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Adjunct Instructors in the College of Arts and Letters

Purpose, Qualification, Appointment, and Personnel Procedures


The College of Arts and Letters employs adjunct instructors on a per-section, per-contract basis to augment the teaching accomplished by college faculty. Employment of adjunct instructors allows for flexibility in course scheduling, course offerings in specializations not otherwise available, and offerings to non-traditional students. Adjunct instructors are non-benefitted part-time employees. They have no job expectations outside of their contracted teaching and do not vote in departmental or college business. However, adjunct instructors are welcome participants in the intellectual and creative community of the college’s departments.

Outsourced adjunct teaching: On occasion, the college appoints as adjuncts individuals whose full-time employment is through outreach programs such as the Early College Program, Bridge and Upward Bound programs, and the ISU College of Technology. Appointment of these individuals as adjunct instructors in academic units within the college follows the same qualifications and procedures set forth here.


Generally, adjunct instructors have credentials appropriate to the teaching appointment and at least equivalent to entry-level Lecturers--ordinarily the minimum of a master’s degree in the discipline of the department in which they are located. As with Lecturers, they also possess demonstrated competence in the field and an interest in and capacity for teaching excellence.


Adjunct instructors are appointed by chairs or program directors of the academic unit in which they teach. Required minimum documentation for application to serve as an adjunct includes a letter of application, CV, three confidential letters of recommendation from individuals able to comment on teaching, and official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work. Academic units may require additional documentation, as appropriate to the discipline. An exception to this policy is made in the case of graduate students in departments who are mentored by a faculty member. Such graduate students may receive adjunct status without the letter of application, CV, and three letters of recommendation. In the case of a graduate student serving as an adjunct in their home department, all that is needed is the permission of the department chair and assurance that the graduate student will be mentored by a faculty member.

Personnel Procedures

Personnel procedures for adjunct instructors ensure quality teaching that meets the standards of the academic unit in which they teach. Adjunct teaching is reviewed annually using the academic unit’s expectations for effective teaching. Required teaching documents, such as syllabi for courses and updated CVs, are expected of adjunct instructors. Classroom, studio, or online observation may be part of the adjunct evaluation process. Adjunct instructors are required to administer departmental course evaluations. Adjuncts doing outsourced teaching may also be assigned faculty liaisons from the academic unit. Personnel files are lodged in the academic unit and, for contractual purposes, the college office. In the event that an adjunct instructor is found wanting in teaching effectiveness or compliance with the academic unit’s required procedures and standards, an adjunct may be removed from the pool of adjunct instructors.


Adjunct Instructors