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Faculty Assembly

TO: Faculty Assembly Members

FROM: Ceil Malek, Outgoing Non Tenure Track Faculty Chair

DATE: October 14, 2005

RE: Need for Ad Hoc Committee to Consider NTTF Status

 Situation for Non Tenure Track Faculty:

Like other universities in the CU system, other universities in Colorado, and universities across the country, UCCS depends heavily on non-tenure-track faculty.

According to statistics reported in a June 2005 story in the Denver Post (compiled by NCES and IPEDS in 2001), at the time, UCCS had the lowest percentage of NTTF compared to TT faculty: 51 percent tenured compared to 49 percent NTTF (more recent statistics indicate the percentages as 48 percent tenured and 52 percent non-tenure track).At UCD, the numbers in 2001 were 56 percent tenured  44 percent NTTF, at Boulder, a surprisingly low 29 percent tenured faculty to 71 percent NTTF, and at the Health Sciences Center, 11 percent tenured to 89 percent NTTF.

 Reasons for the increased reliance on NTTF at UCCS match reasons at other institutions: financial constraints faced by universities the latter half of the 1080s and early 1990s, and the need to reduce costs at institutions (Jay Chronister in “Marginal or Mainstream”).

 Problems caused by increased use of NTTF:

Absence of clear-cut and systematic policies that “regulate appointments, support performance, and minimize harmful status differences” (Jay Chronister) among faculty in different categories is the primary problem.

 Solutions in general terms:

Universities have an ethical responsibility to address needs of all faculty, including the increasing numbers of NTTF. Quality of education and retention of students depends on well being of faculty members on and off the tenure track.

 NTTF must be integrated fully into the academic community, which should appreciate that NTTF members are talented and dedicated teachers who bring special skills and experience to students. And NTTF positions must be fully professional to support the responsibilities they shoulder at the university.

 Solutions for UCCS:

At UCCS, we have hade an NTTF representative on Faculty Assembly since 1998. In the six years since then, progress for NTTF has been steady but slow. A paradigm shift is needed to conceptualize NTTF as a legitimate part of the faculty. Typically, faculty Assembly and administrators think of the faculty as those on the tenure track and NTTF as a separate category, not fully “faculty.”  

What NTTF request:

The number on concern of NTTF is to have their positions professional. Specific concerns raised by NTTF are these:

  1. Policies governing NTTF are far from systematic.

        Job definitions are inconsistent

            a.       Expectations regarding service vary widely

b.      Even terminology for lecturers is inconsistent across programs and disciplines

        Benefits for half-time instructors are offered inconsistently

        Lecturer positions should be collapsed into instructorships

        NTTF are fired without adequate knowledge of or opportunity to correct problems

        Inconsistent evaluation processes

        Inconsistent promotion processes to senior instructor status

        Policies and expectations are not communicated to NTTF

        Instructors don’t receive contracts regularly-they’re often unclear about their status 

  1. Lack of accountability toward NTTF comes form lack of policies and failure to hold departments, programs, and colleges to core university expectations
  1. Serious morale problems stem form lack of consistent treatment and valuing

 How to proceed:

A task force needs to be formed this year to define and determine a timetable for solving NTTF issues and integrating NTTF fully into the faculty.

The task force made up of TT and NTTF needs to ask hard questions;

  1. What benefits and problems occur as a result of relying heavily on NTTF?
  2. Does Faculty Assembly fully recognize NTTF as full members of the faculty in all its considerations or are they considered as an afterthought?
  3. Is the university supporting the career development of all faculty?
  4. How is the university preparing to support non-tenure track faculty in long-term planning?
  5. Since lecturers have no representation in Faculty Assembly, what can the faculty at large do to integrate them and their needs into planning?
  6. Do we have a good balance between NTTF and TT faculty?