What benefits am I entitled to from my first day of teaching?
The Adjunct Resources page on UC’s website is helpful as a starting point. It links directly to benefits for annually appointed adjuncts (including the option to buy into UC’s health care plan, but more part-time faculty are term adjuncts, that is, reappointed every term. For term adjuncts, the annual adjunct benefits (such as health care) do not apply. The Adjunct Faculty Handbook spells out other specific benefits. It is certainly worth a look.
How does the Tuition Remission benefit work for part-time faculty?
Adjuncts can take one course for free during the same school year in which they teach a course. The Tuition Remission benefits are explained here. After clicking the link below, click the "Eligibility" box and then the "Tuition Remission Information chart" link. Go to columns 4 and 5 for info related to annual adjuncts and term adjuncts.
At present, the only opportunity for a raise in pay is to be promoted. What is involved in getting promoted?
According to the Adjunct Resources page, “Faculty with the title of Adjunct Instructor or Adjunct Assistant Professor are eligible to apply for promotion to the next rank after serving as an adjunct faculty member for a minimum of 10 semesters in the University (calculated cumulatively not consecutively), 8 of which must be in the academic unit in which the promotion is being sought. The faculty member must have an active appointment in that unit at the time of application for promotion.” Each college has somewhat different requirements, but the provision of teaching 10 semesters to qualify for the first and second levels of promotion is common. (There is a third and final level of promotion, to Adjunct Professor.) Other policies include unit heads notifying adjunct faculty who have become eligible for promotion, but we have found that this policy is not evenly followed among the university’s many units. Our advice is, once you are approaching 10 semesters taught, 8 in your unit, ask the unit head about the promotion procedure in advance.
The criteria for promotion could include classroom observation and reporting by full-time faculty within your unit, student evaluations, a personal statement and more.
The raise in some colleges and units – we are not sure about all – is 10% of the starting pay, so an Adjunct Assistant Professor makes 10% more than an Adjunct Instructor, or the entry level position. Adjunct Associate Professors make 10% more than Adjunct Assistant Professors, and Adjunct Professors make 10% more than Adjunct Associate Professors. We say “some colleges, not sure about all” because UC is so decentralized, that this policy and the rate of pay increase varies within some colleges and even some units.
What are the avenues of recourse for adjuncts and part-time faculty? Who can help us?
Within the university system, the Faculty Senate is a body, primarily comprising full-time faculty, though two part-time faculty senators are included, that practices “shared governance” within the university. Actions, such as resolutions passed by the full Faculty Senate, are communicated directly to the university administration. While the administration is under no obligation to follow Faculty Senate resolutions, they are obliged to recognize and consider them. Currently, the part-time faculty senators are working with the Faculty Senate to release a resolution advocating for better part-time faculty compensation, inclusion and more, by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
In addition, this association, the UCAAA, exists to both inform adjuncts of their rights and benefits, and to advocate on their behalf. At present, most advocacy is being channeled through the Faculty Senate, though other, UCAAA-sponsored events such as Adjunct Week (September 23-27, 2019) and efforts through local media are also being undertaken.
What else, if anything, is UC doing for adjuncts and part-time faculty?
The good news is that the Faculty Enrichment Center, which opens in September, 2019, was created in part with adjuncts in mind and with the valuable contribution of one of our association members. In addition to programs that may be of interest, the center itself, located on the fifth floor of Langsam Library, “offers a variety of technologically enhanced spaces to meet all of your needs,” according to the website.
This is a brand-new facility, and adjuncts must use it to make it, in part, our own. The FEC is a tremendous resource especially for those adjuncts without office space. In this space, our understanding is that we are treated as equals.