Last Thursday (April 11, 2019), the Faculty Senate passed a measure recommending changes to sections I.B.1. (Faculty Structure) and V.C.1. (Titles) of the Faculty Manual. Due to some inaccurate reporting and rumors concerning these changes, I am writing to provide some clarification.
Revision of tracks and titles within the Faculty Manual was a project initiated by Faculty Senate leadership in fall 2017, worked on throughout the past two academic years, and taken up by the Faculty Affairs Committee this spring. The Office of the Provost has worked in lockstep with Faculty Senate leadership in developing the goals for this activity and responding to various drafts prepared by them. The primary goals of this revision were to (a) simplify our faculty tracks and titles, (b) develop a structure that places all faculty in a faculty rank that recognizes their contributions to WSU, and (c) provide a promotion progression for all faculty tracks.
A review of faculty tracks and titles revealed over 150 faculty titles were being utilized at WSU in 2018; hence, the need for simplification. In addition, because the instructor track was the only track specifically designed for faculty with primary teaching responsibilities, the clinical track has become the default for many faculty positions that have no clinical component. Expansion of health sciences over the past decade have necessitated that a clinical track be reserved for faculty with actual clinical responsibilities. Some additional clarifying statements:

  • The measure passed by the Faculty Senate constitutes a recommendation to the provost and president. The Office of the Provost is accepting this recommendation and forwarding the changes to the president with the advice that he approve the changes to the Faculty Manual.
  • These revisions to tracks and titles will not be fully implemented until academic year 2020–21. We will work through academic year 2019–20 to implement these title changes and assure all faculty are appointed to the appropriate track and rank.
  • Faculty on tenure-track appointments will be largely unaffected by these changes.
  • There will be no adverse salary impacts as a result of a change in rank or title.
  • The passage of these changes does not represent an endpoint, but rather the initiation of a new stage of the process for refining our tracks and titles. The Faculty Senate has provided a great foundation from which to build a more robust, simplified, and contemporary set of faculty ranks and titles.

Revisions to the Faculty Manual can be accessed online. The revisions are substantial enough that they replace the entire sections I.B.1. (Faculty Structure) and V.C.1. (Titles) of the Faculty Manual.

Office of the Provost, Washington State University
Dan Bernardo
Provost and Executive Vice President