Chair, Brian Alldredge, Pharm.D.

CAP Retreat of March 12, 2001

PRESENT: Chair B. Alldredge, Vice Chair D. Ferriero, M. Bogetz, N. Schiller, C. Basbaum, S. Weiss, B. Gerbert


GUESTS: D. Bainton, D. Dillon, T. Daniels, R. Day, Z. Mirsky, M. Dodd, N. Cohen

The Retreat of the Committee on Academic Personnel was called to order by Chair Alldredge on March 12, 2001 at about 12:30 p.m. in Room MUW 427.


Chair Alldredge opened by noting that the Committee continues to have difficulty with inconsistencies among departments (within Schools) regarding promotion criteria. CAP recognizes that the APM provides the minimum standards for promotion and that departments may develop more stringent criteria than those the APM provides. However, if CAP’s role as an Academic Senate Committee is to help provide some umbrella of consistency for promotions, then the criteria for promotions across departments need to be clear. This is important, for example, when CAP is reviewing a file with internal inconsistencies such as a faculty vote at odds with the chair recommendation or chair recommendation at odds with an ad hoc recommendation.

The retreat group discussed the scope of flexibility necessary to allow departments to raise standards over time as warranted. It was noted that one danger with a common metric could be diminution of opportunities to raise standards; thus care must be taken that any bar set is not overly restraining. On the other hand, basic decency must coincide with any changing criteria (e.g., departments must be timely and explanatory in making faculty aware of any midstream changes in expectations for promotion, and, where warranted, exceptions from the new or additional criteria should be considered).

There was concern that individual faculty not become test cases for development of consistent criteria. The group acknowledged that any establishment of criteria needs to occur independent of individual promotions and be applied generally across departments. The group discussed briefly whether department chairs should have fewer freedoms in establishing promotion criteria. Further discussion of this issue is warranted after review of the current criteria.

Action Item: In order for CAP to better understand the extent of the variance in promotion criteria across Departments, all retreat participants unanimously voted in favor of a motion that each Department of each School be requested to share with the CAP any criteria that they use in addition to the APM criteria for advancement in that Department to Associate Professor and to Professor in at least the Ladder Rank, In Residence and Clinical X series. To further facilitate a better understanding of Departmental expectations, Departments will also provide the criteria to all faculty in that Department and to persons who are solicited to provide letters of support for appointment or promotion packets. These criteria will also be provided to Ad Hoc Review Committees.

The group also discussed faculty votes, including (1) when they are required and how they are reported in packets, and (2) how they vary from department to department. Regarding the first item, a faculty vote is required, and actual numbers are to be reported in packets, for all Ladder Rank, In Residence and Clinical X appointments, changes in series, promotions and step V to step VI reviews. In all other instances, only a faculty consultation is required. In these latter instances, the file may read "with concurrence of the faculty." With regard to the second issue, CAP noted that provision to CAP of the departmental procedures regarding faculty votes would be helpful, as there seems to be significant variability between departments.

D. Dillon provided Stewardship Review procedures to all, including the form internal, external and departmental letters that solicit input. CAP suggested that standard instructions, which address issues such as process and confidentiality, be provided to Stewardship Review Committees. The group noted that department faculty and staff need to be better educated on several aspects of the process, including: (1) the importance of providing positive feedback in the review process (too often only those with negative feedback participate), (2) how the feedback is used, and (3) what exactly occurs in and after reviews.

The group discussed two instances where the issue of confidentiality affects the review process. First, participants might be less than candid depending on who is interviewing them. D. Dillon pointed out that review committees often form subcommittees who talk with different people within the department. The smaller subcommittees can help to alleviate discomfort on the part of persons providing oral input. Secondly, a review committee whose members are not confidential may feel constrained in presenting a negative review. It was suggested that review procedures might be amended to resemble the Chancellor’s review. In that process, the review committee is confidential, and only written input is forwarded to the committee (no interviews are done), thus increasing the review committee’s comfort with providing a candid report. This can as well increase the likelihood of more candid input, as many may feel more at ease providing negative feedback in a written form than in an interview.

With regard to review procedure, letters soliciting input are generally sent after the Stewardship Review Committee has been formed. This rectifies the problem that can occur if letters are sent out before the Committee is formed and delays occur in the formation of the Committee. CAP is invited to review and suggest any edits regarding the internal, external and departmental letters.

CAP requested and D. Bainton agreed to add a step in the review procedure where D. Bainton returns to CAP to apprise the Committee of the review results.

CAP supports an explicit discussion in offer letters of the percent of time that the potential faculty member will be expected to spend in various roles (e.g., teaching, research, administration, etc.) and of start-up resources and allocated space. CAP could then review that letter in conjunction with that faculty member’s appointment and promotion files to ensure continuity. CAP will provide a template for such a letter and will discuss internally its next steps with regard to the Task Force Report.

With regard to the question of weighting collaborative research, D. Bainton noted that the APM is clear that independence is a criterion for moving from Assistant to Associate. On a related issue, it was noted that curriculum vitae vary widely, and that CAP should avoid requesting new CVs if the file CV is only a few months old, or if the updated information is unlikely to change the review outcome.

With regard to promotion files, the group discussed whether a mechanism should be created to allow the insertion of new information that has become available after the file was submitted for review. Currently, new information can be considered if a tentative denial decision is made. The candidate and department are then given the opportunity to provide additional relevant information. The consensus was that this was the most appropriate mechanism for reviewing such additional information, and no change in policy was suggested.

With regard to proposed changes in series, CAP requests that letters from the department chair or dean explain the reason for the change in series and that the file reflect the change in career focus. On a related matter, CAP concurs that any cap on the percentage of Clinical X faculty should increase and will provide formal written comments on this issue.

The meeting adjourned at about 3:00 p.m.

Prepared by:
Senate Staff
Gretchen Gende
Sr. Senate Analyst

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