To: Deans and Department Chairs
From: Alan Brinkley, Provost
Re: Additional Compensation for Non-Instructional Officers
Date: February 11, 2004

 

     As most of you surely know, a great many of the full-time non-instructional officers of the University, members of the administration, officers of the libraries, post-docs and other officers of research, among others, are highly qualified and talented scholars and teachers. In the past, it has been the policy of the University that such officers could not receive compensation above their regular salaries for teaching. Many have taught anyway, unpaid; some have declined to do so because of the absence of compensation. It has seemed to many of us that it is unfair to deprive these officers of the chance to be compensated for work that falls clearly outside their salaried responsibilities. We are pleased, therefore, to announce that in the future, academic units of the University may, if they wish, hire non-instructional officers and compensate them for their teaching up to a maximum of two courses per year. (Summer Session and Continuing Education courses will count against that maximum.)

     Although we are making it possible for academic units to pay non-instructional officers to teach, we are not requiring anyone to let them do so. It is entirely within the discretion of the appropriate academic officers to decide whether or not to invite an officer to teach or whether or not to accept a proposal that an officer may make. It is also, of course, up to non-instructional officers themselves to decide whether or not they wish to teach. No one can be compelled to do so.

     Officers who wish to teach and who are invited to do so must receive the permission of their immediate supervisors and the heads of their departments, who may refuse permission if the teaching interferes with their full-time duties. The Vice President of Information Services and University Librarian must authorize all teaching appointments offered to officers of the libraries. The Vice President for Human Resources must authorize the appointments of officers of administration. For courses offered on the Morningside campus, Vice Provost Stephen Rittenberg will give final approval to all instructional appointments for non-instructional officers, as he already does for other part-time appointments. For courses offered at the Medical Center, the Office of Faculty Affairs exercises that responsibility. Departments and schools should be sure to receive all necessary approvals before making a commitment to pay a full-time non-instructional officer for teaching.

     We believe that this change will allow academic units to take advantage of the considerable talents of our non-instructional officers and will also permit the officers themselves to receive appropriate compensation for their work in the same way that other part-time teachers in the University do. The new policy will, we believe, enrich the Columbia careers of officers interested in teaching and, we hope, enrich the educational experience of our students as well.

     Please let me or Vice Provost Rittenberg know if you have any questions. We look forward to working with you to ensure the smooth implementation of this new policy.

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