Policy on Three-Year Formative Review

of Tenure-Probationary Faculty and Librarians

IUPUI faculty and librarians (hereinafter referred to collectively as “the faculty” or “the faculty member(s)”) represent our campus’s most valuable resource.  The University makes a substantial long-term investment in its faculty. Our tenure-probationary faculty’s success must be among the highest priorities for all campus administrative officers.

While IUPUI has in place an annual review policy mandating that all faculty members be provided with a yearly written evaluation of their work in the areas of teaching, research, and service (or, in the case of librarians, the equivalent areas of performance, professional development, and service), these annual reviews are frequently conducted by the department chair or the school dean alone, without the participation of a peer review committee.

The Policy

To ensure that all tenure-probationary faculty members benefit from helpful and meaningful assessments of their progress toward promotion and tenure near the mid-point of their probationary period, a Three-Year Formative Review [hereinafter referred to as the “Review”] shall be conducted on all such faculty members during the spring semester of the third year of their appointments in accordance with the following guidelines.

Applicability

This policy applies to all tenure-probationary faculty members at IUPUI, with the exceptions noted immediately below.  The term “third year” refers to the third full academic year of the tenure-probationary faculty member’s appointment.  However, faculty members who enter with one year of credit toward tenure are in their “third year” during their second full academic year of appointment, and those who enter with two years of credit are in their “third year” during their first full academic year of appointment.  Those who enter either with tenure or with more than two years of credit toward tenure are exempt from the Review.

Procedures

In schools or units where faculty-approved policies or guidelines for conducting the Review already exist, those policies or guidelines should be followed to the extent that they do not seriously conflict with the general procedures set forth below. If there is conflict, especially regarding due dates and required documentation, such schools or units ought to resolve it by either revising their policies or guidelines accordingly, or negotiating special arrangements with the Office of the Dean of the Faculties.

In schools or units where such policies or guidelines have not yet been formulated or approved by the faculty, the Review shall in the interim be conducted in adherence with the following general considerations.

  1. The chief purpose of the Review is to provide tenure-probationary faculty members with feedback from the school or unit level review committees regarding their cumulative progress toward promotion and tenure.  Hence, other than the department chair or school dean, involvement by the department’s Primary Committee (where applicable) and/or the school’s Unit Committee (where applicable) in the Review is essential.
  2. The order of review and deliberation involving the department chair or school dean and the Primary and Unit Committees should generally follow the sequence and procedure used by each school in handling ordinary tenure and promotion cases.
  3. The faculty member being reviewed should submit only[1] a candidate’s statement together with an up-to-date vita (preferably in accordance with the “Dean of the Faculties’ Guidelines for Preparing and Reviewing Promotion and Tenure Dossiers”).  The statement (not to exceed 5 pages) should be similar in organization to the statement the faculty member would expect to write at the time of making a case for promotion and tenure. In particular, it should clearly state the anticipated area(s) of excellence or the intention to request consideration on the basis of a balanced case.
  4. The department chair or school dean and the Primary and Unit Committees (where applicable) must each provide the faculty member with a written assessment that includes evaluation of progress toward promotion and tenure, using normal and appropriate metrics that will eventually be employed in a tenure decision.  If the chair, the dean, or the Committees identify any problems, their assessment must include specific suggestions for remedy aimed at helping the faculty member and the faculty member’s department or unit in their efforts to rectify the problems.

Documentation and Reporting

A copy of each review report, whether by the Committees, the chair, or the dean, shall be communicated to the faculty member under review within three days of the time it is completed.

To ensure that the Review is properly conducted for all applicable tenure-probationary faculty members, the dean of each school shall be responsible for submitting copies of the chair’s or the dean’s and the Committees’ reports on all tenure-probationary faculty members who have been reviewed to the Office of the Dean of the Faculties by May 31 each year. 

Limitation on the Use of the Review

The thrust of the Review shall be to help the tenure-probationary faculty member to succeed.  The Review and its findings shall not be used by the department chair or the school dean, or the Office of the Dean of the Faculties, as the basis for a tenure decision, a pre-tenure decision, a reappointment or non-reappointment decision, or any personnel action of like kind. The tenure-probationary faculty member is not limited in the use of the Review.

 



[1] Some schools require far more than this (e.g., list of potential reviewers, summary of pre-IU professional activities, previous annual reviews, letters from students, or even a dossier “that is identical in substance and format to that which they will submit for the actual review two years later”). The present policy does not encourage premature requisites or burdensome requirements.