College of Liberal Arts NTTF Advisory Committee
April 8, 2022
Present were: Margaret Miller (chair), Jonathan Carlyon, Ellie Light, Kyla Masciarelli, Courtenay Biser-Suarez, Debbie Swann, James Roller, Tom Conway, Steve Shulman, Dani Castillo, Aunterria Bollinger, and Sadie Kinney-McGrath.
- In the absence of a quorum, approval of the March 25 minutes was put off to the next meeting.
- Service: There was a lengthy discussion of the service requirements for NTTF who had been promoted. Ellie had asked members of the committee to contact CCAF throughout the College to ask: A) Are service expectations clear for what would qualify you for the desired evaluation level (Meets Expectations, Exceeds Expectations, Superior)? B) Are CCAF in your department being given enough service opportunities to achieve that level? C) Are there any other concerns that you have around service?
The committee members who had reached out to ask these questions all reported that they had received very few responses. Those that had been received indicated a great deal of variation from department to department. For example, in Music the response was that NTTF shouldn’t worry about service expectations beyond attending faculty meetings, whereas in Theatre more than this is required to “Meet Expectations.” Meanwhile, PLACE is still trying to determine where their unit fits within the College so there is no guidance on how evaluation will be done. Some departments, such as History and Ethnic Studies, are currently working to clarify the service expectations for the different evaluation levels and promotion.
A consistent theme in the discussion was a College-wide lack of understanding on the service-related criteria for promotion. Another concern is how to measure and document service, which Courtenay feels is the University’s responsibility to answer. She proposed creating a document to record our service. Courtenay said Jonathan’s presentation at the March 25 meeting could be helpful as a starting point for consideration of what would qualify as Meets, etc.
There is a fairly common feeling among NTTF that, with the addition of service, they are being asked to go beyond 100% FTE in doing their jobs. Courtenay cited her colleagues’ concerns that it does not add up and feels wrong. Ellie and James reported a similar perception among NTTF. It stems from the fact that a 4/4 load has generally been considered full-time and this is still the case, even though there is now a 5 or 10 percent service expectation with promotion. James made the point that an application for promotion is basically an application for a new position, and we can choose whether or not to apply. Steve agreed with this notion of voluntary contracts but said it seems to defeat the purpose of providing a promotion ladder in the first place. Rather than becoming a way to squeeze more work out of people already working full-time, promotion was originally intended to be a reward for past efforts—analogous to promotions on the tenure track, which do not involve changes in work distributions. The original intent behind NTTF service was to offer a way to be involved in faculty governance and integrate CCAF into their departments.
Ellie asked: What can this committee do to help clarify the expectations and make people feel good about service as a form of governance? In response, Steve said the committee should decide on its own goals: what do we think would be a good system to integrate service into CCAF workloads? Then approach department chairs with those ideas. Steve suggests that full-time NTTF have a 3/4 teaching load, with service substituting for the 8th course in a given academic year. Jonathan pointed out that the intent lately has been to make CCAF expectations and processes analogous to those on the tenure track, which have been well defined for a long time; the question is how to create opportunities for participation in faculty governance without overwhelming NTTF?
Ellie requested that everyone send her what we have learned from fellow NTTF on this issue.
- Other business:
- Margaret announced the newly elected committee members for next year. They have been invited to the final meeting in May.
- Dani reported on the recent CoNTTF meeting with VP Beavers, which was “generic” and basically unsatisfactory. The VP had no response on the issue of salary compression and no knowledge of the documents that the NTTF and CCAF Task Forces had submitted to the Provost in the past two years. She did say she would find those documents and check back, and it’s not too late to provide input on the Courageous Strategic Transformation.
- Ellie asked the members to encourage folks to register for the summer professional development conference and consider submitting presentation proposals.
Respectfully submitted by Pam Duncan