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Faculty Affairs Committee Minutes (4-9-09)

Meeting of the Faculty Affairs Committee

9 April 2009, 4:00pm, Sci 2555


Present: Rebecca Dean, Argie Manolis, Eli Mayfield, Pam Solvie, James Wojtaszek, Timna Wyckoff

Absent: Fang Du

Guest: Cheryl Contant


We had invited Dean Contant to join us to discuss the responses to our request for input about spousal/partner hiring at UMM. Contant asked that we put that discussion off until our next meeting with her (23 April 2009, 11am, Sci2555), as another, important topic has arisen. We agreed, and the discussion at this meeting was exclusively about options for a new pay structure for faculty instructors, especially part-time, temporary faculty.


Chancellor Johnson has asked Contant to propose a new pay structure. Our discussion revolved around two major topics: 1) types of faculty appointments at UMM, and 2) alternative equations for determining salary.


First, Contant showed us a table listing six categories of instructors, and her understanding of the teaching, advising, service, and scholarship expectations of each. Tenured, tenure-track, and full-time contract faculty are expected to do all four of these. Part-time, temporary instructors only have teaching responsibilities. Contant asked “what percent of a tenured faculty member's effort is dedicated to teaching?” She proposed that it was somewhere around 75% and we all agreed that that felt like a comfortable number. Therefore, Contant argued, a part-time, temporary faculty member might be expected to teach one-third again more credit hours to reach “full-time”. This would be equivalent to a 4/3 teaching load. Wyckoff commented that if anyone was actually teaching a 4/3 load, it might lead to the creation of two very different “classes” of instructors on this campus, something that is currently NOT a major concern of our non-tenure track faculty. Contant replied that the 4/3 expectation would only be for determining a pay structure for instructors NOT teaching full-time (i.e. no one would actually teach 4/3, but part-time faculty might be paid one-seventh of a salary per course).


This brought us to the other three categories of faculty appointments on this campus. Full-time, renewed non-tenure track faculty have teaching and advising expectations. We all pointed out that those faculty also tend to do lots of University service. We also discussed whether those faculty should be supported in their scholarship, even if it is not a job expectation. Sabbatical replacement faculty have teaching and scholarship expectations, but, as they are only on campus for a year (generally), no advising or service. This is similar to being a first-year tenure-track faculty member. We all agreed that these two categories should still have a 20 credit (3/2) teaching load.


Finally, there are part-time, multi-year faculty who teach, but also advise students. If they have no service or scholarship expectation, one might expect them to teach a bit more than tenure-track faculty, perhaps a 3/3 course load. However, we pointed out that many multi-year faculty end up doing lots of University service, and that either that should be taken into consideration or they should be specifically NOT asked to be on any committees.


The discussion then moved to pay structures. The alternatives Contant proposed were either 1) a % of base, to be set by field, qualifications, and experience, or 2) a standard rate per credit hour, with opportunities for increases for time at UMM or having a terminal degree. We expressed some preference for the second option, but asked for more information about what that standard rate might be. The rates at some peer institutions seem very low, given the west-central Minnesota labor market.


We will discuss this further at our next meeting with Contant.


Minutes submitted by Timna Wyckoff, 22 April 2009