The New School
October 29, 2009

Message From the Provost

TO: FULL-TIME FACULTY
RE: 2009-10 TENURE/EE REVIEWS

I am writing to update you on the process for Tenure and Extended Employment (EE) reviews for this academic year. Many faculty members are already in the midst of preparing materials for their reviews, but I wanted to reach out to all faculty with this letter in an effort to keep you all informed about revisions to this relatively new process as we seek to bring increasing rigor and fairness to it.

As some of you may recall, a number of faculty meeting certain conditions were invited to stand for Tenure or EE reviews in 2007–08 and in subsequent years, after the new Faculty Handbook was approved by the Board of Trustees. The majority of these reviews have been in divisions that have never held them before.

Understandably, there was some anxiety about the process and standards for these reviews, particularly the reviews for EE. In every case, the University has aimed to apply the standards for Tenure or EE as enunciated in the Full-time Faculty Handbook. (The relevant sections are attached.)

We have now had the experience of two years of Tenure/EE reviews. Over those two years, 32 reviews for Tenure and 23 for EE were scheduled. Of those, 22 faculty members have been awarded Tenure, and 13 have been awarded EE. Of the remainder, some withdrew their names from consideration before review and opted for a term appointment; some were denied a promotion after a full review; and still others have had their review tabled or delayed for a variety of reasons.

In 2007-08, the Provost’s Office worked with the deans to establish an ad hoc process for the reviews. This ad hoc process was necessary because only faculty with Tenure or EE can conduct reviews, and there were not enough faculty members with Tenure or EE in many divisions to make this possible. Thus, it was necessary to invite faculty from other institutions to join the
review process in that first year.

In 2008-09, given the growing body of faculty with Tenure and EE in a number of divisions, we were able to move toward regularizing the process in two important ways:

First, several divisions formed, for the first time, committees of their own faculty who held Tenure and EE. These divisional committees, sometimes supplemented by external experts, conducted substantive reviews of the candidates’ dossiers and wrote letters of recommendation to the dean. The dean reviewed the divisional committee’s recommendation and the dossier and also wrote his or her own letter. The letters from the divisional committee and the dean went to a newly formed body, the University Promotion and Review Committee (UPRC).

The UPRC is composed of faculty with Tenure and EE from across the university. The UPRC works closely with the deans and divisional committees to help ensure that the divisional processes for soliciting external letters for candidates and organizing their promotional reviews are both rigorous and fair. In addition, the UPRC reviews the procedures that were carried out in
the preparation of a dossier and during the deliberations of the divisional committees, to verify that the reviews have in fact been rigorous and fair. The UPRC summarizes the results of its review in a written report it submits to the Provost.

In all Tenure cases, the Provost reviews the dossier and the divisional committee report and dean’s report and decides whether to recommend the case to the President and the Board of Trustees for final approval.

For the 2009-10 reviews, we plan to use the same system we established last year. That is, a review begins with a divisional committee, then goes to the divisional dean, then to the UPRC, then to the Provost, and finally, if the outcome is positive, to the President and Board.

There is one final piece of information I want to bring to your attention. As many of you know, we are engaged in a process of revising the Faculty Handbook. In April, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees approved my recommendation to remove the 10-year limit for faculty on renewable term contracts. This change provides the university with greater flexibility and it provides renewable term faculty members with the possibility of more job security. This summer, I appointed a working group to propose revisions to my office and the Faculty Senate. The revisions will clarify the status of EE and renewable term faculty going forward.

I understand that these relatively new procedures for Tenure and EE review, coupled with a change in the nature of renewable term contracts, has caused some confusion and anxiety. I hope this memo has been helpful to clarify these processes, yet I also realize that there may be additional questions. I urge all faculty members coming up for review this year to seek more
information directly from their dean’s office. Questions can also be addressed to Eleni Litt (litte@newschool.edu), who is managing the review process in the Office of the Provost, in close consultation with the deans offices and the UPRC.

Tim Marshall

Tim Marshall
Provost

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