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May 23, 2003

University falls short on non-tenure teaching caps

by Linda Charles
A new university policy limits teaching by non-tenure-track faculty to 25 percent of the instruction in departments. All but 11 university departments meet that policy, vice president for academic affairs and provost Benjamin Allen told the Faculty Senate May 6.

Under an agreement between the administration and the senate, the university has five years to reach the caps. Departments may present a case for exceeding the limits to the provost and senate.

The non-tenure track policy, implemented this year, provides job security and advancement opportunities for some who were hired in the past as temporary instructors. However, the policy limits non-tenure-track faculty to performing 25 percent of the instruction in departments and 15 percent of the instruction at the university overall.

The university fell short of the overall cap, Allen said, with 19.8 percent of teaching performed by non-tenure-track faculty. The median percentage of non-tenure-track teaching in the departments was 14 percent. In 22 of the 59 departments, non-tenure-track faculty did less than 10 percent of the teaching, Allen said.

Departments exceeding the cap included large departments like English, and small departments, like community and regional planning and landscape architecture.

Allen assured the senate that the university administration is dedicated to increasing the number of tenure-track positions, but added, Remember, we have excellent teaching from the non-tenure-track faculty.

The senate will not meet during the summer. The next senate meeting will be Sept. 9.

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