Published: Feb. 9, 2023

CU Boulder continues our dedication to professional enhancements for non-tenure-track (instructor-track) faculty. Stable working conditions, paths for advancement and competitive pay are important to carrying out our educational mission.

CU Boulder continues pay increases for non-tenure-track faculty:

  • Including pay raises in Spring 2022 (3%) and Spring 2023 (3%).
  • Provost Russ Moore is working with the deans to undertake a discussion on a unified approach to instructor promotion pay increases.
  • Cost of living and peer institution benchmarks are both being carefully examined within this discussion.
  • In 2019, CU Boulder set instructor-track faculty salary minimums of $52,000 for “instructor” and $60,000 for “senior instructor.” For “principal instructor,” a relatively new rank, salaries are generally higher than senior instructor salaries within a department. Schools/colleges/departments can and do go above these minimums as resources allow. 

CU Boulder supports stable working conditions for non-tenure-track faculty:

  • CU Boulder is currently supporting state legislation that would extend non-tenure-track maximum contract lengths from three years to five years.
  • 86% of instructor-track faculty are on three-year contracts, the maximum length permitted by state law.

CU Boulder has created new paths for non-tenure-track advancement:

  • As of 2022, CU Boulder has three levels of appointment for instructor-track faculty, clear standards for promotion, and appeals process for denials of promotion—all analogous to the promotion process for tenure-track faculty.
    • This policy revision also requires schools and colleges to regularly assess their instructional needs and, when appropriate, convert lecturer appointments (which reflect temporary needs) to instructor-track positions (which allow for long-term employment and promotion opportunities).

Instructors have broad rights, including access to: 

  • Contracts (multi-year contracts for the maximum number of years allowed by state law)
  • Grievance rights
  • Voting rights
  • Participation in faculty shared governance
  • Input on campus academic policy
  • Expedited reappointment processes at every other reappointment time
  • Opportunities for mentoring, advancement, administrative leadership appointments, honors, awards