Employing Adjunct Instructors


Starting in January 2015, employers will generally be obligated to offer healthcare insurance to employees who work 30 or more hours a week under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To comply with the future requirements of the ACA, the University needs to have clear baselines in determining course loads for full-time equivalents (FTEs) for career-track faculty whose only duties are teaching. While full-time course loads vary, the benchmark of fifteen credits has been determined to be the equivalent of full-time status (1.0 FTE) for instructional faculty with no advising or other duties.

Using this baseline, each credit hour is the equivalent of 2.67 working hours, or .067 FTE. Instructors on semester-to-semester contracts may become eligible for healthcare insurance under the ACA at .75 FTE if they teach 11 or more credit hours in single a semester. In some cases, departments may need to increase an instructional faculty member’s FTE to take into account labs, studio courses, advising, outreach, or other departmental assignments.

Given the need to track FTE/work hours to meet the future obligations of the ACA, we need to have a clearer alignment of titles with duties. To meet this need, departments are asked to limit the use of “adjunct” in Notices of Appointments for positions that do meet the eligibility requirements for State/University benefits. If changes in FTE are made after a Notice of Appointment has been drawn up, departments should revise individuals’ titles when possible.

Frequently Asked Questions about Benefits for "Adjunct" Instructors