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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Leave professor’s promotions alone

Jarell Carr

In February, Texas State had finalized the instructional faculty title series, an array of potential promotion opportunities for non-tenure line professors. Now, the university is pulling back on its promise, offering less money than originally intended to its most experienced professors. Texas State has let down many professors and it is inexcusable.

Professors who had been teaching for over 10 years were promised a 14% raise in April, which is now being reduced to the same 7% professors with only five years of experience will see.  Not only have the promotions failed to increase with the budget, they’ve effectively been cut back without solid reasoning.

The title series was created to outline a process for professors not on the tenure track to finally receive recognition and promotions. With the title series, full-time teaching staff were expected to see consistent pay raises and position advancements, but the deal has been altered.

These new titles could strongly benefit teaching staff, offering them real chances for career growth and an incentive to be better teachers. Especially in light of the Texas Senate severely hindering the security offered with tenure this past June, Texas State going back on its promise to teachers reflects a lapse in judgement. It seems as if the university is sacrificing its professors for no good reason. 

According to the May 2024 policy update, the series is now being given $2.2 million for faculty promotions, compared to the $1 million it had in April. This initially seems like a positive, but despite the drastic jump in budget, the promotion rate remains at 7% for 5+ year professors and has been cut down from 14% for 10+ year professors. If not toward the professors, where is all the extra money going?

Before these promotions, non-tenure line professors hired by Texas State were limited to holding the lecturer or senior lecturer positions. Either way, their pay and status would plateau, remaining the same for the entirety of their time at the university. Despite making up about half of the teaching staff, these professors were stuck at their starting position in perpetuity.

With the instructional title series, non-tenure line faculty finally saw the university taking an interest in them and offering professional validation. That validation, however, was hindered when the university decided to take away some of the money they initially promised the school’s 10+ year professors.

The policy guidelines don’t clarify how the $2.2 million set aside for salary adjustments will affect professors’ average $54,212 annual salary. Without any explanation, it doesn’t make sense for Texas State’s longest employed professors to have promised money taken away.

Teaching can often feel like a thankless position. Professors are the facilitators of the main purpose of higher education and can easily be taken for granted. The instructional title series was meant to offer much-needed reassurance for the future of the profession.

Based on the new developments, however, it’s hard to believe the university has a genuine interest in supporting its professors. Texas State hosted a large festival with Tyga as the headliner and is constantly purchasing new housing. With major funds going toward actions like that, how can the university not have the money to properly pay some of its most important staff?

By showing better gratitude to the professors, the title series also offers some benefits to students. With promotions in mind, teachers are encouraged to instruct to the best if their ability for a chance at these new opportunities. Cutting those opportunities in half, by taking away an motivating incentive for professors, then becomes a disservice to both them and the students.

As a result, with benefits for both professors and students, the title series fosters better teaching and better learning, all with the simple addition of pay raises and title advancements. By taking some of that money away, it seems like the school’s focus is straying away from academics, students and professors.

-Samuel Marentes is an English junior

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor in Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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