Non-tenure track faculty (NTTF) provide essential instruction for thousands of Michigan Tech students each year. They not only provide devoted teaching and specialized expertise, but also may contribute to the University's mission through scholarship or artistic creation. Furthermore, in the College of Engineering and in units such as Technology and Computer Science specifically, the need for faculty who have significant professional experience is critical to the success of our programs and to the preparation of our students. Non-tenure track faculty provide a vital service in bringing the "real-world" into our classrooms. Current practices with respect to NTTF do not consistently convey the message that they are a valued part of our instructional staff and are not in line with other universities we have reviewed. The following recommendations, including rank names, are based on the NTTF practices at institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, Wisconsin-Madison, and Duke.
As of October 2006 there are approximately 45 Lecturer lines at Michigan Tech; however, there are 51 people who serve in this rank (some lines are shared and some are fractional lines). Two of these lines are occupied by faculty who were hired for TTF positions but who have not yet completed their PhD degrees. By academic unit there are 16 Lecturer lines in the COE (nine are in Engineering Fundamentals alone), 14 lines in the CSA, 7 lines in the SBE, ~3 lines in the SFRES, and 5 lines in the SOT. Some of the Lecturers have been serving the university long-term whereas others were recently hired to meet teaching needs in units that have experienced growth in enrollments or were unable to fill all of their open TTF lines. By seniority, six Lecturers have served the university for more that 20 years, six have served from 10-20 years, eighteen have served between 5 and 10 years, and the remainder have served less than five years.
Temporary Teaching Needs
There are many instances where a Department/School may need to hire someone on a temporary basis to fill unmet teaching needs when a regular faculty member is on sabbatical or family leave. These temporary needs will continue into the future and will sometimes occur on a semester-by-semester basis. The title of "Instructor" will be reserved for cases such as these. Instructors will have no expectations placed on them other than teaching (and associated duties such as office hours) and their appointment could be for full-time or part-time work with contracts of no more than one year. Minimum qualifications for an Instructor are a master's degree, or a bachelor's degree and professional qualifications.
Continuing Teaching Needs
There are many cases where NTTF serve in a continuing basis and/or where NTTF lines may be an established part of the general fund budget. For NTTF in these positions, a career path should be established so that their contributions are recognized and appropriately rewarded. The three proposed titles for NTTF in this category are 1) Lecturer, 2) Senior Lecturer, and 3) Principal Lecturer. Lecturers of all ranks must be appointed for a minimum of 75% effort and will receive regular university benefits-appointments of less than this will be made at the Instructor rank. Minimum qualifications include a master's degree or equivalent professional qualifications. Lecturers of all ranks may be expected to advise students, serve on committees, participate actively in professional societies, and conduct research. In each case, yearly teaching loads for Lecturers will be negotiated with the Department Chair/School Dean taking into account the non-teaching or scholarly activities.
Lecturers will be appointed for 2-year rolling terms, i.e., they will automatically receive a 2-year contract at the end of each year unless they are informed that their appointment is terminated. Effectively this means they will have a one-year notification period for non-reappointment.
Lecturers will be eligible for promotion to the rank of Senior Lecturer based on criteria established within the academic units and the recommendations of relevant committees and administrators at the university. Likewise, Senior Lecturers will be eligible for promotion to Principal Lecturer. Both Senior and Principal Lecturers will serve in continuing appointments with a one-year notification of termination. A salary increment for promotion through the ranks will be awarded to the affected faculty.
Special Faculty Category
In certain cases, especially where an individual has significant industrial or professional experience, a new NTTF category will be established - Professor of Practice. Professors of Practice will be NTTF and will be appointed on a continuing basis, similar to Senior and Principal Lecturer appointments. Faculty in the Lecturer ranks will generally not be eligible for promotion to this category, with the exception being current (AY 2006-07) Lecturers whose qualifications are in keeping with appointment to this rank and for special cases where a person has achieved significant professional experience while serving as a Lecturer. Minimum qualifications for Professors of Practice will be a BS degree with significant professional experience.
Individuals appointed to the Lecturer and Professor of Practice ranks are eligible for merit increases according to established university procedures. Regional searches (at a minimum) will be conducted for NTTF in the Lecturer and Professor of Practice ranks; no search is required for Instructors, since the expectation is that they will be serving on a limited, temporary basis. All policies in place for faculty searches, including Affirmative Action practices, will apply to Lecturer and Professor of Practice searches. In some cases, a search for a Lecturer could yield a candidate who is better qualified to serve as a Professor of Practice or vice versa. Adjustments to rank title are permitted in these cases without a new search.
Promotion Process for Lecturers
Each academic unit will establish provisions for the promotion process through the Lecturer ranks, including promotion criteria and unit-level review procedures. Provisions will include the establishment of a unit-level committee, with committee membership parameters determined by the unit. NTTF faculty in the rank of Lecturer or Senior Lecturer who wish to be considered for promotion will submit documentation similar to that contained on the F-Form for TTF in February of a given year. The promotion process will be:
- The Department/School committee makes a written recommendation and forwards with the documentation to the Chair/Dean.
- The Department Chair/School Dean makes a written recommendation and forwards with the documentation to the College Dean or Provost as appropriate.
- The College Dean (as applicable) makes a written recommendation and forwards all documentation to the Provost.
- The Provost reviews the documentation and makes a recommendation to the President.
- The President makes the final promotion decision.
The Provost will oversee the implementation, including timing, of this proposal. Issues in implementation will include: 1) unit level development of promotion provisions for NTTF, 2) adjustment of rank definitions so that they are in compliance with this proposal, 3) establishment of the appropriate salary increments for promotions within the NTTF ranks, and 4) review of cases of current faculty in the Lecturer rank to make changes to appointments as necessary.
Termination policies currently in place for Michigan Tech contractual employees (e.g., coaches) will be in effect for NTTF in all categories described previously. The termination policy currently in effect is found in the following paragraphs.
Termination Policy for Contractual Employees
The Employee is employed at the will of the University and this Agreement can be terminated at any time with or without cause by the University.
- If the University terminates the employment other than for substantial failure as set forth below, or cause, it shall pay the Employee a post termination stipend in an amount equal to the Employee's salary for the remainder of the term of the agreement. The Employee shall not be entitled to any fringe or other employment benefits after notice of termination. As determined by the Dean of the School/Chair of the Department, the employee may or may not be required to continue to serve, with a continuation of benefits, in the same capacity as originally hired during the notice period.
- In the event that the University terminates this Agreement due to cause or the substantial failure on the part of the Employee to comply with the obligations which determination shall be made solely by the University in its good faith discretion, the University shall have no further obligation to the Employee hereunder. In such event the Employee will be immediately terminated and will not be entitled to any further compensation, wages, stipends, post termination payments, fringe benefits or damages of any nature with the exception of wages actually earned prior to the date of termination.
Senate Policy 701.2
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