What is a Lecturer?

The position of Lecturer at Northeastern University is a non-tenure track faculty position that requires the terminal academic degree in the specialist’s field of study (a doctorate degree normally). Lecturers may be employed on a part-time or a full-time appointment. The sole responsibility of Lecturers is to provide high quality instruction.  Lecturers do not advise students, nor do they engage in research. They may engage in professional development activities as appropriate to their departmental work assignments. Full-time lecturers normally teach six courses per academic year. Teaching assignments are determined at the department/program level by the chair of their department based on the unique instructional needs of the academic unit. Promotion is possible in the full-time lecturer track. There are three ranks of full-time: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Principal Lecturer. The position has the potential for multi-year appointments at the Senior Lecturer and Principal Lecturer ranks.

Lecturer is the normal entry rank for the full-time lecturer track. Appointments at this rank are for renewable 1-year terms. After completing a minimum of three years of service at the rank of Lecturer, lecturers are then eligible for consideration of promotion to the rank of Senior Lecturer.  Senior lecturers are eligible for consideration of promotion to Principal Lecturer, which represents the highest rank in the lecturer track, after completing a minimum of three years of service at the rank of Senior Lecturer.

How is the Lecturer position different from other non-tenure track faculty positions like Teaching Professor?

Both the Lecturer and Teaching Professor are primarily responsible for providing high quality undergraduate instruction.  The teaching professor position however includes advising and other types of service. In some cases, this may involve the supervision of undergraduates involved in research if not in conflict with other department practices. Lecturers, on the other hand, are not responsible for advising nor do they participate in any other types of service.

What is the evaluation procedure for a Lecturer?

Lecturers are evaluated annually at the department/program level by the department or program and its chair or director following the process developed and approved by the department’s faculty and as outlined in each department/program’s merit review guidelines. A written summary of the annual evaluation is provided to each full-time lecturer and is maintained in the lecturer’s personnel file. This document will be used in the dossier required for promotion consideration.

What is the promotion process for the full-time Lecturer position?

Beginning in January 2014, at the recommendation of the chair, full-time lecturers who have met the eligibility requirements may be brought forward to the college for promotion consideration.  Given the number of full-time lecturers on the faculty who have served for varying periods of time in rank, in the initial few years following the creation of ranks in the lecturer track, the college will temporarily limit the number of lecturers who can be considered for promotion in any one year to a maximum of 25% of the full-time Lecturers in the college as a whole.  Working with the chair of their department or the program director for their academic program, full-time lecturers will be invited to prepare a written portfolio. Promotion is based on meritorious performance, not time spent at the current rank. The content and format for the dossier are based on the “Preparation and Format of Full-Time, Nontenure-Track Faculty Promotion Dossiers,” which is available on the website for the Office of the Provost, with adaptations appropriate to the lecturer’s specific job responsibilities.  The principal criterion used in the evaluation of lecturers is quality teaching. Aspects of the promotion process specific to the College of Science are described in “Preparation and Format of the Promotion Dossier for Teaching Professors and Lecturers.”

Since Lecturers are non-tenure track, how secure are their jobs?

Full-time lecturers are valued members of Northeastern’s teaching faculty. Therefore, lecturer appointments are renewable, contingent upon several factors in the sole discretion of the university, including satisfactory performance and unit and University need. Full-time lecturers may be reappointed consistent with the terms appropriate to their rank if they are meeting the expectations for their position. The department/program must also have a continuing need for a lecturer and there must be funding to support the appointment. Non-reappointment or dismissal of a full-time lecturer can occur when the lecturer fails to perform his/her duties adequately or participates in academic or professional misconduct. More information on the rights and responsibilities of lecturers can be found in the Faculty Handbook, which is available on the Faculty Senate’s website.

How does a negative decision on an application for consideration of promotion affect a full-time Lecturer?

A negative decision has no repercussion beyond the fact that the full-time lecturer will not be promoted and consequently will remain at his/her current rank. A negative decision on an application for consideration of promotion neither precludes the full-time lecturer from being considered for continued appointment at his/her current rank nor precludes a lecturer from applying for promotion consideration at a future date.  However, the full-time lecturer must complete two full years after the previous unsuccessful promotion consideration before the lecturer will be eligible for reconsideration for promotion.