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I applied for an adjunct lecturer position through a university's web site at the beginning of August.

I assumed I would be put into an 'adjunct pool' of some kind, or simply be declined . . . or something.

However, no one has reached out to me. I've logged into their application site several times since and my application is still active, supposedly. I have never taught before so I guess I'm not sure what my expectations should be. Is this normal? What should I be expecting?

closed as off-topic by Brian Borchers, Ric, RoboKaren, Massimo Ortolano, David Richerby Oct 4 '16 at 22:59

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  • "The answer to this question strongly depends on individual factors such as a certain person’s preferences, a given institution’s regulations, the exact contents of your work or your personal values. Thus only someone familiar can answer this question and it cannot be generalised to apply to others. (See this discussion for more info.)" – Brian Borchers, Ric, RoboKaren, Massimo Ortolano, David Richerby
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    Institutional practices vary. You could contact the HR department at the institution to ask what's happened to your application but don't be surprised if the answer is simply that it's on file and you might be contacted in the future. – Brian Borchers Oct 4 '16 at 16:05
  • In the US at least, if you applied in August most institutions are done with all hiring and no one may have even looked at the application - but this varies even within the US, and may have no relation to other countries policies. You'll definitely need to speak with someone in the institution to have any idea how their unique process works. – BrianH Oct 4 '16 at 17:11
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In industry, hiring decisions are typically made very quickly. When I was at Microsoft, if everyone on the interview loop liked a candidate, we tried to let them know before they even left the building that they should expect an offer. We had to, because in industry, good candidates only stay on the market a few days before they get and accept good offers elsewhere.

But it's a completely different story in academia where hiring decisions often take months. It's likely your application will have to be put to a faculty vote before they can make an appointment, even for an adjunct position, and often the votes are batched. You say you applied in August, but Fall quarter probably didn't start until September. And even after everyone's back for the start of the new academic year, it could be several weeks before their first department-wide faculty meetings.

Also, realistically, adjuncts are bottom of the heap at a university. You're part-time hired help brought in as cheap labor to cover classes when they need you and ignored when they don't. So deciding what to do with you is unlikely to be a high priority.

Bottom line is that what you're experiencing is pretty much what you should expect. Sorry to deliver the bad news.

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    May I suggest that you edit the second-to-last paragraph to be slightly less graphic and offensive? I think "Also, adjuncts have less priority than tenure-track faculty since the contracts are temporary" would have done the job just as well. – Sana Oct 5 '16 at 4:51
  • I think my language is honest and yours not so much. Sometimes the truth is not pretty. Is it possible you're not actually aware of how adjuncts and affiliates are treated and paid? For more: theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/05/… – Nicole Hamilton Oct 5 '16 at 5:33
  • What you say is true in general, but 1) there are universities that treat their adjuncts a lot better than others, in which case you are not being factual, and 2) if you are being honest, they know it and you don't need to add salt to the wound. – Sana Oct 5 '16 at 5:36
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    1) The OP is obviously new to this and doesn't know it. 2) If you know of universities that treat their adjuncts "a lot better" it would helpful if you could identify them. My impression is they do not exist, at least, not in the US. – Nicole Hamilton Oct 5 '16 at 5:38
  • I do not see why you think the OP is obviously new to this. My own institution "tenures" lecturers (our name for adjuncts), but since I'm choosing to stay anonymous, I am not going to disclose my department. – Sana Oct 5 '16 at 5:40

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