TO: AU Faculty
FROM: Scott A. Bass, Provost
SUBJECT: Faculty Manual Revision
I am pleased to report that the Board of Trustees approved the revised Faculty Manual. The revised Faculty Manual is available at the following link: http://www.american.edu/provost/academicaffairs/faculty-manual-toc.cfm . Effective immediately, this version is now the manual of record for all AU faculty with the exception of faculty in the Washington College of Law.
The revised manual addresses a number of issues for term faculty at American University, including
- Clarifies the ranks and titles available to term faculty
- Identifies the processes for moving between term professorial lecturer and term professor sequences
- Sets general criteria for evaluating term faculty
- Articulates the principles for voting (within units) on term faculty multi-year reappointments and promotion applications
- Indicates a firm ceiling on course/credit hour loads for term faculty unless other remuneration is available, and with a very few allowed exceptions
- Clarifies the role of the Committee on Faculty Actions (CFA) in disagreements between deans and teaching units regarding term faculty appointments and reappointments (excluding disputes involving resources, unit needs, and enrollments)
- Clarifies the meaning of "in-residence" in term faculty ranks and titles
- Draws distinction between ranks and titles
- Clarifies the faculty eligible to use the grievance process and under which circumstances
- Formally creates the title of "postdoctoral fellow"
The process to revise the Faculty Manual in order to better address issues for term faculty began in May 2016 with the establishment of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Term Faculty Language in the Faculty Manual. The committee worked diligently to clarify a variety of issues concerning term faculty and to improve the overall organization of the manual. The revised manual has undergone substantial vetting, including detailed line-by-line reviews and approvals by me, the Faculty Senate, and the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee. The final version of the revised Faculty Manual was approved by the Board of Trustees on November 17, 2017, and is now operational in calendar year 2018.
Revising a document as important as the Faculty Manual is a challenging task. Special recognition is due to the ad hoc committee that made this work possible and to the committee's leadership, Professors Sherburne Laughlin and Marie Fritz, along with Faculty Senate President Andrea Pearson. I am also grateful to the Dean of Academic Affairs Mary Clark, who participated in all stages of the process, and to Associate General Counsel Thi Kim Nguyen-Southern for their roles in the process.
Questions regarding the new Faculty Manual should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org .