Nationally, medical schools are appointing growing numbers of research faculty into non-tenure-track positions, paralleling a similar trend in universities. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) issued a statement expressing concern that the marked growth in non-tenure-track faculty can undermine educational quality, academic freedom, and collegiality. Like other medical schools, the UC Davis School of Medicine has had a rise in non-tenure-trackfaculty in order to enhance its research mission, in particular in the Salaried Adjunct faculty track (SalAdj). SalAdj faculty have more difficulty in achieving promotion, report inequitable treatment and less quality of life, have less opportunity to participate in governance, and feel second-class and insecure. These issues reflect those described by the AAUP. The authors describe the efforts at UC Davis to investigate and address these issues, implementation of a plan for improvement based on task force recommendations, and the lessons learned. Supporting transfer to faculty tracks in the academic senate, enhancing financial support, ensuring eligibility for internal grants, and equitable space assignments have contributed to an improved career path and more satisfaction among SalAdj faculty. Challenges in addressing these issues include limited availability of tenure-track positions, financial resources, adequate communication regarding change, and compliance with existing faculty search policies.
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