Faculty Council makes handbook changes related to Term, Adjunct Faculty

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Faculty Council member Andrea Kayne speaks to the board while Faculty Council President speaks to the crowd about term faculty.

Correction: This article was changed to reflect that the motion to support long-term contracts for term faculty members serving as senior professional lecturers was tabled, not approved. The headline was also changed to better reflect the content of the story.

DePaul Faculty Council voted on four changes to the Faculty Handbook on Wednesday. 

Three of the four revisions were passed by the Faculty Council and relate to definitions and policies regarding term and adjunct faculty. The handbook changes regard better defining formal reviews for term faculty and the use of functional titles for both term and adjunct faculty members. 

Most notably, the council motioned to rephrase language to support long-term contracts for term faculty members serving as senior professional lecturers. This motion was tabled and is pending further discussion.

The handbook recognizes a senior professional lecturer as “term faculty who have served at the rank of Professional Lecturer and have demonstrated superior performance as a teacher.”

Wednesday’s motion cited a lack of retention incentive for term faculty members upon promotion to senior professional lecturer other than the title change. 

If the change is made, faculty who fall under these circumstances will now obtain added job security, as the new language states, “Term faculty members at the rank of Senior Professional Lecturer shall be offered long-term contracts ranging from three to five years, and shall be notified by the local academic officer of their eligibility for a long-term contract as stated in faculty handbook policy.”

Concern was raised amongst some council members in attendance regarding the possibility of this change preventing select professional lecturers from attaining promotion if a unit wanted to avoid offering a long-term contract.

 Erin MacKenna, adjunct professor and member of Faculty Council’s Committee on Contingent Faculty, was quick to mention the term faculty members she spoke with said the opportunity for longer contracts was worth the risk.

 “We have seven term faculty members on our committee,” MacKenna said. “They don’t get anything [with promotion] except for the title and term faculty say this is a trade they’re willing to make.”