A NEW (RENEWABLE) NON TENURE TRACK POSITION

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1 A NEW (RENEWABLE) NON TENURE TRACK POSITION Last updated: January 2016 (Adapted from Revised Policies and Procedures for Non Tenure Track Faculty, September 2015) BACKGROUND The mission of Morehouse College is to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service. Our primary objective as an institution is to help nurture, support, and strengthen the intellect, ethical compass, social and emotional intelligence, and commitment to excellence in the young men we graduate. This is a role taken on by the entire College, but one of the most significant components of the engine driving that student development is the faculty. In particular, if we are to develop excellence in our students, it is absolutely vital that we attract, retain, support, and nourish an excellent faculty. In order to advance that objective, we must ensure that the A. Definitions, Expectations, and Load B. Evaluations, Outcomes, and Ranks (including requirements and logistics of these) C. Equity and Hard Truths regarding our faculty promotes the excellence we want. This document describes the way we intend to proceed with respect to one critically important segment of the faculty namely the full time, non tenure track faculty. This document does not address these issues for part time faculty or tenure track faculty. The document outlines the set of non tenure track faculty policies. These newly modified policies will require a renewed and enhanced investment in non tenure track faculty (in much the same way such an investment is necessary for tenure track faculty). The provost s Office is committed to making that investment. Last updated: September 14, 2015

2 A. DEFINITIONS, EXPECTATIONS, AND LOAD Definitions This document will focus on full time, non tenure track faculty i.e. any full time employee whose primary responsibilities are as a faculty member and who are not on the tenure track or tenured. At this time, we are not defining professors of practice, but the intent is to appropriately define a class of faculty who despite not holding a terminal degree, should be recognized as professors of some rank given their level of demonstrated achievement and distinction in the relevant discipline. This will be defined carefully and all intersection with the issues here will be handled at that time. We note that there are two important subsets of non tenure track faculty at the College who could be full time and that may also undergo further discussion. They are fellows and distinguished professors. We have had, for example, FIRST Faculty Fellows and Mellon Faculty Fellows who have been full time, and of course, we have had Distinguished Professors of a given discipline who have been full time. The guidelines articulated in this document are robust enough to apply to any such faculty, but here too, we will want to spend some time elaborating on the position of fellows and distinguished professors. Many of the conditions here are designed with faculty who stay longer than three years in mind. We will continue to offer when needed, shorter term appointments one year, two year, or three year non tenure track appointments. (A future conversation may yield that these might all be fellows, but that will be taken up when we define more carefully and explicitly define fellows. ) Expectations In short, we expect all faculty to demonstrate excellence in three areas of work teaching, service, and scholarship/creative production. Teaching: As currently expressed (more fully) in the handbook, all full time faculty are at minimum expected to be present and punctual for all classes; provide all students with a syllabus; receive acceptable student and peer evaluations; teach without bias; evaluate and return work promptly; and be available to students outside of the classroom, both for the purposes of advising and office hours associated with the courses being taught. All faculty are also expected to perform those duties associated with ensuring compliance with financial aid and other requirements (taking attendance, reporting grades in a timely manner, etc.) and with tracking students to ensure student success (notifying advisors of students missing classes, reporting on and directing students who are showing early signs of a lack of academic success, etc.). 2

3 Excellence in teaching should also include sharing one s enthusiasm for the discipline; creating a safe, open class environment in which all students are motivated, challenged and free to engage the work and share their ideas; clearly and accurately conveying the course material; sharing expectations and learning objectives for the course; working with the full range of students, from the best to the worst to support as many students as possible fulfilling the learning objectives and achieving mastery of the subject; encouraging students sense of curiosity and continued learning; promoting integrity; and being responsive to students as they grow, mature, and explore, during their time at Morehouse and beyond. It is expected that faculty be aware of pedagogical movements in their discipline and make choices on how to teach based on an understanding of the teaching and learning landscape. This does not mean that faculty must use technology or engage in innovation because others in the field or at the College are doing so. It does, however, mean that there is an expectation that the decision to change or not to change, to innovate or continue doing things the same way, is made in full awareness of new findings on teaching and learning and how they are evolving in one s discipline. As noted earlier, this expectation requires an investment in faculty. Whenever possible, our investment in non tenure track faculty should be comparable to the investment made in tenure track and tenured faculty. Service: service is measured in two categories internal to the College: service to one s department, division, and the College broadly; and external to the College: service to one s discipline and the community. As expressed currently in the faculty handbook in reference to (internal) service, all full time faculty [are expected to] regularly attend all official Morehouse functions (including Opening and Founders' Day convocations, Baccalaureate and Commencement) as well as college wide, divisional, and departmental faculty meetings; perform assigned committee work in a professional manner; and interact with colleagues in ways that enhance achievement of departmental, divisional, and college goals and objectives. Over time, faculty should be able to demonstrate evidence of both internal and external service. Given the expected commitment to teaching and a new expectation of commitment to scholarship (as defined below), this presents some challenges. The expectation is that there should be a breadth of service over time, not that one need demonstrate service across every area every year. It should be noted that dedicated service to the department can in fact be important to one s division or the entire College. So one need not serve on a College wide committee or engage in work on a College wide scale in order to be in service to the division and the College. We indicate this to simply point out that we need not get too prescriptive about where the service is done, but rather that the spirit is to 3

4 recognize the need to work together to positively affect the communities to which we belong, both here at the College and more broadly. Scholarship/Creative Production: To paraphrase from the faculty handbook here as well, it is absolutely critical that all faculty remain current in the discipline in which they teach. Engaging in scholarship is necessary in order for this to take place. It is predominantly for this reason that we are now expecting all non tenure track faculty to engage in scholarship or creative work that is consistent with this objective. There are (at least) three important questions that need to be answered as they relate to this new expectation. First, how does one define (acceptable forms of) scholarship and creative production? Here, we make the important distinction between scholarship and research. Research is the generation of new knowledge. Scholarship includes research, but could also include expository works on research; new findings or innovations in the practice of teaching in the discipline; significant, new applications of work in the field; or important commentaries on the implications of new discoveries in the discipline. This distinction between research and scholarship is consistent with works like Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, by E. L. Boyer, then president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (and as many are aware, one of the early progenitors of the scholarship of teaching and learning). This, and other sources which discuss expanded notions of scholarship, are important to reference and reexamine over time as the tools and possibilities for academic work continue to evolve. Creative production is the work that many of those in the arts (art, music, creative writing, etc.) do, but increasingly includes those in other disciplines as well. This is work that often does not neatly follow the norms for academic presentation, publication, or review. In particular, work may not be easily reproduced in printed form (i.e. one may need to listen, view video, or engage interactive material to truly understand the work). These works of creative production are incredibly important, and will be valued equally with other forms of scholarship. Second, what kinds of work can be counted as part of scholarship and creative production? Boyer, in Scholarship Reconsidered, shares four categories of scholarship. We find these instructive and they inform the following three categories of work listed here: research we define (roughly) to be the creation or discovery and the presentation of new knowledge in the discipline. This is one way one can do scholarship, and is arguably the most focused in its scope. We define exposition to be the sharing of ideas in ways that offer new insight and interpretations to original work, expand the audience of original work by bringing greater clarity, make connections to other work, and/or apply those ideas to important other problems and questions. Finally, there is the scholarship of teaching 4

5 and learning which in this context means the work of critiquing, interrogating, understanding, and sharing the impact of different strategies and pedagogies on learning as students engage current work in the discipline. Faculty can engage in any of these forms of scholarship, but should be sure to engage new developments in the discipline in some way. Third, what qualifies as evidence of demonstrating excellence in scholarship and creative production? This is the hardest of the three questions and will undergo refinement this year (and should certainly be revisited periodically as the forms of presentation, publication, and dissemination of work evolve). Peer reviewed articles in journals that accept any of the three forms of scholarship research, expository work, or scholarship of teaching and learning are certainly acceptable, as are published longer works that undergo a serious peer review process (e.g. books, edited volumes, etc.). Increasingly, there are ways to have digital works appear in their native form, as the breadth and range of online journals expands, for example. There are even now journals which vet blogs for qualified work in a peerreviewed process (see the Journal of Digital Humanities, for example, which allows for the submission of RSS feeds). These are all easy since they have a clear peerreview process with recognized disciplinary experts as editors. The more challenging task is to decide which and how works that cannot have the standard peer review process can also be included in the review of faculty. We first need to determine whether or not a work could undergo a peer review process. If there is a work or a clear derivative of that work (e.g. if a paper could clearly be generated for publication out of a work presented in some other form), we require faculty undertake that peer review process. If, however, the case is made that the work does not easily fit into the normal peer review process and that producing a derivative work is not feasible, then we will ask the panel of external reviewers (described in the evaluation process) to provide an assessment of the work and take into account any reviews by experts in the discipline of the work subsequent to the production (as opposed to prior to its production). Clearly, details will need to be worked out, but the idea is to be robust, yet demanding in what we allow. As is the case for teaching, enabling scholarship requires that the College make an investment in the support of non tenure track faculty. We are committed to making this investment. Load We begin with a discussion of the credit hour. It is a unit that typically describes the number of contact hours per week over the course of a semester. The contact hour is not, of course, the sum total of the work required. In particular one credit hour consists of considerably more than one hour per week of work. In the context of courses, beyond the hour of direct contact with students, there is also an understanding of time to 5

6 prepare, time to grade, time with students outside of the classroom, and more. Using this as the metric, it is clear that the equivalent of 13 credit hours per semester is a challenging charge. However, that is approximately the charge given to each faculty member, tenure track or non tenure track, when totaling their expectations. It is of course apportioned differently for each group, and here we describe the expectation for non tenure track faculty. It is expected that full time, non tenure track faculty will teach the equivalent of 21 credit hours over the year normally, the equivalent of 3 courses (9 credit hours) in one semester and 4 courses (12 credit hours) in the other, or 3 courses in each semester of the academic year and 1 course over the summer. In the latter case, nontenure track faculty would not be compensated further for the summer work. It is expected that non tenure track faculty will dedicate the equivalent of 3 credit hours (the equivalent, normally, of one course) of time to engaging in scholarship and/or creative production over the year, with the understanding that it may occur more in one semester than another. Clearly, this is not a great deal of time, and represents approximately half the time tenure track faculty are expected to engage in research, scholarship and creative production over the full year. We should note again that this will be recognized in both the evaluation of non tenure track faculty and in the support necessary from the College to support the non tenure track faculty engaging in scholarship. Finally, it is expected that non tenure track faculty will dedicate the equivalent of 1 credit hour per semester to service. Together these make for the equivalent of approximately 26 credit hours of work over the year across the three areas of teaching, scholarship and service. 6

7 B. EVALUATIONS, OUTCOMES, AND RANKS Annual Performance Evaluations: All faculty, including non tenure track faculty will undergo annual performance evaluations and should provide feedback to faculty regarding their strengths and weaknesses relative to the expectations outlined above. It should also provide a platform for developing a plan to expand on those strengths and work on the weaknesses. Possible outcomes of annual performance evaluations are continuation, probation, or termination, with termination not requiring probation. Comprehensive Evaluations: All non tenure track faculty will undergo periodic comprehensive evaluations, with the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs providing oversight of all details of the process. In the years that they undergo comprehensive evaluations, there will not be the usual annual evaluation (as these reviews will stand in their place). There will be two kinds of comprehensive evaluations. Third Year Reviews: Every sixth year, beginning in the third year, a non tenure track faculty member will complete a review conducted by a Reappointments and Promotions Committee (RPC) normally to consist of all tenure track and non tenure track faculty in the department at or above the rank of the faculty member being reviewed. In extraordinary cases where there may be a grievance or other issue, a candidate being reviewed may ask the provost to include one other faculty member from outside the department in place of one member of the department. The candidate must make this request in writing and the provost will decide who replaces the faculty member from the department. This review will consist of the following evidence: an updated statement on teaching; teaching record over the prior three years, including syllabi for courses taught and peer and student assessments; feedback given to the faculty member in annual performance reviews and assessments in subsequent years of the faculty member s response to that feedback; an updated statement on scholarship including goals for the next three years; record of scholarship and creative production (including the works themselves); review by at least one well established, external teacher scholar, determined in conjunction with the faculty member being reviewed, and collected in confidence by the chair of the review committee; reviews by at least one Morehouse faculty outside of the department, determined in conjunction with the faculty member being reviewed, and collected in confidence by the chair of the review committee; CV with all service, scholarship and other accomplishments listed. 7

8 The evidence should clearly indicate that the faculty member has achieved a level of excellence in teaching, as defined above in expectations. There should be demonstrable evidence of consistent and ongoing engagement with and production of scholarship at a level reasonable given the load. For each discipline this will be different and for each individual it will be different. One will need to consult with departmental guidelines for further clarity on this matter. Every third year review will conclude with the RPC chair providing feedback, both written and oral, to the faculty member which summarizes the review of the candidate. That review, along with the recommendation to either terminate, place on probation, or continue the faculty member, will be shared with the provost. The provost decides on the final outcome. Note that terminate need not follow probation. If a faculty member is placed on probation, he or she will be reviewed as above two years after the initial unsatisfactory review. Faculty who receive a second unsatisfactory review will be terminated. All terminations take effect at the end of the academic year in which the evaluation takes place. Sixth Year Reviews: Every sixth year, beginning in the sixth year, a non tenure track faculty member will complete a review with roughly the same evidence as the third year review, but with some small changes. The number of external and internal reviewers would go from one to two, and the review would cover the last six years, with some focus on the last three and any responses to feedback given at the prior third year review. For sixth year reviews, the RPC must contain two Morehouse faculty from outside the department of the faculty member being reviewed. Furthermore, in this case, the RPC makes a recommendation to a modified Appointments, Promotions and Tenure Committee (which we denote here as APTC+). In particular, we will vote to determine a group of non tenure track faculty, one from each division, to serve along with APTC for the purposes of these reviews (and only these reviews). We will work to have those of rank senior assistant professor or higher whenever possible (though there may not be any in a given division at some time in which case, we will permit a non tenure track assistant professor to serve). It will be the APTC+ that makes a recommendation to the provost, and it is the provost who makes the final determination of outcome. In extraordinary cases, a person may postpone a sixth year review until the seventh year. Any such request should be made in writing to the chair of the department and to the provost by April 15 of the year prior to the sixth year review. A decision about whether the postponement is granted will be made by June 15 of that year. 8

9 Possible outcomes are termination, placement on probation or promotion and continuation of the faculty member. Any faculty member placed on probation will be reviewed under the same process two years later. Faculty who receive a second unsatisfactory review will be terminated. Timing: Third and sixth year reviews will take place roughly according to the following timeline: October 15: Submission of Dossier to the departmental RPC for review November 15: Recommendation of RPC to APTC+ December 20: Decision by APTC+ January 20: Notification of Decision Ranks: There will be 6 ranks of non tenure track faculty Instructor: faculty who are currently instructors will be given three years to earn a terminal degree in their field. Failure to do so will result in termination. All other (newly hired) faculty will be required to earn their terminal degree by the end of the fall semester in which they were hired. Failure to do so may mean termination effective at the end of the academic year. Only in extraordinary circumstances and by agreement of the department and the provost will such termination be postponed. Assistant Professor: non tenure track faculty are expected to enter in this rank. Senior Assistant Professor: this promotion would take place at the first sixth year review of a non tenure track faculty member (i.e. after 6 years). Associate Professor: this promotion would take place at the second sixth year review of a non tenure track faculty member (i.e. after 12 years). Senior Associate Professor: this promotion would take place at the third sixth year review of a non tenure track faculty member (i.e. after 18 years). Faculty may make the case that their prior work should count toward the number of years as an assistant professor (or qualify them for consideration as a senior assistant professor) or that prior earned rank should carry forward here. Chairs should engage faculty being hired on this issue and work with the provost to resolve the question at the time of hire. It is expected that any years applied will then appropriately affect the timeline of reviews. The provost will make the final determination of years applied and rank. It is in this context that a non tenure track faculty member may also achieve the rank of (full) professor. In cases where a faculty member earns tenure and achieves rank of full professor, he or she may be a non tenure track faculty member of that same rank here at Morehouse. Non tenure track faculty who never earn tenure and achieve the rank of full professor will not be eligible to achieve that rank here. 9

10 C. EQUITY AND HARD TRUTHS We will work to bring greater clarity to the resources and opportunities possible for both non tenure track and tenure track/tenured faculty. Here, we want to restate our commitment to ensuring that there is equity in compensation and access to those resources and opportunities. It is expected that all non tenure track faculty will participate very comprehensively in the governance of the College. There are important ways in which the distinction in duties between those who are obligated to engage in research and those who are not matters. There are also important ways in which familiarity with the process of tenure and that cycle for faculty is critical. In roles where that understanding is important, nontenure track faculty will not take part. For example, non tenure track faculty will not be members of APTC or take part in the evaluation of tenure track and tenured faculty. Non tenure track faculty will not serve on ad hoc committees designed to assess research proposals of faculty (but can certainly serve on committees designed to assess proposals of scholarship or pedagogy). We will work to make clear which committee and other positions are open to each type of faculty. Having listed these restrictions, it is critical to understand that it is our goal to ensure as full participation as possible for non tenure track faculty in the governance of the College. There is one aspect about non tenure track faculty lines that is implied by all of what we have here that should be made explicit. Namely, even with all of this structure, it is not the case that non tenure track faculty are at any point granted de facto tenure. Even more explicitly, beyond the conditions of performance that are outlined here, there are circumstances in which a department or the College may reorganize and in doing so, lose a non tenure track line. Examples of when this might happen include if a department makes the decision and is approved to have a tenure track line without increasing the number of full time faculty lines in the department. This would be the conversion of a non tenure track line to a tenure track line. And while the line is converted, a person who occupies the line is not automatically converted. Other examples include if a department decides to reshape its curricular focus or if enrollments do not support the level of faculty staffing in the discipline. In each of these cases, there may be a need to shift the expertise expressed in a given line or to eliminate a line altogether. In each of these cases, the non tenure track line and any person occupying that line would be subject to termination. These examples cannot capture all possible future eventualities, but are likely to be the most prevalent situations in which reorganization may occur. 10

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