Meeting Date: 
December 2, 2016
12/02/2016 10:30 am to 11:30 am
321 Reed Lodge
Event Description: 

A PDF of the agenda can be found here.

A PDF of the minutes can be found here.


10:30       Meeting minute taker

10:35       Henri Jansen – Executive Committee Liaison

  1. One vs. two separate waiver forms for external reviewer letters and student letter
  2. Review Processes for Faculty Research Assistants (FRA) and non-tenure track instructors (Henri and Eric)

11:00       Updates from Faculty Senate (Mei)

11:10       Future meetings (proposed time 10:30-11:30am, Fridays, 1/13, 2/3, 3/3)

11:15       Adjourn


Voting members present: Theo Dreher, Eric Kirby, Janet Lee, Deb Pence, Mei-Ching Lien
Voting members absent: Gary Delander

Henri Jansen – Executive Committee Liaison

  • One vs. two separate waiver forms for external reviewer letters and student letters
    • Henri explained the rationale for having two waivers. Although most candidates being considered for tenure and promotion sign the waiver forms, some elect not to sign the waiver. When signed, the waiver allows for anonymous reviews because the candidate will not (with the exception of the event of legal proceedings) have access to review letters. When the waiver is unsigned, the candidate can access review letters. The waiver covers review letters from both the students and the external reviewers. Therefore, some students, likely those who may intend to provide a more critical review, may be uncomfortable writing letters for those candidates who choose not to sign the waiver. This means that the student review letters may be biased toward to the positive.
    • The issue was interpreted by the Faculty Senate Promotion & Tenure committee as one in which the faculty is always in a position of power or authority over a student.
    • Two potential changes to the current policy on waivers were considered. The first possible change would be to alter the waiver to include only external review letters and to ensure that all student letters were held in confidence, regardless of whether or not a waiver was signed. It was determined by the committee that Mei would talk to Rebecca Gose, General Counsel, to ensure the legality of, and therefore the possibility of, proposing this change to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.
    • The second possible change to the current policy would be to allow for two separate waivers: one for the external reviewers and one for the student reviewers. The problem of an unbiased student review, however, still exists if the candidate choses not to sign either waiver.
  • Review Processes for Faculty Research Assistants (FRA) and non-tenure track instructors – Henri and Eric
    • The attached document for the review process for FRA and for non-tenure track instructors, prepared in the past by the FS P&T Committee, was reviewed again with Henri.
    • It was proposed by Henri to focus on the review process for the non-tenure track instructors. There is a much larger of pool of faculty under this category than the FRA. Plus, the FRA reviews and promotions are generally dictated heavily by the funding available by the research grant and by the PI under which the FRA is being supervised. Upon completion of the review process for non-tenure track instructors, the review process for FRA in the attached document could be simplified and submitted to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for consideration.
    • In terms of the review process for non-tenure track instructors, it was decided that the attached document, prepared by the past FS P&T Committee, is a great starting point. The committee agreed to prepare Guidelines for Non-Tenure Track Instructors to be posted under the Faculty Handbook: Promotion and Tenure Guidelines website. Janet agreed to correct bullet numbering and some typographical errors and then pass the document on to Deb. Deb will:
      • change the number of required letters of evaluation from 3 to 4
      • increase the number of candidate provided evaluators from two to four, and
      • clarify that the reviews need to come from other instructors, not from administrators. Furthermore, based on the September 23, 2016 meeting minutes, Deb will
        • change “letter from peer review committee” to “peer teaching letters” to accommodate differences in the process between colleges, and
        • clarify that the “assessments” provided by the unit committee, unit leader, college committee and college dean be in the form of a “letter”. In the meantime, Eric agreed to write the preface material for use on the website.
    • Once completed, input would need to be solicited. All senior I and senior II instructors should be provided the opportunity to provide input, but how this input will be solicited has not yet been determined.

Updates from Faculty Senate – Mei

  • A request was made for the Faculty Senate Promotion & Tenure Committee to review the dossier of a candidate being considered for tenure and/or promotion this year to ensure that the process and documentation to date is consistent with guidelines. A member of the committee volunteered to perform this task.

Future meetings

  • Proposed time 10:30-11:30 a.m., Fridays, January 13, 2017; February 3, 2017; March 3, 2017

Action: All meeting times were agreed upon.

Adjourned at 11:30 AM


Minutes taken by Deborah Pence