The Word Logo


Professional Life

Browse by

Past issues

Visit us online
or on Facebook


printer friendly siteFA Website Icon
September 2014


Adjunct update: Four factors, NORA dates and certification requests
Cynthia Eaton


Adjunct faculty regularly call me prior to the start of each semester to inquire about perceived misassignments. In the cases in which there was no misassignment, often the confusion surrounds the fact that assignments are based on three factors in addition to seniority.

Four factors affecting assignments

The four factors affecting your work assignments are shown below:

Seniority clip art






When you complete your NORA form, you are asked to identify your interest in working during the upcoming semester, the days and times you are available for an assignment and your first/second/third choice of campus. All of these factors, in addition to your official certifications and college-wide seniority status, affect which assignments you may be offered.

Two more notes to keep in mind:

NORA deadlines

You know from the adjunct faculty orientation that meeting the NORA deadlines is critical to ensure future assignments.

The NORA dates for wintersession and spring 2015 are listed below.

NORA Dates









Sometimes faculty indicate dates and times on their NORA requests submitted in late October, but later discover that they are no longer available at those times.

In these cases, you should contact your department chair immediately to notify him or her of these changes. While we cannot guarantee that your new availabilities will be accommodated, you should at least notify your chair of any changes.

Certification requests

The deadline for fall certification requests is October 31.

When you are first hired at the college, your academic chair or area supervisor certifies you for a specific assignment(s) or course(s). After that, your chair may opt to certify you for other assignments or courses based on departmental needs and your professional training. These certifications should be put on file in the Office of Faculty and Professional Advancement.

More often, adjuncts make their own requests to be certified for additional assignments or courses. To do so, you should write a letter to your academic chair or area supervisor indicating the specific assignments/courses for which you’d like to be certified. Provide a rationale for each one, citing for example specific graduate coursework or relevant professional training.

An administrative committee determines certifications based on an analysis of college needs. This means that you may not be certified despite being qualified if the college has a sufficient supply of faculty in that area already.