University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Senate

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University Statutes and Senate Procedures
(Second Reading;Action)

SP.00.06 Proposed Revisions to the Statutes to Include Multi-Year Contracts for Full-Time Non-Tenured Academic Staff

This amendment authorizes the issuance of contracts for up to three years for those holding modified professorial titles (research, clinical, visiting, adjunct assistant/associate/full professors), assistant professors, academic professional employees, lecturers, instructors, teaching associates, clinical associates and research associates. The amendment also specified the mandatory notice of non-reappointment for individuals holidng the titles enumerated in the amendment; notice provisions for assistant professors and academic professional are found elsewhere in the Statutes and are not altered by this amendment.

Should this amendment pass the Senates and be adopted by the Board of Trustees, each campus will need to develop and adopt implementing procedures for the use of multi-year contracts. On the Urbana campus, Provost Herman has appointed a task force to develop such guidelines. The members are: Geneva Belford, Joan Klein, Richard Schacht, Jesse Delia, Mildred Griggs and Ted Valli. The proposed guidelines, which will be submitted to the Senate for review and comment before adoption, will address issues such as eligibility criteria, conditions, and review and approval procedures.

In February 1998, Vice President for Academic Affairs Sylvia Manning wrote to the University Senates Conference (USC) suggesting that the Conference study and consider the possibility of amending the University Statutes to allow the possibility of multi-year contracts for full-time non-tenure track teaching, clinical, and research academic staff. As she stated at that time, this "is a question of working conditions and recruitment advantage." She mentioned a background study done the previous year by Professor Mary Ann Cooper, in which (among other things) she conducted structured interviews on this question with 27 deans. Quoting from Prof. Cooper's conclusions:

"There is no question that the vast majority of the deans on both campuses [Chicago and Urbana] were in favor of or could see the benefit of expanding the non-tenure track appointment options to include multi-year contracts. Most feel it will be of help in retaining quality faculty [academic staff], in recruiting others, and in giving the non-tenure track faculty [academic staff] the feeling of being invested in the system."

Vice President Manning also encouraged USC to be mindful of the need to protect tenure, to avoid de facto tenure, and to ensure quality control in the hiring process.

The USC appointed a committee to study the question. Members were Prof. Joan Larsen Klein of UIUC, Chair; Prof. Don Ehresmann of UIC; and Prof. Baker Siddiquee of UIS. Over the next several months, they reported several times to USC on the progress of their discussions, and USC members from all three campuses provided further feedback and discussion. Among other considerations, USC decided to recommend to the senates the option of multi-year contracts not only for non-tenure track academic staff, but also for other non-tenured academic staff, to include assistant professors in the tenure track.

Eventually, in December 1998, USC sent to the three senates a draft proposed amendment to the Statutes, and in August 1999, an amended proposal. USC has requested that the senates act by the end of the fall 1999 semester.

On the Urbana-Champaign campus, the matter was referred to the Committees on General University Policy (GUP) and on University Statutes and Senate Procedures (USSP). On September 21, 1999, GUP passed a motion to approve the proposal "on the grounds that the changes would make the University more competitive in recruiting and keeping qualified personnel." USSP concurs.

In discussion of this proposal, some Senators have expressed reservations because of the lack of procedures to dismiss an employee whose job performance is judged unsatisfactory during their multiple-year contract. USSP continues to work on a comprehensive proposal that addresses this issue. The need for such procedures arises very rarely and USSP is reluctant to delay action until dismissal procedures have been completed.

The Senate Committee on University Statutes and Senate Procedures recommends approval of the following revisions to the Statutes. Text to be deleted is in [square brackets] and text to be added is underscored.

Robert Fossum, Chair
Humza Durrani
H. George Friedman
Harry H. Hilton
John W. Kindt
Amit Mathur
Julian Palmore
Robert C. Damrau, ex officio
Thomas M. Eakman, Observer
C. K. Gunsalus, ex officio (designee)
Vera V. Mainz (PAC Liaison)