Proposal to Add Ranks of Senior Instructor and Teaching Professor

26 Sep 2016 13:55
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Proposal to Add Faculty Ranks of Senior Instructor and Teaching Professor
James Welch, Robert Newbrough, Wendi Ferrell
Revised by APCC September 11, 2016

Rationale:

The designations of Senior Instructor and Teaching Professor provide promotional opportunities for Instructors that possess a non-terminal graduate degree have established a history of teaching excellence, have demonstrated significant service to the university and have contributed to, or are engaged in, the scholarly/professional/creative development. This exception to the terminal degree requirement is aimed at faculty in all division who have made long term career commitments to USAO, but are stuck in what amounts to an entry level position. This promotional scheme would also be an effective tool in recruiting qualified instructors to USAO. Adding these ranks would bring USAO in line with standard practices at institutions with similar missions, including many COPLAC members. A report of promotion policies at other universities is appended to this proposal.

Position Title: Senior Instructor

Requirements and Criteria for Rank:

  1. Graduate degree; a minimum four years of teaching (full load), three of which should be at USAO; and, a minimum of six full years in rank of full time Instructor or equivalent.
  2. Demonstrated excellent achievement in teaching, student advising and in one of the performance areas of research/scholarly/professional development or service.
  3. An exemplary record regarding Faculty Responsibilities and Ethics.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Senior Instructors are bound by all the Faculty Responsibilities and Ethics detailed in the faculty handbook. Job responsibilities include undergraduate teaching, academic advising, supervision of undergraduate research, and university service. Additionally, Senior Instructors are expected to take on organizational responsibilities, including for example, supervision of adjuncts, development of curriculum, community outreach, recruiting, coordination with similar programs in other regional institutions, development of student engagement events, etc. Senior Instructors are expected to maintain research/scholarship/professional development in their field.

Procedure:

Instructors who meet the qualifications for promotion to Senior Instructor would go through the same procedure as faculty applying for promotion to associate professor. Promotion to Senior Instructor would come with a salary increase, commensurate with the difference in pay scale of the other faculty tiers.

Position title: Teaching Professor

Requirements and Criteria for Rank:

  1. Graduate degree; a minimum of four years at the rank of Senior Instructor or equivalent
  2. A long standing record of excellence in teaching and student advising, and recognized achievement in one of the performance areas of research/scholarly/professional development or service.
  3. An exemplary record regarding Faculty Responsibilities and Ethics.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Teaching Professors are bound by all the Faculty Responsibilities and Ethics detailed in the faculty handbook. Job responsibilities include undergraduate teaching, academic advising, supervision of undergraduate research, and university service. Additionally, Teaching Professors are expected to take on leadership roles in their programs, including for example, program and curriculum development, community outreach, recruiting, coordination with national or international institutions in the field, development of student engagement events, etc. Teaching Professors are expected to maintain research/scholarship/professional leadership in their field.

Procedure:

Instructors who meet the qualifications for promotion to Teaching Professor undergo the same procedure as faculty applying for tenure and promotion to full professor. Teaching Professors may apply for tenure. Promotion to Teaching Professor would come with a salary increase, commensurate with the difference in pay scale of the other faculty tiers.

Benefits to USAO:

Attracting and retaining dedicated faculty to USAO is important to maintain quality and rigor in instruction. In some cases, in every academic division, searches to fill vacancies with candidates possessing PhDs or other terminal degrees has proven difficult. This is often in “hard to fill” disciplines, where USAO is competing with higher pay scales in the private sector or other universities with more resources. Therefore, without additional incentives, USAO will continue to struggle to attract dedicated faculty or retain those it currently possesses.

There are presently instructors in all divisions—hardworking, dedicated, effective teachers and advisors—who have proven their worth to this university. The prospect of promotion would give these faculty members a vested interest in the future of USAO, more equal status with their colleagues in other departments, and the sense of respect as valued members of our academic community. It will have a beneficial impact on the hiring and retention of instructors, providing a powerful incentive for attracting highly qualified faculty who lack a terminal degree. The expectations for scholarship or professional development involved in the promotion process would ensure that senior instructors and teaching professors are well connected with their fields, encouraging attendance at academic conferences and familiarity with current research developments. Their involvement in the field would in turn increase student participation in professional associations at the local and national level, and the visibility of USAO. The increased expectation for university service would provide faculty with more opportunities to have an enhanced voice in university affairs through committee work, event planning, and other activities commonplace among tenured and tenure track faculty at USAO. Additionally, the prospect of promotion adds value to their home programs by encouraging faculty to go beyond their teaching and advising responsibilities into the areas of program and curriculum development, as well as enhanced service to the university and their professional fields.

Appendix

Examples from other Institutions of Tenure and Promotion – Business
Robert Newbrough
June 22, 2016

The question posed centers on the tenure and promotion policies of other universities and education entities as related to Business faculty with Masters Degrees in their fields; management, accounting, finance, and administration. Are these faculty members eligible for tenure and/ or subsequent promotions?

I searched for university policies that provided a tenure-track for non-terminal degrees in Business. So far, as concerns tenure, I found only one university that had a policy for tenure. Valley State University in Valley City, North Dakota. It’s policy as to professional credentials for tenure is divided into two areas:

1. Terminal Degree
2. Professional Experience

In general, a terminal degree is required for tenure, but certain fields of study may be granted exceptions to the general rule. These fields of study include Business and CIS. Faculty, with Masters Degrees, in these positions follow the Professionally Qualified path to tenure and promotion. They enter at the Instructor rank and may be promoted at tenure to Assistant Professor based on years of quality teaching and service. Additional qualifications, Doctorate, second Master’s degree, and/or professional certifications may lead to promotion at tenure to Associate Professor or even full Professor. Below is the link to this information:

http://www.vcsu.edu/documents/policymanual/vp.htm?p=353

As to my search, it appears that most universities follow the traditional academic model, a terminal degree requirement for tenure. I did discover that some universities do have different policies relating to non-tenure track ranks and promotions.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has fixed term ranks; Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Teaching Professor, Clinical, Research, Adjunct, Visiting, and Professor of the Practice. The fixed-terms range from 1 to five years. The Professor of the Practice is interesting in that it recognizes expertise in prior career of non-academic professional achievement. Business is obviously a field of study that applies to this rank. Below is a link to this section of UNC at Chapel Hill’s policies.

http://academicpersonnel.unc.edu/faculty-policies-procedures-guidelines/faculty-appointments/

May’s Business School at Texas A & M has two ranks for non-tenure track faculty, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. Both of these ranks require a graduate degree and experience. Below is a link to that policy section.

http://mays.tamu.edu/maysnet/employee-guide/employee-guide-policies/policies-facult-promotion-tenure-guidelines/

Michigan Tech has eight non-tenure academic ranks. Four of those ranks are Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer, and Professor of Practice. All but Professor of Practice require a Master’s degree or equivalent professional qualifications. Below is the link to this part of the Faculty Handbook.

http://www.mtu.edu/faculty-handbook/faculty/chapter1/s1-5/155.html

The distinction is between an academic and a professional focus. Business students need instruction in all aspects of business, not so much for further research work, an academic pursuit, but to go out and put their knowledge and skills into practice, a professional pursuit. An article in Harvard Business Review from 2005 looks at the possibility that Business Schools have lost their way. The article centers on MBA programs, but is applicable to undergraduate programs as well.

The article points out that over the years, Business schools and curriculum have strayed from emphasizing competent practitioners to treating it as an academic discipline generating scientifically-based research devoid of any practical use in a dynamic business environment. Business schools evolved from essentially trade schools, with an emphasis only on business subjects taught by practicing professionals to schools now that will not consider hiring or promoting a tenure-track professor whose primary qualification is professional hands-on experience. Research is necessary and valuable, but if it does not reflect the reality of the business world, then students are not prepared for their future careers. Below is the link the article in Harvard Business Review.

https://hbr.org/2005/05/how-business-schools-lost-their-way

Business, like law and medicine, is a profession that requires reflection but ultimately action on the part of those involved. Decision-making is the action of business, in most cases with limited information and under time pressures. The article points out that the trade school model of a Business school is not appropriate now either.

Business, like law, is a broad-based interdisciplinary pursuit. Business leaders, decision-makers, require facts. Along with these facts, they also need knowledge in other academic disciplines, allowing them to assess their decisions in relation to the past, and prepare for ramifications in the present and future. A USAO School of Business, with its required interdisciplinary studies, is potentially uniquely qualified to meet the needs future business professionals, if it so chooses.

Addition links provided by Kate Sekula:

Henderson State University has a policy for promoting instructors to Assistant Professor after 10 years. Here’s a link to their faculty handbook.

Midwestern State has a similar policy. Here’s a link to the relevant section of their Policies and Procedures Manual.

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