Post Tenure Review Committee Report, October 2005
The Post Tenure Review Committee, consisting of Drs. Alvin Amos, James DeBoy, Dana Flint, Robert Millette, Benson Prigg, Lynn Roberts, Abdulalim Shabazz, Linda Stine and David Royer, has been charged with developing a process for the review of tenured faculty at Lincoln. In examining the process as it exists at several other colleges and universities, it is apparent that there is a wide range of processes that fall under the title of post tenure review. These processes run the gamut from basic departmental annual reviews conducted by chairpersons to exhaustive reviews conducted by faculty committees every three to five years. In spite of the diversity of processes, there do seem to be some common principles that guide these processes. These include:
(1) the process recognizes that a tenured faculty member is entitled to greater freedom, as compared to untenured faculty, in choosing the areas to which energies will be devoted, e.g. a faculty member may choose to devote more time to teaching, classroom methods, and curriculum development in lieu of serving on numerous committees;
(2) the process emphasizes faculty development. It is recognized that the development of a faculty member is never completed, and that, as long as resources are made available, a faculty member may continue to develop as a teacher, scholar, mentor, and advisor throughout his/her career. Therefore, if a faculty member is not meeting expectations, it may be partially due to a lack of resources for continued development or a lack of time to take advantage of available resources;
(3) the process does not change the conditions of employment. The Collective Bargaining Agreement defines the conditions of employment, and any post tenure review process cannot alter those conditions;
(4) the process cannot be used to create new grounds for dismissal. The grounds for dismissal are contained in the Faculty By-Laws, and the post tenure review process should not create any new grounds or procedures for dismissal.
(5) the process should not be punitive. It is recognized that tenure represents a significant effort on the part of the faculty member and a considerable investment of resources on the part of the institution. To acknowledge this effort and protect this investment, post tenure review should build on the process by which the faculty member has moved through the ranks and provide support to faculty who are not meeting expectations.
In keeping with these principles, as well as the AAUP document on post tenure review (available at www.aaup.org/statements/Redbook/rbpostn.htm), the committee proposes the following process for faculty review.
Post Tenure Review
October 16, 2005
The university’s present system of annual review for non-tenured faculty will be adapted and extended to become the principal form of post tenure review. This review will be done by the faculty member’s Chairperson; if the faculty member is a chair, then the review will be done by the Dean of that school.
For library faculty, the review will be done by the Head Librarian.
The tenured faculty member will be evaluated in the areas of teaching, scholarly activity and service, with these areas modified accordingly for librarians. A successful review (one resulting in a “meets expectations” rating) will not necessarily require positive rankings in all three areas, because it is recognized that for any given year, a tenured faculty member may, for example, choose to focus on scholarly work or may lead a departmental review of curricula, which might preclude significant committee work. However, it is also recognized that Lincoln is primarily a teaching institution, and that deficiencies in teaching cannot be balanced by accomplishments in service or scholarship.
This review process will occur at the end of the academic year. In preparation for the review, the tenured faculty member will submit a self-evaluation, which includes accomplishments of that academic year as well as a plan for the next academic year. This self-evaluation will be the principal piece of evidence for the Chair’s or Dean’s evaluation, but it may be supplemented with student evaluations, syllabi, an updated CV, publications and other relevant documents. The review will be conducted according to a rating scale developed by the Post Tenure Review Committee. The result of the review will be a “meets expectations” or “does not meet expectations” rating. The result will be reported to the Dean, but is not open to modification by the Dean or any other member of the administration. If the rating is the latter, the reviewer (Chairperson or Dean) will discuss the review with the tenured faculty member, and together they will agree on a plan to improve the rating. If the faculty member does not make sufficient progress toward the goals set forth in the plan and a second “does not meet expectations” rating is received the following year, then the next stage of the process will take place.
The next stage is an automatic review of the rating by an ad hoc committee that includes one representative recommended by the tenured faculty member, one member recommended by the Chair or Dean, and a third member chosen randomly from a pool of tenured full professors who have volunteered to participate in this process. The third member of the committee may not be from the same school as the faculty member under review. This committee will review the Chair’s or Dean’s decision and will endorse or overturn the decision. If the decision is overturned, then the tenured faculty member is considered to have received a “meets expectations” rating for that year, and no further action will occur. If the committee endorses the decision of the Chair or Dean, then the tenured faculty member will prepare, in consultation with the review committee, a three-year plan of development designed to address the insufficiencies identified in the review process. The necessary resources will be provided for the implementation of the three-year development plan. The ad hoc committee will monitor progress on an annual basis toward successful completion of the plan. If, after three years, the committee decides that the faculty member has not successfully completed the plan, the committee will notify the appropriate Dean who will then be responsible for notifying the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Successful completion of the plan will mean that the annual review process will again be conducted by the faculty member’s chairperson.