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Fact sheet: Lecturers play a critical role at the UW

Lecturers are an important part of the University’s faculty and have been for a long time.

Chart of non-promotion and promotion-eligible lecturers.

In 2013, the UW began a deliberative process to improve the status of lecturers. Provost Ana Mari Cauce charged a work group co-chaired by Lisa Coutu, principal lecturer in the Department of Communication, and Marcia Killien, professor in the Department of Family and Child Nursing and secretary of the faculty, with making recommendations regarding hiring processes and policies for full-time lecturers. The goal of the work was to develop a predictable career path for full-time lecturers, one that included expanding opportunities for promotion and multi-year appointments.

Informed by their recommendations and those of similar workgroups at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma, the UW adopted new guidelines for the appointment of full-time lecturers that have led to meaningful and important progress. You can see the guidelines online here.

The results have been encouraging

  • The UW has vastly increased the number of lecturers eligible for promotion and multi-year appointments, resulting in career advancement and greater job security. 
  • The UW has effectively flipped the type of appointments for full-time lecturers. (See “Before and After” graphic)
  • Since 2012, there has been a significant increase in the number of lecturers eligible for promotion and multi-year appointments.
  • In 2015, more than 75 percent of our promotable full-time lecturers had multi-year appointments.
  • In 2015, approximately 85 percent of the full-time senior lecturers and 90 percent of the principal lecturers had multi-year appointments.
  • This opportunity for promotion recognizes career accomplishments, providing enhanced job security, and can provide salary increases that are comparable to those of professorial promotions.

This is the kind of career path and stability sought by the work group. In recognition of these efforts, in 2013, the AAUP-UW acknowledged then-Provost Cauce as a “Friend of the Faculty” for her continued willingness to work for the interests of the faculty and improve the lecturer track.

The full-time lecturer guidelines were a first step. The provost, deans, chancellors and Faculty Senate leaders were mindful that part-time lecturers need greater stability and support. In fall 2016, the guidelines were updated to include the appointment of ≥ 50 percent annual and multi-year part-time lecturers.

Academic excellence is the foundation of the UW. Maintaining this foundation will require more improvements for our lecturer colleagues.