I have been an adjunct at different community colleges. I just got offered and accepted full time teaching position job (verbally) not in paper yet. The unfortunate situation is that I already signed contracts to adjunct a couple of sections at another school. It is possible for me to teach at both schools, but my fear is getting burned out, and want teach my full time position well.

However, I feel that if I back out of my written contracts it can jeopardize my full time teaching position (and future prospects), since that is just a verbal agreement and I haven't signed a contract for that.

Should I back out of my adjunct classes so I can concentrate on my full time position. Or should I just stick to teaching both for that semester to avoid possible backlash?

  • Check your contract with the place that is offering you a full time position. Does it have an exclusivity clause (that's typical of many full time faculty contracts.) Review your part time contracts and consider whether the penalties for breaking them are worth the risk. As a practical matter, if you break your part time contracts, nothing is likely to happen except that those places won't consider hiring you again. Aug 21, 2016 at 1:33
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    Don't do anything until you at least have the full-time offer in writing.
    – user37208
    Aug 21, 2016 at 1:44
  • Yeah, I don't have a written contract till this upcoming week. So I am not able to check to see if it has an exclusivity clause. The people who hired me, knows about my adjunct position and were willing to accommodate around it during my interview (I shared with them upfront). So I'm guessing there is most likely not an exclusivity clause. My class at my adjunct place starts this upcoming week as well. So I'm guessing its probably smarter and safer to just not back out of my classes. Is that correct?
    – Pete
    Aug 21, 2016 at 1:57
  • I'll just say that I sympathize with your dilemma, as juggling offers with little window to accept is among the worst things about adjunct work. On the other hand: Neither of the places I contracted at (NE USA) had me sign paper contracts. Aug 21, 2016 at 4:12

1 Answer 1


You can ask for an unsigned copy of the offer letter for full-time, and explain that you need to look it over so you can decide how to proceed with the adjunct work. They should understand and even appreciate that you don't want to leave anybody high and dry. Likewise, you might consider contacting the chairs of the departments where you are adjuncting and get a sense of how difficult it would be for them to find someone else to teach the course. It could go either way. They might not have a good back up plan, or they may have a reserve of graduate students who need to teach to improve their CVs.

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