Review of Professional Track Faculty Matters
During the 2010-2011 Academic Year, the University formed the Task Force on Non-Tenure Track Faculty in order to address a number of issues regarding non-tenure track faculty employed by the University, such as:
- Policies and procedures for evaluating and promoting of non-tenure track faculty;
- Recognition for outstanding contributions, including merit pay for non-tenure track faculty;
- Opportunities for participation in shared governance;
- Compensation, especially among instructional faculty; and,
- Title series for non-tenure track faculty.
The work of the Task Force led to today’s Professional Track (PTK) Faculty designation, as well as a number of University policies, guidelines, and procedures regarding PTK faculty that were implemented between 2014 and 2017 (click for a detailed review and timeline of University PTK action items).
As the University continues to evolve, especially with the release of the University’s Strategic Plan Fearlessly Forward by President Darryll J. Pines and Provost Jennifer King Rice, so too do matters related to PTK faculty.
During the 2022-2023 academic year, Provost Rice convened a working group of Professional Track (PTK) faculty, Tenured/tenure Track (TTK) faculty, and administrators to:
- Review current PTK faculty titles and designations;
- Review campus-level PTK AEP promotion procedures and guidelines;
- Provide recommendations for a University policy on instructional PTK faculty workload;
- Review current hiring, appointment, title use, professional development, and support practices for PTK faculty; and,
- Identify gaps in existing PTK faculty policies and procedures that may require additional University policy and guideline development and/or modification.
The Working Group delivered a report to the Provost outlining a number of administrative- and policy-related recommendations to improve the understanding and implementation of PTK appointments, promotions, and working environments at the University of Maryland. The Working Group report contains a series of action items, ranging from better enforcement of existing policy, to creation of administrative guidance, to suggestions for changes to UMD and USM policy. Click here for the public version of the Working Group report.
At the request of the Provost, the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) began work on the implementation of the Working Group’s recommendations during summer 2023. To date, this work has focused on the:
- Finalizing the recommended draft of a manual for the Appointment, Evaluation and Promotion (AEP) process for PTK faculty in an effort to create greater uniformity throughout AEP processes across campus. The draft manual is available here for your review.
At this time, OFA is seeking to engage interested faculty members and administrators in the review and finalization of the AEP manual. OFA will be holding open forums on October 17th and October 18th, providing an overview of the AEP manual and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and offer constructive feedback. Following the forums, there will be an open comment period during which the UMD community can share feedback regarding the AEP manual via an online form. OFA will then finalize the manual and release it during spring 2024, with the intent of it taking effect July 1, 2024.
- Convening of a PTK Instructional Workload Policy working group. By creating a campus-wide policy on instructional workload for PTK faculty, OFA is looking to provide guidance to units on how to assign instructional loads equitably across their instructional PTK faculty members. Over the Fall 2023 semester, this working group will prepare a draft policy that will be shared with the broader community in early Spring 2024, prior to its transmittal to the University Senate for review.
OFA looks forward to continuing to work with the UMD faculty community on these important matters and invites all interested parties to participate in the ongoing development, revision, and improvement of policies and practices related to PTK faculty members.
Questions about the Working Group Report, the AEP manual, and other matters pertaining to PTK faculty can be directed to Ursula Gorham, Associate Director for Faculty Initiatives by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.