Faculty: Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF)

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The University of Oregon (UO) sustains a faculty congruent with its standing as a major public research university and as a member of the AAU. The UO expects a commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service from all of its faculty members and it must embrace the duty of creating faculty appointments that readily permit pursuit of academic excellence. As is the case nationally, the UO makes faculty appointments in two groups—tenure-related faculty and non-tenure-track faculty. The purpose of this document is to provide a comprehensive description of the policies, procedures, and practices that define and affect the appointment and employment of non-tenure track faculty (NTTF) at the University of Oregon.

All non-tenure track faculty, whether involved in instruction or research, are considered to be members of the University of Oregon faculty and will be afforded professional and social standing in the University community commensurate with faculty status and the duties and responsibilities of their appointments. The specific policies, procedures, and practices articulated below are effective July 1, 2007 with the intention of creating transparency and increased consistency in NTTF appointments by the end of the 2007-08 academic year.

The role of non-tenure track faculty (NTTF) in a research university like the UO is a topic of intense discussion across the U.S. The issues are complex, and often perplexing, as universities work through the intersection of missions, costs, status and standing, egalitarian instincts versus academic hierarchy, and many other matters, all of which affect higher education in general and the UO specifically. There are many places in which these issues are discussed. One resource of particular importance is a policy paper produced by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP): Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession [http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/policydocs/conting-stmt.htm ].[1]

[1] The AAUP policy paper raises one class of issue that is not addressed in this document. The AAUP paper includes recommendations on the proportion of faculty appointments that reasonably can be made as non-tenure track appointments: at most 15% of the total number of faculty appointments for the institution and no more than 25% NTTF for any given academic unit. Current UO practice exceeds this recommendation, and it will be important for the UO to examine this issue and those related to it in the near future. The Academic Affairs committee did offer its advice that bringing UO appointment practices into its own appropriate alignment with the AAUP recommendations represents a worthy goal for a public research university. This plan includes some ideas intended to support this direction.

Policy Statement: 

Background. Systematic institutional review of NTTF appointments and employment practices began in AY 2001-02 with the formation of an ad hoc Senate committee charged to look broadly at UO practices and policies for NTTIF.[2], [3] In 2002, the ad hoc committee was changed to a permanent standing committee, and this committee conducted a number of open faculty forums and town hall meetings, completed a survey of NTTF, and generated a set of recommendations it passed forward to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2004-05.[4] In January 2005, the Office of Academic Affairs appointed an implementation group of NTTF, deans, senior tenured faculty, and administrative support professionals to examine the Senate recommendations and produce a set of concrete implementation recommendations for academic and administrative review and final action. These implementation recommendations have been discussed and reviewed through multiple iterations by the academic deans, the senior leadership of the University, the standing Senate Committee, and the administrative offices that manage the details of UO appointment processes. This document represents the formalized outcome of this extensive and collaborative process.

Issues. There is a set of academic and employment issues that have been at the core of the efforts to examine and improve the professional standing and conditions of employment for NTTF. These have included:

  1. Transparency: making the policies, procedures, and practices that define NTTF appointments and conditions of employment more readily transparent to both NTTF and to department heads and others charged with making or supporting those appointments.
  2. Consistency: ensuring that NTTF appointments are managed in consistent ways across the schools and colleges of the UO, while recognizing the appropriateness of specific differences in those academic units.
  3. Evaluation, promotion, and re-appointment of NTTF: creating a transparent and consistent set of practices in evaluating NTTF along with improved practices in the promotion and re-appointment of NTTF colleagues.
  4. Rank and title: bringing consistency and coherence to the assignment of rank and titles to NTTF appointments.
  5. Standing: bringing clarity to the standing of faculty holding NTTF appointments in matters of University governance as well as school or college level governance and department or program level governance.
  6. Access to resources and opportunities: bringing clarity and transparency to NTTF access to UO faculty resources and opportunities.
  7. Salary and compensation: the explicit inclusion of NTTF in salary improvement efforts for the UO.
  8. Coordination of school/college efforts with the Office of Academic Affairs: it is essential that efforts to improve NTTF appointments and conditions of employment in the schools and colleges be coordinated with central efforts to create transparency and consistency across the UO.
  9. Keeping resource issues in plain sight: it is essential to proceed recognizing the resource issues that shape addressing NTTF matters.
  10. Transitions: it is essential that colleagues who currently hold NTTF appointments are held harmless by the changes presented in this document.

Statement on the Value of NTTF at the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon employs a significant number of faculty in non-tenure related appointments, primarily, but not exclusively, devoted to instruction. The University affirms the importance to its mission of these appointments and so embraces the following working principles to guide its employment and support of NTTF:

  • The University includes and respects NTTF as integral contributors to the instructional and research missions of the institution.
  • All NTTF, whether involved in instruction or research are considered to be members of the University of Oregon faculty and should be afforded professional and social standing in the University community commensurate with faculty status and the duties and responsibilities of their employment.
  • The University at all levels of leadership is committed to providing positive working conditions for NTTF.
  • The University will provide clear written policies and procedures on hiring, terms of employment, evaluation, and professional development of NTTF.
  • UO supports the development of best practice recommendations through collaborative efforts between Academic Affairs, schools and colleges, departments, and our NTTF colleagues.

NTTF Appointments

All NTTF academic appointments fall within the set of unclassified appointments. Overall, there are three kinds of unclassified appointments at the UO: officers of instruction, officers of research, and officers of administration. NTTF fall only in the two faculty classifications of officers of instruction and officers of research.

NTTF appointed as Officers of Instruction hold appointments that are primarily or exclusively instructional appointments. This means that the appointments require instructional activities: teaching academic courses, preparation of such courses, associated coordination meetings on the curriculum and content of courses and the academic program they are part of, and advising and mentoring of students within those courses. Such appointments do not have a requirement to engage in research, though career instructional NTTF might be engaged in the teaching mission in nationally visible ways and some instructional NTTF do choose to engage in research, scholarship, and creative practice. Typically, such appointments are made within an academic department (e.g. Dept of History) or program (e.g. Program in Creative Writing), with approvals from the relevant academic dean and final approval by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

NTTF appointed as Officers of Research hold appointments that are primarily or exclusively research appointments. This means that the appointments require research activities: supporting research in some cases, conducting research activities, initiating and carrying out projects, pursuing and securing external funding, and all other activities that further the research mission of the UO. Such appointments do not have a requirement to engage in instruction, though there may be some mentoring of students as part of the operation of a grant or a research laboratory. Some NTTF research appointments are made in one of the research centers or institutes, with approvals by the director of the relevant center or institute and final approval by the Vice President for Research. Other NTTF research appointments are made by the academic departments and programs, with approvals from the academic dean and final approval by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Congruent with AAUP recommendations, selection of an NTTF appointment should be appropriately justified at the time the appointment is proposed. In appointing NTTF either as Officers of Instruction or Officers of Research, the UO will do so with consideration of whether the appointment should be made as a non-tenure-track appointment (NTTF appointment) or as a tenure-related appointment (professorial appointment).

Appointment Process. Currently, most NTTF appointments, whether instructional or research, are fixed term appointments with a specific contract duration and no promise of continuation beyond the date specified in the contract. Still, there has been a long-standing practice to re-appointment many NTTF year after year, as well as to appoint others in more strictly temporary appointments. These are usually tied to enrollment fluctuations, external funding support or other temporary conditions. At this point in time the UO will more concretely and transparently categorize the academic appointments of NTTF into two classes: Career NTTF appointments and adjunct NTTF appointments.

NTTF will continue to be appointed following the existing appointment processes published elsewhere [http://appointments.uoregon.edu/index.htm] with a few changes. Career NTTF appointments will require a national search; adjunct appointments do not require a national search, though this is not precluded.

Under no conditions will it be possible to convert an NTTF appointment into a tenure-related professorial appointment without a new and national search.

Adjunct appointments will not ordinarily be converted into career appointments no matter how long or how well an adjunct has served. A change in appointment from adjunct NTTF to career NTTF ordinarily requires a national search. Academic Affairs will work with the academic deans and departments and programs to consider whether a career NTTF appointment should be pursued whenever an adjunct NTTF appointment has accumulated more than nine consecutive terms, exclusive of summer appointments (or its equivalent for the Law School) at .50 FTE or greater.[5]

Re-Appointment Process. All NTTF appointments are fixed-term appointments and none are tenure related. For each fixed-term appointment, the UO issues a contract with a specific end date for that contract. Please note also that a decision not to continue a contract is not a "for cause" proceeding and the department is not required to provide a reason for not continuing a contract.

Career NTTF Appointments. In many cases there are NTTF whom a department or program intends to continue to re-appoint as long as there is a need and resources to do so and as long as the performance of the appointed NTTF continues to meet a standard of excellence[6] appropriate to a major research university. Such appointments are common at the UO: long-term instructors of foreign languages, long-term instructors of composition in the Department of English, long-term math instructors, or long-term research appointments, for example. The UO will make its commitment to these long-term faculty more transparent and more consistent across schools, colleges, and departments and programs in the following ways during fiscal year 2008 for all new career NTTF:

  • Career NTTF appointments require a national search (with the exception of those researchers who are named in an external funding award): local or regional searches will not be used to appoint career NTTF.
  • Career NTTF appointments will be eligible for promotion as described below.
  • Career NTTF appointments will be eligible for all regular faculty salary increases and will be included among those faculty whose salaries and compensation are addressed by the Senate White Paper of 2000.
  • Career NTTF are eligible to participate in University governance in accordance with University Senate legislation; currently, this includes only officers of instruction employed at .50 FTE or greater who are determined by their academic unit (relevant CAS division or professional school/college) as eligible for the purpose of voting in University elections and serving on elected University Committees and/or the University Senate.
  • Under most circumstances, career NTTF will be offered contracts of at least one year in duration.
  • Career NTTF appointments will be structured to be renewable based on excellence in performance and available funding but without the need for a new search (those named in external funding award will require proof of continued named in award status).
  • Career NTTF appointments are eligible for timely notice after a period of probationary service (three years of service at FTE ≥ .50 (with the exception of those on funding contingent contracts). During the first three years of appointment, a career NTTF appointment is considered a probationary appointment and the C-contract will not yet include provision of timely notice. At contract renewal at the beginning of the fourth year of service (the 10th term of service at .50 FTE or greater), the career NTTF will become eligible for timely notice, following provisions for timely notice included in the UO Faculty Handbook. See http://academicaffairs.uoregon.edu/handbook/Chapter03.html.
  • While it is not always a requirement on departments, academic departments appointing career NTTF are encouraged to inform individuals with as much advance notice as possible if circumstances make impossible the continuation of an appointment.
  • Career NTTF appointments are distinguished from other academic appointment through the use of a specific contract type: C- contracts. Only career NTTF will hold C contracts inclusive of those on funding contingent contracts and those that do not carry timely notice.

Adjunct NTTF Appointments. In some cases there is a need for temporary academic appointments either to deal with short-term fluctuations in enrollments, for research appointments that are not expected to exceed three years, or to bring in special expertise from the professional world. Some appointments are made to handle unexpected enrollment increases (for example, enrollment increases in Spanish) or as a replacement for a course (replacing the teaching of a faculty member on leave for one term). Some appointments bring to campus a practicing professional who will teach a course or two and then return to his or her professional practice (for example, a sitting judge might be brought to teach a course in the Law School). Such appointments are temporary in nature and there is generally no intent or plan for such appointments to be renewed. The UO will make its commitment to these short-term faculty more transparent and more consistent across schools, colleges, and departments and programs in the following ways during fiscal year 2008 for all new adjunct NTTF:

  • Adjunct NTTF appointments do not require a national search.
  • Adjunct NTTF appointments are not eligible for promotion.
  • Adjunct NTTF appointments are renewable for up to three years, if so indicated during the search process, after which a new search is required (exceptions may be granted for those who hold annual FTE < .50).
  • Adjunct NTTF appointments are not eligible for the regular faculty salary increase process, rather departments and programs will determine salary or a per course wage.
  • Adjunct NTTF appointments are not eligible to participate in University governance.
  • Adjunct NTTF appointments are not eligible for timely notice.
  • Adjunct NTTF appointments will include the modifier "Adjunct" in the title of the person holding the appointment.
  • Adjunct appointments will be distinguished from other academic appointments through the use of a specific contract type: D or E contracts. Only adjunct appointments will hold D or E contracts.
  • The use of the modifier "Adjunct" to designate FTE < .60 will be discontinued.

Transition. The distinction drawn here between career NTTF and adjunct NTTF follows closely existing practice in making NTTF appointments at the UO. There are many NTTF who hold enduring appointments as instructors or as research scholars with the reasonable expectation that these appointments will continue contingent upon excellent performance, continued funding, and continued programmatic need. There are many others who hold appointments that are strictly temporary and who do not expect the appointment to continue after its completion. But there also are NTTF who hold appointments in which they do not know where they stand, where they are re-appointed term-by-term and for a number of years. It is these appointments in particular that are vaguely defined and which these changes are intended to clarify. NTTF who hold current appointments will transition into the new appointment system as follows:

  • NTTF appointed on or before September 16, 2004 (August 15, 2004 for the Law School) and who have held continuous appointments at .50 FTE or greater will be counted as career NTTF unless the appointment was clearly made as an adjunct (meaning the modifier "adjunct" was included in the title of appointment).
  • NTTF appointed later than September 16, 2004 (August 15, 2004 for the Law School) will be counted as career NTTF if the appointment was made through a national search.
  • NTTF appointed later than September 16, 2004 (August 15, 2004 for the Law School) through a pool search or a modified pool search will be counted as adjunct appointments.
  • If a department determines that extenuating circumstances make the above assignments inappropriate in a particular case, the Office of Academic Affairs will consider those extenuating circumstances when determining whether a particular position should be designated as a "career" or "adjunct" appointment.

Rank & Title

It is in this area that the greatest changes will occur. Rank will be determined by the definition of the appointment (its expected duties and responsibilities) at the time the search is advertised for all non-pool searches.

Some of these changes may not be effective in Fall 2008 because they may require a change in relevant Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) under which the UO operates. This section describes current practice and the pending directions rank assignments will take in the near future.

There are two kinds of recommendation the changes here respond to. First, the Senate NTTF Committee had recommended creation of some rank structure in which NTTF who are engaged in graduate education are recognized for this with appropriate appointments. Second, there has been a felt need in some academic settings for a three-level system of appointments for career related NTTF, analogous to the three-level professorial ranks. The changes below reflect both of these recommendations.

Officers of Instruction. Instructional appointments in current practice involve a single rank series with just two levels: Instructor and Senior Instructor. These appointments did not readily admit of a role in graduate education or more extensive activities than extensive undergraduate course instruction. Consequently, there was widespread, but inconsistent practice, in using modifiers of the rank of assistant professor (Visiting Asst Professor or Adjunct Asst Professor) for these other kinds of assignments. The changes below create two kinds of instructional appointment, Instructors and Lecturers, each with three levels of appointment. It is not possible to move from the instructor series to the lecturer series without a new and national search.

It is important to note that these changes, in particular the addition of a second level of senior appointment and the proposed use of the rank lecturer, are likely to require changes in Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs).

Instructor Series: Instructor, Senior Instructor I, Senior Instructor II. The instructor series will be used for unclassified instructional appointments whose functions are devoted exclusively or primarily to undergraduate instruction. Such appointments certainly will include advising and mentoring expectations congruent with creative and engaged undergraduate instruction, including the possibility of involvement in design and development of courses and the curriculum in which they are emplaced. Depending on the particular formulation of the assignment, the appointment will require the MA or its professional equivalent and may or may not require the terminal degree in the field. Appointments in the instructor series will ordinarily require the terminal degree for any instruction of upper division courses (300-level or 400-level courses) though an academic dean and the vice provost may approve limited exceptions.

It is expected that most NTTF instructional appointments will remain within the rank series of instructor. For example, the large numbers of professional instructors responsible for foreign languages, composition, introductory mathematics, undergraduate music instruction, undergraduate art instruction, undergraduate business or journalism courses will continue to be appointed within the instructor series.

Lecturer Series: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer I, Senior Lecturer II. The lecturer series will be used for unclassified instructional appointments whose functions include significant responsibilities for graduate level instruction. The appointment may also include upper division undergraduate instruction. Such appointments must include significant mentoring and advising responsibilities and a significant measure of responsibility for graduate education. Appointments in the lecturer series will always require the terminal degree (or its professional equivalent for certain adjunct appointments), but the holding of a terminal degree in itself does not constitute an argument for appointment in the lecturer series.

It is expected that relatively few appointments will be made at the rank of lecturer since such appointments depend on engagement in graduate education and most appointments directed at graduate education should include research expectations and the development of a concomitant professorial appointment. Still, it is possible to describe some instances in which an appointment as lecturer will be appropriate. One, the rank of lecturer is appropriate for an appointment of the director of a clinical program, who will supervise graduate students in clinical practice, teach certain graduate level courses in the clinical area, provide leadership and coordination with the external professional setting, and may, if approved separately by the Graduate School, participate in the supervision of graduate student exams, theses, and dissertations. Two, the rank of lecturer is appropriate for an appointment of a specialist in some area where there is a substantial set of courses needed for graduate training but the courses do not constitute an area of departmental research focus.

For each series there are three levels of appointment. In parallel with appointments in the professorial series, the three levels of appointment permit review and evaluation of the incumbent twice during the career with a promotion in rank and an associated salary increase for successful promotions.

Transitions. While for most appointments the changes described here will have no immediate or long-term impact, it is the case that the UO is moving away from the use of professorial rank for NTTF appointments. This will have little effect on career appointments across the university and on adjunct appointments within the College of Arts and Sciences. The greatest impact will be in professional school appointments of temporary or adjunct faculty from the professional world. It would mean that a practicing architect would be appointed as an adjunct instructor if the duties of that appointment were strictly directed at undergraduate instruction and as an adjunct lecturer if the duties of the appointment were devoted to graduate education. Appointment of an adjunct to a professorial rank would be restricted to those who hold such an appointment at another institution [institutional parity] or in recognition of some unusual standing in the professional world an exception could be proposed by the relevant dean and approved by Academic Affairs.

Officers of Research. Research appointments in current practice involve a two rank series [Research Assistant and Research Associate] each with two levels: Research Assistant and Senior Research Assistant and Research Associate and Senior Research Associate. As described elsewhere, and consistent with ongoing practice, it is not possible to move from the research assistant series to the research associate series without a new and national search.

Research Assistant Series: Research Assistant, Senior Research Assistant I, Senior Research Assistant II. A research NTTF appointed at the rank of research assistant shall have earned a bachelor's or master's degree. Research assistants conduct research under the direction of a tenure-related faculty member or a research associate. Appointment is typically made by principal investigator of a university grant or contract, with the approval of the appropriate dean and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. For appointments to conduct research within a research center or institute, approval is through the Vice President for Research. Otherwise, it is through the administrative structure of the principal investigator's home department.

Research Associate Series: Research Associate, Senior Research Associate I, Senior Research Associate II. A research NTTF appointed at the rank of research associate shall have an earned doctoral degree (or the highest professional degree in the field plus appropriate experience). Research associates conduct research independently. Appointment is made by the principal investigator of a university grant or contract, with approval by the appropriate dean and vice president. In many cases, research associates may serve as principal investigators, with approval from the Vice President for Research, on grants they initiate and pursue within the academic unit or research unit of which they are part.

For each series there are three levels of appointment. In parallel with appointments in the professorial series, the three levels of appointment permit review and evaluation of the incumbent twice during the career with a promotion in rank and an associated salary increase for successful promotions.

Rank Modifiers. There are several rank modifiers whose use will now be made more consistent both internally to the UO and with national practice.

Adjunct. With one exception, the modifier adjunct will be used for all temporary appointments regardless of FTE. This replaces past practice in which the modifier adjunct was used only for temporary appointments with FTE < .60. The one exception is for appointments of post doctoral research associates for which no modifier will be used.

Visiting. The modifier visiting will be used only for an appointment that is both temporary and replaces the full range of duties of a tenure-related faculty member/career NTTF or has been invited to campus to collaborate with a UO researcher. Visitors will hold employment at an external institution either private or public. A typical use of this modifier occurs when a tenure-related faculty member is away on leave or sabbatical and the department completes a national search (required) for a one-year replacement who will teach courses at all and any level within the department, be actively engaged in the mentoring of graduate students even on this short-term basis, and will be expected to conduct research and engage with colleagues on research matters. Another example in the research arena is a faculty colleague invited to campus for up to a year to collaborate on a research project or work on a specific technique. A sabbatical replacement appointed only to replace teaching should be appointed as an adjunct. An individual appointed to a visiting position will hold the rank they hold elsewhere.

Clinical. It is now possible to use the modifier clinical for academic appointments that are devoted to clinical practice and training.

Titles. While in most cases the assignment of rank has been straightforward, in past practice in some cases, titles were used to confer a kind of de facto rank. This practice will be discontinued. Titles will follow consistent practice across academic appointments, uniting rank with the academic unit (or in some case major sub-unit) and any special assignment. Examples would include: senior instructor of mathematics, instructor of Spanish, senior instructor of ESL and associate director of the American English Institute, adjunct instructor of art, visiting lecturer in law, adjunct clinical lecturer in communication and speech disorders.

Transition. All currently assigned titles will remain in force for the duration of a colleague's appointment unless he or she agrees to a change.

Salary and Compensation

The deans will continue to work with departments to set NTTF salaries that are competitive with the market in the respective disciplines. Academic Affairs will work with Institutional Research and the Vice President for Finance and Administration to establish and maintain appropriate comparative institutional data on NTTF salaries similar to that maintained for tenure-related appointments. Implementation of this effort will take some time as the data needed is not uniformly managed across our comparator institutions.

The University of Oregon will include career NTTF appointments in the faculty appointments covered and addressed by the Senate White paper document on faculty salaries and compensation.

Salaries for adjunct NTTF appointments will be set competitively, though departments will continue to be permitted to contract with adjuncts on a per course basis.

The University supports and encourages, where feasible and appropriate, the creation of NTTF appointments with FTE ≥≥.50 that permit access to university benefits. The University does not support a practice of appointing NTTF at FTE levels less than .50 merely to preclude benefits. Aggregate appointments across two or more departments with FTE ≥≥.50 will receive benefits with OPE costs split proportionally across the units.

Evaluation and Promotion

All career NTTF will be evaluated on an annual basis beginning Fall 2008. During academic year 2007-08, departments are expected to develop a set of criteria for their NTTF appointments along with an evaluation process, submit these to their academic dean for review and approval, before final approval by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs or the Vice President for Research (for center and institute appointments).

While the final details and structure of NTTF evaluation should be left to the immediate academic unit in which the appointment is made, there are some general guidelines to follow. NTTF in instructional appointments should have student course evaluations completed for all courses taught and ideally they should undergo at least one peer review of teaching each year. NTTF in research appointments should be evaluated for the quality of the effort expended and the outcomes of their contributions to the research program. In both kinds of cases, NTTF should be asked to discuss their efforts and performance with their immediate supervisor at least once each academic year.

Career NTTF are eligible for promotion; adjunct NTTF are not eligible for promotion. The university will continue to use its existing process for NTTF promotion. Career NTTF will be eligible for promotion to the first senior level after accumulating 18 terms (consecutive or not) of service (or its equivalent for the Law School) at .50 FTE or greater. There will be a departmental review of the NTTF performance against department criteria previously approved at the school or college level and the university level, a review by the dean of the academic unit in which the department is located, and a final review and decision by the Provost or her delegate. The first level review, from initial appointment to its corresponding Senior appointment, is a required review and will be an "up-or-out" review, meaning that the successful candidate will be promoted and an unsuccessful candidate provided timely notice and a terminal, non-renewable contract. Current practice at the UO is inconsistent and not all academic units have conducted such promotion reviews. The academic deans will be asked to review all career NTTF appointments, identify which have NTTF who are due for consideration for promotion, and implement a plan for a timely and appropriate review for promotion.

Promotion to the second level (Senior II) parallels the process for promotion to full professor. This promotion is elective and does not involve an "up-or-out" decision. Candidates ordinarily would be reviewed during their sixth year after promotion to Senior (18 terms at FTE ≥ .50)


Standing refers to a faculty member's eligibility to participate in academic decision-making and professional development opportunities as determined by that person's rank within the university. At present the standing of NTTF at each level of institutional activity—department or program, school or college, and university—is vague and underspecified. For example, many NTTF do not know if they may sit on committees or vote at meetings or whether they are eligible for professional development funds. During the next academic year, each unit will clarify the standing of NTTF in its domain, particularly of its career NTTF.

During the current year, the larger university should consider and review NTTF standing at the university level to clarify, among other things, NTTF eligibility to vote in university elections, serve on university committees, and participate in faculty development opportunities.

Duties, Responsibilities, and Conditions of Appointment. Academic units will be encouraged to produce a written document that outlines the general duties and responsibilities of its NTTF appointments. The Office of Academic Affairs will provide a template for this purpose and support to departments as they produce a local document. NTTF will always be included in new faculty orientation activities as has been the practice the past two years.

Access to Grievance and Dispute Resolution

Consistent with current institutional rules and practice, all NTTF have access to both informal and formal means of resolving disputes and grievances. Those processes are detailed in the existing Faculty Handbook [http://academicaffairs.uoregon.edu/handbook/Chapter03.html - I] and in the Oregon Administrative Rules [http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/OARS_500/OAR_571/571_003.html].

[2] The final report of this first Senate committee is found at: http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen012/Instr.html.

[3] In its inception the Senate focus was on non-tenure track instructional faculty, hence NTTIF. UO efforts in this area have since expanded to include non-tenure track faculty holding appointments as officers of research, thus the change in acronym to NTTF.

[4] The recommendations put forward by the Senate committee are found at: http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dircom/NTTIF-report15May04.html.

[5] This dovetails with the constraint that adjunct appointments require a new search after three years of renewal. Since a search is required in any case, this moment is an appropriate time for the department to consider whether it ought to be making a career NTTF appointment, with an appropriate search (national if yes, a career appointment; regional if no, an adjunct appointment).

[6] The delimitation of what constitutes excellence in NTTF performance is based on departmental standards and expectations, reviewed and approved by the relevant dean or director, and by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (or the Vice President for Research for center or institute appointments).

Revision History: 

This policy was not included in the Policy Library when existing policies were reformatted into the new Policy Library.  The following history of the policy has been created to support the inclusion of this policy.  (2/13/2012)

History & Documentation:

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (NTTF)

University of Oregon Document on Policies, Procedures, and Practices

November 12, 2007

Beginning in 2001-02, the University began a systematic review of policies and practices governing non-tenure track faculty (NTTF) employment. The initial Senate ad hoc committee was made a permanent standing committee which conducted a number of open faculty forums and town hall meetings, completed a survey of NTTF, and generated a set of recommendations passed forward to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2004-05.

In January 2005, an implementation group of NTTF, deans, senior tenured faculty, and administrative support professionals examined those initial recommendations and produced a set of concrete implementation recommendations which were discussed and reviewed through multiple iterations by academic and administrative constituencies and the University Senate. The resulting document on policies, procedures, and practices was approved and has been in place as policy at the University of Oregon since November 2007.

Since the promulgation of the policy in 2007,

  • designation of NTTF as career or adjunct has been implemented;
  • as part of the implementation process, a number of NTTF were eligible for and received salary increases;
  • the standing Senate Committee on NTTF has worked to further clarify guidelines and procedures for evaluation and promotion; and
  • revisions to OAR 580-020-0005 governing academic ranks were developed, reviewed, and approved by the Oregon State Board of Higher Education on January 6, 2012, allowing full implementation of the policy, including Senior II ranks and a Librarian series.

Advisory Groups:

Senate ad hoc NTTIF committee (2001-02)

Senate standing committee on Non-tenure track Instructional Faculty (2002-present)

NTTF Faculty Committee (2005-2007)

Excerpts documenting policy adoption and implementation congruent with applicable practice at the time (bold added for emphasis). Excerpts appear in reverse chronological order.

June 17, 2008 - Memo from Co-chair of NTTF Committee (07-08) to members of the committee Re: Recap of Meeting, 6/9/08 with Russ Tomlin

"I met with Russ on Monday, 6/9/08 to let him know what we had done as a committee during 07-08 and to discuss with him the status of the implementation of the revised NTTF policy.

Russ outlined the progress that has been made as follows:

Step 1 – revisions of the NTTF policy were sent to the President's Small Executive Staff committee whereby the revised version was adopted as policy for the UO going forward.

Step 2 – During the current year's reappointment process, each NTTF is being evaluated with regards to appropriate status – Career or Adjunct 00 and issued an appropriate contract if being reappointed."

24 April 2008 - Memo from Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to Vice Provost for Community Engagement: "The attached documentation provides concrete guidelines in support of implementation of the new NTTF policy document, posted on the web at http://academicaffairs.uoregon.edu/nttf/NTTF-Policy.pdf. The NTTF policy specifies in general terms how current NTTF appointments will transition to the updated system for current NTTF appointments."

22 January 2008 - Academic Affairs policy email to deans - "As you will recall the new NTTF appointment guidelines are now in effect and will cover all upcoming renewals. I have attached a spreadsheet for your review on which can be found all current NTTF appointments."

14 November 2007 - Minutes of the University Senate Meeting: "Vice President van Donkelaar, human physiology, explained that the intent of the motion is to formalize a practice concerning the membership of non-tenure related faculty (NTTF) on the voting faculty for the purpose of standing for election to the University Senate and to serve on university committees and councils. The vice president noted that the policy recently implemented by Vice Provost Tomlin concerning NTTF recommended voting faculty status for career NTTF, defined as having at least a .50 FTE appointment and at least three years of continuous university service. Some academic units previously have included NTTF as part of the voting faculty, but others have not. The motion is to standardize the practice of including career NTTF as eligible members of the voting faculty, and the mechanism to do so is to amend the governance charter language. The additional necessary clause is in bold type in the text of the motion."

10 October 2007 - Minutes of the University Senate Meeting: "Vice President Paul van Donkelaar gave notice of motion to include career non tenure track faculty representation in the University Senate, which would align with implementation of a new policy for career non-tenured related faculty (NTTF) members. Career NTTF are identified as employed at .50 FTE or greater for at least three years. Many schools and colleges already identify NTTF faculty members as members of the voting faculty for serving on the senate or university committee purposes. (See http://www.uoregon.edu/~uosenate/dirsen078/US078-5.html)"


Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement