02-01.05 – Policy on the Employment of Lecturers

  1. Policy Statement:

    This policy is designed to establish baseline standards for Towson University (“University”) related to search processes, appointments, contracts, and conditions of employment for Lecturers. The goal of the policy is to assure a high quality of instruction by individuals with appropriate credentials and experience and to provide a set of policies that will lead to continuous improvement in the status of Lecturers at the University.

  2. Definitions:

    1. “Lecturers” are defined in section VI.B.3.e.ii of the TU ART Policy (p.19): This title may be used for appointment to any salary and experience level of persons who are competent to fill a specific position, but who are not intended to be considered for professional appointment. Appointments to this rank shall be for terms not to exceed three years and are renewable.

    2. “Full time” is defined in section V. D.

    3. “TU ART Policy” is the Towson University Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty (Policy 02-01.00).

  3. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

    Responsible Office:
    Office of the Provost

  4. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    Faculty members appointed at the rank of Lecturer

  5. Policy:

    1. Applicability

      This policy applies only to faculty members appointed at the rank of Lecturer.

    2. Recruitment and Selection of Lecturers

      1. Credentials: Colleges shall develop written standards for the academic degrees or professional certifications and professional experience required for appointment as a Lecturer. These standards may vary depending on the level of courses to be taught.

      2. Search Procedures: Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs shall assure that each college has in place written procedures for selecting Lecturers. These procedures shall include verification of credentials and shall reflect the commitment of the University and the University System of Maryland (USM) to equal opportunity and affirmative action. The procedures must comply with Appendix 1A to the TU ART Policy (02-01.00).

    3. Hiring

      1. Contracts/Letters of Appointment: Each Lecturer shall be provided with a written contract or letter of appointment prior to the beginning of the assignment. The contract or letter shall state that the appointment is full-time and state the academic rank/title (Lecturer), length of appointment, time of service, salary, whether or not the appointment is renewable, nature of the assignment, any benefits, and performance-evaluation policies and procedures.

      2. Information for faculty: Upon signing the contract, the Lecturers shall have access to the University’s Faculty Handbook and the TU ART Policy (02-01.00) in a written or electronic version.

      3. Term of Employment: Normally, initial contracts shall be for one academic year. Subsequent contracts may be for longer terms, not to exceed three years. After three consecutive years, a Lecturer may be eligible for a three-year contract with a recommendation from the department chairperson and college dean. Final approval must then be given by the Provost.

    4. Workload and Workload Distribution

      1. Lecturers shall complete an Annual Review, Parts I and II, parallel to that completed by tenure track faculty.

      2. The normal teaching requirement for a Lecturer is eight course units per academic year, which shall provide 80% of workload on the Annual Review.

      3. A Lecturer shall be responsible for 20% of workload on the Annual Review divided between maintenance of disciplinary and teaching currency (scholarship) and service to the department or University. Neither scholarship nor service may account for less than 5% of the annual workload.

        1. A Lecturer shall report on the Annual Review what active steps have been taken during the year to maintain or enhance disciplinary and teaching currency, relevant to the courses in the Lecturer's teaching program, through a program of reading, investigation, training, or presentation.

        2. A Lecturer shall report on the Annual Review activities during the year that constitute service to the department or the University. Service may include participation in planning and orientation meetings, committee membership, work with students beyond the classroom, or other activities as agreed upon with the department chair.

    5. Professional Development and Working Conditions:

      1. Support for Teaching: The University shall provide each Lecturer with the support necessary for the execution of the appointee’s duties including access through the University’s website or other electronic resources. Examples of such support include:

        1. information on the college and department’s policies, requirements, learning outcomes and goals for each course, along with access to examples of past course syllabi (if available); 

        2. official schedule of classes, including academic calendar and time frames of class meetings;
          c. assistance in the selection of textbooks for the courses and ancillaries for the texts, if these are not otherwise selected by the department;

        3. a University email account along with access to on-campus computing facilities including Blackboard;

        4. for Lecturers teaching face-to-face classes on campus or online;

          1. telephone or other voice access, as appropriate;

          2. necessary office supplies;

          3. copying services for course materials, consistent with department guidelines; and

          4. appropriate space for meeting with students during scheduled office hours.

      2. Professional Development

        Professional development opportunities for Lecturers shall be supported to the extent feasible. Examples include extending invitations to departmental and University faculty development events, arranging mentoring by senior faculty, and providing financial support for participating in professional conferences when funds permit.

      3. Teaching Assignment

        The appointing department or unit shall provide Lecturers with reasonable and adequate notice of projected teaching assignments prior to the start of classes. Notice of at least 45 days is suggested.

      4. Performance Evaluation

        1. Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs will assure that each college has in place approved written procedures for evaluating Lecturers’ performance on a regular schedule, as required by USM Policy II-1.20 Policy on Evaluation of Performance of Faculty. College procedures shall include a framework for providing merit recommendations for Lecturers that will be applied when funds are available for Lecturer merit recognition.

        2. Departments shall evaluate the teaching by Lecturers in a manner consistent with procedures used to evaluate T/TT faculty teaching performance.

        3. Evaluations and Annual Reviews (Part I and II) shall be kept on record in a personnel file in the home department and shall be consulted when decisions about subsequent appointments and/or merit are made.

    6. Benefits

      Lecturers at Towson University will be afforded benefits as specified in USM II-1.05 Policy on the Employment of Full-Time, Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty in the USM, Section V.C.7.

    7. Grievance and Appointment Rights

      1. Grievance Procedure

        With the exception of those policies and procedures that relate to the appointment, rank and tenure of tenured and tenure-track faculty, Lecturers shall have available the same grievance procedures as all other faculty, consistent with the USM Policy on Faculty Grievance, II-4.00 and TU Policy 02-04.00, Responsibilities and Procedures of the Faculty Grievance and Mediation Committee and the Faculty Hearing Committee.

      2. Process Related to the Termination of Lecturers during the term of the contract.

        The appointment may be terminated during the Term for:

        1. moral turpitude;

        2. neglect of duty;

        3. professional or scholarly misconduct;

        4. incompetence;

        5. insubordination;

        6. death;

        7. mental or physical condition that renders Appointee unable to perform essential duties;

        8. lack of appropriations or other funds with which to support the appointment; or,

        9. any ground for termination recognized by common-law.

        10. In the event the University terminates the appointment for the reasons stated above, the University shall notify the Appointee, in writing, of the reason(s) for termination and of the opportunity to request a meeting with the University’s President or designee. The meeting must be requested in writing within three (3) days of the Appointee’s receipt of the termination notice. The purpose of the meeting is to allow the Appointee the opportunity to contest the stated ground(s) for termination. Following the meeting, the University President or designee shall decide whether or not to terminate the Appointee and shall notify the Appointee in writing. If the decision is to terminate, the notice shall specify the date the Appointment shall terminate.

          In the event no meeting is requested, the termination shall be effective as of the date of the termination notice.

          The decision whether to terminate the Appointment shall be discretionary, however, the President or designee shall exercise that discretion in good faith.

          The President’s or designee’s decision is final.

          In the event the University terminates the Appointment, its salary and fringe benefit obligations to the Appointee shall terminate as of the date of the termination.

      3. Subsequent Appointments or Non-Reappointment of Lecturers

        The decision whether to re-appoint a Lecturer after the term of the faculty member’s contract remains within the discretion of the University.

        A University decision not to re-appoint a Lecturer, provided that the decision was not made for unlawful reasons or in retaliation for the faculty member’s exercise of grievance rights or shared governance activities, must be done in accordance with the TU ART Policy (02-01.00) VI.A.3.l, pg. 10: Faculty appointed to ranks not specifically mentioned in VI.B.1.a on a full-time basis for a term not less than one Academic Year shall receive notice of non-renewal or contract based upon their length of continuous full-time service in such ranks. If such service is less than seven years, at least ninety (90) days notice is required. If such service equals or exceeds the seven years, at least six (6) months notice is required. If the required notice is not provided prior to the termination of the then-current contract, this condition may be remedied by extending the contract by the number of days necessary to meet the notice requirement.

    8. Participation in the Campus Community

      1. Integration into Towson University Life

        Lecturers shall be integrated into the scholarly, intellectual, academic, and social life of the department, college, and University.

      2. Shared Governance Participation

        The University shall provide opportunities for Lecturers to communicate their concerns to campus administrators, provide advice in the development and implementation of policies and procedures related to Lecturers, and otherwise participate in shared governance.

Related Policies:

TU Policy 02-01.00, Towson University Policy on Appointment, Rank and Tenure of Faculty

TU Policy 02-04.00, Responsibilities and Procedures of the Faculty Grievance and Mediation Committee and the Faculty Hearing Committee

USM Policy II-1.05, Policy on the Employment of Full-Time, Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty in the USM

USM Policy II-1.20, Policy on Evaluation of Performance of Faculty

USM Policy II-4.00, Policy on Faculty Grievance

Approval Date: 12/1/2011

Effective Date: 12/1/2011

Updated Date: 10/22/2013

Approved By: President’s Council 12/1/2011

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .