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February 14, 2003

Senate approves new non-tenure-eligible policy

by Linda Charles
During its Feb. 11 meeting, the Faculty Senate expanded the non-tenure-eligible faculty policy into a new policy that includes adjunct appointments.

Under the new policy, adjunct appointments may be for up to five years. The appointments may be renewed, based on the quality of performance and the continuing need for the positions. A year's notice is required if the appointment will not be renewed (except in cases where the appointment is for a year or less). Those filling adjunct positions will be evaluated for compensation and advancement, using established criteria appropriate to their positions.

Caps for instruction only
The policy continues to limit the amount of instruction that can be conducted by non-tenure-track faculty to 25 percent in a department and 15 percent for the university overall. A recently discussed provision to apply those caps to research and service was dropped from the final version of the policy.

"In reviewing the situation, the committee (that crafted the policy) decided that while it's conceivable to see more temporary appointments for teaching, it's not that conceivable to see that many appointments for research alone," said David Hopper, committee chair.

'New' titles require approval
The senate spent a considerable amount of time discussing titles for those on non-tenure-eligible appointments. The policy refers to four titles for non-tenure-eligible faculty: lecturer and senior lecturer, and clinician and senior clinician. The clinician titles were created to cover non-teaching positions.

Many senators took exception to the clinician titles, saying they are not appropriate for many departments.

Michael Olsen said in his department, mechanical engineering, the title of research engineer would be more appropriate. He made a motion that would have allowed departments to select their own titles.

After some modification, a final motion was approved that allows departments to seek approval from the senate and provost to use titles other than clinician.

Those on adjunct appointment will continue to have academic titles (assistant professor, associate professor and professor) with the term "adjunct" preceding the title.

The policy also allows professional and scientific employees to be appointed to non-tenure-track positions, but limits those appointments to 30 percent of P&S employees' total responsibilities. P&S staff with non-tenure-track appointments will be evaluated like other non-tenure-track faculty.

Faculty retreat in April
In other business, president-elect Jack Girton announced there will be a faculty retreat April 18-19 at the Hotel at Gateway Center. This year's topic will be "Striking a Balance: Rewarding Different Types of Scholarship at a Modern Land-Grant University."

The next senate meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at the Hotel at Gateway Center.

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