Nov. 11, 2010

Senate to consider NTE teaching recommendations

by Erin Rosacker

A set of recommendations stemming from a task force report on non-tenure eligible (NTE) faculty teaching loads got its first read during the Nov. 9 Faculty Senate meeting. Senators likely will vote on the four recommendations in December.

ISU's Faculty Handbook policy follows the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) teaching percentage guidelines, which limit NTE teaching to no more than 25 percent of all instruction in a department, and no more than 15 percent of instruction across the university. Last fall, executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman reported that more than 24 percent of university teaching was done by NTE instructors, measured by either section credits (25.6 percent), student credit hours (26.4 percent) or course sections (24.3 percent).

Recognizing the varying needs for NTE teaching among departments, the senate's faculty development and administrative relations (FDAR) council developed a method to assess departmental use -- and justification -- of NTE teaching. The FDAR also created departmental and college "responsibility statements," which would be submitted once every three years to the provost for review.

The FDAR's four recommendations include:

  • Use the responsibility statement to set "optimal" NTE teaching percentages in each department with input from the faculty, department chair, college dean and provost. If the target exceeds 25 percent, justification must be provided.
  • Use the responsibility statement to set target NTE teaching percentages for each college. If the target exceeds 20 percent, justification must be provided.
  • FDAR council review of college reports every three years
  • Continue annual provost reports to the senate on NTE teaching percentages and department and college targets.

"The purpose of this whole process is to promote communication and to begin to do more in terms of tracking what's happening with NTE over the years," said FDAR chair Ann Smiley-Oyen.

Other business

Senators also will vote next month on handbook changes, adding a policy for renaming academic units. A new section (2.8) was created to replace the approval process that was lost when section 10.8 was revised last year.

Senators unanimously approved handbook changes to section, which update the process for senate review of central administrative offices. The reviews take place annually on a rotating basis. Two vice president offices were added to the review cycle (Extension and outreach, and research and economic development).