Three Year Appointments: What Every Adjunct Should Know

Eligible for the Three-year Appointment or Already on One?

There are three significant advantages to being on a three-year appointment: stability of the position for three years, income for teaching a minimum of 6 contact hours, and accrued sick leave. Besides this, part-timers also report a greater sense of belonging and recognition—no small matter for adjuncts!

A Few Fundamentals about the Process

Comprehensive Review and Personnel File

The Personnel and Budget Committee (P&B) of your department must conduct a “comprehensive review of the adjunct’s performance” for the 3-year appointment. See the Memorandum of Agreement about the appointment on the PSC-CUNY website. For those already on a three-year appointment, the P&B committee will conduct a new review.

Recommended: See your own personnel file. You have a right to make copies or have copies made of it. (The department can charge you for the copies.) The union recommends that you paginate pages as you look through it. What’s in a personnel file? Evaluations, observations, achievements, possible student endorsements, and any special meeting notes, such as a student grade appeal. (See the article in the March 2019 Clarion.)

Observations and Evaluations

Observations for three-year appointments are usually conducted in the spring during the last semester of the three-year appointment for those already on it and during the 10th consecutive semester of teaching 6 contact hours each semester when an adjunct is eligible.

Make the observation process work for you: 1) Do an objective assessment of your own position in the department. Could it be to your advantage to seek out an observation a year before your 10th semester, so that if there is guidance offered in the observation you have time to respond before that 10th semester? 2) It is better to have a record of your work than to have very few or no observations. Speak to your chair if you have not been observed much or at all to arrange for an observation. 3) Enjoy the observation process! Your observers are your colleagues, and most are sympathetic to faculty members being on the spot. 4) Know your contract. Observers must give 24 hours’ notice before the observation, and observations must be conducted within the first ten weeks of the semester. For those on three-year appointments, observers stay for 50 minutes, which is distinct from other observations when the observer must stay for the entire class period, per the contract.

Annual evaluations: These are distinct from observations and are often overlooked. They are another opportunity to create a record of your work, to meet with your colleagues and have them get to know you. Ask for an annual evaluation if you have not had one in a while.

Notification of appointment is May 15 for those newly eligible and for those eligible for re-appointment. Watch the calendar, and call the adjunct counselor for your college at the PSC Office (212-354-1252), if you do not receive an appointment letter by May 15.