May 2005 report to the University Senate by the Committee on the Status of Nontenure-track Instructional Faculty
Kassia Dellabough, chair
Bob Bussel, LERC; Georgeanne Cooper, ALS; Robert Davis, Romance Languages; Alison Evans, American English Institute; Carl Stiefbold, Biology; Rick Troxel, Human Physiology ; Holly Arrow, Psychology; Leslie Hall, Sociology; Julie Novkov, Political Science.
Ex Officios Russ Tomlin & Gwen Steigelman, designees of Academic Vice President L. Davis
Based upon the recommendations from each year, culminating in the 2004 committee report, this year the committee focused on policy implementation activities. To that end the committee worked to distill the policy recommendations into a set of principles and synthesize the survey findings into a NTTIF Statistical Portrait for dissemination and discussion.
General Findings from 2004 report:
* The Need for a Well-Informed and Integrated Instructional Faculty
* The Need for an Institution-Wide Approach and ``Best Practices"
* Creating Better Jobs for a More Effective Instructional Faculty
* Moving Toward Greater Fairness and Equity in Compensation
* Creating a Culture of Inclusion and Respect
The 2004-2005 NTTIF committee set forth the following two documents:
In recognition of Non-tenure Track Instructional Faculty (NTTIF) at the University of Oregon (UO) as a distinct group of employees, the University endorses the following principles:
UO includes and respects NTTIF as integral members of the instructional mission of the institution.
UO provides clear written policies and procedures on hiring, terms of employment, evaluation, and professional development of NTTIF.
UO at all levels of leadership is committed to providing positive working conditions for NTTIF.
UO NTTIF receives compensation commensurate with the quality of performance of their duties and the responsibilities of their appointments.
UO supports the development of best practice recommendations through collaborative efforts between Academic Affairs, schools, departments and the NTTIF committee.
University of Oregon Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty:
A Statistical Portrait
from the 2003 Survey
· 44.5 percent of UO instructional faculty are NTTIF.
· 42 percent of NTTIF have taught at UO longer than 7 years, and 69 percent for 3 or more years.
· 52 percent of NTTIF teach 17 or more credit hours per year.
· 61 percent of NTTIF surveyed report an FTE of .5 or higher.
§ 48 percent of NTTIF are not satisfied with their level of job security.
§ Only 30 percent believe their years of service are recognized when job reappointments are made.
§ 37 percent would accept a larger teaching assignment if it were available.
· 54 percent of NTTIF rely on UO salary for 80-100 percent of their personal income. An additional 24 percent count on UO salary for 41-80 percent of their income.
· Over 50 percent of NTTIF report no negotiation in the determination of their initial salary.
· 7 departments of those surveyed out of total of 41 had written policies on NTTIF.
· 31 departments had no written policies (remaining departments in survey did not respond).
· Only 31 percent of NTTIF believe they have a voice in departmental decision-making.
· Only 34 percent felt encouraged to develop new courses.
· 46 percent report being invited to department meetings either occasionally or not at all.
Sources: May 2002 Report, Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on the Status of Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty, NTTIF Survey Report, 2003, May 2004 Report, Committee on the Status of Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty
Note: Data does not include Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTFs).
Sources can be accessed at http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dircom/NTTIF.html.
Summary of 2004-2005 activities:
Members of the committee met with department heads and deans. These activities catalyzed the formation of an Academic Affairs NTTIF Implementation Group headed up by Russ Tomlin, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. This group includes deans, department heads and NTTIF, and is charged to review the policy recommendations and implementation process. The group has already initiated discussions to clarify issues related to implementation and where appropriate will prescribe concrete implementation efforts. The group will submit a progress report June 15, 2005 to Lorraine Davis. Three members of the current NTTIF committee sit on this group meeting as liaisons.
The NTTIF committee has also initiated activities to continue soliciting input from NTTIF campus-wide through a Blackboard web site (currently has 57 members) and the upcoming Second Annual Town Hall meeting to be held May 18 from 3:30-4:30 in Lillis Hall. This meeting will also be video taped and offered on-line to those who cannot attend.
2004-2005 NTTIF activities campus-wide:
I. That the committee continues as NTTIF advocate in collaboration with the work generated from the NTTIF Implementation Group from Academic Affairs as well as school initiated NTTIF groups to establish standard policies and procedures across departments and programs wherever possible.
II. That the committee continue to proactively engage NTTIF campus-wide; soliciting input for developing models of “best practices” and serving as a resource for NTTIF through annual town hall meetings, web sites and other regular information meetings
III. A system to monitor and track NTTIF salary compensation should be developed and aligned with the 2004 committee report on Salary Compensation.
Historic Overview of NTTIF Committee work
A. The Committee’s first recommendation is that the UO engage actively and deliberately with this issue at all levels. Although the NTTIF is a large and productive group at the UO, comprising 497 of the 1354 faculty members here in March 2002, no central group or unit is gathering and disseminating information on them, trying to influence policy and public opinion on nontenure-track status for instructional faculty, or trying to advocate or serve as a resource for the NTTIF. In light of this fact the Committee urges the following:
1. That the UO Senate create a standing university committee on the status of nontenure-track, instructional faculty. This committee should include NTTIF, tenure-track faculty, and administration at the highest level, since the situation of NTTIF clearly requires systemic, systematic, and serious examination. The UO as a whole will benefit from the work of a standing committee in reviewing UO policy on NTTIF. The motion to form a standing committee is included as Appendix 12.
2. That the UO administration prioritize the work of this committee so that all parties cooperate with it and facilitate its endeavors. The ad hoc committee recognizes the cooperation and help of Resource Management and the many colleagues who provided prompt and complete information on their units’ policies and practices. Even more must be done. At this point many public universities are required to publish information which the UO does not even track – for example, on percentages of courses taught by NTTIF.
3. That all units should formulate clear, realistic, and fair policies setting out the terms of employment of NTTIF. The existence of published policies will reduce uncertainty for the NTTIF and allow for discussion and adaptation of any elements found to be problematic. It will also reduce the chance that the UO will be subject to complaints or filings for arbitrary or discriminatory treatment, and such policies can aid in the defense of any such claims. Employers at the UO who hire NTTIF will benefit from models of best-practice and more standardized policies, and following published policies should help protect the UO from liability for arbitrary or other unfair treatment.
B. Survey of UO NTTIF: As noted above, the committee recommends that a professional survey be conducted 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 information must then be acted on, not warehoused.
C. This committee recommends that the ad hoc and de facto two-tier system of instructional faculty at the UO be recognized as such and receive ongoing institutional attention. Its members insist on the need to monitor and advocate for NTTIF, who often do not feel themselves to be in a position to do so.
1. The University of Oregon should move to establish guidelines and policies that address the AAUP’s recommendation regarding the percent of instruction performed by NTTIF and for giving NTTIF stability and professional recognition when hired on a long-term basis (see II and III, above); in both cases, this process will require extensive participation by relevant University committees and the University Senate, and faculty input from both the tenured and NTTIF ranks. The results of this effort at the University level should be published in the Faculty Handbook, which should be updated regularly.
2. The committee should work in conjunction with the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to provide “best practice” models that departments can reference. Departments should be given deadlines to develop written guidelines and policy statements; once developed, these guidelines and policies should be available on-line, in departmental offices, and in the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
3. A process to monitor and track salaries for NTTIF as for TTF should be established to make sure the goal for UO NTTIF salaries and total compensation follows the same percentile as for TTF, that is, 95% of parity of comparator institutions. Salary compression for long-term NTTIF has also become a problem that should be addressed. The Status of the NTTIF Committee and the Senate Budget Committee should work together to prepare a “white paper” for the NTTIF similar to the 15 March 2000 White Paper for TTF.
4. An NTTIF advocate or ombudsman could help increase communication and community among members of the NTTIF, help point NTTIF towards campus resources, and act as a repository of knowledge regarding UO NTTIF policies and employment rights. Given the current budget situation, if an ombudsman cannot be appointed, this duty might be performed by selected faculty members across the campus. Future NTTIF Committee membership could be selected by drawing on faculty would who be willing to take on these responsibilities.
5. Following the analysis of data obtained from the Winter Term, 2003, survey of UO NTTIF, this committee should present recommendations regarding goals and policies to the Senate and hold public hearings on those recommendations.
II. SPECIFIC POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS HIRING PRACTICES
All departments and units should have comprehensive, published policies detailing their NTTIF hiring practices. Such policies should, at minimum, include the following elements:
1. Advertising of Positions. All departments should have written policies on the advertising of positions, including: a) advertising to increase the diversity of the applicant pool, b) target dates for announcements to guarantee ample notice of openings and course preparation time for instructors.
2. Orientation to Department. All NTTIF should receive a comprehensive orientation to the policies and procedures of the department or unit; a written version of policies and procedures should be made available to all NTTIF.
3. Description of duties. All appointments, including part-time appointments, should have a description of the specific professional duties required. Complex institutions may require multiple models of faculty appointments consistent with the diverse contributions appropriate to the institution's needs.
4. Evaluation and Promotion. NTTIF job performance should be evaluated in a manner comparable to the evaluation of TTF; if hired for multiple years, NTTIF should be subject to a probationary period at the end of which they are eligible for seniority status.
5. Link Evaluation to Professional Development Opportunities. Decisions on compensation, promotion, and reappointment should be based on the specified duties of the position. The regular evaluation process should be clearly linked to the possibility of salary increase, contract extension, change in job title, and other possibilities for professional development and support.
6. Implement Seniority Policy. NTTIF who are hired at .5 and above and reappointed for multiple years and successfully complete a probationary review, should receive a form of seniority in future hiring. Once seniority is achieved, non-reappointment should be allowed only if the courses are not being offered or for cause (following due process protections).
7. Reappointment, Change, or Termination in Appointment Notice. Although timely notice terms are explicitly stated on the employee's contract when the job offer is made, many NTTIF have reasonable expectations that their contracts will be renewed for additional contract periods at a similar (or greater) FTE level. Alerting NTTIF at the earliest possible time of contract renewal, or of imminent termination or nonrenewal of their contract or changes/reductions in FTE, is a common professional courtesy so that they have the opportunity to make adjustments in their benefit coverage or maintain their livelihood with a timely search for other employment.
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
NTTIF make a substantial contribution to the educational mission of the University of Oregon. Policies should be developed that extend opportunities for professional development to NTTIF and that implement humane, ``best practices" in employment standards. Such policies should include the following:
1. Support for Professional Development. NTTIF who are reappointed from year to year should receive professional development support that includes travel to conferences, time release for conferences, and access to university resources.
2. Provision of Information and Physical Resources. NTTIF should be provided the resources necessary to perform their assigned duties in a professional manner, including such things as appropriate office space, necessary supplies, support services, and equipment. The Committee suggests that faculty support and resources available to NTTIF be more accessible and timely, and that detailed information about the UO resources (physical, information based, etc) available to instructional faculty be provided at both the campus-wide and department (or college) levels.
3. Research Resources. Departments should strive to make certain research resources available to NTTIF. For example, there may be shared data bases, special consultants or grant-development personnel, computing or software resources, and the like that departments could easily, and often with no or minimal cost, make available to NTTIF. We recognize that the contracts for NTTIF specify teaching duties, as opposed to basic research, as the basis of their employment. Yet quality teaching requires keeping abreast of research developments in one's field; moreover, many NTTIF are engaged in research pursuits in an effort to develop their careers in addition to their regular UO teaching responsibilities. And, for many NTTIF positions success in research and publication is a criterion for hiring, promotion, or reappointment. It is to the advantage of the University as well as NTTIF to make research resources more accessible.
4. University-Wide Data Base. A general knowledge base of University-wide resources pertaining to research, teaching, and professional development opportunities should be developed and published on the web. This would benefit all faculty, and in particular NTTIF who often do not receive the same level of orientation, notification, etc. regarding such resources.
5. Update Faculty Handbook for NTTIF. The UO Faculty Handbook should include a new special section for NTTIF faculty; if maintained on-line, university policies could be continually updated and given timely attention. Currently, methods of making NTTIF faculty aware of information about resources and policies are not readily available.
6. Include NTTIF in Decision-Making. Departments should develop policies to include NTTIF in departmental decision-making, and should strive to include NTTIF in the departmental culture. The potential contributions of NTTIF to decision-making in areas of curriculum development and instruction, in particular, are often under-utilized resources.
7. Develop Career Paths; Recognize Years of Service. Many Instructors and Senior Instructors work full-time at the UO, often for years or decades. Yet there is wide variation in the availability of a career path or other recognition of this service across departments. Departments without a promotion path to Senior Instructor should be encouraged to develop one, whereby after six years an Instructor is eligible for review and promotion to Senior Instructor, with provision for two-year contracts, timely notice, and eligibility for sabbatical leave.
8. Sabbatical Leave. NTTIF are technically eligible for paid leaves, but many units cannot afford to cover the costs. Approval for sabbatical leave should be standardized so that senior instructors in those departments/schools that cannot fund sabbaticals for them from their budgets will not be denied this opportunity. Funding should be provided in the same manner as for tenure-track faculty as long as all other requirements are met.
9. Develop and Publish ``Best Practices". The NTTIF committee should work with the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to provide an on-line archive of ``best practice" models in the areas of hiring, employment practices, and professional development that departments can reference.
10. Create Ombudsperson Position. An NTTIF advocate or ombudsperson position should be created, to help increase communication and community among members of the NTTIF, help point NTTIF towards campus resources, and act as a repository of knowledge regarding UO NTTIF policies and employment rights. Given the current budget situation, if an ombudsperson cannot be appointed, this duty might be performed by selected faculty members across the campus.
11. Grievances and Appeals. The process for informal and formal handling of grievances, including opportunities for appeal, should be made available to NTTIF and should include guarantees that using the grievance process will not be used as a factor in determining contract renewals. (Although the University has a process in place for handling grievances and appeals that is available for all faculty members, NTTIF often feel, given the fixed-term nature of their employment, that using this process leaves them vulnerable to not having their contracts renewed).
12. Time-Line for Policy Implementation. Departments should be given deadlines to develop written guidelines and policy statements; once developed, these guidelines and policies should be available on-line, in departmental offices, and in the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
1. Include NTTIF in Senate ``White Paper" Compensation Process. We recommend that NTTIF who have .5 and greater FTE appointments and who have taught for three years be formally included in the class of ``instructional faculty" that is encompassed in the 2000 Senate Budget Committee White Paper, adopted by the Senate in March 2000. We support the work currently underway by the NTTIF committee, Senate Budget Committee, and administration to develop a methodology for measuring and tracking NTTIF compensation, and propose that after input from the relevant parties a formal proposal for incorporating NTTIF into the White Paper compensation improvement plan be considered and adopted by the Senate in Fall 2004.
2. Address the Issue of Adjunct NTTIF Compensation. The question of compensation policy regarding adjunct NTTIF needs to be addressed; we propose that the NTTIF Committee and Senate Budget Committee, working with the administration, make this a priority item on their work plan for the 2004-05 year, so that policy proposals in this arena can be developed by the end of the year.
1. Inclusion in Faculty Governance. Because NTTIF represent a significant percentage of University of Oregon teaching faculty and are essential to maintaining the high quality of education and fulfilling the University's mission, NTTIF should have representation and voting rights in the University of Oregon Senate. We recommend that during 2004-05 the committee work with the Senate leadership and the administration to develop a proposal for NTTIF representation in the Senate.
Other relevant information:
AAUP reports in 1994 the status of non-tenured instructional faculty
American Association of University Professors. 2003. ``Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession". www.aaup.org
AAUP reports that Today, 44.5 percent of all faculty are part-time, and non-tenure-track positions of all types account for more than 60 percent of all faculty appointments in American higher education. Both part- and full-time non-tenure-track appointments are continuing to increase, with the most rapid growth in recent years occurring in full-time positions off the tenure track. Between 1998 and 2001, the number of such positions grew by 35.5 percent.
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