University of Colorado leadership plans to make available contracts of up to three years for some non-tenure-track faculty, following new legislation adopted earlier this year that gives state universities and colleges the right to do so.
During its first meeting of the academic year, held Aug. 23 at CU system offices in Denver, the CU Faculty Council heard information on early planning for the contracts from Kathleen Bollard, vice president for academic affairs, during her regular report to the group.
“President Benson and the chancellors have said, yes, we want to offer these contracts,” Bollard said. Leadership next month will discuss guidelines for instituting the contracts; they hope to have the guidelines determined by January. In the meantime, she said, input from faculty will be helpful to the process.
Not all faculty who meet the criteria, including those working 50 percent of time or more, would necessarily receive a contract; contracts would be up to three years but could be shorter as well.
“Leadership is very aware of the value of non-tenure-track faculty members’ contributions to the university,” Bollard said. “This is a way of recruiting and retaining valued educators.”
Colorado House Bill 12-1144 was passed and signed into law earlier this year. Many, but not all, state universities and colleges now are pursuing the addition of contracts for non-tenure-track faculty.
Also at last week’s meeting, Bollard said she continues to help assemble a new task force that will consider the impact of new technology and what these changes mean for higher education. President Bruce Benson asked chancellors and provosts to suggest task force members.
“Part of this is to make everyone aware of what’s going on with groups (across the CU system) already working on the cutting edge,” Bollard said. “How can we leverage that expertise? What might we be doing in terms of teaching and learning?” She added that Benson has stressed that “anything having to do with teaching and learning, with course delivery, has to be a faculty initiative.”
The group being formed, likely with five to eight representatives per campus, may be convened in September.
In other business at last week’s Faculty Council meeting: