Friday, August 28, 2009


I have been associated with the UMCP for many years, receiving my PhD in Astronomy here in 1994, then joining the faculty in 1997.  I am currently an Associate Research Scientist in the Astronomy Department.

The Non-Tenured Research Faculty (NTRF) are a vital part of the University community.  In addition to bringing in funding to support our research programs, many NTRF  also supervise and fund students, serve on department and campus committees, some of us even teach classes.  Despite these activities, NTRF are sometimes the "forgotten cohort" of the University, whose input on shared governance of the campus may be overlooked.

It was only recently that I learned that the NTRF  had their own representation in the Campus Senate.   I imagine many other campus researchers didn't know this either.  There is a single senator to represent all Non-Tenured Research Faculty, elected to a one-year term for a maximum of three terms.    There was no NTRF senator in 2008; 2009-2010 is my first term.

I also serve on the Senate's Elections, Representation, and Governance (ERG) committee.  One of my goals for this term is
to get the ERG to review the NTRF representation and determine if we should have more than one senator.

The purpose of this blog is to keep NTRF apprised of Senate considerations and actions that affect them and, equally important, to hear from NTRF about issues that concern them.
 You can post feedback here on the blog, send me email (, or call me at x1520.   I look forward to hearing from you!

Senate and ERG Committee Schedules

The Senate meeting schedule for Fall 2009

September 16, 2009 (Wednesday)
October 14, 2009 (Wednesday)
November 12, 2009 (Thursday) 
December 10, 2009 (Thursday)

All Senate Meetings will be held from 3:30PM-5:15PM in 0106 Francis Scott Key Hall.  Senate meetings are open to all members of the campus community, but only Senators may actively participate and vote at the meetings.

The  Elections, Representation, and Governance committee schedule is here.

Who Are The Research Faculty?

One of the first questions I had after being elected (indeed, even before being elected) was "Who are the Non-Tenured Research Faculty?".

With some digging on the UMD website, I was able to discover what the various faculty titles were; they are described in  the Faculty Handbook.  Armed with this list,  I asked Kyland Howard,  Senior Research & Policy Analyst the at Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment, to tabulate the number of people holding each title.   The results are below.

  Research Faculty Headcount
Title Fall 2008  Spring 2009
Assoc Artist-In-Residence 2 3
Assoc Research Engineer 2 2
Assoc  Research Scholar 3 3
Assoc Research Scientist 43 40
Asst Research Engineer 1 2
Asst Research Scholar 3 3
Asst Research Scientist 105 113
Faculty Research Assistant 562 572
Research  Associate 417 462
Research Assoc Professor 12 12
Research Asst Professor 24 26
Research Professor 25 28
Research Professor Emeritus 0 2
Senior Artist-In Residence 1 1
Senior Research Engineer 5 5
Senior Research Scholar12 11
Senior Research Scientist 47 45
Total 1264 1330
 Note: did not find any Assistant Artist-in-Residence
Source: Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment

The results were a surprise to me.  My biased expectation was that the majority of NTRF were like me, Research Scientists.  In fact, Research Associates (aka post-docs) and Faculty Research Assistants make up 77% of the total.

Our views of campus life are probably as wide-ranging as our titles.   The best way for me to represent those views is to hear them from you.