I. FACULTY PERSONAL DECISIONS AT WITTENBERG
Decisions regarding appointment to the faculty, tenure, and promotion, are among the most critical made by the university. Such decisions require effective, frank, and collegial communication between Faculty, Departments/Programs, the Faculty Personnel Board, and the Provost and the President.
The policies that follow are designed to foster such communication by providing clear criteria and processes through which such decisions can be made. While the criteria and the processes are intended to be objective, the application of them is necessarily a subjective endeavor. The policies that follow cannot and should not produce uniformity of final judgments, but they do attempt to guarantee consistency and fairness in criteria and process.
The policies and procedures that follow were adopted and approved by the President in 1996, in a process that both revised previous policies and combined several older policy statements into one new document.* Therefore many provisions that follow had been policy before 1995, even though in some cases the dates of earlier approval have been deleted. Those wishing to trace the pre-1995 evolution of these policies should consult the Faculty Manuals of 1995-96 and before. *Although AAUP statements as a whole are not binding on the University, Wittenberg has adopted as policy numerous AAUP statements, in whole or in part.
B. Governance and Roles
Faculty personnel decisions and the policies that govern them are subject to the authority of the Constitution of the University, the Bylaws of the Board of Directors, and the Bylaws of the Faculty, all found elsewhere in this Manual. The most relevant sections of these are:
- Article IV, Section 2: Faculty, in the Constitution of Wittenberg University
- Article VI: Faculty Tenure Policy, in the Bylaws of the Board of Directors
- Section I.J.1.b. Faculty Personnel Board and Section II: Department Chairpersons, in the Bylaws of the Faculty
The policies that follow in this document are subordinate to the governing documents cited above. Some of the key principles found in those documents are these:
- the authority to grant tenure and to advance faculty members in rank rests with the Board of Directors;
- the President, upon the recommendation of the Provost, makes annual probationary appointments to the faculty, and the President and the Provost make tenure and promotion recommendations to the Board of Directors (through the Board's Committee on Academic Affairs).
- the Faculty are entitled to participate in faculty personnel decisions; faculty participation in such decisions lies largely with the administration's consultation with departments (through their chairs or representatives), and the Faculty Personnel Board, both of whose responsibilities are explained in the faculty Bylaws.
The roles of the individual members of the faculty, the department, the Faculty Personnel Board, & the Provost and the President vary according to the specific task at hand, as detailed in the Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion sections that follow. Some of those responsibilities are summarized here:
- Everyone involved in faculty personnel decisions, from the President to the Candidate, must be familiar with and abide by the relevant portions of the governing documents above and the policies outlined below.
- Candidates for Tenure or Promotion are responsible for cooperating with and supplying relevant information to the department and/or the Faculty Personnel Board to assist the university's assessment of the candidate.
- Students are responsible for assisting in the evaluation of faculty members for tenure and promotion, primarily through course evaluations, and also through open student meetings.
- Departments are responsible for involving the appropriate department members in decision-making and for forwarding to the appropriate persons collective, carefully documented recommendations for appointment to the faculty, tenure, and promotion.
- The Faculty Personnel Board's primary responsibility is to make recommendations to the Provost and the President, on behalf of the entire faculty, concerning the professional merits of candidates for tenure and promotion, as outlined in the Faculty Manual. (The FPB also participates in interviewing candidates for appointment, reviewing faculty salaries, and considering applications for sabbaticals and other leaves of absence--all covered elsewhere in the Faculty Manual). As the chief faculty governance body involved in faculty personnel decisions, the Faculty Personnel Board does bear the responsibility of monitoring and maintaining the integrity of the process.
- In addition to many other tasks, the President and Provost are responsible for making tenure and promotion recommendations to the Board of Directors after consultation with the relevant Departments and the Faculty Personnel Board; as chief academic officer the Provost works with and receives recommendations from departments concerning appointment, tenure, and promotion; works with the Faculty Personnel Board as they develop their recommendations concerning tenure and promotion; and submits to the President recommendations for appointments, tenure, and advancement in rank. The President and Provost base their tenure recommendations on the recommendations of the department and the FPB, their own judgment of the professional qualifications of the candidate, and curricular, budgetary, or enrollment considerations.
- The Bylaws of the Faculty stipulate that formal grievances that arise from personnel processes are heard by the Faculty Hearing Board on Academic Freedom and Tenure.