Senate NTT Report, 5/4/15: Achievements and Plans for NTT
Committee on Non-tenure-track Faculty Affairs
2014-2015 Final Report to Academic Senate
Co-Chairs: Kathy Besinque and Els Collins
ACHIEVEMENTS AND PLANS FOR NTT
This report describes the activities of the NTT Faculty Affairs committee during 2014-2015 and recommendations for next year’s committee, as well as work by other faculty committees and faculty councils on topics important to NTT, both Full-Time and Part-Time.
Several matters the Committee has addressed in prior years – including pay and faculty profiles — were not brought to us by NTT during the year, however the Committee will return to issues such as pay next year since NTT have recently asked us to do so.1
1 CNTTFA has so far received suggestions of the following topics concerning Part-Time faculty for the committee to work on next year:
PAY, JOB SECURITY, AND ADVANCEMENT
— salary reflecting the invaluable work that is being done here by part-time faculty
— more use of the policy on one-year contracts, a default of reappointment, and adequate notice
— more use of the policy on multi-year contracts
– increased transparency in hiring practices, in pay scales, and in avenues for advancement
— providing a yearly raise to offset the rising cost of living;
— rewarding adjuncts for their years of service to the school, –
— determining clear and public outlines for merit-based promotion;
— consolidating appointments into annual or multi-year contracts whenever possible;
— guaranteeing first choice of classes to faculty who have previously taught those classes;
— guaranteeing first-notice of any available full-time faculty positions in the school, and an interview;
— advancing the timing for sending out contracts to faculty
— more use of the policy that if part-timers want to teach elsewhere, they should tell the school so it can work with them to figure out a reasonable decision
PEDAGOGY AND FACULTY GOVERNANCE
— regular meetings of part-time faculty with the dean
— including part-timers in Faculty Councils in additional school (in addition to committees on which part-timers already can serve)
— times to meet with colleagues who are teaching similar classes, and mentoring the same students, to discuss pedagogy and student progress.
— additional pedagogic structures such as collective thesis committee meetings, public student presentation of work, etc.
— pay for curriculum development
SUPPORT FOR SCHOLARSHIP
— travel stipends for conferences and exhibitions
— financial assistance towards memberships in professional societies
— access to school and university research funding, and Visions & Voices programs
We are pleased that additional USC schools, with the support of faculty council leadership, continued the annual program of improving compensation by implementing provisions for regular increases in Part-Time compensation, through inclusion in the merit raise pool, or merit increases plus base pay with steps reflecting years of meritorious teaching,
Committee’s past reports, white papers and presentations are available on the Senate website at https://www.usc.edu/academe/acsen/AboutUs/FacultyCommittees/NonTenureTrackFaculty.htm
In our 2012 White Paper the Committee pointed out that our reports have been “influential in bringing about significant changes in a short amount of time.” We welcome the very positive and extensive discussions at the Academic Senate about NTT issues, This year, once again, the committee has been “influential in bringing about significant changes in a short amount of time.”
- Activities and Issues Addressed
- Inclusion of Part Time NTT in Faculty Governance:
During the 2014-2015 academic year, the CNTTFA worked to ensure that schools broaden NTT faculty participation to include part-time faculty in faculty governance.
The CNTTFA is pleased that the Provost and Academic Senate President’s call to Committee Service via their April 29 letter enumerated important gains achieved for NTT faculty through their participation in committee service, and asked Deans and Faculty Council Chairs to include (as they did last spring) Part-Time faculty from all schools in their nominations for appropriate Academic Senate Committees. Some examples are the Committee on Teaching and Academic Programs, University Committee on Curriculum, Research Committee, Work and Family Life Balance, and the Committee on Non-tenure Track Faculty Affairs.
We also recommend that the Academic Senate elect a part-time faculty member to the Committee on Finances and Enrollment. Part-timers already serving on university-level committees, among others, could be considered as candidates.
In the Committee’s letter on 3/2/15 to all University Faculty, we noted that the NTT Committee includes both part-time and full-time NTT Faculty; we welcome additional part-time NTT faculty as members of our committee.
Part-time faculty are already eligible to serve on all committees, at both the university and school level. The Committee is pleased that, as of the coming year, at least two schools will include Part-time Faculty in their school faculty councils.
In addition to these school-by-school steps, we recommend that the Academic Senate amend its constitution to provide generally for inclusion of Part-Time faculty, by deleting mentions of “full time” (while adding a section saying that “only full-time faculty members may vote on recommendations pertaining to policies and procedures concerning full-time faculty, including appointment, promotion, and evaluation of full-time faculty.”)
- Inclusion of Full Time NTT in Faculty Governance:
By vote of the Viterbi faculty, this year NTT faculty became voting members of the Engineering Faculty Council, the final school to do so. Amost all schools have equal consideration of NTT for faculty council Chairmanship and many have elected NTT as chair, It
is worth noting, however, that the EFC still has a provision preventing NTT Faculty being Chair. We strongly endorse continued efforts by the Senate officers to work with EFC to change this, so we have full participation across the University.
We are glad that the rules of the Committee on Finances and Enrollment stipulates there will always be NTT as well as tenured members of this Provost/Senate Committee to shape the central policies of the University as a whole about university-level finances and enrollment.
We are proud that a former chair of the CNTTFA committee will be President of the Faculty next year, as well as chair of the Committee on Finances and Enrollment. In addition, half of the candidates nominated for next year’s Academic Senate leadership are NTT, just as half of the current Senate leadership are NTT. We also are proud that the Dornsife Faculty Council has elected NTT to all three officer positions for the coming year.
- Increase in Awareness of CNTTFA and Better Communication:
CNTTFA is very pleased with the new https://rtpc.usc.edu website. The Committee made suggestions to make this site an even more useful resource for NTT faculty, and was pleased that all of them were rapidly implemented.
CNTTFA issued the letter to all University Faculty mentioned above, in response to then- Interim Provost Michael Quick’s February 6 letter to the faculty about unionization efforts, to increase awareness of the existing committees that exist to address NTT concerns. This letter and the mid-year report of this committee are included on the new website as well.
4. Job Security for NTT:
Concerns regarding job security for NTT faculty were raised by the Dornsife College NTT Faculty Caucus. The Committee discussed the Dornsife NTT proposal of a “90 day notice” or a one year “terminal contract” for NTT with multi-year contracts or for long-serving NTT faculty. This change in policy has been accepted by the University as an option for all schools. (See the appendix on the Engineering Faculty Council proposal, and the Faculty Handbook amendments proposed by the Faculty Handbook Committee.)
A letter from the Provost and President of the Academic Senate on April 29 encouraging nomiantions for committees included the following information on NTT faculty contracts:
- One-year contracts are authorized for use in every school, for both Part-time and Full- time faculty, where default is reappointment to include a 90 day advance notice of any non-reappointment. (See Appendix 2)
- Multi-year NTT contracts, for both part-time and Full-time faculty, are authorized for use in every school.
- Handbook policy establishes a process for individuals to get permission to teach at other institutions while teaching at USC.
- No personnel action is decided by a single person.
- Development of policies to require periodic consideration of all NTT faculty for eligibility for promotion; guarantee NTT faculty in consideration for those promotion.
- Equal benefits for full-time NTT faculty (to those of the TT faculty). Health benefits for part-time faculty at 50% or greater workload.
The Committee began discussion of job security concerns for part-time faculty. In some ways their issues are similar to those of full-time faculty but there are also notable differences. The Committee believes the subject of job security for PT faculty should be considered separately and plans to do so next year.
In addition, the Committee began discussion on whether “tenure” or a similar recognition might be granted to long-serving NTT whose teaching is outstanding. We understand that changes in the tenure system are by vote of the tenured faculty, and we look forward to collaborative consideration of the relevant issues.
- Criteria for Evaluation for Promotion
The Dornsife NTT brought to the committee issues related to promotion. The committee agreed that the guidelines for promotion to full professor of teaching should be expanded and not be limited to research, papers or conferences “on the pedagogy of one’s field” (research on teaching). The inclusion of substantive research in the individual faculty member field was strongly recommended. CNTTFA has also discussed that the “national reputation” of NTT FT Faculty under consideration for promotion from Associate to Full Professor of Teaching might be broadened and amended to “excellence worthy of national stature,” or “excellence equivalent to the top institutions”.
Under the Faculty Handbook, faculty councils have a major role on proposing school NTT guidelines, and the Senate Executive Board reviews them. The CNTTFA will give feedback to them on these changes in school guidelines.
The CNTTFA brought the issue of NTT Severance policies to the attention of the Academic Senate and USC’s administration. A subsequent motion to the Academic Senate was made to modify the policy and unanimously passed by the Academic Senate at the April 15th meeting.
- Benefits Eligibility and Orientation:
PT faculty who reach the 50% level and become eligible for full benefits, and newly appointed FT faculty, have raised the concern that some schools do not offer a formal orientation with regard to University benefits. CNTTFA encourages every unit (or the Benefits office ) to make sure all newly-eligible faculty are offered an in-person explanation of their benefits, CNTTFA also recommends that every school, or the Provost’s office, have an orientation also focused teaching, research, service, and other university activities, and to invite all new faculty.
- Sabbaticals, Mentorship, and Other Faculty Development
CNNTF regards it important to have strong faculty development opportunities for both FT and PT NTT. The Committee works with CET to sponsor programs, and works to promote sabbaticals and mentorship. We will return to this subject in the future.
- What’s in a Name?
We received the suggestion that a more positive name be substituted for “non-tenure- track.” Some suggestions were “professional faculty,” “professors of the practice,” “teaching faculty,” and “contract faculty”. Outside of USC the term “contingent faculty” is used but that vocabulary is not used by anyone at USC and the committee did not endorse that term considering that some NTT have multi-year contracts and the NTT do not feel “contingent”. We invite our colleagues to suggest a replacement term they would substitute for NTT.
- Consideration of NTT as Residential Faculty Masters
With the university’s focus on residential colleges as a means to integrate social, cultural and academic excellence in thematic communities, the CNTTFA recommends that NTT faculty be eligible to apply to be Faculty Masters (as well as Residential Faculty, for which they are already eligible.) This should be considered by the new committee on the residential college program, which includes several NTT faculty.
- Collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET):
During the 2014-2015 academic year, the CNTTFA has continued its collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET) to present events of interest to NTT faculty. This collaboration resulted in one event in the spring semester: Friday, February 27, 2015: Bringing Art to Our Teaching and Teaching to Our Art
The event was well received, had good attendance and the feedback provided by CET was positive. A more thorough description of the event and the panelists is included on the last page of this report.
Committee members also started planning the next CET event for NTT faculty, titled “Bringing the Profession to our Teaching and Teaching to our Profession”.
- Appendix: Advocacy for NTT Faculty by Other Faculty Governance Bodies
- Listening to NTT Faculty
The Senate Executive Board surveyed all faculty regarding communications with NTT and received suggestions of additional topics NTT faculty members want the Senate to address. Once the survey responses are available the CNTTFA will address the issues raised by NTT faculty, including part-time and full-time faculty concerns.
The Engineering Faculty Council recommended (on the suggestion of NTT in VSOE) that there be a contract option included in NTT faculty contracts indicating the contract will automatically renew, unless there is a decision to not reappoint, and that any non-reappointment require a minimum of 90 days’ notice or pay in lieu. The Provost agreed to this contract option, on a university-wide basis. The Faculty Handbook requires that a faculty committee review and make a recommendation before a decision not to reappoint is made. This contract language is phrased more positively than current wording, and adds the 90 day notice if there is a decision to not reappoint.
Additionally, amendments to the Faculty Handbook have been submitted to the Handbook
These amendments emphasize the existing Handbook statements that decisions on NTT faculty non-reappointment require a faculty committee, and write into the Handbook the existing practice that the Provost’s office reviews the adequacy of the process in non-reappointments.
- Promotions and Appointments
Another amendment proposed to the Handbooks formalizes the practice existing in many Schools that the NTT faculty vote, along with tenured faculty, on NTT appointments and promotions.
An additional amendment requiring NTT be considered as to whether promotion is appropriate at intervals of 3 to 5 years including both full-time and part-time NTT.
- Appeals and Hearings
A Faculty Handbook amendment has been proposed that would create a university committee on NTT faculty promotion appeals, so that if a dean overrules a department faculty vote on NTT promotion there is independent review by a faculty committee outside that school.
Additionally, a Handbook amendment specifying that NTT as well as tenured faculty sit on the university panel that provides a due process hearing if there is a dismissal for cause of NTT under Handbook chapter 8.
- Faculty Development
While CNTTFA continues to focus attention on faculty development, we note what is currently being done. The Research Committee has proposed additional mentoring activities and we will work with the Executive Board on inclusiveness of NTT. Several NTT have recently been awarded sabbaticals. The CET has both PT and FT NTT fellows, and made clear in its recent call for nominations that both are eligible. There is a useful website at https://mentor.usc.edu.
School-based programs are listed at https://faculty.usc.edu/mentoring/schoolunit-mentoring/. The Mellon Mentoring Forum recognizes both full and part-time faculty, https://faculty.usc.edu/mentoring/mellon-awards/, as does the Parents Association Award for Teaching and Mentoring.
- Actions Relating to CNTTFA’s Work
- Adoption by Academic Senate of a motion regarding Severance for FT NTT Faculty.
- Letter to all University Faculty from the CNTTFA describing the committee and resources for NTT.
- A website (rtpc.usc.edu ) was launched and will serve as a useful and collaborative platform between the CNTTFA and the Administration.
- Substantive Actions in concert with the Administration on the issues mentioned in Part A.
- Collaboration with Center for Excellence in Teaching resulted in an event during the 2014-2015 academic year.
- Recommendations for the 2015-2016 CNTTFA
- Most important, the CNTTFA should continue to listen to the concerns of all NTT faculty, both part- time and full-time, and advocate on their behalf. The CNTTFA should advocate for the issuesabove. The CNTTFA should continue its work to identify and recommend the implementation of effective strategies for mentorship of the NTT faculty.
- The CNTTFA seeks to broaden NTT participation and interaction in University committees, by promoting the Academic Senate’s achievements in Faculty Governance as outlined in the Provost’s and Academic Senate President’s letter of April 29 about Committee Service.
- The CNTTFA recommends that the committee be expanded for the upcoming year in order to include at least three to five part-time faculty, to better represent that constituency. To better orient new CNTTFA members, the committee recommends developing a FAQ sheet and mentoring of incoming members by senior members of the committee.
- The CNTTFA voted to recommend to the Senate that Els Collins (School of Dramatic Arts) and Jeffrey Chisum (Dornsife College) serve as the CNTTFA co-chairs next year. In addition, 15 of the 16 committee members currently serving on the CNTTFA have individually requested to be included on next year’s committee roster.
- The CNTTFA should explore the potential for “security of employment” contract terms for lecturers, adjuncts and researchers.
- The CNTTFA should continue its work to promote NTT sabbaticals as a path to: increase the professional visibility for NTT faculty, increase interdisciplinary collaboration, and as a recruitment tool for the highest quality additions to the NTT faculty.
- The CNTTFA should continue its efforts to include NTT faculty from all campuses among its members so all faculty can better understand the similarities and differences between the issues that arise on the different campuses and at different schools.
- The CNTTFA recommends continuing to develop presentations in collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Teaching that are targeted to the NTT at the university.
2014-2015 Collaborative CET and CNTTFA Events
Bringing Our Art to Our Teaching and Our Teaching to Our Art
Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 (12:00 – 1:00pm) Doheney Memorial Library (DML) 233
-Elsbeth M. Collins, Associate Professor of Practice, Director of Production, USC School of Dramatic Arts
-Barnet Kellman, Ph.D., Professor of Cinematic Arts, USC School of Cinematic Arts
-Tom Ontiveros, Assistant Professor of Lighting Design, USC School of Dramatic Arts
– Stephen C. Child, Assistant Professor of Design, USC Roski School of Art and Design/ Iovine Academy