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Applying for a Position as Lecturer in RTF

If you are interested in working as a teacher in the RTF department, you may be looking at a lecturer position.

Most lecturers in the program have either extensive professional experience and/or terminal degrees (MFA, Ph.D.).

It is worth noting that we do have a history of allowing some recently graduated PhD and MFA students to teach in lecturer positions for a year or two after graduating as they search for a University-based (or other) job elsewhere. This provides teaching experience for them and also contributes a worthy service to the department. Other lecturers often have a long track record of professional accomplishments.

Job Expectations: What Do We Expect, What You Expect

Lecturers typically are hired to teach various undergraduate classes in the department. They are tapped very rarely for graduate class instruction, and only Senior Lecturers are members of the Graduate Studies Committee, the faculty who establish policies for the graduate program.

The positions filled by lecturers may or may not be standard course offerings. Sometimes we hire lecturers to undertake courses that fulltime faculty cannot teach because they are on leave; on other occasions we hire people to teach courses for which we are simply shorthanded because of high student demand.

During the fall and spring semesters, a full-time course load for a lecturer is three courses per semester, which results in a 100% time appointment. Normally, the department hires lecturers to teach either one course (a 33% time appointment) or two courses (a 66% time appointment) for the semester. Because lecturers are not expected to undertake independent research or creative activity, these positions are focused on teaching and therefore entail a heavier course load for a full-time appointment than that required of tenured or tenure-track faculty. As well, normally lecturers do not participate as heavily in committee work within the department beyond meeting with the faculty members teaching in their subject areas in order to coordinate instructional goals.

Lecturers are not allowed to be on MA, MFA or PH.D. committees. Only senior lecturers and tenured or tenure track faculty can be listed on students’ degree committees.

Salary, Benefits, Security

The College has a per-course salary rate starting at $6,500 at this writing. (There are a few people who have been employed for several years who were appointed on a different basis, but this is the current policy.) Lecturers who are appointed for at least 50% time (teaching at least two courses for a semester) are covered by the standard package of health insurance and other benefits available to all UT employees who are appointed for at least 50% time. These benefits are available only for the period of the appointment. For more information about these benefits, please see http://www.utexas.edu/hr/prospective/benefits.html.

The facilities of the University such as library access and the use of the recreational facilities are available to people who are appointed to the instructional staff.

Unfortunately, lecturer positions are not accompanied by any guarantee of renewal. The appointments are offered on a semester-to-semester basis. Indeed, inasmuch as our budget varies from year to year, there is uncertainty regarding how many and which courses we can offer each term. Consequently, we generally cannot make offers of multi-semester employment.

Teaching in RTF

Please review the following page for information about many of the administrative aspects involved in teaching for RTF and UT: Information for New RTF Faculty

Handling Independent Study Requests

Because lecturers are paid a stipend for the semester on a per course basis, they are not obligated to work with students in the Special Project or Independent Study class, RTF 336. If approached by a student, you may refer them to work with a permanent faculty member. If you are particularly interested in the student’s work, however, you are certainly welcome to undertake the additional responsibility of directing a Special Project without additional compensation.

Senior Lecturer Positions

Senior Lecturers are members of the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) within the department, the group that establishes policy and monitors our graduate programs. Although there is no University rule on the matter, our Department thinks of Senior Lecturers as individuals making substantial contributions to the life of the Department. They have priority in receiving teaching assignments alongside members of the tenured and tenure track faculty even though they still maintain semester-to-semester contracts.

The position of Senior Lecturer entails going through a tenure-like process on the normal tenure and promotion review schedule. This process includes review at the department, the College and the University levels. These positions must be approved by the University’s higher administration, and a case must be made for the candidate on the basis of their making substantial contributions to two of the three areas summarized as (1) research or creative work, (2) teaching, or (3) service work.

On its face there are no explicit benefits to being a senior lecturer rather than a lecturer. At this writing there is a modest increase in pay scale that accompanies the title change, but there is no substantive change in the employment contract. However, GSC status and priority in course assignments may be considered worthwhile benefits.