Wake Tech Adds “Professor” to Faculty Ranks
February 10th, 2014
New System Recognizes and Rewards Instructional Excellence
RALEIGH, N.C. (February 6, 2014) - For the first time ever, Wake Technical Community College has formally recognized professors at the head of its classrooms! The college is implementing a new faculty rank system to provide a clearly-marked path to promotion for instructors. The goal is to reward excellence and retain the most effective educators. The first 196 instructors to receive the new designations – assistant professor, associate professor, professor, and senior professor – were promoted tonight in a special ceremony. Each was presented with a color-coded cord to wear with their academic regalia at graduations and other ceremonies.
“Our faculty provides the best education anywhere on the planet!” said President Stephen C. Scott. “This faculty rank system will help Wake Tech keep its best teachers where they belong – in the classroom, sharing their expertise and experience to improve and enrich lives.”
Only a few of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges have established faculty rank systems. Wake Tech will phase in its system over three years. In the first phase, full-time instructors with seven or more years of service were eligible; 258 applied, and the college named 30 assistant professors, 128 associate professors, 36 professors and two senior professors.
In addition to years of service, promotion is determined through a rigorous set of criteria, including innovative teaching strategies, leadership, community service, advanced credentials and their Applied Benchmarking initiatives. Applied Benchmarking is Wake Tech’s continuous improvement process in which employees are required to find best practices at other institutions and apply those practices at Wake Tech.
“It’s important to note that this system is peer-driven,” said Bryan Ryan, Wake Tech’s Senior Vice President of Curriculum Education. “It grew out of a number of faculty Applied Benchmarking initiatives, and promotions will be recommended by a peer review committee.”
Next fall, full-time instructors with five or more years of experience at Wake Tech will be able to apply, and in 2015, those with three years will be eligible. Once promoted, faculty members must wait two years before they can apply for promotion again.