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A statement on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and shared governance

We are calling on tenured and tenure-track faculty (T/TTF) at the University of Mississippi to use their relative positions of power to actively support their non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) colleagues who are advocating for full representation in the Faculty Senate. To do so means listening to, collaborating with, and amplifying the voices of NTTF faculty in our own departments and across campus, including the Task Force for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Shared Governance (formed in September 2016).

There are roughly 600 NTTF members at our university. Faculty Senate seats are currently allocated based solely on departmental T/TTF numbers, and NTTF are explicitly excluded from serving on that body. NTTF are thus the only people at the university who do not have access to shared governance.

While the university’s core values statement highlights promoting “inclusiveness in its student body, faculty, and staff,” fostering “a civil community of shared governance,” and honoring “the dignity of all employees,” the current exclusion of NTTF members from shared governance undercuts our ability to live up to our mission.

Nationally, about 70 percent of university faculty are in contingent positions. Our ratio is more balanced: NTTF and T/TTF each comprise approximately half of our academic personnel, though NTTF teach nearly 60 percent of the student credit hours on our Oxford, Jackson, and regional campuses. While we all share serious concerns about the eroding of tenure lines on national and local levels, the existence of NTTF at our university is our reality. Ignoring our NTTF — in terms of both their talents and their concerns — does not change that reality and only reifies their isolation and maltreatment.

Our continued exclusion of NTTF from shared governance also runs counter to our peer institutions: currently, 88 percent of public R1 universities include NTTF in some way in shared governance. Furthermore, the scholarship on shared governance is clear: a single, unified body that incorporates all faculty equally, including both tenure- and non-tenure-line and full- and part-time faculty, results in not only a stronger shared governance body with an established, united voice but also the dissolution of departmental and status-based silos that proliferate across universities.

The Faculty Senate recently heard a proposal from the Task Force for full inclusion of NTTF in its body. The comments offered in response to this proposal at the January meeting came from a small percentage of the Senators but were overwhelmingly negative. Additionally, the Senate’s current plan for drafting a resolution unequivocally removes part-time faculty from all considerations and appears to suspend substantive input from NTTF about their own university lives.

We believe that a truly united faculty body makes us a stronger faculty body. When we fail to practice genuinely shared governance, we undermine university values, exacerbate inequities that affect NTTF disproportionately, and render invisible the labor and talents of half our faculty members. Moreover, we should strive for a more civil and fair workplace for everyone at our university, especially our most vulnerable colleagues. We accordingly call on T/TTF, especially, to use their status to work towards the common good.

Studies have consistently demonstrated that faculty working conditions are student learning conditions; in particular, contingent faculty members’ poor working conditions negatively affect student retention and completion rates. We, therefore, hope that T/TTF across our university will rally to support the full inclusion of NTTF in a unified Faculty Senate. A step towards improving NTTF working conditions is a step towards living up to our highest principles.

The Undersigned University of Mississippi Faculty Members:

Editor’s Note: For an updated list of names signed to this letter, visit https://edblogs.olemiss.edu/nttfacultyandsharedgovernance/.

Kim Adcock
Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Joseph B. Atkins
Professor, Meek School of Journalism
Sarah Baechle
Assistant Professor, English
Jordan Ballou
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Linda Cristal Mota Batiz
Instructional Assistant Professor, Biology
Tiffany Bensen
Instructional Associate Professor, Biology
Monika Bhagat-Kennedy
Assistant Professor, English
Lauren Bloodworth
Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Javier F. Boyas
Associate Professor, Social Work
Lindy Brady
Assistant Professor, English
Joshua Brinlee
Assistant Professor, Art & Art History
Carol Britson
Instructional Associate Professor,Biology
Luanne Buchanan
Instructional Associate Professor, Modern Languages
Donna Allyn Buckley
Instructional Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts
Jenny Bucksbarg
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Gretchen Bunde
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Jason Burton
Assistant Professor / Lead STEM Librarian, University Libraries
 Anne M. Cafer
Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Brad Campbell
Instructor / Director of the Oxford Writing Center, Writing & Rhetoric
Ellie Campbell
Reference & Instruction Law Librarian, Grisham Law Library
Kate Centellas
Croft Associate Professor, Sociology & Anthropology / Croft Institute for International Studies
Daisy T. Cheng
Associate Professor / Senior Catalog Librarian, University Libraries
Emily Cooley
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Robert Cummings
Associate Professor, Writing & Rhetoric/ Executive Director of Academic Innovation, Provost
Courtney Davis
Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Marco M. DeVera
Instructor, Intensive English Program
Laura Dixon
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Le’Trice Donaldson
Instructor, African American Studies
Max Doolittle
Instructional Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts
Carey Bernini Dowling
Instructional Assistant Professor / Advising Coordinator, Psychology
Conor Dowling
Associate Professor, Political Science
Erin Drew
Assistant Professor, English
Leigh Anne Duck
Associate Professor, English
Chip Dunkin
Lecturer, Writing & Rhetoric
JoAnn Edwards
Instructor/ Director of Forensics, Writing & Rhetoric
Antonia Eliason
Assistant Professor, School of Law
Cristin Ellis
Associate Professor, English
Michelle Emanuel
Professor / Head of Metadata & Digital Initiatives, University Libraries
Robbie Ethridge
Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Beth Ann Fennelly
Professor, English
Ann Fisher-Wirth
Professor / Director of the Minor in Environmental Studies, English
Shanna Flaschka
Adjunct Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Laurie Fleming
Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice
B. Brian Foster
Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology / Southern Studies
Ryan Garrick
Assistant Professor, Biology
Amy Gibson
Professor / Research & Instruction Librarian, University Libraries
Melissa Ginsburg
Assistant Professor, English
Gary Glick
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Wendy Goldberg
Core Lecturer, Writing & Rhetoric
Denis Charles Goulet
Instructional Professor, Biology
Cathy Grace
Adjunct Instructor, Geology & Geological Engineering
Angela Green
Writing Enriched Curriculum Lecturer, Writing & Rhetoric
Darren Grem
Assistant Professor, History / Southern Studies
Stuart T. Haines
Professor / Director of Pharmacy Professional Development, Pharmacy Practice
Charlsie Haire
Adjunct Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric / Intensive English Program
Jaime Harker
Professor, English
Meredith Harper
Adjunct Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
William S. Hays
Adjunct Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Michael Lance Herrington
Instructor / Coordinator of Instructional Services, Intensive English Program
Alison Hitch
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Shari Hodges Holt
Instructional Associate Professor, English
Erik Hom
Assistant Professor, Biology
Kate Hooper
Lecturer, Writing & Rhetoric
Neal Hutchens
Professor and Interim Chair, Higher Education
Evelyn F. Jackson
Instructor, Biology
Jennifer Jackson
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Eden Johnson
Instructor, Biology
Gregory Alan Johnson
Associate Professor / Blues Curator, University Libraries
Kirk A. Johnson
Associate Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Laura R. Johnson
Associate Professor, Psychology
Rachel Johnson
Instructor / Director of the Tupelo Writing Center, Writing & Rhetoric
Ashley Jones-Bodie
Assistant Professor / Communication Across the Curriculum Coordinator, Writing & Rhetoric
Zachary Kagan Guthrie
Assistant Professor, History
Savannah L. Kelly
Assistant Professor / Research & Instruction Librarian, University Libraries
Tracy Lynn Case Koslowski
Lecturer / Associate Director, Intensive English Program
Guy Krueger
Core Lecturer, Writing & Rhetoric
Kiese Laymon
Professor, English
Kate Lechler
Adjunct Instructor, English
Seung Cheol Lee
Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Marc Lerner
Associate Professor, History
Jennie Lightweis-Goff
Instructor, English
Anne Marie Liles
Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Sarah Liljegren
Associate Professor, Biology
Alexandra Lindgren-Gibson
Assistant Professor, History
Kellye Makamson
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Rebecca Marchiel
Assistant Professor, History
Briana O’Riordan McCoy
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Amy McDowell
Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Kathryn McKee
Associate Professor, English / Southern Studies
Marcos Mendoza
Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Stephanie E. Miller
Assistant Professor, Psychology
Claire Mischker
Instructor / Director of the Graduate Writing Center, Writing & Rhetoric
Stephen Monroe
Assistant Professor and Chair, Writing & Rhetoric
Matthew Leigh Murray
Instructional Associate Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Alice Johnston Myatt
Assistant Professor, Writing & Rhetoric
Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Professor, English
Amber Nichols-Buckley
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Daniel Novak
Associate Professor, English
Daniel E. O’Sullivan
Professor and Chair, Modern Languages
Chris Offutt
Associate Professor, English
Sara Olsen
Adjunct Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Cecelia Parks
Assistant Professor / Research & Instruction Librarian, University Libraries
Catarina Passidomo
Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology / Southern Studies
Velsie Pate
Instructor & Coordinator, Intensive English Program
René E. Pulliam
Associate Professor, Theatre Arts
Sujith Ramachandran
Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Administration
Karen Raber
Professor, English
Michael C. Raines
Instructional Assistant Professor of TESL, Modern Languages
Peter Reed
Associate Professor, English
Melissa Reilly
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Melinda Rice
Instructional Assistant Professor, History
Jarod Roll
Associate Professor, History
Chad W. Russell
Instructor / Assessment Coordinator, Writing & Rhetoric
Jennifer Elaine Sadler
Instructional Assistant Professor, Meek School of Journalism
Christopher Sapp
Associate Professor, Modern Languages
Dinorah Sapp
Lecturer, Intensive English Program / Global Engagement
Whitney Tudor Sarver
Instructional Assistant Professor / Senior Director of the Intensive English Program, Modern Languages /Global Engagement
Stefan E. Schulenberg
Professor, Psychology
Jodi Skipper
 Associate Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Sue Ann Skipworth
Instructional Assistant Professor, Political Science
Steven Skultety
Associate Professor and Chair, Philosophy & Religion
Regan Slater
Adjunct Instructor, Psychology
Carrie V. Smith
Instructional Associate Professor, Psychology
Rebekah Smith
Professor, Psychology
Todd Smitherman
Associate Professor, Psychology
Jason Solinger
Associate Professor,English
John Sonnett
Associate Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Daniel J. Stearns
Adjunct Professor, Theatre Arts
Jennifer Stollman
Instructor & Academic Director, Winter Institute
Kayla R. Stover
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Gail Stratton
Instructional Associate Professor, Biology
Cassie Swayze
Assistant Professor / Digital Assets Librarian, University Libraries
Peter Thilly
Visiting Assistant Professor, History
James M. Thomas (JT)
Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology
Colleen Thorndike
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Esteban E. Ureña-Benavides
Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
Ana Velitchkova
Croft Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology / Croft Institute for International Studies
Jamie Wagner
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Marc Watkins
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Alex P. Watson
Associate Professor / Research & Instruction Librarian, University Libraries
Jay Watson
Howry Professor of Faulkner Studies / Professor, English
Sara Wellman
Assistant Professor, Modern Languages
Ian Whittington
Assistant Professor, English
Nancy L. Wicker
Professor, Art & Art History
Caroline Wigginton
Assistant Professor, English
Jessie Wilkerson
Assistant Professor, History / Southern Studies
Kelly G. Wilson
Professor, Psychology
Matthew R. Wilson
Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts
Sarah Bartlett Wilson
Instructor, Writing & Rhetoric
Peter Wood
Instructional Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts
Julie Wronski
Assistant Professor, Political Science