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Office of the Provost Accreditation

Changing balance of tenure-track and other faculty

Changing balance of tenure-track and other faculty

Topic: How is the balance between tenure track and other faculty changing and what are the consequences of this change?

Challenges Include:

  • Securing long term stable funding to support tenure track faculty.
  • Ensuring faculty not in the tenure track are given stable contracts and opportunities for career growth and advancement.
  • Being aware of the implications of the substantial shift in the balance between tenure track and other faculty:


Opportunities include:

  • Providing the University with a flexible work force in order to respond to changing needs and opportunities.
  • Providing faculty with more flexible job descriptions who are able to fill valuable niches that would not normally lead to a standard profile for tenure.
  • Building a stable, professional faculty cohort primarily focused on undergraduate education and delivering a transformational student experience.

Recent actions/outcomes:

  • The Faculty Senate put together a task force to review the opportunities and challenges for faculty not in the tenure track.
  • The Provost’s Office has implemented most major recommendations from this report.

Current/Future emphasis or next steps include initiatives from the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate:

  • Encouraging units to be strategic in hiring and have an informed sense of what type of faculty positions are needed to best carry out the mission of the unit.
  • Establishing an increase in tenure-track faculty as a key priority in the university’s Drive-to-25.
  • Revising WSU’s complex set of faculty ranks to better align with the university’s needs and faculty members’ professional development.
  • Creating better contracts and more appropriate titles for faculty not in the tenure track, as well as updating the Faculty Manual to reflect the needs of this more diverse group of faculty.
  • Updating promotion criteria documents to include appropriate language for faculty not in the tenure track.
  • Expanding awards and funding opportunities to include and reward this more diverse faculty workforce.

For more Information at WSU:

NWCCU standards reference: 2.B.1, 2.B.3, 2.B.4, 2.B.5, 2.B.6


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