Adjunct Faculty


This policy outlines procedures to govern practices at Delta State University (“University”) related to search processes, appointments, contracts, and conditions of employment for adjunct faculty. The goal of the policy is to assure a high quality of instruction by individuals with appropriate credentials and experience to provide a set of baseline procedures that will lead to continuous improvement in the status of adjunct faculty at the University.


Adjunct Faculty are part-time faculty members hired to teach specific courses, supervise practicums or field experiences, work on grants or contracts, or for other academic purposes based solely on the needs of the University.

Adjunct faculty members are not eligible for, nor do they accrue, any credit toward academic tenure. There are no employment rights beyond the appointment terms. All adjunct faculty appointments shall be for specific periods of time. Adjunct appointment may be renewable on a semester to semester basis or as needed.


 Adjunct faculty are:

  1. Employed to provide instructional services;
  2. Neither tenured nor eligible for tenure; and
  3. Appointed to teach specific courses and compensated on a course-by-course basis.


  1. Selection Procedures. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will assure that each department has in place procedures for selecting adjunct faculty. These procedures shall include verification of credentials by the Departmental Chair, Dean, and Provost and shall reflect the commitment of the University to equal opportunity and affirmative action.
  2. Credentials.  Adjunct faculty must be fully qualified as defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Doctoral/terminal degree is preferred; however, Master’s and Bachelor’s degree will be considered depending on the program and the expertise of the applicant. Other experience or certification may be required based on the discipline or discipline-specific accrediting agency. For example, Federal Aviation Administration Certification is required to teach Aviation Ground School courses. All exceptions must be approved by the Dean and the Provost.
  3. No offer of employment is valid without the approval of the college or School Dean.
  4. A Faculty Certification of Credentials Form must be completed and submitted along with the Employment Action Form (EAF) for each new adjunct or a returning adjunct instructor with a new teaching assignment.
  5. The University may make an offer of employment at any time before or during the academic term based on need.


  1. Support for Teaching. The University shall provide each adjunct faculty member with the support it determines to be necessary for the execution of the appointee’s duties, which may include access through the University’s website or electronic resources, including the following:
      • Information on the department’s policies, requirements, and goals for each course, along with access to examples of past course syllabi (if available);
      • Official schedule of classes, including academic calendar and time frames of class meetings;
      • Assistance in the selection of textbook(s) for the course(s) and ancillaries for the text(s), if these are not already available;
      • A University email account along with access to on-campus computer facilities; and
      • For adjunct faculty teaching face-to-face classes on campus:
        • Telephone or other voice access, as appropriate
        • Necessary office supplies;
        • Copying services for course materials; and
        • Appropriate space for meeting with students during scheduled office hours.
  2. Professional Development. Professional development opportunities for adjunct faculty shall be supported to the extent feasible, and may include invitations to departmental, school, University and external faculty development events.

  3. Performance Evaluation. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will assure that each department has in place procedures for evaluating adjunct faculty performance on a semester basis.
    1. Departments shall evaluate the teaching of adjunct faculty members in a manner that identifies high-level performance, according to departmental standards.


  1. Assignment. The Department Chair will ensure that the course(s) taught by adjuncts use the approved text, syllabus, and outcomes consistent with other courses in the department.
  2. Policies.  Adjunct Faculty must follow the same policies and regulations as full-time faculty, as appropriate to part-time faculty. The policies are located at:
  3. Load. Adjunct faculty can be hired for schedules that will allow up to 29 hours of work per week only. Each credit hour of the assigned course equates to three hours of work, on average, per week. An adjunct may be assigned a maximum of nine credit hours of teaching in the Fall and Spring semesters. Adjuncts may be assigned a maximum of three credit hours in the first summer session and three credit hours in the second summer session or a total of six hours if their courses span both the first and second summer sessions. Deans should consult with the Provost before assigning an adjunct to teach in either Intersession.


  1. Compensation. Every effort should be made to make adjunct faculty compensation professionally appropriate and competitive to the extent allowed by available fiscal resources. Higher compensation may be available based on discipline demand or based on location.
  2. Benefits for Adjunct Faculty. Adjunct faculty members are not eligible for University benefits.
  3. Sabbatical and Terminal Leave. Adjunct faculty members are ineligible for sabbatical leave or terminal leave, regardless of length of service.
  4. If a class enrollment is ten (10) or more students, the adjunct faculty member will receive full adjunct compensation established by University. However, for fewer than ten (10) students enrolled, the adjunct faculty member will receive the graduate or undergraduate per head rate established by the University.
  5. If the University cancels a fall or spring class to which an adjunct faculty member has been assigned before the term begins, no compensation is due to the adjunct faculty employee. If a course is canceled after one or more classes have been held, Adjunct Faculty will be compensated on a pro-rata basis for those classes which were held prior to the course being cancelled.


Adjunct Faculty members are “at-will” employees. This means that the University may terminate the employment of Adjunct Faculty at any time, with or without notice or cause. As at-will employees, Adjunct Faculty members are not guaranteed, in any manner, that they will be employed for any set period of time. Any oral or written statements or promises to the contrary are not binding upon the University.

Responsible Office and/or the Policy Owner: Office of Academic Affairs






Approved by Academic Council: January 23, 2014
Approved by Cabinet: February 3, 2014
Policy Effective Date:  February 4, 2014