Provost releases new guidelines for promoted specialized faculty

By Faraz Mirza

Since discovering in August that several specialized faculty members had not received raises promised with their promotions, the Office of the Provost issued a new set of guidelines Monday to ensure promoted non-tenure-track faculty will receive the correct benefits from a pay floor implemented in May.

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Academic Policies Elabbas Benmamoun said the new guidelines, titled Communication 26, apply to non-tenure-track faculty in all departments, including research professors, clinical professors and teaching professors.

“When the resolution was initially posted, we went to human resources and checked, and we found out of all the promotions that had been processed, all of them got promotions except three,” Benmamoun said. “We processed it and implemented it effective Aug. 16.” 

Benmamoun said that the Office of the Provost has been in touch with the human resources department, and has asked them to check and let them know if there have been any other cases.

“They are monitoring the situation to see if there has ever been another case where somebody had been promoted and did not get the increase,” Benmamoun said. “As far as I know, there haven’t been any other cases.”

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    Benmamoun clarified that Communication 26 enforces similar guidelines addressed in Communication 25, which was implemented in April.

    The guidelines were sent out by Provost Ilesanmi Adesida on April 28 in a massmail, detailing the release of new employment guidelines and promotion policies to support specialized faculty. 

    The massmail also announced a uniform pay floor of $40,000 to be implemented for specialized faculty in all departments.

    Benmamoun said a $40,000 pay floor for specialized faculty has been in place since May 1, and there was no uniform pay floor among non-tenure-track faculty prior to this.

    However, after growing concerns that standard pay raises were not uniformly implemented after promotions, a resolution on uniform pay for specialized faculty was presented at the last Urbana-Champaign Academic Senate meeting on Oct. 20. However, prior to the resolution’s presentation at the senate meeting, the provost office corrected the issues addressed within the resolution.

    Shawn Gilmore, lecturer of English and sponsor of the resolution, said in an email that he supports Communication 25 and the pay floor, but criticized the lack of input from the specialized faculty.

    “I support the attention that these documents have drawn to the situation faced by non-tenure-track faculty on this campus,” Gilmore said. “Both pieces make some welcome changes, but also operate without much input from the parties most affected, especially the non-tenure-track faculty across campus.”

    Benmamoun said that prior to the new guidelines, Communication 9 held guidelines for the promotion of both tenure-track and specialized faculty.

    “What we did is that we took those guidelines out of Communication 9, expanded on them, and put them in their own independent Communication,” Benmamoun said.

    Faraz can be reached at [email protected].