Charge to the UAA Task Force on Evaluation of Faculty Work for Promotion, Tenure, Post-Tenure Review, and Hiring

Current Situation and Need:

The principal task set out in UAA 2017 is to build a distinguished university of first choice widely recognized for the quality of its contributions to Alaska's culture, society, and economy.  We have many of the key components necessary for this task: our talented faculty; our shared commitment to student success; our growing research capacity; and our expanding level of engagement with the communities we serve.  However, our current institutional arrangements, originally designed twenty years ago, hinder our collective ability to combine these resources, motivate people, and create the critical masses of effort necessary to realizing the best higher education for our communities and the state.

Our success stories in becoming a university of distinction rests firmly on our ability to craft new policies and procedures that explicitly and tangibly value, celebrate, and draw upon the mosaic of faculty talent in our unusual university.  The next step in our institutional maturation then, is to consider anew our shared definitions and expectations for faculty work that will guide our processes of hiring, evaluating, promoting, and tenuring faculty at UAA.

Charge:

In April 2007 the University Wide Faculty Evaluation Committee reported to the Faculty Senate that, "a revision of UAA's Promotion and Tenure Guidelines (Chapter III, Faculty Handbook) is long overdue." After consultation with the Faculty Senate Executive Board, and the Deans and Directors, Provost Driscoll has established a Task Force on Evaluation of Faculty Work to undertake a thorough review of the peer review processes and suggest new guidelines for promotion and tenure.

For 2008, the Task Force on Evaluation of Faculty Work will pursue several key tasks. Initially, the Task Force will examine and review the current status of the formal faculty evaluation processes and policies, as well as gather information related to faculty perceptions and expectations.  This should result in a description and analysis of the gap between what we want to achieve as a university of distinction and what the current system delivers.  The Task Force will then develop recommendations for revisions to UAA policies and procedures to close the gap.  These should include definitions and measures of quality in all dimensions of faculty work consistent with UAA's mission and vision, Board of Regents' policies and Collective Bargaining Agreements.  The Task Force will also facilitate the approval of the proposed new guidelines through the appropriate processes in the Faculty Senate and with UNAC and UAFT.  Finally, the Task Force will make recommendations for the implementation of the new guidelines.  The Force’s work will be guided by a set of principles.  It will be grounded in the context of current national discussions of best practices in faculty work and peer review.  Learning and engagement will be the unifying themes of a shared definition of quality that reflects a scholarly approach to all aspects of faculty work and talent reflected in UAA’s unique mission.  Finally, the resulting guidelines must provide unity, consistency and transparency to all facets of the faculty evaluation system, while being flexible enough to be tailored to specific disciplines, departments, schools, colleges, and campuses.

The Task Force is being kept small, but is given authority to appoint ad hoc committees as needed to deal with specific tasks. The Task Force is also requested to collaborate with the Senate’s IDEA Ad Hoc Committee regarding their work on creating a more robust system of teaching evaluation.

The Task Force on Faculty Evaluation will prepare an interim report to the Provost, Senate, Deans and Directors, and Unions by May 2008, with an aggressive goal of securing final approval for the new guidelines by Spring 2009.

The Provost will provide a reasonable level of resources to support task force activities.