Adjunct Policy
Montana State University

Adjunct Policy

 Subject:                              Personnel

 Policy:                                Conditions of Employment Affecting Adjunct Faculty

 Revised:      

 Effective date:                  February 18, 2005

 Review date:                     February 2008

 Responsible Party:         Human Resources/Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)


100.00  Establishing FTE for Adjunct Appointments

A half-time (0.5 FTE) appointment in an academic department shall be, at a minimum, 6 credit hours of instruction per semester or 12 credits per academic year.  Departments may set a higher credit hour minimum for a half-time appointment. 

Adjunct faculty may be appointed on an AY basis if the assigned credit hour total equals or exceeds 12 credit hours per academic year.  This total of 12 credit hours may be achieved through even or uneven teaching assignments each semester of the appointment.  For example, one faculty member may be assigned 6 credits each semester; another may be assigned 9 credits hours one semester and 3 credit hours the other semester.

In cases where adjunct faculty are assigned responsibilities other than teaching specific credit hour courses such as Extension assignments or teaching laboratory sections or recitations, or tutoring or advising, departments, with the Dean's approval, shall determine the responsibilities that shall equal one credit hour of work. 

The work load, including courses with the associated credit hours, and/or the equivalent assignment upon which the half-time appointment is based, shall be specified in the Letter of Appointment.

The duties and responsibilities of a 0.5 FTE assignment in a non-academic department shall be determined by the hiring authority.

200.00   Reduction or Termination of Adjunct Appointment

An adjunct faculty member's assigned class or classes may be canceled at any time due to insufficient enrollment.  In the event an adjunct faculty member's class is canceled, the faculty member may be assigned to teach a different class or course, his or her FTE may be reduced, or the appointment may be terminated. 

300.00    Adjunct Faculty - Eligibility for Health Benefits

Adjunct faculty with a 0.5 FTE appointment or greater extending for six (6) months or more are eligible for health benefits.  Individuals appointed for half time or more for less than 6 months who are reappointed for a consecutive term during the academic year become eligible for health benefits at the start of the seventh consecutive month of employment.

Health benefits terminate for any eligible adjunct faculty member whose appointment is reduced below 0.5 FTE or whose appointment is terminated. 

Adjunct faculty who lose eligibility for health benefits through termination or reduction of below 0.5 FTE may be eligible for continuation of the health benefits under COBRA upon personal payment of the premium. 

A department may issue an adjunct a letter of appointment for the next term before the expiration of any current appointment.  If a department reappoints an instructional faculty member eligible for health benefits before expiration of the current term, the appointee's health benefits shall continue over the summer (PP&PM, Section 1035.20).

400.00  Adjunct Faculty - Eligibility for Additional Compensation

Full-time (1.0 FTE) adjunct faculty who have external funding may be eligible for additional compensation. Requests for additional compensation would be subject to all MSU policies and those of the granting agency, and would be subject to review and approval by the Department Head, Dean, Vice President for Research, Provost and President.