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PTK Faculty Working Group

During the 2022-2023 academic year, Provost Rice convened a working group of Professional Track (PTK) faculty, Tenured/tenure Track (TTK) faculty, and administrators to:

  • Review current PTK faculty titles and designations;
  • Review campus-level PTK AEP promotion procedures and guidelines;
  • Provide recommendations for a University policy on instructional PTK faculty workload;
  • Review current hiring, appointment, title use, professional development, and support practices for PTK faculty; and, 
  • Identify gaps in existing PTK faculty policies and procedures that may require additional University policy and guideline development and/or modification.

The Working Group delivered a report to the Provost outlining a number of administrative- and policy-related recommendations to improve the understanding and implementation of PTK appointments, promotions, and working environments at the University of Maryland. The Working Group report contains a series of action items, ranging from better enforcement of existing policy, to creation of administrative guidance, to suggestions for changes to UMD and USM policy. Click here for the public version of the Working Group report

Instructional Workload Policy

By creating a campus-wide policy on instructional workload for PTK faculty, OFA is looking to provide guidance to units on how to assign instructional loads equitably across their instructional PTK faculty members. Over the Fall 2023 semester, this working group prepared a draft policy that will be shared with the broader community in Spring 2024, prior to its transmittal to the University Senate for review. Click here to review the Instructional Workload Policy Draft.

Policy Changes: Timeline

The NTTF Task Force report provided 21 such recommendations, and the Senate voted to accept the report, review the recommendations, and charge the relevant Senate committees with determining the most appropriate processes and procedures for enacting the recommendations.

Based on several recommendations in the NTTF Task Force report, the Senate’s Executive Committee charged the Faculty Affairs Committee with reviewing the system of titles used for NTTF appointments and to create a unified system to provide promotional ladders for all roles of NTTF appointments. The Senate approved the proposed changes to the policy that establishes faculty titles in April of 2014. The revised policy not only created promotional ladders where there had been none, but also regularized details related to appointment criteria and contract length across the set of NTTF titles. 

The Senate modified the campus Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure policy such that NTT faculty who achieve the highest rank are eligible for Emeritus status.

The Senate approves the proposal to adopt the name “Professional Track Faculty” for all institutional references to faculty off the tenure track.

The Senate passed revisions to the UMD Policy on the Employment of Adjunct Faculty in order to extend eligibility for certain benefits and provisions to part-time faculty who teach on appointments below 50% FTE. 

The Senate approved a revised Plan of Organization in which representation of full-time PTK faculty will be determined on an apportionment model rather than through single-member constituencies. This change increased PTK representation in the University Senate from 3 to over 30. 

In addition to recommending changes to the system of faculty titles, the NTTF Task Force report also called for campus-wide guidelines for appointing, evaluating, and promoting PTK faculty. The campus-wide guidelines define the basic requirements for unit-level policies, including the requirement that PTK faculty are involved in creating and reviewing unit-level policies, and that committees reviewing PTK promotion cases include PTK faculty.

In recognition of the significant role Professional Track (PTK) faculty play in achieving the institution’s mission, Provost Rankin instituted annual excellence awards for PTK faculty. Winners receive a letter of recognition from the Provost and a $1,000 award.

As required by the campus-level guidelines for the Appointment, Evaluation, and Promotion (AEP) of Professional Track (PTK) faculty, all colleges submitted their PTK-AEP policies to the Senate's Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) for review and approval. To access college policies, click below.

College Document

The University Senate passed, and the President approved, revisions to the Policy on Faculty Merit Pay Distribution in order to include PTK faculty in merit review processes, thereby regularizing how merit-based salary increases are determined for faculty both on and off the tenure track.

The Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) has constituted a PTK Faculty Working Group comprised of PTK and TTK faculty, staff and administrators on behalf of Provost Jennifer King Rice to review and assess current issues related to PTK faculty during the 2022-2023 Academic Year.

Adjunct Faculty Policy

Important Clarification

The term "Adjunct" has a very specific meaning within the University's Policy on Adjunct Faculty (II-1.07(A)), namely part-time instructional faculty who are paid by the course, or whose appointments are less than 50% FTE ("Full Time Equivalent"), or who are ineligible for benefits.

If you are part-time, non-tenure track faculty with an appointment at 50% FTE or greater, you are not Adjunct Faculty. Your rights and responsibilities regarding your appointment are defined in USM Policy II-1.06. See below for a comparison of the policies governing appointments above and below 50% FTE. See also the Teaching section of this website for policies that apply to all instructional faculty in their roles as teachers and their interactions with students.

Overlap with Other Policies

Much of the University of Maryland Policy on the Employment of Adjunct Faculty is substantively identical to the relevant sections of the Campus Policy on Full-time and Part-time, Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty (UM Policy II-1.00(F)) as well as the System Policy on the Employment of Salaried Part-time, Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty (USM II-1.06). 

Details Specific to Adjunct Faculty

University of Maryland Policy II-1.07(A) establishes specific requirements regarding the appointment, professional development, and rights of Adjunct Faculty.

New Adjunct Faculty Orientation and Training

Upon making a new adjunct faculty appointment, departments or units should provide, to the extent feasible, an orientation to the department/unit and the campus, an introduction to teaching resources, and training in electronic instructional and course administration tools.

Appointment Letters and Contracts

Appointment letters/contracts for Adjunct Faculty must provide, at a minimum, the following details:

  1. position title;
  2. contract term;
  3. per-course compensation, or salary rate and % FTE;
  4. description of the assignment;
  5. institutional benefits, if any;
  6. information regarding faculty policies and procedures, including performance evaluations;
  7. information about eligibility for and benefits associated with designation of Adjunct Faculty II status

In addition to the required information above, letters/contracts for adjunct faculty must also explain the implications of the cancellation of a course less than 30 days prior to the start date, namely:

If the University has a fall or spring semester class to which an adjunct faculty member has been assigned that is cancelled less than 30 days prior to the class start date, and has been unable to offer the adjunct faculty member re-assignment to a comparable class, the University shall compensate the adjunct faculty member 10% of the payment amount specified in the contract or appointment letter for that class.

Eligibility for, and Implications of, Adjunct II Status

At the University of Maryland, the requirements for Adjunct II Status are that the faculty member is currently teaching in the department; has taught a minimum of 30 credits at the University within the past 5 academic years (excluding summer and winter terms); and has a series of high-level performance evaluations. Adjunct II status is granted upon the recommendation of the department (or unit) chair and Dean, subject to approval by the Provost. Click here to download the Adjunct II status approval form.

Upon designation as Adjunct II, the faculty member should receive a letter from the Dean's Office explaining the benefits of the new rank, including an annual compensation increment, the minimum of which is set each year by the Provost in accordance with State and USM policies. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the increment minimum is $500.

Additionally, Adjunct II faculty will be given priority consideration, to the extent operationally feasible, among adjunct faculty for future teaching assignments in the subjects for which the adjunct faculty member has had consistent instructional experience at the University, and Adjunct II faculty may be eligible for longer term appointments that assure the adjunct faculty member assignment to a fixed number of classes during the term of the appointment.

Beginning Spring 2012, departmental reviews of adjunct faculty for Adjunct II status will take place at least annually; status changes will be reflected in a faculty member's first renewed appointment after the change in status.

Grievance Procedures

If an Adjunct's appointment is to be terminated before the end of its term, the Adjunct can request a meeting with a representative of either the College or the School to discuss the decision. The Adjunct can be removed from the classroom while the Grievance is in process, but the University must continue to pay the Adjunct until the faculty member has had a reasonable opportunity to resolve the Grievance.

Participation in Shared Governance as well as Meet and Confer

The University shall provide opportunities for adjunct faculty to communicate their concerns to campus administration, provide advice in the development and implementation of policies and procedures related to adjunct faculty, and otherwise participate fully in shared governance through participation in existing shared governance bodies, with sufficient numbers of positions designated for adjunct faculty to ensure their significant representation. Most recently, a Meet and Confer meeting was held March 31. Click here to see a summary of the discussion.

In addition to any other meetings that Adjuncts and administrators might schedule, the institution will also convene, at least twice each year, Meet and Confer meetings at which the Provost and the Vice President for Administration and Finance will meet with an Adjunct Faculty Advisory Board to discuss issues and concerns of the Adjunct Faculty on campus. Additionally, the Advisory Board can elect to use union representation for the Meet and Confer process. Click here to download details about the Meet and Confer process, including the guidelines for electing to adopt union representation.