Employment of Part-Time Faculty

As a matter of policy, Berea College uses part-time faculty only sparingly. A small cadre are appointed because they have important knowledge or ability not represented on the full-time faculty. In a few departments where the faculty teaching full loads cannot handle all the courses offered, and the courses needing to be taught usually constitute less than a full load, part-time appointees are used. Also, part-time faculty are used as replacements for faculty on leave or unable to meet their responsibilities due to illness or other personal emergency.

Identification and selection of part-time faculty is a responsibility shared by the Department Chair, Division Chair, and the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty. Whenever feasible, vacancies are advertised in state-wide newspapers, and selected graduate schools and neighboring undergraduate institutions contacted. Only candidates who meet stated criteria of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools are considered for appointment. The Department Chair, Division Chair, and other division members as appropriate, routinely interview the most promising candidate(s). Upon the Division Chair’s recommendation, the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty extends the offer of appointment, negotiates the terms, and confirms arrangements by letter. Part-time faculty are normally appointed as lecturers.

Orientation, supervision, guidance, and evaluation of part-time faculty is a responsibility of the Department Chair and Division Chair. The Division Chair insures that the appointee is fully informed of his/her duties, acquainted with relevant department and institutional policies and procedures, familiar with available support services, and made welcome among colleagues. The Division Chair also monitors performance as necessary to determine that the appointee is meeting all obligations satisfactorily. For review procedures of part-time faculty, see Reviews of Full or Part-time Faculty with Continuing Non-Tenure Track Appointments.

Part-time faculty do not have all of the rights and responsibilities of those with full-time appointments. They may attend meetings of the College Faculty Assembly and have voice, but only those whose instructional load has been at least half-time for two consecutive years and whose instructional appointment is expected to continue for the foreseeable future have vote. They are not routinely assigned student advisees, though persons with long experience at the College and familiar with its curriculum may be asked to serve in this role from time to time. Part-time faculty are expected to be accessible to students before and/or after class, and to meet scheduled office hours at least twice each week for an hour or more for each course.