The Faculty has established a procedure for review of the allocation of tenure-line positions when they become vacant or are soon to become vacant or when a department or program requests a new or redefined position. All such requests are reviewed by the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee (CEP), whose role is to advise the President and the Dean for Academic Affairs. In the case of existing positions, CEP advises on whether the position should be reauthorized and reallocated in the same department or program or allocated elsewhere and on whether it should potentially be redefined. In the case of requests for new positions, CEP utilizes the same procedure, considering the request from an institutional standpoint, and makes a recommendation to the President and the Dean. Requests for new positions are not common, as the College is not in a position to increase faculty lines without endowed funding and highly compelling reasons. As such, this memo uses the term “reauthorization” throughout, although the same criteria, rationale and process pertain to all such requests. Departments and programs are advised to consult with the Dean about their particular circumstances.
Departments and Programs are encouraged to begin the reauthorization request process as early as possible upon receiving notice of a vacancy; in the case of a planned retirement, the process can begin as soon as the colleague formalizes plans for retirement with a signed agreement. Reauthorization and preparation can often take a full academic year or more. During the period of the reauthorization process (and subsequent search), the Dean’s office will work with departments and programs to meet short-term curricular needs.
A department or program in which a vacancy occurs in a tenure-line position, and which desires authorization to recruit a replacement, has two options: the department may request reauthorization of the same position or it may request authorization of the position in another field of specialization.
The reauthorization process begins with a meeting that includes the Dean and Associate Dean, a member of CEP, a member of the Committee for Faculty Diversity, and all tenure-line members of the department and/or program. This meeting ensures a first conversation for all members of the department and/or program and representatives of the Faculty Diversity Committee and CEP about policies, procedures, priorities, and best practices. The Faculty Diversity Committee does not review or recommend the reauthorization request, but its involvement at this initial stage establishes a commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty that is embedded in discussion of broad college and departmental priorities regarding the curriculum.
Following this meeting, the department and/or program creates a request for reauthorization in the form of a memorandum to the Dean, which will be shared with and reviewed by CEP. It is expected that this memo will reflect the issues discussed at the first meeting and it is anticipated that departments/programs will consult with the Dean’s office and members of the Faculty Diversity Committee as the memo is drafted. The memo should include any statistical information or other supporting documents that might help CEP understand and evaluate the request. Please be sure that the following questions are addressed in the memorandum:
CEP and the Dean will review requests for reauthorization of faculty positions based on the following criteria (please note: the list of criteria below is not a rank-ordered list of priorities, but rather an inclusive list of areas the Dean and CEP will take into account):
In reviewing requests, CEP’s main responsibility will be to reach recommendations that look principally to the long-term curricular interests of the College. Materials that CEP may consult in the process of reviewing the request include: departmental annual reports, self-studies, and reviews; enrollment patterns and course data; profiles of related departments/programs at peer institutions; and data on PhD’s awarded in particular fields and subfields; and evidence relating to the College’s long-term goals for diversity.
In order to ensure that CEP fully understands the intended role of a faculty position in a department or program, the committee may consult with the chair/director and other representatives of the department for more detailed discussion. If it appears that CEP is considering the possibility of reallocating that position to another department/program, it may also consult with the chairs/directors of other departments/programs.
Requests for reauthorization should be initiated as soon as possible after a vacancy is known. Requests received when CEP is not in session may, in rare cases, be approved without consultation with CEP at the discretion of the Dean and President; however, requests received after March will normally be deferred to the fall semester. The CEP decision constitutes a recommendation for action; the President and Dean have final authority regarding the reauthorization and allocation of faculty lines.
I encourage chairs and program directors to be in touch with the Dean to discuss anticipated requests and related questions. On behalf of all the members of CEP, let me thank you and your colleagues for the time devoted to the preparation of these requests. The articulation of departmental and program priorities in these proposals is essential to our ability to think institutionally and to plan for the future.