Senate sets stage for NTE changes

Faculty senators set aside time at their May 2 meeting to discuss potential new classifications -- and overall terminology -- for nontenure-eligible (NTE) faculty. The discussion stemmed from changes recommended in a February senate task force report (PDF).

The task force recommendations include adding two additional NTE tracks -- teaching professor and professor of practice -- each with three ranks (assistant, associate and full professor). A principal lecturer designation also was proposed, but task force chair Rob Wallace said a "significant amount" of input discouraged the use of two instructional NTE tracks (teaching professor and lecturer).

"Many people were suggesting we merge these (instructional faculty) into a single track with multiple access points," Wallace said. "There was concern that we have people in these tracks -- some with terminal degrees and some not."

A projected timeline for work on NTE policies indicates continued work through the summer, with senate action on proposals next fall and implementation beginning next spring.

P&T report

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert presented his annual report on faculty promotion and tenure, sharing details about the 56 P&T cases considered this spring.

"I read every case," Wickert said. "It's a lot of fun, I learn a lot and I walk away being very proud of the accomplishments of our faculty on campus."

Of the 56 cases, four were denied -- three promotions to associate professor with tenure, and one promotion to professor. Wickert said another five cases did not make it to the institutional review. Three were withdrawn at the department or college level, and two faculty resigned.

In a breakdown by gender and ethnicity, 32 of the 52 approved P&T cases are males. In that gender subset, 17 are white, 13 are Asian or Asian-American, one is Latino and one is black. Among the 20 approved female P&T cases, 14 are white, four are black and two are Latina.

When examining the FY11 faculty hires that were tenure-eligible (44), 45 percent (20) earned tenure as of FY17, and 25 percent (11) were granted tenure clock extensions. Twelve members of that cohort left ISU without tenure and one switched to the NTE faculty ranks.

Wickert said 26 promotions for NTE faculty also were considered, of which 25 were approved. The majority of the promotions (17) advanced from lecturer to senior lecturer.

Wickert also shared the outcomes for 67 post-tenure reviews conducted by the colleges. He said five evaluations were rated below expectations and "action plans" were put in place for each faculty member. His presentation included a five-year history of post-tenure reviews, with similar results last year and spikes in the number of evaluations conducted in FY13 (98) and FY15 (87).

"Success in promotion and tenure starts when you're hiring," Wickert said. "It's the good work of our search committees in recruiting top faculty candidates; it's the work of the faculty mentors over the years to develop and advance those folks; it's the work of the P&T committees; it's the work of the department chairs and the deans in getting us to a successful point. I'd like to think that all of that -- tracing back to the hiring process -- forms an institutional culture, where our goal is to hire people who are at the top of their field and help them be successful so they can have 35-year careers at Iowa State."

Final business

The senate closed out its 2016-17 business by clearing its docket with unanimous decisions to: