In 2001, a reappointment/tenure document, representing the most current thinking on campus about process and procedures, was approved with broad campus input. In contrast, the 1997 promotions document, although it also promotes the ideal of the “teacher-scholar” that is valued at The College of New Jersey, presents standards and characteristics in different ways and uses different language. The Steering Committee, with input from the Promotions Committee, believes that it is time for a re-examination of the promotions document. It already has charged the Committee on Faculty Affairs with recommending changes in the composition of the College Promotions Committee. Now the CFA also is being asked to make additional recommendations about the promotions document including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
1) Alignment of the Promotions Document to the Reappointment/Tenure Document. The Committee on Faculty Affairs should make recommendations that bring the promotion document into alignment with the reappointment/tenure document. Those recommendations should include language, standards, and any other issues necessary to assure consistency in the two documents and the processes which they inform. Not only will such an alignment bring together two processes based upon common expectations of faculty, but it also will facilitate a faculty member’s transition from the reappointment/tenure to the promotion process.
2) External Evaluators. Last year’s Promotions Committee has recommended that the methods for selecting external peer evaluators be changed. Currently, only the candidate provides a list of six potential evaluators from which the Departmental Promotions Committee selects two. This process does not give other parties (e.g., the departmental committee) an opportunity to expand the pool of potential reviewers. In addition, rather than leave nomination of external reviews to either the candidate or the department committee, the Promotions Committee has suggested that a system be used with multiple inputs (e.g., lists being developed by both the candidate and the departmental committee and a third party, such as the dean, selecting a reviewer from each list.) The Committee on Faculty Affairs should consider this and other methods for selecting external evaluators and make a recommendation for new selection method.
3) Voting Procedures. Questions have been raised about the voting process being used. For example, according to current voting procedures, candidates receiving seven or more votes (out of the total of ten) are recommended for promotion. Candidates with six votes may be recalled by one committee member. However, this does not necessarily allow reconsideration of candidates in whom there remains serious interest, but who have received five or fewer votes. The Committee on Faculty Affairs should review the entire voting process to assure that it is both fair and flexible.
The Committee on Faculty Affairs should issue a report for its recommendations
by April 15, 2003.