AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) COMPLIANCE FOR ADJUNCT FACULTY March 1, 2014
Assignment of FTE for appointments of adjunct faculty
To be compliant with ACA, IU needs a defensible and justifiable standard for the calculation of hours worked for each class credit hour taught. A single standard across all campuses of the University is necessary because we are a single legal entity and cannot simultaneously offer different standards to the IRS for the same activity.
Certain definitions and/or considerations discussed by the task force offer a useful background leading to our recommendation:
• The amount of FTE associated with each class is determined by the number of standard hours of the appointment. One standard hour equals .025 FTE (1/40).
• The Affordable Care Act specifies that an employee working 30 hours per week or more is “full-time” and therefore eligible for health care coverage according to the Act’s provisions. The full-time equivalent (FTE) of 30 hours per week is .75 (=30/40).
• IU’s policy on adjunct appointments states that FTE for one person may not exceed .69 in a given term.
• Current practices for assigning FTE to class sections range from .20 per three-credit class up to the theoretical maximum of .69, per the policy.
• Differences in the numbers of students in a class; the class level; the presence or absence of graduate assistants, graders, or others; the discipline involved; and others can cause the hours worked to be greater than the University standard minimum. The desire to compensate an adjunct faculty member more by itself, not supported by other considerations, should not influence the assignment of FTE to a class.
University Standard for Adjunct Instructors
Adjunct faculty may not work more than 29 hours per week on average during any term (spring, fall, or summer).
The University’s minimum standard hours per 1 credit-hour will be 3. This standard applies to fall and spring (16 week) terms and equates to .075 FTE. Therefore, a 3 credit hour class would represent 9 standard hours or .225 FTE. An adjunct faculty may teach a maximum of 9 credit hours per semester.
In the shorter summer (12 week) term, the University’s minimum standard hours per 1 credit-hour will be 4. While there are small variations in the total length of the summer term across campuses, this standard will be applied to all campuses and also allows for varying length courses. Therefore, a 3 credit-hour class would represent 12 standard hours or .300 FTE. An adjunct faculty may teach a maximum of 6 credit hours in the summer. This standard also accommodates 4- and 5-credit hour courses.
The standards above cover instructional time as well as preparation, office hours and other ancillary activities such as curricular meetings. Any additional (hourly) supplemental pay must be added into the total.
Note: With appropriate approvals, FTE/standard hours may be set at a higher level per credit hour to acknowledge an increased time commitment, e.g., unusually large class size, but not merely to increase pay.