Holding Space for Mid-Career Non-Tenure-Track Faculty through Appreciative Inquiry

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Much has been written about the needs of mid-career faculty and their needs, such as their continued professional development, evolving mentoring needs, and maintaining an upward trajectory. Much of this work pertains to tenured faculty, though, leaving out the non-tenure-track faculty who make up over 50 percent of faculty nationally. My institution, like most these days, has a large contingent of non-tenure-track faculty who cover various roles on campus, from teaching lower-division courses to taking on wide-ranging administrative duties to running undergraduate and graduate academic programs. Yet many are on year-to-year contracts (with benefits, thankfully), are at times left out of important voting opportunities, and still feel locked out of available leadership roles, though that is improving as well. Many also feel they are being left out of leadership and professional development opportunities even as more leadership opportunities come to be held by people in similar ranks. 

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