Provost office set to reform LERs, tenure policies

Suzi Starheim

Last year, the provost office kept busy with two main initiatives. Here’s an update on where they stand:

LER reform

What you missed :

Discussion of Liberal Education Requirements reform began almost from the day President Lester Lefton arrived on campus four years ago.

On Dec. 8, 2009, Faculty Senate approved a plan to reform Liberal Education Requirements.

With the restructure, LERs should no longer be an obstacle to students changing majors prior to graduation, said Robert Frank, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

What’s new:

Senior Associate Provost Tim Chandler said Kent Core, the new system, will help students’ learning experiences in LERs be about more than just the grades — it’s now about what students take away from the courses.

“If all you’re interested in is the right answer, then we haven’t made much progress,” Chandler said. “Students shouldn’t be left guessing.”

Frank said 50 faculty members have already aligned their course rubrics to the new model.

What’s next:

Kent Core will be in effect by Spring 2013, which is when faculty must have rubrics aligned with the new learning outcome model.

What this means:

“Students will be able to take courses and have them count toward graduation and not have to repeat courses,” Frank said.


What you missed:

On its Dec. 8, 2009, meeting, members of the Faculty Senate also approved a revision of the tenure and promotion policies. The changes, submitted by the Senate’s professional standards committee, removed Boyer language from the policies.

A key part of tenure and promotion reform is having clearer language so that members reviewing faculty information can look at accomplishments more clearly, Frank said.

“Old language is not as clear, and the new language points more at a certain level of accomplishment, and directs people to look more at metrics of performance,” Frank said.

What this means:

Chandler said overall, the reform of tenure and promotion should make Kent State a more successful research university.

“If you want to be a nationally prominent public research university, then quality of faculty is going to be important,” Chandler said.