The 2018-2019 Faculty Manual has been posted on the Faculty Senate homepage.
One important change to this year’s manual is to codify permanent contracts for faculty and make senior instructors and clinical faculty eligible for this type of contract. The “continuous contract” works more like the type of contracts we see outside the professoriate. The faculty member and administrator agree on a position with no terminal date or contingencies. The University or the faculty member can terminate the contract with sufficient notice, with or without cause. Until notified otherwise, the faculty member will have continued employment without the need for additional contracts. Faculty and administrators can now consider continuous, fixed term, and contingency contracts when they negotiate employment or renew employment. Benefits of the continuous contract include removing the anxiety felt by fixed term faculty as their terminal dates approach and a decrease in the paperwork encountered by the University when drawing up repeated short term contracts, without the University losing the ability to change the balance of its workforce in response to changes in enrollment and revenue. Being on a permanent style contract will also make it easier for faculty to apply for loans, improve their immigration status, and attain other benefits of permanent employment.
With the new annual review process, there was some confusion about who had the final say in deciding between a comprehensive and an intensive review. This process has been clarified in the most recent edits to the Faculty Manual. The purpose of an intensive review is for a faculty member to gain more complete information for building an appropriate career profile for promotion. Pre-tenured faculty are normally required to undergo an intensive review in their third year. Faculty who are eligible for promotion are encouraged to choose to undergo an intensive review every four to six years.
The NWCCU accreditation body considers assessment of teaching and learning as a key factor in their review. Formalizing that faculty involved in assessment should have this work recognized in annual reviews and include such work in their teaching portfolios has been added to the Faculty Manual. This was viewed very favorably by the recent NWCCU accreditation team, and is welcomed by faculty and administrators involved in assessment.