This policy does not apply to part-time staff members or wage employees.


The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president, and is generally delegated to the provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

Previous Version: October 2008
Approved by the President: January 2012

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