View Bill 18-19-33

Senate Bill 18-19-33

Bill ID: 18-19-33
Name: Proposal to Review Policy and Practice Surrounding PTK Non-Renewals
Proposed: 03/15/2019
Sponsor: Marc Pound - Research Scientist & Tracy Huard - Associate Director, CRESST
Proposal: Since the findings of the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Task Force were approved in April 2013, the University has been considering various policy and procedural changes to improve the work environment and professional
work opportunities for professional track faculty at the University of Maryland. Over the past five years, faculty titles and promotion processes have become highly regularized, and both tenured/tenure-track (T/TT) and
professional track (PTK) faculty have a better common understanding of the achievements and expertise of their PTK faculty colleagues.

Despite the significant improvements in the academic lives of PTK faculty, fairness and consistency with respect to non-renewal of their contracts remains a perennial problem.

The University of Maryland Policy on Full-Time and Part-Time Professional Track Instructional Faculty (II-1.00[F]) has not been updated since many of the recent developments in policy and practice for PTK faculty appointments went into effect. This policy specifies appointment details, contract terms, and faculty rights and responsibilities, but may not be consistent with the UM Guidelines for Appointment, Evaluation, and Promotion of PTK Faculty or other recent policy changes. This policy also only applies to instructional faculty, though research and extension faculty should have the same basic rights and protections in University policy.

(a) Consider whether all PTK faculty regardless of appointment type who have been continuously employed at the University for some period of time should receive an explanation for any non-renewals of contracts and
have a channel to discuss their concerns, and what that period of time should be. The definition of “continuous service” in II-1.00(F) should be clarified to avoid misunderstanding (e.g., if a person takes one semester off, is the clock reset?).

(b) Review the University of Maryland Policy on Full-Time and Part-Time Professional Track Instructional Faculty (II-1.00[F]) and consider whether it needs to be revised to be consistent with more recent policy and
procedural changes related to PTK faculty. Pay particular attention to the language describing contract nonrenewal. Also consider whether the policy should be broadened to include all PTK faculty, regardless of
instructional, research, or extension faculty status. A broader policy could have separate provisions that apply to different categories of faculty as needed; for instance, a section in the policy on instructional faculty could
describe details currently within the policy on teaching assignments and support for teaching provided by the institution.

The Faculty Affairs Committee should be charged with reviewing the relevant policies and practices as described above, and recommend any changes and clarifications. FAC should consult with the Faculty
Ombuds Officer, the Faculty Affairs Office, the Senate Executive Director, and the Office of the General Counsel.


Status: Completed
Completed On: 12/10/2020


Presidential Approval: 12/10/2020
Related Files:

Reviewed By: Senate
Received: 12/01/2020
Decision Date: 12/08/2020
Decision: The Senate voted to approve the report.
Next Step: Presidential Approval
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Reviewed By: Senate Executive Committee (SEC)
Received: 11/12/2020
Decision Date: 11/18/2020
Decision: The SEC voted to place the report on the agenda of the December 8, 2020 Senate meeting for consideration.
Next Step: Senate Review
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Reviewed By: Faculty Affairs Committee
Received: 08/27/2020
Decision Date: 11/11/2020
Decision: The Faculty Affairs Committee voted to forward its recommendations to the SEC for consideration.
Actions: In fall 2020, after a thorough review, the FAC agreed with the proposers that PTK faculty should be given a reason for a non-renewal. The FAC also found that there would be great value in creating one holistic policy for PTK faculty that covers a range of details related to appointments and expectations, as current PTK policies are compartmentalized, inconsistent, and insufficient. The FAC determined that a brief University policy addressing notification for employment decisions should be developed in order to immediately address the narrow issue raised by the proposal and provide consistency to PTK faculty and administrators, while efforts to develop a comprehensive policy that addresses appointments and expectations are ongoing. The committee worked closely with the Office of Faculty Affairs throughout the fall 2020 semester as it developed the policy.

The FAC voted to approve a recommendation to initiate a broad review of PTK faculty policies, along with the proposed new policy and a proposed revision to the existing policy on instructional faculty, which aligns the two policies, in an email vote ending on November 11, 2020.
Next Step: SEC Review

Reviewed By: Senate Executive Committee (SEC)
Received: 08/24/2020
Decision Date: 08/26/2020
Decision: The SEC voted to approve the extension until October 12th, 2020.
Next Step: Faculty Affairs Committee Review

Reviewed By: Faculty Affairs Committee
Received: 03/26/2019
Decision Date: 08/24/2020
Decision Due By: 10/12/2020
Decision: The FAC Committee requested an extension on its charge deadline.
Actions: In spring 2019, the FAC met with the Faculty Ombuds Officer to understand concerns raised by PTK faculty regarding non-renewal of their contracts through the faculty grievance process in recent years. The FAC reviewed data from the Office of Faculty Affairs on various PTK faculty populations, including details related to length of service, FTE, and whether they are addressed under existing policies. The FAC reviewed how differences in PTK appointments and contracts can impact their rights under University policy. The FAC also met with the proposers to gather information about the issues underpinning the proposal.

In fall 2019, the FAC reviewed and compared existing policies and guidelines governing the evaluation and termination/non-renewal of PTK faculty, met with the Senate Director on her experience with non-renewal issues in faculty grievance cases, and reviewed sample contract language on non-renewal for PTK faculty. In spring 2020, the FAC began developing options for responding to the charge. Due to pressing issues raised by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FAC was unable to complete its review prior to the end of the spring semester.
Next Step: SEC Review
Related Files:

Reviewed By: Senate Executive Committee (SEC)
Received: 03/19/2019
Decision Date: 03/26/2019
Decision: The SEC voted to charge the Faculty Affairs Committee with review of the proposal.
Next Step: Faculty Affairs Committee Review
Related Files: