Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
April 4, 1997

Changes proposed for P&T policy

by Linda Charles
A new definition for scholarship and post--tenure reviews is among a Faculty Senate committee's proposed changes to the promotion and tenure policy.

Members of the ISU Committee to Review Promotion and Tenure Criteria and Procedures presented a draft of a new policy to participants of the Faculty Conference March 21-22 in Grinnell.

The committee plans to seek widespread faculty input on the proposed plan and hopes to make its final recommendation to the Faculty Senate next fall. Once a new promotion and tenure document is approved, departments and colleges will need to revise their own promotion and tenure documents, based on the university's criteria and procedures.

Under the current document, faculty seeking promotion and/or tenure are required to demonstrate at least one area of excellence. The proposal calls for faculty to be evaluated on the sum of their teaching, research/artistic activities, extension/professional practice and institutional service efforts, as they relate to the faculty member's position responsibilities.

Under the new plan, two faculty members with significantly different records of achievement could receive positive performance reviews.

The proposal also changes the definition of scholarship. In the current document, scholarship is defined as research and artistic activities. The proposal defines scholarship as an expected outcome that represents intellectual work that is communicated to various audiences and validated by peers. It also broadens the definition to an outcome of the three traditional areas of faculty activity: teaching, research/artistic activities or extension/professional practice. Therefore, scholarly outcomes such as articles, lectures, textbooks, lab manuals, performances, exhibits, monographs, casebooks and standards are considered scholarship, said Olivia Madison, committee chairperson.

The proposal calls for tenure-track faculty to receive departmental reviews in their third years. The reviews would be based on the same departmental criteria and standards used for promotion and tenure reviews and must include peer review and evaluation by the DEO. The purpose of a review is to provide constructive, developmental feedback on the tenure- track faculty member's progress toward meeting promotion and tenure criteria.

The proposed plan also calls for tenured faculty to be reviewed every five years. This review would address faculty members' performance in teaching, research/artistic activities, extension/professional practice, institutional service and contributions to the university community and its mission, and achievements in scholarship.

Madison said the vast majority will be found to meet the departmental standards during these periodic reviews. Others may be judged either exemplary or inadequate.

Those judged exemplary should be considered for promotion; advanced for major national, regional or local awards; or awarded with appropriate recognition by the university, the proposal says. Those judged inadequate should be referred to the DEO so a plan for improvement may be developed. These plans need to address specific actions that can be taken, a timeline and standards to be met. A second unsatisfactory review would signal the possible need for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, the proposal reads.

Copies of the proposed tenure policy may be obtained from the Faculty Senate's Web page or office (4--9717). Comments on the plan should be directed to Olivia Madison, 102B Parks Library, fax: 4-4945, or e-mail:

The Faculty Senate will hold an open forum on the plan this month.

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