Community Faculty Status                     

Metropolitan State University may appoint community faculty to teach up to ten (10) credits per academic year. Community faculty who teach more than three (3) semester credits or one (1) class per year (even if the classes total less than three credits) are included in the Inter Faculty Organization (IFO) bargaining unit and are covered by the IFO / MnSCU Agreement (even if they also belong to another bargaining unit).


The IFO has bargained successfully for pay raises for community faculty that equal or exceed the percent increases for full time and part time (fixed term, tenure track and tenured) resident faculty in the last several rounds of collective bargaining with MnSCU.

Class Instruction

  • For the 2015-2016 academic year, community faculty must be paid no less than $1,379 per class credit.  (The previous minimum rate was $1,349 per class credit) [Art. 11, Sec M] 
  • For the 2016-2017 academic year, community faculty must be paid no less than $1,426 per class credit. [Art. 11, Sec M] 
  • A graduate multiplier applies to compensation for graduate courses including online graduate courses. For compensation purposes, a three (3) credit graduate course is equivalent to a four (4) credit undergraduate course, and a four (4) credit graduate course is equivalent to a five (5) credit undergraduate course. All other graduate courses are paid at a rate of one and one quarter (1.25) undergraduate credits for each graduate credit of instruction. This means that community faculty who teach a 3 credit graduate course will be paid the equivalent of 4 credits of instruction. [Art. 10, Sec. A, Subd. 1(a)]

Compensation for non-class instruction and course development 

  • The IFO MnSCU Agreement provides for the following minimum rates for non-class instruction duties [Art. 10, Sec. J, Subd. 3.c]:
  • Internship supervision - $41.25 per credit per student
  • Faculty-designed independent study - $30.00 per credit per student
  • Student-designed independent study - $37.50 per credit per student
  • Assessment of prior learning - $35 per credit requested
  • Teaching workshops

3 – 5 hours -  $15 per student

  5+ hours - $22 per student

  • During the 2016-2017 academic year, community faculty may be compensated for online course development, based on the number of credits of the course developed, for the development of both fully online and hybrid courses. This includes compensation for the conversion of existing approved courses to a fully online or hybrid courses.
  • For more information on online course development, contact Faculty Association Community Faculty Representative Fred (Trihn) Carpenter.

 Teaching Workloads

  • The workload for community faculty members may not exceed ten (10) credits per academic year (i.e. fall semester through spring semester). During summer session, workload may not exceed sixteen (16) credits. [Art. 10, Sec. J, Subd. 2; Art. 13, Sec. A] 
  •  If a community faculty member teaches more than ten (10) credits during a single academic year, the faculty member’s status changes from community to fixed term faculty and the individual’s pay will be supplemented to provide for full pro rata pay for the entire year based upon placement on the appropriate step in the salary schedule. [Art. 11, Sec. J]

 Professional Growth and Evaluation

The IFO MnSCU Agreement provides for professional development, training opportunities and periodic evaluation for community faculty. [Art. 10, Sec. J, Subds. 4 and 6]

Professional Improvement Grants

  • Community faculty are eligible to apply for professional improvement grants. The IFO / MnSCU Agreement provides $12,500 each year to fund professional improvement grants for community faculty.
  • To access the grant application online, faculty need to enter the Metropolitan portal:
    • Forms
    • Academic
    • Professional Development Grant Request
  • For more information on professional improvement grants, contact Faculty Association Community Faculty Representative Fred (Trihn) Carpenter.

Professional Development and Training

  • Fall and spring semester faculty workshops provide professional development opportunities targeted for community faculty.
  • During the 2016-2017 academic year, community faculty have an opportunity to receive online teaching training and online course development training, and are eligible to be compensated for their attendance.
    • Evaluation
    • Community faculty submit progress reports after their first year of employment at Metropolitan State University and biennially thereafter, in order to demonstrate their ability to teach effectively. The supervising dean will make community faculty progress reports available to relevant departments for use in reappointment recommendations and decisions.  [Art. 10, Sec. J, Subd. 6(a); Art. 22, Secs C and F]

Tuition Waiver Benefits

Employee benefit

  • Community faculty are entitled to tuition waiver benefits equaling the number of credit hours taught.  For purposes of tuition waiver, the applicable year begins on the first day of fall semester and ends the day before the succeeding fall semester. For example, if a community faculty member is assigned to teach 10 credits during the academic year and another 6 credits during the following summer, they would be entitled to up to 16 credits of tuition waiver to be used during that same period.
  • Tuition waiver benefits may be used to cover tuition and fees (other than laboratory and special courses fees) for undergraduate or graduate courses, including doctoral courses at any of the MnSCU four-year universities - not just at Metropolitan State University.

Tuition waiver for spouses and dependents

  • A faculty member’s spouse or dependent children may use any portion of the tuition waiver benefit not used by the faculty member, at any of the MnSCU four-year universities; however, the benefit covers tuition only (not fees) for spouses and dependents. [Art. 27, Sec. G]

Tuition Waiver Application Process

  • The tuition waiver application process is online. To access the application you will need your ID, password, and home institution information.
  • The waiver application can also be accessed through the Metropolitan portal: 
    • Forms
    • Human Resources
    • Other Documents
    • Tuition Waiver Online Application
  • The tuition waiver application must be completed no later than ten (10) days following the start of the course for which the benefits are sought.  
  • For more information about the application process, contact Nancy Moritz, Office of Human Resources, 651-793-1277 or  

 Leave Benefits

Sick leave

  • Community faculty will be allowed to miss all or part of two class days each semester for illness or disability for themselves or their immediate family without loss of pay. For purposes of such sick leave, "immediate family" includes spouse, siblings, children (including adopted, step, foster and adult children), wards, grandchildren, grandparents, parents, stepparents, or parents of the spouse, or any individual who regularly resides in the community faculty member's household. Unused sick leave does not carry over. Community faculty should contact their department chair if they need to use sick leave. [Art. 17, Sec. A, Subd. 10]

Bereavement leave

  • Community faculty may be absent from class for up to 5 days without loss in pay in the case of a death in the immediate family, including siblings, children, wards, grandchildren, grandparents, parents or parents of the spouse, or any individual who regularly resides in the community faculty member's household. Bereavement leave for immediate family, an individual who regularly resides in the household, and for parents of a spouse will not be deducted from sick leave. If community faculty need to be absent from class in the case of the death of other relatives of a spouse, the absences will be deducted from sick leave, however, community faculty may use any accrued unused sick leave if needed for this purpose. [Art. 17, Sec. B]

Personal leave

  • Community faculty are entitled to up to one day of paid emergency/personal leave per semester for situations not covered by other provisions of the Agreement that necessitate the community faculty member’s absence from class. [Art. 17, Sec. E]

 Retirement Benefits

Pension Contributions

  • Community faculty who work at least twenty five percent (25%) time in an academic year (i.e., 6 credits) become eligible for pension benefits. Once eligible, faculty members are automatically enrolled in a self-directed defined contribution Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP) through TIAA. Under IRAP, the community faculty member will contribute 4.5% of salary and the employer will contribute 6% of the employee’s salary to the faculty member’s retirement account.
  • Faculty members have up to one year from their date of eligibility to elect to switch to the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) plan, a defined benefit plan, as their main retirement program.  Under the TRA plan, the employer and employee will both contribute 7.5% of salary to the retirement plan and benefits will vest after three years of contributions.
  • Once faculty members qualify they will continue to accrue pension benefits even if they fall below the initial qualifying threshold of six credits in subsequent years.
  • Regardless of the number of credits they teach, community faculty are also eligible for two voluntary tax sheltered savings programs accomplished through payroll deductions.  

 Tax Sheltered Annuity Program (the 403(b) Plan) for MnSCU employees

  • Employees under the age of 50 may deduct up to $18,000 per calendar year.
  • Employees age 50 and over may deduct up to $24,000 per year.
  • Subject to these limits, employees may deduct up to 100% of their MnSCU pay per year. 

State Deferred Compensation Program (the 457 Plan) for all State employees

  • Employees under the age of 50 may deduct up to $18,000 per calendar year.
  • Employees age 50 and over may deduct up to $24,000 per year.
  • Subject to these limits, employees may deduct up to 100% of their pay from the State of Minnesota per year.

For 2016, the maximum that can be tax sheltered by participating in both programs is $36,000; and $48,000 for faculty age 50 and over.

  • For more information about faculty retirement benefits, community faculty may contact Richard Kaspari at, or click on the “Retirement/Health Care” link on the IFO website.

 Severance Pay

  • Community faculty members who accrued sick leave before May 24, 2013 may be eligible for severance pay.  Once community faculty reach the requisite years of service to be eligible for severance - 20 years of service or 10 years of service if years of service and age equal 68 - community faculty may claim their severance payment at the end of any semester of employment.  Severance pay is based on a “daily rate of pay” that is calculated by multiplying the most recent dollar amount per credit the community faculty member received for teaching courses at the time they claim severance, by 24 credits, and dividing by 168 duty days. The community faculty member’s daily rate of pay is then multiplied by 40% of the number of accrued unused sick days the community faculty member has at that time (and by 45% to 50% of the number of accrued unused sick days if the community faculty member has 25 or more years of service). [Art. 16, Secs. A & B]
  • Severance payments that are $500 or more will be deposited into a tax-free individual Health Care Savings Plan. Severance amounts that are less than $500 will be paid as a lump sum to the faculty member. [Art. 16 Sec. E, Subd. 2]
  • Community faculty members may be re-employed after they receive severance pay.

Insurance Benefits

Health and Dental coverage

  • Community faculty members are not normally eligible for insurance benefits. However, community faculty who have separate teaching appointments at two or more MnSCU institutions are eligible to participate in the State Employee Group Insurance Program (“SEGIP”) if they work a combined total of at least fifty percent (50%) FTE during an academic year (i.e. fall through spring semester.)   To be eligible for insurance benefits based on multiple appointments, a faculty member must report all appointments to the human resources office for each reporting institution. [Art. 35, Sec. B, Subds. 1 & 2(e)]

Expense Reimbursement Accounts and Optional coverages

  •  Faculty who are insurance eligible based on multiple teaching appointments at MnSCU institutions are also eligible to participate in health and dental expense account and dependent care expense account plans, and to purchase optional life and disability coverage if they are SEGIP insurance eligible. [Art. 11, Secs. G & H; Art. 35, Sec. G]

 Union Membership

The IFO represents all faculty included in the bargaining unit whether they are full members or just pay fair share fees, however, only IFO members may vote on the IFO contract, run for union office and serve as a delegate for the biennial delegate assembly.  Contact IFO Controller Donna Blake or Metropolitan State University Faculty Association President August Hoffman for membership information.