The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments: Recommendations

The following eight recommendations come from the report The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments.

Recommendation 1: Institutional policies should define as “faculty” and include in governance bodies at all levels individuals whose appointments consist primarily of teaching or research activities conducted at a professional level. These include (1) tenured faculty, (2) tenure-track faculty, (3) full- and part-time non-tenure-track teachers, (4) graduate-student employees and postdoctoral fellows who are primarily teachers or researchers, and (5) librarians who participate substantially in the process of teaching or research. Those individuals whose primary duties are administrative should not be defined as faculty.

Recommendation 2: Eligibility for voting and holding office in institutional governance bodies should be the same for all faculty regardless of full- or part-time status. Institutions may wish to establish time-in-service eligibility requirements; if the eligibility requirement for full-time faculty is expressed in calendar time (for instance, a year), it would have to be translated into terms (for instance, two semesters) applicable to part-time faculty in order to accommodate those who teach intermittently.

Recommendation 3: While reserving a specified number of seats for contingent faculty may be adopted as a transitional mechanism to ensure at least some contingent faculty representation in institutional governance bodies, ideally there should be no minimum or maximum number of seats reserved in institutional governance bodies where representation of contingent faculty is appropriate, as described elsewhere in this report.

Recommendation 4: All members of the faculty, defined on the basis of their primary function as teachers or researchers and assuming that they meet any time-in-service requirements, should be eligible to vote in all elections for institutional governance bodies on the basis of one person, one vote.

Recommendation 5: While faculty on contingent appointments may be restricted from participating in the evaluation of tenured and tenure-track faculty, faculty on contingent appointments should have the opportunity to contribute to the evaluation of other contingent faculty.

Recommendation 6: All faculty members, regardless of their status or appointment type, should, in the conduct of governance activities, be explicitly protected by institutional policies from retaliation in the form of discipline, nonreappointment, dismissal, or any other adverse action. Such institutional policies could include incorporation of appropriate language into faculty handbooks, bylaws, or other regulations. All faculty members should be able to vote or abstain freely, without compulsion and without the necessity of defending their decision to vote or to abstain.

Recommendation 7: Faculty holding contingent appointments should be compensated in a way that takes into consideration the full range of their appointment responsibilities, which should include service. Where such compensation does not exist, its absence should not be used to exclude faculty on contingent appointments from voluntarily serving in governance. Faculty on contingent appointments should not be required, expected, or pressured to participate in activities that are not included as compensated responsibilities under the terms and conditions of their appointments. The Association discourages compensation for service tasks that are not explicitly a component of an appointment.

Recommendation 8: Where service is explicitly a component of the appointment, participation in service should be included as part of the evaluation of a faculty member on a contingent appointment. If service in a governance role is not explicitly a component of the appointment, it may be recognized as an additional positive factor in the evaluation if the faculty member voluntarily participates in it, but a lack of service should not be considered a negative factor in the evaluation.