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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF NON-TENURE-TRACK FACULTY

On behalf of the Implementation Committee on the Status of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty, Dr. Hillary Hart (civil engineering and committee chair) submitted the following November 4, 2005, report on recommendations based on the 2002 Final Report of the President's ad hoc Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Teaching Faculty (D 2488-2493, chair, Judith Langlois).

The secretary has classified this report as general legislation. The Faculty Council will discuss the recommendations at its meeting on December 12, 2005.


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The Faculty Council


The report from the committee was distributed through the Faculty Council web site on December 9, 2005. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.
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RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE ON THE STATUS OF NON-TENURE-TRACK 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 members are a vital component of the instructional program at the University. Many 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, some 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 employment helps to meet the staffing demands that tenure-track-faculty alone cannot meet, especially at the undergraduate level.

While it is recognized that some non-tenure-track faculty members fulfill critical short-term or transitional staffing requirements within departments, others are engaged in a longer-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.

This report of the 2005 Implementation Committee 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 to meet short term or transitional classroom needs.

Provost Ekland Olson formed the Implementation Committee in spring of 2005 as fulfillment of principle sixteen of the 2002 Langlois report. The committee was composed of two University of Texas deans – Richard Lariviere (liberal arts) and Mary Ann Rankin (natural sciences) – and four members of the Faculty Welfare Committee: Hillary Hart (engineering, committee chair), Martha Hilley (fine arts), Doug Burger (natural sciences), and Elizabeth Abel (nursing). This committee worked with Provost Ekland-Olson to refine and clarify the principles espoused in the Langlois report. Those principles had been presented to The University of Texas deans and faculty on several occasions in 2002-2003. In this updated report, certain of those principles have been left out for various reasons. (As enumerated in the Final Report of the ad hoc Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Teaching Faculty, these are the concluding sentences of principle 1, principle 2.a, principle 4, principle 9, and concluding sentence of principle 10.)  The provost is urged to work with the deans and the Faculty Welfare Committee on those items named in principle 10 of this report and on other details such as the implementation of new faculty titles. To aid in the implementation of all of the following recommendations, the provost should also work with the Office of Human Resource Services and the Office of Legal Affairs, as appropriate.

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 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.

2. 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:


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a. Lecturer

Normally, if a department can foresee requiring the teaching services of a lecturer for a full year or more, this title would warrant a minimum of a one academic year contract, subject to renewal.  For recurring appointments, an annual performance evaluation should be done by the chairman/director of the academic unit or his/her representative.  In addition, a comprehensive review should be performed at the end of 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.

b. Senior Lecturer

Normally, if a department can foresee requiring the teaching services of a senior lecturer for two years or more, this title would warrant a minimum of a two-year (academic) contract, subject to renewal for recurring appointments.1 For such recurring appointments, the hiring department should have two options:


(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).


An annual performance evaluation should be done by the chairman/director of the academic unit or his/her representative. 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.

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 may be for two years, subject to the needs of the unit and options for recurring appointments indicated above.

c. Distinguished Senior Lecturer

Promotion to this rank should be reserved for extraordinary service and performance (as defined by individual units). Normally, if a department can foresee requiring the teaching services of a distinguished senior lecturer for three years or more, this title would warrant a minimum of a three-year (academic) contract, subject to renewal.1   For recurring appointments, the hiring department should have two options:

(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).


An annual performance evaluation should be required. In addition, a comprehensive review should be done by the chairman/director of the academic unit or his/her representative at the end of the sixth year of service to discuss the quality of performance thus far and expectations for the future.

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


1 In extraordinary circumstances, the executive vice president and provost can approve an exception and permit an appointment of less duration than normal.

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  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 needs of the unit and the options for recurring appointments indicated above.

The recommended comprehensive review for each level 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.

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 unless there is a compelling institutional reason to make an offer to a targeted individual. 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. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. The University should explore ways to make Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers eligible for course relief to work on course development.

8. Although the recommendations above and below 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.

9. Consistent with principle 17 of the Langlois report, 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.

10. The Faculty Welfare Committee should continue to work with the provost on the possibility of reframing certain items in the Langlois principles omitted from this report:  namely, performance review, job descriptions, and voting rights for non-tenure-track faculty.  The few other items not included in this report were deemed too unwieldy, with too many variables across campus, to be effectively addressed here.

In addition to the ten principles above, the committee recommends that the University find ways to publicize these currently existing policies:


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11. Promotion in rank should be accompanied by an increase in salary. The University has already identified funding for a promotion raise policy parallel to that for tenured and tenure-track faculty.  The University continues to look for funding to encourage professional development and travel to professional meetings.

12. Whenever possible, as is already current policy at The University of Texas at Austin, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and (now) Distinguished Senior Lecturer multi-year appointments should be for 50% time or more to ensure all relevant benefits (health insurance, etc.) to these individuals unless they specifically request otherwise for personal or family reasons.

13. Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers are and should be eligible to participate in departmental, school, or college committees in which they have expertise (e.g., curriculum committees, etc.).

14. 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.

15. Sr. Lecturers are eligible to apply for a University travel grant.

16. With approval by the vice-president for research or his/her representative, Lecturers and Senior Lecturers may already serve as sole Principal Investigators on grants they write. Grants on pedagogy and innovations in teaching should be encouraged by employing units.