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Lecturer Resource Guide

Lecturers of all appointment types are essential to the classroom experience of our students at SCU.  Faculty Development provides a number of programs to support lecturers in their teaching; professional development and scholarship; work-life management; and connection with the Jesuit mission that guides our university.   Here’s some quick info to help you understand your appointment and evaluation procedures; find out about ongoing career development programs; and navigate the campus and surrounding area (including parking).

The contractual terms of faculty appointments and responsibilities are outlined in chapter 3 of the Faculty Handbook. (Section 3.6.2 includes a general description of faculty responsibilities. While the Handbook contains complete information, the brief summaries below (with specific Faculty Handbook sections noted in parentheses) should help you decode. Please note that these summaries refer primarily to appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, Leavey School of Business and the School of Education, Counseling and Psychology.

  • Senior Lecturer. A Senior Lecturer holds a full-time (seven course) continuing appointment primarily for teaching in an area of persistent programmatic need. (Section 3.4A.2.1)
  • Lecturer. (Also referred to as Renewable-Term Lecturers. Confusing, right?) Appointment is typically made for an initial full-time (seven courses per year) term of three years, a second term of three years, and subsequent terms of six years. (Section
  • Academic Year Adjunct Lecturer (AYAL). An adjunct lecturer holds a fixed term appointment (typically for one year and seven courses) for one or more of the following purposes: to replace faculty on leave or administrative assignment; to address persistent programmatic need on a part-time basis; to address short-term programmatic need on a full-time basis; to provide expertise in a specialty area; or to explore a new instructional area. (Section
  • Quarterly Adjunct Lecturer (QALs). These are part-time appointments for one to two quarterly courses. Quarterly Adjunct Lecturers are not eligible for health or education benefits.
  • Professor of Practice. Often, an adjunct appointment, most common in the Leavey School of Business. (Section
  • Research Professor. A research professor holds an appointment primarily to engage in research and may be also assigned teaching. (Section

Lecturers of all ranks must be evaluated in writing as follows:

• annually for those holding renewable-term appointments
• on a cycle determined by the dean with approval of the Provost for Senior Lecturers
• prior to a second or subsequent appointment for adjunct faculty holding multi-year term appointments

Adjunct faculty who have held consecutive fixed-term academic year appointments are to be evaluated regularly in writing. (Section 3.3). Adjunct faculty should check with department chairs concerning evaluation. Developmental feedback may be provided more frequently. Written evaluations of QALs are not required, but developmental feedback is encouraged.

Evaluation protocols are determined by deans and can be based only on the expectations for each rank. For example, in the College of Arts and Sciences Senior Lecturers and Lecturers are evaluated on a 70 -15 - 15 basis (Teaching-Service-Professional Activity) while College of A&S AYALs are evaluated on a 95 – 5 basis (Teaching/Service). Check with your chair to clarify expectations and evaluation schedules for your specific appointment. Because most lecturers and adjuncts are evaluated/given feedback based mainly or almost entirely on teaching, they can request that the department chair consider more robust measures (class visits, examples of student work, number of class preps, etc.) of performance rather than relying solely on student numerical evaluation results.

Finally: what the heck is FTE? Full-time Equivalents are calculated on the basis of a full-time equivalent course load of nine courses for adjunct appointments. AYALs teaching seven-courses are considered 0.78 (7/9) FTE appointments.

See Section 3.4A for reappointment and promotion procedures for (renewable term) Lecturers. Every winter quarter Faculty Development holds noon workshops on reappointment and promotion for Lecturers on renewable term appointments.
For further assistance with an application for Senior Lecturer or reappointment to Lecturer, contact Eileen Razzari Elrod and/or consult with a senior colleague in your department.

AYALs are not reappointed, but may apply for subsequent AYAL appointments as those become available. New (Renewable term) Lecturer lines and tenure-track lines trigger national searches. Faculty members of all appointment types are welcome to apply for new lines.

All faculty holding an academic year appointment equivalent to at least 50 percent of a full-time academic year appointment are
entitled to benefits including health care, disability insurance and retirement plans. The university also offers resources to support health and wellness, including work-life and stress management.

The Faculty Development Program and the Collaborative for Teaching Innovation offer a wealth of resources to transform your pedagogy and support excellence in teaching, including:

Digital Teaching Resources: a repository of information on teaching practices and issues featuring examples from SCU faculty and connections to scholarly conversations about teaching and learning in higher education.

A few sample topics that you might find useful:

• Encouraging Academic Integrity
• Building a syllabus
• Flipping your class

Still online, but off campus, check out the Professional Adjunct Podcast and Faculty Focus. Both resources are available by (free) subscription or on a drop-in basis.

In addition to DRT and off campus digital materials, there are on-campus, in-person resources to support you, including

• CAFÉ (Lunchtime conversations about teaching, hosted by the Collaborative and facilitated by faculty colleagues):
• Mentoring
• Confidential class visits: Contact Eileen Razzari Elrod
• Making the most of campus technology

Note that you may request a classroom to suit your requirements, whether it be specific technology, flexible seating to support active learning, or seminar spaces. Given the demands on current classroom space, requests will not always be met.

At the end of each quarter, students fill out online evaluations that include standardized questions designed to measure teaching effectiveness.
In some departments students may also complete narrative evaluations that include questions designed by your department or you to measure specific course objectives.

• Informal mid-quarter evaluations are useful in helping you gauge how the quarter is progressing and giving students ownership in the class. Professors who use mid-quarter evals often find that end-of-quarter scores go up.
• Finally, need help in responding to evaluations as you think about your own development as a teacher? Check out our DRT page on this topic.
• Figuring out how standard deviations come into play? Accounting for that one disgruntled student? Analyzing trends? Contact Christine Bachen

Studies show that when employees connect with a larger purpose, both job performance and satisfaction increase.  At Santa Clara University, teaching and learning is informed by the Jesuit mission of engagement and social justice. In addition, the university supports course development for Community Based teaching--to help you connect coursework with real world situations outside the classroom:

            The Jesuit Mission 

            Social Engagement 

            Diversity Initiatives 

 For more resources and information on Community Based Learning, contact Jen Merritt in the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education.

Want a mentor?  A confidential class visit?  Seeking a confidential consultation to help you figure out how to identify your professional goals in pursuing the career you want from the position you have?  Contact Eileen Razzari Elrod

Meanwhile, consider building a teaching portfolio; see the guide in the next drop-down. A portfolio can help you track the evolution of your teaching over time; scholarship or creative work; student assignments that show evidence of student learning; and service.  (Note: While QALs and AYALS are evaluated almost entirely on excellence in teaching, tracking activities beyond the classroom helps you remain competitive for job searches outside the university or for internal reappointment or promotion.)

Building an online teaching portfolio: See the links below for some helpful hints.

Vanderbilt’s guide to Teaching Portfolios

U of Virginia Center for Teaching Excellence (includes examples)

U Illinois Resources on Teaching Portfolios

Making friends with your first Faculty Activities Report: Because expectations and practices differ from department to department, be sure to consult with a senior colleague for advice on the best way to complete this important document. That said, you might find this rubric developed by Gallaudet University to be helpful in building your own FAR.

Building a teaching portfolio provides Lecturers and adjunct faculty with a solid foundation for staying competitive -- whether you are applying for a new or existing line at SCU or a position at another university.  It’s an invaluable tool for getting the job you want from the job you have: a tangible record that documents your career trajectory as a teacher, providing a platform that allows you to showcase your achievements as well as critically reflect on your evolution over time: what you do well, where you’d like to innovate, and how you’ve made your job your own.

Find examples and resources for developing a portfolio here

The following are some career-building tips specifically for Lecturers and adjunct faculty, focused primarily on creating a portfolio.  While the suggestions below are geared toward faculty evaluations here at SCU, your portfolio will also be a valuable resource should you apply for a position at another university.

CONNECT:  Because departments and schools vary in terms of expectations for teaching, scholarship and service, meet with your chair to find out exactly the criteria on which you will be evaluated.  If you are an AYAL (academic year adjunct lecturer), for example, you will be evaluated primarily on your teaching.  But that doesn’t mean your service, your professional activities, or your scholarship/creative work should go unrecorded. 

Request a class visit from your department or from the Faculty Development program at some point to provide you with developmental feedback as well as evidence of your teaching that goes beyond student evaluations.  You should also discuss with your chair whether your overall evaluation will take class size, multiple preps, and teaching loads into consideration.  Finally, identify your professional goals: have a conversation about where you want your career to go – and how to get there.

It’s also a good idea to build a network of mentors within your department or through Faculty Development for informal feedback on your teaching, ideas on what works and what doesn’t, and, if you are new to the university, the nuances of navigating the quarter system.  It’s a sprint – and a marathon!

COLLECT: Teaching comes first. Especially if you are an AYAL, you are not expected to check all the boxes.  That said, you’ll still want a record of all that you do, and what you’ll find is that it’s probably more extensive than you think.  Organize your evidence and artifacts into three categories: Teaching; Scholarship and Professional Development; Service.  (See Faculty Handbook sections 3.1.2 and 3.4A  for definitions, policies, and procedures for Lecturers and adjunct faculty.)


Multiple sources of teaching excellence might include a combination of the following: course syllabi; student numerical and narrative evaluations; departmental evaluations including developmental feedback from classroom visits; class assignments, activities and exams along with exemplary artifacts of student work; evidence of innovative course design; curriculum development; contribution to the Core curriculum; collaboration with other faculty members; examples of active learning; creative use of technology, from Camino pages to flipped classes to development of online courses; honors, awards and grants; advising, formal or informal, and what your advisees are doing now in terms of graduate school or career.

Note class enrollments, whether your classes were upper or lower division, required or elective, and whether they fulfilled a Core or Pathway requirement. 

Finally, a word about student evaluations (SETs): Faculty can use SET results in self-reflection on their teaching, course planning and redesign, and overall professional development.  SET results, in the context of other indicators of teaching effectiveness, are used by faculty, chairs, and committees to identify teaching strengths and areas needing attention. Take a look at the FAQs on the Student Evaluations of Teaching.See, for example, the suggestions on what you can do to improve your ratings on SET items.  

If your department or college allows you to do so, you may want to write your own questions on narrative evaluations that specifically target your learning objectives.  And you can administer a brief mid-quarter survey addressing what’s going well in the class and what changes would further support learning.  

Scholarship, Creative work and Professional Development:

Expectations in this area differ for Lecturers and adjunct faculty at SCU. Lecturers (renewable term by definition) must demonstrate superior performance in teaching, in service, and in professional activity that is appropriate to the academic discipline or professional field and that contributes to their primary responsibility for teaching. Professional activity refers to scholarly or creative work, professional practice, or other active engagement in a discipline or field that enables a Lecturer to remain current in that area and vital as a teacher. Examples of professional activity include attendance or presentations at conferences, occasional publications that contribute to scholarship or pedagogy in the field, creative work in the arts, and practice in a professional field. (3.4A.1.1). Lecturers are not held to the same standards of scholarship as tenure-track faculty

Expectations in this area vary for adjunct faculty depending on the type of appointment. As an adjunct faculty member, you may not be expected to produce scholarly or creative work on a regular basis.  But if applicable, you should still gather evidence of the following: books; journal articles or chapters; creative work, including artwork, journalism, published essays or op-eds; grant proposals; and presentations at conferences.

While regular scholarship might not be required, professional development is encouraged. (Check with your chair if you are uncertain.) Record evidence of participation in teaching or technology workshops on campus; presentations at workshops on or off campus; attendance at conferences on or off campus or summer seminars; speeches you’ve given; classes you’ve taken that advance your pedagogy or creative field; participation in on-campus writing or research groups; and professional activities related to your discipline.  Be sure to include details about the venues, conference programs, course syllabi, etc.          


Though service expectations vary type of appointment and department or school, you should still record your contributions such as: work on department, university or Faculty Senate committees or task forces; peer evaluation or class visits; new faculty advising or mentoring; program review; leadership positions in any campus committees or programs; or service outside the university related to your profession or discipline.

When making note of your service, be sure to include a quick blurb that defines both the committee or organization and the work you’ve done within it.  Include artifacts where appropriate.

REFLECT:  Here’s your chance to step back and take stock: Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.  Have any trends emerged over time?  Do you see a through-line in your work?  What are your passions – and do they align with your current position? What kinds of pedagogical changes have you made?  Where have you taken risks – and were they successful? Why or why not?  (Note that SCU, like many other universities, appreciates successful classroom innovation.) Have you set specific goals for your teaching or scholarship?  For your career? What resources have you tapped into to meet those goals?  Have there been any extenuating circumstances that have affected your work?

 A solid reflection will help you construct a narrative that tracks your teaching responsibilities, your successes, your growth, your teaching philosophy, your professional goals – and an explanation of what you may have tried for the first time and why it did or didn’t work.             

SELECT: TMI, right?  You’ve probably realized you have more information than you can possibly use. The best plan is to select meaningful and useful materials based on audience and purpose:  Are you building a general website to showcase your work?  Pulling artifacts and evidence for your Faculty Activity Report?  Gathering materials targeted toward a specific job application, reappointment or promotion?

Consider your readers:  Overloading them with information can work against you.  (So can an overdose of jargon or highly technical language.) Eliminate duplications and focus on what you consider your strengths and achievements as well as what your audience most values.  Provide context that helps your readers understand your work by providing explanations, interpretation, documents and solid examples.  An elegant e-portfolio that allows you to organize your work under easy-to-follow tabs and provides links to artifacts – from student work to videos of classroom activities – can be especially valuable.

SCU provides an easy to use site for building a faculty portfolio. If a faculty member leaves the University the SCU Digication account can be transferred to the free/public version of Digication to enable the faculty member to take the portfolio. The Academic Technology team can assist with this process.  Faculty hold copyright on their course materials, portfolios, and eportfolios.



More information on building a teaching portfolio:

Vanderbilt’s guide to Teaching Portfolios

U of Virginia Center for Teaching Excellence (includes examples)

U Illinois Resources on Teaching Portfolios

Ohio State’s guide to Teaching Portfolios

Developing a teaching portfolio in the context of a job search

U Saskatchewan Teaching Portfolios resources, including video presentation, bibliography

R. Edgerton, P. Hutchings, and K. Quinlan, "The Teaching Portfolio: Capturing the Scholarship of Teaching," Publication of the American Association of Higher Education.


Additional resources for career development:

Informal conversations about teaching and their relationship to a formal development program: learning opportunities for novice and mid-career academics

Kate Thomson

International Journal for Academic Development Vol. 20 , Iss. 2,2015

Shifting occupational identity: doing, being, becoming and belonging in the academy ( Higher Education Research & Development

Priscilla Ennals, Tracy Fortune, Anne Williams & Kate D'Cruz


Everyone Complains About Evaluations. A Nobel Laureate Offers an Alternative

Chronicle of Higher Education: By Meg Bernhard June 15, 2015


Advice on Successfully Navigating the Current Academic Job Market

Tomorrow’s Pofessor Postings. Message Number 1368

By Dr. Alvaro Huerta


Do You Need Your Own Website While On The Job Market?

Sept. 8, 2011 Guest post by Jentery Sayers, Phd

Carless, D. (2015). Exploring learning-oriented assessment processes. Higher Education, 69(6), 963-976. doi:10.1007/s10734-014-9816-z



Associate Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs, Amy Shachter

Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Eileen Elrod

Faculty Associate, Faculty Development Program, Barbara Kelley


Go here for funding opportunities.

Depending on your specific appointment type and program, your department, college or school may provide funding to pay student research assistants or to support your participation in professional conferences. Provost grants available for lecturer scholarship include Lecturer Professional Activity Grants and University Research and Teaching Grants

You may be assigned official advisees by your department chair, but you may also be contacted by students who come to you on an ad hoc basis, sometimes when they are in distress. Check in with the Drahmann Center or the Office of Student Life

Where to go, where to eat, how to get here, and where to park.

New faculty resource page
Interactive campus map
Parking: You may find street parking surrounding campus, but most spaces are for limited periods (usually two - four hours) and tickets are expensive. Learn more on parking permits here
Caltrain Schedule: Catch the train right across the street from campus – and grab a coffee on your way.

Stay tuned for quarterly invitations to lecturer "safe space" lunches

Problems? Questions?

Contact or for confidential advice, support or referrals.

Promotion and Reappointment