From Senate NTT Committee, 3/2/15: Advocacy for NTT Faculty

The Senate Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Affairs is grateful to Interim Provost Michael Quick for his letter dated 2/6/2015 which was a direct and considered response to all Faculty Members about the recent activities of a union. The Committee seeks to assure our faculty colleagues at USC that we have not been involved in any way in the recent organizing campaign by the SEIU.

Our Committee exists for the purpose of addressing concerns of non-tenure track (NTT) faculty, full and part time. The Academic Senate adopted a resolution charging this committee with the mission to monitor, evaluate, advocate, and make recommendations on issues important to NTT faculty, recognizing that issues of primary concern include long-term security, salaries, and status. The Committee has made good progress on these and other issues, working collaboratively with the Senate Executive Board and the Provost. One example is the White-Paper on Exemplary Criteria and Practices.

The Committee has also organized many Center for Excellence in Teaching events for NTT faculty on issues such as annual merit review, teaching evaluations, and inclusion of NTT faculty in governance. Other topics the committee has been addressing include faculty severance packages and compensation of part-time faculty for teaching in light of new HR systems such as Workday and Trojan Time.

The inclusion of part-time as well as full-time faculty on the Committee allows for broad discussions and informed proposals. The fact that leadership of the Academic Senate is evenly composed of tenure-track and NTT faculty is a testament to the University’s and faculty’s belief in the value of the NTT faculty as integral to USC’s teaching, administration, and governance.

Last spring’s call for nominations to serve on Academic Senate and University Committees led to broader inclusion of part-time faculty on these committees. Since last fall we have been considering ways to increase that participation. We invite interested part-time faculty to contact us, c/o the Senate office: croque@usc.edu. We will ask the Senate Executive Board and School Faculty Councils to continue to increase the role of part-time faculty on committees addressing all topics.

The Committee strongly believes that opportunities exist at USC for individual faculty of all varieties to become actively engaged in shaping important policy through active participation in committees such as ours. The Committee urges individuals with interest to step forward to engage and make their views known.