University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Policy Name: Advancement Guidelines for Full-time Non-tenure-track Instructors
Policy Number: LR 403.23
Effective Date: September 1, 2023
Revised Dates: April 28, 2023 (FS_2023-12), Originated 2011
Most Recent Review Date: April 28, 2023
- As faculty, FT-NTT instructors enjoy the rights and responsibilities for faculty in general, including but not limited to those pertaining to appointments, dismissals, annual reviews, and faculty excellence awards.
- As non-tenure-track faculty, FT-NTT instructors are not eligible for tenure or for non-reappointment procedures.
- Academic units and/or colleges shall develop appropriate criteria and procedures for FT-NTT advancement. These policies shall be included in the unit’s approved governance document. Peer evaluation shall be a component of the evaluation at either the academic unit or college level.
- Academic units and/or colleges shall develop appeal procedures for those desiring reconsideration of a negative advancement decision. These policies shall be included in the unit’s approved governance document. Should a faculty member continue an appeal beyond the dean, he or she shall do so through the Faculty Appeals Council.
- Since the decision to pursue advancement is not mandatory, an application for advancement shall be initiated by the FT-NTT faculty member, who shall prepare materials to support the application.
- Recommendations for advancement shall be forwarded by the academic unit chair and/or dean to the chief academic officer and then the chancellor for approval.
The three tiers in the advancement system are:
Tier One: Instructor
A Tier One faculty member is normally an FT-NTT member with a master’s degree or terminal degree. An academic unit may choose to apply outside work experience (e.g., experience in a relevant profession) as equivalent in accordance with the appropriate approved governance document, and this equivalence must be documented in the faculty member’s letter of appointment.
Teaching, service, and/or administrative or professional development responsibilities are determined in accordance with the appropriate approved governance document.
A Tier One faculty member is not required to pursue advancement.
Tier Two: Advanced Instructor
A Tier Two faculty member is normally an FT-NTT faculty member with a master’s degree or terminal degree who has held the rank of Tier One for at least five (5) years. An academic unit has the option of giving credit for outside work experience (e.g., experience in a relevant profession) in meeting the experience requirement, in accordance with the appropriate approved governance document, and this equivalence must be documented in the faculty member’s letter of appointment.
Application for advancement to Tier Two is the responsibility of the Tier One faculty member. An academic unit may consider excellence in teaching alone as sufficient for advancement to Tier Two, but academic units may also take additional factors into account when considering the application for advancement, e.g., scholarship, professional development, and service.
Departments, in accordance with the appropriate governance document, will determine the criteria for advancement.
Advancement to Tier Two will be accompanied by an appropriate increase in salary.
A Tier Two faculty member is not required to pursue advancement.
Tier Three: Senior Instructor
A Tier Three faculty member is normally an FT-NTT faculty member with a master’s degree or terminal degree who has held the rank of Tier One for a minimum of five (5) years and Tier Two for a minimum of five (5) years. An academic unit has the option of giving credit for outside work experience (e.g., experience in a relevant profession) in meeting the experience requirement, in accordance with the appropriate approved governance document, and this equivalence must be documented in the faculty member’s letter of appointment.
Application for advancement to Tier Three is the responsibility of the Tier Two faculty member.
An academic unit may consider excellence in teaching alone as sufficient for advancement to Tier Three, but academic units may also take additional factors into account when considering the application for advancement, e.g., scholarship, professional development, and service.
Academic units, in accordance with the appropriate approved governance document, will determine the criteria for advancement.
Advancement to Tier Three will be accompanied by an appropriate increase in salary.
For All Tiers
FT-NTT faculty members are eligible for Off-Campus Duty Assignment (OCDA), consistent with university policy and academic unit resources.
Voting privileges are determined by the academic unit and/or college and shall be included in the appropriate approved governance document. It is recommended that FT-NTT faculty be granted voting privileges, at a minimum on matters that pertain to them.
Criteria for Advancement
As noted above, academic units may determine that excellence in teaching alone is sufficient for advancement for FT-NTT faculty. However, academic units have the discretion to take into consideration contributions by such faculty above and beyond their teaching responsibilities, e.g., scholarship, professional development, and service.
The UA Little Rock mission statement places teaching as a central value. “The mission of the university is to develop the intellect of students; to discover and disseminate knowledge; to serve and strengthen society by enhancing awareness in scientific, technical areas; and to promote humane sensitivities and understanding of interdependence.” FT-NTT faculty are expected to demonstrate effective teaching in response to this mission.
Universal qualities of effective teaching are the same as those articulated for tenured and tenure-track faculty. The nature of effective teaching may vary across disciplines, but certain qualities are universal: respect for students, faith in student abilities, a focus on student learning, and a commitment to student success. Equally important, faculty should view themselves as role models who convey the values of their disciplines and initiate students into their professions. In the pursuit of excellence in teaching, faculty members must remain current in their discipline and in pedagogical strategies. They should consider teaching a continual process of improvement and growth.
Teaching is the primary role of FT-NTT faculty and complements the activities of the tenure-track faculty. Student, campus, and community needs cannot always be met by tenure-track faculty alone. In many instances FT-NTT faculty can meet those needs and allow the institution flexibility that might not otherwise be possible.
As an individual advances through the non-tenure track ranks from Tier One to Tier Three, the non-tenure track faculty member’s teaching can be evaluated in a number of ways. Both processes and criteria shall be specified in the academic unit’s approved governance document. A combination of student evaluations, peer evaluations (which may include classroom visits), and self-evaluation are expected. Other factors that the department may consider in evaluating teaching include curriculum design and development, creative/innovative teaching strategies, the number of different course preparations taught by a faculty member, whether the faculty member teaches graduate as well as undergraduate courses, and the ability of the faculty member to teach with a variety of delivery methods, including traditional face-to-face, fully online, and hybrid courses.
Advancement from one tier to another may include scholarship/professional development. The criteria will be determined by each academic unit and reflect Ernest Boyer’s four categories along with a fifth one, the Scholarship of Creativity. These views were approved by the faculty senate for all faculty. As Boyer writes, “What we urgently need today is a more inclusive view of what it means to be a scholar, a view that recognizes the great diversity of talent within the professoriate (Scholarship Reconsidered 24-25). That talent is also reflected among the FT-NTT faculty who, when appropriate, should be encouraged, supported, and recognized for engaging in scholarship and faculty development.
- Scholarship of Discovery. The systematic inquiry or investigation designed to validate and refine existing knowledge and generate new knowledge.
- Scholarship Creativity. The creation of or performance of original works of art, literature, music, film, and theater. It may also include the creation of new forms, electronic or digital media.
- Scholarship Application. The use of professional expertise or information in the process of solving social or community problems.
- Scholarship of Integration. Involves synthesis across theories or across academic fields.
- Scholarship of Teaching. Should be a reflection of excellence in teaching as well as a rigorous form of scholarship in which a faculty member systematically examines the impact of pedagogy upon learning.
It is important that the academic unit clearly defines in the appropriate approved governance document what is meant by scholarship and professional development and what is expected of FT-NTT faculty.
An application for advancement from one tier to the next need not require, but can be enhanced by, the performance of service as specified in the unit’s approved governance document. Areas of service may include: (1) service to the department; (2) service to the university; (3) service in the faculty member’s profession; or (4) service in the community.
(1) Service to the department may mean participation in committees and councils essential to the mission of the department.
(2) Service to the university may include participation on committees, councils, task forces, or election to the Faculty Senate.
(3) Service to the faculty member’s profession can enhance an application for advancement. Service to the profession may include serving as an officer or on a committee in a professional organization; planning and coordinating a conference or event; editing or contributing to the publication of a professional journal; and reviewing manuscripts, grants, programs, and books.
(4) Service in the community is the application of a FT-NTT faculty members’ expertise to the community at the local, state, regional, national or international level and may also enhance an application for advancement. Typical examples of service may include involvement in task forces seeking to solve community problems; consulting with government, business, and non-profit organizations; training and presentations; and program review, coordination and development.
Each department and college will have its unique ideas for service in the four areas described above. It is important that the academic unit chair and personnel committee clearly define in the appropriate approved governance document what is meant by service and what is expected of FT-NTT faculty.
Source: Faculty Senate April 28, 2023 (FS_2023-12), 2011 Senate Meeting
Approved by: Chancellor Christina Drale
Originator: UA Little Rock Faculty Senate
Custodian: Provost and Faculty Senate