_Correction (November 17, 2010 12:27 a.m.): Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated Anne Whisnant’s title. She is the director of research, communications and programs in the Office of Faculty Governance. The story has been update to reflect the correction.
The story also unclearly stated what committee generated the proposal. It was generated by the College of Arts and Sciences Committee to Develop Policies and Procedures for Fixed-Term Faculty. If adopted, the proposal would apply only to the College of Arts and Sciences. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the errors.
Fixed-term faculty members on Friday called for a new lecturer position which would address those who feel overworked, under-recognized for their research and uncertain in their job security.
The position would create the potential for a promotion for senior lecturers, who have contracts lasting as long as five years. Lecturers bound to one-year contracts would then be able to move into more stable senior lecturer positions, committee members said.
But the proposal, which would provide more job security and better reward research efforts, comes amid a looming state budget deficit that is placing fixed-term lecturers on the chopping block — giving the University little incentive to keep them.
“The ability to get rid of people is paramount,” said Anne Whisnant, director of research, communications and programs in the Office of Faculty Governance.
According to the budget proposal submitted to the UNC-system Board of Governors by UNC-system President Erskine Bowles, a five to 10 percent cut in the state budget next year could eliminate between 800 and 1,700 positions, most of which would be fixed-term faculty members.
Bowles was told by the state legislature to prepare for a five to 10 percent statewide budget cut. But the gains made by Republicans in the Nov. 2 elections have created speculation that the cuts could be deeper.
Committee members, who gave the proposal for the new lecturer position to administrators more than a year ago, expressed frustration over a perceived lack of response from University administrators.