Minutes

     

ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
RIT AAUP - Non-Tenure Track Faculty Meeting
January 21, 2011 – SAU Campus Center A640, 2 to 4PM

Officers in attendance: T. Policano, J. Naud

1.21.11 AAUP Contingent Faculty Minutes

Meeting was facilitated by local chapter of AAUP. Tom Policano reached out to all contingent faculty by email.

Tom Policano: Re CRIS, can lecturers get involved as PIs on research? Provost asked to join meeting today. We are trying to build inclusiveness and community. Jeremy?

Provost Jeremy Haefner: I'm not here very long … Tom is one of the best champions/advocates. No Academic Senate meeting goes by w/o Tom bringing issue of adjuncts and lecturers to the table and we do try to make progress on issues. Are seeing some progress re career path for lecturers; about to go through budget process … From our (provost and president) perspective, salary adjustments high on our agenda, between 2.5-3.5% ? Ideas/questions/comments?

Tom: Would like to review what we're going to talk about. Provost has been very open to meeting and hearing issues and the issues are huge.

Speaker #1: I have a concern as lecturer. A number of tenured/tenure-track faculty has come talk to me, and w/ budget pressure, there seems to be a growing disconnect between them and lecturers,. Someone even said, "Don't you guys know that you're like scabs?" We should not be seen as separate …

Provost: I try to tell tenured/tenure-track faculty that without you, they'd have a much greater teaching load. Everyone is contributing in very meaningful ways to the campus. Once issue of representation is taken care of, we will continue to drive home this value that everyone brings. It will settle down.

Speaker #1: No one here wants to push back against their individual departments. It's very disconcerting.

Speaker #2: 1st thing on agenda is recognition and respect. With regard to teaching award for non-tenure track faculty, what is its status now that it was passed by the Academic Senate?

Provost: I need to put together a task force to put together details; more about activating the process than developing. There is a money award but not budgeted by campus.

Speaker #3: I'd like to express my support from the administration and I would hope that this good attitude would filter down to departments. I hope that if we do research that it's recognized.

Provost: We do need to clarify that. The chairs and directors meeting is coming up; we'll need to talk about. Primary role of lecturers is to support teaching! There are no expectations of scholarship but that's not to say it's not encouraged. Should you [as a lecturer] be involved in grants? We should be flexible … is there policy that prohibits you from being PI?

Speaker #1: I was told that I cannot. I was told "I work for hire." I know a tenured person with a NSF grant; grant doesn't travel.

Provost: not necessarily

Speaker #1:
Provost: Great to balance with funding if that creates work release, to reduce work load, to allow them to DO scholarship … what's the right language to do this kind of work while meeting the needs of the department? I will put it on the Feb. 2 agenda.

Speaker #4: I've received nothing but support form my dept!

Provost: I'm not surprised to hear that bit other [departments] still struggling.

Speaker #5: I'd like to see difference between tenured and non-tenured clarified. [For example, on emails] when you see "faculty", it really means "tenured".

Provost: Let me think about that. I'm probably guilty of that because I cast a wide net.

Tom: I was going to introduce folks but it's a large group so let's go right to the agenda. Introduce yourself and state your affiliation.

Speaker #6: Provost covered much of topic #1. There's a lot of grey area in the responsibilities and roles of lecturers. Provost says we're vital but at same time there needs to be some streamlining. Used to be a lecturer was one with 10 classes but in literature, it's 9 … It's a matter of respect.

Speaker #7: I'm from Graphic Design and the Print School. There's no sense of solidarity and there needs to be. Solidarity seems to be the only way -- what your talking about is unionizing. There's reason those things happen if you're talking about the lack of money, clarity, respect. If I'm asked to teach, that's the last I hear from anyone till it's time to turn in grades! How do I get access to services, etc.? All my experience is within CIAS.

Speaker #2: What do they do in chemistry that's different?

Speaker #4: I am retired so I can be here whenever I want, and one of things that I've found, like where do I put my stuff, is that it happens without any haranguing. I don't have to go to Paul [Rosenberg] to ask him.

Tom: What we're going to do is collect recommendations, and what we've been doing is trying to help folks to understand what the issues are and get people to stand up. Collect the minutes and give them back to Academic Senate for charges for standing committees. Involved and informed faculty will lead to progress and community … How many adjuncts here today? Lecturers? [7 adjuncts and 11 lecturers]

Speaker #7: What's the difference between contingent and adjunct?

Speaker #2: Adjuncts have no benefits and are contractual, ½ time or less. Lecturers are usually full-time, although some are half time with benefits. There are new ranks in lecturers -- senior and principal -- but right now there's no monetary increases. Contingent includes all who do not have tenure.

Tom: It's just about contract length, then?

Speaker #1: One of the major issues, and scary for adjuncts, is that NYS law says that if you work half a 40 hour week (20 hours), then you get benefits. Some people are putting in more hours, but it's 1 class here, 1 class there … RIT says you're responsible for keeping track of your own hours. If you ask for a consistent statement, some are doing more than ½ but are officially recognized as such.

Tom: How many of you got contracts from Human Resources?

Group: It comes from the college; Human Resources doesn't seem to keep track.

Speaker #7: Is it the goal to keep us below 20 hours?

Group: YES!

Speaker #8: With regard to pay scales, topic #6, RIT pay is based on what degree and what/whom you're teaching, and it's up to each college to determine what you get paid. Liberal Arts is very close to the bottom of that scale.

Tom: I'd like to return to the agenda as these are our talking points

Speaker #9: I have a respect issue. I was paid staff who also adjuncts. My home department did not think it was great or valuable to teach so I left RIT. I think there are many staff people who adjunct teach/would like to teach. My department said: "You can't be an adjunct on your off hours". That's not respecting my desire to teach and give back.

Tom: Everything we're doing would be best to get written as policies. Certainly having it in our procedure manual would be great.

Speaker #2: Recently in CIAS, a group of lecturers are having their positions turned into tenure-track lines. They were initially told that they could still work as adjuncts but now legal said that if you've lost your job as a lecturer, you CANNOT come back as adjunct.

Speaker #10: We were told that our extended part-time positions were being eliminated because two new 4D professors were being hired; we were also told we could have the same pay. But now we can't, which is 1/3 less and no benefits. I'm four years shy of retirement. My position has been renewed for next year but I can't come back after that.

Tom: Write up your story and send it to me. Check to see if this is an interim dean policy or Institute.
Speaker #10: The chair doesn't want to get involved in it. Directed me to HR. (She has been helpful.)
Tom: Let's move on. If there is something important that we didn't get to, write it down. Let's go to benefits and comp.

Speakers #1 and #8: Lecturers have health and retirement benefits; we're obviously much better off than adjuncts. And those who started this, feel in solidarity with all contingents. Also, there's some tuition waiver. There are other sorts of issues that are not financial.

Speaker #8: Adjuncts, have you gone to Orientation?

Speaker #7: I was invited but couldn't make it.

Speaker #8: There is a website; a lot of adjuncts don't know what resources there are. Library, gym, campus development, all open to adjuncts, and a voluntary 403b program (but no matching funds from RIT). There are tuition waivers – right now if you start as an adjunct, for your self it's 25%; after 9 quarters, it goes to 37.5%; and after 15 quarters, it's 50%. (For immediate family, the waiver is 50% and starts at 15 quarters.) But those hired earlier have better benefits. Also a bookstore discount of 10% but it doesn't apply to computers or software and you can join the Credit Union.

Tom: You can keep 403b as you move on.

Speaker #9: With regard to adjunct benefits, are those benefits for dependents contingent upon teaching every quarter?

Speaker #8: yes

Speaker #7: What happens if you and your spouse are both teaching?

Speaker #8: The benefits are the same for each of you but not increased.

Speaker #9: And no reciprocal agreement with other schools.

Speaker #7: Can we know tenured/tenure-track benefits?

Speakers #1 and #2: They're online somewhere.

Speaker #1: The issue about benefits is linked directly to "what ½ time is" and the expectations, esp. if there are labs involved. There are some people who are classified as adjuncts yet work in the writing labs, not really a class, but where they're caught working more than 20 hours but those hours aren't counted as such.

Speaker #9: This may be unique to my scenario but I was asked by the assistant dean to accompany her on a school trip to Italy. RIT paid for flight, lodging, and food, so I thought my TIME would be included. Bobby Colon, however, ruled that I should be forced to take vacation time for those nine days when in reality I was acting as a teacher on an honors trip. According to Bobby Colon, it was indeed personal time.

Tom: Will you write it down for me?

Speaker #11: Speakers #9 and #10 should send to their stories to whom?

Tom: Send them to me at AAUP site. We're going to look for action points; don't have to expand on this right now. Let's move on. Topic #3, Faculty Development. Speaker #2, this is yours.

Speaker #2: There is no consistent policy for providing funds for grants for travel and so forth. Some departments do, but definitely not consistently. And no FEAD grants, and if not talking specifically about FEADs, then there are others that adjuncts don't have access to.

Speaker #3: Some years back in Liberal Arts we could apply for and get funds for research up to $750 but then they took it away for no reason. Every year I discuss this with the chair and the dean but it goes nowhere. I hear, "No, tenured/tenure-track faculty need it because it's part of their job description."
Tom: Are you talking about research money or professional development? Couch what you do as professional development, then that's a path to go down.

Speaker #6: We are required to evaluate self as a scholar but if I don't have access to funds, then how do I grow? In my field, I need to grow even if not encouraged by my dept.

Speaker #12: If faculty development, then it remains up to us how to interpret that.

Speaker #6: But if you are able to do work around teaching load, then fine, per the provost. But that doesn't mean you get any money if you can do your job and do your research!

Speaker #1: There's real data here. Our college [Liberal Arts] has discretionary funds to give. In fact, some of that money every year goes unused. I have no problem standing behind tenured/tenure-track faculty for access but to prohibit me from asking, then that to me is exploitation.

Speaker #2: And not to do that [scholarship], how does that benefit the student?
Speaker #1: It's similar all the way down the line … It isn't that we're trying to take things away but even visiting professors are year by year and they get to write grants!

Speaker #11: Can't get FEAD grants

Speaker #1: Well, I know those who've written grants …

Tom: Something we definitely have to have clarified as policy! We'll make sure something gets passed on this.

Speaker #2: Tom, you're up next.

Tom: In this world of "others" -- and I want to clarify that not-yet tenured faculty are also contingent, you just have 5 years to prove yourself -- loads and faculty numbers: 50% of faculty at RIT at tenured/tenure-track, so 50% of credit hours to be taught will be taught by tenured/tenure-track faculty at RIT (credit hours/not head count), 25% will be lecturers, and 25 will be adjunct out of 100. Assumptions are that tenured/tenure-track will be teaching 3 3-credit courses. However, those not yet tenured are getting course reductions, so we're saying 2. Averages out to 2.5 3-credit courses. Lecturers are being told they're teaching 4 courses per semester. Adjuncts can't do more than 2 3-credit courses per semester. If we could have benefits for all, then there'd be no need for rules! So, doing the math, if we looked at 100 credit hours, the distribution of faculty would be 7 tenured/tenure-track faculty members, 2 lecturers, and 4 adjuncts. A 2-1 teaching load for tenure/tenure-track is the goal but I have yet to go back and clarify that with the provost …
Goals: 50% 7.5 x = .5
25% 12 x = .25
25% 6 x = .25 → across the Institute

If the question is, "How do I get one of these tenure-track jobs"?, then one of the biggest things I want to drive home personally is how can one not be qualified to apply (L → TT)?!
Speaker #1:
Speaker #7: It would also be interesting to know projected life cycle.
Tom: Ok, five minutes to explain a vision. May not resonate with all but when I proposed policy for lecturers to have some rank -- 1, 3, 5 yr contracts – the qualification for achieving that senior position, the Principal lecturer, was having a terminal degree. I thought it was a win-win situation for RIT and they'd be eminently qualified for a tenure-track thing. But how do you do that where people stay till they die? How do we open more and in recognition of society, what do we do in education in society where you're not fighting about it? Well, you can give up tenure and take a 1,3, or 5 yr contract to do what you love to do!

Speaker #7: Is that emeritus?

Speaker #13: There are some benefits for being emeritus … ?

Speaker #9: Is there thought of moving adjuncts up?

Tom: Of course there is! There's no more Visiting, there's no more EDF, we're in unchartered territory … in CIAS there are many people who've been visiting for a LONG time.

Speaker #14: I was EDF – educational development faculty – but now I'm a lecturer.

Speaker #1: When you were converted, you lost representation?

Speaker #14: Yes, but most EDFs went to "Staff".

Tom: I'm on Faculty Affairs Council and we're reviewing policies in the "B" section; EDF included but not lecturers. Current policy says that for every 30 faculty, there's one representative at Academic Senate; new policy is all faculty in a college combined, tenured/tenure-track and lecturers, will get representation. With regard to serving on Academic Senate, who can serve? Can lecturers serve as senators? Sure, but which lecturers? At Senior Lecturer level, there is expectation of service to college but is Academic Senate college service or Institute service? I think it's Institute, so that's a Principal Lecturer. Faculty Affairs committee believes it should be open -- no exception. But having your job description say that you don't have to do service and yet you do service, there's no compensation for that.

Speaker #7: Why not an addendum that says if you serve, then you get something?

Tom: Never even had reduced load for the chair of Academic Senate … it's one of those things where service is free; we don't generally get compensated for it.

Speaker #6: It's a compensation for an amount of work for when you don't have security.
Speaker #11: Has this passed?

Tom: It's in committee right now about allowing lecturers to serve.

Speaker #1: Having representation benefits the individual and the group; can reduce the exploitation long-term. Putting ceilings on lecturers is much more destructive.

Tom: Is that how people feel here?

Speaker #1: But also representation about the courses we teach! There are people in other departments who are not allowed to even talk about their courses. Having participation in course content and the right to intellectual property is important!

Speaker #3: I was told that I had no right to a course I'd developed but I could still certainly go ahead and develop it.

Speaker #2: [Re representation in Senate], is it a lecturer's seat or contingent faculty seat?

Speaker #14: How many lecturers are there? It's got to be equal representation.

Speaker #7: I want adjuncts to have input into curriculum.

Tom: I don't think that's going to happen! But if we could go the route of intellectual property, then that would be the thing, the probable direction we should go.

Speaker #15: I've had a bad experience with intellectual property issue at RIT …

Tom: Let's look into intellectual property item that was passed a year ago. It was a good policy for tenured/tenure-track but I don't know how far down the protection goes. If we can get some intellectual property statement, that would be great! As senate charter, what is better? Do lecturers feel that there will be no representation if you're equal because of the numbers thing? Is that what we think what will happen? Go forward with the equality and see how it plays out. If there are motivated lecturers, then we'll start seeing them, and we can start nurturing them.

Speaker #1: With full voting rights?

Tom: The issue flared up last year but still not addressed. We haven't defined the vote yet but it's on the table. Here is the issue from tenured/tenure-track faculty position: they believe because they do research, they should be able to vote on the curriculum. The curriculum thing is the big thing!

Speaker #1: Inherent in that statement is that we can't comprehend it yet contingents are teaching +/- 50% of the curriculum!

Tom: Get the vote on all curriculum matters.

Speaker #12: In my department, I'm the only one teaching advanced German and yet not consulted on anything regarding conversion.

Speaker #2: I used to vote on curriculum under Joyce [Hertzson, former Foundations chair] but not now.
Tom: Because of [current] chair or interim dean?

Speaker #2: I think both.

Tom: No one opposed on voting?

Speaker #14: With regard to representation on Academic Senate, how many lecturers are there?

Speaker #1: There's going to be more.

Tom: We had 40 … when we went to do the vote to convert to semesters, I ran a survey for every college and was privileged to get the numbers. For tenured/tenure-track versus non-tenured as of 11/23/09, in COLA it was 123 to 27; in CIAS it was 100 to 28.

Speaker #14: if you're going to be teaching the bulk of classes …

Speaker #2: Just to maybe solve that, then both, there has to be at least one …

Speaker #15: For every 30 faculty, there's how many on Academic Senate?

Speaker #1: All politics are local. We can vote for senators but how can we not vote in our dept? I was on Senate committee once because nobody knew who I was.

Speaker #2: Speaker #8, on to fair compensation.

Speaker #8: Going to talk a little about adjunct compensation, and it depends on the highest degree you have and whether you're teaching an undergrad or graduate course. M.A. teaching undergrads = $2430 per 4 credit course; $2905 for Ph.Ds  (in Liberal Arts)

Speaker #7: What about labs?

Tom: Labs get 2-1 (2 hrs for 1 unit)

Speaker #8: the normal is 3 hr lab to one credit unit

Speaker #7: What about that special raise that was announced?

Speaker #8:  I wrote to the provost, and the gist of the complicated response was that if you were going to get it, then you would have gotten it already and we are thinking about next year’s budget, but not specifically about adjuncts.

Speaker #11: Speaker #8, did you take into account quarters versus semesters?

Speaker #8: yes, it's an equivalent course. [See "Adjunct Compensation" handout]

Speaker #10: At MCC, I get $5-6000 a course.

Tom: Add that to the note you're going to send me.

Speaker #1: One of the things we argued for was year-long contracts for adjuncts so that you're not told that day you start whether or not you have a contract.

Speaker #7: Is there any mentorship for adjuncts? I always go to Speakers #2 and #11, whom I've known for a long time.

Tom: Go to orientation! It's excellent. You don't have to ask for permission to go. Wiki.rit.edu → look for adjunct pages.

Speaker #8: Adjuncts in Liberal Arts get letters with request for acceptance, "I am pleased to accept … ".

Speaker #2: There's no compensation for lecturers who are promoted, especially since there are increased duties.

Tom: Well, you almost didn't have increased contract time! Language originally said, "May" get 3 year contract and we changed it to "will".

respectfully submitted 1/26/11, revised 2/1/11

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