Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about the department in general... For specific student questions on our graduate or undergraduate programs, see the Graduate and Undergraduate sections.

I'm interested in becoming Adjunct Faculty. What is the process?

You need to submit a cover letter and current CV. Your appointment is then considered by the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department, who make a recommendation to the Dean of the College of Science. Any appointment is made by the Dean, usually for a renewable period of three years. Contact the Chair for further information. The following is from the Faculty Handbook:

"Adjunct faculty have recognized professional qualifications and are assigned the rank of adjunct assistant professor, adjunct associate professor, or adjunct professor. The title is intended for individuals whose responsibilities include more than teaching or serving on graduate advisory committees and who have a continuing association with a department in some academic or professional capacity. Their duties and responsibilities may vary between departments and colleges, but they are specified in the letter of appointment. Letters of appointment for adjunct faculty also define the length of the appointment that may be for one to three years, with the initial appointment usually for one year. Adjunct faculty are not compensated except when they are engaged as part-time faculty teaching a course on a demand basis. These faculty do not earn tenure nor may they participate in matters relating to personnel decisions in the department."

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I'm interested in supporting a Research Assistant? What should I do?

If you are outside of the Department, first advertise for one. (You can also advertise even if you're in the Department.) Send a statement detailing the kind of work, any required knowledge or experience, and your contact information to the Chair. This information will then be posted in the Graduate/Current Students section of this web site. After you have found a student, the Department will handle the rest.

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Do you need any part-time instructors?

We use some part-time instructors almost every semester. Send a cover letter and current CV to the Chair, and we will keep your request on file. Appointments are made by the Dean of the College of Science based on a recommendation by the Chair. Note that official transcripts are required for appointment. The following is from the Faculty Handbook:

"Part-time faculty are appointed to teach or serve on committees on the basis of demand in academic departments. Their responsibilities are defined upon appointment. Part-time faculty teaching credit courses at the undergraduate level must have completed at least 18 graduate semester hours in the discipline in which they teach and hold at least a master's degree, or hold the minimum of a master's degree with a major in the discipline. Part-time faculty teaching at the graduate level must hold the terminal degree, usually the earned doctorate, in the teaching discipline or a related discipline. Any exceptions to these criteria must be justified and documented. The submission of official transcripts is a condition of part-time faculty employment. Part-time faculty do not earn tenure, nor may they participate in matters relating to personnel decisions in the department."

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What is the difference between part-time, adjunct, and graduate faculty?

Part-time faculty can teach. Adjunct faculty are associated with the Department, but this position does not imply any teaching or student-research supervision responsibility. Graduate faculty can sit on a graduate student's MS or PhD research committee. Personnel external to UAH can be any combination of these, but the MS or PhD committee chair must be regular full-time UAH faculty.

Note that part-time faculty who teach a graduate course(s) must also be Graduate Faculty. Typically, an appointment to the Graduate Faculty for external personnel is made by the Chair and the Graduate Dean.

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