All faculty are entitled to a formal review before a renewal decision. The review process should be described in your department or unit policy. Typically, these reviews should begin at the start of the Winter term. If you have not received notice of review in the year your contract expires, you should contact your unit head to ensure you receive your full review before the renewal decision is made.
All faculty are entitled to a review designed to help the faculty member grow as a scholar, researcher, and educator in addition to identifying areas of strength and areas that need improvement. Additionally, each review should incorporate a peer review of teaching, a meeting with the unit head to discuss efforts and performance, and an opportunity to submit a personal statement containing information relevant to the faculty member's performance.
First Three Years
The notice of renewal must state the following:
- Duration of upcoming appointment
- If the upcoming appointment is contingent on funding
- Expected FTE
In most cases in the first four years of employment, the appointment will be for one year.
The addition of "expected FTE" to the notice of renewal is a new feature of the CBA. The anticipation is that departments and units will make a good faith effort to estimate the FTE for the coming academic year so faculty members can make informed choices about their employment options. The FTE can shift, up or down, before the notice of appointment is offered. In some cases, departments will be very conservative about the expected FTE so they don't over promise FTE. If you have questions about your expected FTE, a conversation with your unit head is always a great place to start.
After Year Four
The renewal process is the same after the fourth year, except faculty entering their fourth year of employment are entitled to contracts at least two years in length. For faculty who choose not to go up for promotion, two-year contracts will continue.
Faculty who successfully completed promotion are entitled to three-year contracts.
Faculty who have not been promoted can have their contracts non-renewed for any reason. The university is obligated to notify faculty of non-renewal in writing and the university is required to state the reason for non-renewal in the written notification.
Unfortunately, the statements of non-renewal are often perfunctory. In some cases, this is to protect the faculty member so that an extensive dissection of the performance is not in the faculty member's file. In other cases, the perfunctory nature of the non-renewal reason can protect the unit in that the reasoning can shift over time during the grievance process. In either case, it is important for faculty who have been non-renewed to discuss the reasons for non-renewal with their department or unit head. This conversation should be designed to give the faculty member a full understanding of the reasons for non-renewal.
Faculty who have been promoted have more rights under the CBA. Promoted faculty can only be non-renewed for four reasons:
- Failure to meet the standards of excellence at a major research university, as determined through the procedures developed in accordance with Article 19; or
- Inadequate resources within the unit or department to continue funding the bargaining unit faculty member’s position; or
- Pedagogical or programmatic reasons, including but not limited to, departmental adjustments necessary to accommodate graduate students; or
- Replacement of the NTTF position(s) with a Tenure-related position.
All non-renewal decisions are grievable if the decision violates some aspect of the collective bargaining agreement or university policy. If you have been non-renewed and would like to talk with someone about your rights, please contact our office (541-636-4714) or the Chair of the Grievance Committee.
Lack of Renewal Notice by May 1st
If you are a non-funding contingent Career NTTF (again, almost all Instructional NTTF are not funding contingent) in the last year of your contract, and you do not receive notice of renewal or non-renewal on or before May 1, you are entitled to a "renewal notification bonus."
The renewal notification bonus is proportional to the number of days it takes the university to provide you with the proper bonus. So, if the university was three days late in providing notice (it came on May 4), then the you would be entitled to an extra three-days worth of pay in your May 30 paycheck.
Unfortunately, the university, so far, has not missed the May 1 deadline for renewal notices.