Clarifying the Reappointment Process and Hierarchy for Adjunct Faculty

June 2, 2009

Dear QUFA Members,

There seems to be confusion across campus about appointing Adjunct Faculty, about both the hierarchy and the reappointment process. This message attempts to clear up some of that confusion. We send it to all Members because you could be a candidate or you could be on one of the relevant decision-making committees.

The general hierarchy format in this message might quickly answer some of the more frequent questions we have been asked. The notion that you retain the status of a Term Adjunct with reappointment rights you have earned, whether the courses you teach are offered or not in a given year, is expanded on below.

Hierarchy

This is the general hierarchy that Heads must follow when assigning work (there are more nuanced cascades within the two Term Adjunct groupings):

  1. Tenured and Tenure-track and Continuing Adjuncts
  2. Term Adjuncts with General Right of Reappointment (GRoR)
  3. Teaching Fellows
  4. Term Adjuncts with Specific Right of Reappointment (SRoR)
  5. Term Adjuncts with no RoR
  6. Post-docs

It is clear, therefore, that there must be a determination of what courses will be offered before appointments can be finalized as there is potentially a range of courses that can be taught by Term Adjuncts (GRoR) that goes beyond the specific courses they might have taught in the past. Only after Term Adjuncts (GRoR) have their appointments can courses be assigned to those in 3. to 6.

It is always possible in a given year that there are no courses offered that you can teach. For those who have a Specific or a General RoR, this does not necessarily mean that you have lost that right (see below).

Process

Those who were already Continuing Adjuncts this year need not go through a reappointment process as they have an ongoing employment commitment from the University. They simply need to get their work assignments for coming year. For those who were not already Continuing Adjuncts this year, please read on.

Attaining Specific RoR:

A Term Adjunct Member does not have to apply to gain a SRoR. It simply takes effect once the minimum requirements are met.

Attaining General RoR and Continuing status:

Term Adjunct Members have to apply to the Adjunct Appointments Committee for Term Adjunct (GRoR) status or to the RTP Committee for Continuing Adjunct status. Those committees must decide whether the Member attains the new status or not. If the answer is positive, then the Member has that new status and the bumping rights that attach to it. The Adjunct Appointments Committees must also assess the knowledge and experience of the Term Adjunct (GRoR) to determine teaching areas and not simply look courses they have taught at Queen’s.

Work Assignment:

As above, those who have attained Continuing Adjunct status this year must simply await assignment of work duties.

For Term Adjuncts (GRoR), however, the next piece of information that the Adjunct Appointments Committee will need is which courses are being offered in the coming year. Once the work assignments have been made to the Term Adjuncts (GRoR), the Committee may turn its mind to which courses Term Adjuncts (SRoR) might teach.

It is very important, therefore, that everyone know who has attained the status of Continuing Adjunct or Term Adjunct (GRoR) as soon as possible as it will affect work assignment.

Right of Reappointment remains with Member:

Please note that if a Term Adjunct has attained either GRoR or SRoR, then the right does not disappear just because there is no course they can be offered in the coming year. Please read the collective agreement sections that deal with retention and extinguishment of RoR (32.3.6 for both Specific and General RoR).

Please also see the current Know Your CA on Adjunct Reappointment, Adjunct Appointment, Reappointment and Promotion Procedures.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ramneek Pooni at poonir@queensu.ca.