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Best Practices for Hiring Adjunct Faculty

The goal of this guide is to create a robust pool of talent to ensure selection of qualified adjunct faculty to foster a teaching and learning environment consistent with the mission and vision of The College of New Jersey.

STEP 1: Identification and Filling of the Vacancy

Identification of the vacancy should be indicated by April 15 for the fall term and November 15 for the spring term. “Vacancy” refers to any course or section that needs to be staffed, but cannot be taught by the faculty who has previously taught successfully at TCNJ. Once a vacancy is identified, the Dean in consultation with Department Chair will determine whether broad recruitment is required, the position can be filled via distinguished adjunct faculty hire procedure, or if the vacancy is identified late, the position will be filled using the emergency hire process.

STEP 2: Job Announcement

The Department will create a job announcement using the attached template. This must occur for all positions being filled.

STEP 3: Recruitment for the Adjunct Vacancy

In the case of broad recruitment, vacancies will be publicized for maximum exposure to qualified applicants. Advertising of vacancies will be done centrally by HR in consultation with the Deans. Suggested placement for adjunct vacancies are appropriate listings to target a diverse pool; advertisements in appropriate local publications; appropriate Graduate College and University placement offices, electronic job boards such as The College of New Jersey website, Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), HigherEd and other high traffic job boards for higher education or by discipline. Emerging digital resources can be utilized, as deemed appropriate and cost effective.

Advertisements should be posted for a minimum of 2 weeks except in the event of an emergency hire or targeted hire. Upon receipt of resumes/CV’s an automatic acknowledgment response will be sent along with the EEO survey by HR.

In consultation with the Dean, Department Chair can also pursue a targeted hire and forego the broad recruitment procedure. In this case, using academic networks and recommendation from the experts in the relevant field, Department Chair can invite best qualified candidate to apply for the vacancy. The invited applicants will submit full application to HR and be considered for the position by the Departmental search committee.

STEP 4: The Pool

The pool refers to a group of applications that have been collected for a specific discipline. The pool is maintained and regularly updated centrally by HR. Applications are received and entered in to the pool all year round. To be entered into the pool, all applicants must have submitted a complete adjunct application and meet Minimum Qualifications or the equivalent. Applications from external candidates shall be kept on file in HR for a minimum of three years.

STEP 5: Review of Pool to Fill Position

The chair and another member of the faculty (“search committee”) should review the pool to identify candidates for consideration.

The committee reviews the applications for minimum qualifications and completeness. If an application is incomplete and there is sufficient time available prior to the committee reviewing the applications, the chair will make every effort to inform the candidate as to items needed to complete the application. However, the committee is not required to review incomplete applications.

There is no minimum or maximum number of candidates to interview. When deciding whom to interview, the committee should err on the side of inclusiveness. HR will notify candidates who were not selected for interview.

The Dean will work closely with the search committee to ensure that the recruitment process exhibits the breadth and depth necessary to develop a diverse pool of qualified candidates.

STEP 6: Interviews

The applicants selected for interview shall be contacted and invited by the committee chair or designee. Questions should be appropriate for the position being recruited (please review HR regulations as to questions that can and cannot be asked of candidates) and each applicant must be rated on the same criteria. A list of example questions that serve as a starting point for committees to develop their own questions to ask each interviewee is available on the HR website. Follow up questions that serve to clarify responses or probe further into answers are encouraged. The outcomes of each interview must be documented, and reasons for the choice of the finalist must be clearly articulated.

STEP 7: Finalizing the Selection (Including Reference Checks)

When the committee has identified the top-ranked finalist, the committee must conduct reference checks. Reference checks shall be limited to position-related criteria.

The committee chair recommends the selected candidate to the appropriate Dean for approval of the committee recommendation. If the Dean does not approve the recommendation, the Dean will confer with the committee chair and HR to reach a resolution.

After approval from the Dean, the Department Chair or designee offers the position to the selected candidate, and receives his/her decision on whether or not he/she accepts the position. All of the candidates should be notified of the outcome of the interview process. The committee chair informs the appropriate Dean as soon as the candidate has accepted the position. The chair will consult with the Dean to determine proper salary placement in accordance with the contractual terms for compensation for adjunct instructors.

All of the committee’s paperwork, including resume/CVs, hiring forms and interview rating forms, must be retained within the department for at least three years following the search in accordance with NJ State Records and Retention requirements.

STEP 8: Emergency Hire Procedures

The need to hire adjunct faculty without sufficient notice sometimes occurs. A vacant position that becomes known within 20 working days from the start of the assignment may be filled using the emergency hiring procedures. If a candidate is not identified by July 1 of the calendar year, the emergency hire procedure is also activated.

In an emergency situation, action may be taken to hire a candidate without going through the full advertisement and screening process described above. The Dean must approve an emergency adjunct hiring procedure before the Department begins a search. An abbreviated screening and interview process may be used as determined by the search committee. However, adequate references must be consulted.

STEP 9: Distinguished Hiring Procedure

The College and the Union have recognized the importance of “distinguished” adjunct faculty. When such a person is identified in the hiring process, the Dean will work with the Department Chair to establish a recruiting process that will meet the hiring goal.

Guidelines implemented starting January 2015.