Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Aug. 29, 1997

Promotion and tenure policy vote is this semester

by Linda Charles

Promotion and tenure promises to be at the forefront for the Faculty Senate this year. The senate will consider revisions to a draft of the proposed policy presented last spring, said Bill Woodman, senate president.

"Certain parts of the draft, I think, are going to be much better received than others," Woodman said. "For instance, the part on portfolio presentation of our faculty productivity (which details faculty scholarship activities), that's really a very positive change."

The draft unveiled spring semester broadened the definition of scholarship and called for five-year reviews of tenured faculty. Some parts of the draft were sharply criticized by faculty, and the ISU Committee to Review Promotion and Tenure Criteria and Procedures has spent the summer revising the draft.

In the current policy, scholarship is defined as research and artistic activities. The first draft of the proposed policy defined scholarship as an expected outcome that represents intellectual work that is communicated to various audiences and validated by peers.

The draft also broadened the definition of outcomes in the three traditional areas of faculty activity: teaching, research/artistic activities and extension/professional practice. Scholarly outcomes could include articles, lectures, textbooks, lab manuals, performances, exhibits, monographs, casebooks and standards.

"So many people in so many areas are doing something that just doesn't fit into the normal rigorous lockstep vita," Woodman said. "You had to work around this format."

One part of the draft that drew fire from faculty was a call for tenured faculty to be reviewed every five years. This review would address faculty performance in teaching, research/artistic activities, extension/professional practice and institutional service, contributions to the university community and its mission, and achievements in scholarship.

Under the draft, those whose performance was deemed inadequate would work with their DEOs to develop a plan for improvement, including specific actions, a timeline and standards to be met. A second unsatisfactory review could signal the possible need for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

A revised promotion and tenure policy is expected to be presented to the senate in October or November, with the senate voting on it before the end of the semester.

Another item that may occupy the senate's time this year is the new wellness clinic, Woodman said. Under the initial plan, the program will provide wellness information to ISU employees through a center, World Wide Web page and other media. The on-campus center will offer resource materials and consultations to campus departments. The initial proposal covered equipment, supplies, personnel and training.

The faculty committee that is evaluating the performance of President Martin Jischke and the president's office is expected to present its results early fall semester, Woodman said. The evaluation of the president's office will be made public while the evaluation of Jischke will be shared only with the State Board of Regents and the Faculty Senate Executive Board.

The first senate meeting of the year begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in 260 Scheman. It is open to the public.

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