New Titles Recognize Department’s Teaching Faculty

Submitted by Elizabeth F Self on

In spring 2020, the faculty at the University of Washington approved legislation to establish a professorial track focusing primarily on teaching. As a result, effective September 16th, 2020, the UW faculty code has been amended to replace the titles of full-time lecturers with “teaching professor” ranks and titles. For example, “senior lecturers” are now titled “associate teaching professors.” You will see these title changes reflected in our department faculty roster.

Why does the title change matter? The new titles are a respectful acknowledgment of the value of these members of our faculty who play such an important role in the life of the university. In Asian Languages and Literature, we have more than 15 teaching professors in our ranks – over 50% of our faculty. These indispensable faculty members teach the majority of our language classes as well as courses in linguistics, literature, and culture, enriching the university through their teaching, service, and scholarship.

Lacking the protection of tenure, lecturers have historically been granted less respect and fewer protections than faculty holding prestigious tenure-track positions. At the University of Washington, lecturers are also more likely to be women and people of color. The title change not only prominently acknowledges the valuable contributions of teaching professors to the scholarly mission of the university. It is accompanied by changes to the Faculty Code that give teaching professors greater say in departmental governance, and that allow for longer contracts and greater job security.

Please join us in congratulating our wonderful teaching professors on this welcome change.