Report of the Instructional Faculty Working Group

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

April 18, 2023

[Summary: The report of the Instructional Faculty Working Group is now available. Thank you to the Working Group members and to leaders across the university who have worked to implement policy change based on the group’s recommendations.]

To: FAS faculty and staff
Cc: FAS Dean’s Office, GSAS Dean’s Office, SEAS Dean’s Office, Yale College Dean’s Office, President’s Office, Provost’s Office, University Cabinet

Dear colleagues,

I write to share the report of the Instructional Faculty Working Group, a group organized in 2020 to address concerns of the instructional faculty. You may download the report at this link. Although the Working Group was initially based in the FAS Humanities division, its research and accomplishments resulted in FAS-wide and, in some cases, University-wide policy changes.

The work of the FAS cannot occur without the work of instructional faculty. As the report attests, most adjunct faculty in the United States suffer from deleterious working conditions. Yale is a comparatively positive work environment for instructional faculty. This environment is the result of strategic arguments made by academic unit chairs, ladder faculty, administrative leadership, and instructional faculty. This report does not conclude this attention. Rather, we hope it offers encouragement to every FAS faculty member, ladder and instructional, to consider how Yale can continue to lead on this imperative issue.

Achieving policy alteration required significant collaboration. Tamar Gendler, in her capacity as FAS Dean, has pressed for the Working Group’s policy recommendations. The members of the Working Group pursued their goals across three years that included the COVID-19 crisis. Working group members are listed below. Included in their ranks is Nelleke van Deusen-Scholl, who this spring concludes her nearly sixteen years as Director of the Center for Language Study, during which time she has been an indefatigable advocate for instructional faculty careers. John Mangan, Senior Associate Dean in the FAS, served as co-chair of the Working Group and as an FAS leader in faculty affairs, heading numerous efforts to improve the experience of instructional faculty. The results of those efforts are listed in Appendix A of the report.

Finally, the resolutions of the Working Group were supported by collaboration with the Provost’s Office. Karen Anderson, Associate Provost for Academic Resources and Faculty Development, and Emily Bakemeier, Vice Provost for Arts and Faculty Affairs, contributed significantly to the success of our efforts. Thank you, Karen and Emily, for being such thoughtful leaders, in this and everything you do to the benefit of faculty at Yale.

As always, I welcome feedback of any kind, including questions or further innovations to propose.

Best wishes,


Kathryn Lofton
Acting Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
FAS Dean of Humanities
Lex Hixon Professor of Religious Studies, of American Studies, of History, and of Divinity

Instructional Faculty Working Group membership

  • Karen Anderson, Provost’s Office
  • Jessica Brantley, English
  • Emily Coates, Theater and Performance Studies
  • Alison Coleman, English; President’s Office
  • Bryan Garsten, Humanities; Political Science
  • Shiri Goren, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
  • Mick Hunter, East Asian Languages and Literatures
  • Kathryn Lofton, American Studies; Religious Studies; FAS Dean’s Office
  • John Mangan, FAS Dean’s Office
  • Constantine Muravnik, Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • Paul North, Germanic Languages and Literatures
  • Lourdes Sabé, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Quan Tran, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration
  • Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl, Center for Language Study
  • Jason Zentz, FAS Dean’s Office