The Office of Faculty Affairs (“OFA”) conducted a successful Meet and Confer on Wednesday, March 31st. We were pleased to be joined by Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Ann Wylie and Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Carlo Colella. Approximately 20 adjunct faculty members were in attendance. Prior to the meeting, the Office of Faculty Affairs distributed a survey to all University Adjunct faculty, and below is a summary of the main topics that our adjunct faculty members raised in their responses to survey questions in addition to questions raised during the session.
- IT matters – Access to UMD email between appointments. In addition to access to emails, there are administrative burdens related to re-appointments, access to Canvas and other teaching tools. This can be addressed by requesting a non-paid appointment. See here for more details. Ask your unit’s business manager or unit head to assist you.
- Training/sharing important resources. Many in attendance suggested training, including faculty orientation events to be hybrid – online as well as in person, so that adjuncts have access to training and other important information when it is most convenient for them. OFA will look into options to facilitate this more in the future. Faculty are reminded to go to the OFA events resource to see upcoming workshops and other training opportunities that are open to all faculty. In addition, you will find this information also on the monthly faculty affairs newsletter.
- Invisible labor, reviews and opportunity for promotion – Some attendees raised questions about promotion ladders and titles for adjuncts. All instructional faculty with an FTE below 50% are adjuncts. Research faculty with an FTE below 50% are considered part-time faculty, and not adjuncts. There are two categories of adjunct faculty: Adjunct I and Adjunct II. See the University’s policy for information about each category. There are two permitted titles for Instructional adjunct faculty: adjuncts and lecturers. This can be confusing, since UMD also calls a number of instructional faculty over 50% FTE, lecturers. OFA is aware of the issues this may cause and is currently exploring solutions to the issue.
- A question was asked related to the permissibility of holding staff and adjunct positions at the same time. The answer is YES, but it is at the discretion of the unit – many UMD employees do this. Please discuss this with our immediate supervisor and/or business manager if you are interested.
- Some faculty would like to be recognized for their efforts to create classes, especially this past fall, when instruction went online. Interim Provost Wylie thanked those in attendance for all of their efforts and assured them that the administration is well aware of the efforts and sacrifices made by many of our faculty.
- Pay and retirement benefits. For adjunct retirement benefits, see, Faculty Hourly or Faculty Non-Regular, Non-Tenured found here. The administration sets minimum pay rates for adjuncts. Specific pay rates are determined by the individual units. The appointing units also determine instructional load equivalents and how that relates to a faculty member’s percentage level of effort, which in turn determines whether a faculty member is benefits eligible (50% FTE or greater appointment).