Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Promotion and Tenure: Carnegie Reclassification Triggers a Revision

Image from Mike's Blog: http://mrs.sog.unc.edu/?p=1542
Last year my colleagues Sandra Shropshire, Karen Kearns (deceased) and I published an article on promotion and tenure and how it changed when Idaho State University was reclassified as a research institution.

When I began work here (1995) at the Oboler library  all you had to do was your job.  Do it well and you would be moved up the promotion chain. With a change in deans the emphasis became one of teaching.  'All faculty teach' therefore library faculty must teach.  Teaching became the most important factor for tenure and acquiring another advanced degree became the measurement for the rank of Professor. Then there was a change of University Presidents and with this change the emphasis became one of research.  No longer did the maxim 'all faculty teach' apply.  Instead it was one of 'all faculty research.'  All of this change occurred over a period of approximately 12 years.

The change of emphasis to research was turbulent across campus as faculty re-tooled for research. I must acknowledge that many departments, and faculty were already strong researchers and did not have any difficulty. A stop the clock policy was implemented by administration to assist in the retooling.This policy allowed faculty 1-2 years off the tenure clock to get researching.  One of the provosts during this time came to the library and gave us the minimum of two peer-reviewed publications for each promotion/review (approx 5 years).  It was recognized that library faculty are different than regular departmental teaching faculty and therefore the workload and output would also be different. Concurrently the university instituted new workload policies, new promotion and tenure policies and new post tenure review policies.  There was a lot of change going on.  It was as this turbulence was settling that we wrote our paper.

Shropshire, Sandra, Jenny Lynne Semenza, and Karen Kearns. "Promotion and Tenure: Carnegie Reclassification Triggers a Revision." Library Management 36, no. 4/5 (2015): 340-50. doi:10.1108/lm-09-2014-0113.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive assessment of promotion and tenure for librarians in light of increased scrutiny and expectations by the administration of Idaho State University (ISU). This increased rigour was prompted by a move up in the Carnegie Classification System. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review was performed using library databases, as well as assessing peer institution promotion and tenure documents. Additionally ongoing feedback from University administrators was solicited. The process took for the creation of a new promotion and tenure document for ISU library took two years from the beginning of the project to the final approved document. Findings – The study found a dearth of performance benchmarks in both literature and peer institution policies and required the authors, along with other library faculty, to create evidence based benchmarks for ISU aligned with traditional standards of teaching, research and service. Originality/value – This paper is an inclusive assessment of the literature on faculty promotion and tenure, the policies of ISU’s peer institutions, and the change of Carnegie Classification’s impact on the ISU policies
We rewrote our library workload policy, our promotion and tenure policy and created many guideline documents for ourselves and our colleagues to assist in navigating the paperwork processes. To manage these documents we used Google Sites to create a website where everyone could access the documents. Since the change there has been an increase in the publication record of library faculty here at ISU and several successful promotions and awards of tenure.

Image from: https://www.unlv.edu/diversityinitiatives/2015-climate-survey

No comments: