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Author Topic: Tenure track instructor position?  (Read 1697 times)
sockson
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« on: February 09, 2013, 1:11:17 PM »

<Sock on.>

I am applying for a "Tenure Track Instructor Position." I am currently a second-year assistant professor (TT), but dislike a lot about my current position. I was told by the SC chair that this is a newly-created type of position, that won't be promotable into the Assistant/Associate/Full kind of position, but people can get tenure, evaluated primarily on teaching and service. The union is apparently fairly strong, and this type of position was created to try to decrease the reliance on adjuncts. Apparently the university is searching a healthy number of these positions, all slated to start FA13 semester.

Is anybody familiar with this type of position? Do you have them at your University? Questions might include: what kind of status would somebody in this position have in the department? Is this the kiss of death as far as ever moving "back" to the "regular" kind of Professor position?

I could specify the university if necessary. Thanks.
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thenewyorker
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 1:14:12 PM »

If this is within CUNY I would be very wary. In the Humanities our normal load is 3/4. These tt instructor positions carry a 4/5. Plus they must do service and publish the same as an Asst prof tt - and get paid less. It is a win/win the the university - not so much for the instructor.
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sockson
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 1:42:50 PM »

Thanks, TNY.

It's not CUNY, but it is a public university. I was told that the teaching load was 24 hours, and the SC chair said something that seemed to indicate that that load was what the other faculty had as well. (Although s/he did not explicitly say they were the same.) The university is generally teaching focused, so evaluation for "regular" faculty is weighted toward that, but this would be weighted even more to teaching. In fact, the position announcement said that requirements were teaching and university service; the SC chair said there might be some research but that was not in the announcement. I get the idea that they are not completely sure how everything will go.
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helpful
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 1:56:53 PM »

We have these positions. The instructors are generally treated the same as other TT faculty. Teaching load is 21 credits. Teaching and service, no research expectations.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 2:20:08 PM »

I had a sort-of similar position for my first job; it was referred to as NTT, but it was a continuing lectureship in which, once you had passed the probationary period, they had to give you gradually increasing amounts of notice before you position could be eliminated. I was up to 270 months by the time I left, which on a practical level is better than a TT or even tenured position in a department if a program is cut. I also had internal transfer rights that were better than those of the TT and tenured faculty if a program were cut.

Individuals in these positions were full voting members of their departments, and had a 24-credit teaching load with service expectations. We were eligible for merit, and our seniority factored into teaching and service assignments in the same way as it did for the TT and tenured people; I actually had preference over the newer TT hires, and had colleagues on my "track" who outranked some of the tenured faculty members. However, our salary scale was lower by around 15%.

This system had been in place for roughly 20 years by the time I came along, and worked very smoothly. Overall, it was a good situation and I was reasonably content. The only reasons I left were because I did not like the area, and I wanted research support.
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ruralguy
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 5:43:42 PM »

We have this at my SLAC. Its technically not tenure, though nobody who ever attains this level has ever been dismissed, and they don't tend to leave all that often either (maybe 1 or 2 have because they got a TT position or decided they didn't like academia).
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sockson
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 7:28:04 PM »

Thanks, Helpful, MsP, and Ruralguy. Sounds like Helpful's school has a type of position that's technically closest, though the others sound similar. It's good to know that occasionally people might be able to "move up." I just had a phone interview, though, so maybe it will be moot.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 7:28:38 PM by sockson » Logged
helpful
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 7:41:25 PM »

I need to add that in the instructor position in my department, the professor must be a generalist as they get all the courses TT faculty can't, or won't, teach.
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seniorscholar
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 8:39:59 PM »

These sound like my public university's NTT but renewable "Assistant Professor (Teaching)" positions, created within the past ten years to, as someone else has said, stop relying so much on adjuncts for lower level courses. The load is 3/4 or 4/4 depending on the field and the usual class size and whether or not some service is included, there is "promotion" to "Senior Assistant Professor (Teaching)" with no change in duties but more money after 5 or 6 years and a small-calibre review, lower salary than TT faculty but full benefits, annual COL raises, merit, etc. as under the faculty union contract.
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helpful
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 5:56:23 PM »

Yes, forgot to mention: lower salary than TT plus you can get one of these positions with a Masters only, but PhD preferred.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 5:56:56 PM by helpful » Logged
prytania3
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2013, 12:08:36 AM »

Hmmm. I started as an instructor, but it was TT, and I went from instructor to asst. professor to associate to full.

I don't like the sound of this particular position.
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larryc
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2013, 12:36:33 AM »

We have something very similar. Poor pay and a heavy teaching load, but decent job security and no expectations of publication. Some heavy service, though.

I quite dislike that we have such positions, I feel like the positions are exploitative. Not that anyone asks me...

As for such things being the kiss of death--it depends on you. I don't think that having held the position itself would be a problem, the difficulty is maintaining a sufficient research profile with all that teaching and service.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 12:38:37 AM by larryc » Logged

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msparticularity
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2013, 10:38:12 PM »

We have something very similar. Poor pay and a heavy teaching load, but decent job security and no expectations of publication. Some heavy service, though.

I quite dislike that we have such positions, I feel like the positions are exploitative. Not that anyone asks me...

As for such things being the kiss of death--it depends on you. I don't think that having held the position itself would be a problem, the difficulty is maintaining a sufficient research profile with all that teaching and service.

I can see the need for such positions, given a world in which departments need teaching workhorses and are trying to be ethical enough not to just hire a bunch of adjuncts, and they also need to have faculty who maintain a high profile in research. I think, too, that there are a fairly substantial number of people out there who would absolutely love those positions--who are quite happy to teach and do service, and have no real desire to do research. We see those folks all the time around here, in fact, but there aren't enough places around any longer who will hire onto the TT without substantial research.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
sockson
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 7:26:45 PM »

Just wanted to drop in and thank the newer responders, Pry, Larry, and Ms. P. If I get asked for a campus interview, I will try to find out more about the pay and promotion scale. I got the impression that it's a bit up in the air right now, which would make me a bit nervous. I have to admit that some part of me is attracted to the lack of research. Although I went to a big-name program, I am not a strong researcher at all. (2nd year TT assistant professor, and I don't have any pubs, though not entirely for lack of trying.)
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