||Establish principles for RPT process in the UNC system
||Paul Williams, NCSU, and the Committee on Academic Freedom & Tenure
That the Faculty Assembly endorses the following principles for the Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure process in the UNC system:
PRINCIPLES OF THE REAPPOINTMENT, PROMOTION AND TENURE (RPT) PROCESS FOR THE UNC SYSTEM
Few decisions that a university faculty and administration make are as important and potentially anguishing as those involving the reappointment, tenure, or promotion of colleagues. Within the UNC system the processes by which these decisions are made vary among the constituent universities. This is as it should be, since each institution has its own character shaped by its constituents, its history, and its particular missions. However, even though RPT processes may vary in their details, they should share the characteristic of being consistent with certain principles. These principles are as follows:
- Consistency. The RPT process cannot, either in fact or appearance, lead to decisions that are arbitrary or capricious.
- Development. The RPT process is a process of faculty development; it begins at the recruitment stage. Faculty should be recruited who are being selected because their talents fit with a department's or college's long-term mission. Mentoring programs, thorough periodic reviews by department chairs and faculty in which junior faculty are given an assessment of their progress toward tenure and promotion, and formal statements of mutual expectations are minimal features of an RPT process that is developmental. The outcome of an RPT decision should not be a surprise to the one about whom it is made.
- Clarity. There should exist clear written criteria by which evaluations are made, which address all aspects of faculty performance. New faculty members should be able to read the criteria that will apply to them and understand what they are expected to accomplish to achieve reappointment, promotion, or tenure. Faculty performance should not be a guessing game.
- Formal Evidence. RPT decisions should be based on consideration of evidence presented in a formal dossier. Any evidence germane to the criteria upon which decisions are made should be included.
- Review and Response. At each decision level in the RPT process, candidates should be apprised of the results (including recommendations of voting faculty) and given a written explanation for those results. Candidates should be afforded the right to submit a written response to each outcome, which will be included in the dossier.