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Addressing Faculty and Staff Satisfaction

December 15, 2014

“Personal satisfaction is the most important ingredient of success.”

-Denis Waitley


Here are some updates on our progress on certain projects. Many of these are in support of our work in addressing faculty and staff satisfaction.

Principles of evaluation: Last spring the Academic Senate passed a motion (while I stepped out of the room to take a call, I might add) asking the provost to lead the deans to draft a set of principles that guide faculty and staff evaluations. Currently, there is a small group of deans working on the initial draft and we hope to complete this task before the end of the semester. 

Policy E6.0 revised: One of areas of improvement that the COACHE data indicated was greater clarity in the university expectations for promotion to full professor. With the change to an increased emphasis on scholarship, faculty wanted to know if there was flexibility in how they might demonstrate an overall portfolio that would warrant promotion to full professor. 

The Academic Senate recently approved revisions proposed by the faculty affairs committee to RIT policy E6.0. Among the many changes, the revisions have helped provide greater clarity to the university criteria for promotion to full professor. The changes allow faculty to demonstrate excellence overall in a variety of combinations while not diminishing the high standards we need to have for the full professor title. 

Mid-tenure external letters: At the deans retreat this past summer, we spent time discussing how we might streamline processes. One issue that arose was whether or not external letters for the mid-tenure review held real value. Many deans felt that collecting external letters after only two years of work as an assistant professor was too soon to provide objective input. Others felt that by asking for these letters, we made it challenging to obtain external letters for the tenure process. 

After further assessment of the value of these letters at this stage, there was strong consensus that we should eliminate the external letters from the mid-tenure review process. This past week the academic senate agreed and made the appropriate changes to policy E5.0 on tenure. Consequently, starting in the fall of 2015, external letters will not be included in the process.