windows on the Quad

Engaging faculty through governance

Faculty would gain new input into tenure and promotion decisions with the creation of new procedures recommended by a two-year, faculty-led study recently reviewed by the Faculty Council.

Proposed operating guidelines for a new Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee call for elected faculty members to evaluate the dossiers of all candidates nominated for appointment or promotion to associate professor or professor with tenure, or for the grant of tenure at rank. The committee would complete an advisory vote and memo for each candidate to submit for consideration by the president and provost, who make the final determination on such recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

"The addition of an advisory vote by TPAC is an important elevation of the faculty's voice in this process of university-level review," says Lynn Zimmerman, senior vice provost for academic affairs. "The formalization of the guidelines for TPAC also improves the transparency of the university-level promotion and tenure review process for all faculty, which is an important enhancement."

If approved by the University Cabinet, the anticipated timeframe for implementation of the new structure would occur in the 2017-2018 academic year. The new group would replace the existing Presidential Advisory Committee for university-level review of appointment decisions.

The proposal went through an extensive internal review process that included an online survey and town hall meetings. "One of the most positive themes of the feedback we've received is that it is enhancing consistency, transparency, and fairness in the university-level review process for faculty by codifying, enhancing, and clarifying the procedures," says Kathryn Yount, public health professor and past chair of the Faculty Council and University Senate.

With nursing's Deborah Bruner, Yount co-chaired the TPAC drafting committee, which included faculty from Emory's colleges and schools. She also led the task force that undertook an assessment of related practices at peer institutions.