Agenda Item No. V. B. 1.
Washburn University Board of Regents
SUBJECT: TENURE AND PROMOTION RECOMMENDATIONS
After consultation with the appointed and elected committees and the respective deans, the following people are recommended for tenure:
Maureen Goodman English College of Arts & Sciences
Bruce Mechtly Computer Information Sciences College of Arts & Sciences
John Mullican Biology College of Arts & Sciences
Paul Wagner Biology College of Arts & Sciences
Tracy Wagner Biology College of Arts & Sciences
Deborah Altus Human Services School of Applied Studies
Rosemary Walker School of Business
John Francis School of Law
Alex Glashausser School of Law
The following are recommended for promotion to noted ranks:
Sarah Cook Mathematics/CAS Promotion to Associate Professor
Maureen Goodman English/CAS Promotion to Associate Professor
Kevin Kellim Music/CAS Promotion to Associate Professor
Pamelyn MacDonald Psychology/CAS Promotion to Associate Professor
Bruce Mechtly Computer Information Science/CAS Promotion to Associate Professor
Michael Mosier Mathematics/CAS Promotion to Associate Professor
John Mullican Biology Promotion to Associate Professor
Rosemary Walker SOBU Promotion to Associate Professor
Robert Hull SOBU Promotion to Professor
Cynthia Hornberger SON Promotion to Professor
John Francis SOL Promotion to Professor
Alex Glashausser SOL Promotion to Professor
Some other faculty members petitioned but were not recommended for promotion. Promotion and tenure petitions and recommendations are on file in the Academic Affairs Office and available to the Board. An overview of the promotion and tenure process is attached.
Additional salaries for promotional increases will be included in the fiscal year 2005-2006 budget.
President Farley recommends approval of the awarding of the above faculty promotion and tenure.
Date Jerry B. Farley, President
Overview of the tenure and promotion process
Updated February 24, 2005, for the Washburn University Board of Regents
Ron Wasserstein, VPAA
Faculty are the university's most important resource, and the nurture and development of this resource is one of our most critical tasks. Tenure and promotion is at the heart of this development process.
It is fair to say the process of tenure and promotion begins during the recruitment of new faculty. From the creation of a position description through advertisement through screening through interviews and finally to the decision to hire, we look to find appropriately qualified faculty who are highly likely to succeed at Washburn. As soon as new faculty arrive on our campus, we begin to prepare them for success through our development program for new faculty, a year-long series of events designed to introduce them to the campus and to their colleagues. Mentorship is a key component of this program.
The first faculty development session of each academic year is an intensive workshop on promotion and tenure, in which faculty meet with recently tenured or promoted faculty, with deans and with the VPAA to discuss how to be ready for a successful tenure or promotion petition. In addition, every faculty member in a tenure-track position undergoes a mid-tenure review. Departmental colleagues and the dean provide feedback, so that these faculty know how they are doing, and what they still need. Of course, all faculty are evaluated annually as part of the performance pay increase process.
Petition for tenure
At the appropriate time, usually during the sixth year at Washburn, faculty petition for promotion. The petition document must demonstrate how the faculty member has met tenure requirements of the academic unit. This petition is reviewed by a committee of faculty, who make a recommendation regarding tenure. In addition, in academic units that have departments, the department chair also reviews the materials and makes a recommendation. In these units, a school/college-wide committee also reviews and recommends. All these recommendations accompany the petition, and the materials are reviewed by the dean, who makes a recommendation to the VPAA. Before the VPAA makes a recommendation to the President, the University Promotion and Tenure Standards Committee reviews all the documents and recommendations to ensure standards have been applied uniformly and fairly.
The tenure process described above is designed to help faculty successfully earn tenure. However, not all faculty are successful in this quest. In some cases, during the six year probationary period, the annual or mid-tenure evaluations reveal a faculty member who is not likely to succeed in the application for tenure. The University follows a non-renewal process, outlined in the Faculty Handbook, for such situations. Most of the time, these faculty who are unlikely to earn tenure are released prior to the time when they would have petitioned for tenure. This allows the faculty member the opportunity to search for another position, and avoids an unpleasant tenure decision for that faculty member. In the occasional instances where faculty members apply and are not recommended for tenure, their petitions are typically withdrawn (at the faculty member's request) once negative recommendations have been given. Thus, though not all faculty who are hired in tenure-track positions end up tenured, the "weeding out" processes make it rare for a negative tenure recommendation to make its way to the Board of Regents. Stated positively, the recommendations that come forward to the Board are those of the faculty who have successfully met the requirements for tenure as rigorously evaluated through the tenure review process.
Petition for Promotion
The Faculty Handbook spells out eligibility for promotion for each rank in each of the academic units. When faculty have enough time in rank to potentially eligible for promotion, they are so notified by their academic dean.
The process for promotion is similar to the tenure process described above. Faculty prepare a promotion petition in which they attempt to demonstrate that they have satisfied the requirements and deserve to be promoted to the next rank. The same multi-faceted review process as for tenure is undertaken. However, since a faculty member's continued employment is not at stake, petitioning for promotion is much less risky, and a negative recommendation is much less costly. Thus, it is sometimes the case that faculty apply for promotion, receive a negative recommendation early in the process (from a departmental committee or chair), and then withdraw from further consideration.
For example, in the current year, five faculty who petitioned for promotion were not recommended by their dean (and in some instances, not by other reviewers either). The VPAA also did not recommend these faculty for promotion, and some of them subsequently withdrew their petitions for promotion.
Though exact percentages are not easy to obtain, relatively few faculty who begin a career at Washburn University end up obtaining the highest rank, that of "professor."
Washburn University proceeds deliberately and thoughtfully in the development of its faculty, particularly with regard to tenure and promotion. University policy states explicitly that "Tenure and promotion are never automatic - they must be earned." The processes described herein are the means by which faculty demonstrate they have earned tenure or promotion.