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I don't know how to successfully apply, but I know the CUNY system is making a big push to hire a bunch of these kinds of positions, titled "Lecturer." It's a 4/4 load, no research expectations, but service expectations and expectations to participate in pedagogy initiatives. A line from one such job ad (Baruch): "Lecturer faculty are considered "master teachers" who occupy faculty lines at the College that are focused almost entirely on teaching."

The goal of this initiative by CUNY, as I understand it, is to help retention by increasing the number of full-time faculty devoted to teaching, especially at the introductory level, giving students more contact time with their professors in their first year. So, lecturers can expect to teach mostly intro courses and not have many opportunities to teach higher-level elective courses.

Assuming that's the case, being successful in applying to one of these jobs would likely involve demonstrating in a teaching portfolio how successful you are at teaching first-year students and driving retention. This is all speculation, of course.

Assistant Teaching Professor #2

I've had two of these jobs now. They are indeed as described above, but with no service, no research, only teaching (at least as far as assessment goes).

My advice is to be sure to publish a little without concern for publication venue prestige, and to try to engage professionally at least a bit (e.g., present at the APA or some specialized conferences at least occasionally). Both places that hired me for these jobs told me later that they culled the application stack by removing all non-published applicants (again, without serious concern about publication venue), and then liked my application because my presenting at the APA indicated some kind of minimal research proficiency. After that, all evaluation more-or-less concerned my teaching.

And for what it's worth, I like this job. I got to go from an unranked PhD program to a "big-name" school (two, in fact), I can publish what I want and when I want, and I even get plenty of travel funding (though this was not the case at the last place). If this is where my career ultimately ends, I'll be happy.

A Lecturer

One thing worth mentioning about those positions in the CUNY system is that appointment to a sixth year comes with a "Certificate of Continuous Employment," which gives you tenure-like job security. That's not the case for all such positions. (I'm not in the CUNY system, so I don't know what things are like on the ground there. I would very much like to, though, if someone in the know wants to chime in.)

Contrary to Assistant Teaching Professor #2's bold statement, some teaching positions do come with service expectations. My own certainly does—including university-level service of exactly the sort that my tenure-track and tenured colleagues do—and it looks to me as if the same is true of the recently-posted CUNY positions. I have no idea what's typical, though, so I would definitely recommend checking the service expectations for each particular position you apply for.

What ATP#2 says about publishing and presenting seems exactly right to me, though.

I'm also happy enough with my current job as a Lecturer that I'm no longer on the job market. So these definitely can be good jobs (though, like Marcus, I do worry about the erosion of tenure).

Assistant Teaching Professor #2

Yes, to be clear and in response to A Lecturer above, I meant only that *my two* non-TT faculty jobs have been 0% service, 100% teaching. This is certainly not true for all such jobs, as many do entail service (something like 15% / 85% seems to be common.)

UK Grad Student

I'm curious about how reliably renewable these positions tend to be. If you wanted to remain a Lecturer / Instructor permanently, could you reasonably expect to be offered indefinite contract renewals? Or is your long-term security within a given institution somewhat more precarious?

A Lecturer (again)

UK Grad Student: In my own case, it's not at all clear. On the one hand, there are teaching faculty at my university who have been here for decades. On the other hand, no one seems particularly invested in trying keep me (or my fellow teaching faculty)—or, more to the point, my position—around long-term. I get the sense that there are administrative (mostly budgetary) politics involved, but because I'm not privy to those decisions, I don't have much of a sense of what they are.

I think it would be a mistake, though, to generalize very far from my (or any one person's) experience. I'm not even sure how far my experience generalizes beyond my own department at my university!

What I can say with certainty is that my position *feels* precarious. And that alone is difficult. Especially since the precarity of the position my only real complaint about it. That aside, I love my job.

(I should perhaps also say: I'm in the US. I have no idea how any of this works in the UK.)

Assistant Teaching Professor #2

I agree with A Lecturer above. There seems to be a lot of variation here (and ai also only really know the US system). In some places, these jobs are quite stable, and in others, much less so. In one department with which I was affiliated, the norm was three-year contracts with the strong expectation of renewal unless anything went really wrong. This was, in other words, pretty darn stable.

My current institution has a promotion system, which entails longer contracts but only very minimal (~3%) raises: Assistant Teaching Professor (one-year contracts), Associate Teaching Professor (three-year contracts), and Teaching Professor (five-year contracts). The department makes clear that they cannot promise renewal—leading to the kind of stress A Lecturer mentions above, to be sure—but everyone seems to get renewed. Some people have been here for decades. In my own case, I’ve been told not to worry, which is nice.

This is purely anecdotal, but my sense is that universities (in the US, at least) are increasingly motivated to open these kinds of faculty lines. They get a lot of teaching for not a lot of pay (I get $45k/yr for teaching 4/4, which is fine for me having no kids, etc.), and control the terms of my employment, unlike in tenure. I seem to see more and more Assistant Teaching Professor jobs advertised each year, at least.

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