When I was recently looking for academic positions in the US, I noticed that the actual titles of many assistant and associate professors in the University of California system are "adjunct assistant/associate professor." Upon further investigation, I noticed that the professorial ranks under the adjunct category are usually not eligible for tenure and are not supported by state funding (only supported by external funding). This raised several questions related to the adjunct appointment series in the UC system:
If the position is not funded by state funding, who will pay the salary for professors under an adjunct appointment? Is it paid solely by research grants? Does it mean that if a professor fails to secure a grant, they won't receive any salary?
It appears that professors in the UC system who hold adjunct appointments primarily focus on research. Is an adjunct appointment in the UC system almost equivalent to a Scientist position in other institutions (e.g., UW-Madison)? If they are different, what are the distinctions?
Is it advisable to pursue postdoctoral training under assistant professors who hold adjunct appointments? Considering they can't even guarantee the stability of their own positions, let alone that of postdocs."