The UM Mission Statement identifies a “mission to create, evaluate, share and apply knowledge in a free, open and inclusive environment of intellectual inquiry.” As part of that mission, the university identifies several core values, including promoting “inclusiveness in its student body, faculty, and staff,” fostering “a civil community of shared governance,” and honoring “the dignity of all employees.” However, our system of shared governance currently includes only tenure-line faculty members. It specifically excludes all non-tenure track faculty, who make up approximately half of our academic personnel.
The Task Force for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Shared Governance believes every faculty member deserves a voice in shaping our university and seeks a role for non-tenure track faculty in our university’s governance. We desire to strengthen the university as a whole by:
- Exploring how both tenure-line and non-tenure track faculty serve unique, connected, and essential roles on the campus,
- Communicating our needs, aspirations, and talents more openly and effectively with tenure-line faculty and administration, and
- Establishing effective pathways for voicing concerns and shaping policy.
Our ultimate goal is to contribute to a stronger and more vibrant learning community through inclusion, communication, and planning.
- The support of an intellectual community is essential to the academic integrity of an institution. All faculty members should participate in a united body that encourages communication and collaboration across the silos of independent departmental experience.
- An academic institution depends on the stability of its personnel. To aid in that stability, all faculty should be informed about matters affecting the university that might impact faculty positions and should have representation to voice concerns about these matters.
- Decisions about courses should be made with input from all faculty who teach them.
- Effective governance is a fundamental academic responsibility and should be shared among all faculty members.
- Likewise, service to the institution is an academic responsibility that should utilize the talents and abilities of all faculty members to advance the university’s mission.