SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY TENURE AND PROMOTIONS COMMITTEE (UTPC)
ANNUAL COMMITTEE REPORT, 2015-2016
Submitted to the Academic Senate on May 20, 2016
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The University Tenure and Promotions Committee (UTPC) reviewed 40 cases for promotion and/or tenure:
- 12 cases for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor;
- 1 case for early tenure and promotion;
- 1 case for tenure only;
- 2 cases for promotion to Associate Professor only;
- 1 case for early promotion to Associate Professor only;
- 22 cases for promotion to Full Professor; and
- 1 case under the “old policy” for promotion to Full Professor.
The number of cases reviewed for 2015-2016 (40) was eight cases fewer than the number of cases reviewed for 2014-2015 (48).
The UTPC reiterates, as it has in previous reports, that the workload for this committee is high, ranging from 18 to 25 hours per week. As per Academic Senate Policy S15-241, three units of release time (0.2 time base) are granted to UTPC members in the spring semester, and three units to the UTPC Chair in both the fall and spring semester to support the Chair’s considerable work, which is ongoing throughout the academic year. In the past, this release time was granted through the Provost’s Office, but is now provided through the deans of the colleges of the respective UTPC members. The UTPC expresses its gratitude to the deans of the colleges (Ethnic Studies, HSS, LCA, and the Library) for providing course releases to four UTPC members for Spring 2016. The UTPC also expresses appreciation to the Academic Senate for providing a course release to the Chair of UTPC for the Fall 2016, which enabled his participation in college information meetings and other necessary work. However, UTPC urges the Administration to reconsider their position on funding the UTPC. It is imperative that a permanent source of financing, separate from the colleges, be restored for release time for UTPC members to cover the heavy workload involved in this committee. The UTPC reminds the Administration that, without release time, the Chair will be unavailable for fall semester work (e.g., participating in college informational meetings and other necessary work).
Please note that during this past academic year, one of UTPC members was not made aware of the above mentioned release-time policy and was unable to obtain release time for the spring, which resulted in an overload and made for a very difficult workload. To prevent reoccurrence of this situation, the Academic Senate should inform all incoming UTPC members in writing about this release-time policy, shortly after the election at the end of the spring semester. The current UTPC should also discuss this policy when new members join them in the last UTPC meeting of the academic year. This will allow new members adequate time to arrange their teaching schedule and workload for the following spring.
- The inclusion of the candidates’ narratives in the dossiers was valuable and provided a “voice” for the candidate, describing the candidate’s professional aspirations and a summary of the progress toward fulfilling these goals for a successful academic career at SF State.
- There was full compliance with UTPC’s request that copies of all previous year's reviews to be included in the WPAF for all candidates applying for tenure and/or promotion to Associate Professor. This helped improve the review process.
- The UTPC expresses appreciation to those who were responsible for ensuring that departmental criteria were included.
- The UTPC reiterates the necessity for the inclusion of comprehensive tables of the student evaluations. The UTPC recognizes that it is an additional task to compile and include these tables. However, some RTP department committees did not include the comprehensive tables in their reports; instead, the candidate was responsible for including some form of a table, not necessarily a comprehensive one, i.e., missing department means, in the candidate’s WPAF. A table that includes the department’s course means and/or the relevant standard of comparison should be included. The UTPC requests that this table be placed in the candidate’s dossier, in addition to the WPAF, so that all UTPC members have access to this information.
- The UTPC reminds the department RTP committees that all members need to be listed in the report and that all department RTP committee members must sign the department RTP committee report. The Committee also reminds department RTP committees that members cannot serve on any personnel committees, including RTP committees in other departments as well as their own, if they are applying for promotion to Full Professor or Associate Professor applying for tenure, during the same year of review.
- The UTPC appreciates those deans and colleges who completed the review process earlier than the deadline date and submitted the reports and WPAFs earlier to the Faculty Affairs Office. These early submissions allowed the UTPC additional time to review the dossiers to complete their tasks of reviewing, deliberating and making recommendations regarding tenure and/or promotion of candidates. The UTPC strongly encourages this practice of early submission to be continued next year.
II. CHARGE TO THE COMMITTEE
A. OLD POLICY (Academic Senate Policy #94-028):
For faculty members choosing the "old" policy, the mandate and operations of the University
Promotions Committee (UPC) are according to the policy and procedures specified in the
Academic Senate Policy #S94-028 as follows:
UPC provides one of two independent University-level review of faculty applications for
advancement in rank. UPC and the Provost shall independently review the WPAF and
prepare their recommendations for the President. Copies of their separate recommendations
and reasons therefore shall be sent to the candidate seven days prior to forwarding the WPAF
to the President, according to the deadlines published in the Executive Calendar.
Recommendations shall be made as early in the year as possible and shall be forwarded to
the President no later than May 15. The Committee consists of five members elected for two-
year terms through a University-wide election, from a slate of nominees from the academic
units (Colleges and Library). UPC elects one of its own as chairperson for the coming
B. CURRENT POLICY (Academic Senate Policy #S15-241):
For faculty members being reviewed under the current policy (either as a requirement or by choice), the UTPC has the following responsibilities specified in the Academic Senate Policy #S15-241:
1. The UTPC will consider recommendations from the departmental RTP committees, from
the department Chair, and from the Dean concurrent with the Provost's review of those
2. The UTPC will pay special attention to cases where there is disagreement between the
Dean, the Chair and/or the departmental RTP committee. Such cases will be carefully and
3. The recommendations from prior levels will be examined to be certain that procedures and
criteria have been correctly followed.
4. The UTPC will have the authority to consider all materials in the WPAF and compare
it with departmental criteria.
5. The UTPC will be aware that departmental criteria for tenure and promotion may differ
and will pay attention to both.
6. All UTPC considerations must correspond with Department criteria.
7. The UTPC and the Provost will confer before making their recommendations to the
III. ROSTERS AND MEETING TIMES
- AY 2015-2016 University Tenure and Promotion Committee (UTPC) Membership
Luiz Barbosa, Sociology, Chair (2014-2016 term)
Ned Fielden, Library (2014-2016 term)
Daniel Gonzales, Asian American Studies (2015-2017 term)
Peter Palmer, Chemistry and Biochemistry (2015-2017 term)
Mary Soliday, English Language and Literature (2015-2017 term)
B. Summary of Committee Meetings
Fall Semester 2015
August-September: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Sue Rosser, Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, Sacha Bunge, and the UTPC Chair, Luiz Barbosa, held informational meetings for individual colleges, programs, the Library and departmental RTP (Retention, Tenure and Promotions) committees. These meetings were held for individual colleges and the Library on the following dates:
1. College of Science and Engineering, Tuesday, September 1.
2. College of Business, Tuesday, September 15.
3. College of Liberal and Creative Arts, Thursday, September 17.
4. College of Health and Social Sciences, Monday, September 24
5. Colleges of Education and Ethnic Studies and the Library, Thursday, September 24.
The UTPC Chair and/or a representative from UTPC, and the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, also conducted campus-wide RTP workshops for faculty groups and librarians at different career stages on the following dates:
1. Monday, August 31 (1st year faculty invited) (UTPC represented by Ned Fielden).
2. Thursday, September 10 (T&P faculty invited).
3. Friday, September 11 (T&P faculty invited).
4. Thursday, September 22 (3, 4, 5th year faculty invited).
October: Ned Fielden represented UTPC in the campus wide celebration to honor faculty who received tenure and/or promotion for 2014/2015 on Thursday, October 1.
December: The UTPC members met with Sacha Bunge, Dean of Faculty Affairs; Angie Lin Mendoza, Confidential Assistant to the Dean, Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development; Lizett Lopez, Administrative Support Coordinator, Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development; and Emily Goldstein, Assistant to the Academic Senate Chair, on Friday, December 14, 2016, to discuss the working relationship between the three entities which included identifying specific responsibilities of each group and reviewing the UTPC schedule for Spring 2016. Though scheduled to attend, Troi Carleton, Chair of the Academic Senate, was not able to be present.
Spring Semester 2016
January-May: The UTPC met weekly on Thursday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. in ADM 460
(once in ADM 117). The UTPC met a total of 10 times. In addition to the UTPC meetings, the UTPC met with administration for a total of three times (twice with Provost Sue Rosser and Dean Sacha Bunge, and once with President Wong, Provost Sue Rosser and Dean Sacha Bunge). Additionally, the UTPC met on December 14 to go over guidelines for review with Dean Sacha Bunge, Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, and her staff.
In addition to the 3-hour weekly committee meetings and additional meetings with the university administration, the UTPC members' individual workload included approximately another 13-14 hours per week. Each member reviewed approximately two full WPAFs and
an additional three to eight dossiers a week in preparation for each of our weekly meetings.
Friday, April 1, 2016: Exchanged the preliminary list of recommendations between the UTPC and the Provost.
Thursday, April 7 and Tuesday, April 19, 2016: The UTPC met with the Provost and the Dean of Faculty Affairs to discuss this year's tenure and promotion cases and recommendations.
Monday, April 25, 2016: Letters reporting UTPC’s recommendation were sent via the Academic Senate Office to each of the faculty who applied for tenure and/or promotion. A revised list of recommendations was delivered to the Provost’s office in a sealed envelope. A list of recommendations was delivered to the office of President Leslie Wong in a sealed envelope.
Thursday, May 12, 2016: UTPC, the Provost and the Dean of Faculty Affairs met with the
President to discuss this year's tenure and/or promotion cases.
Thursday, May 19, 2016: UTPC held a concluding meetings to finalize the UTPC report for 2015-2016. The outgoing UTPC committee also met jointly with the incoming UTPC committee to discuss policies and procedures. The incoming committee elected Ned Fielden Chair for the Academic Year 2016-2017.
- AY 2016-2017 University Tenure and Promotion Committee (UTPC) Membership:
Ned Fielden, Library (2016-2018 term), Chair
Dan Gonzales, Asian American Studies (2015-2017 term)
Peter Palmer, Chemistry (2015-2017 term)
Mary Soliday, English Language and Literature (2015-2017 term)
David Walsh, Department of Kinesiology (2016-2018 term)
IV. UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES
A) Lawrence Hanley’s Case
On October 29, 2015, Luiz Barbosa, Chair of UTPC, received an e-mail from Sacha Bunge requesting consultation. A meeting was scheduled for October 29. During this meeting, Luiz Barbosa was informed that there was a conflict of interest involving Mary Soliday, a new member of UTPC. This conflict was caused by the fact that Lawrence Hanley, Mary Soliday’s husband, was applying for promotion to Full Professor. Dean Bunge was concerned about a possible violation of the university’s “nepotism” policy. Luiz Barbosa contacted Mary Soliday and they agreed to meet on November 10. At Mary Soliday’s request, Luiz Barbosa contacted Troi Carleton, Chair of the Academic Senate, for consultation.
Luiz Barbosa met with Troi Carleton on the morning of November 10 and with Mary Soliday in the afternoon of the same day. During his meeting with Troi Carleton, Luiz Barbosa was informed that there was no current Senate policy in place that would prevent Mary Soliday from participating in UTPC despite her husband’s application for promotion; Mary Soliday was not required to withdraw from UTPC. However, Troi Carleton also informed Luiz Barbosa that Mary Soliday must not participate in any decisions concerning her husband’s promotion so as not to violate university policy; she would have to recuse herself from the case. Dean Bunge had conveyed the same information to Luiz Barbosa during their meeting on October 29. On November 10, Luiz Barbosa communicated to Mary Soliday the issues and solutions discussed during his meetings with Dean Bunge and Troi Carleton. On November 11, Luiz Barbosa received an e-mail message from Mary Soliday stating that she would recuse herself from her husband’s case.
In consultation with Dean Bunge, who discussed the case with university attorneys, a set of procedures was devised in order to protect the integrity of the UTPC review process and the university. These procedures include:
1. Removal of Lawrence Hanley’s name from all lists of faculty applying for promotion in order for confidentiality to be maintained.
2. Sequestration of Lawrence Hanley’s WPAF and dossier copies in the Faculty Affairs office, instead of ADM 458 where all the other files are kept. Only the remaining four UTPC members involving in his case would have access to his WPAF: they would have to sign in at Faculty Affairs to gain access to the file. The dossier copies were given by Faculty Affairs’ staff directly to Luiz Barbosa for distribution to the four members involved in Lawrence Hanley’s decision. Luiz Barbosa emphasized to the other three UTPC members the importance of absolute confidentiality in reviewing the Hanley dossier. He also emphasized that the information contained in the dossier as well as the committee process and decision on this case must not be shared with Mary Soliday.
3. Mary Soliday would not be present at any and all the decisions nor participate in any decisions involved the Hanley case. These would include all the UTPC deliberations, the two meetings involving Provost Rosser and Dean Bunge, and the meeting involving all previous parties and President Leslie Wong.
4. Mary Soliday would not have access to any of the information concerning decisions made about her husband’s case. Even the letter of notification of UTPC’s decision about her husband’s promotion would be signed by the four remaining committee members in her absence.
These conditions and procedures were strictly followed.
Despite the rarity of these cases, UTPC encourages the Academic Senate to establish clear policy concerning potential nepotism and all potential conflict of interest situations in order to best safeguard the integrity of the review process.
B) LCA’s “Tenure and Promotion Criteria: Frequently Asked Questions”
On March 24, UTPC Chair Luiz Barbosa was contacted by the Chair and members of the English Department RTP Committee about a document titled "Tenure and Promotion Criteria: Frequently Asked Questions” that had been circulated in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts. These faculty were concerned that this document included several inaccuracies, most notably citing a UTPC interpretation on one aspect of Professional Achievement and Growth that was not, and had never been held, by UTPC. Dean of Faculty Affairs Sacha Bunge asserted that while the document had indeed circulated throughout LCA, it was intended as a set of guidelines and not policy. Nonetheless, such a document may have had influence on departmental reviews, either directly or indirectly, and UTPC remains concerned about the accuracy and integrity of such future efforts.
V. ACTIVITIES OF THE YEAR
A. Committee Activities
During the Fall 2015 semester, the UTPC Chair (or a representative), the Provost, and the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, held meetings with the college deans, department chairs and RTP Committees, and conducted a series of RTP related workshops involving faculty members at different career stages. The goal of these meetings was to inform and remind individuals involved in the tenure and/or promotion process to prepare accurate and appropriate materials for candidate dossiers and WPAFs in accordance with the current policy, Academic Senate Policy #S15-241, or the "old" Academic Senate Policy #94-028 (where eligible). The UTPC acknowledges that improvements have been made in preparing the candidates’ dossiers and WPAFs but there are areas where continuous improvement is necessary. See Section VI of this report.
Also on December 14, 2016, the UTPC members met with a representative of the Academic Senate, Emily Goldstein, Assistant to the Academic Senate; Sacha Bunge, Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development; Angie Lin Mendoza, Confidential Assistant to the Dean, Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development; and Lizett Lopez, Administrative Support Coordinator, Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development to discuss the plans for reviewing the dossiers and WPAFs, and the issues/concerns identified in the 2014-2015 UTPC Annual Report.
During Spring 2016 semester, the UTPC held several meetings to evaluate 40 tenure and promotion cases: 12 cases for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, one case for early tenure and promotion, one case for tenure only, two cases for promotion to Associate Professor only, one case for early promotion to Associate Professor only, 22 cases for promotion to Full Professor, and one case under the “old policy” for promotion to Full Professor. Additional committee meetings were held to sign recommendation letters, discuss this year's annual report, plan meetings with the President, Provost and the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, and elect the 2016-17 Chair. On Friday, April 1, the UTPC exchanged its preliminary tenure and promotion recommendation list with the Provost’s preliminary tenure and promotion recommendation list. The UTPC held meetings with the Provost to discuss a number of the cases on April 7 and April 19. On April 25, the UTPC recommendation letters were delivered to tenure and promotion candidates on campus. Copies also were delivered to the President, the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, the College Deans and the Department Chairs respectively. On May 12, the UTPC met with the President, Provost, and Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, to discuss cases including the ones with outstanding differences of opinion. Also, the UTPC provided feedback regarding the review process for 2015-2016 and offered suggestions to the President, the Provost, and the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development.
B. UTPC Transition Activities
On May 19, 2016, the 2015-16 UTPC members met with the newly elected members for the AY 2016-17 term. At this meeting an election was conducted by the AY 2016-17 members, and Ned Fielden, Library (2016-2018 term) was elected as the 2016- 2017 Chair. Luiz Barbosa, the 2015-16 UTPC Chair, also led a discussion regarding SF State’s Tenure and Promotions policies, UTPC charge and procedures, university personnel concerns, potential conflicts of interests, and confidentiality issues.
VI. RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE ACADEMIC SENATE, PROVOST, AND FACULTY AFFAIRS
- Recommendations for Changes and Support for the Tenure and Promotion Process
a. Dean Letters Should Be Addressed to UTPC as Well as the Provost
Dean letters have traditionally been addressed to the Provost only. UTPC believes this practice needs to change in order to reflect UTPC’s equal footing with the Provost in the review process. Both parties make independent recommendations to the President. Faculty Affairs should update its instructions on how letters should be addressed.
b. Teaching Evaluations Summary and a Comprehensive Table
Almost every file included a table with a chronological listing of courses and student evaluation scores in comparison with department means. Unfortunately, this table is not in a standard location within the file. Sometimes this table is prepared by the candidate, sometimes it is prepared by the RTP Committee, and sometimes it is prepared by the Department Chair. The UTPC requests that the responsibility for compiling this table be standardized. The UTPC continues to recommend that this table be placed in the dossier (and in the WPAF), so that all UTPC members have immediate and appropriate access to this information.
c. “Early" Tenure
As identified in the annual reports of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, the issue of what constitutes "early" needs to be addressed. While faculty have demonstrated appropriate progress toward meeting the criteria for an "on time" review for tenure and/or promotion, there are concerns regarding the evaluation of WPAFs as to what constitutes “stellar” or "extraordinary" performance that would result in the recommendation of "early" tenure and/or promotion.
d. Outside (External) Reviews
The UTPC continues to strongly encourage departments who wish to utilize outside reviewers to develop procedures for the practices of these reviews and include these procedures as a part of their deliberations. The UTPC specifically suggests that, ideally, the candidate should provide one list of outside (off campus) reviewers, and a second list of reviewers should be generated by the department RTP committee and/or Chair. Then the department RTP committee and/or department Chair should select and secure any outside reviewers. The UTPC believes that securing outside reviewers should not be the responsibility of the candidate.
e. Standards for Promotion
Currently, the standards for promotion to Full Professor vary substantially among departments. The UTPC encourages the Academic Senate and the administration to work together to improve departmental criteria for promotion, aiming at more equitable standards between departments.
f. Equitable Evaluations
The committee noted there were varying degrees of applications and interpretations of departmental criteria for tenure and promotion at the different levels of review of candidates. Further, the evaluation of a candidate, at all levels of review, must be accomplished solely on the basis of the documents in the WPAF relative to departmental criteria for tenure and promotion. Extracurricular knowledge that is not included in the WPAF must not influence a recommendation. Clarification of department criteria regarding differences in quality of performance expected of a Full Professor compared to that of an Associate Professor would substantially improve the review process for UTPC in conducting objective evaluations through deliberations, and arriving at equitable decisions.
- Recommendations to Candidates, RTP Committees, Chairs, and Deans
a. Peer Observations
Departments/RTP Department Committees must take responsibility for ensuring that peer observations/evaluations of teaching are conducted consistently for tenure/tenure-track and/or promotion candidates. The plans and implementation of these peer reviews are not the responsibility of the candidate. In this cycle of reviews we had WPAFs missing peer evaluations.
b. Criteria for “Early” Tenure and Promotion from Associate to Full Professor
The UTPC also strongly encourages departments to carefully revise departmental criteria, with specific expectations, requirements and an understanding for faculty who are applying for tenure, especially for “early” tenure and promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor. The criteria should include specific expectations and requirements for candidates who are applying for “early” tenure, and for promotion from the rank of Associate Professor to Full Professor.
c. Issues Related to the Dossiers and WPAFs
All of the concerns that were identified in last year’s report continue to be relevant and are reiterated in the 2015-2016 report. However, UTPC will offer recommendations again for improvement.
i. Issues with Dossiers and the CVs
1) This year, as in past years, there were a number of candidates who did not update their CVs to reflect the current status of their publications at the time of the closure of their WPAF.
2) A number of candidates continue to list inaccurate and incomplete citations of their work. Pagination for book chapters, encyclopedia entries, as well as journal articles, needs to be included. Article titles must be changed from their working title to the actual published title. Having incorrect and incomplete information leaves a poor impression of the candidate. It also makes it difficult for UTPC to effectively evaluate the WPAF.
3) "Forthcoming" is not a precise term. It is often used to mean any one of the following: "under review,” "accepted,” "accepted, pending final revisions,” and other vague references to the term, forthcoming. Items not yet published should NOT be listed under the "Publications" category. Only items that have been assigned an actual publication date, as well as those already in press, should be listed in the "Publications" category.
4) In the instance of co-authored articles, the candidate's shared responsibility should be documented.
5) All documents listed in the CV must be indexed in the WPAF with evidence of the item or items that are indexed. Publications and other materials covering the period under review should be clearly highlighted to distinguish them from others outside of the period.
ii. Issues with WPAFs
The UTPC continues to request that the table of student evaluations is placed both in the WPAF and the dossier, so that all UTPC members have access to this information.
VII. PLANS FOR THE COMING YEAR, 2015-2016
During summer and fall of 2016, the new UTPC Chair will work with the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development to ensure that the annual meetings with the President, the Provost, College Deans, and Departmental RTP committees are scheduled.
The UTPC Chair will schedule a meeting in mid-December of the 2016-2017 UTPC members, the Chair of the Academic Senate, the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, the executive staff of the Academic Senate Office, and the executive staff of the Faculty Affairs and Professional Development Office. At this meeting, the RTP calendar will be reviewed, the designated roles and responsibilities of the three entities will be clearly identified, and workflow issues will be discussed. This type of meeting was held in the past three years and was shown to be tremendously helpful.
The number of tenure review cases declined from last year to this year (45% for 2014-2015 to 35% for 2015-2016). However, the number of applications for promotion to Full Professor increased noticeably from last year to this year (50% for 2014-2015 to 57.5%). This trend is expected to continue, and the UTPC encourages departments to develop specific criteria for promotion consideration from Associate to Full Professor.
The UTPC wishes to acknowledge those individuals who supported the committee's work. Especially helpful was the processing of the files that arrived early in the Faculty Affairs Office, so that the UTPC could begin reviewing the dossiers for deliberation. Also helpful were a spreadsheet detailing the status of the candidates; the filing of the dossiers and the WPAFs in alphabetical order; the coordination of meeting times with the President and the Provost; the scheduling of rooms for weekly meetings; and delivery confirmation of UTPC letters of recommendation to the candidates and their copies to the colleges (Deans) and departments (Chairs). Special recognition is given to Emily Goldstein, Assistant to the Academic Senate Chair and to Angie Lin Mendoza, Confidential Assistant to the Dean, Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development.
This report has been endorsed by the Committee and its members.