Task force report sparks policy changes for 'specialized' faculty

A Faculty Senate task force that examined the status of nontenure-eligible (NTE) faculty issued its report (PDF) in February and one of the recommendations already is on the docket. A motion to extend emeritus status to long-serving NTE faculty was introduced at the April 4 senate meeting for an April 18 vote.

Appointed jointly by the senate and provost's office last spring, the task force conducted an examination of NTE issues, using results from surveys, focus groups, discussions and a review of policies and procedures at ISU and elsewhere.

"We had a really hard-working task force and we took the charge seriously," said task force chair Rob Wallace. "We wanted to look at how we can redefine or modify and improve the language on the procedures and processes by which NTE faculty are evaluated, the review process and, ultimately, the hiring and retention of those individuals."

Specific recommended changes for the Faculty Handbook include:

  • Use the term "specialized" to describe faculty and appointments, instead of NTE
  • Add a principal lecturer title, for a total of three ranks: lecturer, senior lecturer and principal lecturer
  • Add a teaching professor track for NTE faculty with terminal degrees, with three ranks: teaching assistant professor, teaching associate professor and teaching professor
  • Add a professor of practice track for professionals from industry/government, with three ranks: assistant professor of practice, associate professor of practice and professor of practice
  • Revise the research professor track to improve the hiring and review of faculty
  • Amend the policy for adjunct appointments to clarify language and align with similar Faculty Handbook policies

The motion to allow emeritus status for NTE faculty stemmed from a list of general recommendations in the report. Professional development opportunities, recognition/awards and position responsibility statements also are among the issues emphasized in the list.

Other changes are in the works and feedback still is being accepted. Comments and questions can be sent to Wallace.

"We will work with the governance council to develop specific proposals and move those through this body," Wallace said. "We would like to keep on top of this."