Texas Tech Regents approve new tenure policy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas Tech Regents approve new tenure policy

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From Texas Tech University:

During its board meeting in May, the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents approved and adopted revisions to OP 32.01, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures, for Texas Tech University.

Taking into consideration provisions such as community outreach and peer evaluations, the updated policy places emphasis on areas beyond traditional research driven incentives such as student outcomes and commercialization.

"Good teaching must be considered when addressing tenure," said Kent Hance, chancellor of Texas Tech University System. "This new policy rewards good teaching through student and peer evaluations plus student outcomes."

"It's vital we take into consideration our consumers, the students," said John Steinmetz, member of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents." "This revised policy provides the students a voice in the process."

Revisions to the Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures began with recommendations from faculty more than two years ago. Since that time, revisions have been reviewed, exchanged and agreed upon by multiple members of the university community, including faculty members, legal counsel and executive administration.

"Through the diligent efforts of the faculty senate and colleagues at all levels, including the Board of Regents, this OP has been revised to reflect a clearer understanding of the tenure processes," said Bob Smith, Texas Tech provost. "This was a challenging and lengthy process, but in the end patience and understanding triumphed."

The updated policy will now benefit faculty by separating policy and procedure for attaining tenure and promotion from those appealing for faculty non-reappointment or dismissal. Other benefits include clarification of procedures to follow in preparing and evaluating applications for promotion or tenure, and of several criteria that are considered in those evaluations.

"This updated policy will better serve the entire university," said Nancy Neal, member of the Board of Regents. "Texas Tech continues to evolve and this is just another example of how we are moving to the next level."

The adopted Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures policy also includes intellectual property activities as faculty contributions to research and creative activity.  The policy will allow Texas Tech to reward professors who have made inventions and have received patents. Only a small number of universities across the country include intellectual property in their tenure and promotion policies.

"We have taken great consideration in reviewing the promotion and tenure procedures at Texas Tech to ensure the changes benefit our university and faculty members," said Jerry Turner, chairman of the Board of Regents. "As a result, our revised policy is very forward-thinking and encompasses many areas. Thank you to our leadership, committee members, faculty and countless others who have worked tirelessly on this effort."

Other key revisions to OP 32.01 Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures include:

  • Having uniform adoption of third-year review procedures
  • Requiring annual faculty reports and third-year reviews as part of the dossier
  • Including peer evaluations of teaching, at least annually, for tenure-track faculty
  • Documenting the effectiveness of student learning outcomes
  • Documenting outcomes of faculty members' participation in study abroad and undergraduate research, where applicable
  • Documenting faculty members' contribution to outreach and engagement
  • Considering intellectual property as faculty contributions to research and creative activity
  • Emphasizing the generation of external funding, as appropriate, depending on faculty members' research and initial appointment
  • Having external expert reviewers from Texas Tech peer and aspirant-peer institutions
  • Offering provisions for early applications for tenure
  • Requiring electronic submission of dossiers
  • Specifying the role of the Vice President for Research in the Provost's review of dossiers
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