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Best Practices in Employment of Adjunct Faculty
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Best Practices in Employment of Adjunct Faculty



Adjunct faculty, sometimes called part-time or contingent faculty, are employed by institutions of higher learning for a variety of reasons. Many adjunct faculty bring special expertise or real-world experience to the classroom, making the content relevant to students. Adjunct faculty also provide students with options for instructional methodology and content perspectives. Institutionally, the use of adjunct faculty reduces the cost of instruction per credit hour while giving flexibility in hiring to meet the unpredictability in student enrollment, budgets, and course demands.


The advantages an institution receives from the use of adjunct mathematics faculty can be increased when adjunct faculty are given adequate departmental and institutional support. In order for colleges who employ adjunct faculty to reach the ultimate goal of student success, AMATYC recommends the following best practices:

  •  Integrate adjunct faculty by inviting and encouraging them to participate in the department and its functions.
  •  Foster mutual respect between full-time faculty and adjunct faculty.
  •  Foster networking and open communication between adjunct faculty, their peers, and their supervisors with regard to workload, courses taught, and schedule.
  •  Provide sufficient office support services, such as supplies, desks, filing cabinets, phones, computer access, and adequate office space; ideally this should include confidential meeting space.
  •  Provide in-house professional development opportunities for adjunct faculty in order to properly institute curricular change and improve methodology.
  •  Encourage and financially support the participation of adjunct faculty in professional development opportunities, including those provided by AMATYC and its affiliates.
  •  Solicit input from adjunct faculty relative to issues within the department.
  •  Supervise adjunct faculty, including observation of new adjunct faculty at least once during their first term of employment.
  •  Conduct student, peer, and administrative evaluations regularly.
  •  Provide mentoring opportunities for adjunct faculty in the first term of employment and on a continuing basis.
  •  Regularly recognize outstanding teaching by adjunct faculty.


Coupled with these best practices, and in partnership with the college, AMATYC recommends that adjunct faculty strive to reach the ultimate goal of student success by meeting the following expectations:

  • Become actively involved in the department by attending meetings and participating in committees that deal with topics such as course materials, curricular changes, and more.
  •  Seek to improve teaching skills through continued professional development funded by the college, including opportunities through AMATYC and its affiliates.
  •  Be available and accessible on campus or electronically.
  •  Be an active and contributing colleague.

Adopted November 17, 2018
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