Rank, Title and Status (2.8)
Full-time, non-tenure-track lecturers are appointed to the rank (Lecturer; Senior Lecturer; Principal Lecturer) commensurate with their experience and credentials.
All faculty appointments in these ranks are non-tenure-track, and service in them may not be applied towards tenure consideration at Northeastern under any circumstances. Non-tenure- track faculty appointments may not be used to extend the probationary period of a tenure-track faculty member.
Rights and Responsibilities
Faculty members in the Lecturer ranks are primarily responsible for credit-bearing, course- based instruction. The specific responsibilities of individual faculty members in these ranks are conveyed in the faculty member’s appointment and reappointment letters.
Lecturers are responsible for meeting the same performance expectations in the areas of teaching and service, as appropriate to their assignments, as those that apply to tenure-line faculty. In fulfilling their responsibilities, they enjoy the protections of academic freedom and are governed by Northeastern’s Conflict of Commitment and Interest policy.2
Faculty members in these ranks are eligible to participate in faculty governance as determined by the procedures of their unit and college and according to the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate.
Appointments, Terms, and Reappointments
Full-time Lecturer appointments are made by the dean on the basis of the recommendation of the unit. Full-time Lecturers must have earned a doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in the field in which they seek appointment; exceptions may only be granted with prior approval of the Provost. Initial faculty appointments at the Lecturer rank are made for a period of one year; Initial appointments of up to five years may be extended at the Senior Lecturer and Principal Lecturer ranks.
Faculty appointments in these classifications are renewable, contingent upon several factors in the sole discretion of the University, including satisfactory performance and unit and University need. Renewals of appointments at the ranks of Senior Lecturer or Principal Lecturer may be for a period of up to five years.
No non-tenure-track faculty appointment, reappointment or promotion carries a guarantee of future re-appointments or promotions. All appointments and reappointments are contingent upon maintaining the appropriate visa status and work authorization.
Notice of Non-reappointment
Non-reappointment of a faculty member in the Lecturer ranks may be based on several factors in the sole discretion of the University, including but not limited to insufficient funding or lack of need; unsatisfactory performance; or for cause. Northeastern will make reasonable efforts to provide faculty members with written notice of the University’s intent not to renew within the following guidelines: three months’ notice for one- and two-year appointments, and six months’ notice for appointments of three years or more.
Annual Evaluation and Salary Determination
Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members in these ranks will be evaluated annually and are eligible for raises on the basis of their performance in teaching, service and professional development, as appropriate to their specific work assignments.
Faculty members in the ranks of Lecturer and Senior Lecturer may request consideration for promotion to the next faculty rank after completing at least three full years of service at the faculty member’s current rank. The candidacy shall be considered, in turn as specified by the established procedures of the unit, by the unit promotion committee, the unit head, the dean and the Provost.
The candidate shall prepare and submit to the promotion committee a promotion portfolio. The portfolio shall include, at minimum, the candidate’s most recent CV; copies of annual evaluations; a summary of teaching assignments and teaching evaluations; and evidence of effectiveness in any other requirements of the position.
Denial of promotion does not preclude reappointment at the current faculty rank, nor does it preclude reconsideration for promotion at a later date. A faculty member may not be reconsidered for promotion until two years after the previous unsuccessful promotion consideration.
Units employing faculty members in these ranks shall develop procedures for promotion consideration consistent with the Faculty Handbook. These procedures must have the approval of the dean and the Provost prior to their implementation.
Eligibility for Leaves of Absence
Full-time Lecturers are eligible for leave under the terms of the Family and Medical Leave Act. In addition, faculty members in these ranks may, with the approval of the dean, take a personal or professional leave of absence of up to one year, if the leave is unpaid or if any continuing compensation during the leave period is provided by external funds. Faculty members in these ranks are not eligible for University-funded sabbatical leaves.
Faculty appointed in these ranks may pursue grievances under the Grievance Procedure.
Dismissal of a full-time Lecturer before the end of an appointment period may occur for cause. Incompetence in the faculty member’s professional capacity; neglect of duty; repeated and/or willful disregard of the rules of the University or of academic freedom; physical or mental incapacity; or any other conduct of a character seriously prejudicial to a faculty member’s teaching or research or to the welfare of the University, its faculty, staff or students may each constitute cause for dismissal.
Dismissal for cause will normally be preceded by written notice of the performance concerns or other issues which form the basis for the dismissal, an opportunity to address these concerns, and/or prior disciplinary action. However, in an unusually sudden or serious case, a faculty member may be dismissed without prior notice.
When reason arises to consider whether cause exists to dismiss a faculty member before the end of an appointment period, the faculty member’s dean shall first invite the faculty member to discuss the issue and work towards a resolution. If the dean, following discussion with the faculty member, believes there is probably cause for dismissal, he/she shall formulate a preliminary statement of charges and evidence, a copy of which shall be given to the faculty member who shall have the opportunity to comment.
If, following the faculty member’s opportunity to comment, the dean believes that there is good cause to proceed further, he/she shall convene a hearing committee of three faculty members, at least one of whom shall be a full-time, non-tenure-track faculty member, to be chosen by the Senate Agenda Committee after consultation with the Provost. The committee shall meet with the faculty member, the dean, and other parties the committee believes may have knowledge relevant to the charges. If the charges against the faculty member include professional incompetence, the hearing committee shall meet with other faculty members qualified to address the issue. During the committee’s proceedings the faculty member may elect to be accompanied by a faculty advisor of his or her own choice. The faculty advisor must be a full- time member of the Northeastern University community. As this is a personnel matter, the hearing committee process shall be closed. Only the dean, the faculty member, the faculty advisor, and the witnesses shall be entitled to attend. The hearing shall be confidential and no committee member or attendee shall be permitted to divulge the content of the proceedings.
The faculty member and the dean shall be afforded reasonable opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. Both the faculty member and the dean have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. All decisions and recommendations of the committee, both substantive and procedural, will be made by majority vote of the committee members. With respect to other procedural matters, the hearing committee may establish its own rules so long as they are consistent with the rules noted herein.
The hearing committee shall conclude its gathering of evidence concerning the dismissal charges within 30 days of beginning hearings and shall render its recommendation in writing to the dean and the faculty member within 14 days of the conclusion of hearings. If the hearing committee recommends dismissal, the dean shall allow the faculty member 10 business days to respond before forwarding the recommendation and any response to the Provost. If the hearing committee recommends against dismissal, the dean may append a response before forwarding the recommendation, within 10 business days, to the Provost. The Provost’s decision will be final and will be communicated to the faculty member, the dean and the chair of the hearing committee. If the Provost’s decision differs from the recommendation of the hearing committee, s/he will provide a rationale. As this process constitutes a personnel decision, all those individuals authorized to receive the final decision shall maintain the confidentiality of the process and shall not divulge the decision or the rationale, if any, to anyone else, either within or outside of the University.
- Passed by the Faculty Senate 30 January 2013; approved with amendment in note 2 below by the Provost 12 March 2013 and by the Board of Trustees 7 June 2013.
- Conflict of Commitment and Interest added with Senate agreement on 13 February 2013.