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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Recognizing the Contributions of Full-time Lectures in the College of Arts & Sciences

The College of Arts & Sciences strives to improve the policies and practices by which we recognize the important contributions that full-time Lecturers make to our instructional programs. These improvements are important for enhancing the working conditions of a key segment of our instructional staff and offering them career development opportunities. In turn, these changes will ultimately be of major benefit to the quality of undergraduate education at Boston University. Opportunities for employment in Lecturer positions are driven above all by the needs of the undergraduate curriculum. Boston University is a research and teaching university that emphasizes the synergies and interdependence of scholarship and education.

As the flagship college within that framework, the College of Arts & Sciences is committed to carrying out the bulk of its educational mission through the teaching and mentoring efforts of faculty on the tenure track who are both path-breaking researchers and first-rate teachers. Opportunities for employment and professional development in Lecturer positions in CAS therefore depend on the fit between particular teaching roles and a career path that emphasizes excellence in teaching but not research, or research only insofar as it supports teaching, mentoring, and curriculum development.

Salaries and Stipends

In 2005 CAS implemented a new approach to determining Lecturer salaries that was designed to incorporate clear principles and to be more equitable. It established a pay formula with a uniform base pay and additional pay increments for a doctoral degree (or its equivalent) and for specific levels of experience at Boston University. This formula initially improved salaries of both the lowest-paid lecturers and those whose experience and education credentials had not previously been recognized. Lecturers in most departments and programs are now enrolled in this “formula” program.

Stipends for course coordination are now linked directly to the level and complexity of coordination responsibilities and coordination assignments and are reviewed annually. Lecturers enrolled in the “formula” program who have coordination assignments receive separate stipends for coordination. Lecturers who are not yet on the formula program are generally compensated for coordination assignments as part of their regular salaries.

All full-time Lecturers now receive the full measure of salary increases available within the annual salary review process. We have occasionally been able to make additional across-the-board adjustments in minimum salaries as well. Senior and Master Lecturers are awarded variable merit increases from the same pool as tenured and tenure-track faculty. These steps have resulted in the salaries of full-time Lecturers rising as fast as, and sometimes faster than, those of professorial faculty since their inception. No full-time Lecturer has experienced a salary reduction as a result of these changes.

Building the Cadre of Full-time Lecturers

Beginning in 2010, and with the financial support of the Provost’s Office, CAS has implemented a systematic program of consolidating part-time lecturer positions into full-time positions where funding allows. These consolidations are crucial for strengthening the quality of education for our students, building the core team of full-time lecturers, and providing career development opportunities for part-time lecturers.

CAS issues an open annual invitation to departments and programs to propose new consolidations of previously part-time lecturer positions. Lecturer consolidation slots are available only in departments/programs that demonstrate they satisfy four conditions:

  1. They have employed part-time Lecturers on a repeated basis to teach critical undergraduate courses;
  2. Enrollment patterns indicate that such needs are likely to continue;
  3. The department has made every attempt to use its existing full-time faculty (all ranks) to cover the undergraduate curriculum effectively;
  4. Lecturer consolidation proposals will be consistent with the planning that is documented in the Annual Academic Planning exercise and the department’s strategic plan.

Consolidations require infusions of new funds into CAS salary budgets and therefore they will be phased in over multiple years.

Career Recognition

During 2008/09 a committee consisting of the chairs and directors of the key departments and programs with full-time Lecturers was charged by the Dean to make recommendations to improve the career situation of Lecturers. As a result of this consultation and further deliberation, CAS established two new programs designed to improve lecturers’ career opportunities and rewards.

Career Service Salary Awards. As part of the “formula” salary program, full-time Lecturers received an additional $1,000 in their base pay on top of regular annual salary increases after serving, respectively, for 5, 10, 20, and 30 years as a full-time Lecturer at Boston University.

Career Ladders. CAS has implemented a career ladder program for full-time Lecturers that provides promotions for those with a sustained record of exceptional and broad achievement. These ladders consist of two levels beyond the regular Lecturer rank: “Senior Lecturer” and “Senior Lecturer — Master Level.”

Full details on the promotion criteria and nomination/review processes are available here.