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April 2019

Adjunct update: Membership, NORA FAQs, dates

Kim Ng Southard


  Good to know!

For this update, I ask you if you are certain that you are an FA member and advise you on what to do if you are not sure of the answer to this question. Because I received numerous questions on NORA issues, assignments and the bumping process since my last update, I identify and respond to the five most frequently asked questions during this NORA season. The update closes with a list of upcoming important dates.

Adjunct membership

The FA has realized that several of our adjunct faculty members are not FA members, but in fact think that they are members. This is a serious problem because if you are not a member of the FA, then we cannot represent you during disciplinary hearings, nor are you eligible for any adjunct benefits. If you are unsure if you are a member, call Anita, the FA administrative assistant, at 631-451-4151 to find out. She can assist you in becoming a member if you currently are not one.

NORA- and assignment-related questions

March and April have been busy with adjunct questions regarding NORA issues, assignments and the bumping process. Here are the five most frequently asked questions regarding NORA issues, assignments and bumping, along with responses:

  • What can I do if I did not submit my NORA by deadline?
If you do not submit the NORA by the deadline posted by the college, your name will not appear on the seniority list for that semester. Thus, failing to submit a timely NORA will cause you to not receive an assignment. You may submit the NORA late and request to be put on the late list with adjunct services, but you will go to end of the B list, and therefore probably will not get an assignment. So, it is crucial to get the NORA in on time to be considered for an assignment in the upcoming semester.
  • Why didn’t I get an assignment after submitting my NORA by deadline?
When you do not receive an assignment after submitting the NORA, the reason is that there were no assignments available to you given your stated NORA preferences and seniority standing. You should list all available preferences that you can cover for the best chance of being offered assignments. However, remember that if you decline the only offered assignment within your NORA preferences, you forfeit your seniority for that semester.
  • Why didn’t I get my regular assignment that I have covered for the past five semesters?
The FA contract gives adjuncts the right to an assignment, not one particular/preferred course or assignment (based on day, time, subject matter, etc.). The college’s obligation is met when an adjunct is offered assignments that fall within the adjunct's certifications and seniority standing as well as their stated NORA availabilities and campus preferences.
  • Why is Professor X senior to me when I have been working in this area longer?
Seniority is not only the number of semesters/years you work in a particular area at the college but also comprised of the number of credit hours you have served. So, while you may have worked in the area longer than Professor X, Professor X may be higher than you on the seniority list because they have completed more credit hours.
  • When bumping someone, why must I bottom bump the least senior adjunct whose assignment is not within my stated preferences on the NORA?
The answer is that it is policy. The FA and the college agreed on bottom bumping as the most fair and practical way to deal with class cancelations. For adjuncts, the bottom bumping process means a more senior adjunct who has lost a course may bump the least senior adjunct in the discipline. The guiding principle for adjunct bumping is the same as for full-time overload bumping, namely no adjunct faculty member on the A list gets two courses/assignments in the discipline before all other adjunct faculty members on the A list in the discipline get one.

Feel free to contact me anytime regarding any adjunct issues or questions you may have by emailing me at or by calling me at 631-451-4646.

Upcoming deadlines

  • April 26 — Adjunct promotion observations due
  • April 30 — Adjunct assignments posted for summer and fall
  • May 13 — Adjunct accept/decline due for summer and fall