Post Tenure Review
The strength and vitality of the professorate is the foundation of Delta State University’s excellence in the areas of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service. As an intellectual resource, the tenured faculty of the University are expected to maintain a sustained level of performance and productivity in the fulfillment of those responsibilities. After the granting of tenure, evaluation of faculty continues through annual assessments, a procedure already in practice within the University.
The goal of post-tenure review should be to foster faculty development and professional skills for a tenured faculty member whose level of performance may have decreased over a period of time. Post-tenure review is not an attempt to alter the nature of tenure as it is traditionally defined by the academic community, nor is it typically a disciplinary procedure and therefore not appropriate for use in cases of malfeasance, dereliction, contumacy, or criminality. A post –tenure review will not impede autonomous inquiry and development, nor uninhibited scholarship and instruction as these are privileges accorded all faculty at The University. The post-tenure review is a pro-active process with institutional assistance to a faculty member so that university standards and scholarly productivity are maintained and/or restored. Its primary purpose is for taking stock of accomplishments, defining current and future directions and providing the development and implementation of formal professional procedures. A tenured professor undergoing a post-tenure review is not expected to remake his or her case nor resume the burden of proof that he or she bore in the original tenure proceedings. The burden of proof for cause is retained by the University’s administration rather than shifted to the individual faculty member. The post-tenure review allows substantive due process for individual faculty.
Through appropriate and considered use of post-tenure review as a vehicle for refocusing faculty performance, the university will be strengthened as an institution of learning.
A post-tenure review is linked to the annual performance evaluation as defined by the criteria developed by each department or academic unit. A review will be conducted when there is evidence of an overall unsatisfactory performance for two consecutive years. A mutually-acceptable faculty development plan designed by the departmental/academic unit’s Tenure and Promotion Committee, the departmental chair, and the faculty member will be implemented within a specified time period as outlined below.
1. The review process will commence when the department chair informs the faculty member and the dean of the school/college in writing that a post-tenure review is to be implemented. In the case where a dean is the immediate supervisor of a faculty member, the dean will notify and initiate the review process with the faculty member.
2. The post-tenure review process will take place in the tenure home of the faculty member and will be conducted by the departmental/academic unit’s internal Tenure and Promotion Committee. In a case where there is not a sufficient number of committee members from within the department/unit, the procedure for organizing such a committee as defined in the Tenure and Promotion Policy will be used.
3. Within 30 days of notification, the review committee will review the prima facie evidence of low performance. If the committee does not concur with the department chair’s overall unsatisfactory rating or if there is evidence of insufficiently recognized merit, the review process ceases and the faculty member is presumed to be performing satisfactorily. If the committee concurs with the department chair’s overall unsatisfactory rating, a written statement from the committee and the chair will be provided within 10 days to the faculty member who may then attach comments, explanations, and rebuttals.
4. The review committee, the department chair, and the faculty member under review will collaborate in the drafting of a Faculty Development Plan, a copy of which will be submitted to the dean. The plan will include definite steps to remedy the specific perceived deficiencies within a period of no more than two years, with an optional third year to be approved by the Provost for extenuating circumstances.
5. The Faculty Development Plan (FDP) is to be individualized and must include,
a. the specific deficiencies found
b. specific goals to correct the deficiencies,
c. activities to achieve the goals,
d. specified time period for accomplishment of activities,
e. criteria for assessment of progress based on Tenure Policy criteria,
f. identification of institutional resources in support of the plan, which may include peer mentoring, counseling, or training to facilitate professional growth. The FDP must be developed within 60 days of committee notification of review and implemented during the next semester following the plan’s approval by the dean.
6. During the review period, meetings between the committee, the chair, and faculty member will be conducted no less than once per semester for the purpose of evaluating progress. After each of the meetings, the faculty member will be provided a written progress report.
7. After the specified time period has elapsed, the faculty member under review will have a final evaluation to determine if the FDP objectives have been met. Within one month of the evaluation, the review committee will make a subsequent written report to the faculty member, the department chair, and the dean. The committee can make one of two findings:
a. the faculty member has fulfilled the FDP objectives and the review period has been completed with an overall satisfactory rating, or
b. the faculty member has continued performance deficits. In the case if the latter finding, it will be the responsibility of the dean to impose a remedy or sanction, which may include reassignment of duties, a salary freeze, a reduction in rank, a leave of absence, or other appropriate measures, including termination of service as provided in Section 403.0104 of the IHL Policies and Bylaws.
8. Aggrieved faculty shall have the right to appeal decisions to the University President in writing within ten days of notification. The President’s decision regarding the appeal shall be communicated in writing to the aggrieved faculty member within thirty days of the filing of the appeal.