Associate Faculty FAQ

What are the benefits of "Associate Faculty" (AF) status?

  • The point of Associate Faculty status is to provide some level of job security to part-time faculty members who have provided satisfactory service to SMC over a period of time. Part-time faculty with AF status have earned the right to a "base" of hours determined by their previous loads at the college. If there are assignments available for which you are qualified and in the time frame that you request, you have the right to those assignments before any non-AF part-time faculty member. If there are not enough assignments for all AF to receive their base hours in a given semester, department chairs must consider seniority among the criteria used in determining to whom an assignment should be offered.

How can I earn Associate Faculty status?

  • Eligibility for AF status is gained by completing 5 consecutive semesters of at least 5 LHE in a given discipline at SMC, with no "less than satisfactory" evaluations (that is, no "Needs Improvement" nor "Unsatisfactory" evaluations) in that time. In the spring semester of every year, the district reviews the past service of part-time faculty members to determine whether newly eligible AF exist. If there are newly eligible AF in a discipline, and if awarding the status will not result in more than 60% of part-time faculty in that discipline having AF status, the part-time faculty member will be awarded AF status and notified by district.

What happens if 60% or more of part-time faculty in my discipline already have AF status but I am also newly eligible?

  • If awarding AF status at this time would lead to more than 60% of PT faculty in the discipline having AF status, the eligible faculty member will be placed on the "Closed AF Discipline List" and their status will be reviewed the following spring. Once you are on this list, although you do not have AF status and do not have a guarantee of first choice in course offerings, you will remain on that list until there has been two years in which you have received no assignment. Any assignment you receive in the discipline keeps your eligibility for AF status alive.
  • The percentage of faculty with AF status in a given discipline can change considerably from year to year, so being placed onto the "Closed AF Discipline List" is a valuable step toward being awarded AF status, and it memorializes your eligibility date which is also important.

How can Associate Faculty status be lost?

  • Receiving a "Needs Improvement" or "Unsatisfactory" evaluation, or;
  • Declining all offered assignments within the time frame requested, or:
  • Failing to perform the normal and reasonable duties of assignment, or;
  • No available assignments for two consecutive Fall/Spring cycles

AF status is formally terminated in these situations only when the district has provided written notice of the reason for such termination.

If I do not have an assignment in one semester, will I lose Associate Faculty status?

  • No. If an assignment is cancelled for any reason other than misconduct or a less than satisfactory evaluation, or if there is no assignment available, your Associate Faculty status is not lost. You would have to have two complete Fall/Spring cycles in a row to lose AF status due to lack of available assignment.

If I have AF status and one of my classes is cancelled, am I guaranteed a class to replace it?

  • Not necessarily. Your chair must offer you the chance to teach another class that you are qualified to teach, but only if there is one available that is currently being taught by a non-AF instructor. No faculty member with AF status can "bump" another AF instructor, regardless of seniority. If there is a clear student need for a particular class, chairs always have the option of requesting that academic affairs open a new section. Also, remember that AF status gives you the right to an ANNUAL load, if the classes are available. If your assignment in Fall is less than usual, it may be made up in spring to ensure you meet your base load - as long as an assignment is available.

What is the exact contract language related to Associate Faculty?

  • Associate Faculty status details are found in Article 6.6 of the contract.