More information on sick leave

Human Resources has a written policy that explains in some detail how sick leave works. This document also refers to the University of Akron Rules governing sick leave. You can also ask HR questions directly at Human Resources Benefits: 330-972-7092 or Alternatively, in my experience, the department administrative assistant is often well-versed in the details of these calculations. Depending on your situation this may be where you choose to start your inquiries.

Panel Discussion for Part-time Faculty, Tuesday August 20, 2013

Four panelists and a fluid group of Part-time Faculty, both new and returning, met for about an hour and a half to discuss questions, give advice and get ideas. The panelists were April Freely, Faculty Senator; Dr. Bean, a former department coordinator of many Part-time Faculty; Jim Wallace, Part-time Faculty with many years of experience, and Shannon Osorio, Faculty Senator. Some of the items we discussed include:

1. Make sure you know what your rank and rate of pay are. If you didn’t get this in writing when you started, check with your department administration and check your pay stub. Make sure that the pay stub matches what you have been told. It might be worth it to print out your pay stub at least once a semester. Some PT Faculty have noticed that Sick Leave Hours were reduced without any sick leave taken.

2. Sick leave accumulates as you work. Your accumulated sick leave hours should not go down unless you report a sick day, in which case you fill out and sign a form. Note that the hours charged for a sick day are not the same as your classroom hours.  Be sure to report sick days (or days that you do not teach your class). You are reimbursed for the sick leave hours that you have accumulated during your employment with the University of Akron when you terminate employment.
3. Your salary is based on your rank. See the University Rules at These rules have been unchanged for 14 years. Because the base pay for each rank [$600/cr for Assistant Lecturer, $700/cr for Associate Lecturer, and $800/cr for Senior Lecturer] has been unchanged since 1999, the real dollar amount Part-time Faculty earn has been significantly eroded. There is no merit pay increase, although individual department policies may allow for successful negotiation of an increase. You can always try to negotiate a better rate of pay.

4. Be sure to keep track of the number of credit hours you teach, since these are what lead to a change in rank. Credit hours taught at other institutions also count in determining your rank.

5. Also keep any student evaluations or summaries of evaluations that you receive. These are usually the evidence used to demonstrate your satisfactory teaching ability. If your department does not periodically visit and evaluate your class, you can and should request that someone evaluate your teaching – usually directed to the department chair. If Full-time Faculty are too busy to visit your class, ask a peer and have them fill out an evaluation form. Keep these records in your work record file. Some departments also keep a copy of these records.

6. Health care coverage is expensive and requires that you thread the needle of eligibility. Many Part time Faculty find that coverage costs more than they earn in a month. Once your window of eligibility closes, you can not choose health care coverage again. However the New Faculty Majority is now offering Part-time Faculty the opportunity to purchase Health Care Coverage at a much more reasonable rate. This is explained on the OPTFA web-site at

We can continue the discussion here. What questions would you ask of these panelists?



Welcome to the COPTI blog! We are here to discuss issues as they relate to Part time Faculty on The University of Akron campuses.

Shannon says:

What would you like to learn more about? Some ideas that we have include:

  • Teaching tips and techniques
  • Student evaluations
  • How to change ranks / make yourself a career
  • Social network – Who are we? Who do you know? How can we talk? What kind of support can we offer each other?

Some business before we get too far. What this isn’t:

  • Private – this is linked to a University of Akron Faculty Senate sponsored web-site
  • Personal –  if you have job issues / questions that you don’t want to make public – don’t post them here! Instead send a message to Shannon Osorio at or April Freely at
  • A place to push a political agenda – We welcome your reasoned and respectful opinions. A thoughtful  debate of issues and concerns is always helpful. Please keep in mind that we Part time Faculty are people from all political, religious and ethnic backgrounds. This is a place to meet, learn, and carry on civil discussions.

 April says:

I remember my first days, when I walked through the confusing corridors of Olin Hall to find the office I would share with three other long-term adjuncts.  The room was filled with decades worth of scholarship, hundreds of past student portfolios.  I was also greeted by the crazed face of Albert Einstein, tacked up on the wall—and an explosion of fantastic zebra paraphernalia 🙂

But where were my colleagues?

It’s hard to get a sense of the scope of the work adjuncts do across campus when everybody is in and out, here and there.  Last Spring, I saw my officemates nary a time during the entire semester.  When I first arrived, I had little sense that there were dozens of other Composition lecturers scattered about—I hardly saw a soul.

We hope this blog might be a space where we can get connected with the other part-timers floating about campus, folks we might never “meet” otherwise, so that we can take advantage of the wealth of experiences part-time faculty offer the campus community.

For instance, where do your research interests align with other folk scattered about? How can we learn best-practices from each other regarding our often transient work as adjuncts—who knows better how to teach eight courses at three different campuses than my fellow part-timers? We’d like this to become a virtual gathering-space that might combat the sometimes scattered nature of our “workplace”: some of us grade student work in the car before we’re off to the next job. Sometimes, I can pick out the adjuncts when I see your cars in the parking lot: there are signs!

Shannon and I, as your part-time representatives to the Faculty Senate, also see that having a stronger part-time faculty community contributes to the effectiveness of the Committee on Part-time Issues within the structure of University governance.

We hope to buck the trends a bit and provide a space where, in some sense, contingent faculty can become a better integrated thread in the fabric of campus-community at UofA.

Now, the real question is: would you read such a blog? Would you write content for such a blog? Would you like a more private platform for your blog? What do you think?