Events to raise awareness about non-tenure-track faculty Oct. 30-31

art exhibit

Barnes, left, and Martell with their artwork.

CSU faculty have organized a host of events Oct. 30-31 in honor of “Campus Equity Week” to focus on the status of non-tenure track faculty at Colorado State University.

The week will include a panel discussion on the proposal for changes to the Faculty Manual that has been put forth by the Committee on Non Tenure Track Faculty, an informational session on professional development funding, an academic freedom “chalk and talk” event on the LSC Plaza, and an exhibition at the Visual Arts Building.


The complete lineup for Campus Equity Week:

Oct. 30

9:40 a.m. – Chalk and Talk: Undergraduate and graduate students will engage in an “academic freedom/freedom of speech” activity on the LSC Plaza.

5 p.m.Honor the Precariat: Opening remarks for an art installation in the Directions Gallery, Visual Art Building.

5:30 p.m. – Staged Reading: FOR PROFIT and excerpts from Contingency: A Crisis for Teaching and Learning in the Electronic Art Gallery, Visual Art Building.

Oct. 31

Noon to 1 p.m. – AAUP Brown Bag Panel Discussion, in the Morgan Library Event Hall. The CSU chapter of the American Association of University Professors will host a discussion of NTTF issues, focusing on the Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty proposal.

Panelists: Provost Rick Miranda, CSU Political Science Professor Stephen Mumme of AAUP Colorado, Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Chair Jenny Morse of Management, CSU Statistics Professor Mary Meyer of CSU’s AAUP chapter, Faculty Council Chair Tim Gallagher of Finance and Real Estate, and Faculty Council Vice Chair Sue Doe of English.

1 to 2 p.m. – College of Liberal Arts NTTF Professional Development Funding, in the Morgan Library Event Hall. The College of Liberal Arts Adjunct Faculty Committee will host an informational session about a new opportunity for non-tenure-track faculty access to professional development funding.

The art exhibit

The installation in the Visual Arts Building is designed to raise awareness about issues faced by non-tenure-track faculty. It features 765 clear acrylic figures, ranging in size from 3 feet to 6 inches tall, suspended with monofilament from the ceiling of the Directions Gallery. Natalie Barnes, an instructor in art and art history who spearheaded the project along with fellow art instructor Christy Martell, said the idea was to present the human figures as transparent because sometimes non-tenure-track at CSU feel invisible even though they teach a significant percentage of undergraduate courses at the University.

“This is a social justice issue,” Barnes says. “And 58 percent of non-tenure-track faculty are women, so it’s a gender issue too.”

There is one see-through figure for every NTT faculty member at CSU, and 58 percent are female figures, to accurately portray this population at the University. The project, which also features national and CSU statistics about non-tenure-track faculty on the floor below the figures, will be on display through November.

Barnes says the installation and related events are intended to shine a light on many of the issues raised at an April 27 event held on campus to discuss a proposal to transform NTT faculty appointments at CSU. It would create a new system of standards for hiring, evaluating, promoting, retaining and supporting faculty who are not in tenure-track positions.

Support for the effort

CSU Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Dan Bush has said that the administration supports the proposal to transform NTT faculty appointments, and defined metrics for achievement, merit increases, and opportunities for advancement as with any other employee group.

“It’s to our advantage to have non-tenure-track faculty who are compensated fairly, completely engaged, and supported with resources like professional development opportunities,” he said. “All of our educators are faculty, and we want all of them to be excellent at their craft. These things are woven together to help us further excel at student success and student learning.”

In addition to Barnes and Martell, current and retired CSU employees who assisted with the exhibition include Monica Deming, Barbara Gilhooly, Scott Kreider, Michael Highsmith, Corey Seymour and Jean Lehmann.