Guidelines for Department RTP Policy Revisions
February 10, 2010
The colleges have made excellent progress on the important work of revising their college RTP policies. One college has voted to approve its new RTP policy and others are preparing to send their final drafts to a faculty forum for discussion or are already sending out ballots for a vote.
Departments do not need to wait for final approval of the college policy before initiating discussion on their department policies. Departments are encouraged to select their writing group as soon as possible. When developing their policies, departments should strive for a healthy balance of input from tenured and probationary faculty.
Charge to the departments
- It is at the department level, closest to the discipline, that the greatest level of specificity in standards and criteria is provided.
- The University RTP Policy states: The department shall develop and articulate specific standards and criteria to be applied in the evaluation of candidates in all three areas of evaluation. Department standards shall not be lower than college-level standards. (PS 09-10, 3.2)
- However, a department may choose to defer to the new college policy in any or all of the three areas of evaluation. The choice to defer must be clearly stated in the department policy.
- Departments are not required to match their college policy in length or in scope, nor are they required to address all of the categories in the University RTP Policy (e.g. Timelines, Steps in the RTP Process, etc.) They may provide a streamlined document and simply address the charge (standards and criteria).
- Department policies should focus on the charge and avoid procedural details (such as formatting and timelines).
Levels of Approval
- Department tenured and probationary faculty (a simple majority of the voting faculty) in a secret mail ballot vote
- College Faculty Council (by affirmation)
- The Faculty Council should consult with the departments to agree upon timelines for the departments to provide their final drafts for pre-review.
- The draft policy should be submitted concurrently to the Faculty Council, the Dean, and the Provost for pre-review.
- The pre-review should be completed in a timely manner (a turn-around time of ten working days is recommended) to afford departments adequate time to address issues raised and to revise their draft, if necessary.
- The pre-review will allow all upcoming levels of review to identify simultaneously issues that might need to be addressed by the department and avoid multiple revisions.
- The Dean pre-review should address both clarity and appropriateness of standards for the specific discipline/department.
- The Provost pre-review should address alignment with the CBA and the University RTP Policy, legal considerations, and writing clarity.
- The Faculty Council pre-review should address alignment with the college policy. That is, that the policy 1) includes standards and criteria for the three areas of evaluation or states that it is deferring to the college policy and 2) does not contradict the college policy.
Approval by the Faculty Council
- The college policy provides the “umbrella” for guiding the development of department policies.
- In approving department policies, the Faculty Council’s responsibility is to affirm that department policies are in alignment with the college “umbrella,” not to evaluate a department’s decisions on standards and criteria.
- The departments may have standards that are higher than the college standards.
- A Faculty Council may choose to create sub-committees to review the department policies. It is recommended that sub-committees have a minimum of three members with at least one tenured faculty member.
Timeline for Approval
- After making appropriate revisions, if necessary, to the policy incorporating the pre-review feedback, the policy will go to the department tenured and probationary faculty for a secret mail ballot vote.
- Department policies should be approved by the tenured and probationary faculty, the Faculty Council, the Dean, and then forwarded to the Provost for approval by the end of Spring 2010.
- An approval signature page that includes all four levels of approval will be provided by Faculty Affairs.
The AVP for Faculty Affairs will provide guidance and information on an ongoing basis and will provide facilitation assistance to any department, college, or Faculty Council if requested.