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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA works to improve salaries of non-tenure track faculty

The UA recently invested close to $600,000 to improve the salaries of its non-tenure track faculty. The Provost’s Office began looking to make these improvements at the beginning of the new budget year, July 1, per the recommendation of the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Task Force.

The NTT Faculty Task Force was put in place by the faculty senate to explore issues involving NTT faculty in general.

“One of the issues that came up for certain kinds of non-tenure track faculty was the compensation,” said Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Andrew Comrie.

The provost found that the largest group of NTT instructors not receiving appropriate pay were the instructors of English — a total of 26.5 lecturers.

“All the writing instructors for things like freshman composition class, that kind of thing,” Comrie said.

The second-largest group of underpaid NTT faculty involved 32 faculty members across four departments in the College of Humanities: the departments of East Asian studies, German studies, French and Italian, and Spanish and Portuguese.

The UA invested $238,722 for the 26.5 lecturer positions and $322,930 in the other 32 faculty positions. The raises became effective Aug. 17 for the first group and Sept. 1 for the second.

Roughly 1,000 of the 2,500 educational instructors at the UA are non-tenure track faculty.

“These are people who have the actual title of instructor, lecturer, multi-year lecturer, sometimes professor of practices, sometimes clinical teaching professor. There’s all kinds of titles for these people, but they are not standard assistant, associate, or full-time professors who are on the tenure-track,” Comrie said.

NTT faculty are often called in to fill more flexible positions.

“Some of those people might have a one-year appointment. They are year-to-year instructors because in any given department there is always going to be some ebb and flow in the number of students signing up for courses,” Comrie said. “Sometimes there’s a huge surge and we need two new sections of Spanish a week before we start classes in August, and you want somebody to be able to teach that.”

The instructors who fill these flexible positions eventually take on the equivalent of a full course load, but felt they were not paid a sufficient amount.

“They were effectively full-time, so we said, ‘Let’s convert them to full-time, [and] pay them the appropriate rate,’ ” Comrie said.

Michael Brewer, chair of the NTT Faculty Task Force and the head of Research & Learning for the University Libraries, said the next step for the task force will be to send out a survey to all UA faculty in the next couple of weeks to better understand the relationship between tenured and non-tenure track faculty.

Comrie said that the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Advisory Committee’s philosophy in the face of huge state budget cuts was to accept the cuts but to not stop making important investments in areas like salary and online education.

Even though UA was forced to cut 320 jobs from its payroll, only about 44 people were actually laid off, Comrie reported. The other 280 positions would have been advertised in the fall, but instead were not.

The UA will continue its work on salary improvement. According to Comrie, the non-tenure track salaries “were the most egregious salaries. Of course, we still have much broader salary issues for everybody at the [UA]. The whole of [UA] is underpaid. Period. Of course, that’s a much, much tougher nut to crack, but we’re working on that too.”


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