Response to faculty contract renewals

A recent Cynic article stated that “many professors” will not be returning next year.

Unfortunately the article did not provide all the facts. And it failed to make clear that this relates to re-appointments of lecturers; tenured/tenure-track faculty are not at issue.

Out of 75 full-time lecturers, 21 were reviewed for reappointment this spring. Of the 21, two were not re-appointed, and one is pending.

Out of 67 full-time senior lecturers, 16 were reviewed for reappointment this spring. Of the 16, one was not re-appointed and one voluntarily resigned.

There is nothing unusual or concerning about these numbers; instructional staffing adjustments are made every year.

Lecturers are hired under one- or multiple-year contracts to help the University maintain the flexibility needed to meet our variable needs for instruction in view of enrollment changes, course offering and selections, curriculum requirements and other criteria.

It is incorrect to state or imply that this small and typical fluctuation in the number of lecturers was being driven by the implementation of an Incentive Based Budgeting model.  The fact is, the IBB model is currently under development, will be run in parallel with our current budget model in the next fiscal year and will not be implemented until FY16 (more than 15 months away).

Any employment decision has personal consequences for the person affected, and I do not wish to diminish that impact on the lecturers whose contracts were not renewed.  To attribute any of the few non-re appointments that occurred to the status of the new budget model is simply incorrect.

What is important -and we pay very close attention to this -is the quality of the educational experience at UVM. We continue to make the right investments in both our people and facilities in order to deliver the highest possible quality, and most affordable, education.

We fully intend to keep moving forward in that direction.