Guidelines for Establishing and Filling Positions in the Lecturer Title Series


Executive Summary

Appointment and Promotion in the Lecturer Title Series

A. Definition

B. Establishment of a Position

Initial Appointment

CAreas of Activity

D. Academic Ranks, Titles, and Criteria

E. Performance Evaluation

F. Promotion Criteria and Considerations for Lecturer Faculty

G. Eligibility for Promotion

H. Procedure for Promotion

I. Terms and Continuation of Appointment

J. Dismissal

K. Noncontinuation of Appointment

L. Graduate Faculty

M. Conditions of Employment

N. University Membership

O. Change from Non Tenure Track to Tenure Track Faculty

P. AAUP Guidelines

 

Executive Summary

The lecturer title series is a non tenure track professional series for appointment of appropriately qualified individuals who contribute to the university's academic mission by participation in activities which (1) predominantly involve instruction, and (2) are of contractually specified duration.

Criteria for appointment, performance review and promotion in the Lecturer title series are included herein. All Lecturer title series positions are one academic year (9 month) contracts that may be renewed annually, but not to exceed the period of funding.  All appointees in the Lecturer title series will have annual, written employment contracts.

Appointees in the Lecturer title series are considered to be educators and are under the supervision of the department head/chair or unit head. They are eligible for all the benefits except tenure, de facto tenure, and professional improvement leave. The department or unit must assure that space and facilities are available for conducting instructional work as appropriate.

To establish a position in the Lecturer title series, the initiating unit shall (1) prepare a proposal demonstrating the need for such a position and indicate the source (including any commitment of Auburn University), amount, and term of funding, (2) prepare a job description and identify any space that is needed for the performance of the appropriate assignment; and (3) obtain approvals of the proposal by the chief administrative officer of the concerned unit, the dean of the college/school, and the Provost. The proposal shall be transmitted to Dean of the college/school by the department head/chair or unit head with his/her indication of faculty approval for establishment of the position. The hiring of Lecturers will follow normal university hiring procedures. Joint appointments require the approval of all Deans involved.

Promotions in the Lecturer title series will be specified for each department and criteria must be approved by the Provost’s Office.  Promotion decisions will be determined by the specific document, department head/chair, and the dean of the respective college or school. As the Chief Academic Officer of Auburn University, the Provost retains the right to review all promotions and act appropriately.  Promotion decisions must correspond to the annual deadlines approved by the Provost’s Office and be reported to the Provost’s Office accordingly.

Anything not delineated in this document should be decided at the College level in consultation with the Provost.


Appointment and Promotion in the Lecturer Title Series

A. Definition 

The Lecturer title series is a professional series for appointment and promotion of appropriately qualified individuals who participate in the University's mission by participation in projects which (1) predominantly involve instruction, and (2) are of contractually specified duration. A faculty member on appointment in the lecturer title series is primarily expected to provide Lecturer services and to a lesser extent other scholarly endeavors. Recruitment into Lecturer/Senior Lecturer positions must follow University Affirmative Action/ Equal Employment Opportunity (AA/EEO) policies and be approved by the Office of the Provost and the AA/EEO Office. Appointments are for one (1) year duration with possibility for annual renewal.

Lecturers/Senior Lecturers will be issued annual letters of appointment. A Lecturer/Senior Lecturer is eligible for benefits equivalent to other full time employees at Auburn University.

B. Establishment of a Position

To establish a position in the lecturer title series, the initiating unit shall (1) prepare a proposal demonstrating the need for such a position and indicate the source, amount, and term of funding, (2) prepare a job description and identify any space that is needed for the performance of Lecturer practice; and (3) obtain approvals of the proposal by the chief administrative officer of the concerned unit, the dean of the college/school, and the Provost. The proposal shall be transmitted to Dean of the college/school by the department head/chair or unit head with his/her indication of faculty approval for establishment of the position. The hiring of Lecturer faculty will follow normal university hiring procedures. Joint appointments require the approval of all Deans involved.

Initial Appointment

Initial appointments are made as the result of normal recruitment procedures. Departments and units have some leeway in establishing the search procedures most appropriate for their particular circumstances. The department or unit might act as a committee of the whole or smaller screening committees might be used; a recommendation by a search committee might be transmitted to the department or unit as a whole for further consideration and transmittal to the department head or unit head or it might be transmitted directly to the department head or unit head. Whatever the procedure, it should be established in advance of need by the department or unit as a whole. The department head or unit head, in consultation with his or her faculty, should decide upon the positions needed and the qualifications a successful candidate must have. Together they should develop a position description to be supplied to the candidates.

The department head or unit head and the search committee shall be guided by the Provost Office and Affirmative Action Office in framing an advertisement for the position, in seeking permission to advertise, and in recommending an appointment. Guidelines from the Affirmative Action Office help ensure compliance with federal law and help ensure an open and fair search.

When making recommendations for appointments in the Lecturer title series, the department head or unit head shall confer with all available members of the department holding professorial ranks or, if the unit does not include professorial faculty, with those faculty holding continuing appointments. He or she shall then transmit a written summary of the reactions of these faculty members along with appointment forms through the appropriate dean and/or director, to the Provost. Where the faculty members do not concur in an initial appointment, the head may submit a recommendation for appointment with his or her justification and a report of non-concurrence of the faculty. An appointment made without the support of the faculty may jeopardize the new hire since the faculty will ultimately vote on promotion.

The doctorate is the terminal degree for most disciplines represented at Auburn University. Requests for exceptions must be presented with appropriate justification by the department head, with faculty concurrence, and the dean to the Provost. The appointment cannot be made without the approval in writing of the Provost’s Office.

Each initial appointment must be confirmed by the appropriate department head/unit head or dean in a written notice to the appointee after proper administrative approvals have been obtained. This notice should include determination of prior service at another institution to be credited toward possible promotion. This letter constitutes the faculty member's written terms of the initial employment.

C. Areas of Activity

Three areas of activity are important in the evaluation of individuals for appointment, performance review, and promotion in the lecturer title series: (1) documented evidence of effective Lecturer practice; (2) documented evidence in other appropriate academic endeavors as assigned, (3) collegiality, as defined for tenure track faculty in the Faculty Handbook. Guidelines relative to these areas of activity are described in the Faculty Handbook Chapter 3.

Lecturer faculty are expected to teach in the Lecturer setting. The contract between the Lecturer faculty and the university must specify the amount of teaching expected.

D. Academic Ranks, Titles, and Criteria

The academic ranks and related titles in the lecturer title series shall be: (1) Lecturer, (2) Senior Lecturer.  Although it is not feasible to specify exact criteria for evaluating the credentials of an individual for appointment or promotion to any one particular rank in the lecturer title series, the following statements are provided as guidelines.

1) Lecturer:  This non-tenure-track faculty appointment is designated for those with an emphasis on the teaching mission at Auburn University who are qualified to teach in their discipline. The appointments are not tenurable and are made on an annual basis with no right or expectation of employment beyond the period specified in the letter of appointment. These appointments may be renewable on an annual basis contingent upon availability of funds, the need for services, and satisfactory performance.

2) Senior Lecturer:  This non-tenure-track faculty appointment is designated for those who have sustained outstanding performance in teaching and service at the Lecturer level. There is no fixed requirement for years of service at the Lecturer rank before a Lecturer can be promoted. However, the qualifications for promotion to Senior Lecturer rank generally cannot be demonstrated fully in less than five complete years of service. A Lecturer may apply for promotion to Senior Lecturer following criteria and procedures for promotion maintained in the College of appointment. These appointments may be renewable on an annual basis contingent upon availability of funds, the need for services, and satisfactory performance and are not tenurable.

Criteria for promotion to Senior Lecturer are specific to each department and approved by the Dean and Provost’s Office.  Promotion decisions will be determined by the specific department head/chair and the dean of the respective college or school.  As the Chief Academic Officer of Auburn University, the Provost retains the right to review all promotions and act appropriately.  Promotion decisions must correspond to the annual deadlines approved by the Provost’s Office and reported to the Provost’s Office accordingly.

E. Performance Evaluation

Each department will have an annual, validated, and effective evaluation system that includes student, peer, and administrator input. The evaluation system should have performance improvement as its primary goal. Evaluation metrics should be parallel to department faculty with similar duties and should be determined by the individual department or college.

All department heads/chairs and unit heads, such as center and institute directors, shall conduct at least one yearly review before May 31 with each Lecturer faculty member to evaluate his/her performance and to discuss his/her future development. For the review, the Lecturer faculty member will provide a current vita and any supporting material the head/chair or unit head or the Lecturer faculty member deems appropriate.
In the case of Lecturer faculty members who have not achieved promotion to Senior Lecturer particular care shall be taken by the department head/chair or unit head to relate the faculty member's job performance to the promotion criteria set forth in this document. Significant achievements or deficiencies which might enhance or impede the candidate's progress toward higher rank shall be noted.

The head/chair or unit head shall prepare a written report covering the major points of the conference. A copy of the report shall be provided to the Lecturer faculty member within a month of the conference. The Lecturer faculty member shall be asked to sign it as confirmation of having seen it. If the Lecturer faculty member does not agree with material in the report, he/she may write a response to be appended to the report. One copy of the signed report and response, if there is one, is to be retained for the Lecturer faculty member's departmental personnel file and copied to the Office of the Provost; another copy is to be given to the Lecturer faculty member. This report is to remain confidential, available only for the use of the concerned Lecturer faculty member and any University officials who have supervisory responsibility over the Lecturer faculty member.

Each department head/chair or unit head shall conduct a third year review of all its Lecturer faculty members according to college/school guidelines. As with the annual review, the head/chair or unit head shall request a current vita and any supporting material the head/chair or unit head or the Lecturer faculty member deems appropriate prior to the third year review. The particular focus of this review is the Lecturer faculty member's progress toward achieving promotion. The review, therefore, must address the specific departmental/college/school criteria for promotion. The head/chair or unit head shall prepare a written report covering the findings of the review.

F. Promotion Criteria and Considerations for Lecturer Faculty

A Lecturer faculty member is focused on instruction and has the obligation to contribute to his/her discipline through teaching. To a large extent, each discipline and each department must determine how much and what quality of Lecturer practice is appropriate for promotion and judge its candidates accordingly.

G. Eligibility for Promotion

There is no fixed requirement for years of service at a given rank before a Lecturer faculty member can be promoted. Lecturer faculty members on leave of absence without pay need not count his/her leave time toward promotion. A Lecturer faculty member on leave without pay cannot be a candidate for promotion while on leave.

H. Procedure for Promotion

Promotion will be specific for each department and criteria must be approved by the Dean and Provost’s Office. Promotion decisions will be determined by the specific department, department head/chair and the dean of the respective college or school. As the Chief Academic Officer of Auburn University, the Provost retains the right to review all promotions and act appropriately.

I. Terms and Continuation of Appointment

Lecturer faculty will be appointed with written contracts. The following principles outline the policy on continuation of the contract for Lecturer faculty members.

All Lecturer title series positions are one year contracts that may be renewed annually or, if for a lesser period of time, the period of funding from the contract, grant, or other designated funds. Renewal is contingent upon funding being available and upon performance. All appointees in the Lecturer title series will have annual, written employment contracts.

All department heads and unit heads shall conduct at least one yearly review with each faculty member to evaluate his or her performance and to discuss his or her future development. In order to review the faculty member fairly, the head shall request a current vita and any supporting material the head of the faculty member deems appropriate prior to the review. More frequent reviews may be conducted at the discretion of the faculty member or the department head.

The initial letter of appointment should clearly define the length of the appointment, not to exceed one year, benefits, and duties/responsibilities. The offer letter should make clear that continuation of appointment is subject to the availability of funds, the need for services, and satisfactory performance. Letters containing promises not consistent with the Lecturer title procedures are not enforceable unless authorized in writing by the President of Auburn University.

J. Dismissal

The expectation of continuous employment provides the guarantee needed to ensure academic freedom. Termination of a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer during the contract term shall be effected by the University only for lack of funding or adequate cause. If termination during the contract term is for reasons other than lack of funding, then the Faculty Handbook (Chapter 3) provides that “Rights of due process shall also apply to a non-tenured faculty member dismissed before completion of his or her contractual term.” Dismissal shall not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or other rights of American citizens.

L. Noncontinuation of Appointment

The contractual period for faculty in the Lecturer title series is nine months and the university retains the right to continue or noncontinue a faculty member in the Lecturer series.

M. Graduate Faculty

A faculty member on appointment in the Lecturer title series may be proposed, recommended, and approved for membership in the Graduate Faculty as provided in the Faculty Handbook. If an appointee in the Lecturer title series is approved for membership, the individual's participation as a member of the Graduate Faculty shall be limited to directing graduate theses and dissertations, teaching courses that he/she are qualified to teach according to accreditation guidelines, and to serving on committees appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School in proportion to their other assignments.

N. Conditions of Employment

A faculty member on appointment in the Lecturer title series is eligible for benefits as provided in the Faculty Handbook or other applicable University policies, except tenure, de facto tenure, and professional improvement leave. University contributions toward retirement, social security, annual and sick leave, and insurance benefits for the faculty member shall be covered through the contract, grant, generated income, or other designated funds which provide support for the individual's position.

O. University Membership

A Lecturer/Senior Lecturer may be eligible to vote on faculty matters according to department and/or school/college governance rules; this may include the ability to serve on committees. They are encouraged to improve their instructional qualifications and are eligible for departmental/college resources earmarked for such purposes; this may include eligibility for travel and other resources.
A Lecturer faculty member may vote on and/or be elected the department's representative in the University Senate.

P. Change from Non Tenure Track to Tenure Track Faculty

An appointment of a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer from the Lecturer title series to tenure-track faculty may only occur through normal, faculty approved, Department Head/Chair and Dean approved, Provost approved and AA/EEO approved tenure-track recruitment. Lecturer/Senior Lecturer time will not count toward the tenure clock.

Change of position from tenure-track:  An appointment from a tenure-track position to the Lecturer title series may only occur through normal, faculty approved, Department Head/Chair and Dean approved, Provost approved and AA/EEO approved recruitment.

Q. AAUP Guidelines

Auburn endorses the AAUP guidelines stating that no more than 15% of the total instruction within an institution and no more than 25% of the total instruction within any department should be provided by faculty with non-tenure-track appointments. In Auburn University’s efforts to adhere to these guidelines, any exceptions to these percentages must be approved in writing by the Provost on an annual basis.
Approved by Tim Boosinger, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
February 3, 2012

 

 

 

Last Updated: February 15, 2012