Faculty senate recommends decreasing non-tenure-track positions

The UCA Faculty Senate approved a resolution at its meeting on Thursday recommending that the university decrease its reliance on non-tenure-track faculty by increasing the number of tenure-track faculty positions.

Provost Gabe Esteban said the university is already advertising 17 new tenure-track positions for the fall semester and will convert two non-tenure-track positions to tenure-track. ?We are moving in that direction based on the fall enrollment forecast,? he said.

The senate?s academic affairs committee recommended the resolution after it found that over the last decade the university has steadily increased it?s reliance on non-tenure-track faculty. According to the committee?s report, approximately 20 percent of the university?s full-time faculty were in non-tenure-track appointments in fall 1993, whereas, in 2002, approximately 39 percent of full-time faculty were non-tenure track.

While some senators expressed concern that non-tenure-track faculty would lose their jobs, Esteban said that would not be the case. ?I do not intend to start cutting jobs,? he said. ?We will continue to need a buffer of non-tenure-track faculty as enrollment increases.?

The academic affairs committee recommended a second resolution that affords protections to faculty in regards to workload changes. The senate approved the resolution, which recommends that departments clearly define the duties associated with all faculty appointments.

It also recommends that no fundamental changes in workload should be made without consultation with the faculty member. In those instances, the senate also recommends that non-tenure-track faculty be given the consideration similar to that of their tenure-track peers.

-Jennifer Boyett