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February 2015


Adjunct update: NORA dates, bumping and professional development funds
Cynthia Eaton


The practice of bottom bumping was negotiated by the college and the FA in the 1970s to avoid the "domino effect" of multiple faculty bumping other faculty. (photo by Cynthia Eaton)

Between last fall and the start of this spring semester, I've been busier than I've ever been since I was first elected adjunct coordinator in spring 2007. There were a host of issues that needed clarification, which I summarize below in hopes of avoiding future confusion.

NORA deadlines

First, the NORA dates are below.

Please note that if adjuncts do not submit their NORA forms on time, they are put on the wait list. This means that all adjuncts on both the A and B lists are offered their full complement of assignments before anyone on the wait list may be offered an assignment. I dealt with several instances in which adjuncts who failed to submit a NORA form were given assignments ahead of others, which should not happen.

NORA procedure
summer 2015
fall 2015
forms available
2/27 2/27
forms due
4/3 4/3
assignments posted
4/28 4/17
5/8 5/8

Bumping Procedures

Numerous adjuncts have inquired about the details of bottom bumping: some because they were incorrectly bumped out of an assignment, others because they legitimately were bumped but didn't understand why.

Before I proceed, keep in mind: adjunct seniority is college wide.

The college and the FA negotiated an agreement decades ago to follow a practice known as bottom bumping, to avoid the "domino effect" of multiple faculty bumping multiple colleagues due to assignment cancelations for low enrollment. That domino effect is entirely too disruptive.

Now, here's the scoop: When you lose an assignment due to low enrollment, you have the right to bump the least senior adjunct with a second assignment—or, if no one has a second assignment, the least senior adjunct with an assignment—who is on a campus that you put on your NORA form and who holds an assignment for which you are certified.

If that least senior adjunct has an assignment during a time that doesn't work for you, you must either rearrange your schedule or decline the right to bump.

While I think it's obvious why the college takes into account your certifications, faculty have asked why the college takes into account campus preferences but not time availabilities.

The campus matters because if the very least senior adjunct college wide holds an assignment that you didn't put in your NORA, you were never entitled to an assignment on that campus in the first place so, correspondingly, you're not entitled to bump anyone on that campus.

The time availabilities that you enter into NORA cannot be factored into the equation because the least senior adjunct teaching at a time that works for you might not be the least senior adjunct. Then he or she will say, "Hey! Someone junior to me still has an assignment. No fair!" and will want to bump someone... and we'll fall into that domino effect. So, keep in mind that adjuncts are only guaranteed the right to bump; you can accept/decline based on whether the assignment works for you.

Adjunct Professional Development Funds

Finally, yes, there is funding for adjunct faculty—and full-time faculty do not have access to it.

The FA has negotiated a separate professional development fund for adjunct faculty, with $10,000 available in the fall semester and $10,000 available in the spring.

If you have three or more semesters of SCCC experience and are teaching/working two or more contact hours per semester, you're eligible to apply for the use of these funds for professional purposes in an amount not to exceed $750 in any one academic year during which you're employed.

The money is awarded on a first come-first served basis, so I encourage you to apply just as soon as you can, e.g., the moment you spot a great conference in your discipline that you wish to attend.