Fixed-Term Faculty Policy (Adjunct/Visitor)

Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities; Associate Dean for the Natural, Mathematical, and Social Sciences
Amended Date

Effective Date


Key Contacts



Visiting, Adjunct, and Emeritus appointments.

Policy Purpose and Description



Visitors: Visiting appointments are made in the College to cover courses vacated by externally funded leaves, unpaid leaves, resignations, retirements, or other reasons. Visiting faculty who are appointed on an academic year basis for at least one academic year at 50% or greater effort, will be appointed with full UI Benefits.

Adjuncts: Adjuncts typically hold primary positions either outside or within the University. Adjunct appointments are always temporary, part-time, and do not include benefits. Paid adjunct appointments must be less than 50% time. Beginning academic year 2019-20, the college will restrict adjuncts to teach only one course or equivalent per semester (up to 4 s.h.).


CLAS Visiting Appointment Guidelines

Appointment: The percentage of effort assigned to a 3 s.h. course should be 25% for a semester appointment and 12.5% for an academic year appointment. Visiting faculty are integrated into the departmental culture and are typically invited to faculty meetings, etc.

Search Requirements: The College requires all benefit eligible visiting appointment positions to be appointed via a regional or national search. If a visitor is identified via a search, the department may initiate a change of status form to extend that visitor into a second or third year.

Term Limits: Visiting appointments will not last longer than three academic years, regardless of the appointment percentage. The three-year clock will be reset if the visitor has a break in service that lasts at least two consecutive semesters (i.e. Fall/Spring; Spring/Fall).

The College encourages departments/schools to:

  • Appoint visiting faculty on an academic year basis. To annualize an appointment, there must be at least 50% teaching effort in each semester;
  • Maximize the percentage of appointments in order to attract the best candidates; this may involve decreasing the number of visiting appointments and increasing the percentage of a given appointment.

CLAS Adjunct Appointment Guidelines

Appointment: Initiate a 0% appointment for up to three years to be renewed at any time at the discretion of the department. Use an adjunct support form to bring an adjunct in and out of paid status on a semester-by-semester basis. Percentage of paid appointment should be 20% per course (per semester) unless otherwise defined; this effort includes teaching only and does not involve service to the department.

Term Limits: There is no limit on the amount of time someone can be an adjunct as long as the percentage of time is less than 50% in any given semester.

Search Requirements: An EOD search is not required for adjunct appointments. You must run a three-day advertisement through the temporary jobs section of Self-Service if the faculty member has not been in a paid appointment within 24 months at the University of Iowa.


  • Salary for visiting, adjunct, and emeritus faculty teaching classes will be based on the average full time Instructional Track Faculty (ITF) salary in the department during the Fall semester of the preceding academic year. If there are no ITFs in the department, the average will be computed based on the average in a similar department at the discretion of the appropriate Associate Dean. The salary will be 95% of 1/8 of the average full time ITF salary per course (3, 4, or 5 semester hours). The salary is prorated for courses less than 3 semester hours.
  • If a decision is made to proceed with offering a low-enrolled course (fewer than 16 students where graduate students count as double), compensation for that course is pro-rated at 1/16th of the per-course rate per student.
  • Market Adjustment: If a department cannot secure an instructor for a course, they may request a market adjustment to the above salary for a particular class. The approval of such adjustment will be at the discretion of the appropriate Associate Dean.
  • Any exceptions to this policy must be discussed with and approved in writing by the Area Associate Dean in CLAS and attached to the workflow form.


Please contact your HR representative for offer letter templates for temporary faculty (visitors, adjuncts, emeritus, and term Lecturers).

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the 2 consecutive semester break in service for a VAP have to be unpaid before they are eligible to be hired as a VAP again?

Yes, the individual needs to have a full year (Fall/Spring or Spring/Fall) unpaid break in service at the end of their 3-year maximum term before they are eligible for a new appointment as a VAP. They can maintain a complimentary appointment, but they cannot be paid. If they continue as an adjunct, it doesn’t count as a break. They can move into another type of appointment, like a lecturer, but a visiting appointment can only be for 3 consecutive years before a break.

Related Information

Fixed-Term Appointments

Revision History