Part-Time / Adjunct Faculty Employment Policies

Qualifications/Application Procedures

Part-time/adjunct faculty are hired based on academic preparation in the instructional discipline or a related area; potential ability in instruction; public service; and/or research; and/or professional experience, comparable to that of full-time faculty counterparts teaching in the same discipline.

Routine orientation, supervision and evaluation are implemented through the department chair's office of each respective adjunct/part-time adjunct faculty member. Part-time/adjunct faculty should consult with the department chair to establish a schedule of accessible office hours. Part-time/adjunct faculty are subject to departmental and university policies, as implemented by the department chair.

Part-time/adjunct faculty teaching credit courses leading to the baccalaureate degree must hold a least a master's degree and 18 completed graduate semester hours, in the teaching discipline, or hold the minimum of a master's degree with a major in the teaching discipline.

In exceptional cases, a part-time/adjunct faculty may present outstanding professional experience and demonstrated contributions to the teaching discipline in lieu of formal academic preparation. In such incidences, the department chairperson must justify each exception by completing a written statement describing and documenting such experience and contributions. Such documentation shall be filed at the department level with notification of such made to the dean prior to or at the beginning of each semester when part-time /adjunct faculty are employed. Assurance must be made by each department that part-time adjunct faculty meet the same requirements for professional, experiential and scholarly preparation as their full-time counterparts in the same disciplines.

As a part of the hiring process, the Office of the University Provost maintains records of all part-time/adjunct faculty including: official transcripts, a current curriculum vitae, and other necessary materials for demonstrating competence.

Application for adjunct positions is made directly to the department chairperson of the respective department.

The following requirements apply to part-time/adjunct faculty who apply for Graduate Adjunct membership. Adjunct status must be renewed every two (2) years. Adjunct members shall not direct doctoral dissertations or master's theses, but may serve as committee members/readers.

Requirements for Consideration

The applicant must:

  1. hold the terminal degree in the teaching field. If the terminal degree is not a doctorate, the applicant must provide external evidence that the degree is considered terminal or sufficient by the discipline.
  2. prove evidence of qualifications to teach the assigned graduate course(s).
  3. be recommended by the department chair and the undergraduate college dean.
  4. be recommended by the Graduate Council.
  5. be recommended by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Recommendation of Candidates for Position

Faculty recruitment and hiring procedures must comply with Policy 801 Personnel Transactions.  These procedures are available through the academic department or through the Office of Institutional Equity & Compliance. The department chair, the department search committee, and the dean of the college concerned recruit staff for new positions and all vacancies. All oral and written recruitment devices must meet the approval of the Director of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and indicate the University's status as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Generally, authorized positions will be publicized in appropriate national journals and/or publications.

On-campus interviews of prospective candidates must be approved by the dean of the college involved and the Affirmative Action Office, in accordance with the approved policy regarding travel expenses for such candidates.

Orientation, Supervision and Evaluation of part-time adjunct faculty

Department chairpersons will schedule orientation meeting(s) for new part-time/adjunct faculty. Topics include but are not limited to a discussion of course syllabi; course objectives; availability of teaching resources available; academic freedom; office hours; usable space for student accessibility; academic conduct, etc. All such faculty are subject to departmental and university policies as implemented by the department chairperson.

The department chair's office is responsible for the provision of supervision and evaluation of part-time/adjunct faculty. Part-time/adjunct faculty are evaluated every semester taught. Performance evaluations, based on course/faculty objectives, are used by the chairperson in consultation with faculty to improve the quality of instruction. Written documentation of each performance review is kept on file in the Office of the University Provost. Copies are shared with the faculty member evaluated and the respective dean. Evaluation results will be discussed, in person, with the faculty member and, if needed, a plan for teaching improvement will be implemented.

The criteria for evaluation of part-time adjunct faculty are consistent with the mission of the university reflecting the same expectations as those associated with the full-time faculty's. Evaluation results are utilized as a part of the rehiring decision-making process.


University policies and procedures, together with Tennessee Board of Regents policies, determine salaries for part-time/adjunct faculty. The level of compensation for part-time/adjunct faculty will follow Adjunct Faculty Compensation. Payroll checks are directly deposited on the last working day of the month. Direct deposit notification will be sent to each employee's email address. Notification will be accessible only from a link within the email and will be protected for viewing by a password. Information relative to deductions is handled by the Human Resource services Office. All employees of the University must have a W-4 form on file in the Human Resource Services Office before payroll checks can be released.


Adjunct faculty are not eligible for sick leave, insurance and/or retirement benefits, in accordance with state policy. MTSU, Tennessee Board of Regents, and state of Tennessee policies will govern in regard to benefits for part-time adjunct faculty.

Offices and Office Hours

Adjunct/part-time adjunct faculty should consult with the department chair to establish a schedule of office hours. Available office hours shall be clearly communicated to students. Space shall be provided to adjunct/part-time adjunct faculty for maintenance of office hours, to assure student access to faculty.

Limits On Course Load

Part-time/adjunct faculty may teach up to 9 credit hours (workload units) per term.

Faculty Absences

In the case of an anticipated absence, the part-time/adjunct faculty member is responsible for having the class receive instruction. The faculty member must propose a plan for approval by the department chair, who will notify the dean of the college concerned.

In the case of an unanticipated absence, the chair should be notified immediately. The department chair will be responsible for making arrangements for the class(es) involved, and should notify the dean of the arrangements made.

The proper forms to be executed in the event of a faculty absence are available in the office of the deans and/or department chairpersons. In the event that the absence will be a prolonged one and a substitute must be employed, the matter must be approved by the dean.

Faculty Parking Permit Procedures

All faculty, whether full- or part-time/adjunct, intending to park a vehicle on campus must have a permit obtained through Parking and Transportation Services and place the permit on or in the vehicle being operated. Permit purchase will be limited to one permit per person. All registrants will be responsible for their issued permit throughout the academic year (August 16 through the following August 15). An Adjunct receives a parking permit at no cost by completing a Vehicle Registration Form certified by Academic Affairs and signed by the department chair. Parking/traffic appeals for citations must be made seven (7) days of the issuance by filing an appeal form or by going to the Parking Services web site. Appeals forms may be obtained through the department head or at the department head or at the Parking and Transportation Services office located in the Tennessee Livestock Center parking lot off Greenland Drive. Appeals should be forwarded to Parking and Transportation Services, P.O. Box 147. The MTSU Parking and Traffic Committee will handle disposition of the appeal.


The chairperson of each department is responsible for authorization of keys for part-time /adjunct faculty.


Posting grades: If the faculty member chooses to publicly post grades, specific guidelines must be followed, in order to comply with federal legislation (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) regarding the confidentiality of student records.

Each faculty member should announce at the first class meeting that grades will be posted only if the student gives written permission to do so. The posting will then be done in such a way as to maintain the anonymity of the student and the privacy of the student's student number (SSN).

Viewing grades: Students wishing to see their grades kept by a faculty member online should be given this information. However, in doing so, a faculty member should not allow a student to view grades of another student. A teacher should copy the grades for the student on a separate sheet of paper or devise some other way to provide the grades requested.

A faculty member may, at his/her discretion, provide a student's grade to a third party upon presentation of a written request from the student, if the faculty member has reason to believe the authenticity of the request.

Course Syllabi

Part-time/adjunct faculty should consult with the department chairperson to discuss the contents of the course syllabi for specific courses taught.

Textbook Changes

If a part-time/adjunct faculty wishes to change a textbook, authorization must be received from the department chairperson in accordance with the University's Textbook Policy.

Student Access To Part-time / Adjunct Faculty

Students enrolled in courses taught by adjunct/part-time adjunct faculty shall be assured of adequate access to faculty members through office hours and telephone contact. Department chairpersons are responsible for identifying a reasonable space for maintenance of office hours of adjunct/part-time adjunct faculty.