9 May 2001

To: UO Senate
From: Senate Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of UO Non Tenure Track Instructional Faculty
Re: Report on the Status of UO Non Tenure Track Instructional Faculty

I. The Committee's charge

In fall term 2000 UO Senate President James Earl assembled a Senate ad hoc committee to explore the employment and working conditions of the non tenure track instructional faculty on the UO campus. The committee's brief was:

II. Non Tenure Track Instructional Faculty nationwide

The presence of Non Tenure Track Instructional Faculty (hereafter NTTIF) in higher education is a firmly established fact in every research university, and in many non research institutions of higher education. While non tenure track instructional appointments may have originated as stopgap solutions to fiscal pressures, they have long since become institutionalized. Nevertheless, and deeply problematically, faculty holding such appointments remain without either the compensation, institutional support, or academic freedom of tenure track instructional faculty, or the job security of other regular cadres of employees (classified staff, management, administrators, research associates, etc.) on campus. Indeed, despite an often superlative degree of professionalism, NTTIF faculty colleagues are treated as the disposable portion of the instructional spectrum, with salaries and appointment terms which are intended to be flexible in response to enrollment pressures and enrollment shifts.

A groundswell of concern about the increase in NTTIF, and problems in their compensation and working conditions, has been evident throughout academia in the past several years. This concern culminated in the massive project of disciplinary surveys conducted under the auspices of the Coalition on the Academic Work Force (CAW), whose results were widely published in fall of 2000. CAW is a relatively new organization consisting of 25+ disciplinary and professional organizations in the humanities and social sciences. Its survey project is enormous in scale: just one of the member organizations, the Modern Language Organization (MLA) reports on 1,988 departments of English and Foreign Languages; the two history organizations participating (American Historical Association and Organization of American Historians) report on 270 history departments. Further evidence of a growing national and local awareness of systemic imbalances in tenure-track and non-tenure-track positions is the appearance of organizations (such as the National Adjunct Faculty Guild) and publications (e.g., The Adjunct Advocate) to serve part time and adjunct faculty, and the recourse by local AAUP chapters and conferences to ad hoc surveys of the instructor corps in their own areas. (See Appendix A for documentation and URLs).

The proportion of non tenure track instructional faculty to tenure track instructional faculty has been increasing steadily, as both anecdotal and statistical data show. Nationally, ìthe proportion of history jobs without the possibility of tenure rose from 6.7 percent in the 1980 survey to over 25 percent in the CAW and AHA surveysî (Appendix A/1). The proportion of courses taught by NTTIF to tenure-track faculty has also climbed precipitously: ìExcept in history and art history, full-time, tenure-track professors teach less than half of the introductory courses offered. [...] According to the M.L.A., full-time, tenured or tenure-track professors at doctoral institutions teach only 30.5 percent of English courses and 28.4 percent of foreign-language coursesî (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1 Dec. 2001; Appendix A/2). The CAW surveys only a subset of humanities and social science departments (specifically art history, English, foreign languages, Classics, linguistics, philosophy, history, anthropology, and political science). NTTIF feature across the board, and we should not identify the problem of their differential treatment as affecting only those disciplines which have undertaken self-study to obtain hard data about their use of adjunct and part time faculty.

This report describes the information that the committee has gathered, but the problem is one which must be addressed at many levels, and a single-year ad hoc committeeís study of it is insufficient even to assemble all pertinent information, let alone posit solutions. From the outset, then, the committee recommends further study of the UO NTTIF in 2001-2002, as detailed below (V. B 1 and 2).

III. NTTIF at the UO

Not surprisingly, the number of NNTIF at the UO is significant. The 2000 UO Profile (A/7) identifies 542 full time tenure-track or tenured instructional faculty, and 162 full time NTTIF (including fixed-term, adjunct, and visiting, but excluding research faculty and post-retirement faculty), and 59 part time tenure-track or tenured instructional faculty to 189 part time NTTIF. This committee considers that these numbers represent not an educational problem but a labor issue. In other words, the large number of NTTIF does not mean that the university is shirking its duty to students, because the NTTIF are by and large highly qualified and dedicated. Rather, the problem has to do with conditions of employment, because the university treats different constituencies of its instructional personnel differently.

A. 1990 and 1992 Instructor Committees

In 1988, the Supreme Court of the State of Oregon determined that instructors could not organize a union as a separate class as they were part of the larger class of all faculty. In response to this ruling and to instructor requests for improved status and equity as faculty members, in 1990 then-Provost Norm Wessels chaired the Provost's Committee on Instructors to study instructor issues. The committee was to work on "long-range planning that touches on [instructor] status, working conditions, salaries, and career-development possibilities at the U of O." Recognizing the vital and continuing role of NTTIF at all levels of education at the UO, the provost and his committee proposed a set of conditions for instructors seeking careers at the University of Oregon, stipulating the FTE required for benefits, a three-step instructor rank, policies on termination, departmental responsibilities, and instructor compensation. (See Appendix B for documents extant from that committee's work.)

It is heartening to this committee both that the 1990 group recognized that "Instructors play an important role in undergraduate, graduate, and professional education at the University of Oregon" [Wessels memo, Appendix B/1], and that the UO chapter of the AAUP recognized that they "are concentrated, for the most part, in areas of the University that are at the core of a liberal arts education" [Stockard letter, Appendix B/5]. In other words, the NTTIF are essential, and central. Todayís UO central administration retains that awareness; in 2000 Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs Lorraine Davis urged the current committee to focus its efforts on long-term NTTIF, "the folks who are part of who we are." The committee's efforts in 1990 were geared toward recognizing instructor contributions, clarifying and formalizing career trajectories for them, and enhancing their salaries. 1990, however, was the year of Ballot Measure 5. The environment of increasingly tight budgets and the atmosphere of fiscal uncertainty, as well as key personnel changes, undermined the committee's goals and momentum.

A reconstituted Committee to Consider Instructors did meet and forward a draft proposal, dated 4/15/92, to the President's Office regarding the "Appointment and Promotion of Instructors and Senior Instructors" (this document is Appendix B/6). This committee had no instructors as members. The plan this committee produced was in many ways similar to the 1990 proposals, but no action was taken on it, and current UO policy does not reflect its principal innovations.

B. Policies currently in place:

UO Policy Statement 3.120 Personnel Practices ? Academic "Appointment and Promotion of Instructors and Senior Instructors" (Appendix C) aims to "describe the terms and conditions of appointment, evaluation, promotion, leave privileges, seniority status, and salary adjustments for faculty members with the rank of Instructor and Senior Instructor in tenure-related and non-tenure related positions."

Elements of the 1990 (and later, 1992) committee's proposal which fell by the wayside included the three ranks for NTTIF (Instructor, Senior Instructor, University Instructor), as well as (fortunately) the stipulation for possible termination following evaluation for promotion to the highest rank, University Instructor. This second stipulation was found to be problematic at the time, given that it institutionalized a prejudicially differential treatment for NTTIF from the accepted practice for tenure track faculty (in that an unsuccessful case for promotion to full professor cannot result in termination).

Elements of the earlier proposal which are currently policy but which have not been regularly or uniformly implemented, and about which considerable confusion exists, include the eligibility for NTTIF for "salary adjustments at the same time all other faculty members are considered for salary adjustments" and for "consideration for sabbatical leave" (UO Policy Statement 3.120). There is variation among departments in the criteria applied for salary increases (COLA? merit? and if merit, on what bases?). There is uncertainty about the real access of instructors to sabbatical leave, and the criteria for awarding it. If NTTIF have a heavier teaching load to offset limited expectations of research productivity, and sabbaticals are overwhelmingly granted to pursue a research project, on what basis do NTTIF qualify for sabbaticals for which the present UO personnel policy assures them they are eligible? These are only two of many issues which require university-wide clarification, even when the results may legitimately vary from department to department.

IV. Data on NTTIF at UO

A. Information obtained

The 2000-2001 committee wished to determine the numbers of fixed-term instructors employed on the UO campus; their breakdown across units; their FTE; and their salaries. While obtaining these data seems straightforward, it is not. A variety of sources contributed to compiling the information we currently have, but that information is necessarily difficult to collate and in some cases contradictory.1

Resource Management provided for the 2000-2001 committee three different sets of data (Appendix D):
Document 1: Oct. 2000 Headcount of Tenure Status by Division and Faculty Type (including faculty with appointment percentages less than 50%)
Document 2: Oct. 2000 List of Fixed Term Faculty by Area (including full and part time appointments)
Document 3: Nov. 2000 Salary Increases by Tenure Status and Division (includes all full time faculty who have appointment percentages greater than or equal to 90%)

Resource Management declared itself unable to provide faculty salary information on an individual basis, although since that information is a matter of public record and available in the library, we were able to obtain salary and FTE information on the 696 fixed term faculty identified in Document B. Moreover, the Unclassified Listing by Department (used by the Committee on Committees in making committee assignments) lists UO faculty by academic unit, further broken down into appointment type, tenure status, rank, and title, among other categories, allowing a rough assessment of the percentage of NTTIF to tenure track faculty within departments.

B. Information still needed

1. Information the 2000-2001 committee has yet to assemble includes all formal departmental policies on NTTIF, to the extent that these exist. (In many departments matters touching NTTIF are apparently handled on an ad hoc basis, without a regular and transparent set of policies to fall back on.) Such documents should include criteria and procedures for hiring, appointment terms, course load, evaluation, promotion, salary increases, and termination. This information should be requested from department heads, collated, and evaluated for conformity with UO policy.

In addition, the 2000-2001 committee did not have the personnel or the expertise to solicit from the NTTIF, in a systematic way, a full spectrum of information regarding work conditions broadly construed. Salary is an essential ingredient in equitable treatment of instructional faculty; however, while many other issues are as relevant, they are much more difficult to ascertain. These include course load; performance expectations; office space; computer access; access to telephone, copy machine, support staff; service expectations at the departmental, college, and university levels; input into departmental policy; professional and research support; and a host of others. The committee recommends that a professional survey be commissioned to determine the NTTIF's working conditions, and to see where the UO is succeeding, and where it is failing, to help them perform their duties.

V. Recommendations

A. Continued study:

1. Creation of a standing university Committee on the Status of Non Tenure Track Instructional Faculty, analogous to the Committee on the Status of Women. This committee should include NTTIF, tenure track faculty, and administration at the highest level, since it is clear that the situation of NTTIF requires systemic, systematic, and serious examination.

2. Failing such a standing committee, then at the very least this Senate ad hoc committee should continue to function in 2001-2002. The task of the committee clearly requires further information gathering and consultation.

B. Survey of departments with an eye to clarifying NTTIF duties, evaluation procedures, etc.

1. The committee charged with continuing to investigate the working conditions of NTTIF at the UO should circulate an informal survey of department heads, soliciting information on the NTT instructional corps and the terms of their employment within each department. This committee has drafted a first version of such an instrument, based on other surveys of NTTIF elsewhere (see Appendix E/1).

2. The committee charged with continuing to investigate the working conditions of NTTIF at the UO should request all colleges to collect and collate all departmental policies, where existing, on NTTIF, and to relay them to the committee.

C. Survey of UO NTTIF

As noted above, the committee recommends that a professional survey be commissioned to determine the NTTIF's working conditions, and to see where the UO is succeeding, and where it is failing, to help them perform their duties. This committee has drafted a first version of such an instrument, adapting the OHIO CONFERENCE AAUP Part-Time Faculty Survey (see Appendix F/1).

D. Recommendation

This Committee recommends that the ad hoc and de facto two-tier system of instructional faculty at the UO be scrutinized and improved in light of the data the above recommendations propose gathering. Our goal as an institution of higher education must be to provide maximum fairness, transparency, and consistency in the policies on compensation, institutional support, academic freedom, recognition, and job security which touch all instructional faculty.

F. Regina Psaki, Romance Languages, Chair; Susan Fagan, English; Wayne Gottshall, Romance Languages; Jim Long, Chemistry; Harry Wonham, English; Jim Earl, English and UO Senate President (ex officio).

Index of Appendices (click to access)

Appendix A: URLs with documentation on CAW NTTIF survey
1. article by Robert B. Townsend, Perspectives, Oct. 2000. ìPart-Time Faculty Surveys Highlight Disturbing Trendsî
2. article by Ana Maria Cox, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 1, 2000
ìStudy Shows Colleges' Dependence on Their Part-Time Instructors; Report Documents the Low Pay and Lack of Benefits for Those Off the Tenure Trackî
3. web page The National Adjunct Faculty Guild: The National Professional Association for Adjunct, Part-Time, Full-Time Temporary & Visiting College Faculty
4. The Ohio Conference AAUP Part-Time Faculty Survey
5. The American Historical Association web page, containing summary of CAW survey on history departments
6. The Modern Language Association web page, containing results of MLA survey of staffing in English and foreign language departments, Fall 1999
7. Teaching Faculty Statistics ? by area (2000 Univ. of Oregon Profile, p. 24)
8. Statement of Purpose: Coalition on the Academic Workforce

Appendix B:
Document 1: May 8, 1990, memo from Norman K. Wessels, Provost to Myles Brand, President, re: Instructor Appointments and Career Path
Document 2: Oct. 15, 1990, memo from Norman K. Wessels, Provost to Instructor Committee Members
Document 3: Nov. 7, 1990, memo from Lorraine G. Davis, Vice Provost for Academic Personnel, to Instructor Committee members with draft on Non Tenure Related Instructor Appointments and Career Path
Document 4: Draft on Non Tenure Related Instructor Appointments and Career Path, revised 11/19/90
Document 5: Nov. 26, 1990 letter from UO AAUP chapter president Jean Stockard regarding
draft on Non Tenure Related Instructor Appointments and Career Path
Document 6: 4/15/1992 Draft on revisions to UO Policy Statement 3.120 ? Academic

Appendix C: University of Oregon Policy Statement 3.120, Personnel Practices ? Academic. Title: Appointment and Promotion of Instructors and Senior Instructors

Appendix D: Data provided to the 2000-2001 committee by Resource Management
Document 1: Oct. 2000 Headcount of Tenure Status by Division and Faculty Type (including faculty with appointment percentages less than 50%)
Document 2: Oct. 2000 List of Fixed Term Faculty by Area (including full and part time appointments)
Document 3: Nov. 2000 Salary Increases by Tenure Status and Division (includes all full time faculty who have appointment percentages grater than or equal to 90%)

Appendix E: drafts of surveys for NTTIF and for department heads
Document 1: draft of direct survey to NTTIF based on OHIO CONFERENCE AAUP Part-Time Faculty Survey
Document 2: draft of questionnaire for UO department heads

1 Document D/1, for example, yields a figure of 78 NTTIF in CAS; Document D/2 yields 92. Similarly, Document D/1 reports 27 NTTIF in the School of Music; Document D/2 reports 32. In absolute terms the numbers are small, but clearly different criteria are being applied to obtain them, and we need to clarify what they are.

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