5.1 Guidelines for Recruiting Full-Time Faculty
These procedures are guidelines; they are subject to change and exceptions to them may be granted. These procedures are designed to ensure that the best possible faculty member is hired, that all interested applicants have an opportunity to apply, and that all those who do are treated fairly, equitably, and humanely. Against these goals of quality, opportunity, and equity will be judged all requests for exceptions. All such requests should be directed to the Provost and Dean of the College (hereafter referred to as “Provost”).
1. Identifying A Vacancy
- Resignations and Retirements
When a faculty member expresses an intent to resign or retire, the department or program chairperson (hereafter referred to as “Department chairperson” or “department chair”) should encourage that faculty member to submit as soon as possible a letter to the Provost indicating the effective date of the resignation or retirement. (If the chairperson wishes to prevent a resignation by means of a counter-offer, contact the Provost immediately to discuss how to proceed.) The chair should next contact the Provost requesting permission to recruit a replacement. The chair should be prepared to explain the need for maintaining the position within the department. Should a question arise concerning the continued need for the position, the Provost shall discuss it with the chair, members of the department or program (hereafter referred to as “department”), and the appropriate governance structure.
B. New Position
When a department or program desires an additional position, it should submit a written request with supporting documentation as early as possible. The documentation should include the job description detailed below and clearly articulate the need for the position from an institutional perspective. In particular, the request should describe how the position will further programmatic objectives and support the mission and strategic priorities of the College. The request should also include enrollment data and a description of programmatic history and goals.The Provost shall discuss requests for new positions with the appropriate governance structure.
2. Writing the Position Description or Job Ad
A detailed job ad should be developed by the department or program as a whole. (When teaching in a second department or program is contemplated, the appropriate chair(s) should be consulted.) The description should include at least the specialties, training, degrees, and experience required; an indication that commitment to teaching and learning in a liberal arts context is expected, including a contribution to the teaching of general education courses and FS courses, interdisciplinary courses, and/or courses fulfilling all-college requirements; the rank(s) available. If the job is of limited duration, for example if the position is a sabbatical replacement or tenure ineligible, this information must be included in the description.
There must be a direct relationship between the duties to be performed and the credentials and experience required. Doctoral degrees should be specified in most academic disciplines, but they are not always required in the creative and performing arts; in these areas, appropriate terminal degrees are normally expected. The job description, therefore, must distinguish clearly between required credentials and experience as opposed to desirable ones. Finally, the job ad must include directions on how to apply, including the need for at least three references and a deadline for the receipt of applications, as well as the internet address of the department or program.
The chair should request a copy of the latest job ad template from the Provost’s Office and follow that template. The job ad must be approved by the Provost before any further steps in the search process are undertaken.
3. Planning The Search
Once the request to recruit has been approved, the department chair should prepare a search plan in consultation with the department.
- Advertising and Posting
Announcement of positions available should be as broad as possible. The prime purpose of advertising and posting is to amass a large pool of qualified applicants, including female and minority candidates. Some potential resources to broaden the pool include national journals, departments at other institutions, academic and professional associations (including committees within these associations), listservs, and websites.
Posting of ads internally will be arranged by the Provost’s Office. The department chair will be responsible for placing other ads in a timely fashion and for sending the ad to those institutions and groups appearing on the list submitted as part of the search plan.
Departments are encouraged to make contact with colleagues and departments at other institutions to identify potential applicants, including those from diverse backgrounds. Another good practice is to utilize directories and rosters of prestigious fellowship programs at both pre- and post-doc levels, including those that support individuals from diverse backgrounds; for example, the University of California System President’s Postdoctoral Fellows Program and the Ford Foundation Fellow Program. Finally, departments are encouraged to attend conferences that provide opportunities to recruit applicants.
B. The Search Committee
Search committees normally consist of at least three members of the department or program, one faculty member from another department within the division, and one faculty member from a department outside the division. Search committees for interdivisional positions should include at least one faculty member not affiliated with the interdivisional program. Committees should be selected to reflect the diversity of the college faculty. If it is part of the departmental culture, students may serve on the search committee and vote. At a minimum, students should be included in all on-campus interviews. The department or program chair will chair the search unless other arrangements are made in advance.
In its initial meetings, the department or program should decide who from the department will serve on the search committee and create a list of four to six faculty from outside the department who might also serve on the search committee. The list of suggested search committee members should be forwarded to the Provost, who will approve the committee. Faculty who were denied renewal of contract or who have resigned their positions may not participate on the search committee unless approved beforehand by the Provost. Any adjustments in the composition of the search committee must be arranged by the chair and approved by the Provost.
While all members of the search committee are expected to gauge the potential of applicants to contribute to the College’s broader mission, the committee members from outside the searching department(s) or program(s) are charged with assessing an applicant’s potential to contribute to teaching and learning in a liberal arts context. Particular attention should be paid to a candidate’s ability to communicate disciplinary material to non-specialists, as well as their willingness and ability to work with students and faculty in a variety of contexts and courses, both inside and outside of the discipline. The outside members are also ideally situated to present the broader institutional context to candidates during the interview process. Outside members of the search committee should not be expected to read all the files, but rather only those chosen after an initial screening process conducted by the department. Generally, approximately 15 - 20 files are reasonable.
Faculty and students serving on the search committee should be made aware that, even though the College will normally hire a candidate recommended by the committee, the role of the committee is to screen candidates and offer a recommendation to the Provost, who makes the final decision.
All members of approved search committees should plan to attend a scheduled Search and Selection Committee workshop hosted by the Provost’s Office. During this workshop, the Provost or an appropriate designee will review the legal aspects of faculty searches and relevant diversity materials, such as how to avoid cognitive errors, gender-bias research, and Allegheny data points. The Provost may also be invited by individual departments to attend a departmental meeting so as to discuss process and criteria, and to answer questions that may arise.
C. Preliminary Interviews
If it is expected that candidates will be interviewed at a professional conference, the chair should identify the conference, where and when it will take place, which search committee member(s) will be attending, and the approximate cost of this activity. Preliminary interviewing at conferences can be an excellent way to narrow the pool of finalists. If a professional conference is not an alternative, the search committee should strongly consider conducting preliminary interviews by means of teleconferencing.
D. Summary: The Search Plan
The following items, described above, should be sent to the Provost for approval:
- job notice for posting;
- advertising list and groups;
- search committee membership; and
- conference/preliminary interviewing plans.
4. Keeping Records
As soon as the search plan is approved, the chair should decide whether to manage the search files electronically or on paper. If managing the search electronically, a folder in an approved electronic repository (such as Sakai) should be created to store the files. Electronic copies of the approved job ad should also be stored in the repository, as well as copies of the ads as they appeared in print or electronic form. All applications received should be placed in the repository in a .pdf or similar format, and applications received in paper should be scanned and added to the online site. To reduce workload, departments may choose to specify in the job ad that all applications must be received electronically and refuse to accept print applications. Details about how to manage files in an electronic repository are available from the Provost’s office. If managing the search in paper, the chair and the building coordinator should begin by identifying a file drawer to be used exclusively for the search. The search file or drawer must be secure and safe, yet readily available to members of the search committee. No one may take candidate files out of the building. The approved job ad should also be placed in the drawer along with the ads themselves as they appear in print or electronically. Whether the department uses hard copies or electronic copies of the files, all files must be retained for at least three years after the conclusion of the search. If the successful applicant is a non-resident alien, files must be retained for five years.
The building coordinator should prepare a form email for acknowledging receipt of an application. This email should be sent out the day the application is received. Email should also be used at the end of the search to notify all candidates except finalists that the search has concluded. Paper letters or a phone call from the department chair should be used to notify any candidates who were brought to campus for an interview.
5. Screening Applications
Prior to beginning the selection process, the chair should review the applicant pool to determine whether women and underrepresented minority applicants are represented at about the rate of their estimated availability in the field. If not, the search committee needs to ask if recruitment and outreach efforts were sufficiently broad and consider re-opening the search with expanded, inclusive efforts. The Associate Provost for Diversity and Organizational Development will often have availability data as a resource and can make this information available to search committees. Data reports are from the National Opinion Research Center and Survey of Earned Doctorates, where most recent information is accessible.
Before the review of applicants begins, the full committee must meet to develop a set of criteria for screening candidates. The criteria should adhere closely to the qualifications outlined in the notice of vacancy. Although screening procedures may vary from committee to committee, the chair must keep a record of why each candidate was rejected. The reasons may range from the candidate not meeting the minimum job requirements to the collective judgment of the committee. In every instance, the reasons must be free from bias and indicated on the Search Log & Recruitment Tracking Report.
All members of the search committee should be encouraged to review materials contained in the Faculty Search Resource Materials from the Provost’s Office about cognitive errors and gender bias. These materials contain many best practices that should be kept in mind and followed throughout the selection process. For example, research has shown that it is important to take time to read thoroughly the files of all applicants who meet minimum standards. It is also extremely important not to rank candidates but rather to use large categories such as: Yes, No, Maybe or Acceptable, Not Acceptable. At this stage in the review, and with only a file from which to make a judgment, more precise rankings can be inaccurate. In addition, all decisions must be based on evidence. Members of the search committee and the search committee as a whole must be able to back up their opinions, statements, and decisions with evidence in the file.
6. Initial interviews
To expedite the process of reviewing candidates, the committee may elect to form one or more subcommittees that will conduct a first screening to eliminate candidates who are clearly not qualified. The outside members of the search committee should not be involved with this initial screening, which should result in a list of approximately 15 - 20 candidates. The full committee should then narrow this list to a dozen or so candidates, called the short list.
It is a good idea to conduct preliminary interviews with all short-listed candidates at a national conference or using teleconferencing. At least two search committee members should conduct initial interviews, and they should use a prepared set of questions for all candidates that has been approved beforehand by the committee. The chair should be sure to contact all interview candidates well in advance if the preliminary interviews take place at a conference.
Interviewers should keep in mind that all interviewing is a two-way street: an opportunity for Allegheny to learn more about the candidate and for the candidate to learn more about Allegheny. Search committee members should be positive about the College and Meadville and be sure to leave time for questions to be asked by candidates.
Studies have shown that the solo minority is far less likely to succeed than minorities in mixed on-campus pools. Therefore, search committees should plan to interview more than one woman or underrepresented minority faculty member.
Upon returning to campus or after teleconference interviews are completed, the interviewers should share comments with the search committee. Together, the committee should then develop the list of five or six candidates who will be considered for interviews on campus. These five or six candidates should not be ranked. It is expected that qualified minority or female candidates will be on this list.
The search chair should send these five or six files to the Provost for review; the Provost and search chair will decide together which two to three candidates to invite to campus.
7. On-Campus Interview
The chair should be sure to review the Memorandum contained in the Faculty Search Resource Materials from the Provost’s Office for a more detailed description of guidelines for on-campus interviews. Once it is agreed upon who will be invited to campus, the chair should call the candidates to establish the dates. The chair is responsible for all arrangements except where explicitly stated in the paragraphs that follow.
The candidate is responsible for booking his or her own flight. When confirmation of a candidate’s travel plans is received, the chair should tell the Provost’s Office. Most candidates will find it necessary to spend one night, and sometimes two nights, on campus. The building coordinator is responsible for making arrangements at one of the area B&Bs.
Each on-campus interview should involve the following: meetings with department faculty, both collectively and individually; the offering of a research seminar and/or classroom teaching; meeting or lunch with students; a 30-minute interview with the Provost; some contact with faculty from other departments; a brief tour of the campus, departmental facilities and, if time permits, the town.
All continuing, full-time members of the department should participate in the on-campus interview; faculty who are not continuing may participate only with the approval of the Provost. Once the chair has assembled the schedule, a copy of it should be sent to everyone who will be conducting an interview. This schedule should also indicate where each interview will take place and identify who is responsible for getting the candidate from one place to the next. A one-page curriculum vitae of the candidate should be attached to the itinerary.
During these interviews, the candidate should be clearly informed regarding department and College expectations in terms of courses to be taught, professional growth, advising and so forth. The nature of the position and possibilities for the future should also be discussed. If a candidate inquires about salary and benefits, he or she should be told that the Provost will discuss those items generally with candidates, but not name a specific salary figure except when making an offer.
The department chair may inform each candidate regarding the number of other candidates still to be interviewed and give some general estimate of when he or she may expect to hear from us. The candidate should be told that if he or she is faced with a job offer decision prior to hearing from us, the candidate should call the chair or the Provost to inquire about his or her standing.
Questions asked during employment interviews should be directly related to determining the candidate’s qualifications for the appointment. These might appropriately deal with institutions attended, specializations, work experience and accomplishments, skills, references, self-evaluation and goals, educational philosophy, research program, and the like. Inquiries regarding race, religion, ethnic background, national origin, marital status, dependents, or age are inappropriate and possibly prejudicial.
Lunch should normally be on campus (bills may be sent to the Provost Office with the name of the department also indicated thereon); the luncheon group should be limited to three or four individuals plus the candidate. The dinner group should not exceed four persons including the candidate. Search committees should also exercise restraint when ordering alcohol, though one glass of wine is appropriate, if so desired.
If possible, a member of the department should meet the candidate at the airport and return the candidate to the airport. These are the candidate’s first and last contacts with the College; thus, while the task of transporting the candidate may be onerous, it is also important. A College car may be available through the Office of Safety and Security; if private cars are used, the College will reimburse the owner at the current established mileage rate.
The College does not cover travel expenses for a candidate’s spouse or partner, although the spouse or partner may accompany the candidate if he or she desires. If the spouse or partner does come along, the department should arrange for some department members or their spouses/partners to visit with the candidate’s spouse or partner, although the department should not feel responsible for entertaining the spouse or partner throughout the entire period. The Provost’s Office should be notified in advance if the spouse or partner will be coming with the candidate. The spouse or partner should not accompany the candidate during his or her interviews.
Before the candidate leaves, the chair should ask whether the candidate remains interested in the opening, offer to provide additional information, and furnish the candidate with the candidate travel expense form so that the costs may be reimbursed by the College. This form when completed should be signed by the department chair and forwarded directly to the Provost’s Office.
8. Recommending Candidates
Soon after the final candidate has left campus, the chair should collect the opinions and input from everyone who met the candidate during the interview. (Forms for doing so are contained in the Faculty Search Resource Materials from the Provost’s Office.) The search chair should also discuss with the Provost the strengths and weaknesses of each on-campus candidate. When all the opinions on all the candidates have been collected and collated by the building coordinator, the search chair should call a meeting of the committee to discuss a recommendation for filling the position.
If the search committee believes that no candidate was strong enough for Allegheny, the chair should immediately contact the Provost so that additional on-campus interviews can be arranged. Otherwise, the committee should indicate which of the interviewed candidates were “acceptable” and which were “unacceptable.” Within the acceptable group, the committee may indicate a preference for one candidate over another, although this is not required.
The Provost and search committee chair together will decide who will receive an offer. When agreement is reached all around, the Provost will telephone the candidate to offer him or her the position.
9. Hiring And After
When an oral acceptance has been received from a candidate, the Provost will notify the chairperson and prepare a letter of appointment. The Provost’s Office will notify the chair when a signed contract has been returned so that the chairperson can notify the rest of the candidates (via email) that the position has been filled. These emails should only be sent out after a signed contract has been returned to the College; for candidates who were brought to campus a more personal letter or a phone call may be sent, and no letter should be sent to any candidate who was offered the position but declined.
Extreme care should be exercised in composing rejection emails. The email must not include a precise or specific cause for rejection. Rather, the language should be cast in deliberately vague terms. These letters should talk about the identification of other candidates whose credentials and experience appear to better suit the College’s particular needs.
It is important that contact be maintained with the new faculty member over the months prior to his or her arrival on campus. Not only does it keep the new faculty member’s interest and enthusiasm high, but also it can greatly ease his or her adjustment to the College and community and avert minor problems in the fall. The Associate Provost of the College will also write to new faculty in August informing them of the fall orientation program. The department chair or program director will presumably stay in touch regarding plans, syllabi, textbook orders, and the like for the courses to be taught by the new faculty member.
The new faculty member’s greatest initial concern may well be housing. The Provost’s Office keeps a list of apartments and houses available for rent or purchase. This list depends, however, on individuals informing them of places available. Advertisements in the Tribune may be of help, and new faculty members will probably wish to work through a realtor. Any assistance the department can provide in this regard is generally greatly appreciated. The new faculty member, however, must take responsibility for arranging for housing; it is not the responsibility of the department or the College.
10. Concluding The Search
After the last rejection letter has been sent, the search chair should do the following: 1) complete a Search Log & Recruitment Tracking Report (the appropriate form is contained in the Faculty Search Resource Materials from the Provost’s Office); and 2) store the search materials, including minutes and notes, in a safe place for three years, or five years if an international candidate was hired (procedure for optional “digital” storage of search materials is available in the Faculty Search Resource Materials from the Provost’s Office).
11. Late-Occurring Vacancies
Any vacancy that develops after April 1 will be considered a late-occurring vacancy if recruitment is for September 1 of the same year. Persons interviewed for such positions should be informed that the post is automatically a one-year temporary post and that a regular search will be held during the coming year to fill the position for the following year. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Provost. Under normal conditions, the person holding the one-year temporary position may apply and be a candidate during the full search, but there is no guarantee that he or she will be the individual selected.
Job announcements for the late-opening vacancy should be sent to universities and professional registers as under normal recruitment procedures, if possible. Many times the best option for a one-year replacement can be regional colleges or universities. Telephone calls or letters should be sent to all nearby major institutions (please keep a list). These should include, but not be limited to, Penn State, Pitt, WVU, Ohio State, Case Western, Rochester, Syracuse, SUNY at Buffalo, Penn, Temple, Carnegie-Mellon, Kent State, University of Michigan, and Bowling Green State University. The job description should be posted on the Allegheny web page.
For temporary hires, care should be taken to minimize costs during the search, both in terms of time and dollars. Therefore, outside faculty members are not usually necessary. In addition, the interview may be shortened to one day, and candidates will meet with the Associate Provost rather than the Provost. Sometimes it might also be possible to bring in one candidate at a time for an interview, or even to conduct the interview via advanced technology.
12. Part-Time Openings
For full-time one-semester sabbatical replacements or part-time openings, recruitment is usually local rather than national. The job description should be posted and announced internally by the Office of Human Resources, and neighboring institutions should be contacted. Care should be taken not to allow the duties of the position to expand beyond those indicated in the description after the person is employed. Visiting faculty who are hired to work full-time as one-semester, sabbatical replacements will be eligible to enroll in the following benefits: medical insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance. No other benefits are available to full-time, one-semester sabbatical replacements. Half-time appointments are not eligible for benefits. Only persons who have been employed more than half-time for the two immediately preceding academic years may be promoted to full-time without a regular search, and only with the approval of the Provost.
13. Process for Conversion to the Tenure Track
As is stated in the Introduction to this section of the Faculty Handbook about recruitment guidelines, the College’s faculty appointment “procedures are designed to ensure that the best possible faculty member is hired, that all interested applicants have an opportunity to apply, and that all those who do are treated fairly, equitably, and humanely. Against these goals of quality, opportunity, and equity will be judged all requests for exceptions. All such requests should be directed to the Provost and Dean of the College.” Given these priorities, a national search will be conducted for all tenure-track faculty positions unless a convincing case can be made for converting to tenure-track status a colleague not on the tenure track. For a conversion to be considered, the following three-step process will be followed:
The department/program chair will first confirm with the Provost that a tenure-track line is open in the department/program. Next, the chair will indicate to the Provost that at least a two-thirds majority of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department/program have indicated, through a paper ballot, that a colleague not currently on the tenure track is an ideal match for the open position. If this criterion is not met, the Provost will not entertain the request further and the conversion process will end here.
If the requirements of Step I are met, the department/program chair should prepare a written memo to the Provost discussing the possible conversion in terms of the following contextual issues:
- What is the status of the open position?
- What are the current enrollment pressures in the department?
- What kind of a search led to the hire of the non-tenure-track faculty member in question?
- What is the diversity composition in the department and does the candidate for conversion add to that diversity?
- Does the candidate’s area of specialty add breadth to the department’s offerings?
- How strong is the candidate’s record in teaching, research (or research potential), and service?
- How strongly is the candidate supported in the department? Have all department members been consulted, including untenured colleagues?
- Any other information requested by the Provost
The Provost will consider the conversion in consultation with Faculty Council.
If the Provost does not support the conversion on the basis of the institutional factors outlined in Step II, the matter will be closed and the conversion denied. If, after Step II, the Provost believes there is merit to considering the conversion, the Provost will invite the submission of conversion material from the department chair and the candidate as follows:
Submitted by the chair electronically to the Provost Office:
- Unless otherwise approved by the Provost, all available quantitative RSEs. The quantitative summaries of RSEs will be generated by the Registrar and sent to the candidate, the department chair, and the Provost.
- All classroom observations.
- Letter of evaluation from the department, signed by all tenured members.
The Provost Office will upload these to the candidate’s conversion packet through the online portal.
Submitted by the candidate electronically through the online portal:
- Self-evaluation and updated cv (will require a digital signature via the online portal).
- Writing sample, available publications, or other examples of professional development
- Outside letters of recommendation (optional)
It is the responsibility of the candidate to add these materials and submit their review packet.
Please note: Individual tenured faculty in the department who do not agree with the request may submit to the Provost a separate letter, signed by the author, explaining their position. The Provost Office will upload these to the candidate’s packet through the online portal. Faculty whose relation to the candidate would in any way suggest a conflict of interest will not participate in the writing of the letter or the discussions that inform it.
In addition, the Provost will conduct short interviews of all tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure track renewable faculty in the department to discuss confidentially the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate and the level of support each faculty member has for the conversion. The Provost will summarize the substance of the interviews in a memo and place that memo into the conversion packet, for review by the Faculty Review Committee.
The conversion request will be reviewed in a subsequent meeting of the FRC, which will discuss strengths and weaknesses of the candidate and make a recommendation to the Provost. The final decision about the conversion shall be made by the Provost; both the decision and the reasons behind it shall be conveyed to the candidate, the department chair and to the FRC by the Provost.
A department may initiate the process for conversion to the tenure track at any time during the academic year; however, requests will be reviewed by the FRC as its schedule allows.
The department letter of evaluation and dissenting letters, should any exist, will not be included in the Provost’s file for the faculty member but will be retained according to the college’s standard hiring practices. The faculty member will consult with the Provost about what materials in the conversion packet, such as quantitative RSEs, classroom observations, and self-evaluations, will be maintained for inclusion in future reviews..
(Revised 15 November 2012, 16 February 2015, 12 March 2020, 6 May 2021)
5.2 Faculty Appointments
- The Faculty is composed of the President, the Provost, the Associate Provosts and Associate Deans, the Chaplain, the Librarian, and all Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, full-time Instructors, and other College employees holding academic tenure or designated as faculty by the President in a letter of appointment. Faculty status confers upon the holder a responsibility to attend general meetings of the Faculty and to participate in matriculation, commencement and other official ceremonies of the College wearing academic regalia. It confers the privileges of voting at Faculty meetings and in Faculty elections, serving on standing committees in the governance structure of the Faculty or College, and serving as Faculty Moderator. Among those with Faculty Status, only those with Faculty Rank (i.e. Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor) may be tenured as members of the Faculty or be elected to serve on Faculty Council or the Faculty Review Committee. Those with faculty status, but not faculty rank, are considered administrators in all respects other than those outlined above.
- Allegheny College is a community of scholars dedicated to serve, with respect and concern, the intellectual, cultural, moral, and spiritual needs of its constituency. The most important continuing responsibility of such a community is to maintain the excellence of its teaching staff. To accomplish this, the traditions, strengths, and goals of the College and the strengths, interests, and ambitions of individual faculty members must be creatively and imaginatively integrated by the mutual efforts and concerns of faculty and administration. Such mutual endeavor requires encouragement and support of faculty and program development, fair and humane assessment of faculty performance, continuing dedication to and support of those disciplines for which faculty are responsible, and active support of the College program as a whole.
- The presupposition of such mutual endeavor and respect is the principle and exercise of academic freedom. The College, as a community, firmly commits itself to the following statement of this A.A.U.P. principle:
- Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
- Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.
- College or university teacher are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.
- Any reappointment takes place within an institutional context. Because the College is an integrated community, the professional appraisal of an individual faculty member occurs within the context of an appraisal of the College. The individual’s performance and promise is judged within the context of the department(s), division(s) and the College as a whole. Through normal college communication channels, the individual should be aware of that context. The department chairperson will discuss fully individuals their particular place within the context. The discussion will include such factors as rank and imminent retirements within the department, teaching and advising loads, the development of areas of expertise, and the ratio of tenured to untenured faculty. The College does not limit the number or percentage of faculty tenured in a department, even though the College as a whole will not have a faculty made up entirely of tenured people.
- The College seeks for its faculty persons who will, most importantly, make outstanding contributions in teaching; will demonstrate excellence in research (as defined below); and will contribute to the total life of the community. All are essential. Some of the personal qualities which contribute to excellence in these three areas are: intellectual ability and curiosity, analytical power, initiative, energy, imagination, creativity, clarity of expression, integrity, and a sympathetic appreciation for the viewpoints of others.
- The College, for its part, will seek to assist faculty by providing a context of freedom, protection from harassment, and, commensurate with its ability, adequate physical facilities for teaching and research, support in money and time for responsible and promising research, encouragement of professional development, and resources for the improvement and development of skills.
- The College is also responsible for the periodic evaluation of its faculty both in terms of the individual’s record of performance and the promise in that performance. The amount and type of information available for evaluating a person will change as an individual’s career advances. The burden of proof rests on the faculty member to demonstrate performance and promise. By the time the individual is considered for tenure, the candidate must have demonstrated conclusively outstanding contributions in teaching, excellence in research, and contributions to the learning community. There should be ample reason to expect that once granted tenure, an individual will continue to be productive in the areas of teaching, research, and community service.
Criteria for Evaluation
- The criteria for the evaluation of faculty members by peers, students and the college administration reflect high standards of performance. The criteria themselves are based on the responsibilities of the faculty to the college community. These fall into three broad categories: teaching, research, maintaining a learning community. These are interdependent and all relate finally to teaching, the faculty’s primary responsibility.
- Allegheny College seeks to employ men and women who demonstrate both outstanding ability and creativity in teaching and contribute significantly to the intellectual activity of their disciplines. Effective teaching communicates to the student enthusiasm for learning. In addition to demonstrating mastery of subject matter, successful teachers evoke thoughtful, reasoned, and creative responses to the material presented. Faculty members must maintain high standards for their students’ performance, but they must also provide the resources and support necessary to allow students to meet these standards.
- The faculty is responsible for the academic program of the College. Faculty members design and teach courses and programs (both departmental and interdisciplinary) which serve to educate our students in their respective disciplines and which are appropriate to an undergraduate liberal arts curriculum. These activities are based on current knowledge in a specific field of specialization and on an ability to place this knowledge within a broader context. Faculty members are at once specialists and generalists.
- Faculty members are also members of the larger academic community, professionals who represent their various disciplines to the Allegheny community. As such, they contribute to the intellectual life of that larger community of scholars and interact with colleagues in their field of specialization. In order to communicate to students and to colleagues the present state of a constantly evolving body of knowledge, their teaching must be informed by research. It is essential that our students understand not only the values and methodologies of a discipline but also its unanswered questions. Ongoing research enables the faculty to teach by example, to teach creativity, to demonstrate enthusiasm for and commitment to the intellectual life. It is in these ways that teachers/scholars transmit their enthusiasm for and their understanding of the liberal arts to our student.
- Allegheny College supports the use of all teaching practices that enhance student engagement, intellectual growth, and persistence at Allegheny. These practices can take place in a variety of contexts: in classrooms; in laboratories; in the field; in clinical settings; through service learning and community-based learning; team-teaching; clustered courses; learning communities; collaborative learning; diversity and global learning; internships; and through the mentoring of students, including through student research.
- The faculty member under review must present a record of effectiveness in teaching. In addition to student evaluations and classroom observations, relevant evidence in the assessment of teaching can include but is not limited to instructional materials and approaches; new course development and course redesign; professional development activities and efforts aimed at improvement of teaching; and records of advising and mentoring. Evaluation of the effectiveness of specific teaching practices should include recognition of the contingent circumstances that might complicate their implementation. In such cases it falls principally to the faculty member under review to explain the impact of such circumstances. Allegheny College recognizes that approaches to teaching and the types of evidence of teaching effectiveness may vary across fields and candidates. Accordingly, variance in candidate portfolios may also be expected.
- Advising of students, both formal and informal, is considered an integral part of teaching at Allegheny. Teachers should be sensitive to student problems and create positive learning situations in the classroom and in informal discussions. In a residential college, the faculty, through its contributions to college policy, through interaction with students and by example ensure that the intellectual, ethical and aesthetic values inherent in the academic disciplines are manifested in the life of the college.
- The following is a list of the specific criteria on which we base evaluations as well as the sources of evidence which are used in the assessment of each faculty member’s performance. These are not meant to be exclusive. Those who wish to present additional evidence may do so. In evaluating performance in teaching the degree of excellence attained in doing the following is assessed
- Demonstrating competence in one’s field of specialization and across disciplines. In order to demonstrate such competence, faculty members should do the following:
- Know the literature of their fields including current research.
- Understand and evaluate the research of others.
- Introduce current research into their courses.
- Demonstrate an ongoing concern for problems of practitioners in their field and for finding innovative solutions to these problems.
- Teach their discipline within a liberal arts context, thus enhancing students’ and peers’ awareness of the place of their field of specialization within the larger body of human knowledge.
- Demonstrate a willingness and ability to explore new areas of inquiry. (See also Criteria: Research.)
- Designing and organizing appropriate courses. Courses should be academically sound and should be organized clearly and logically in such a way as to interest, stimulate and challenge students. Courses should be appropriate to the departmental or interdisciplinary program of which they are a part and also appropriate to the liberal arts curriculum.
c. Presenting course materials. In presenting course materials, faculty members should do the following:
- Communicate effectively and clearly.
- Demonstrate enthusiasm for teaching and learning.
- Encourage students to think critically and independently.
- Encourage students to participate actively.
- Challenge and motivate students.
d. Maintaining standards and evaluating students. In order to help students realize their potential, faculty members should do the following:
- Demonstrate personal and professional integrity.
- Adhere to high standards for student performance.
- Devise appropriate and challenging assignments and examinations.
- Grade assignments and examinations fairly.
e. Advising and aiding students. In order to advise students effectively and to create positive learning situations outside the classroom, faculty members should do the following:
- Be available for student consultation.
- Participate in or organize co-curricular activities.
- Be sympathetic to student needs.
Sources of Evidence:
- Self-evaluations. These may include any materials faculty members think appropriate to assessing their performance.
- Assessments by colleagues based on classroom observation. For purposes of assessment as well as mentoring, all tenured members of a department are expected to visit the classroom of an untenured colleague and write up the findings of those observations for the candidate’s file. Department practices may vary in the details, but every department is required to have written guidelines that are available to the candidate and that should help guide both the candidate and the department in fulfilling the expectations of the College.
- Assessments by colleagues within the discipline (these may include outside specialists where appropriate). These are based primarily upon course materials such as syllabi, reading lists, hand-outs, assignments and exams, observation of performance and in interaction with students, student theses and comprehensives.
- Assessment by other members of the professional staff of the College as appropriate.
- Assessments by students.
- Student evaluations.
- Letters from students and alumni.
- Interviews with students.
- Research, scholarship, and creative activity, broadly defined, constitute an ongoing conversation that is sometimes individual and other times collaborative, with academic peers, students, or community members. The results or findings and the processes by which such results or findings are determined testify to the life of the faculty member’s mind. Research is defined here as a systematic and extended effort to enhance understanding and competence in areas of academic responsibility and interest. This process is essential to maintaining the intellectual vitality and growth of the individual teachers/scholars who make up the faculty as well as the vitality and growth of the communities of which they are a part. Research and public presentation of results to peers – academic, student, and community – are thus essential for that dialectical process which marks scholarly advancement and achievement. The College is more interested in the quality of the communications and the processes that lead to them than in the number of items published or presented and will do what it can to encourage and facilitate such quality work within the College.
- Excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activity rests on the capacity to develop significant findings from investigation or original thought. This excellence may be pursued individually or as part of a collaboration with academic peers, students, or community members. It may be demonstrated through a wide range of efforts to advance knowledge or understanding, including research projects, descriptions and analyses of a field, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the development or improvement of analytical tools. It may also be demonstrated through teaching and by mentoring, encouraging, and collaborating in research, scholarship, and creative activity, including work undertaken with students and community members.
- The College supports diverse approaches to scholarship, creative activity, and professional development, including work that results in forms other than published or public works and presentations. Books; monographs; literary forms; articles; papers; reports of studies to seminars and other professional groups; collaborative presentations; grant proposals; review of community, state, or national programs; contribution to or development of community-based programs or initiatives; theatrical productions; recitals, concerts, and exhibitions; and electronic productions including computer programs, internet-, and other technology-based materials can all show the quality of the research, scholarship, and creative activities. Products of research also include communication within academic circles, within professional associations, and within broader communities, including those which are non-academic.
- While all faculty are expected to undertake professional activities that produce scholarly results such as publications or other finite outcomes, creative and scholarly practices may also produce other sorts of results that are also valued professionally at Allegheny. The candidate undertaking such work should demonstrate how this work, in its results and by its processes, constitutes a valuable accomplishment and how it contributes to the advancement of her or his field(s). The College also recognizes that the evaluation of some research, scholarly, and creative practices can require the consideration of contingent circumstances that may complicate the completion of such practices. In such cases it falls principally to the faculty member under review to explain the impact of such circumstances.
Criteria: Maintaining a Learning Community
- The Allegheny faculty has always shouldered a special responsibility for the ongoing task of building and maintaining a learning community. This responsibility cannot be divorced from teaching and research but is rather an extension of these. Faculty members share their knowledge and expertise with both students and colleagues through their teaching and research activities. By helping to develop and implement college policies, they demonstrate the responsibility of educated men and women to the larger community and create an environment which reflects the ideals of liberal arts learning. Some of the ways faculty members contribute to building and maintaining the academic community are:
- Participating in departmental meetings and undertaking administrative tasks for the department.
- Participating in faculty meetings and ceremonial occasions.
- Serving on ad hoc and standing committees.
- Providing advice and support to members of the administration.
- Advising student groups.
- The faculty member should communicate frequently with his/her department chairperson concerning community service. Faculty work on committees is too important to go unrecognized, and the chairperson must know what the faculty member is doing both to help assure equity in workload and be aware of the faculty member’s willingness to serve and actual service in these important tasks.
Teaching and Research in More Than One Field
- While faculty are generally based in a department, Allegheny also encourages its faculty to reach across the disciplines in their teaching and research when it seems intellectually fruitful and sensible and to follow ideas and paths of inquiry wherever they logically lead. At times, the College will hire faculty to explicitly fill an interdisciplinary position, or a continuing faculty member may want to pursue a new direction that involves interdisciplinary work. The Provost, Director of Interdisciplinarity, and the chairperson(s) or coordinator(s) of the appropriate department(s) or program(s) will help faculty plan their activities in a way that will offer them a full opportunity, consistent with the College’s resources and needs, to develop and demonstrate their capacity. A Memorandum of Understanding (see Section 5.4 below) may be written to clarify the faculty member’s responsibilities and department or program affiliation.
Progression of Full-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Appointments
- All faculty are expected to provide the Provost and their department chair a written “Annual Activities Report.” Each spring about a month before the end of the semester, the Provost’s office will remind faculty of this expectation, provide the format, the process for submitting the report, and deadline for the report. AARs are used in the regular review of faculty for continuation, tenure, promotion, and salary considerations.
The chart below summarizes the normal progression of contracts. If the notification deadline or due date for submitted materials for the second appointment, pre-tenure appointment, tenure, or promotion process falls on a non-working day, notifications and materials will be due on the next working day. The same applies for all dates for all reviews.
two academic years
two academic years, or termination of service
November 1 of the second year of service
three academic years, or terminal one academic year
December 15 of the fourth year of service
tenure awarded, or terminal one academic year
December 15 of the seventh year of service
Faculty who are granted a leave (paid or unpaid) of three or more course-equivalents in a twelve month period, with the exception of a pre-tenure leave, may receive a one-year extension to the current contract for each such leave. Extension requests must be made within six months of return to service.
When two individuals share a single position, each person has the option of extending the progression for up to two years by adding one year to the second contract and/or to the pre-tenure contract. To receive this extension, faculty in shared positions must request the extension from the Provost by September 15 of the second year of service.
Faculty may have a formal affiliation or joint appointment in more than one department or program; joint appointment or formal affiliation is defined by the appointment letter or by a memorandum of understanding (see Section 5.4), respectively. Joint appointments will have letters from each of the department(s)/program(s) due at the same date and time as specified for department evaluations in the appropriate sections of the Faculty Handbook. The chairperson and tenured members of a formally affiliated department or program may submit a letter of evaluation for any of the review stages; such letters need to be submitted electronically to the Provost Office by the date and time that the review packet closes to additions by the candidate (unless specified differently in a memo of understanding). The Provost Office will upload this to the candidate’s
review packet. Note that the chair and tenured faculty of affiliated departments or programs do not have access to the candidate’s digital review packet, but can ask the candidate for relevant information (e.g., self evaluation, current institutional c.v.).
Exceptions to this policy may be made only by the President. No exceptions will be made after January 1 of the year in which a candidate is considered by the Faculty Review Committee for the first time.
- As the progression of appointments indicates, the normal probationary period for full-time faculty stretches over seven years of active service. This period allows faculty to demonstrate performance and promise. It also provides the College with the opportunity to assist the faculty in professional growth and development as well as to collect necessary evidence to make contractual decisions. Since it is important for the College to acquire the best possible people in teaching, in research, and in building a learning community, credit will not normally be awarded for teaching service elsewhere. Exceptions will be made only as part of the initial appointment letter. Faculty who do not possess the appropriate terminal degree will normally be appointed at the instructor level. Instructors who do not receive the terminal degree will normally be terminated in their fourth year of service. During the probationary period, work assignments of the faculty member may be adjusted by the department chairperson in consultation with the Provost to create opportunities for professional growth and to be able to answer questions about performance and promise. For this reason, it is expected that faculty in their first two years of service will not serve on College committees. Committee work, a part of building the community, should not under normal circumstances be a significant component of the work time of a faculty member until three full years of teaching have been completed at Allegheny.
- While the College will guide and assist faculty members in their professional growth and development throughout the probationary period, the burden of proof rests on the faculty member to demonstrate performance and promise. Although the areas to be evaluated do not change during the course of the probationary period, the level of competence in performance and promise must change. With every appointment, especially the pre-tenure, the level of confidence must be higher.
The Second Appointment
In February of the candidate’s first year of service on the tenure-track appointment, the Provost Office will initiate the second appointment review packet for the candidate. At this time, the Provost Office will add the available quantitative RSEs, classroom observations, and the annual activities report for year one to the second appointment review packet through the online portal. By 5 p.m. on February 15 of the first year of service, the Chair should electronically submit classroom observations completed up to that date to the Provost Office. Any classroom observations completed after February 15 should be sent electronically by the Chair to the to the Provost Office as soon as they are available, but before September 10 of the year of review. The Provost Office will upload these to the candidate’s review packet. It is the responsibility of
the Chair, in communication with the candidate, to ensure that all classroom observations are provided to the Provost Office, without duplication.
By 5 p.m. on September 15 of the second year of the tenure-track appointment the candidate must submit their second-appointment review packet through the online portal. The packet must contain material added by the Provost Office (as listed in the preceding paragraph) and the following items added by the candidate: a current institutional curriculum vitae (c.v.), a self-evaluation covering the period since the start date, and other supporting material deemed appropriate by the candidate (such as additional teaching materials from year one, copies of relevant scholarly work since start date). The c.v. and self-evaluation will require a digital signature via the online portal. It is the responsibility of the candidate to add these materials and to digitally submit their review packet.
The self-evaluation should employ the criteria and standards discussed in Paragraphs 5-22 and should indicate the faculty member’s strengths and weaknesses. The institutional c.v. is an expanded curriculum vitae that lists all professional activities as a member of the Allegheny College faculty. It can be organized around teaching, professional development, and service and might list any or all of the following items: education and background, positions held, courses taught, courses developed, curricular innovation, work on senior projects, responsibilities for advising majors and non-majors, teaching development activities, other teaching activities, publications and presentations, grants written and/or funded, service to professional organizations, other professional activities, department service, committee service, and other service.
The department chairperson shall convene the tenured members of the department to review the second appointment review packet and discuss the self-evaluation (including supporting documents, if any); to decide what areas may require additional exploration; and to share observations about the candidate’s work. These deliberations, and the recommendations resulting from them, must take into account current staff, department needs and plans, and, to the extent possible, the direction of the College. The expectation is that the Chair will then draft a departmental evaluation of the candidate including a recommendation for renewal or non-renewal. If circumstances warrant (e.g., conflict of interests or an excessive number of letters being due in a particular cycle), the drafting of this letter may be undertaken by other tenured members of the department. If one departmental evaluation is not possible, then several may be submitted provided that the author(s) sign the document(s). Departmental evaluation(s) will follow closely the criteria and standards discussed above, and should delineate specific areas where improvements are required as well as specific areas where the candidate has achieved excellence or demonstrates particular promise.
The departmental evaluation(s) must be submitted by the Chair by 5 p.m. on October 1 electronically to the Provost Office with signatures of all relevant department members and the candidate (the candidate’s signature denotes that they have read the document, it does not imply agreement). The Provost Office will add the department evaluation(s) to the second-appointment review packet via the online portal by October 2. The candidate will receive notification of this addition to their review packet. The candidate will then have until 5 p.m. on October 9 to submit a document in response to the department evaluation(s) via the online portal, should they choose to do so.
The Provost reviews the second appointment review packet and delivers a recommendation to the President by 5 p.m. on October 15, with copies to the candidate and department chair. This recommendation notes agreement with the departmental evaluation(s) or indicates how the Provost’s assessment of the candidate’s areas of strength, promise, or weakness deviates from the departmental assessment. The faculty member may prepare a response to the Provost’s recommendation submitted in writing to the President by 5 p.m. on October 24 with a copy sent to the Provost Office. At a later time the candidate meets with the Provost to discuss the recommendation. At that meeting the candidate signs and dates the Provost’s recommendation and retains a copy of the recommendation. Signing does not imply agreement. The Provost’s recommendation, once signed by the candidate, and any response to the Provost’s recommendation, will be uploaded by the Provost Office to the second appointment review packet.
- The President will review the materials and decide whether a second two-year contract will be offered to the candidate. The decision of the President is final and binding. In the event that the President’s decision differs from the department’s recommendation, the reasons for that decision will be communicated to the department chairperson orally and in confidence. The candidate will be notified by November 1.
The Pre-Tenure Appointment
- In February of the candidate’s third year of service, the Provost Office will initiate the pre-tenure review packet for the candidate. At this time, the Provost Office will add to the pre-tenure review packet the candidate’s complete second-appointment review packet (merged as a single document) along with available quantitative RSEs, classroom observations, and annual activities reports since the second-appointment review packet. Quantitative summaries of RSEs will be generated by the Registrar and sent by July 1 (following the third year of service) to the candidate, the department chair, and the Provost and Dean of the College. The Provost Office will add these summaries to the pre-tenure review packet. For faculty converted to the tenure-track, and with the prior approval of the Provost, some or all pre-conversion RSEs may be excluded from the summaries. In instances of Conversion to the Tenure Track, if there was no formal Second Appointment Review, then the Conversion Review packet will be uploaded by the Provost Office instead of the second-appointment review packet. Note: during the transition from paper review files to the online review system standard documents (e.g., department evaluation(s), self evaluation, Provost recommendation to the President regarding reappointment, RSEs, annual activities reports, classroom observations) are compiled and uploaded by the Provost Office; any other materials are uploaded by the candidate.
By 5 p.m. on February 15 of the candidate’s third year of service, the Chair should electronically submit classroom observations for the candidate’s years of service since the second-appointment review packet to the Provost Office (normally years two and three). Any classroom observations completed after February 15 should be sent electronically by the Chair to the Provost Office as soon as they are available, but before September 25 of the year of review. The Provost Office will upload these to the candidate’s review packet. It is the responsibility of the Chair, in communication with the candidate, to ensure that all classroom observations are provided to the Provost Office, without duplication.
- By 5 p.m. on October 1 of the fourth year of service the candidate must submit their pre-tenure review packet through the online portal. The packet must contain material added by the Provost Office (as listed in the preceding paragraph) and the following items added by the candidate: a current institutional c.v., a self-evaluation covering the period since the start date, and other supporting material deemed appropriate by the candidate (such as additional teaching materials, copies of relevant scholarly work since the second appointment review). The c.v. and self-evaluation will require a digital signature via the online portal. It is the responsibility of the candidate to add these materials and to submit their review packet. The candidate can continue to add material to the pre-tenure review packet through 5 p.m. on October 1, at which point the review packet will close to all additions except the departmental evaluation(s) and, if applicable, the candidate’s response to the departmental evaluations(s).
- The departmental evaluation should follow the guidelines as described under the two-year appointment. The department’s review of the packet should begin with the self-evaluation. The department is also encouraged to review previous recommendations and evaluations to help it see better what growth has occurred over time, and it is reminded that the greater contract length presumes greater confidence in the candidate’s performance and promise. The longer contract length and more thorough reviews at this point are intended to serve as a pre-tenure review. Candidates unlikely to receive tenure should not be recommended for a pre-tenure appointment. A frank appraisal, including discussion of both strengths and weaknesses, is more helpful to the candidate and to the review process than an evaluation that ignores potential problem areas. The department evaluation should make a clear positive or negative recommendation that is supported by the evidence in the packet.
The department evaluation(s) must be submitted by the Chair by 5 p.m. on October 22 electronically to the Provost Office with signatures of all relevant department members and the candidate (the candidate’s signature denotes that they have read the document, it does not imply agreement). The Provost Office will add the department evaluation(s) to the pre-tenure review packet via the online portal by 5 p.m. on October 23. The candidate will receive notification of this addition to their review packet. The candidate will have until 5 p.m. on October 30—that is, seven calendar days after they are to have received the evaluation(s)—to submit a document in response to the department evaluation(s) via the online portal, should they choose to do so.
- The Provost will share these new materials with the members of the Faculty Review Committee. All inquiries and deliberations involved in this process will be conducted in the strictest confidence. At the conclusion of the discussion of each candidate, a preliminary poll on whether the candidate should be recommended for the pre-tenure contract will be taken. After each candidate has been considered and all preliminary polls have been completed, the Committee will vote officially on whether to recommend the pre-tenure contract for each candidate. Members of the Faculty Review Committee who have served as Institutional Mentors to, or who are in the same department as, a candidate may neither participate in the discussion nor vote on the Committee’s recommendation.
The Secretary of the Committee will count the vote, the Provost will record the vote, and it will constitute the Committee’s recommendation to the President. After receiving the recommendations of the Faculty Review Committee and the Provost and after reviewing the review packet, the President will meet with the Faculty Review Committee and the Provost for a discussion of the candidates’ qualifications and the reasoning behind the recommendations. The Provost will submit an independent recommendation to the President. The general substance of the deliberations, but not the exact vote, will be shared separately with the candidate and the appropriate department chairperson by the Provost and the Chairperson of the Faculty Review Committee. The Faculty Review Committee will prepare a set of Discussion Points summarizing the committee’s deliberations, and this will be provided to the candidate electronically by the Faculty Review Committee with a copy to the Department Chair and the Provost Office. At the Provost’s discretion, the Provost may provide a separate memorandum to the candidate and Department Chairperson reflecting on these Discussion Points. The candidate should retain these documents for their next review.
- The President will review the materials and decide whether the pre-tenure contract will be offered to the candidate. The decision of the President is final and binding. By December 15 of the fourth year of service, the President will notify the candidate by letter whether the candidate will be granted a pre-tenure contract. A negative decision will result in a terminal one-year appointment. In the event that the President’s decision differs from the Faculty Review Committee’s recommendation, the reason for that decision will be shared with the Committee orally and in confidence.
The Fifth and Sixth Years of Service
- During the three years before the final tenure decision, the members of the department and the candidate will work together to ensure that professional growth and development continues. Special attention should be given to areas which were identified earlier as needing improvement. To encourage this process, the candidate may submit to the department chairperson a brief self-evaluation by April 15 of the fifth year of service. If such a self-evaluation is submitted, the department chairperson shall convene the tenured members of the department as described in Paragraph 28 to draft a departmental evaluation. If the tenured members of the department cannot agree on a common evaluation, several may be submitted provided that the author(s) sign the document(s). The departmental evaluation together with the self-evaluation are due in the Office of the Provost by May 1 of the fifth year of service. The departmental evaluation requires the signature of the candidate, which indicates that the candidate has read the documents. In case of disagreement the candidate should follow the procedure as described in Paragraphs 28 and 29.
Regardless of whether or not the candidate chooses to exercise this option, the department is of course free to submit a department evaluation at this point or at any other point during the pre-tenure years.
- Academic tenure is an arrangement under which faculty appointments are continued until retirement, subject to dismissal for adequate cause or termination on account of financial exigency or change of institutional program. The award of tenure is the single most important personnel decision the College makes; it must be awarded with the gravest care. Tenure shall be awarded only by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the President.
- In February of the candidate’s sixth year of service, the Provost Office will initiate the tenure review packet for the candidate. At this time, the Provost Office will add to the tenure review packet the candidate’s complete pre-tenure review packet (merged as a single document) along with available quantitative RSEs, classroom observations, FRC discussion points from the pre-tenure review, and annual activities reports since the pre-tenure review packet (normally material for years four through six). Quantitativee summaries of RSEs will be generated by the Registrar and sent by July 1 to the candidate, the department chair, and the Provost and Dean of the College. The Provost Office will add these summaries to the tenure review packet. The Provost Office will share the alumni letters with the candidate in September. The tenure review packet materials will include all annual evaluations and recommendations, plus any supporting materials, since the start date.
By 5 p.m. on February 15 of the candidate’s sixth year of service, the Chair should electronically submit classroom observations for the candidate’s years of service since the pre-tenure review packet to the Provost Office (normally years four through six). Any classroom observations completed after February 15 should be sent electronically By the Chair to the Provost Office as soon as they are available, but before September 10 of the year of review. The Provost Office will upload these to the candidate’s review packet. It is the responsibility of the Chair, in communication with the candidate, to ensure that all classroom observations are provided to the
Provost Office, without duplication.
By 5 p.m. on September 15 of the seventh year of service, the candidate must submit a current institutional c.v. and a self-evaluation covering the period since the start date (following guidelines described above and including a statement of future research and teaching plans) to their tenure review packet through the online portal. The c.v. and self-evaluation will require a digital signature via the online portal. By 5 p.m. on October 1 it is the responsibility of the candidate to submit all remaining supporting materials to their tenure review packet through the online portal. The completed packet must contain material added by the Provost Office (as listed in the preceding paragraphs) and the following items added by the candidate: a current institutional c.v., a self-evaluation (as noted above), and other material deemed appropriate by the candidate (such as additional teaching materials and copies of relevant scholarly work since the pre-tenure review). It is the responsibility of the candidate to add these materials and to digitally submit their review packet. Because the Faculty Review Committee begins its review during the spring of the sixth year of service, the candidate is urged to bring the review packet up to date as early in the process as possible as the Provost Office will share the contents of the review packet, as of April 15, with the FRC tenure subcommittee. The candidate can continue to add material to their tenure review packet through 5 p.m. on October 1, at which point the packet will close to all additions except the alumni letters (to be added by the Provost Office), departmental evaluation(s), the tenure subcommittee report, and if applicable, the candidate’s responses to the department evaluation(s) or the subcommittee report. The tenure review packet closes to all material by 5 p.m. on October 23. Only the President, at the President’s own discretion, may consider additional information regarding the candidate after October 23.
- The Faculty Review Committee will appoint a tenure subcommittee to prepare a report on the candidate. The tenure subcommittee will consist of three tenured members of the faculty, representing where possible the three divisions of the college, and will be chaired by a member of the Faculty Review Committee. The appointment of the two other members requires approval by the Provost.
The tenure subcommittee will meet with the candidate at the beginning of the process to explain the procedure, remind the candidate of deadlines, and ask for any additional information that the candidate wishes the subcommittee to have. It will review carefully all of the accumulated materials; interview each member of the department individually as well as any faculty at Allegheny in cognate areas; interview, as appropriate, students and alumni; and, if deemed necessary, or if requested by the candidate, arrange with the Provost for extramural peers to review the research, syllabi, course assignments, senior projects, etc. of the candidate.
The final report from this committee must be submitted electronically by 5 p.m. on October 15 of the candidate’s seventh year of service to the Provost Office with signatures of all three members of the tenure subcommittee and the candidate (the candidate’s signature denotes that they have read the document, it does not imply agreement).The subcommittee report will be shared electronically with the candidate by the Provost’s office by 5 p.m. October 16. Further, this report will not contain a recommendation for or against granting tenure to the candidate since its main purpose is fact finding and clarification of issues. The candidate will receive notification of this addition to their review packet. The candidate will have until 5 p.m. October 23–that is, seven calendar days after they are to have received the report–to read the report and to provide a written response to the report, should they choose to do so.
- In keeping with a subsection of Paragraph 15 (“Assessments by Students”), student evaluation of a faculty member will be solicited in three ways: in-class evaluation(s); interviews with the faculty member’s tenure subcommittee; and letters from recent alumni.
Quantitative summaries of RSEs since the pre-tenure review will be generated by the Registrar and sent by July 1 (following the sixth year of service) to the candidate, the department chair, and the Provost and Dean of the College. The quantitative summaries of RSEs will be added to the tenure review packet by the Provost Office as described above. Candidates may also add narrative course evaluations to their files. If narrative evaluations other than those in the RSE are included, candidates should provide clarification as to how these evaluations were administered. All original narrative responses to the RSE must be kept by the department chair (as described in Section 2.6); a copy of the narrative responses should be given by the chair to untenured candidates. When for some reason in a particular case the Faculty Review Committee would like to consider a candidate’s narrative evaluations, it may do so by obtaining them from that person’s department chair.
For the interviews with students, by the end of February of the year in which the tenure decision will be made the Registrar will generate and send to the candidates and their department chairs a list of all May graduates eligible for subcommittee interviews. Students are eligible if they are exiting seniors who have taken courses or conducted other credit-bearing academic work with candidates and received grades of no lower than C-. By March 15, candidates should select seven or eight names from this list and submit them to the chairs of the tenure subcommittee and department. Selected seniors should constitute a representative sample of the candidate’s students with an appropriate balance by gender, majors and non-majors; those enrolled in upper-division, lower-division, and FS courses; and those whose work represents a range of grades. By March 22, the department chair should submit a second list of seven or eight names to the chair of the subcommittee using similar distribution criteria. At their discretion, candidate’s (but not chairs) may include on their list of seven or eight names graduating seniors who have: (1) earned a grade below C-; and/or (2) had extensive but non-credit-bearing mentoring, advising, or research experiences with the candidate. Candidates who wish to consider graduating seniors who earned a grade below C- should request a second list from the Registrar that includes those students. This request should be made by the end of February.
For the evaluation by alumni, by the end of February of the year in which the tenure decision will be made, the Registrar will generate and send to the candidate a list of all alumni eligible for solicitation of evaluation letters. Alumni are eligible if they are graduates who have taken courses or conducted other credit-bearing academic work with the candidate and received grades of no lower than C-. By March 15, candidates should select 20 names from this list, ensuring that selected alumni constitute a representative sample of the candidate’s students, with an appropriate balance by gender, majors and non-majors, those enrolled in upper-division, lower-division, and FS courses; and those whose work represents a range of grades. A second list of 40 names will be obtained from the Registrar through a random sample of the remaining eligible alumni, using similar distribution criteria and drawing the sample, when possible, from those alumni who have graduated in the three years since the candidate’s last review. Any student who has been the subject of a judicial proceeding brought by the faculty member being evaluated will be barred from participating in this review at the latter’s request. By April 1, the Registrar will submit the list of 60 names (20 selected by the candidate and 40 selected by the Registrar) to the Provost. At their discretion, candidates (but not the Registrar) may include on their list of 20 names alumni who have: (1) earned a grade below C-; and/or (2) had extensive but non-credit-bearing mentoring, advising, or research experiences with the candidate. Candidates who wish to consider alumni who earned a grade below C- should request a second list from the Registrar that includes those individuals. This request should be made by the end of February.
A form letter will be drafted by the Provost which will ask each alumnus to address the candidate’s performance in teaching and advising. The Provost will send this letter to each alumnus whose name appears on the lists. Alumni letters will be submitted in a secure manner and tracked by the Provost Office. Alumni will be instructed to write their letter to avoid identifying the author, to the best extent possible.
The Office of the Provost will accept alumni letters through September 1. The alumni letters will be made available by September 8 to the candidate, who will then have until September 15 to remove, if the candidate chooses, any two letters from the group, notifying the Provost Office if they do so. The remaining alumni letters will be electronically shared with the FRC Tenure Subcommittee by the Provost Office by 5 p.m. September 16.The remaining letters will be added by the Provost Office to the candidate’s tenure review packet by 5 p.m. October 17 (after the tenure review packet closes to departmental review). The alumni letters will be part of the candidate’s review packet only at the time of the tenure review. They will be destroyed after the tenure decision has been made and any appeal that may have been lodged has been exhausted.
- The department evaluation(s) must be submitted by the Chair by 5 p.m. on October 15 electronically to the Provost Office with signatures of all relevant department members and the candidate (the candidate’s signature denotes that they have read the document, it does not imply agreement). The Provost Office will add the department evaluation(s) to the tenure review packet via the online portal by 5 p.m. on October 16. The candidate will receive notification of this addition to their review packet. The candidate will then have until 5 p.m. on October 23—that is, seven calendar days after they are to have received the evaluation(s)—to submit a document in response to the department evaluation(s) via the online portal, should they choose to do so.
The department is reminded that tenure is the single most important personnel decision made by the College. The departmental evaluation(s) should follow the guidelines described above. The department’s review of the packet should begin with the self-evaluation. When writing the departmental evaluation(s), the department should review previous recommendations and evaluations to help it see better what growth has occurred over time. It should specifically address those areas identified in the past as needing improvement. A frank appraisal, including discussion of both strengths and weaknesses, is more helpful to the candidate and to the review process than an evaluation that ignores potential problem areas. The departmental evaluation should make a clear positive or negative recommendation that is supported by evidence in the packet. If one departmental evaluation is not possible, then several may be submitted by the Chair to the Provost Office following the due date and guidelines described above.by
- The Provost will arrange for the Faculty Review Committee to review all of the materials submitted and accumulated (as described above). At the conclusion of the discussion of each candidate, a preliminary poll on whether the candidate should be recommended for tenure will be taken. After each candidate has been considered and all preliminary polls have been completed, the Faculty Review Committee will vote officially on whether to recommend tenure for each candidate. Members of this Committee who are in the same department as a candidate for tenure may neither participate in the discussion nor vote on the Committee’s recommendations. The Secretary of the Committee will count the vote, the Provost will record the vote, and it will constitute the Committee’s recommendation to the President. After receiving the recommendations of the Faculty Review Committee and the Provost and after reviewing the packet, the President will meet with the Faculty Review Committee and the Provost for a discussion of the candidates’ qualifications and the reasoning behind the recommendations. The Provost will submit an independent recommendation to the President. The general substance of the deliberations, but not the exact vote, will be shared separately with the candidate and the appropriate department chairperson by the Provost and the Chairperson of the Faculty Review Committee. The Faculty Review Committee will prepare a set of Discussion Points summarizing the committee’s deliberations, and this will be provided to the candidate electronically by the Faculty Review Committee with a copy to the Department Chair and the Provost Office. At the Provost’s discretion, the Provost may provide a separate memorandum to the candidate and Department Chairperson reflecting on these Discussion Points. The candidate should retain these documents for their next review.
- The President will review the materials and decide whether the candidate will be recommended to the Board for tenure. The decision of the President is final and binding. By December 15 of the seventh year of service the President will notify the candidate by letter about the final decision. A negative decision will result in a terminal one-year appointment. In the event that the President’s decision differs from the Faculty Review Committee’s recommendation, the reason for the decision will be shared with the Committee orally and in confidence.
- Decisions not to reappoint or not award tenure to a probationary faculty member may be appealed on the grounds that a governmental statute has been violated. These appeals will be processed through the normal grievance procedure. The decision of the President is final and binding.
- Decisions not to reappoint or not to award tenure to a probationary faculty member may also be appealed on grounds that allege a violation of academic freedom or a violation of procedural guidelines. No other grounds for appeals will be entertained. When these violations are alleged, the faculty member will send a written complaint to the President within ten calendar days of the alleged violation or of the date when the faculty member could reasonably have been expected to know of the alleged violation. In filing this complaint, the faculty member will identify a tenured member of the faculty to serve on a review committee. The President and the Faculty Council will each appoint one tenured faculty member. None of the three appointed tenured faculty members should have been previously involved in the case, for example as a member of the department, the Faculty Review Committee, or the tenure subcommittee. This committee of three shall review the record and, as necessary, interview the participants, discussing only matters related to the alleged violations. Within fifteen calendar days of receiving the assignment, the committee shall advise the President in writing of one of three options:
- No violation discovered, in which case the appeal is denied and the matter closed;
- Violation discovered, but of a technical nature which would suggest that it made no difference to the outcome of the case, in which instance the President shall review the Committee’s report and decide whether to close or to reopen the case; or
- A major violation that could have made a difference in the outcome, in which instance the case would be reopened. In reopening a case, the President will, depending on the circumstances and the time of year, either cause the case immediately to be reviewed de novo or offer a year contract so that the case could be reviewed de novo the following year.
Early Tenure Decisions
- A department chairperson may propose that an untenured faculty member be considered for tenure prior to the expiration of the candidate’s probationary period. Such recommendations ought not to be forthcoming except in exceptional circumstances; for example, a faculty member not only who has definitely proven excellent teaching and research ability, but also whose continued employment is essential to the program.
- In such exceptional cases, the normal procedures described above will be followed, essentially, although the time frame for conducting these procedures may be shortened by the Provost. A chairperson proposing an early tenure decision will ask permission to do so of the Provost, who will indicate whether it is permissible and outline the time frame and deadlines that will have to be followed.
- A candidate proposed for early tenure who does not receive it will be permitted to continue in the normal progression of contracts in the probationary period. In other words, an early tenure decision is not an “up or out” decision.
Linkage of Tenure and Promotion
- Those holding the rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor who are granted tenure will be automatically promoted to the next rank (Assistant or Associate Professor, respectively).
Review of Tenured Faculty
- The principal purposes of consulting with tenured faculty are to recognize the contributions of the faculty member since tenure or the most recent consultation, to identify areas of continuing development and interest, and to determine how the College might assist the faculty member in accomplishing professional goals. The consultation should also aid the faculty member in identifying and correcting impediments to those goals or areas which might be considered weaknesses. The consultation will cover teaching, scholarly activity, and contribution to the learning community. Although the performance standards in these areas will be those identified above, this consultation will recognize that a person’s time commitment to a particular area may change. No timetable is mandated for tenured faculty consultation, which may be convened at the request of the tenured faculty member, the department chair, or the Provost. Faculty and department chairs are strongly encouraged to initiate a consultation in the year prior to the faculty being proposed for promotion to Professor.
- The tenured faculty consultation is convened by written request of the faculty member, the department chairperson, or the Provost. These three then plan a meeting to discuss the contributions and accomplishments of the faculty member since the last formal consultation or review, and his/her future plans. If the department chairperson is not a full professor, the faculty member should request a colleague with the rank of full professor to assume the responsibilities of the department chair for the consultation process. Should the consultation be for the department chairperson, the meeting shall be composed of the chairperson, a faculty member with the rank of full professor chosen by the chairperson, and the Provost. In this case, the full professor faculty member will assume the responsibilities of the department chair during the consultation process. The consulting faculty member should begin this process by preparing a self-evaluation of what has been accomplished since the last consultation or review and what goals have been established for the coming years, and submitting this document to the department chairperson and Provost. The self-evaluation may refer to recent Annual Faculty Activities Reports submitted to the Provost. During the month after receiving this document, the chairperson will consult confidentially with the tenured members of the department, the Provost and, as necessary and appropriate, other faculty. The Provost will convene a meeting with the faculty member and the chairperson, which generally shall occur no later than six weeks following receipt of the self-evaluation. The chairperson will keep a record of this conversation and send a copy of it to both the faculty member and the Provost. This record will acknowledge the accomplishments of the faculty member, make note of continuing and proposed interests and projects, indicate the ways in which the College intends to support these endeavors, point to areas of possible improvement, and make note of ways in which the faculty member intends to address these issues. If, as a result of the tenured faculty consultation, the Provost and chairperson believe there is a cause for concern in the faculty member’s performance, this concern shall be duly communicated to the faculty member, remedial steps suggested, and deadlines for improvement established.
Termination for Cause
- Termination of a term appointment before it expires as well as termination of a tenure appointment shall be for adequate cause or for financial exigency or program discontinuance. Adequate cause for dismissing faculty should be primarily concerned with violations of essential rights, freedoms, and responsibilities of teaching and inquiry. Failure to fulfill teaching obligations, interference with the efforts of colleagues or students to exercise their rights of inquiry and expression, medical incapacity, incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research, substantial neglect of duty, gross personal or professional misconduct, moral turpitude, or substantial decline in one’s professional performance are considered adequate cause for dismissal.
- Mental or physical incapacity: In cases involving alleged mental or physical incapacity, any decision to terminate shall be based on evidence submitted to the Provost. If there is objection by the faculty member concerned to such a decision it may be processed in the form described in Paragraphs 54a) through 54d), below. Faculty members whose appointments are terminated for mental or physical incapacity shall receive six months’ salary over the six months following the date of termination of their employment; after this, they will be eligible to apply for disability insurance. Their dependent children shall continue to be eligible for the tuition remission fringe benefit in effect at time of termination. Faculty members not eligible for disability insurance will receive an additional six months’ salary.
- Alleged violations of essential rights, freedoms, and responsibilities of teaching and inquiry, failure to fulfill teaching obligations, interference with the efforts of colleagues and students to exercise their rights of inquiry and expression, incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research, neglect of duty, gross personal or professional misconduct, or moral turpitude shall be submitted in writing to the Provost, who shall determine whether a prima facie case exists. In making this determination the Provost must, if the charges appear to warrant further consideration, seek the advice of the tenured members of the Faculty Council. If a prima facie case is found to exist, the faculty member shall be notified of the charges in writing, and shall have ten calendar days to respond before the procedures listed below begin.
- The first procedural step after such notification shall be discussion between the faculty member and appropriate administrative officers with a view to reaching a mutually satisfactory settlement.
- If a faculty member faced with termination so desires, that individual may contest the charges. In such event, the faculty member is entitled to a review and hearing of the case by three tenured members of the faculty sitting as a Review Panel, provided that the faculty member so requests within ten days after receiving notice of those charges. This hearing will be closed to the public unless the faculty member in question wishes it to be open. The faculty member will pick one member of the Review Panel; the Faculty Council will pick a second member; and, the President will select the third member. The faculty member shall have at least twenty days from the time the review is requested to prepare a defense. The review hearing shall begin no later than thirty days after submission of the request unless postponed by mutual agreement between the faculty member and the appropriate administrative officers.
- At the hearing the burden of proof shall be upon the College, and the faculty member shall have the opportunity to be heard in their own defense, to present witnesses and introduce evidence, to question adverse witnesses, to be informed of the author or source of all adverse statements made elsewhere and presented to the Review Panel for its consideration, and to be accompanied by an advisor chosen by that individual who may act as counsel. The evidence presented must be relevant to the charges. An audio recording of the proceedings shall be created, of which a copy shall be furnished to the faculty member upon request.
- Within fourteen days after the close of the hearing, the Review Panel shall report its findings to the Provost, the President, and the faculty member. The Panel will base its findings on the materials presented at the hearing, not on personal observations. This report will indicate clearly what evidence supports which charges. After consulting with the Review Panel and with the faculty member, if the latter so requests, and after reviewing all the proceedings, the President shall render a decision on the case in writing within thirty days after receipt of the Review Panel’s report.
- Substantial decline in professional performance: If the Provost or a Department Chair believes there has been a substantial decline in a tenured faculty member’s performance, either may request a Tenured Faculty Consultation (see Paragraphs 50 and 51 above).
If the tenured faculty member’s performance improves as a result of the Consultation, the matter will end there. If the Provost believes insufficient improvement in the tenured faculty member’s performance has resulted from the Tenured Faculty Consultation, the Provost shall bring any allegation of substantial decline in performance to the Faculty Review Committee. In these circumstances, the Faculty Review Committee will read the Tenured Faculty Consultation and all supplementary documents, including any plan for improvement, the remedial steps taken, and evidence of improvement by the established deadlines. The Faculty Review Committee will also meet separately with the appropriate department chairperson and the faculty member in question. On the basis of this review, the Faculty Review Committee will communicate to the President whether it believes there has been a substantial decline in the faculty member’s professional performance or not. The President shall make the final decision. If the President decides there has not been a substantial decline in the faculty member’s professional performance, the matter will end there. If the President decides sufficient time and opportunities have been presented and insufficient improvements have been made by the faculty member, termination for cause proceedings shall be instituted. These proceedings are described in Paragraphs 54a) through 54d), above.
- The Board of Trustees reserves the right to terminate any faculty position, tenured or non-tenured, for reasons of financial exigency of the College or of any part or unit of the College. Such action shall be taken only after consultation with the Faculty Council. The Board shall discuss with the Faculty Council the data indicating financial exigency, but the final decision shall be made by the Board of Trustees.
- Termination of tenured positions, because the faculty voted to discontinue departments or programs for reasons other than financial exigency, shall be based primarily on educational considerations as determined by the President after consultation with appropriate College committees and with the approval of the Board of Trustees. Tenured faculty members whose appointments are terminated because of such discontinuance shall receive the equivalent of one year’s salary over the twelve months following the date of termination of their employment.
- Tenured faculty member terminated by the President for adequate cause or discontinuance of departments or programs, and a non-tenured faculty member dismissed prior to the end of their contract, shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Trustees. Such appeal shall be in writing filed with the Board within twenty days after receipt of notice of the termination. The decision of the Board of Trustees on the appeal shall be final.
(Revised Spring, 2005, Spring 2009, 9 December 2011,9 March 2012, 16 April 2015, 13 March 2016, 12 March 2020. 6 May 2021)
5.3 Guidelines for Promotion to Professor
Promotion to the rank of Professor is an honor bestowed upon faculty members to recognize their continued and deepening contribution to the life of Allegheny College. While it is anticipated that most tenured members of the faculty will eventually reach professorial rank, such a promotion is seen not as automatic but as a meaningful recognition of achievement and performance. In keeping with the liberal arts mission of the College and the maintenance of a community of scholars, candidates for promotion are expected to have distinguished themselves in teaching, to have sustained a program of research or other forms of professional growth, and to have rendered service and some leadership to the College community. While exceptional contributions in any one of these areas may increase the likelihood of promotion, ordinarily some strength in all three areas is expected. Criteria relevant to the assessment of a candidate’s record of teaching, scholarship, and service are those described in Paragraphs 8—21 of Section 5.2.
Normally a faculty member will not be promoted to professor until having completed seven years at the associate rank. The candidate may undergo promotion review in the seventh year, but promotion will not take effect until the following academic year. If a promotion is to be granted before seven years, an extremely strong case must be made. It should also be noted that simply being in rank for seven years is not of itself sufficient to warrant promotion. Faculty members are encouraged to discuss the timeliness of their promotion cases with the Provost.
Decisions on promotion follow the process below.
- Nominations for promotion to full professor may be initiated by a department chairperson, the Provost, or any faculty member(s) senior in rank, with the consent of the candidate; alternately, candidates may submit their own name for consideration for promotion. All nominations for promotion must be submitted to the President through the office of the Provost by 5 p.m. on October 15.
- In January the Provost Office will initiate the promotion review packet. By 5 p.m. on February 15, every candidate for promotion must submit the following materials to the promotion review packet via the online portal:
- a reflective self-assessment of activity since tenure: the document will need to be digitally signed via the online portal and should be signed by the candidate and include evidence of teaching and advising, research and professional growth, and service to and leadership of the College community.
- an updated and signed institutional curriculum vitae digitally signed via the online portal.
copies of significant work completed since the last performance or promotion review.
Departmental colleagues at the rank of full Professor will have access to the promotion review packet to review these materials.
- Quantitative summaries of all RSEs not included in the tenure review will be generated by the Registrar and sent to the candidate, the department chair, and the Provost by February 1. The Provost Office will add this to the promotion review packet.
- The candidate may include additional materials in the promotion review packet documenting their record of teaching, service, and professional achievement. Some examples of relevant materials are: a description of or evidence of work in progress; letters from alumni; evaluations from colleagues within the College community; evaluations from specialists in the candidate’s field from other institutions.
- The Provost will solicit from each respective department the written views of all members holding a rank higher than that of the nominee on the merits of the candidacy. These views, which must be signed and submitted electronically to the Provost Office no later than 5 p.m. on March 1, may be presented as a collective statement reflecting consensus or as individual statements; they will be added to the promotion packet by the Provost Office. This/these view(s) will be shared electronically with the candidate by the Provost Office by 5 p.m. on March 2. The candidate has until 5 p.m. March 7 to read the departmental letter(s) and submit a note of clarification regarding the view(s) and any item(s) in the review packet via the online portal.
- The Provost may upload any other pertinent information to the promotion packet.
- All materials, with the exception of items upoladed by the Provost Office, the written views of senior department members, and if applicable the candidate’s note of clarification regarding the views(s) of senior department members, must be submitted by the candidate to the promotion review packet via the online portal no later than 5 p.m. on February 15 in the academic year in which the decision is made.
- The Provost Office will arrange for the Faculty Review Committee to review all of the materials submitted. The voting members of the Faculty Review Committee will then meet with the Provost to discuss each candidate. After full discussion, the committee members will vote to recommend that promotion be awarded or denied. The result of this deliberation and vote shall be recorded by the Provost.
- The Provost and the chairperson of the Faculty Review Committee will discuss with each candidate and respective Department Chairperson, singly, the Committee’s recommendation to the President. The Faculty Review Committee will prepare a set of Discussion Points summarizing the committee’s deliberations, and this will be provided to the candidate electronically by the Faculty Review Committee with a copy to the Department Chair and the Provost Office. At the Provost’s discretion, the Provost may provide a separate memorandum to the candidate and Department Chairperson reflecting on these Discussion Points. The candidate should retain these documents for their records.
- The final recommendation shall be made by the President in consultation with the Provost and shall be communicated to the candidate, in writing, by March 31. Where the President’s recommendation is contrary to the recommendation of the Faculty Review Committee, the President will share with the Committee his or her reasons for denying or affirming promotion.
- These guidelines also apply to non-mandated promotions at ranks below that of professor; in such cases, however, there is no expectation of a minimum number of years in current rank.
(Revised Spring 2005, 12 March 2020, 6 May 2021)
5.4 Joint Appointments Between a Department and a Program
In the case of joint appointments between two departments, a program and another department, or an appointment in an interdivisional program, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be written that describes the specific parameters of the faculty member’s position. The MoU will clarify and manage the unique characteristics of such a faculty position and ensure that the departments and programs in which the faculty member participates benefit from the position. MoUs will address the process of mentoring and evaluating the faculty member and establish teaching, research, and service expectations. In most cases, the Director of Interdisciplinarity will compose the MoU in regular consultation with the faculty member, the Provost, and relevant Department Chairs and Program Chairs or Coordinators. The MoU will be agreed upon and signed by all parties and placed into the faculty member’s academic file, The MoU may be revised at each evaluation review or, for tenured faculty, after a specified period described in the MoU.
(23 January 2014)
5.5 Shared Faculty Appointments
Allegheny College supports applications for and hiring of persons in shared tenure-line faculty appointments. The College benefits from such appointments by attracting and retaining dual-career faculty couples who might not otherwise be able to accept or continue in a position at Allegheny. By having two persons in a shared faculty appointment, the College may also gain curricular flexibility, enriched opportunities for student research mentorship, or enhanced participation in the academic-residential life of the campus community.
A shared faculty appointment is defined as two individuals, who are married or in a comparable committed partnership (as defined by the College’s affidavit of domestic partnership), who share the duties and responsibilities of a tenure-line position more traditionally held by one individual. Because of the contractual differences between shared positions and single full-time positions, shared-position issues must be carefully considered for faculty members holding such positions. This document presents a discussion of these issues. In addition, the Provost will outline in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the terms to guide hiring, appointment, and evaluation of each faculty member sharing a position. These terms shall guide the shared appointment unless alterations to the understanding are agreed upon in a new MoU by both occupants of the position, the department, and the Provost.
In limited circumstances, the College will consider redefining a single full-time tenure-line position as a shared-position appointment. The department should present a proposal to the Provost that indicates how the redefinition would benefit the College and that presents evidence for excellence in teaching, professional growth, and potential service on the part of the persons proposed to share the appointment. All tenured members of any affected departments or programs must either sign the proposal in support of the redefinition of the position or write a separate letter explaining why they do not support the proposal. The final decision will be made by the Provost, after consulting with Faculty Council.
Responsibilities and Expectations
Shared-appointment faculty members have the same roles, rights, and responsibilities as outlined in the Faculty Handbook for all tenure-line faculty. Each person holding a shared appointment is a voting member of the faculty and of the home department or program.
Persons holding shared appointments will have separate contracts, each covering one-half of a full-time tenure-line position in the home department. Insofar as possible, in keeping with the needs of the department and the College, the teaching load for each person in the shared appointment will reflect over time an approximately equivalent mix of lower- and upper-division courses and an equitable distribution of courses over fall and spring semesters. Faculty in a shared position will also be expected to participate in the FS program on a regular, shared basis.
Additional teaching beyond the half-time assignment cannot be required of faculty members sharing a position, nor is it guaranteed. The College may offer an additional course to either person in a shared position on an annual basis consistent with the needs of the department and the College. An individual holding a shared appointment may accept or decline any invitation to teach an overload. Payment for an overload will be at the adjunct rate for one course equivalency, as is the case for any faculty member who takes on an overload.
Persons holding shared appointments will have the status of tenure-line faculty for the purposes of applying to the Academic Support Committee (i.e., each individual may separately request funds for travel to conventions and for research support). They will have the same opportunity for sabbatical leaves or other paid leaves as does a single full-time position (i.e., each individual is eligible for a sabbatical leave as is appropriate for a single full-time position).
Advising and Service
Expectations for student advising and for service to the department and institution by shared-appointment faculty members are, jointly, the same as for a single, regular tenure-line faculty position. For informal service responsibilities within the department, the faculty member should negotiate the parameters of half-time with the department chair and include the negotiated expectations in the MoU signed by the faculty individual, the department chair, and the Provost at the time of hire.
Because persons entering shared appointments may hold different ranks and bring varied lengths of prior service in the academy, each will be separately scheduled and considered for tenure and promotion, with each file being read on its own merits. The evaluation of teaching for tenure will occur on the basis of the courses actually taught, which will be fewer than for faculty individually holding a full-time appointment. Similarly, in evaluating the service and scholarship of a faculty member in a shared position, the FRC will take into consideration that the position is half-time.
The criteria for tenure and promotion will be those specified in the Faculty Handbook for all faculty. Persons holding shared appointments will not participate, directly or indirectly, in one another’s evaluations.
To ensure the candidate has taught a sufficient number of courses for an evaluation of teaching, the required length of untenured service will be one additional year compared to faculty in full-time positions. This means that the tenure evaluation will begin in the spring of the candidate’s seventh year and conclude in the fall of the candidate’s eighth year.
Leaving the Shared Appointment
During an approved family or medical leave granted to one member of a shared appointment, the other partner may be offered the opportunity, but not required, to teach full-time.
In the event that one member of a shared appointment leaves the College during the academic year for any reason (a negative contract decision, the couple separating, one member of the couple applying for and receiving a full-time position, long-term disability, etc.), the other individual in the shared appointment normally will assume the teaching and non-teaching duties up to the equivalent of one full-time position until the end of the academic year. Upon recommendation of the department and review by the Provost, the shared position will then be terminated and redefined as a single full-time position and offered to the remaining individual of the original shared appointment.
If a full-time, tenure-track position should open for which either or both persons holding a shared appointment are qualified, either or both individual(s) may apply. The normal national search standards will be employed and neither person holding a shared appointment should expect or receive preferential treatment in the search. Should an individual in a shared position be appointed to a full-time position, the process outlined above under Section 5.2 will obtain. A tenured faculty member in a shared appointment retains tenure if hired into a full-time faculty position.
If a faculty couple sharing an appointment separates but both individuals decide to remain at the College, they may continue to share the position.
Each individual holding a shared appointment will hold a separate contract, with a salary of one-half of the full-time salary for his or her rank and qualifications. This allows the College to make appropriate merit salary increases and to develop shared position appointments with individuals who have different experience or academic ranks.
Persons sharing a single tenure-line faculty appointment will each receive benefits equal to that of a full-time faculty member, including eligibility to participate in the College’s medical, dental, and vision plans and/or to establish health and dependent care personal expense accounts. Each individual will be eligible for personal educational benefits equivalent to a full-time faculty member; educational benefits eligibility for dependent children will be joint, as would be appropriate for a single full-time position. Benefits based on a percentage of salary, such as the College’s retirement plan, will reflect the annual contracted salary for each person.
Persons holding shared appointments will be provided with separate computers within the normal faculty computer program. Each will be allocated office space, administrative support, access to library and information services, and access to departmental resources comparable to a full-time faculty member. While each individual can negotiate a separate start-up fund, the institution may not be able to provide separate lab spaces.
(Revised 5 December 2013)
5.6 Named Professorships
Named professorial chairs at Allegheny College have been created over a period of decades, with many of the current associated practices dating back to the 1960’s. Named professorships have been established under a wide variety of circumstances: some have been partly or fully endowed; some have featured reduced teaching responsibilities and/or expense stipends; most are occupied by faculty appointed for indefinite duration, normally meaning until retirement.
The purpose ascribed to many of the named/endowed professorships was to attract professionally active scholars to a college more notable for excellent teaching than scholarship. That strategy was largely successful, helping to increase the quality of the academic experience and reputation of Allegheny College. The close connection between teaching and scholarship has for some time been a regular part of our self-understanding as a faculty and institution, and evidence of scholarly activity is expected in evaluations for tenure and promotion.
Under these changed circumstances, and in consideration of the wide variety of arrangements that have emerged over time, it is appropriate to take a comprehensive approach to dealing with existing and future professorships. The policies detailed here have evolved from discussions involving the President, Provost, Faculty Council, and the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board.
This approach takes into account current understandings as well as anticipates retirements and creation of additional professorships with future gifts. It is designed to provide for college-wide availability of scholarship-enhancing opportunities while protecting academic course offerings. The policy also provides for a systematic approach to establishing and filling professorships and for honoring faculty and future donors.
Two categories of named professorships will be established. The first will be comprised of two professorships in each academic division plus one additional professorship in an interdisciplinary area. Professorships in this first category are specifically designed for the targeted advancement of scholarship, broadly understood to include additional categories defined by Ernest Boyer. They will have associated with them a uniform reduction in teaching responsibilities over a standard, non-renewable, three-year term of appointment. The second category will be department- or program-based professorships of five-year renewable terms. The latter will not have reduced teaching responsibilities, but they will include provision for professional development and student collaboration on scholarship.
Both types of professorships will be limited to tenured members of the faculty and will serve as recognition of distinguished performance and potential. These policies are subject to periodic review and revision by the Provost and President, in consultation with the Faculty Council.
Department- and Program- Based Named Professorships
(These policies will become effective in individual cases when current chair holders retire or resign. They also apply to new department or program based professorships when endowment gifts are received in the future.)
- Appointments will be made for five-year terms, with the possibility of renewal.
- The President will make appointments in consultation with the Provost.
- Named professorship appointees will be drawn from the tenured faculty.
Each departmental/program professorship will provide annual support for professional activities such as equipment or travel. An additional allotment will be provided specifically to encourage the use of student collaborators through support of the student’s work. The Provost will approve and administer these funds, the amount of which will be determined annually ($2,000/$2,000 initially).
Division-Wide Teacher-Scholar Appointments
There will be two professorships in each division (humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences) as well as a professorship in an interdisciplinary area. All seven of these professorships fall under the guidelines below. The NEH Chair constitutes one of the professorships in the humanities. The remaining professorships will be specifically named as designated endowment gifts are received. Prior to that time, these appointees are called [Department/Program Name] Teacher-Scholars.
Appointments will be for three-year terms and are not renewable.
Professorship holders will be eligible for release from the equivalent of one year’s teaching responsibilities (six courses, or normally five in the laboratory sciences) over the three year term. The pattern of course release will be governed by college and program needs, after consultation with department chairs, determined by the Provost with approval by the President.
Professorship holders will continue to perform other normal college and departmental responsibilities throughout the terms of their appointments.
Appointments will be considered through written application to the Provost who, after consultation with the respective department or program chairs, will make recommendations to the President. Consideration will be given not only to the merits of the proposed project but also to the contribution candidates have made to the life of the college. Appointments will only be made if there are qualified applicants with appropriate projects.
Eligibility is limited to tenured members of the faculty, and sabbatical eligibility is not affected by an appointment.
New endowments for professorships will not increase the total number of courses released college-wide.
5.7 Renewable Full-Time Non-Tenure-Track (NTTR) Positions
Responsibilities for a faculty member holding a renewable full-time NTTR position emphasize teaching excellence above all else, followed by service to the department and College. Publication in the form of peer-reviewed articles, books, or performance is welcomed, but depending on the nature of the appointment it is not generally essential for success in these positions. Scholarly presentations on campus or at professional conferences are also encouraged, though not essential. Faculty in NTTR positions are eligible to receive annual faculty development funding in the same amount and by means of the same method as tenure-track faculty members.
Full-time renewable NTTR faculty are eligible for all benefits received by full-time employees of the College except those limited specifically to tenure-track or tenured faculty such as a pre-tenure leave or a one-course reduction in teaching load during the first year of employment.
Renewable NTTR faculty will carry academic titles commensurate with their experience and credentials: Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Full Professor, and may be promoted based upon years of service to the institution and quality of performance. However, without peer-reviewed scholarship, promotion from Associate to Full Professor would be highly unusual. Renewable NTTR faculty members are expected to teach in the FS program (including FS101) and may serve as official advisors for both non-major and major students. They will be expected to serve on a standing committee starting in their third year of employment. They are expected to attend departmental meetings and faculty meetings, and they will continue to be accorded full voting rights on the faculty floor.
Under normal circumstances, renewable NTTR faculty will serve infrequently as first readers for Senior Projects and will not accrue Senior Project points. If, however, departmental need suggests regular or even heavy service as first readers, prior approval must be obtained by the departmental chair from the Provost. Points from service on Senior Project boards must also be approved ahead of time by the Provost. Under normal circumstances, renewable NTTR faculty will not be eligible for sabbatical leaves, although exceptions may be made on a case by case basis for a well-defined and institutionally/departmentally valuable project related to teaching or scholarship. Finally, renewable NTTR faculty will not serve on any departmental or college-wide evaluation committees related to the tenure and promotion process for tenure-track or tenured faculty.
Renewable NTTR faculty will be hired on an initial two-year contract; thereafter contracts will be for three years. Determination of renewal of full-time NTTR faculty will occur in the spring of the final year of the contract. After the second three-year renewal, ordinarily in the eighth year, an expedited review process may be followed, as described below. All renewals begin with a consultation between the Provost and the department chair during the semester before renewal to determine staffing needs.
- If the Provost concludes that staffing needs warrant the candidate’s continued employment, the following process will be observed for the first two three-year contract renewals. In September of the candidate’s final year of the contract, the Provost will initiate the NTTR review packet. Quantitative summaries of RSEs not included in the previous review will be generated by the Registrar and sent to the faculty member, the department chair, and the Provost by February 1. The Provost Office will add these summaries to the NTTR review packet. By February 15, the faculty member must submit a self-evaluation covering the period since the last review and a current institutional c.v. to the review packet. Both the self-evaluation and the c.v. will require a digital signature via the online portal. The self-evaluation should focus on teaching first and service to the department and College second. Criteria for teaching excellence are described in Section 5.2, Paragraphs 9 through 15; criteria for maintaining a learning community are described in Section 5.2, Paragraphs 20 and 21. If the faculty member has engaged in significant scholarship, a section on scholarly contributions to the field should be included.. The self-evaluation should indicate strengths and weaknesses, and the faculty member may append any supporting materials deemed appropriate. It is the responsibility of the candidate to add these materials and to digitally submit their review packet.
The department evaluation(s) must be submitted by the Chair by 5 p.m. on March 1 electronically to the Provost Office with signatures of all relevant department members and the candidate (the candidate’s signature denotes that they have read the document, it does not imply agreement). The department evaluation(s) should follow the guidelines described in Section 5.2, Paragraph 28. The department evaluation(s) will be added to the NTTR review packet by the Provost’s Office by 5 p.m. on March 2.
The Provost reviews the materials which have been submitted and provides to the President by March 15 either an endorsement or a lack of endorsement of the department’s recommendation. If the Provost does not endorse the department’s recommendation, the Provost must submit a detailed explanation for the lack of endorsement to the President, with copies to the candidate and department chair. For both the department and the Provost, staffing needs are legitimate criteria for consideration during the review process
- After the first two three-year contracts and after the Provost confirms that staffing needs warrant the candidate’s continued employment, NTTR faculty who are eligible for renewal may undergo a expedited review process. The candidate must submit an updated institutional c.v. to the review packet by November 15. The department chair will consult with the tenured members of the department to determine whether to initiate the expedited process by December 15. If there is a unanimous decision to follow the expedited process, the chair need only submit a letter of endorsement, accompanied by a rationale to the Profost Office electronically by 5 p.m. on February 1. This letter should address departmental support for renewal as well as the candidate’s ongoing contributions to the department and institution. If the tenured members of the department conclude that a fuller review is warranted for professional development purposes or to determine support for the candidate’s continued employment, then the full review process is initiated as described in 5.7.1, above. The department letter of endorsement and rationale will be added to the NTTR review packet by the Provost’s Office by 5 p.m. on February 2.
For both the expedited and full review process, the Provost reviews the materials which have been submitted and provides to the President by March 15 either an endorsement or a lack of endorsement of the department’s recommendation. If the Provost does not endorse the department’s recommendation, the Provost must submit a detailed explanation for the lack of endorsement to the President with copies to the candidate and department chair. For both the department and the Provost, staffing needs are legitimate criteria for consideration during the review process.
For both the full and expedited renewal process, the following procedures apply when a negative decision has been reached. If either the department or the Provost does not recommend the renewal of a contract, the NTTR faculty member has the option of requesting that the FRC hear the case. The Chair of the FRC will convene the FRC for a review of the file, following the evaluation criteria outlined above and the evaluation process used by the FRC for all candidates. The Provost will not be part of these deliberations.
The FRC will make a recommendation to the President by April 15. The President will review the materials and decide whether a contract renewal will be offered to the candidate. The candidate will be notified by April 30. If the candidate’s contract is not renewed, the candidate will receive one additional transitional year of employment at the College.
Decisions not to reappoint a NTTR faculty member may be appealed on the grounds that a governmental statute has been violated. These appeals will be processed through the normal grievance procedure. The decision of the President is final and binding.
Decisions not to reappoint a NTTR faculty member may also be appealed on grounds that allege a violation of academic freedom or a violation of procedural guidelines. The process outlined in Section 5.2, Paragraph 45 of the Faculty Handbook will be followed in such an appeal.
Negative decisions based on departmental and institutional staffing needs cannot be appealed.
(Revised 12 March 2020, 6 May 2021)
Part-time faculty who teach for the College on a regular basis have the opportunity to become a Lecturer and receive a salary at 20% above that of adjuncts. In addition, Lecturers will receive a two-year contract as opposed to an annual contract. A Lecturer may teach up to eight credits in any given semester and is eligible for professional development funds through the Provost’s Office, as described in Section 7.1 of the Faculty Handbook.
There are two different methods by which an adjunct faculty member may become eligible to apply for Lecturer status:
- If the adjunct faculty member has a terminal degree, he or she may be eligible after teaching four courses at Allegheny.
- If the adjunct faculty member has an advanced degree (at least a Master’s Degree) but does not have a terminal degree, he or she may be eligible after teaching at Allegheny on a regular basis (usually at least two courses each year) for seven years.
Conferral of the Lecturer status is also contingent upon institutional needs. It is possible that an adjunct who has served with dedication for a number of years may nonetheless be denied or lose Lecturer status if staffing needs do not support the application.
The adjunct faculty member who applies for Lecturer status must submit a self-evaluation that focuses on teaching, but that can also outline the faculty member’s scholarly work as well as his or her contributions to the learning community. Teaching will be evaluated on the basis of RSE scores and narratives, as well as other pertinent sources of information such as classroom visits, syllabi, and the self-evaluation. The department or program in which the adjunct works must submit an evaluation of the adjunct’s teaching performance, a discussion of the adjunct’s credentials and qualifications for the position, as well as a justification for continuation of the position for the following two years. Adjunct faculty who teach primarily in the FS program must have the support of the Director of the FS Program.
The application must be submitted to the Provost by 5 p.m. on March 1 for the following academic year. The Provost will render a decision by March 31. The same process and deadlines will be followed for renewal.