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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
PRESIDENT’S AD HOC COMMITTEE ON NON-TENURE-TRACK TEACHING FACULTY
Professor Judith Langlois and the members of the President’s ad hoc Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Teaching Faculty submit the following report for discussion by the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 17, 2003. No action will be taken by the Council at that time.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council
Posted on the Faculty Council Web site (http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on March 11, 2003. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
President’s ad hoc Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Teaching Faculty
The primary responsibility of non-tenure-track teaching faculty at The University of Texas at Austin is the enhancement of instruction, although they may also be involved in service, administration, research, or scholarship. Although service in these faculty ranks does not lead to tenure, these faculty are a vital component of the instructional program at The University. Many of these faculty have a long-term commitment to our students and institution. Their teaching is essential to the success of The University's educational mission, especially at the undergraduate level and particularly the lower division. Additionally, they offer unique and important expertise, whether clinical, specialized, or pedagogical, to our students as an important and necessary complement to the strengths of the tenure-track faculty. Their participation, especially at the undergraduate level, helps to meet the staffing demands that tenure-track-faculty alone cannot meet.
While it is recognized that one cadre of non-tenure-track faculty fulfills critical short-term or transitional staffing requirements within departments, another cadre of non-tenure-track faculty is committed to a long-term relationship with The University in fulfilling its educational mission. It is in the context of recognizing the ongoing and great value of such members of our academic community that the committee recommends a more complete and explicit recognition of these individuals, their work, and their careers as fully integrated members of our professional and intellectual community.
Our report primarily addresses the status and career development of these long-term, non-tenure-track faculty. This group of faculty is hereafter identified in the report by the titles Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Distinguished Senior Lecturer. Nothing in this proposal is intended to limit the flexibility of departments in hiring other non-tenure-track faculty, who would have a new title, to meet short term or transitional classroom needs.
The Committee unanimously recommends that The University adopt the following principles with respect to our long-term, non-tenure-track teaching faculty:
1. University policies governing long-term, non-tenure-track teaching faculty should take into account the vastly different circumstances and needs of our diverse departments, schools, and colleges across campus. Nevertheless, there should be campus-wide uniformity of appointment, review, and promotion procedures for long-term, non-tenure track teaching faculty. Thus, although the details of the academic and professional criteria for appointment and review should be left to individual colleges, schools, and departments, The University should establish systematic review procedures to govern merit raises, renewal of contracts, and promotion for long-term, non-tenure-track faculty. The procedures should include, at a minimum, a careful and regular evaluation of teaching and such other assigned duties as are included within the individual’s job description. 1 Review criteria established by the employing units should be documented and made known to long term, non-tenure-track teaching faculty, as should the review procedures established by The University.
2. The University should distinguish between temporary short-term, non-tenure-track teaching faculty and those who have invested themselves in The University and on whom The University depends for specialized and on-going service. The distinction should take two forms:
a. Differentiation in title. The University should designate a separate title (for example, the title Visiting or Interim Lecturer) for faculty for whom there is not necessarily an expectation of recurring, continuous service. Appointments to Visiting Lecturer positions should be time limited and normally should not exceed two consecutive years. These faculty would receive semester-by-semester contracts, as is current practice.
For faculty for whom there is an increased level of commitment to and by the institution, we recommend the following titles: (1) Lecturer, (2) Senior Lecturer, and (3) Distinguished Senior Lecturer.
b. Differentiation in opportunities for promotion and career steps. For faculty with investment in and ongoing service to The University, there should be established a career path with several review and promotion opportunities and with successive career steps. We recommend the following career steps:
Normally, a minimum of a one academic year contract, subject to renewal. For recurring appointments, an annual performance evaluation should be required. In addition, a comprehensive review should be required no later than the third year of service to discuss the quality of performance thus far and expectations for the future. After six years of service, the evaluation would normally include discussion of opportunities and expectations for promotion to Senior Lecturer.
2. Senior Lecturer
Normally, a minimum of a two-year (academic) contract, subject to renewal for recurring appointments. 2 For recurring appointments, the hiring department should have two options:
1 In addition to the evaluation based on the Faculty Annual Report, employing departments should periodically evaluate teaching using a variety of assessments beyond the standard Course Instructor Survey (for example, teaching portfolios, peer observations, grade inflation indices, etc.).
2 In extraordinary circumstances, the Executive Vice President and Provost can approve an exception and permit an appointment of less duration than normal.
The mandatory, comprehensive review for each level that we recommend does not imply mandatory promotion and candidates should realize that promotion is not automatic. Furthermore, there is no “up or out” requirement. Rather, the review should provide clear feedback about the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, information relevant to decisions concerning contract renewal, and information about the likelihood of promotion to a higher rank.
An annual performance evaluation should be required. In addition, a comprehensive review should be required no later than the sixth year of service to discuss the quality of performance thus far and expectations for the future. After 10 years of service in rank, Senior Lecturers may petition to be considered for promotion to Distinguished Senior Lecturer.
(a) A two-year contract, followed by another two-year contract and continuing in this manner with consecutive two-year contracts.
(b) A two-year contract with a "rolling horizon" (i.e., a two-year contract that is extended annually for an additional two-years).
For the initial appointment of a Senior Lecturer who has not previously been a Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin, the hiring department should have the option of offering a one- or two-year (academic) contract. Thereafter, appointment at the rank of Senior Lecturer should be for two years, subject to the options for recurring appointments indicated above.
3. Distinguished Senior Lecturer
Promotion to this rank should be reserved for extraordinary service and performance (as defined by individual units). Normally, a minimum of a three-year (academic) contract, subject to renewal. 2 For recurring appointments, the hiring department should have two options:
An annual performance evaluation should be required. In addition, a comprehensive review should be required no later than the sixth year of service to discuss the quality of performance thus far and expectations for the future.
(a) A three-year contract, followed by another three-year contract and continuing in this manner with consecutive three-year contracts.
(b) A three-year contract with a "rolling horizon" (i.e., a three-year contract that is extended annually for an additional three-years).
For the initial appointment of a Distinguished Senior Lecturer who has not previously been a Lecturer or Senior Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin, the hiring department should have the option of offering a one-year, two-year, or three-year (academic) contract. Thereafter, appointment at the rank of Distinguished Senior Lecturer should be for three years, subject to the options for recurring appointments indicated above.
3. Initial external appointments to the career-track Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Distinguished Senior Lecturer titles should be made as a result of an open recruitment process. To develop a pool of qualified candidates for these positions, departments may satisfy this requirement by posting a general academic position vacancy notice to the University’s academic job search web site. The general vacancy notice allows departments to build, and keep on hand, a pool of potentially qualified
candidates to meet on-going needs. To meet special needs,
departments may find it also helpful to advertise positions in the standard employment venues for the field, in addition to using the local faculty job search site.
Open recruitment should not be required for appointment of current University staff, or re-appointment of individuals previously employed in any of these titles, on either a temporary or ongoing basis.
4. Employing units should provide a written job description stating the duties and criteria for evaluation of each long term, non-tenure-track faculty member. The intent is to ensure that both the employing unit and the faculty member have shared expectations regarding the duties expected and the evaluation criteria upon which continued employment and/or promotion may be considered. The job description may evolve over time, and the weighting of specific duties may change as agreed upon by the employing unit and faculty member. The review of the faculty member should focus on the agreed-upon job description.
5. Promotion in rank should be accompanied by an increase in salary.
6. As is already current policy at The University of Texas at Austin, for those individuals with multi-year appointments, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and (now) Distinguished Senior Lecturers should be appointed 50% time or more so they receive all relevant benefits (health insurance, etc.) unless they specifically request otherwise for personal or family reasons.
7. Inasmuch as long-term, non-tenure-track faculty may already teach unbalanced teaching loads, for the purposes of determining benefits, the work-load should be computed based on the number of courses taught over the period of an entire academic year, rather than in each individual semester, whenever feasible.
8. Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers should be eligible to participate in departmental, school, or college committees in which they have expertise (e.g., curriculum committees, etc.).
9. Eligibility to participate and vote in many aspects of departmental, school/college and General Faculty matters is provided for in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. General Faculty membership and voting status are described in Chapter 1 (Faculty Governance), Section I (General Faculty), Part B (Membership): “Voting members of the General Faculty shall consist of the following: (b). All instructors and lecturers who have had a total of four or more long session semesters of service at these ranks at The University of Texas at Austin.” College/School membership and voting status are set forth in HOP Chapter 1, Section VI (Colleges, Schools, and Departments), Part A (Colleges and Schools): “ (1) Voting members of the college or school faculty are the same as for the General Faculty”; and membership and voting status in departments is provided in Part B (Departments): (1) a faculty member shall have voting status in a department on departmental matters if: (a) he holds a full-time appointment in that department as detailed in the budget and holds the rank of Professor, Visiting Professor, Associate Professor, Visiting Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor or Lecturer.”
Membership on Budget Councils/Executive Committees/Extended Budget Councils is restricted to tenured and tenure-track professorial ranks as described in HOP Chapter 2, Section 8 (Budget Councils). While non-tenure-track faculty may not hold membership on these governing bodies, they are eligible to vote to elect members. By policy, responsibility for setting the intellectual agenda, including evaluating and hiring faculty, and for determining salary matters is vested in the tenured and tenure-track professorial ranks in accordance with the governance mode established in the department.
10. Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Distinguished Senior Lecturer faculty are voting members of the General Faculty and, therefore, are eligible for full membership on The Faculty Council as representatives of their college or school after four or more long session semesters of service.
However, they are not currently eligible for election as “at large” members. The Faculty Council should consider changing the criteria for “at large” membership to allow representation of Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers.
11. Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers should be provided with the means to stay up-to-date in their field, including travel to professional conferences, when appropriate. When sufficient funds are available, Schools/Colleges/Departments should provide opportunities for Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers to compete for funding. Providing funding for Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers to attend conferences in pedagogy is especially encouraged.
12. Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers should be eligible for certain existing teaching awards, and the institution should consider creating new awards to recognize outstanding teaching by Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers.
13. TheUniversity should explore ways to make Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers eligible for course relief to work on course development.
14. Lecturers and Senior Lecturers are already eligible to serve as sole Principal Investigators on grants they write when appropriate and consistent with their job description. Grants on pedagogy and innovations in teaching should be encouraged by employing units.
15 Although the recommendations above mention by name the titles of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Distinguished Senior Lecturer, these recommendations could easily apply to faculty in Clinical faculty titles. Thus, long-term, non-tenure-track faculty in Clinical titles could be eligible for career-path appointments at the discretion of employing units.
16. We recommend that the President create a new committee composed of both current committee members and new members (such as representatives from deans’ and departmental offices) to work with the Office of the Provost to develop and recommend procedures for implementing these principles. Because each academic unit strives to fulfill the University’s mission in its own way, this committee should assist Department Chairs and Deans in developing sample employment contracts, sample review criteria, and sample promotion profiles appropriate for individual units. Moreover, this committee should make recommendations as to how academic units should proceed with regard to determining appropriate titles for current non-tenure track teaching faculty. This committee should be disbanded after appropriate initial adjustments have been made.
17. We recommend that the President charge the Faculty Welfare Committee with monitoring and evaluating the implementation of these recommendations and with recommending further refinements or policies as appropriate.
Judith Langlois, chair
Jim Garrison, Chair, Subcommittee on Peer Institutions and Best Practices
Dorothea Adams, provost's office
Jack Breen, engineering
Ruth Buskirk, natural sciences
Martha Hilley, fine arts
Madeline Sutherland-Meier, liberal arts
Tom Vessely, liberal arts
Barbara White, social work
Mike White, natural sciences
Judith Langlois, liberal arts
Mike Granof, Chair, Subcommittee on Status of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty at UT
Elizabeth Able, nursing
Bill Carlson, natural sciences
Pat Davis, pharmacy
Hilary Hart, engineering
Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, liberal arts
Victoria Rodriquez, LBJ School of Public Affairs and provost's office
Charles Roeckle, fine arts and president's office
Karen Uhlenbeck, natural sciences
Judith Langlois, liberal arts