ASU charts path for instructional faculty pay, promotions

February 25, 2015

Arizona State University has established new university-wide guidance for more than 1,200 instructors, lecturers, clinical faculty and faculty associates. The new directions provide a clear path for security and advancement for lecturers and clinical faculty members, and establishes salary minimums for all fixed-term faculty members.

“We want to tell people that, if you’re an excellent teacher, you have a career here,” said University Provost Robert E. Page Jr. “We’re reaffirming our commitment to the value of performance.” Download Full Image

The guidelines, developed over the past 12 months, identify the titles and requirements for achieving each rank, such as advancing from lecturer to senior lecturer. Promotions must be linked to excellence in teaching, followed by institutional needs and the availability of funds. Criteria for advancement include an expectation of five years of excellent teaching performance at the entry rank of lecturer or clinical assistant professor before moving up.

The new guidelines outline how instructional faculty with substantial experience and sustained records of teaching excellence may be eligible for renewable or multiple-year contracts instead of the year-to-year contracts generally given to entry rank instructors.

“Without a doubt, we have some of the best teachers in the nation within the ranks of our fixed-term instructional faculty,” Page said. “We want to establish fairness and transparency through a common set of rewards and expectations so that these outstanding teachers may pursue careers boosting the success of our students.”

Page established new, university-wide salary minimums in January that raised the pay for many instructional faculty members. The minimum pay for entry rank will range from $36,000 to $45,000. The minimums take full effect in August 2016. The new guidelines also require that an instructional faculty member receiving a promotion receives the greater of either a $3,000 raise or an increase to the minimum salary for the next rank.

The changes in criteria and paychecks come after the great recession disrupted the university’s ability to hire and retain faculty who work on fixed contracts. ASU’s recovery from that downturn through renewed hiring of instructional faculty members has varied by college and department. The new policies will provide consistency and professional continuity through a common platform of expectations for the years to come.

Click here for full details on the guidelines for hiring and advancing instructional faculty.

ASU launches academy to educate young students about sustainability

February 26, 2015

Today’s students will become tomorrow’s leaders, and educating them about sustainability is increasingly important in light of the complex social, economic and environmental issues the world faces.

Arizona State University’s new National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy aims to bring teams of elementary, middle and high school teachers from across the nation together to establish an educational task force for sustainability. people haveing a discussion at a table Download Full Image

As a program of ASU’s Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, the teachers’ academy will focus on solutions-based curriculum with an emphasis on urban systems. ASU sustainability scientists and scholars will help coach and lead hands-on sessions on solutions surrounding food, water, energy and climate.

“Teachers are ideally positioned as role models for future generations and have the capacity to reach a younger population that can be inspired to think creatively about solutions,” said Monica Elser, senior sustainability scientist and education manager in ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. “By combining online learning with in-person participation, we’re preparing our educators with the knowledge and practical skills to foster change agents.”

The 2015 cohort of the teachers’ academy will be composed of teams of two middle school teachers from school districts across the nation selected to participate in a one-week professional development workshop at ASU’s Tempe campus. The workshop will be infused with research and strategies from ASU’s School of Sustainability, the nation’s leader in sustainability education. After the workshops, teachers will return to their school districts to lead workshops of their own, sharing what they’ve learned with their peers. Customized online curriculum and tools will continue to be available to teachers year-round.

“Sustainability touches so many core aspects of our everyday lives,” said Patricia Reiter, executive director of the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. “By creating experiential learning opportunities that integrate science, technology, engineering and math with concepts of sustainability, our educators can not only teach better, but inspire future generations.”

The academy is currently accepting applications for the first workshop taking place June 22-26.

Media contact:

Jason Franz,