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Overview of faculty reappointment, tenure, and promotion for new faculty Myron Allen Nicole Ballenger Office of Academic Affairs I.What is Tenure? II.Standards.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of faculty reappointment, tenure, and promotion for new faculty Myron Allen Nicole Ballenger Office of Academic Affairs I.What is Tenure? II.Standards."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview of faculty reappointment, tenure, and promotion for new faculty Myron Allen Nicole Ballenger Office of Academic Affairs I.What is Tenure? II.Standards and Criteria III.Faculty Career Path IV.Portfolios V.Review Processes VI.Career Strategies See web resources listed at the end.

2 A. Legal view: tenure is an employment contract. An appointment with tenure has no specified end date, can be ended only for specific reasons (discussed next). Principles recognized in case law: There is no guarantee of tenure. Tenure necessarily involves subjective decisions. The review takes many factors into account. There are many levels of review and recommendation. Only the Board of Trustees can confer tenure. I. What is Tenure?

3 UW Regulation 5-1.E: Faculty members on tenure may be dismissed only for cause or because of bona fide financial exigencies of the University. "Cause" is defined to include any conduct which seriously impairs the ability of the University of Wyoming to carry out its functions, including physical or mental incapacity, incompetence, neglect of duty, dishonesty, immorality or conviction of a felony.

4 B. Philosophic view: tenure and academic freedom have social utility. Academic freedom and tenure … exist in order that society may have the benefit of honest judgment and independent criticism which otherwise might be withheld because of fear of offending a dominant social group or transient social attitude. Clark Byse and Louis Joughin, Tenure in American Higher Education: Plans, Practices, and the Law (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1959), p. 4.

5 C. Institutional setting UW is a doctorate-granting research university. This classification colors UWs hiring practices as well as its standards for reappointment, tenure and promotion. We hire people based on their promise in teaching, research, and service, and we expect them to be good at them all. Theres no fixed number of tenured slots. Its possible for all tenure-track appointees to earn tenure.

6 II. STANDARDS AND CRITERIA The key question: Does the candidates record reflect both the commitment and the promise to sustain a career- long record of effective teaching and advising, scholarship at the forefronts of knowledge, and effective service? Its not a matter of clearing the bar. Your colleagues will be trying to predict your future performance.

7 How do we answer this question? Strong teaching, demonstrated early. Capacity for strong scholarship, critical for teachers to remain effective throughout their careers. Review of scholarly work by nationally or internationally recognized peers, as well as by UW students and faculty. You have to be a player in the game. Collegiality: ability to work both independently and constructively with others.

8 Collegiality, initiative, and leadership count!

9 Employment year Hired as Assistant Professor Annual probationary reappointment or dismissal (possible to skip 3 rd & 5 th reviews) Tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, or contract ends Promotion to Professor (optional) III. FACULTY CAREER PATH

10 IV. PORTFOLIO Documentation of performance Teaching evaluations (students, peers, administrators) Research record (publications, grants, creative work) Service (UW committees, statewide service, professional organizations) Evidence of progress Job description and expectations Record of previous years recommendations at all levels Written evaluations by candidate, peers, and administrators External evaluations Letters from outside experts (T&P cases) Letters from former students (optional, but…) See Academic Affairs website for detailed list of contents

11 External peer review Department faculty review Department heads recommendation College-level faculty review College deans recommendation University-level faculty review Review by Academic Affairs Trustees action Review by President (on appeal) V. REVIEW PROCESSES A B C

12 A.Department-level review Solicitation of external letters (T&P cases) Review and vote by faculty peers Recommendation by department head Example peer remark (reappointment): For someone with a 60% teaching split, who has taught for two years in another institution before coming to the University of Wyoming, her progress in teaching is unsatisfactory. … _____ is much more suited to clinical settings or pure research. TEACHING COUNTS! Outcome: resignation in the face of a negative reappointment recommendation from Academic Affairs

13 Why might you hear myths to the contrary?

14 Example: external letters from Colby College Columbia University Dartmouth College Duke University Oberlin College Professor ______s scholarship is bold in treating major authors and issues, careful in its close reading of primary texts and its consideration of secondary literature, and scrupulous in its honesty and clarity. I have found his work of genuine value for my own teaching and writing. [From Duke University] UW Regulation requires a minimum of 4 letters from arms-length reviewers. Letters from co-workers and former students are okay, but they must be in addition to the required letters.

15 Suggestion for newly minted assistant professors: Make a list of important scholars in your field. Make sure it has wide representation and heft. Send them copies of your work as you complete it.

16 B. College-level review Review and vote by faculty-elected college committee Recommendation by dean Example remark from college committee: It is clear from _____s packet, especially the comments made by the external reviewers, that he has achieved a regional, national, and international reputation for his work…. His record of securing external funding and publishing his work are exceptional. Student evaluations of his teaching have consistently been positive and his graduate students have been very successful in terms of their ability to produce peer-reviewed products. Firing on all cylinders

17 C. University-level review Review by faculty-elected university committee, if required Recommendation by VP for Academic Affairs Example UT&P comment (tenure): This case presents an all-too-familiar pattern: fine teacher, great citizen who is … succeeding at tasks necessary for the department, college, and university, but doing so at the expense of … research development. Lesson to be learned: Good performance in one dimension of the job description doesnt trump inattention to other dimensions.

18 D. Trustees action Only positive cases forwarded March for first-year cases; May for all others There is no tenure until the Trustees confer it. UW does not recognize de facto tenure (and neither do courts).


20 VI. CAREER STRATEGIES 1.Become a versatile, engaging teacher. 2.Identify and cultivate a national or international audience for your scholarly activities. 3.If external funding is available in your field, develop and follow a plan for seeking it. 4.Find ways to connect your scholarly work with your teaching. 5.Select a meaningful array of service activities. 6.Learn how to be a leader. 7.Maintain a love of your discipline. These are strategies for staying sane, not just for getting tenure!

21 Web resources: Academic Affairs website (several documents): UniReg 803, General Counsel website: academic-personnel.html QUESTIONS?

22 Extra slides follow …

23 Summary: 1.UWs standards require strong teaching and sustained, internationally significant scholarship and research. 2.The faculty career path allows for a lengthy probationary period as well as an opportunity to develop wide recognition for teaching and research. 3.A substantial portfolio, documenting teaching and scholarship, forms the basis for all reviews of faculty. 4.Our processes ensure rigorous review by UW faculty peers, by outside experts in the field, and by academic administrators at all levels.

24 Post-tenure review UW Regulation defines corrective measures available when a tenured faculty members performance falls below expectations. Dismissal is possible in persistent cases.

25 C. University-level review Review by faculty-elected university committee, if required Recommendation by VP for Academic Affairs Example comment from UT&P committee: _____ has a strong … international reputation for research in an emerging and interdisciplinary field. His 7 letters from outside evaluators indicated strong support. He has generated strong grant support. He has a record of professional and university service. He also carries a heavy teaching load and is an excellent teacher as indicated by student evaluations and department heads comments.

26 C. Expectations by rank (from UW Regulation 5-1) Assistant professors shall normally have the doctor's degree in course, and shall have demonstrated ability, through appropriate experience, to perform the functions of the position they are to hold. Associate professors shall normally have the doctor's degree in course, shall have established a reputation in scholarship, teaching, artistic creation, or other productive activity in the field in which they are to serve. Professors, in addition to having the qualifications of associate professors, shall have demonstrated superior capacity for direction of graduate work and research where appropriate, have attained wide recognition in their professional fields for scholarship or other creative work, and shall have gained recognition as teachers and as consistent contributors to the fields in which they are to render University service. It is not anticipated that each faculty member will attain the rank of full professor.

27 Example: external letters from Texas A&M University Oklahoma State University University of Washington Drexel University Excerpt: While … teaching and service seem to be adequate for this stage of [the] academic career, I do not see the depth of work, either in research/publications/ presentations or in professional practice to merit the granting of tenure. … The tenure package lacks direction and focus.

28 III. FACULTY CAREER PATH Probationary period: Normally start as Assistant Professor Normally 6 years from time of appointment Annual reviews for reappointment Evaluation of teaching, research, and service Reappointment contingent upon performance Tenure decision Normally in 6 th year Involves in-depth scrutiny of performance (discussed later) Normally involves promotion to Associate Professor Promotion to Professor Optional – not everyone earns it Normally after at least 5 years as Associate Professor Requires national or international recognition

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