Teaching/Learning Academy

Tenure Summit Minutes Fall 2003

The reform of the tenure process is the product of Valencia's shared governance process.  All matters concerning tenure are endorsed by the Faculty Association and approved by the College Learning Council.  The development of the tenure process relied on highly collaborative 'Tenure Summits' involving all the stakeholders. These summit meetings are a dynamic, open collaborative decision-making forums, where difficult issues are resolved expediently. 

Tenure Summit Summary, Submitted by Dr. Lisa Armour and Dr. Tracy Edwards, Co-chairs of the College Learning Council, Fall Term 2003

Principles for the Faculty Induction Process

The tenure decision-making process should be 

  • informed by formal input from tenured faculty
  • based on dean, peer, and student observations 'to the record'
  • public (details of individual decisions treated with discretion)
  • formative (in-progress; helpful, encouraging, supportive – non-adversarial)
  • collaborative and inclusive
  • transparent (clear to all: candidates, peers, administrators…)
  • competency & performance-based (demonstrating abilities/capabilities of professional, learning-centered faculty)
  • fair and consistent in application
  • based upon teaching/learning literature
  • tied to candidate's scholarship of discipline, academic standards, and evidence of student learning

The induction process should  

  • foster trust and respect
  • be a mentored experience
  • create on-going communication with the candidate (from multiple sources)
  • nurture long-term commitment to institutional goals
  • produce individual growth (be developmental)
  • be flexibly tailored and provide adequate resources for learning
  • reflect teaching/learning scholarship
  • feature clear and consistent procedures and criteria for evaluation

The Tenure Process

  • Each tenure candidate will have an official record that is confidential, based upon evidence of work toward tenure.
  • Deans have formal responsibility for establishing and maintaining candidates' official records.  Deans will see that reviews are scheduled, report upon them in written form, and include them in the official record.   
  • The official record goes forward with the candidate through the entire tenure review process. 
  • In addition to successful completion of an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP), other factors considered in the tenure decision should include but not be limited to
    • Performance reviews including student assessment of instruction and classroom observation reports as relevant
    • Contributions to the department, campus and college
    • Feedback from tenured faculty
  • In each department, two tenured faculty members will be elected annually by the department's tenured faculty to serve in an advisory role to the dean in making that year's departmental tenure recommendations.  The dean and the two elected faculty members will form the department's Tenure Review Committee.  Faculty on the Tenure Review Committee will provide written remarks supported by primary information, such as tenure candidates' performance evaluations, student evaluations, records of classroom observations, artifacts/portfolio, Individualized Learning Plan (ILP), ILP assessments, and the like.  Feedback from other tenured faculty also will be considered by the elected faculty members and the dean.  The elected faculty members' summaries and remarks will become part of the official record, to be transmitted with the dean's recommendation to the provost, Chief Learning Officer and President.
  • In cases where the described configuration for the Tenure Review Committee is not feasible, equivalent arrangements can be made.  For example, some departments do not have two tenured faculty, or some departments have so many tenure candidates that it would not be feasible for two tenured faculty to provide written remarks for all of them.  It is suggested that the Chief Learning Officer, Provost, Faculty Association Board, or College Learning Council serve to approve equivalent arrangements of the Tenure Review Committee. TRCs for counselors and librarians will be comprised of the dean/director and two college-wide, elected counselors or librarians.
  • Training is a mandatory prerequisite for all (dean and faculty members) who wish to serve on a Tenure Review Committee.

 Assessment of the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) 

  • Each ILP is created and examined in community (an ILP Review Panel consisting of dean and tenured faculty).
  • Annual or more frequent review of ILP progress (formative feedback) is conducted by the ILP Review Panel.
  • To the extent possible, each ILP Review Panel is consistent over time (dean and same tenured faculty)
  • A college-wide process will be developed and employed to ensure that ILPs involve comparable effort and quality of outcome in spite of their unique, individualized nature.
  • The ILP Review Panel provides a summative commentary on ILP completion to the record.
  • Portfolios documenting completion of the ILP may be submitted in paper, digital or mixed media formats according to the wishes of the candidate.  Content must be equivalent across formats; guidelines should be established by the ILP Review Panel with room for flexibility based on the candidate's project.
  • Each major element of the portfolio must be present [Goals (ILP, Philosophy, Professional Background), Reflective Critique, Analysis of all seven Essential Competencies, and Documentation of Learning Outcomes]; however, if one element is not at the acceptable level the overall review of the portfolio is not necessarily unacceptable.
  • The final portfolio will be ranked 'not acceptable' or 'acceptable,' with comments included to express exemplary performance or substantial concerns.
  • A report that synthesizes ILP Review Panel findings on the final portfolio will be prepared for each tenure candidate.  If any member of the panel has views differing from those expressed in the report, an additional "minority" report should be prepared.
  • A final portfolio will be considered unacceptable only if a majority of the ILP Review Panel members considers the portfolio as a whole unacceptable.  A portfolio that is considered acceptable by two out of four panel members will be considered acceptable.
  • Each ILP Review Panel (and each panelist) will base assessments on the standard Portfolio Rubric.  The final portfolio will be assessed holistically according to the standards set in the Portfolio Rubric.  Professional ethics and open access to all primary materials by the ILP Review Panel, Tenure Review Committee, Provost, Chief Learning Officer, and President will ensure use of the standard Portfolio Rubric for assessments.
  • Completion of a portfolio is intended to be a three-year process.  However, if a candidate receives 'acceptable' or 'exemplary' on all portfolio elements at the end of year two, the candidate will not be required to modify the portfolio for the year-three summative evaluation.  The candidate could, however, choose to modify the portfolio, for example to strengthen an 'acceptable' element to make it 'exemplary.'
  • With all of the following stipulations met,  a one-year extension for submission of the final portfolio could be recommended to the dean by the ILP Review Panel:
    • Extraordinary circumstances, and
    • Documentation of good progress towards completion, and
    • Timely appeal to the ILP Review Panel
    Such a recommendation would be forwarded by the dean and considered and acted upon by the provost, chief learning officer, and President.
  • Completion of an 'acceptable' portfolio is a necessary prerequisite for tenure.  Therefore, an unacceptable portfolio disqualifies the candidate from further consideration for tenure.  A candidate whose final portfolio is considered 'unacceptable' by his or her ILP Review Panel may appeal to the Tenure Review Committee, which would refer the matter to another ILP Review Panel for consideration.  The candidate's portfolio would then be reviewed by the second ILP Review Panel.  The second panel would consist of one dean and three tenured faculty members selected by the Tenure Review Committee from the pool of trained ILP reviewers.  None of the members of the candidate's original ILP Review Panel would be eligible to serve on the second panel.  If the second panel found the candidate's portfolio to be 'acceptable,' that prerequisite for tenure would be considered met.  The candidate's official record would include both the original ILP Review Panel's report and the second panel's report.

Infrastructure for Assessment of the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) 

  • Deans will assemble ILP Review Panels for newly hired tenure candidates by the end of September of the candidates' first tenure-track year.
  • Each ILP Review Panel should be made up of one tenured colleague from the candidate's discipline and campus, one tenured colleague from the candidate's discipline but from another campus, and one tenured colleague from a different discipline on any campus.  There will be some flexibility on membership due to circumstances of departmental diversity and specialization.
  • Deans will work with the Office of Curriculum Design, Teaching, and Learning (Teaching/Learning Support as of 8/2004) each July to plan and schedule ILP review team training.  All review panel members, including selected faculty and deans, will participate in mandatory ILP review team training before they begin their work with tenure candidates.  CDTL will make every effort to provide training opportunities.
  • Each year's ILP review team training will result in a pool of tenured faculty prepared to provide formative assessment and summative evaluation of ILPs.  That pool should expand each year until it includes an appropriate number of faculty.  Training will be open to all tenured faculty.
Previous Tenure Summit Meeting Minutes