2013 Recommendation to Improving Working Conditions for Non-tenure Track Faculty
TO: Dr. Tony Frank, President
FROM Dr. Paola Malpezzi Price, Chair and Members of the CWGE
SUBJECT: Recommendations to Improve Working Conditions for Non-tenure Track Faculty
DATE: July 25, 2013
The Commission would like to again bring to your attention the unstable working conditions that affect non-tenure track faculty at CSU, an employee group consisting mainly of women – the 2009-2010 CSU Fact Book shows that university-wide 62% of special appointment instructors are women, with this percentage being even higher in certain areas of the university, such as the College of Liberal Arts.
Professional treatment and support for our non-tenure track faculty is necessary in order to maintain a dedicated and qualified teaching staff. According to the CSU Faculty Manual, Section E.2.4., “Special appointments are ‘at will’ and are subject to termination by either party at any time.” Special appointment non-tenure track faculty members at CSU are offered contracts that last for only one year, and many of them have to reapply for a teaching position each new academic year, regardless of how long or how well they have taught at CSU. We understand from our recent conversation with you that state statue places restrictions on contracts longer than one year. However, we also know that these sorts of temporary contracts make instructors’ relationships with students and supervisors vulnerable, and in many cases mean that excellent teachers leave our university in search of more stable employment.
CWGE strongly recommends that CSU continue to follow the national trends for improving the working conditions of these professionals by working assiduously to obtain state sanctioning of multi-year teaching contracts, especially since a secure teaching environment affects the University’s competitiveness and general morale, and has a direct impact on undergraduate education. In CSU’s Values statement, it says that two of the values that support our operating practices are to “act with integrity and mutual respect” and “support excellence in teaching.” In respect to our non-tenure track faculty, we need to do better. More specifically:
- The CWGE recommends that CSU develop a new category of faculty, Senior Instructors. We recommend to give these valuable instructors the security and stability of regular full-time appointments. This track would provide a career path for long-term teaching faculty, for teachers who are proven, indispensable and without whom departments would not be able to function.
- Short of regular appointments for Senior Instructors, job offer letters might indicate intent to rehire for a specific period of, perhaps, three to five years with the caveat that formal reapplication is not necessary but annual signing of paperwork is.