Standards of Employment and Bill of Rights for Contingent Faculty

The OAH Committee on Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Employment has revised the "Standards for the Employment of Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Faculty" initially approved by the Executive Board in March 2011 and then revised in April 2014. These standards are intended to guide how colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education should employ and utilize non-tenured and non-tenure-track history faculty. At the Spring meeting in 2014, the OAH Executive Board endorsed CPACE's revisions to the standards to more clearly distinguished teaching from nonteaching contingent historians and indicate "best practices" that apply specifically to nonteaching contingent historians. Those standards and revisions are available here. In 2021, the Committee undertook further revisions to the standards to reflect the ongoing relevance and significance of contingent faculty to the teaching of history and the development of the profession as teachers and researchers.

During their Fall 2022 Board Meeting, the Executive Board approved these revisions as well as the Contingent Faculty Bill of Rights.

Standards for the Employment of Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Faculty

(Revised December 2022)

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1. That non-tenure track (NTT) faculty includes generally teaching, but also non-teaching professionals referred to as adjunct, contingent, part-time, contractual, affiliate, special, irregular, full-time untenured or non-tenure track, and off-tenure track, and designated with titles such as Instructor, Visiting Professor, Research Professor, Professor, Lecturer, and Professor of the Practice.

2. That NTT faculty be included in the collegial relations and communications of their departments as well as in their places of employment and be provided with:

  1. clearly stated evaluation procedures;
  2. seniority for hiring and pay raises according to set policies;
  3. office space, phones, and access to computers, libraries, electronic library databases, photocopying, parking, clerical and technological support on a similar basis as tenured/tenure-track faculty (TTT faculty) are allocated;
  4. access to basic benefits such as health and life insurance, sick leave and retirement plans and unemployment compensation. Health benefits particularly should be universally available proportional to employment, with an opportunity provided for co-payments to ensure full coverage;
  5. eligibility for promotion in job position and rank; and
  6.  opportunity for regularized employment in the form of year-long or multi-year contracts and/or reasonable timely written commitments for renewal.

3. That the pay scale for NTT faculty reflects their status as professionals with:

  1. fair salaries, equal to TTT faculty compensation for comparable teaching, advising, service work, and research work performed by teaching and nonteaching part-time and contingent faculty;
  2. salary increases over time that recognize years of experience and/or service;
  3. appropriate stipends or compensation for committee work, administrative assignments (including creating or administering programs), assessment and any other duties beyond teaching or research required by the college/institution;
  4. administrative support and the institutional resources necessary for instructional faculty to teach; such support should extend to professional development, new course creation, scholarship and other occupational activities; and
  5. a policy or formula for seniority that may include ranks and certain levels of job security.

4. That history departments, and other divisions, departments or programs that offer history curricula nurture the research agendas of NTT faculty through:

  1. eligibility for grants to do research and attend conferences on the same or on a similar basis as for TTT faculty;
  2. support for teaching faculty's professional development in regard to teaching, creative activities and scholarship, and support for non-teaching faculty in regard to creative activities and scholarship, both on the same basis as TTT faculty.

5. That academic institutions incorporate NTT faculty into their governance systems to the fullest extent possible with appropriate compensation for non-teaching duties carried out by parttime or contingent teaching faculty. The integration of NTT faculty into governance systems either directly or through their representatives will foster a united faculty better prepared to make good academic decisions, improve the work of history programs and enhance the quality of students' education. The following areas offer a spectrum of good practices that should be considered, depending upon governance structure and particular needs:

  1. extension of the right to attend, participate in and, when appropriate, vote at meetings of history departments, faculty senates, and other faculty governance bodies at the disciplinary, departmental, programmatic, divisional and institutional levels;
  2. invitation to participate on relevant faculty and institutional committees (such as curriculum, student assessment, budgetary and program planning panels), with appropriate compensation when NTT faculty agree to serve;
  3.  provision for NTT faculty's participation in formulating procedures and instruments for the evaluation of teaching and work performance;
  4. recognition of NTT faculty in published or posted rosters of departmental, divisional or institutional members, and in programs rewarding excellence in teaching;
  5. creation of a written policy outlining NTT faculty members' rights and responsibilities in governance with periodic updates to reflect changes.

6. That History departments and faculty governance within colleges and universities support of NTT faculty's academic freedom and due process protections, and that they protect NTT’s intellectual property rights in their syllabi, online course materials where relevant, lectures, etc.

In addition to the above standards, the OAH urges all college accrediting organizations and all journals and media that list colleges and university by various criteria to include the following information in their reports:

  1. The number and percentage of contingent, full-time temporary and part-time adjunct faculty members, both in teaching and non-teaching positions; and
  2. The number and percentage of courses taught by contingent, full-time temporary and part-time adjunct faculty members.

This is a matter of public information to which prospective students and their families are entitled as a matter of consumer protection.

Contingent Faculty Bill of Rights

OAH Committee on Part-Time, Adjunct, and Contingent Employment (CPACE)

(December 2022)

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  1. Contingent faculty have a right to respect and support for our duties and our career advancement.
  2. Contingent faculty have the right to a fair and livable wage and to healthcare and other benefits allocated to full-time employees and tenure-track faculty. We have a right to equal compensation for our labor as provided to tenure-track faculty.
  3. Contingent faculty have a right to compensation for all labor done on behalf of the college or university, including service work, committee and department meetings, mentoring and advising, in-house and external training, career advancement, new course preparation, and other activities contributing to the functioning of the university, in service to the institution’s students, and/or adding to the university’s public standing. The real costs of education should be transparent and not be carried by contingent faculty.
  4. Contingent faculty have a right to all of the resources we require to complete our duties, including access to institutional entities and resources, office space, computers, parking and transportation, and technical and administrative support.
  5. Contingent faculty have a right to institutional support for our intellectual and scholarly pursuits. We have a right to equal representation in professional associations, scholarly publications, academic conferences, and other professional gate-keeping operations. We have a right to compensation for our services to the profession.
  6. Contingent faculty have a right to institutional and professional transparency. We have the right to information about compensation rates and benefits, including comparative data about pay and benefits for tenure stream faculty and various categories of contingent faculty.
  7. Contingent faculty have a right to for cause employment, job security and fair and open hiring standards and processes. Contingent faculty have a right to timely hiring and contracts and to advance notice of any non-reappointment. We have the right to evaluation, seniority, promotion, and longer-term contracts.
  8. Contingent faculty have the right to union representation. We have the right to pursue unionization and to participate in union activities without fear of reprisal from our employing institution or future employers.
  9. Contingent faculty have the rights of ownership of all fruits of our intellectual labor, including syllabi, lessons, teaching aids, a/v materials, digital products, publications, presentations, lectures, assignments, and all other intellectual products.
  10. Contingent faculty have a right to academic freedom. We have the same right as tenure-track faculty to voice personal opinions and scholarly conclusions regarding matters of political, social, cultural, and academic import without fear of reprisal or dismissal from employing institutions.