Under a new procedure approved this summer by the UT Board of Trustees, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is now able to offer multiyear appointments to non-tenure-track faculty members.
This landmark achievement for UTHSC faculty is the result of years of work by the UTHSC Faculty Senate, including the review of multiyear approaches at other UT System campuses, peer institutions, and aspirational institutions, said Paul “PJ” Koltnow, MS, MSPAS, UTHSC Faculty Senate president and an assistant professor and director of admissions for the UTHSC Physician Assistant Program.
The option for multiyear appointments will assist the university with recruitment and retention of faculty, Koltnow said. “This is a way to provide a sense of security and investment.” In turn, it is anticipated that greater job security will allow faculty to better focus on the teaching, research, clinical care, and public service missions of the university.
“This endeavor was spearheaded by two exceptional faculty members,” Koltnow said. They are Yanhui Zhang, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Bioscience Research in the College of Dentistry and chair of the UTHSC Faculty Senate Non-Tenure-Track Committee, and Terrance Cooper, PhD, the Harriet S. Van Vleet Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry, who leads the UTHSC Faculty Senate Faculty Handbook Committee.
“Their unwavering dedication and cooperation with Dr. Cindy Russell (vice chancellor for Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs) and other campus administrators played a pivotal role in bringing this initiative to fruition. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Chancellor Buckley for his steadfast support of these commendable efforts, which undoubtedly mark a significant advancement in our institution’s commitment to faculty excellence.”
“We believe in shared governance, and this is an excellent example of how working together provides a better academic environment for our faculty colleagues.” Chancellor Peter Buckley said.
Multiyear appointments are not guaranteed for the approximately 75 percent of faculty at UTHSC who are non-tenure-track employees. However, they can be made at the discretion of the deans, department chairs, and program directors for up to three years, instead of the one-year appointment offered previously. More information about the change can be found here.