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MU discusses changes to faculty composition

Change may be coming for non-tenure-track faculty at Miami as administrators explore changes to the composition of the university's teaching force.

Among the possibilities being discussed are increases in the number of lecturers and clinical faculty members and an extension of the amount of time visiting faculty members can stay in their positions here.

Currently, the Miami University Policy and Information Manual (MUPIM) dictates that lecturers and clinical or professionally licensed (LCPL) faculty -- whose work focuses on teaching as opposed to research and scholarship -- can comprise up to 20 percent of the full-time faculty who are tenured or on track to earn tenure. But based on ongoing discussions, this number could be upped to 25 percent.

Faculty holding the title of "visiting" -- including visiting professors, visiting assistant professors and visiting associate professors -- are reappointed on a yearly basis, but are limited by MUPIM to a five-year stay in Oxford. Among the changes being discussed is lifting this cap so that visiting faculty could be eligible for reappointment beyond their fifth year at Miami.

A third point under consideration is adding a second promotion point for LCPL faculty, who currently may apply for "senior" status by submitting a dossier during or after a fifth year as an LCPL faculty member.

Last spring, the office of Provost Phyllis Callahan and the executive committee of University Senate appointed an ad hoc committee to explore opportunities, including a second promotion point, for LCPL faculty. That committee's suggestions have been reviewed by the Senate's executive committee and by university deans and currently await input from a faculty welfare committee, though Callahan said she hopes to have the final set of recommendations on University Senate's agenda by spring break.

Any other changes to the faculty's composition -- including eliminating the five-year cap for visiting faculty -- would need to undergo a similar process of shared governance, said Callahan.

"It is far too early to speculate if there will be any changes, how they will be implemented, or a potential timetable," Callahan told The Student via email.

The Miami advocacy chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is hosting a discussion on the proposed changes today at 4:30 p.m. in Harrison 02. Callahan is also slated to make remarks on the issue at Friday's meeting of the Board of Trustees, which begins at 9 a.m. in room 180-6 of the Marcum Center.


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