Policy Number: I-8
Last Reviewed: December 10, 2020
Responsible Dept.: Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs
A signed copy of this policy is available in the President’s Office.
Virginia Western regularly evaluates adjunct faculty according to the VCCS Adjunct Growth and Evaluation Plan.
This plan defines the process by which adjunct faculty members will attain and remain in “Good Standing.” This designation identifies an adjunct faculty member as engaged in professional growth and committed to quality instruction while making a faculty member eligible for professional recognition through the college’s recognition process. A “Good Standing” designation is an indication of quality. A “Good Standing” designation neither guarantees nor implies future employment.
Within the shorter of twelve months or the first three terms of contracted service, adjunct faculty members must:
- Complete at least one professional development activity;
- Be observed in the classroom observation within their first 3.0 credit hours of instruction; and,
- Receive feedback on their service from a dean, or designee determined by the dean.
Good Standing Status
Upon successful completion of the ‘Initial Status’ items, the faculty member will earn a “Good Standing” designation. No less often than every three years, adjunct faculty members must:
- Complete at least one professional development activity annually;
- Complete one classroom observation process; and
- Receive written evaluation by a college’s designee.
Once a ‘good standing’ status timeline begins, the specified length of time will be in place regardless of continued or intermittent contract awards. Adjunct faculty members whose break in contractual service results in a “new hire” status shall return to Initial Status.
Although typically completed by a Dean or Department Chairperson, administrative roles in this process may be conducted by any approved designee of the college’s Chief Academic Officer, including but not limited to the following:
- Program Head/Coordinator; or,
- Other designee.
Adjunct faculty who teach at more than one college will be evaluated at each, but the professional development requirement is met once at either institution to remain in good standing.
This plan includes four major components: 1) Adjunct Growth and Development, 2) Teaching Excellence, 3) Institutional Responsibility, and 4) Adjunct Faculty Reward and/or Recognition.
1) Adjunct Faculty Growth and Development
Adjunct faculty members will engage in growth and development in accordance with the timeline specified in this plan.
The College shall identify and/or create, as needed, a range of professional development opportunities to support adjunct faculty growth and development. Every effort should be made to provide no cost, flexible-delivery opportunities for development. Professional development opportunities may include but are not limited to the following:
- Adjunct Faculty Orientation;
- Department, School, or College meetings focused on faculty growth or development;
- VCCS events, peer group meetings, and conferences;
- Professional conferences;
- Activities required for licensure or industry certification required for adjunct faculty employment;
- Academic preparation or coursework;
- Individually identified activities such as research readings within one’s discipline; and
- Career enhancing activities as required or supported by one’s employer.
2) Teaching Effectiveness
Adjunct faculty members will pursue excellence in teaching across four areas: Design, Delivery, Effectiveness, and Expertise. Teaching excellence will be measured through the use of tools and data sources.
The college will collect and review various information from a variety of data sources to inform and indicate adjunct faculty teaching effectiveness. The data sources must include a classroom observation, and may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Adjunct Faculty Self-Evaluation Form (to be completed annually)
- Student course evaluations;
- Utilization of student success tools such as Canvas; and,
- Informal and formal student feedback.
Observations of Adjunct Faculty will follow the same process as full-time faculty evaluation identified in the VCCS Faculty Evaluation Model Plan (Appendix G: Class Observation Assessment Form, p.49-53) (PDF). Only Part 2: Assessment is required.
3) Institutional Responsibility
In addition to instructional duties, adjunct faculty members are required to meet minimum requirements of institutional responsibility including:
- Adherence to laws, policies, and procedures of the college and the VCCS;
- Office hours; and,
- Administrative tasks (e.g. posting of syllabi, completing no-show rosters, maintenance of online course resources, administration of student evaluations, posting grades, etc.).
- Adherence to course outline.
4) Adjunct Faculty Reward and/or Recognition
The College shall devise a plan for adjunct faculty to be recognized for outstanding service when their performance exemplifies the highest standards of educational excellence within the classroom or in service to the college community. Adjunct Faculty members must be in “Good Standing” to be eligible for reward and/or recognition.
Adjunct faculty shall have an opportunity to engage in a feedback process that is designed to establish and maintain dialogue on their teaching effectiveness. Feedback may address not only teaching effectiveness but also the following:
- Planning for professional development and growth;
- Impact of professional development activities;
- Completion of tasks related to Institutional Responsibility;
- Determination of promotion eligibility; and,
- Substantiation of adjunct faculty recognition.
Feedback may take place via a phone call, an in-person meeting, or by written correspondence and will be documented in a written evaluation. Feedback that is more frequent may be requested by either party.
Additional Policy Considerations
Nothing in this policy is intended to supersede SACSCOC or the requirements of various accrediting agencies. Adjunct faculty who are not in ‘good standing’ may not be eligible to receive new adjunct assignments.
Disputes regarding adjunct teaching faculty evaluations are not heard or reviewed in the grievance process. The appeal of an adjunct faculty evaluation shall follow the normal administrative chain and conclude with the final determination made by the respective college president.
The final assessment including the classroom observation, the results of student evaluations and the record of the evaluation conference will be maintained in every faculty member’s permanent file in the Human Resources Office. The plan for adjunct faculty evaluation thus prescribes an orderly system of assessment that ensures that instructors are evaluated formally, appropriately, and regularly.