Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

We are being responsive to questions we have received over the years about why we spread 10 months of pay over 12 months. This change also brings Santa Clara more in line with the practices of other universities. Additionally, the timing is right as the transition to Workday affords us the opportunity to revise administrative employment processes in a more consistent, streamlined way.  

We are also being proactive to be sure we stay in a position that allows us to maintain AYAL’s exempt status, as the monthly exempt threshold in California will continue to increase.



No. The only aspect of this change is the duration over which your salary is spread. Your salary will be paid over the 10 months of the quarterly or semester academic year rather than distributing your 10 month salary over 12 months. Please be mindful of this change for your personal financial planning purposes.

There are a number of reasons that factored into the University’s decision to make this change and we described many in the first FAQ.  We did not also describe the exempt status rationale in the first FAQ, as there will be no change in exempt classification for AYAL faculty and we did not want to raise that issue as a cause for concern or confusion, especially given the transition to non-exempt classification that the QAL and SAL faculty are undergoing.

When the Provost’s Office identified the possibility of transitioning to 10-month contract period for academic year adjunct faculty, the Chairs of the University Coordinating Committee, Faculty Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Adjunct Faculty and Lecturers of the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the Lecturers Best Practices Task Force met with the Provost’s Office to discuss the issue - the main concern was ensuring that medical benefits could continue for 12 months.  The Provost’s Office then explored with Human Resources how to maintain medical, dental and vision benefits. Human resources worked with our insurance providers to extend the existing 30 day window after employment ends to 60 days so that medical, dental, and vision benefits to continue for the 12 month period and there would be no gap in coverage. Human resources is continuing to work with our life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance providers to explore whether our policies can be adjusted so that this coverage can also be extended for the full 12 months.  Once the medical, dental, and vision benefits were addressed, the 10-month contract change was brought to the Benefits Committee. No new benefits issues were identified. The decision was made to issue the 2019-20 letters of appointment with a 10-month contract term. The Faculty Affairs Committee and Subcommittee on Adjunct Faculty and Lecturers of the Faculty Affairs Committee were informed of the change to 10-month contracts just prior to issuing the new letters of appointment.

It took some time for us to confirm with our providers that medical, dental, and vision benefits coverage could be extended for the 2 summer months (see question above).

Academic year adjunct faculty appointments (e.g. academic year adjunct lecturer, professor of practice, dean’s executive professor, adjunct assistant professor, and adjunct associate professor) are moving to a 10-month appointment term.

Your employment dates are listed in your appointment letter.

 For academic year adjunct faculty appointments in quarter-based schools, the academic appointment will start, as it always has, on September 1 of the academic year. academic year adjunct faculty appointments in quarter-based schools will now end on June 30th of the following year, as opposed to running through July and August.  

 For academic year adjunct faculty appointments in semester-based schools, the academic appointment will start, as it has previously, on August 1 of the academic year. academic year adjunct faculty appointments in semester-based schools will now end on May 30th of the following year, as opposed to running through June and July.  

 

The same 10-month academic year (September-June) employment period will apply to multi-year academic year adjunct faculty assignments. Multi-year academic year adjunct faculty assignments (assignments for 2, 3, or more year appointments) will have 10-month appointment periods for consecutive years.

Correct. During the two summer months that are not part of the quarterly or semester academic year, there is no employment relationship with the University unless you have a separate summer session appointment or hold another position with the University.

Your medical, dental, and vision benefits that you elect during your employment period will continue through July and August (or June and July if your School is semester-based). Your employee contribution for the benefit premiums of July and August (or June and July if your School is semester-based) will be assessed during your employment period. You will receive medical, dental, and vision benefit coverage during the summer months as long as you have completed your academic year adjunct faculty assignment. You do not need to have a subsequent 10-month appointment for the following fall.

If you have a flexible spending account with a positive balance, you will continue to be able to submit for reimbursements from your FSA up to 90 days after your employment period. You will be able to receive reimbursements for qualified expenses that you incurred during your employment period (Sept. 1 - June 30 for academic year adjunct faculty appointments in quarter-based schools and Aug. 1 - May 30th for academic year adjunct faculty appointments in semester-based schools).

You will be able to seek reimbursement from your FSA for any expenses you incur during the summer period that you are not employed if you elect to continue your Medical FSA through COBRA for the summer months. The cost of continuing your Medical FSA through COBRA is your regular monthly premium cost plus a 2% administration fee as long as your FSA account has a positive balance. Please contact Benefits in the Department of Human Resources for more information.

Additional information

During July and August, you will be able to submit for reimbursement from your FSA.

If you have new costs related to new appointments or prescriptions that you incur during July and August you will be able to continue to seek reimbursement from your FSA only if you have elected to continue your medical FSA through COBRA. The cost of continuing your Medical FSA through COBRA is your regular monthly premium cost plus a 2% administration fee as long as your FSA account has a positive balance. The 2018 IRS maximum that an employee can contribute per year to their medical FSA is $2700, which equates to a maximum contribution of $225 per month.  If you are contributing the monthly maximum to your FSA, the 2% administration fee to continue your medical FSA through COBRA would be $4.50 per month. Depending on your individual medical plan, this is likely lower than your copay for office visits and prescriptions, so it may be a good option for you during those two months.

If you are already receiving short or long-term disability benefits they will continue beyond your employment period. This will not change. However, you will not be able to submit new claims for short or long-term disability benefits during the summer months when you are not an employee.  

Additional Information

  1.  If you have a baby on July 28th, what happens?  Since your medical insurance continues, there is no change in your medical coverage.  On September 1, when you are scheduled to return to work, you are eligible for a pregnancy disability leave based upon your doctor’s recommendation and during that pregnancy disability leave, you can apply for short-term disability insurance payments.  Our practice is to supplement your pay up to 100% while you are on family and medical leave. You are eligible for baby bonding leave as well if you meet Family and Medical Leave Act eligibility requirements. You received your full 2019-20 salary from September 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020.  During July and August you would not be eligible for short-term disability insurance payments since you are not employed during those two months and because your disability commenced while you were not employed. Short-term disability insurance payments are designed to provide income to compensate for your salary when you are unable to work.  Since you would have received your full salary from September - June, you will not lose any income. Please contact Benefits in the Department of Human Resources for more information. For information on Faculty Leaves please see our leave guide.


Injury or Illness.  If you are injured or fall ill on July 28th, what happens?  Since your medical insurance continues, there is no change in your medical coverage.  On September 1, when you are scheduled to return to work, you are eligible for a Family and Medical Leave based upon your doctor’s recommendation as long as you meet the Family and Medical Leave Act eligibility requirements, or a medical leave as an accommodation request through the University. During that FMLA or medical leave, you can apply for short-term disability insurance payments.  Our practice is to supplement your pay up to 100% while you are on Family and Medical Leave. You received your full 2019-20 salary from September 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020. During July and August you are not eligible for short-term disability insurance payments since you are not employed during those two months and since your disability commenced while you were not employed. Short-term disability insurance payments are designed to provide income to compensate for your salary when you are unable to work.  Since you have received your full salary from September - June, you will not lose an income. Please contact Benefits in the Department of Human Resources for more information. For information on Faculty Leaves. please see our leave guide.

No. The University contributes 10% of your eligible compensation to your 401(a) plan. Because the salary amount is not changing (it will simply be paid over 10 months as opposed to 12 months) the University contribution will remain the same. Currently, if you complete academic year adjunct faculty appointments for two consecutive years, you then become eligible for the 401(a) contribution – this also will not change.

Yes. Your email account will remain active and available for use by you over the summer months.

Yes. You will still be able to access the University libraries over the summer months so long as you have received a subsequent 10-month appointment for the following fall.

Yes.  You will still be able to access the Malley Center over the summer months so long as you have received a subsequent 10-month appointment for the following fall.

No. This change does not impact tuition benefits.

You are able to apply for unemployment benefits for the summer time period during which you are not employed by SCU if you are otherwise eligible for unemployment (you do not have other employment).

The University is working with its vendors to evaluate what, if any, impacts the 10 month schedule may have on other benefits, such as life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment.

We are working to confirm a response to this question and will update this information as soon as possible.

If you have a new appointment starting in September/August, then you can indeed identify yourself as an SCU faculty member.  If your appointment ends June 30 or May 30, and you do not have a subsequent appointment, then your affiliation with SCU ends with the end of your last appointment.

As your employer, we can not provide financial advice.  You can contact an independent financial advisor or the credit rating companies to get the best response to this question.