Adjunct Faculty Review Policy
Last revised 2-25-20
I. Rationale for review
Full time faculty members’ teaching is evaluated through the mid-probationary, tenure, and promotion review processes, as well as through the annual activity reports process. To be consistent with how we evaluate the teaching of full time faculty, to provide feedback and guidance to help adjunct faculty members with their teaching, and to ensure the University maintains the highest standards of teaching for all courses, adjunct faculty members’ teaching will be evaluated on an annual basis. Emeritus faculty members who teach part time as adjunct faculty must also undergo annual reviews of their teaching. After 9 and 15 units of adjunct teaching, adjunct faculty members will undergo a more thorough review of their teaching to determine their eligibility for continued employment and pay premiums as detailed below.
II. Frequency of review
A. Annual reviews
All adjunct faculty members will undergo annual reviews of their teaching, in which all courses taught during the academic year will be evaluated. Adjunct teaching by Lecturers or Senior Lecturers need not be reviewed separately from any normal annual review of the Lecturer or Senior Lecturer.
B. Employment continuation and pay premium reviews for adjunct faculty members
Adjunct faculty members must undergo a more thorough review of their teaching at two intervals to determine their eligibility for continuation of employment as an adjunct faculty member and for pay premiums. Adjunct faculty members are eligible for pay premiums beyond the base level adjunct pay: a 10 percent premium after 9 units of teaching and a 15 percent premium after 15 units of teaching at St. Lawrence University. Before rehiring the adjunct faculty member and before giving these pay premiums, there will be a more thorough review of the adjunct faculty member (see Part IIIB below). This evaluation for continuation of employment and pay premiums is not required for adjunct faculty members who have already received pay premiums.
III. Evaluation processes
A. Annual evaluation process for all adjunct faculty
On an annual basis, department chairs supervising an adjunct faculty member must complete a review of the faculty member’s teaching, following the procedures outlined below.
1. Adjunct faculty members must submit the syllabus from each course taught for the department during the year and a brief statement that reflects on their teaching experience at St. Lawrence University during the previous academic year to the supervising chair(s).
2. The chair may request additional materials from the adjunct faculty member, such as assignments or examples of graded work, to assist with the review of the adjunct faculty member’s teaching. Occasional, if not annual, classroom observation is encouraged.
3. The chair must review the adjunct faculty member’s statement about the adjunct faculty member’s teaching, as well as the syllabus, the course evaluation forms, and students’ grades for each class taught for the department. In cases in which the course is dual listed, each department chair must review the adjunct faculty member’s teaching materials, but chairs may coordinate and do a joint review.
4. Based on the review of these materials, the chair must complete an adjunct faculty teaching evaluation form.
5. The chair should share the form with the adjunct faculty member and then meet with them to discuss the review. The adjunct faculty member will be given the opportunity to add comments or responses to the evaluation, and adjunct faculty members must sign their evaluation forms.
6. The form must be submitted to the ADFA (and to other relevant chairs if the course is dual listed) no later than August 1st.
7. An adjunct faculty member can submit a separate response to the ADFA regarding the review or the meeting with the department chair, which will be kept by the Associate Dean’s Office.
8. If a department chair fails to complete a review or if an adjunct faculty member fails to participate in the review process, the ADFA reserves the right to not hire that adjunct faculty member until a review is complete.
9. Copies of all adjunct faculty members’ course evaluations and students’ grades must be kept on file in the supervising department’s office. It is recommended that departments scan the course evaluation forms. Copies of the annual review form of adjunct faculty members will be kept by the Academic Affairs Office.
10. Based on the annual reviews, the ADFA may deny a request by a department chair to rehire an adjunct faculty member for an approved adjunct-taught course. That denial may be appealed by the department or program chair to the Dean of Academic Affairs.
11. Adjunct faculty members who expect to teach at the University for multiple semesters should consider using a Sakai site to store their syllabi, course evaluations and other documents relevant to their teaching. Please contact IT for assistance.
B. Evaluation for continuation of employment and pay premiums
The purpose of the review is to determine excellence in teaching. The criteria for evaluation of the adjunct faculty member’s teaching will be consistent with the criteria for excellence in teaching as outlined in the Faculty Handbook (II.D.3a. Policies on Tenure and Promotion, Excellence in Teaching.) In cases in which the adjunct is part of a team-teaching effort, the candidate will be evaluated on their implementation of the common curriculum.
1. Reviews will usually take place after the spring semester ends. Instructors who have completed at least 9 or at least 15 units of teaching at St. Lawrence as of the end of the previous academic year are eligible pay premiums for the following academic year of adjunct teaching. This review takes the place of an annual review for the year.
2. Candidates must submit the following materials to the ADFA’s office via a Sakai portfolio: summary and individual course evaluations for every class taught (only evaluations for classes taught beyond the first review are required for the second review), course syllabi for each class taught (most recent syllabi in the case of the instructor teaching a course multiple times), and samples of graded student work. The samples of graded work should provide reviewers with a sense of how the adjunct faculty member responds to students’ work as part of their teaching process and provide a range of types of assignments and levels of mastery by the students. Graded student work need not exceed 8–10 pieces in the entire portfolio. In addition, candidates must submit a personal statement that reflects on the candidates’ teaching at St. Lawrence University (not to exceed 1000 words). The personal statement should help the reviewers understand the adjunct faculty members’ pedagogical approach to the course and subject area and contextualize trends evident in students’ grades and course evaluations. These materials must be submitted using a Sakai portfolio site. A peer review of courses, including classroom visits, (see the Faculty Handbook II.D.4, under "Evaluation of Teaching") must also be solicited by the supervising chair.
3. The Associate Dean will add the adjunct faculty member’s annual teaching evaluation forms to the portfolio submitted by the adjunct faculty member, and the Associate Dean will request the instructor’s grade history and relevant course evaluation form summaries from Institutional Research, which will be shared with the adjunct faculty member and the review committee.
4. A committee consisting of the ADFA and two former or current members of the Professional Standards Committee will be formed by the Dean of Academic Affairs to review the materials submitted by the adjunct faculty members under review. In addition, the Associate Dean for the First Year will participate in the review of adjunct faculty members who have taught in the FYP, and the Education Department Chair or appropriate program coordinator in Education will participate in the review of adjunct faculty who teach education courses.
5. The adjunct faculty member’s Sakai portfolio of materials will be available for review by members of the department/program, and department members may send letters to the ADFA about the candidate’s teaching. An invitation will be sent by the supervising chair to any adjuncts who teach for that department/program notifying them that they can review the portfolio and send in letters about the candidate’s teaching.
6. The review committee will decide on the eligibility of the adjunct faculty member for continuation of employment and the pay increase. Usually, the review should be completed before the beginning of the fall semester.
7. The Associate Dean will notify the adjunct faculty member and the relevant department(s) of the positive or negative decision of eligibility for continuation of employment and pay increase upon conclusion of the review. The adjunct faculty member and/or the department may ask the Dean of Academic Affairs to reconsider a denial of continuation as an adjunct faculty member and must provide written statements to the Dean indicating why the adjunct faculty member should be eligible for continuation of employment and the pay premium implemented.
8. The Dean will have the final decision regarding eligibility for continuation of employment and pay increases. The decisions of whether or not to continue considering the adjunct faculty member for teaching opportunities and to provide the pay premium are not separable. However, the Dean may allow an adjunct faculty member to complete a terminal semester at their existing pay rate if the individual does not pass the review.
9. Once an adjunct faculty member has passed this more substantive review, the adjunct faculty member will continue to be evaluated under the annual review process outlined above to ensure that excellence in teaching continues.
IV. Determination of continuation of employment of adjunct faculty
Approval of all adjunct-taught courses and of all individuals to teach approved courses is granted by the ADFA. Department chairs submit requests for adjunct-taught courses before the Registrar’s office course worksheets are due each semester for the following semester. Decisions are based on the availability of funds and the University’s needs and justification for adjunct taught courses. Denials of adjunct requests may be appealed by the department or program chair to the Dean of Academic Affairs.