Review Process for Non-Tenure Track Faculty
The College employs a significant number of faculty who work in non-tenure track positions and have a wide variety of responsibilities and expectations. Many are hired on a part-time basis and/or paid per course taught, with their effectiveness considered accordingly. The decision to renew these instructors rests with the chairs, with advice from the Budget Council, and is based on teaching effectiveness and departmental curricular needs. While these individuals provide a valuable service in the teaching mission of the College, often on an ongoing basis, their employment is on a semester-to-semester basis, so chairs should strive to communicate clear expectations and terms of employment. Other non-tenure track instructors are employed on a full-time basis. Also called “roster faculty,” these are faculty members who are expected to continue in their positions for a significant period and include “lecturers,” “senior lecturers,” “distinguished lecturers,” “clinical associate” and “clinical professors.” Higher ranks generally carry longer-term commitments.
Department heads and Budget Councils are expected to evaluate these individuals on an annual basis and provide appropriate feedback. In addition to this annual review, it is important to periodically conduct a more extensive review to clarify and define expectations - and to help determine whether, and for how long, to renew the appointment. This review should be carried out at least every three years, or in the 6th semester of continuous employment in conjunction with the annual review process. It may be modeled after the Third Year Review for Assistant Professors (although not as elaborate). External review letters are not expected, but a personal statement, annual reports, current vita, record of course instructor survey results - numerical and open-ended, and peer teaching evaluation, if desired, should be considered. If a faculty member has pursued promotion during the period, that process can take the place of this review.
Given the flexibility and diversity of the roles played by these faculty members, it is particularly important that a record of the department’s expectations of the position and the individual be included in the review. Following evaluation of the case by the department chair and Budget Council members, these expectations should be revised as appropriate for the program’s needs and communicated in the review (e.g., teaching load, service roles, and creative/research/professional work expectations). Teaching usually plays a significant role in the non-tenure track position, with the general expectation of a 3-course per semester assignment. This can be adjusted to account for significant service or administrative activities and/or professional/creative work. This assignment and its rationale, however, should be made clear in the review report.
Based on the review, non-tenure track faculty members (lecturers, senior/distinguished lecturers, clinical associate or clinical professors) may be reappointed for the following year. Unless serious issues arise that cause concern or suggest that immediate improvements are needed, the next comprehensive review term should be scheduled in three years. Otherwise, the case should be revisited after a shorter term to evaluate progress. The outcome of this evaluation may lead to not renewing the appointment.
Note that a positive review may not lead to a longer-term appointment if prevented by budgetary constraints of shifting needs of the program, but a positive review is a necessary condition for a longer-term appointment. In any case, a report on each Non-Tenure Track Review should be provided to the Dean’s Office, including the review, a description of the process, and the proposed term of reappointment. Once this is approved a letter of reappointment from the Dean’s Office is sent to the faculty member.