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PAc-34 Alternative Career-Track Faculty

Policy: PAc-34
Subject:  Alternative Career-Track Faculty
Approval Date: 3/16/02
Revision Date: 6/15/05; 08/08/19
Last Review Date: 08/08/19


Faculty with the titles of part-time Lecturer, full-time Instructor, and Visiting Assistant Professor are employed to address the instructional needs of departments.


Lecturers (formerly referred to as part-time or Adjunct faculty) are employed less than full time without University retirement or insurance benefits on a class-by-class or semester-by-semester basis. Although there is no assurance of continuing employment, neither is there a limit to the number of years one may serve as a Lecturer. Lecturers should have successful teaching experience.

Instructors (formerly referred to as fixed-term instructors) are full-time employees contracted with full benefits for a one-year term. With the approval of the department chair and college dean, Instructors may have appointments renewed on an annual basis provided there are continued/justified instructional needs, adequate funds, and satisfactory evaluations according to departmental faculty evaluation plans (FEPs).

Visiting Assistant Professors are employed full-time for a limited term with full benefits. With the approval of the department chair and college dean, Visiting Assistant Professors may have appointments renewed on an annual basis provided there are continued/justified instructional needs, adequate funds, and satisfactory evaluations according to departmental faculty evaluation plans (FEPs).

While Instructors and Visiting Assistant Professors will be evaluated primarily on teaching, they may provide advising and service on departmental committees and engage in scholarly activity.

At the time of employment a contract issued to a non-tenure track faculty member shall explicitly state the rank, and that the position is not tenurable. The title "Artist-in-Residence" or other appropriate title may be used synonymously with these types of appointments when appropriate.


In order to protect the tenure standing at the University, the percentage of faculty holding non-tenure-track appointments shall not exceed percentages of the total faculty set by appropriate discipline specific accrediting agencies. It is the responsibility of the Office of the Provost to make every effort possible to ensure that these limits are not exceeded.

Qualifications for appointment of non-tenure track faculty should be flexible enough to meet the needs of each academic unit yet consistent with accreditation standards. Minimum qualifications shall be a degree appropriate to the teaching assignment or equivalent experience in the field or related field. An earned doctorate or equivalent experience in the field or related field is preferred for teaching upper-level courses. All appointments shall meet all applicable current criteria of the appropriate accrediting bodies.


Tenure-track positions may be filled by an instructor only under one of the following conditions: (1) when a search for a tenure-track position has not resulted in a qualified hire or sufficient time is not available to pursue a successful search, in which case the instructor position will be used until a qualified candidate has been selected for the tenure-track position through a standard search; (2) when, in the judgment of the department chair, dean and Provost, enrollment patterns within the department/program or other conditions warrant filling a tenure-track position with an instructor as needed; in which case the department faculty will be consulted.

Any faculty who has previously served or is currently serving as an instructor is eligible for application and appointment, upon approval, to the positions. It is the responsibility of the department chair to select and interview candidates, but, whenever possible, candidates should meet with all members of the respective department.


Each department will annually review its staffing needs with regard to the nature and number of positions needed for the following year. Should a need for additional faculty be identified, the department should prepare a request indicating the nature and number of additional faculty needed. The request may be for one or more additional tenure-track lines, conversion of an instructor line to tenure-track, or additional instructor lines. 


Appointments of non-tenure track faculty may be terminated before contract expiration for the reasons described in the appropriate section of the Faculty Handbook and according to the procedure described.


No later than May 1 of each year, and earlier if possible, all individuals holding the title of "Instructor" shall be notified if they will be retained for the following academic year. Such notification shall have been preceded by a performance evaluation similar to tenured and tenure-track faculty. The review will be based on the relative criteria for performance expectations as defined in the departmental FEP and any salary adjustments will fall within the guidelines established for all full-time faculty.

Morehead State University is committed to quality teaching, learning and the improvement of teaching through assessment.  The use of various means of formative assessment provides a comprehensive picture of an individual's development as a teacher.  Therefore, the position of Morehead State University is that assessment of teaching be, first and foremost, formative and used for the purpose of improving teaching.  Morehead State University is committed to supporting faculty of all ranks in order to develop a cohesive community of teachers and learners.

Instructors not notified by May 1 will be eligible for rehire as an instructor at the time that a clear need has been identified and upon completion of a performance evaluation as outlined in the foregoing paragraph. When possible, instructors with more than three years of consecutive service will be given at least a 12-month notification of non-renewal.


All non-tenure track faculty shall be afforded rights of academic freedom and due process.

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