Carrie Matthews,

Charles Williams

David Goldstein

July 27, 2018


Pathways to Tenure for Lecturers & Rationale for Part-time and Fixed-Term Positions

A Snapshot of Issues and Possible Actions


General context of UW’s faculty labor:


·         The tri-campus UW system currently relies on majority contingent faculty labor, with only about 28% of faculty tenured or in a tenure-track position.

·         Lecturers who have taught for decades have no access to tenure, and in some departments have in fact had reappointment terms cut by as much as 66% (from three-years to one year). Some Senior and Principal Lecturers have had reappointment terms cut from five to three years.

·         At least some temporary lectureships are used for long-term needs, and temporary lecturers remain restricted to a maximum of three years full-time employment.

·         2014-15: UW’s self-reported data (IPEDS) states 1,595 FT tenure-track faculty and 1,535 PT non-tenure track faculty. (The next year they changed their accounting and claimed that in AY 2015-16 the UW employed 2828 FT tenure-track faculty and 878 PT non-tenure track faculty.)


Faculty Survey Results: Top Priorities

1.       Benefits for faculty who teach on a part-time or contract basis – ranked 6.4

2.       Concrete steps to recruit, retain, and promote faculty of color – ranked 6.2

3.       Pathway to tenure for long-time lecturers – ranked 5.9

4.       Conversion of temporary positions from 3 years to permanent – ranked 5.6 

UW’s Actions:

·         UW has not honored its commitment to run national searches for multi-year lectureships in a timely way that would allow temporary lecturers a chance to continue teaching at UW full-time. (Searches have been started late/off-cycle and then canceled due to concerns about the number/pool of candidates in terms of diversity.)

·         FT lecturers are becoming more contingent


Possible Asks/Demands:

·         UW hiring units (departments/divisions/schools) publish (make publicly accessible) staffing rationales, including a justification for FT lecturer, temporary lecturer, and PT lecturer positions as well as staff positions (to justify fixed-term appointments)

·         UW offer benefits to every part-time lecturer who teaches at least one class a quarter for each quarter they teach

·         UW offer a pathway to tenure for long-term lecturers: “Professor of Practice” or something similar

·         UW reconsider its faculty mix: FT tenure-track positions should comprise the majority of faculty

·         As soon as it is apparent that a temporary positon represents a long-term need, a national search for a multi-year position should be run, by no later than the third year of the temporary lecturer’s appointment. The search should be run in a timely matter in terms of the academic year hiring cycle.