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How the faculty came to have 9-month appointments

Letter to the Editor: How the faculty came to have 9-month appointments
December 3, 2014

How the Faculty came to have 9-month Appointments: A Just-So Story

By Kate Bjork, Professor of History & Global Studies

December 3, 2014

As a historian friend of mine likes to say, “Everything important has a history.” Recently, for reasons which may seem obscure to students, the length of the contract term that defines a faculty member’s relationship to the University—9 months or 12 months—has become the subject of discussion among faculty and administrators and the focus of proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook—not to shorten the contract length, as the headline on a recent Oracle article erroneously put it, but to lengthen contract terms to 12 months for all faculty.

As Provost Eric Jensen explained in the November 26 Hamline Oracle article by Meghan O’Brien, most Hamline faculty receive their salary in twelve monthly payments spread out over the course of the year. This has not always been the case, but we’ll save explanation of how things used to be for the historical part, below. For now it’s just important to know that even though faculty pay is spread out over 12 months, a 9-month appointment means that the pay is for 9 months of a faculty member’s work (defined in the current Handbook as “teaching and service for nine (9) months a year.”) source

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