Senate to discuss non-tenure track faculty

Laura Kennedy

A task force composed of members of the Faculty Senate will introduce a drafted policy on non-tenure track faculty at their meeting tonight.Faculty members will have the opportunity to give comments and ask questions on the new policy, said Max Wortman, task force member.He said the policy is generating a large amount of enthusiasm from the adjuncts and temporary instructors. Wortman, chairman of the Academic Affairs Council, said the task force has been working together to help solve the challenges the adjuncts and temporary instructors have been facing.One of the primary problems that are facing adjuncts and temporary faculty is that they do not have academic freedom, he said.Wortman, distinguished professor of management, said tenured faculty have the opportunity to discuss various issues in classes which may be “out of the norm” as opposed to non-tenure faculty who tend to keep quiet and avoid controversial topics.”They self-censor themselves,” he said.Another important issue being discussed, he said, is the amount of time adjuncts and temporary faculty can stay in a position at the university. Wortman said the number of adjuncts has dropped since 1990 from 146 to 107. He also said there are now roughly 250 temporary instructors on campus.”What we are trying to do is consider three year [contracts] and then continuous rolling appointments,” Wortman said. “Right now there is no stability.”Dorothy Fowles, task force member, said they have worked hard to produce a policy to better Iowa State and the education it offers. She said the task force discussed what Iowa State should essentially “strive for” regarding part-time faculty at the university.Fowles, professor of art and design, said there needs to be a policy that states how temporary faculty are hired and how they are reviewed.”What needs to be looked at is the diversity of needs,” she said. The task force has discussed the pros and cons of non-tenure faculty and their contributions to the university, Fowles said. But, she said there might be mixed reactions at the meeting. The Faculty Senate meets tonight at 7:30 in room 260 in the Scheman Building.”Everyone approached issues differently and has their own perspectives,” Fowles said.