UA changes rule on part-time faculty

The University of Akron Board of Trustees approved a change to University Rule 3359-20-06.1 regarding part-time faculty appointments.

The new terminology reads:

While many part-time faculty may be reappointed from successive academic terms, all part-time faculty are employed on an at-will basis.

The rule formerly read:

While many part-time faculty may be reappointed from successive academic terms, the appointment and any reappointments confer no expectancy whatsoever of continued employment.

UA board rule change

Text of UA rule on adjuncts

Maria Maisto, president of New Faculty Majority, said UA’s move was a calculated one.

“It’s clear that this change is intended to make it more difficult for adjunct faculty to collect unemployment benefits. However, New Faculty Majority will simply bring this to state and federal policymakers as a good example of the ways that colleges are trying to have their cake and eat it too.”

We asked employment attorney Nancy Grim whether this rule change would make it more difficult for UA adjuncts to get unemployment compensation. Here was her response:

“Maybe a little more difficult. `Expectation of continued employment’ is a term in the unemployment statutes.  `At will’ means you can be fired at any time for any reason.

“It was convenient that the UofA expressly stated there was `no expectancy whatsoever of continued employment’  (though only useful if people brought that to the attention of the unemployment office or hearing officer in each case).

“Still, this remains a factual question for each case.  As we discussed, applicants should affirmatively submit facts that show they do not have a reasonable expectation of continued employment.”

Here are links to helpful unemployment compensation resources:

Revised on May 10, 2013.

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