What Shared Governance Has Achieved for RTPC Faculty

EARNINGS

  • Schools are required to do regular benchmarking of both full-time and part-time salaries against peer institutions to ensure that the compensation we provide is competitive. The Provost reviews all benchmarking.
  • Faculty can appeal their salary if they believe it is too low, or if there are problems of salary compression or inversion, or have a review of their workload if they believe it is too heavy. If that does not solve the problem, all faculty have the right to a second appeal to the Provost. The Academic Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities is available to advise faculty.
  • Part-time faculty receive merit-based raises.
  • The Provost reviews all individual full-time and part-time faculty salaries to look for any apparent inequities.
  • In order to provide more predictability and security regarding RTPC contracts, full-time or part-time, the Faculty Handbook provides that we can award “evergreen” contracts that will roll over on the same terms unless there is a good reason not to reappoint.

JOB SECURITY

  • Multi-year appointments are granted to 100% of Dornsife teaching-track faculty who are promoted. The result is that 60% of all full-time teaching-track faculty in Dornsife have three-to-five year contracts.
  • The Faculty Handbook requires that non-reappointment of faculty on full-time appointments can only be done after consideration by a faculty committee. The Provost reviews the process to ensure fairness and appropriate adherence to guidelines.

PART-TIME FACULTY

  • There is regular school benchmarking of compensation.
  • There is an improved process for approving outside teaching.
  • Part-time faculty receive merit-based raises.
  • Part-time faculty are eligible for promotions and multi-year contracts.
  • Reasonable notice or compensation is to be given if assigned courses have to be cancelled.
  • In Dornsife for one example, part-time and full-time RTPC faculty and tenured and tenure-track faculty have equal voting rights for the Faculty Council.
  • There is eligibility to be appointed or elected throughout faculty governance. Part-time faculty serve on some of the most important University committees.
  • Regular surveys to monitor the changing needs and work satisfaction of part-time faculty

RESPECT

  • The Academic Senate has decided that the Faculty Handbook will just speak of “faculty”, without differentiation, wherever possible.  When the Handbook has to differentiate, it will refer to “teaching-track” faculty, etc., (not our legacy term “non-tenure-track,” the SEIU term “contingent,” or the Cal State term “temporary” faculty.)
  • If a faculty member believes there has been an arbitrary assignment or violation of his or her contract, the Faculty Handbook gives the right to a due process grievance hearing before a university faculty committee.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM

  • The Faculty Handbook guarantees academic freedom protection for all faculty, including full-time and part-time RTPC faculty. For example, just in the last few years there were outside calls for us to discipline an RTPC professor for views he expressed in his tweets, and an outside campaign was mounted to terminate an adjunct faculty member because of a statement he made in his class. We stood by these colleagues and answered every letter and phone call with a stout defense of the professor’s academic freedom as a defining characteristic of our university.

EVALUATION AND PROMOTION

  • The Faculty Handbook authorizes promotional tracks for part-time as well as full-time faculty. (As mentioned above, with promotion there can be a multi-year appointment.)
  • Decisions on reappointment and promotion of faculty on full-time appointments are done only after review and recommendation by an appropriate faculty body, similar to processes traditionally provided for tenure-track faculty review. Committees (or committees of the whole) for such cases must include RTPC faculty.
  • For RTPC promotions, if deans do not agree with the advice of faculty committees, under the Faculty Handbook there is automatic review by a university-level faculty committee and the Provost.
  • Each school must develop guidelines for the periodic careful review of both full-time and part-time RTPC faculty, to be conducted at three-year to five-year intervals. These reviews, conducted by appropriate department or school faculty committees, consider whether the promotion process should be initiated and will also consider whether reappointment is appropriate. The guidelines are subject to review by the Academic Senate Executive Board and must be approved by the Provost.

BENEFITS

  • The benefits policy extends benefits to faculty working a 50% schedule.
  • There is no delay in eligibility of RTPC faculty for paid parental leave and accommodations to care for a child or an aged or ill relative.
  • If there is a school that has an up-or-out deadline for RTPC promotions, under the Faculty Handbook the same principles apply to “stopping the clock” as apply to tenure-track faculty (such as for parental leave, etc.). The Committee on Deadlines and Leaves, which includes RTPC members, will consider any appeals on such issues.
  • Sick leave is provided to all faculty members, including part-time faculty.

SHARED GOVERNANCE

  • Teaching-track faculty have a strong voice as they hold significant positions in faculty governance, including within the last year the President of the Academic Senate, a majority of the Academic Senate Executive Board, a majority of the nominating committee for Academic Senate officers, the President, Vice President and Secretary of the Dornsife College Faculty Council, and the majority of the Dornsife Faculty Council.
  • Both full-time and part-time RTPC serve on all the major university committees, making up approximately half of the Academic Senate committee that advises on the university’s expenditures and revenue, and the Academic Senate Committee on Faculty Environment and Employment that advises on faculty compensation, faculty contracts, and the terms and conditions of faculty employment.
  • Academic Senate committees are charged to make recommendations on a broad range of matters, including all RTPC faculty affairs; all part-time faculty issues, the libraries, information services, technology, teaching and academic programs, research, faculty rights and responsibilities, deadlines and leaves, and many other issues. Other university-level faculty committees have charges including curriculum, RTPC promotion appeals, and due process hearings on grievances and dismissals for cause.
  • All faculty members are eligible to serve on every committee, and everyone is invited to self-nominate every year. Committees include full-time and part-time RTPC members, and RTPC faculty members chair many major committees.
  • The Faculty Handbook requires that each school have active participation by RTPC faculty members in faculty governance, including in establishing RTPC guidelines.
  • Part-time faculty members have served on school faculty councils and the Academic Senate.
  • Each school’s RTPC guidelines are formulated after the recommendation of the Faculty Council, a faculty committee, or the entire faculty, in each case including both tenure-track and RTPC faculty.  The Senate Executive Board advises the Provost before the guidelines are approved.

OTHER POLICIES

  • We have implemented procedures for approving teaching by our part-time faculty at other institutions, so our faculty have more freedom to determine what works best for their employment portfolio. For those who wish to teach more, we continue to try to give part-time faculty larger teaching loads here at USC.
  • It is the university’s longstanding expectation that faculty who are close to a 50% schedule be offered work that brings them to 50% and eligibility for benefits, if they so wish, and if it can reasonably be done. There is a similar expectation for schools to move part-time faculty to a full-time schedule, whenever possible.
  • The university’s principle is that RTPC and tenure-track faculty be treated alike as to eligibility for prizes, awards and fellowships, making decisions solely on the basis of merit.
  • Professional development for all faculty members is offered through the Center for Excellence in Teaching, whose fellows include RTPC faculty, both full-time and part-time, and whose director is a teaching-track faculty member.

See also the page, USC’s RTPC Policies and Practices