Many of us have recently learned that NAU’s President Rita Cheng has received a bonus of $180,000. The Board of Regents justified this “at-risk compensation,” stating that Dr. Cheng met “a large number of goals.”
However, although there are some non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty who are content with their positions at NAU, many NTT faculty struggle to make ends meet: they are paid less than tenure-track faculty, rarely have any job security beyond the current year of employment, and have very few opportunities to secure funding for research and scholarship. The proposed measure to convert up to 50 of these NTT positions to tenure-track positions does not come close to solving this problem. Moreover, if any of those to-be-converted NTT positions are currently filled by hard-working colleagues, those colleagues would be forced to reapply for those jobs all over again.
In 2002, then-president Dr. John Haeger donated most of his raise to certain departments/entities on NAU’s campus (Daily Sun, June 18, 2002). On 12/18/17, I donated my 2016 raise to my NTT colleagues in the English Department, a very small token of appreciation. I respectfully challenge Dr. Cheng to return her bonus, earmarking it for all measures that would help the NTT faculty thrive at NAU, and to convert all NTT lines to tenure-track lines, for those faculty desiring that conversion.
President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellow
Professor, Dept. of English