Part-Time Lecturers and Instructors

When the university hires a person to teach a single course, the person is called a part-time lecturer or adjunct professor. Such employment pays only a modest stipend (often only $3,600) and carries no health benefits and no right to tuition remission. Students who teach during the summer are classified as part-time lecturers during this period. Supported students (those holding a teaching assistantship or a dissertation fellowship) are not allowed to supplement their income by teaching as a part-time lecturer during the academic year. Unsupported full-time students are allowed to teach as part-time lecturers during both the summer and the academic year, but the level of pay and the demands of the task make this impractical as a way of supporting oneself. It is generally impossible to make satisfactory academic progress in our program while teaching more than one course per semester.

When the university hires a person to teach on a temporary basis with a regular salary, the person is called an instructor. Instructors teach much more than teaching assistants and are paid more. An instructor is entitled to tuition remission, and if the appointment is for the full academic year, he or she receives health benefits.  A student may be appointed as an instructor only after having defended a dissertation proposal.

Chairs of departments make the decisions on hiring part-time lecturers and instructors. Instructors are usually hired only at the last minute, because funds are available for such positions only when tenure-track faculty positions remain unfilled at the beginning of an academic year.