Post-Tenure Review

Faculty Policies and Procedures 7.17 requires that tenured faculty members should be reviewed at least once every five years.

Post-Tenure Review and pandemics memo (November 16, 2020)

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Overview

The purposes of the review of tenured faculty are:

  • to recognize outstanding achievement;
  • to provide opportunities for mentoring and professional development;
  • to help identify and remedy, from a developmental point of view, any deficiencies in teaching, service, and research/scholarly productivity.

The review is to be appropriately linked to the merit process, and should not involve the creation of unnecessary additional bureaucracy. Review of tenured faculty builds on and complements other aspects of the tenure process in order to develop faculty capacity and strengthen and promote the public benefits of tenure. Post-tenure review is not a reevaluation of tenure and is not undertaken for the purposes of discipline or dismissal. Faculty shall be subject to discipline or dismissal only for just cause (see FPP 9. ). Departments, schools, and colleges may not use post-tenure reviews as the basis for budgetary decisions or for decisions regarding program discontinuance, curtailment, modification, or redirection.

Reviews shall occur at least once every five years. These reviews may incorporate the annual merit review process and may encompass promotion, retention, salary, or other reviews, including but not limited to nominations for named chairs and professorships, major teaching awards, and national professional honors or awards. In the case of combined reviews, the department may require supplementary documentation from the faculty member, which meets the criteria below, that would not otherwise be required for the other review. The review may be deferred, by approval of the provost, for unusual circumstances such as when it may coincide with an approved leave, significant life event, promotion review, or other appointment, and the provost may then determine a new review schedule. Each review, as determined by each department’s executive committee, shall be carried out by two or more tenured faculty members, who may be drawn from outside the department. Upon notification of the reviewers selected by the committee, if the faculty member under review formally objects to a reviewer, the chair, in consultation with the relevant dean, shall identify other appropriate reviewers. Such formal objections should be kept confidential. In the case of a faculty member with appointments in more than one department, the department chairs of the affected departments shall agree in writing on procedures for the conduct of the review.

Timeline

Criteria

1. The basic standard for review shall be whether the faculty member under review discharges conscientiously and with professional competence the duties appropriately associated with the faculty member’s position.

2. Each department shall develop criteria to measure progress in teaching, service, outreach/extension, and research/scholarly productivity as appropriate to the field and consistent with FPP 8.02. Each department shall develop criteria to measure progress in scholarly productivity as appropriate to the field. The criteria for review shall be periodically reviewed by the executive committee of each department and the school or college APC.

3. The criteria for review should reflect the overall mission of the department, be sufficiently flexible to accommodate faculty with differing responsibilities, and recognize that careers and levels of productivity may change over time. In developing such criteria, departments may draw on statements used in other faculty review procedures, such as merit or promotion review. Special care should be taken to ensure that the scholarly productivity of jointly appointed and interdisciplinary faculty is appropriately evaluated.

4. The executive committee of each department shall ensure that the criteria governing faculty review do not infringe on the accepted standards of academic freedom of faculty, including the freedom to pursue novel, unpopular, or unfashionable lines of inquiry or innovative methods of teaching, and recognize that scholarly projects take varying amounts of time to come to fruition. Nothing in the criteria or application of these policies shall allow the review to be prejudiced by factors proscribed by applicable state or federal law, such as race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, and handicap.

5. For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

A review resulting in an indication of “exceptionally good” performance shall constitute a rating of “exceeds expectations” for the purposes of Regent Policy Document (RPD) 20-9 sec. 9.b.
review indicating “substantial deficiencies” in performance shall constitute a rating of “does not meet expectations” for the purposes of RPD 20-9 sec. 9.b.l
All other review results under this chapter shall constitute a rating of “meets expectations” for the purposes of RPD 20-9 sec. 9.a. Discharging conscientiously and with professional competence the duties appropriately associated with the faculty member’s position shall serve as the standard for “expected level of accomplishment” as described in the RPD.
For schools and colleges that are not officially divided into departments, all references to “department” or “chair” in this policy shall be understood to refer to the equivalent unit and its corresponding chair or equivalent.
An initial review indicating substantial deficiencies shall not constitute a disciplinary action under FPP 9.

Procedures: Review Committee

Procedures: Review Process

Review procedures shall include:

  1. A review of qualitative and quantitative evidence of the faculty member’s performance over at least the previous five-year period. The evidence should include a current curriculum vitae, annual activity reports, teaching, and student evaluations or summaries of evaluations, and other materials providing evidence of the faculty member’s accomplishments and contributions that the department or the faculty member feel are relevant to the review. The faculty member should provide the reviewers with a brief summary of career plans for the future. Letters from outside the university would not ordinarily be a part of the review process. The faculty member under review, however, may submit appropriate letters if she or he so chooses. The reviewers shall examine materials to the degree needed to accomplish the purposes of this review.
  2. Discussion with the faculty member about his or her contributions to the profession, the department, and the university if either the reviewers or the faculty member so desire.
  3. Appropriate consideration of a faculty member’s contributions outside the department to interdisciplinary and other programs, governance, and administration.
  4. Other steps the reviewers consider useful in making a fair and informed judgment, including but not limited to consultation with individuals who have knowledge of the faculty member’s work.

The reviewers shall provide the faculty member with a written summary of the review. The faculty member shall have the right to prepare a written response to the summary within 30 days after receipt.

A copy of the summary and any written response to it shall be given to the department chair and shall be placed in the personnel file of the faculty member. A copy shall also be provided to the appropriate dean for sufficiency review. The department shall also preserve in the faculty member’s personnel file all documents that played a substantive role in the review (other than documents such as publications that are readily accessible elsewhere), and a record of any action taken as a result of the review. The summary and outcome of the review shall remain confidential, that is, confined to the appropriate departmental, college, or university persons or bodies and the faculty member being evaluated, released otherwise only at the discretion, or with the explicit consent of, the faculty member, or as otherwise required by business necessity or law.

Every effort should be made to offer tangible recognition to those faculty identified as exceptionally good, including but not limited to, nomination for university, national, and international awards and relevant merit and other benefits.

Procedures: Dean's Sufficiency Review

Following the initial departmental review and faculty member’s response, if any, the dean shall conduct a sufficiency review. In the event that the dean considers that the review was insufficient, he/she shall provide the reasons to the executive committee in writing why the review was insufficient within 14 days of receiving the departmental report. The executive committee may provide a response addressing the dean’s concerns about the sufficiency of the review within 14 days. The dean will then make a recommendation to the provost on whether or not the faculty member “meets expectations.”

  1. If neither the departmental review nor the dean’s review indicate substantial deficiencies, the post-tenure review process is concluded.
  2. If both the departmental review and the dean’s review indicate substantial deficiencies, the remediation process described in 7.b. shall commence immediately.
  3. In the event the dean’s review indicates substantial deficiencies not identified in the departmental review, the dean must provide written reasons within 14 days to the faculty member for the recommendation and the faculty member may provide a written response to the dean within 14 days. This statement can include new documentation on the faculty member’s accomplishments. Within 5 days of the end of the faculty member’s written response deadline, the dean will forward their review and the departmental review, along with any written response statements from the faculty member, to the provost.
  4. In the event the departmental review indicates substantial deficiencies but the dean dissents, the dean will forward their recommendation, along with the departmental review and any written response statement from the faculty member, to the provost.

Procedures: maybe to provost for further review

If the post-tenure review is not concluded at the dean’s level per 6.a. or 6.b. above, upon receipt of the dean’s recommendation, the provost will perform their own review, including consultation with the divisional committee review council (DCRC), which also will be provided with the executive committee recommendation, the dean’s recommendation, and any faculty responses. The provost shall request advice from the DCRC within 5 days of receiving the dean’s recommendation and the council will provide their advice within 30 days of receiving the request from the provost.

Review by the provost, or review by the dean which is not submitted for the provost’s review, shall be the final review.

Procedures: Addressing Substantial Deficiencies

If after the reviews the substantial deficiencies are confirmed by the provost, support from institutional resources for professional development shall be proffered. The department chair and the faculty member shall develop a written plan for mentoring and professional development to address all issues identified in the review, in consultation, with the appropriate dean(s), who shall resolve any disagreements as to the creation of the remediation plan. This plan shall be the product of mutual negotiation and discussion between the faculty member and the chair and/or dean(s), shall respect academic freedom and professional self-direction, and shall be flexible enough to allow for subsequent alteration. Such a plan could include review and adjustment of the faculty member’s responsibilities, development of a new research program or teaching strategy, referral to campus resources, assignment of a mentoring committee, institution of mandatory annual reviews for a specified period, written performance expectations, and/or other elements. The faculty member shall have the right to provide a written response regarding the manner in which any written development plan is formulated, the plan’s content, and any resulting evaluation. This plan shall be completed no later than 30 days after the provost has informed the faculty member of the decision. The faculty member shall have three academic semesters to fully satisfy all of the elements of the remediation plan. If the remediation plan includes performance deficiencies in research, an extension of one academic semester may be granted by the chancellor.

Procedures: Completion of Remediation

The process for determination of the successful completion of the remediation is as follows.

  1. The faculty member will submit documentation of their activities that address issues identified in the remediation plan to the faculty member’s executive committee. This documentation will include any information that the faculty member deems relevant and can be provided at any time during the remediation period, but must be provided no later than 4 weeks before the end of the remediation plan period.
  2. Within 30 days of receipt, the executive committee will review the materials submitted, and will make a determination as to whether all the elements of the remediation plan have been satisfied. The executive committee will then submit the faculty member’s documentation along with their determination to the dean.
  3. The dean shall review the faculty member’s performance and determine, in consultation with the faculty member, their department chair, and the chancellor, whether the remediation plan and criteria have been satisfied or whether further action to address the substantial deficiencies must be taken.
  4. If the dean determines that the faculty member has not satisfied all the elements of the remediation plan, then within 14 days the decision and written reasons for this decision shall be provided to the faculty member and to the provost. Within 14 days of receiving the notification from the dean, the faculty member can submit to the provost an additional written statement addressing the decisions made by the executive committee and the dean.
  5. Consistent with the provisions of RPD 20-9 sec. 12.c.ii., in the event that the review conducted per 9.c. reveals continuing and persistent problems with a faculty member’s performance that do not lend themselves to improvement by the end of the remediation period, and that call into question the faculty member’s ability to function in that position, then other possibilities, such as a mutually agreeable reassignment to other duties or separation, should be explored. If these are not practicable, or no other solution acceptable to the parties can be found, then the University Committee must appoint an ad hoc committee of faculty to review proposed sanctions consistent with FPP.

The standard for discipline or dismissal remains that of just cause as outlined in FPP 9.02. and 9.03.The fact of successive negative reviews does not diminish the obligation of the institution to show such cause in a separate forum, following the procedures outlined in FPP 9 Records from post-tenure review may be relied upon and are admissible, but rebuttable as to accuracy. The administration bears the ultimate burden of proof on the issue of just cause for discipline and dismissal.

The faculty member retains all protections guaranteed in FPP, including, but not limited to, the rights to appeal and the right to appeal disciplinary action to the Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities as described in FPP 9.07.