Adjunct Resources

Adjunct (part-time) faculty are an integral part of the university’s teaching and learning mission. They teach a significant percentage of our students, bring valuable expertise from the professional world, and maintain important links between the university and our community partners. The University employs three classes of adjunct faculty members: term adjuncts, whose contracts are typically for one or two course sections per term and may or may not be renewed for subsequent terms; annual adjuncts, whose annual contracts put them between 50% and 65% FTE; and bargaining-unit adjuncts, whose multi-year contract are at greater than or equal to 65% FTE enables them to be represented by the AAUP.

All three classes of adjunct faculty receive some level of benefits and are eligible for promotion.

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Adjunct Appointment Guidelines

Adjunct appointments are, by definition, part-time and are classified according to their full-time equivalency (FTE). The calculation of FTE is based on the principle that one semester credit hour equals 6% FTE. 

Adjunct Titles and FTE Ranges
Title Class FTE Range Credit Hour Range Per Semester Credit Hour Range Per Year (2 semesters)
Term Adjunct 0% through 49% 0.00 to 8.33 N/A
Annual Adjunct 50% through 64% 8.33 to 10.83 16.67 to 21.67
Represented Adjunct 65% through 99% 10.83 to 16.67 21.67 to 33.33

The basic FTE calculation is a characterization of the work effort in any given week during the term, not of the aggregate work effort across an entire academic term.

The FTE limits described above apply to the individual faculty member, not to one academic unit’s appointment of that individual. Sometimes two or more academic units appoint the same individual in a single term. His or her FTE is based on total credit hours taught in all units of the university, and while each unit may wish to appoint the person as a term adjunct, the FTE calculation may necessitate an appointment as an annual adjunct.

Appointment & Pay Guidelines

A term adjunct may not be appointed for more than one semester at a time— even if the unit intends to appoint that individual for more than one semester in a year. Despite that limitation and despite the 8.33 credit-hour limit cited in Table 1 above, a unit may appoint a term adjunct to 9.0 credit hours in one semester, provided that person’s appointment in the other semester of the same academic year is low enough that the total credit hours for the year do not exceed 16.67. For a term adjunct to teach more than 9 credit hours in one term or to teach more than 16.67 credit hours in two semesters of the same academic year, the academic unit and college must request an exception. See below for details on requesting exceptions.

Tuition remission for a term adjunct is effective as of the beginning of the semester in which they teaches. A term adjunct accrues pay and is paid according to the schedule below.

Term Adjunct Appointments and Pay Schedule
Appointment Term Appointment Dates Equal Monthly Pay at the End of
Fall Semester August 15 – December 31 September, October, November, December
Spring Semester January 1 – April 30 January, February, March, April
Summer Semester May 1 – August 14 May, June, July, August
Adjunct Appointments Summer Partial Term Pay Schedule  
Appointment Term          Appointment Dates     Equal Monthly Pay at the End of
First-Half Term                 May 1 - June 30   May, June  
Second-Half Term            July 1 - August 14        
  July, August
Maymester                       May 1-May 31
  June, July  
Mini Term A                      June1 - July 31
  June, July  
Mini Term B                      July 1 - August 14  
  July, August  

As the title suggests, an annual adjunct receives a single appointment for an entire year (12 months), accruing pay over two semesters but paid in twelve equal monthly installments. Unless an annual adjunct appointment is initiated in January, all annual adjunct appointments coincide with the academic year as newly defined for semesters: August 15 through August 14. Assuming an appointment at the beginning of the academic year, benefits, with the exception of tuition remission, become effective for annual adjunct faculty on October 1 (the first day of the month following 28 days of employment). Tuition remission becomes effective for an annual adjunct as of the beginning of the semester in which they teaches.

In general, an annual adjunct’s teaching load should not exceed 10.83 credit hours in a single semester or 21.67 credit hours in the two semesters of a single academic year; those limits are associated with 49.99% FTE. However, the annual adjunct may exceed the 10.83-credit limit in one semester, provided a commensurate reduction in credit hours is made in the other semester of the same academic year, provided that the total credit hours in any single semester do not exceed 12, and provided the total credit hours for the year do not exceed 21.67. For example, an annual adjunct may teach four 3-credit courses in fall semester and two 3-credit courses in spring semester without requesting an exception. A unit that assigns an annual adjunct more than 10.83 credit hours in fall with intention of assigning commensurately fewer credit hours in spring must request an exception if plans change and would result in an assignment greater than 21.67 for the two semesters of the same academic year.

A part-time faculty member whose regular teaching load equals or exceeds 65% FTE, must become a member of the AAUP bargaining unit with compensation and other terms of employment governed by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Entrance into the bargaining unit is not automatically triggered by a person’s occasionally exceeding the FTE threshold through exceptions. Nor can a unit simply decide to redefine a position as “represented” by increasing the teaching load of a term or annual adjunct; such redefinition of a position requires approval through Vacancy Review and typically requires a formal search to fill the position. 

Similarly, a represented faculty member does not exit the bargaining unit simply by having his or her teaching load reduced below 65% FTE. Once in the bargaining unit, the faculty member enjoys significant job protection, and the protocols of the CBA govern reappointment and nonreappointment.

The university has greatly reduced its reliance on represented adjunct faculty by creating 100% FTE “Educator” faculty positions. Such positions are also in the bargaining unit.

Emergency Exceptions

To fulfill an emergency staffing need, a unit must request an exception to exceed the maximum FTE for a single semester before making the teaching assignment. Emergency exceptions must not exceed the FTE maxima established above by more than four credit hours in a given semester. Direct the request to the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel. The request must:

  • have the college dean’s endorsement; 
  • identify the adjunct faculty member; 
  • list the teaching load of the adjunct, including any course(s) proposed for the exception;
  • explain the reason for requesting an exception; and 
  • explain what steps will be taken to avoid the need for future exceptions. If a unit finds itself repeatedly seeking exceptions, it should give the adjunct an annual appointment or the college should consider hiring a full-time faculty member.

If the exception is necessary because of a secondary appointment in another college, the adjunct’s home college must send an email to the college wanting to make a secondary appointment, with a copy to the Vice Provost, indicating that an exception is necessary and requesting that the college making the secondary appointment submit the request to the Vice Provost as described above. 

Benefits for Annually Appointed Adjuncts

Part time faculty (Term Adjunct) and College of Medicine Faculty 1 – 49% FTE. Effective January 1, 2017. The following is a summary of employee benefits based on part -time employment. For detailed information and interpretation of any benefits, refer to the appropriate policy and procedure, collective bargaining agreement, or contact the Human Resources Department at 513-556-6381.

State Teachers Retirement System (STRS)

This plan offers you a choice of a defined benefit plan, defined contribution plan and a combined plan. Survivorship benefits may be available in the event of death. Should you separate from UC, you may request a refund or roll-over of your accumulated contributions. You will not contribute to Social Security as a public employee in the State of Ohio. You and the university will each contribute 1.45% of your income to Medicare.

Your contribution is 14% of your pre-tax eligible earnings. The university contributes 14% of eligible pay on your behalf. For more information, refer to www.

Voluntary Retirement Plans; 403(b) and 457

You can supplement your retirement savings by contributing to the university’s 403(b) and/or the Ohio Deferred Compensation Plan (457). For more information, refer to

You can contribute the maximum allowed by law. 

Tuition Remission

This benefit is effective on the first day of the term in which you teach. Tuition remission benefits do not include any ancillary fees (i.e., general fees, computer fees, books, or lab materials).

Tuition remission does not cover late fees. Your benefit includes 3 credit hours per employee per term.

Graduate tuition remission benefits are taxable for the employee if more than $5,250 in a calendar year. You are taxed at the end of the term in which benefits were received.

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Promotion Guidelines

The University of Cincinnati recognizes the important contribution to our instructional mission performed by unrepresented adjunct faculty members. These promotion guidelines have been developed as one mechanism to reward outstanding performance by members of this group. Adjuncts may be promoted to the rank of adjunct assistant professor, adjunct associate professor, and adjunct professor. The criteria for the promotion of unrepresented adjunct faculty members will be different from those for full time and represented part-time faculty members. 


Any unrepresented part-time faculty member in the Adjunct Title Series, whether appointed on a term of annual basis, with an appointment of less than 64% FTE can participate in the promotion system for unrepresented adjunct faculty.*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. A faculty member must also serve at one rank before moving on to another rank. That is, 20 or more semesters of service would not make one eligible to be promoted two levels above the current rank. The longevity requirement stated above must also be met for eligibility for all subsequent promotions except for the promotion to Adjunct Professor. Eligibility for promotion to Adjunct Professor will not have a longevity requirement but will be based on the unit’s assessment of the faculty member’s contributions to the instructional goals of that unit. 

* Adjuncts who have appointments in excess of 64% FTE are members of the bargaining unit. The reappointment and promotion process for these AAUP represented adjunct faculty is stipulated in the AAUP/University agreement. 


Each unit shall establish criteria on which to base unrepresented adjunct faculty promotion decisions. All units should include evidence of teaching effectiveness and accessibility to students as primary criteria for promotion at any level. Additionally, units may also consider evidence of curriculum development, professional development (attendance at workshops or conferences in their discipline), participation in university governance, contribution to the unit, and any other relevant factors as criteria for promotion of adjunct faculty. While such activities may be considered in the decision to promote, such activities may not be required as a condition for promotion unless the adjunct received additional compensation or extra FTE’s for providing these services. Academic units should establish and disseminate to unrepresented adjunct faculty, a checklist of documentation necessary for a promotion application. Minimally, such an application should include a letter from the candidate requesting promotion, a current curriculum vitae, and evidence of effectiveness in teaching. While maintaining the integrity of the promotion process, applications typically should contain no more than 20 pages of material. 

Dissemination of Information

Each unit is responsible for disseminating promotion information to every unrepresented adjunct upon hire and annually thereafter. It is a unit head’s responsibility to notify individual unrepresented adjuncts when they are eligible to apply for promotion. 


Each college shall establish the process by which promotion applications are reviewed and promotion decisions are made. The Dean shall serve as the last level of review for unrepresented adjunct faculty promotions in that college. Faculty may appeal negative promotion decisions to the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Adjunct Faculty. Such an appeal must be based on evidence that the unit criteria for promotion were not followed or that the process of decision-making established by the college was violated. The Advisory Committee on Adjunct Faculty will not consider appeals relative to the amount of salary increase accompanying a promotion, or variances in salary levels across colleges.

Compensation Increase

Each promotion will carry with it a minimum of a 10% increase in pay. All promotions have university wide implications. That is, an unrepresented term or annual adjunct faculty member achieving a promotion in one college will receive no lower than the minimum salary for that rank for teaching in any other colleges of the university. However, if an adjunct moves from term or annual status to represented status the adjunct’s rank in the new position may be negotiated between the adjunct and the hiring unit.