Faculty Senate discusses tenure policy, handbooks

Colin Morris

Provost opposes liberal tenure policy model

Faculty Senate chair Tom Janson proposed a delay to updating faculty handbooks at yesterday’s meeting, the first of the semester.

The handbooks regulate policies within a college, and Provost Robert Frank’s office developed universal policy handbooks that would do away with handbooks for each department and college. The faculty union has argued that the provost’s revisions violate the collective bargaining agreement.

In his opening remarks, Janson proposed the revision of faculty handbooks – a priority for the senate this semester – be postponed until the matter of revising the promotions and tenure policy is resolved.

“It would be not only presumptive and procedurally inaccurate,” Janson said.

Janson’s suggestion was framed in terms of efficiency: To change the tenure policy after releasing new handbooks would require a double edit of the handbooks. But Frank disagreed.

Frank, in reference to changing the tenure policy, stated the administration’s opposition to ”Boyer language,” which refers to a liberal model of evaluating faculty members. Ernest Boyer argues in his book, “Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate,” that broader metrics should be evaluated when considering teachers for tenure.

From the administration’s point of view, Frank argued that the model is outdated, citing a list of top universities that no longer use it and adding that Kent State and a few other Midwestern schools are the only ones that do.

The Faculty Senate reconvenes Oct. 12.

Contact faculty affairs reporter Colin Morris at [email protected].