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Adjunct Professor Appointment Procedures


The University may appoint as Adjunct Professors qualified individuals, normally from outside the University, who can make contributions to the University, its students, and its Scholarly, Research and Creative (SRC) activities. Adjunct Professor is one category of status-only special academic appointment at TMU. These procedures specify the appointment and reappointment process, criteria and qualifications, compensation, rights and responsibilities and procedures for termination of appointments of Adjunct Professors. 


These procedures apply to all appointments of Adjunct Professors at TMU. Adjunct status may also be conferred on external professionals who contribute to the University in the ways described above, but who have other titles, such as Field Associate or Preceptor. 


The objectives of these procedures are: 

  1. to define the category of Adjunct Professor as a status-only academic appointment; 
  2. to ensure consistency and accountability in the selection, appointment and treatment of Adjunct Professors. 


Adjunct Professors are persons who are able to make a significant contribution to a Department, School or Faculty, or to the University as a whole through precepting or supervising students in field or practice placements, participation in SRC projects or other intellectual activity at the University, or a combination of these activities. Adjunct Professors shall not teach any courses unless they have a separate contract as a CUPE Local 3904, Unit 1 or Unit 2 Contract Lecturer and will be remunerated according to the applicable CUPE 3904 Collective Agreement; however, they may contribute to teaching as a guest lecturer or in other non-compensated roles. Adjunct appointments will not be awarded to a continuing academic (e.g., a Ph.D. candidate or a Post-Doctoral Fellow, etc.), or TFA member. Staff members are not normally eligible to hold an adjunct appointment. Adjunct Professors normally hold academic appointments at other universities or they may be researchers or practitioners in other settings. Adjunct Professor status may also be given to faculty of Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology who serve as course team leaders for joint programs, in accordance with the inter-institutional agreements for the delivery of joint programs. Since the professional qualifications, experience and reputation of individuals appointed as Adjunct Professor will vary considerably, there is no equivalence between adjunct and professorial ranks. Appointment with the title of Adjunct Professor does not imply that the appointee has the qualifications necessary for appointment to a professorial rank.

Criteria & Qualifications

The following criteria will be used to judge suitability for Adjunct Professor appointments: 

  1. Evidence of significant and ongoing contributions to a field of expertise relevant to the program, Department/School or Faculty. 
  2. Evidence of willingness and ability to contribute to a program, Department/School or Faculty. 
  3. Evidence of an appropriate level of scholarship, such as a relevant academic degree, recent contributions to relevant academic or professional literatures, or relevant professional practice.  

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The University is committed to infusing equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the University, and to providing equality of opportunity for people from historically under-represented and marginalized groups. Equity, diversity and inclusion, along with access to education and employment, and respect for Indigenous perspectives, are values at the core of the University’s overall mandate as a citizenship builder and institution of higher learning. In making Adjunct Professor appointments the Department/School, Faculty and University shall be mindful of TMU's commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.    

Appointment Process

Appointments of Adjunct Professors may be initiated at the program, Department/School, Faculty or University level, and are subject to the approval of the Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs (VPFA). Adjunct Professors are usually appointed for a period of three years. Reappointment is not automatic. Please refer to the reappointment process below. 

The Chair/Director shall write their recommendation for an adjunct appointment to their Dean. If the Dean is supportive, they will add their recommendation and forward it to the VPFA for approval. The recommendation letter should refer to the proposed individual’s experience and specify how they will benefit the School/Department, specifically identifying expectations of them (i.e. guest lecturing, research, professional activities, etc.), and the individual’s CV must be attached. This letter should indicate the proposed term (up to three years) of the Adjunct Professor, as well as the proposed start date. Appointments normally begin on July 1 or September 1.

The VPFA will review the recommendations, and approve or deny based on the criteria outlined in this document. Each approved appointee must receive a letter of appointment from the VPFA  specifying the term of appointment, all conditions, rights and responsibilities. A copy of the letter, signed by the appointee, must be returned to confirm acceptance of the appointment and its terms and conditions. The Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs will receive copies of all appointment confirmations. 

Associate Membership in the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, is a separate process from appointment as an Adjunct Professor, as an adjunct appointment does not confer the ability to act as a graduate supervisor or participate in graduate education. Details regarding the separate application for Associate Membership to the Yeates School of Graduate Studies can be found on the Membership Policy website.

Reappointment Process 

Reappointment is neither promised nor guaranteed.

Three months prior to the end date of the appointment, in consultation with the School/Department, the Chair/Director should determine whether or not they wish to recommend reappointment. The decision to recommend reappointment should be based on whether the Adjunct Professor has met the expectations set out in the original letter of appointment and if the need still exists.

Should the Chair/Director wish to recommend reappointment of an Adjunct Professor, they will write a letter to the Dean stating the reasons for the recommended reappointment, the length of the term, expectations of the Adjunct Professor, as well as the Adjunct Professor’s updated CV. The term of reappointment shall not be longer than three years. If the Dean is in agreement they will add their recommendation for reappointment and forward it to the VPFA for approval.

If the Chair/Director does not wish to renew the appointment they shall write a letter to the Adjunct Professor thanking them for their contributions to TMU and notifying them that their appointment will not be renewed. This letter must be copied to the Dean and the VPFA.


An Adjunct Professor is a status only appointment and is not remunerated by TMU. However, if he/she is assigned formal teaching responsibilities, a separate CUPE Local 3904 Unit 1 or Unit 2 teaching appointment will be made. 

Rights and Responsibilities

  1. Adjunct Professors will normally be granted, as a courtesy, and with the approval of the Department/School and Faculty concerned, certain resources, to the degree that it is possible and desirable to grant them. Such resources will be specified in the letter appointing the Adjunct Professor. 
  2. Travel and other costs to and from TMU will be the responsibility of the Adjunct Professor.
  3. As may be relevant to the position, the Department/School or Faculty, at its discretion, may provide work space and incidental, reasonable overhead, if required.
  4. The Chair or Director will approve the Adjunct Professor’s application for a TMU One-Card, for the term of the adjunct appointment, and authorize OneCard applications, such as access to locked facilities.
  5. Full use of the TMU Library, including electronic resources, may be requested for the term of the adjunct appointment. The TMU OneCard is now required for Library access.
  6. Business cards and TMU email accounts may be provided, with the approval of the Chair or Director, and at the expense of the Department/School. 
  7. Adjunct appointees will be listed in the Undergraduate and/or Graduate Calendar and in relevant Departmental/School communications. If names of adjunct faculty with their academic credentials are included in the calendar, transcripts of credentials must be on file with the University, sent directly from the degree granting institution to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs.
  8. Adjunct Professors are encouraged to apply, where applicable, for external research grants to support their research programs and to provide training opportunities to students.
  9. To ensure that liability issues are addressed, an Adjunct Professor must inform and seek approval from the head of the host unit before initiating any SRC activity that uses a TMU laboratory, studio or any other facility. 
  10. Before an Adjunct Professor undertakes any research at TMU that involves human participants, the project must be approved by the TMU Research Ethics Board (REB), in accordance with TMU’s Policy 51 “Policy on Research Involving Human Participants” and the Canadian federal granting agencies’ Tri-Council Policy Statement: “Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans”. Projects which have undergone a Tri-Council review at the adjunct’s home institution will be eligible for an expedited review by the REB.
  11. Adjunct Professors are expected to acknowledge their affiliation with their sponsoring department/unit at TMU in all publications and scholarly works resulting from the adjunct appointment.
  12. It is the responsibility of the leader of the academic unit in which the adjunct appointment has been made to monitor the work of an Adjunct Professor.
  13. While on campus or engaged in scholarly or academic work using their association with TMU, it is expected that Adjunct Professors, like other faculty members, will comply with all TMU policies.
  14. Adjunct Professors shall not purport to speak for, or on behalf of, the University unless specifically authorized to do so.


The appointee or the University may terminate the appointment by written notice to the other party. Termination of the appointment, if initiated by the University, or at the request of the Chair/Director, or the Dean, will be by means of a letter from the Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs. The Vice-Provost will receive a copy of termination notices received from appointees.


The Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs is responsible for these procedures and their administration.

Revised: February 2020