The Earlham Faculty consists of all teachers and administrators at the College. While there is a division of labor and a corresponding distinction between administrative faculty and teaching faculty, the distinction is not a sharp one. All of us are educators in one way or another; the unity of the faculty reflects the fact that the College educates students in the way it operates as well as in the classroom. Moreover, the College strives to be a community of persons living and working together to reach common aims. This handbook reports policies and procedures related to both groups, when applicable, and to each group the teaching faculty and the administrators separately when appropriate.
This document contains two parts. The first is the faculty handbook which is an extension of the College’s contract with teaching and administrative faculty.
The second part contains the administrative policies and procedures of the College that pertain to faculty. These policies and procedures are not considered extensions of the College’s contract with faculty members.
The aim of the faculty handbook is to provide faculty members with a clear, accurate and comprehensive overview of their contractual relationship to the college so that important personnel practices and related matters are as transparent as possible. In particular it describes the processes and criteria of evaluation for hiring, renewal, and tenure (where appropriate), as well as the conditions under which faculty positions may be eliminated. This handbook has evolved over time and been revised approximately every ten years. It has been approved by the faculty meeting and the Board of Trustees. Unless noted on the specific page, this text is the version approved in 2013.
The College will use the processes and definitions in this handbook to guide its decision making. It is important that faculty members understand their rights as well as the limits to those rights and the handbook strives to make this clear. The policies in the handbook aim to be equitable and fair to both the College and to faculty. We emphasize the decision making processes of the College with special attention to the consultation leading to the formation of consensus, as well as the special role of the President and Board of Trustees who, in addition to being part of the consultation and consensus process, have independent decision making authority. Faculty members should be clear that they have control over some aspects and parameters of their review files and other aspects of the decision making process, but not others; the handbook strives to make clear where each is the case.
The previous edition of the handbook cited the Elders of Balby Friends Meeting of 1656 who urged that rules be interpreted with the measure of light that is pure and holy in order to avoid narrow rule making, for the letter killeth and the Spirit giveth life (II Corinthians 3:6). While we affirm that rules should be interpreted in the spirit of community building and not be used punitively when creative solutions to problems may be found, we also believe that a clear articulated set of guidelines and policies for making important decisions is an important basis for equity. Accordingly, we have tried to provide sufficient detail and specificity to eliminate confusion and uncertainty yet to resist specifying guidelines and policies for every conceivable situation. Good decision making must achieve a balance between impersonal rules and personal judgments, founded on the evidence under consideration, and this handbook contains our latest effort to provide a framework to lead us to good decisions.
Earlham’s President is responsible for the appointment and contract renewal of Earlham’s teaching faculty and for recommendations to the Earlham Board of Trustees for tenure. The President receives advice and recommendations for appointment of teaching faculty from the Faculty Interview and Search Committee (FISC) and the Student Search and Interview Committee (SSIC). For matters of contract renewal and tenure, the President receives advice and recommendations from the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) and the Student Faculty Affairs Committee (SFAC). The Academic Dean fully participates ex officio with the four elected members of FISC in deliberations and consensus seeking. The Academic Dean also fully participates ex officio with the five elected members of FAC in deliberations, consensus seeking, and minute writing.
FAC, FISC, SSIC and SFAC are the primary vehicles for collective faculty and student participation in teaching faculty appointment and renewal. They are charged with reviewing faculty members’ renewal files carefully as the basis for the recommendations they make to the President. Typically, both FAC and SFAC deliberate independently about candidates and seek to reach a consensus independent of each other. After this, the two committees usually have joint meetings in which they attempt to reach a shared consensus recommendation about a candidate. The President is expected to take into account the recommendation of FAC and SFAC, even if the President’s decision differs from the recommendation and even if FAC and SFAC have not reached a consensus. If a consensus recommendation is not achieved, the committees will meet with the President to explain the grounds of the difficulty. It is finally the President’s decision whether or not to recommend candidates for tenure to the Board of Trustees.
We value this broad role that these four committees (FAC, SFAC, FISC, and SSIC) play. Individually and collectively in advising the President and helping to shape the future of the College. While department and program faculty do not participate directly, their recommendations carry considerable weight. Further details of the FAC/departmental/program consultation are provided in Section E – Personnel Reviews of Administrative and Teaching Faculty of this handbook.
In appointing and renewing administrative faculty, the President may share this responsibility with the appropriate administrative department head. For many administrative positions, appointments are made after a broadly constituted search committee has submitted its recommendations.
Thus, an array of perspectives and judgments contributes to making personnel decisions at Earlham College. Although no one can guarantee that we will always make the right decisions, we hold to the Quaker view that shared wisdom produces good results. Moreover, a process that genuinely values the opinions of many will result in better morale, greater identification with the college, improved collegiality, and a keener sense of community.
The Earlham Board of Trustees approves tenure and promotion recommendations for teaching faculty, as specified in the college by-laws. In so acting, the Board does not seek to replace the professional judgment of peers and academic administrators but seeks only to satisfy itself that correct procedures have been followed.
1. Teaching Faculty: Criteria for Hiring, Reviewing and Tenure
No single statement can fully capture the qualities we value most in present and prospective members of Earlham’s teaching faculty. Still, it is important that we describe for new faculty the criteria by which they were appointed and by which they will be evaluated for contact renewal and tenure.The following four criteria do not constitute a simple check list but are intended as a single, articulated set of guidelines to be used in evaluating teaching faculty up for review. We strive to make reasonable and equitable judgments based on these four criteria. While four criteria are relevant in all decisions regarding the appointment, renewal and tenure of teaching faculty, the four may not weigh equally in every case. Despite the variability noted above, one principle remains constant: teaching effectiveness is the most important of the four criteria, and weakness in this area cannot be compensated for by excellence in any or all of the other three areas. In addition to the four criteria that speak to a faculty member’s performance and fit with broader institutional needs, the College may find it necessary on some occasions to invoke other considerations. For example, on rare occasions the Board or the President has limited the number of candidates who can be renewed or tenured in a given year for financial or other reasons.
2. Description of the Three Criteria for Teaching Faculty
- A: Teaching Effectiveness
Faculty Affairs Committee assesses teaching effectiveness by consulting and evaluating evidence in the faculty member’s renewal or tenure file. (See Section E – Personnel Reviews of Administrative and Teaching Faculty, subsection 2.b. File Preparation for a list of material relevant to teaching that a candidate may include in her/his file).FAC strives to discern the effectiveness of a faculty member’s teaching as it manifests itself not only in the classroom or laboratory but also in multiple campus and off campus educational settings with students.Teaching effectiveness is not amenable to precise quantification nor reducible to any simple list of qualities. Effective teaching can take many forms, including the clear presentation of important content and concepts, guidance of student discussion-led classes, open-ended exploration of ambiguities in texts, and collaborative learning. Leadership on off-campus study programs and advising may also offer important teaching opportunities. Whichever teaching strategy a candidate employs, however, students of all abilities should be challenged to do their best work. Good teaching should be intellectually stimulating, engage students in their own learning, and encourage students to develop their own questions as well as answers. We expect students to gain exposure to the methods appropriate to disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary study, to use tools of analysis, to develop good writing and quantitative skills. We look for evidence that students not only master content, though that is important and extremely so in particular fields, but also learn to formulate their own ideas and develop critical research, reading and thinking skills.Effective teaching shows not only in class, but also in course design and the nature of assignments. Further, it entails ongoing reflection by the faculty member on what works well and what ought to be modified. We therefore look for evidence that candidates have taken seriously the feedback they may have received from students and others and have responded constructively. We emphasize that constructive response does not mean agreeing with or yielding to all criticism.
In addition to the quality of the classroom and laboratory/studio/field learning, characteristics for which we look include:
- Interest and involvement in the assessment and improvement of one’s own teaching practices.
- Competence in and knowledge of one’s subject matter, as judged by peers on and off campus.
- Capacity to promote student learning beyond the classroom.
- Integrity and fairness as a teaching professional.
- Challenging students of all abilities to do their best.
- Contributions to student learning through collaborative research and scholarship with students.
- B: Quality of Mind
Assessing a teacher’s quality of mind involves a complex judgment by peers and others. Some indictors of quality of mind are:Intellectual sharpness and vitality as evidenced by the quality of such things as continuing studies, research, creative work, public lectures, publications; breadth and depth of intellectual interests and competencies, and the capacity to place knowledge and skills into significant context; grant writing; interdisciplinary interests and activities; regular involvement in professional scholarly and educational societies and organizations; and the quality of one’s contributions to intellectual discourse with students and peers.
- C: Contributions to the Community
A teacher’s involvement with the College community extends beyond the limits of the classroom. Teachers are academic advisors, departmental colleagues, members of committees and of the faculty meeting, and participants in the governance of the College. A teacher’s contributions to our community take many forms. For example: Constructive participation in faculty meetings, departmental meetings, and college and consortial committees and communications; helpful and generally supportive relationships with colleagues; responsible academic advising of students; support and counseling of students beyond immediate academic matters. Also valued are participation in or attendance at College functions and events, such as lectures, athletic events and fine arts performances; participation in interdepartmental, summer and off campus programs, service to larger communities such as Richmond, Wayne County, and regional, national and international committees and organizations.
Earlham faculty are expected to share an understanding of and support for the basic mission of Earlham, both as a Quaker institution and as a liberal arts college, in which teaching and learning are primary. Because it is difficult to express these traditions in a few words, it may be helpful for faculty members to refer to three different documents, all of which have been approved by the faculty meeting: the College Mission Statement, the Statement on Religious Life at Earlham, and the Statement of Community Principles and Practices. These documents are not part of this Handbook and thus they are not extensions of faculty members’ contracts with the College. These documents also make clear that being a full and valued member of the Earlham community does not require adhering to any particular beliefs, but rather implies a willingness to live and work constructively within Earlham’s system of shared governance which is based on a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict, respect for all persons, personal integrity, social justice, and decisions reached by consensus rather than by majority rule.
Criteria for Hiring and Renewing Administrative Faculty, Including Coaches
Parallel to the four criteria for teaching faculty, the criteria for hiring and renewing the contracts of administrative faculty are administrative effectiveness, quality of mind, contributions to the community, and institutional fit with Earlham.
- A: Administrative effectiveness should be weighed most heavily in the appointment decisions and evaluations. Skills and attitudes to be considered may include, but are not limited to:
- Stewardship of time, resources, and budget
- Setting appropriate goals and developing meaningful projects
- Follow-through on activities
- Responsiveness to those served
- Flexibility and willingness to change
- Ability to work effectively with colleagues
- Supervisory skills
- Problem-solving, creativity, and trouble-shooting
- B: For administrative faculty, quality of mind also involves competence in and knowledge of one’s administrative field. Considerations might include (though not exclusively) the faculty member’s familiarity with recent developments in her/his field, involvement in professional organizations, publications, public presentations, and the ability to incorporate new techniques or ideas into one’s daily work at the College.
- C: Contributions to the community: An administrative faculty member’s involvement with the college community extends beyond the limits of the office. Faculty members are department colleagues, members of committees and of the Faculty Meeting, participants in the governance of the College, and may serve as academic advisors. A faculty member’s contributions to our community take many forms, for example:
- Constructive participation in faculty meetings, departmental meetings, and college and consortial committees
- Helpful and supportive relationships with colleagues
- Support and responsible academic advising of students as appropriate
- Participation in or attendance at College functions and events, such as lectures, convocations, athletic events and theatre productions.
We also value service to larger communities such as Richmond, Wayne county, and state, national, and international committees and organizations.
- D: Institutional fit addresses an administrative faculty member’s compatibility with the College’s needs and with Earlham’s mission as a Quaker liberal arts college. The fit between a particular faculty member’s interests, skills and area of expertise and the needs of the College may change over time. Where the faculty member’s interests and areas themselves change, we expect the faculty member to be in dialogue with the appropriate supervisor to come to mutually acceptable understanding about the faculty member’s role. As the supervisor becomes aware of changes in department or program needs that bear on renewal, the supervisor will inform the faculty member of such potential changes.Institutional fit implies that faculty share an understanding of and support for the basic mission of Earlham, both as a Quaker institution and as a liberal arts college, in which teaching and learning are primary. Because it is difficult to express these traditions in a few words, it may be helpful for faculty members to refer to three different documents, all of which have been approved by the Faculty Meeting: the College Mission Statement, the Statement on Religious Life at Earlham, and the Statement of Community Principles and Practices. These documents are not part of this Handbook and thus they are not extensions of faculty members’ contracts with the College. These documents also make clear that being a full and valued member of the Earlham community does not require adhering to any particular beliefs, but rather implies a willingness to live and work constructively within Earlham’s system of shared governance which is based on a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict, respect for all persons, personal integrity, social justice, and decisions reached by consensus rather than by majority rule.
1. Contracts for Full Time Teaching Faculty
Every teaching faculty member signs a contract with the College specifying title and salary for the following year. For returning teaching faculty, contracts are sent out each spring, and the College expects them to be returned with a signature within 14 days of their receipt.
Appointments for tenure track teaching faculty are ordinarily for an initial two-year period. A tenure track appointment may be renewed for a second two-year period following a satisfactory evaluation and recommendation by Faculty Affairs Committee and Student Faculty Affairs Committee, accepted by the President, during the teacher’s second year of employment. (This is called the second-year review). A third two-year appointment may be made following a successful evaluation during the teacher’s fourth year of employment (called the fourth year review). Normally, a tenure decision is made in the spring of a teacher’s sixth year of employment.
Teachers appointed to renewable but not tenurable positions will be evaluated informally each year by the Academic Dean, and will be evaluated formally by the above committees, each three years or five courses taught, whichever comes less frequently. After the first such review, Faculty Affairs Committee will determine a timetable for subsequent reviews.
Teaching faculty whose contract will not be renewed for a second or third year of service will be notified no later than December 31. Teaching faculty who will not be issued a contract after their third, fourth, or sixth year of service will be notified of that decision by Commencement, but are entitled to a terminal contract for the next academic year. When such a person takes a position for part or all of the terminal year at another institution, Earlham will cease salary and benefits payments at the point of subsequent employment.
Faculty members expecting to resign from the faculty at the end of an academic year are requested to notify the Academic Dean, if at all possible, by January 20 of that year. The College considers it unprofessional for a faculty member to resign a position after April 15.
Earlham considers the Faculty Handbook to be a part of the contract.
Termination of contracts for cause is discussed in Section J – Tenure.
2. Contracts for Administrative Faculty, Including Coaches
Contracts for administrative faculty and coaches are for one year. For returning administrative faculty and coaches, contracts are sent out each spring, and the College expects them to be returned with a signature within fourteen days of receipt.
In cases of non-renewal of contract, the faculty member or coach will be notified no later than March 31st.
Administrative faculty members or coaches expecting to resign are expected to give at least one month’s notice.
1. Teaching Faculty
Earlham assumes that its faculty is composed of mature and conscientious persons who fulfill their responsibilities without close supervision and overly-detailed rules. The primary responsibility of each faculty member is effective teaching.. All are expected to gain a clear understanding of their particular responsibilities and to fulfill them on their own initiative in their own creative manner. The faculty are free to organize their courses as to content, method of teaching, length and number of meetings per week, and grading, according to their own best judgment, consistent with the College’s and the department’s aims. Normally, a three credit hour course will meet for three hours of class per week, and students should expect to do two hours of preparation/outside-class work for each hour of class time. Faculty members know best how to manage their own time and organize their own schedules. They are free to do so, consistent with fulfilling their tasks and meeting necessary deadlines.
It is assumed that the services of every regular faculty member include teaching, advising, and committee work. Arrangements for significant blocks of time to do research during the academic year should be worked out with the Academic Dean and the department. A normal teaching load for an academic year is 18-21 credit hours of classes, which usually is comprised of 5 to 7 classes. Qualifications of this norm for laboratory courses, independent studies, tutorials, administrative responsibilities, research, and other special circumstances should be worked out with the Academic Dean.
Advising students is a very important part of a faculty member’s responsibilities and all teaching faculty are expected to be advisors after their first year at Earlham. Many faculty are expected to advise entering students, which is especially important. Faculty members are expected to give their attention and energy to their advising tasks. Effectiveness in advising will be considered in making decisions on contract renewal and tenure.
All faculty members are expected to attend Faculty Meetings.
Faculty members are expected to serve the College on committees, as appointed by the Nominating Committee and the Faculty Meeting. For further information consult Committee Guidelines (distributed by the Nominating Committee).
The academic year begins with Faculty Retreat in the fall and ends with Baccalaureate and Commencement. Faculty members are expected to attend the Retreat and the Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises. If scheduling conflicts make attendance at any of these events especially difficult, the faculty member should seek permission to be absent, from the Academic Dean.
No classes or class meetings are to be scheduled or held from 1-2:30 on Wednesdays. Classes can only be scheduled during authorized class periods. Placing limits on the number of students in a class must be approved by the Academic Dean or the Associate Academic Dean.
Earlham faculty take a variety of approaches to office hours. No particular pattern is required. Our objective is to make ourselves available in a clearly stated way, so that students need not wait several days to consult with a faculty member when they are making appropriate efforts to do so.
Teaching faculty are expected to meet classes during holidays when school is in session (Labor Day, Martin Luther King Day). They are also expected to be available for necessary meeting and other responsibilities without additional compensation during breaks during the academic year (though such meetings are not routine or frequent).
Unless otherwise specified, a faculty member’s annual contract is for the academic year. Faculty members are asked to inform the Academic Dean about their special summer activities and where they can be reached.
2. Administrative Faculty
Administrative faculty are expected and encouraged to participate in the governance of the College to the fullest extent possible, per the contributions to the community criterion for hiring and renewal. Administrative faculty can and should participate actively in Faculty Meeting and are eligible to serve as Clerk of the Faculty and Recording Clerk of the Faculty.
Administrative faculty are eligible to serve on most College committees. A complete list of committees and their membership is available on the College Website, and faculty members can determine from that list the committees that have administrative faculty members. The faculty member is encouraged to complete and return the Nominating Committee’s annual survey of interest sheet, which lets the Nominating Committee know of a faculty member’s interests in particular committees. Also, the faculty member can contact the Nominating Committee directly about particular interest.
1. Review Process for Administrative Faculty
As professionals in higher education, the work of administrative faculty must be examined periodically to determine administrative effectiveness, recognize past accomplishments, and determine future goals and professional development. The ultimate goal of such reviews is to strengthen Earlham’s ability to fulfill its mission by enhancing the effectiveness and morale of its administrative faculty. The following guidelines provide a structure within which such reviews shall be conducted.
The initial 90-day evaluation and the annual evaluation described below focus on the four criteria for appointment and evaluation for administrative faculty as described earlier in the Handbook: administrative effectiveness, quality of mind, contributions to the community, and institutional fit. The periodic review, while indirectly serving the needs of the institution by supporting administrative faculty, shall be primarily for the benefit of the faculty member undergoing the review.
a. Initial Ninety-Day Evaluation
Each new administrative faculty member shall have a formal meeting with the supervisor at or around the end of the first 90 days of work at Earlham College. The meeting shall focus on the faculty member’s initial experiences, questions, and suggestions about needed areas of training or other aids to effectiveness, and on the strengths of and areas needing improvement in the faculty member’s performance.
b. Annual Performance Evaluation
Each year, administrative faculty members shall submit written self-evaluations, using the form found in the Procedures section of this document, to their immediate supervisors no later than February 1st. Such annual evaluations will occur even in a year when a periodic review is conducted.
The self-evaluation provides supervisors with faculty members’ thoughts and reflections on their performance as measured by the four criteria for evaluation. Candor and realism are important qualities of these self-evaluations. After a meeting between the administrative faculty member and the supervisor, in which this self-evaluation is discussed, the supervisor shall complete the summary evaluation form, found in the Procedures section of this document, and shall share it with the faculty member. Copies of these documents shall be submitted to the President’s office no later than March 1st.
c. Periodic Reviews
Administrative faculty members may opt for a periodic review that follows the procedure for teaching faculty. Those who decide to use the administrative faculty periodic review procedure shall follow the procedure detailed here. Such faculty will, first, choose a focus for their periodic review — ranging from a routine review for those who are generally satisfied with and expect to continue in their present role to a reflective review for those who wish to explore possible changes in their professional role (either within their current employment or by seeking new employment options).
Each administrative faculty member shall have a periodic review after the first five years of employment as an administrative faculty member at Earlham. Thereafter, those administrative faculty who choose to follow the teaching faculty review process will be reviewed according to the timetable set for that process. Those administrative faculty members opting for the administrative faculty periodic review procedure will be expected to undertake a periodic review at some point chosen by that individual within each succeeding ten-year period.
The purposes of administrative faculty periodic reviews are:
- to support administrative faculty by providing them with a safe, nurturing process by which they can explore with colleagues their effectiveness at work and their work-related developmental goals and areas of personal concern;
- to provide a vehicle for soliciting feedback for administrative faculty members regarding their impact on co-workers, students, parents, and/or outside parties; and
- to offer an honest affirmation of the administrative faculty member’s contribution to Earlham.
Periodic reviews are not intended to:
- provide a review of a person’s daily performance, which should occur on an ongoing basis between the individual and her/his supervisor;
- substitute for annual performance evaluations that should occur between an administrative faculty member and his/her supervisor;
- provide only praise without critical comments or suggestions for improvement;
- focus on a critique of the structure of an administrative faculty position or unit;
- deal with conflict between an administrative faculty member and his/her supervisor; or
- generate unsolicited criticism of an administrative faculty member’s job performance.
The periodic review (unless the teaching faculty model is used) shall proceed as follows:
- The administrative faculty member will contact the convener of the Administrative Review Committee (ARC) to initiate a review process or, if the individual administrative faculty member has not initiated an initial five-year review or a subsequent periodic review after a ten-year period, the Provost, who will be responsible for monitoring the administrative review process, will initiate the review by contacting both the individual and the ARC convener.
- The Administrative Review Committee (ARC), composed of 12 administrative faculty members appointed by the Faculty Meeting upon recommendation of Nominating Committee, will appoint a sub-committee of 3 ARC members to work with the individual in planning and carrying out the periodic review. At the individual administrative faculty member’s request, a non-ARC faculty member from the teaching faculty may be appointed to serve on that person’s review sub-committee and, in that case, the ARC may opt to have only two ARC members on that sub-committee. The appointment of non-ARC faculty to periodic review sub-committees is expected to be exceptional.
- Administrative faculty may use the periodic review to gain a sense of how they are viewed by the Earlham community or by relevant subsets of that community.
- The ARC sub-committee will: a) meet with the reviewee to help that individual choose the review type and engage in a process of self-reflection, discernment, and goal-setting (which may or may not include a written self-reflection), b) consult with the reviewee regarding whom to solicit for feedback (such input should always be solicited from the individual’s supervisor) and the form of such solicitation (e.g. letters, survey, interviews), c) collect feedback as agreed, validate, summarize, interpret and edit that feedback, d) engage in an open-ended clearness or discernment dialogue with the individual, using the feedback results, including committee analysis, as well as the individual’s own ideas, and e) write a review report summarizing their work, in consultation with the reviewee.
- Copies of the review report shall be provided to the individual administrative faculty member, the individual’s supervisor (for information only), and the Provost.
- The Provost will read all individual review reports and conduct a follow-up with the administrative faculty member. The specific form of that follow-up will depend upon the specifics of the report, but it will always include a written response (shared with the individual) and a meeting of the individual and the Provost to discuss the review.
- The periodic review report, along with any written response by the Provost, will become part of the administrative faculty member’s personnel file.
2. Evaluation Process for Teaching Faculty Contract Renewal and for Tenure Recommendations
A. Process Summary
Teachers appointed to full-time tenure track positions should expect to be evaluated for contract renewal in their second year of teaching (Fall Semester) and again in their fourth year of teaching (Spring Semester). Tenure decisions are normally made during the Spring semester of one’s sixth year of employment. (For a definition of tenure, see Section J – Tenure, for the review schedule for shared appointments; see Section K – Shared Positions.)
Faculty Affairs Committee, (FAC) and Student Faculty Affairs Committee (SFAC) evaluate the files of tenure track appointments during the second, fourth and (finally) sixth year of a colleague’s employment with the College. FAC and SFAC attempt to formulate and make a consensus recommendation to the President based on the candidate’s file.
The FAC recommendation in its finished form is a written “minute” describing the committee’s reasons for its recommendation. This minute is written after FAC and SFAC have met and sought consensus on a file, but is written and approved by FAC only. A copy of the FAC minute is always shared with the faculty member. Minutes from previous evaluation processes become part of the faculty member’s future evaluation files.
In preparing an evaluation file, a faculty member is assigned to a current member of FAC who acts as a liaison throughout the evaluation process. The FAC liaison is not a partisan or an advocate for the faculty member but a facilitator to the faculty member as he or she makes choices in constituting an evaluation file.
B. File Preparation
Faculty members up for review should construct their files in a way that provides a comprehensive view of their work for FAC, SFAC, and the President to consider in their assessments. The committees will be able to provide the most productive feedback and make the wisest recommendations when they are presented with the clearest possible picture of the faculty member’s work in relation to the four criteria.
The committees do not expect “perfect files” with no criticism or negative student comments. Rather, they look especially for patterns of evidence of strengths and needs for improvement, with special attention to the perceptiveness of the faculty member’s own reflections on one’s work and the responses of others to it.
A few elements of an evaluation file are required for all evaluations. But faculty members also have considerable choice about what does and does not become part of the file.
A self-evaluation, a current vita, a departmental (and where relevant a program) evaluation, student course evaluations, selected course materials, and feedback from advisees, are all required elements of any file. In addition, if any formal grievance has been filed against the faculty member that has gone to the Grievance Council, the Associate Academic Dean, and/or the Chief Academic Officer and that has risen to the level of producing an outcome being recorded as a written minute, this will also be automatically included in the faculty member’s file for consideration by FAC and SFAC, and the faculty member will have a chance to include a written response as part of the Self-Evaluation portion of the file. Each of the components of the file is described more fully below.
Once the faculty member has determined what shall be in the evaluation file, the liaison will move the process along by asking the Dean’s secretary to solicit letters as requested by the candidate. It is not the candidate’s responsibility to solicit letters for his or her file. No unsolicited letters will be admitted to the faculty member’s file anytime during the process without the faculty member’s permission.
An example of the sheet a faculty member and his or her liaison use when constructing a file is included in the Policies and Administrative Procedures part of this document.
- Open and Closed Files
The College believes it should be up to the faculty member to choose to have an open or closed file. No file, whether open or closed, will be a perfect reflection of a faculty member’s work. FAC and SFAC strive to read all files carefully and thoroughly regardless of their designation. Some people have strong preferences for open files, others for closed, and whether to have an open or closed file is for many a vexing question. Most of the evidence in a file is already available to a faculty member (teaching evaluations, self-evaluation, [often] department and program letters). Thus, what is most directly at issue in the decision to have a closed or open file is the faculty member’s ability to read letters from colleagues and students that have not otherwise been shared.Student and colleague letters may be affected by knowing the file is open or closed, or they may be unaffected. If they are affected, there is no clear way to predict what the effect will be. Some letters may be more open, more pointed, more honest in a closed file. On the other hand, some letters may be more thoughtful, thorough, and less prone to generalizations in an open file. Some argue that colleagues and students should be able to write accurate and complete letters whether the file is open or closed; others claim this is unrealistic in a close-knit community like Earlham. Some faculty members find it important to see the evidence in their file to see if the judgment of the committees and FAC minute accord with their own reading of the file, and to learn from the assessments of their colleagues and the students. Others argue that a faculty member up for review may be unduly upset or hurt by reading criticisms in his or her file and should give students and colleagues the freedom to write without worrying about the faculty member’s reaction.It is finally up to faculty members themselves to choose whether their files are open or closed. The letter requesting contributions to a file, sent by the Dean’s Office to those persons identified by the faculty member, indicates whether the file will be open or closed to the faculty member.
- Building the File
- a) Self-Evaluation
Each faculty member up for review must submit a written self-evaluation to FAC/SFAC. The self-evaluation provides FAC and SFAC with faculty members’ thoughts and reflections on their performance as measured by the four criteria for evaluation. In addition, self-evaluations allow faculty members to write more generally about their intellectual interests and plans and about pedagogical issues that go beyond any particular course. In particular, it is useful for FAC and SFAC to hear directly from faculty members (though not necessarily at great length) about their intellectual and academic pursuits in a way accessible for non-specialists.Such a presentation gives FAC and SFAC information about quality of mind beyond a listing of professional accomplishments and publications, though the latter is important as well.Candor and realism are important qualities of these self-evaluations, especially with regard to teaching and working with colleagues. The committees do not expect that there will have been no challenges or failures. Rather, the committees are particularly interested in seeing the way faculty members respond to and evaluate patterns of feedback from students and colleagues.Finally, faculty members should say something about their future development and aspirations.
- b) Department and Program Evaluation(s)
Faculty members will specify whether evaluations from their departments are to be in the form of a consensus letter or separate letters from each member of the department. Evaluations from members of programs to which the candidate makes integral contributions (not simply cross-listing a course) also should be included in the file. The exact nature of the program’s assessment (e.g. a single letter from a faculty member in the program vs. a consensus letter from all members) should be appropriate to the contributions the faculty member makes to the program. The most informative department and program letters provide honest evaluations of the faculty member with respect to the four criteria, including ways in which the faculty member fits into a department or program and its anticipated future. Assessments by departments and programs based on clear and direct evidence of a faculty member’s performance, such as class observations, team teaching, and department and program collaborations are most convincing. FAC and SFAC rely heavily on these components in assessing both the faculty member’s quality of mind and specific fit of his or her abilities and interests with curricular and other needs. The latter issue of fit is especially important for departments to address when the faculty member is filling the last open tenurable position in the department. Departments and programs are encouraged to share assessments with the faculty member being reviewed to encourage, support, guide, and advise.
- c) Student Course Evaluations
All teaching faculty are encouraged to have their courses evaluated by students on a regular basis. During the probationary period preceding a tenure decision, teaching faculty must make available to FAC and SFAC all student responses to their teaching in all of the courses they have taught (on and off-campus) since their last evaluation. Faculty members should keep all evaluations; a faculty member may wish to submit, and FAC may request, evaluations from courses prior to the last evaluation. In addition, letters from a sampling of students for whom the faculty member has been an advisor should be included in the file. Earlham provides faculty members with a choice between the McKeachie evaluation form, and an “in house” evaluation form. Examples of both are included in this document in the Policy and Administrative Procedures section. Faculty members who wish to use a different form may do so with the advance approval of the Academic Dean. Course evaluations are sent to the Registrar’s Office where a record is made of which courses have been evaluated, the enrollment numbers for each course and the number of evaluations returned by students in the course. Sets of evaluations are then returned to teaching faculty. Faculty members should keep all their course evaluations and are responsible for seeing that evaluations are made available to FAC as part of their renewal and tenure files.
- d) Course Materials
Faculty members should include syllabi/course descriptions for their courses. In addition to the required syllabi, faculty members should also select additional course material (e.g. handouts, discussion questions, and writing, research and laboratory assignments) as appropriate.
- e) Colleague and Student Letters
Faculty members up for review are encouraged to include letters written by Earlham colleagues and students. Some people choose to include letters from persons at other institutions.
- f) External Review of Scholarship
As part of the four-year review and the tenure review file, each faculty member is asked to suggest up to five outside individuals who might be asked to review the file, along with a brief explanation for each choice. People with whom the faculty member has had direct experience, for example, a dissertation advisor, or a co-author should not be members of the list. The Academic Dean will select two for the fourth year review and three for the tenure review and has the option to ask for additional names from which to choose. The reviewers will be invited to read a package of the candidate’s work, which will include the self-evaluation, a cv, and anything the faculty member would like to submit for consideration. Individuals hired before 2013 who are on tenure track have the option of taking advantage of this opportunity. Faculty will have the opportunity to respond to the evaluation of outside reviewers and that response will also become part of the file. The external review of scholarship contributes to the evaluation of Quality of Mind, but other indicators also remain important to demonstrating Quality of Mind (see section B – Appointment and Renewal Criteria, subsection 2.b. Quality of Mind). “Scholarship” for this external review could include not only books, monographs, and published articles, but also conference papers, external grants, performances, exhibitions, and products of student-faculty collaborations as appropriate to the faculty member’s position at Earlham. There is no specific numerical quota for the amount of scholarship that must be in the file; the emphasis instead is on the quality of that scholarship, as a demonstration of scholarly engagement within a faculty member’s field and of overall Quality of Mind.
- g) Recorded Minute(s) of any Formal Grievance Procedure(s)
- h) Class Interviews
Occasionally people request that students in one or more of their courses be interviewed by a member or members of FAC. If this is done, a written record of the FAC members’ interview with the class or classes will be part of the faculty members’ file.
- i) Optional Materials
Other material or information may be included, as suggested by the faculty member. Examples might be copies of published articles, essays, books, or tapes of music or theater performances.
- j) Committee-requested information
FAC may find it desirable to request elaboration from the faculty members or a referee or to request that a letter be sent by a person familiar with the faculty member’s work, but not asked by the faculty member to write. If a letter is desired, the faculty member will be consulted about the request. The committee will identify the concerns leading to the request and invite the faculty member to respond. If the faculty member refuses the request, FAC expects that an explanatory letter will be provided.
- a) Self-Evaluation
C. Decision Sequence
The foregoing evaluation material will be gathered by the Academic Dean’s Office. These materials will be considered by the President, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the Student Faculty Affairs Committee. They will strive to make a recommendation by consensus. (See also Section E – Personnel Reviews of Administrative and Teaching Faculty, subsection 2. Evaluation Process for Teaching Contract Renewal and for Tenure Recommendations for more about this process.)
When the committees and the department or program reach opposite recommendations, the department or program may request a meeting to hear and respond to the reasons for the committees’ recommendation.
If the assessment by the committees and the President of the teaching effectiveness of the faculty member differs critically from that of the department, and if the department has not already studied the evaluations [in reaching its recommendation], then the faculty member may permit the convener of the department (or other appropriate person chosen with the mutual consent of the department and the committees and the President) to have access to the course evaluation forms. If the representative strongly disagrees with the committee’s interpretation of the student course evaluations, he or she may request that the recommendation be reconsidered.
Final responsibility for the decision rests with the President and (in the case of tenure decisions) with the Board of Trustees but with the advice, consultation, and seeking of consensus with the Faculty Affairs Committee and Student Faculty Affairs Committee.
Faculty Affairs Committee will minute in writing its recommendations and reasons or its reasons for being unable to reach consensus. A copy of this minute will be given to the candidate. If FAC and the President disagree, FAC will minute its own recommendation and reasons and will communicate this to the faculty member.
Following the evaluation process for contract renewal preceding consideration for tenure (usually during one’s fourth year at Earlham), the faculty member will be informed of any questions which appear at that time to be relevant to the tenure decision. The Academic Dean will meet with the faculty member to discuss the minute.
3. Evaluations of the Teaching of Earlham Administrative Faculty Who also Teach
Many administrative faculty teach either regularly or on an occasional basis, and these faculty make important contributions to our educational program, even though teaching is not a formal part of their position description.
Faculty Affairs Committee undertakes the responsibility of reviewing the teaching of administrative faculty, not in order to arrive at a recommendation concerning contract renewal, but to provide a chance for collegial feedback. In some cases, FAC may recommend that the faculty member concentrate on their administrative duties. The normal cycle for review is every three years, or every five courses, whichever is least frequent. After one or more reviews on this cycle, the committee and faculty member may agree on another cycle better suited to the case.
The general format for collecting information for the file and for evaluation follows the pattern described for full-time teaching faculty in this section. Because fewer total courses are being considered, the quantity of material requested may be scaled back, and a subset of Faculty Affairs Committee, with or without Student Faculty Affairs Committee, may conduct the review.
Faculty Affairs Committee will send an evaluation minute to the faculty member and the faculty member’s supervisor. A meeting of the faculty member and the Academic Dean concludes the process.
4. Evaluation of Part-Time and Adjunct Faculty
Continuing part-time faculty and adjunct faculty (see Section L – Faculty Positions for definitions of these roles) are evaluated according to the general guidelines for full-time teaching faculty outlined in this section of the handbook. Evaluations are scheduled for every three years or every five courses, whichever is less frequent. After the first such evaluation, the Academic Dean in consultation with Faculty Affairs Committee may establish a different cycle if one is more appropriate to an individual circumstance.
5. Evaluation of Visiting Faculty
From time to time, visiting faculty may stay at Earlham for more than a year. In such cases, Faculty Affairs Committee may ask them if they wish to be evaluated using procedures analogous to those for full-time teaching faculty. In such cases, the evaluation is for the purpose of providing useful feedback, and a minute of evaluation that can be used, if the faculty member wishes, in applying for positions elsewhere. Conducting such an evaluation is not for contract renewal, and no further position at Earlham is thereby being offered or assumed. Faculty Affairs Committee takes account of its workload in deciding whether these evaluations can be offered. They are not guaranteed. Evaluation of visiting faculty is required if the faculty member is being considered for an additional teaching assignment. (For a description of Visiting Appointments, see Section P – Visiting Faculty Appointments of this Handbook).
1. Procedure for Teaching Faculty
A member of the teaching faculty has the right to appeal a decision not to renew his or her contract or to award tenure. Faculty have this right whether the President has accepted a consensus recommendation from FAC and SFAC, has failed to accept such a recommendation, or FAC and/or SFAC themselves have failed to reach a consensus in their recommendations to the President.
It is in the interest both of teaching faculty and the College, and consistent with the traditions of Earlham and Quaker values, that the best possible persons be secured for initial appointment, that there be provided means for regular evaluation, consultation, and improvement, and that the decision-making process be fair, consistent with Earlham’s stated policies and criteria, and be subject to a process of review.
Consistent with this, the College has the responsibility to make available to all teaching faculty at the time of appointment this Handbook, and to notify in writing the times of assessment and decision for contract renewal or tenure. In cases of decisions not to award contract renewal or tenure, the President or FAC will provide reasons in writing. It must also be kept in mind, however, that a faculty member’s teaching time before award of tenure is probationary, that the institution must be accorded the widest latitude consistent with academic freedom and standards of fairness in establishing criteria and reaching a decision, and that in any appeal the burden of proof rests with the faculty member. This is consistent with 1971 AAUP Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Non-Renewal ofFaculty Appointments.
(1) To appeal a decision not to renew or award tenure, a faculty member must indicate in writing to the President that they wish to appeal within 30 calendar days from the beginning of the semester (first class day) following notification of a decision.
(2) Upon appeal, the President, the Clerk of the Faculty, and the faculty member will select an Appeal Committee consisting of three members of the teaching faculty acceptable to all three parties.
(3) All relevant material will be submitted to the Appeal Committee in writing. Such materials must be submitted within 60 days of the beginning of the semester following notification of a decision. The written materials will include at least the following:
- (a) A copy of the reasons for the negative decision received by the faculty member and any supporting documents the administration may choose to provide;
- (b) An appeal document detailing the grounds for an appeal and any supporting documents the faculty member may wish to provide.
(4) The grounds for an appeal are that the process of evaluation and/or decision making, as stated in the Handbook, was violated or that the faculty member’s academic freedom has been violated (as defined by the appropriate AAUP statements). The faculty member may not ground an appeal in disagreements over the judgments of the FAC or President if those judgments were themselves the product of correct procedure. The College retains the right to make judgments about the quality of candidates’ performance in accord with the process specified in the Handbook; good performance is not in itself a guarantee of renewal or tenure. If, however, the faculty member believes that an incorrect judgment about the quality or nature of their work has been arrived at because of faults in process, she/he must show how flaws in the process lead to such an improper judgment about performance.
(5) The Appeal Committee will review the decision broadly for fairness of process and conformity with Handbook guidelines. The Appeal Committee is charged with determining whether the faculty member should have his/her case reconsidered and, if so, under what conditions. It is not the role of the appeal committee to render an independent judgment on the merits of any candidates’ qualifications for tenure or renewal. The Appeal Committee must be given full access to all persons and documents that will help it reach a sound conclusion, including the faculty
member’s appeal document, attachments (if any) and the faculty member’s file, should the Appeal Committee wish to see it.
(6) The Appeal Committee can recommend any of the following:
- (a) The appeal is not sustained and no further College action is recommended;
- (b) The decision-making process ought to be repeated because of a violation of process or academic freedom as specified in #4 above. In this case the Appeal Committee may recommend that FAC reconsider the faculty member’s case for tenure or renewal, or they may recommend that an alternate FAC be constituted to rehear the case.
The Appeal Committee may wish to trigger the appointment of an alternate FAC if it believes the sitting FAC has a conflict of interest or for some other reason is unlikely to be able to revisit the case impartially.
In either case, the Appeal Committee should specify to the FAC (either sitting or alternate) the ways in which its new process should differ from its prior consideration of the faculty member’s case.
The Appeal Committee will communicate its findings to the faculty member and President in writing.
The FAC must reconsider the faculty member’s file in conformity with the recommendations of the Appeal Committee and produce a second recommendation and minute. Whether the new recommendation or minute concurs or differs from the previous recommendation and minute, it supersedes the previous recommendation and becomes the recommendation that the President must use in forming his/her recommendation to the Board.
(7) The alternate FAC, by design, is to consist exclusively of members who were not on the sitting FAC that heard the faculty member’s tenure or renewal case. The alternate FAC will consist of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 of the most recent full term members of FAC. If there are not 3 full term former members of FAC on campus and available to serve on the alternate FAC, interim or replacement members of FAC will be asked to serve. Interim or replacement members of FAC will be asked to serve by the Clerk of the Faculty.
(8) The official record of the Appeal Committee will be kept in the President’s Office files and will consist of the following:
- (a) All written materials received from the administration, the faculty member, and other parties seen to be appropriate by the Committee;
- (b) A copy of the committee’s recommendation;
- (c) A log of the Committee’s actions, including times of meeting, documents received, and a record of parties with whom the Committee or its members conversed.
2. Procedure for Appeal and Review of Decision Not to Renew Contracts for Administrative Faculty
A member of the administrative faculty has the right to appeal a decision not to renew his or her contract.
It is in the interest of both administrative faculty and the College and consistent with the traditions of Earlham and Quaker values that the best possible persons be secured for initial appointment, that there be provided means for regular evaluation, consultation, and improvement, and that the decision-making process be fair, consistent with Earlham’s stated policies and criteria, and be subject to a process of review.
Consistent with this, the College has the responsibility to make available to all administrative faculty at the time of appointment this Handbook, and to notify them in writing about the times of assessment and decision for contract renewal. In cases of decisions not to award contract renewal, the supervisor will provide notice in writing to the faculty member by March 31st.
(1) To appeal a decision not to renew, the faculty member must indicate in writing to the President that he or she wishes to appeal within 30 calendar days of the notification of non-renewal.
(2) The grounds for an appeal are that the process of evaluation and/or decision-making, as stated in the handbook, was violated. The faculty member may not ground an appeal on disagreements over the supervisor’s judgments if those judgments were themselves the product of correct procedure. The College retains the right to make judgments about the quality of a faculty member’s performance in accord with the process specified in the handbook; good performance is not in itself a guarantee of renewal. If, however, the faculty member believes that an incorrect judgment about the quality or nature of the faculty member’s work has been arrived at because of faults in the process, she/he must show how flaws in the process led to such an improper judgment about performance.
(3) The President shall review the decision broadly for fairness of process and conformity with handbook guidelines. The President is charged with determining whether the faculty member should have his/her case reconsidered and, if so, under what conditions. The President will inform the faculty member of his/her decision. An official record of the appeal and response shall be kept in the President’s office.
Periodic review of tenured faculty has value for both the faculty member and the College. One objective is consideration of professional development and personal growth. As regards this objective, the issues of a review may change with the lengthening of service of a faculty member and with the person’s age and may change, too, as a result of altered conditions and circumstances of his or her work at the College. Another objective, equally important, is assessment of teaching, collegiality, service to the College, and quality of mind. The review is carried out by a committee in consultation with the faculty member under review and concludes with the committee’s written report to the individual and the Academic Dean, who then meet to discuss the report and its issues. The intent of the review is to be forward-looking and the conversation with the Dean is to help the faculty member as she or he thinks about the prior seven years and looks to his or her professional development. Potential benefits for the faculty member and the College include enhanced effectiveness, deepened engagement, and increased satisfaction.
Reviews of tenured faculty* will typically take place every 7 years. After the first sabbatical, a faculty member must have completed the review prior to scheduling a sabbatical leave. The first review normally occurs seven years after the year of the tenure decision and last review within five years of retirement. Faculty members, if they deem it beneficial, can schedule additional reviews as they begin their pre-retirement planning.
During the semester prior to the review the Academic Dean will initiate the procedure by contacting the Teaching-Learning Consultant (TLC) and the faculty member. The TLC will serve as coordinator of post-tenure reviews by periodically monitoring the progress of the committee and offering support and encouragement as needed. The TLC will not be a member of the committee. Early in the process the faculty member and the TLC will work on the crucial question: “What would you like to accomplish with this review?” The resulting conversation will shape the nature and direction of the review, and the proposed timetable for the review. Unless there are unusual circumstances a review will be completed in one semester.
Committee Formation. The person undergoing review should provide to the TLC a list of at least 4 potential committee members, including at least 2 from the teaching faculty. The TLC will contact the people on the list. The final committee of 2 will be constituted from that list, and at least 1 must be a member of the teaching faculty. Inclusion of a member of the reviewee’s department/program or of a non-tenured faculty member should be done with sensitivity.
The centerpiece of a review of tenured faculty will be a written self-assessment. Supporting materials will include: letters or interviews with departmental and other colleagues, course evaluations, and possibly letters from students. The self-assessment should emphasize the future, in keeping with the objective of promoting professional growth and continued vitality, but, in addition, serve as a personal assessment and review of the past seven years. It might include a list of goals for the next seven years. The self-assessment normally is written prior to, and guides, the work of the committee. There may be occasions on which it is written after discussion with the committee or perhaps in response to the committee report. A person in mid or late stages of his or her career can choose to have the possibility of moving into academic administration, or acquiring another discipline, or renewing one’s commitment to research, or planning for retirement be the focus of the review. Because teaching and collegiality are central to the teaching faculty’s activity at the College, the second and subsequent seven-year reviews will continue to make these matters subject to review even though the major focus may
be on other matters.
- If the faculty member in consultation with the committee determines that the review would be strengthened by the inclusion of an outside consultant they can approach the Dean to determine what kind of support is available.
- One useful model that could shape a post-tenure review is suggested by a Quaker practice – the Clearness Committee. The self-assessment document is similar to the sort of personal statement used in the Clearness process, and the approach of the committee would be similar to that of a Clearness Committee. If this model is used, the person under review will meet with their committee to consider issues raised by the self-assessment. The members of the committee will raise additional clarifying questions. They will then work out a strategy for discovering answers to those questions, and map out the next steps in conversation with the faculty member.
Conclusion and follow-up
The committee will submit a final report to the faculty member and to the Academic Dean. The process will conclude with the individual’s subsequent conference with the Dean. The committee will have sent a copy of the self-assessment to the Academic Dean at the beginning of the process, and this will help frame the conversation between the faculty member and the Dean.
Revised and approved by the Faculty May, 2016, & by the Board of Trustees, June, 2016.
*The tenured faculty review is not designed to question the competence of faculty member to hold tenure, and implies no change in current college policies regarding removal of tenure, or the College’s adherence to the AAUP Statement of Principles. In particular, no materials gathered specifically for use in the assessment procedure can be
introduced as evidence in any proceeding to remove tenure.
Teaching Faculty ranks are the usual ones: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. The ranks of Lecturer or Instructor may also be used, from time to time, such as for some administrative faculty who teach part-time. The College uses titles to be consistent with the practices of the academic world at large. We try to live in a way consistent with the Quaker conviction that there is that of God in every person.
Changes in rank are recommended to the Board of Trustees by the Academic Dean after consultation with the department and/or program of the faculty member and the Faculty Affairs Committee, and subject to the approval of the President. New faculty members will normally be Assistant Professors. The promotion to Associate Professor will occur at the time of awarding tenure. For full-time teaching faculty, the promotion to Professor may occur in or around the 7th year after tenure, subject to the outcome of the FAC review and the recommendation of the President.
Administrative faculty ranks are generally meant to signify ranges of responsibility and to conform to existing conventions for names of positions elsewhere in higher education. Good performance therefore can affect salary and eligibility for promotion to a position with wider responsibility. However, promotions (new title) may be proposed by the area supervisor and approved by the President on the basis of length of service, if this conforms to a national pattern.
The College operates under the principle that the promotion to Professor is a community-wide recognition of the sustained work and dedication of its tenured teaching faculty. Senior teaching faculty have a unique role in shaping, planning, and implementing the College’s goals and teaching mission; therefore, the process for promotion to Professor is consistent with the mission and goals of the College. The promotion to Professor includes a significant adjustment to the faculty member’s base salary.
Tenured teaching faculty are eligible to request promotion to Professor beginning seven years after the Board of Trustees approved awarding their tenure. As in the tenure decision, the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) and the President give the highest consideration to a demonstrated and sustained commitment to teaching. FAC will evaluate faculty for promotion by the following two criteria:
- 1. Sustained Teaching Excellence – Applications for promotion to Professor should include evidence of sustained teaching excellence over time, for example,
- Expanding teaching interest areas,
- Course development and improvements,
- Off-campus study leadership,
- Collaborative faculty-student projects,
- Student mentoring and advising
- Student learning outcomes assessment,
- Active participation in forums and conferences focused on pedagogy, and
- Internal or external recognition of teaching accomplishments.
- 2. Professional Growth and Development – Applications for promotion to Professor should include evidence of continuing professional growth and development, for example,
- Continuing studies and education, including work to improve campus and classroom equity and inclusion;
- Research, including student-faculty and community-engaged projects;
- Publications, external grants, conference papers, performances, exhibitions, and products of student-faculty collaborations;
- Involvement in professional and scholarly organizations;
- Administrative leadership;
- Constructive participation on faculty committees;
- Service to the Earlham, Richmond, and Wayne County Communities; and
- Service to regional and national community organizations.
Tenured faculty who would like to be considered for promotion to Professor should submit a brief letter of intent to request promotion and a current C.V. to FAC. Following the review of these materials, if FAC agrees that the process should be pursued, the faculty member submits the following to complete the application:
- 1. A short self-evaluation (recommended 10 pages maximum);
- 2. The FAC Minute received at the awarding of tenure;
- 3. Names and contact information for three colleagues to be solicited for supporting letters by the Dean’s office (one letter may be a consensus letter from one’s contract department or program, at least one letter must come from (an) Earlham colleague(s)), and at least one letter must come from someone outside the Earlham community); and
- 4. Evidence of student endorsement of the faculty member’s teaching, via either
- A minimum of five and up to ten names with contact information for the solicitation of individual student letters by the Dean’s office OR
- b. The last two years of the faculty member’s course evaluations.
The Academic Dean and FAC, in consultation with the individual, will arrange for an external reviewer for the reviewee’s materials. Materials provided will be presented to the outside reviewer by the Academic Dean in the context of the specific demands of Earlham upon teaching faculty’s time. FAC does not cede its authority to external reviewers.
Subsequent to the review process, the faculty member will be notified whether their name will be presented for promotion to the rank of Professor to the Board of Trustees during its summer meeting. In the event that FAC determines (upon initial review of the letter of intent) that the faculty member should wait and not pursue promotion at that time, or in the event of a negative review outcome, then
- 1. it is incumbent upon FAC to state in writing what the committee would like to see in a future application to support a more positive outcome; and
- 2. the faculty member is invited to reapply in the future.
Tenured faculty are not obligated to apply for promotion to Professor. Regardless of promotion status, it is expected that faculty will participate in their reviews under the guidelines of Section G – Reviews of Tenured Faculty and activity reporting, as requested by the Dean.
1. General Tenure Policies
a. Definition and Timing
Tenure at Earlham in its narrow and technical sense means assured and continuous employment until the age of retirement without termination except for cause as outlined below. Historically in American higher education, tenure is a means to protect academic freedom.
Normally a teaching faculty member will be considered for tenure during one’s sixth year of full-time teaching at the College. The effect of sabbatical leaves, leaves of absence, or service in special programs or projects on the timing for eligibility for tenure consideration will be determined by consultation between the Academic Dean and the faculty member.
The teaching experience of faculty members who come to Earlham from other institutions can be taken into account in determining the date for tenure consideration. Teaching faculty who come to Earlham from tenured positions at other institutions will usually be considered for tenure after one full year at Earlham. The probationary period for teachers with previous experience will be determined by consultation between the Academic Dean and the faculty member.
b. Termination for Cause
Termination of a tenured appointment or dismissal of a teacher prior to the expiration of a term appointment will be considered by the President, the Student Faculty Affairs Committee, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the College. Termination of tenured appointments may be occasioned by the inability or refusal of the faculty member to fulfill his or her regular faculty obligations. Dismissal can be caused by moral turpitude or academic incompetence. In all cases where the facts are in dispute, faculty members will have the right of a hearing and will be informed before the hearing in writing of the charges against them and will, if they so desire, have the opportunity to be heard in their own defense by all bodies that pass judgment on the case. They will be permitted to have an adviser of their own choosing who may act as counsel. There will be a full record of the hearing available to the parties concerned. In the hearing of the charges of incompetence, the testimony will include that of faculty members from Earlham and/or other institutions.
Teachers with tenure whose appointments are terminated for cause may receive their salaries in whole or in part for at least a year from the date of notification of termination or dismissal, whether or not they are continued in their duties at Earlham College. The amount of salary, if any, to be received from Earlham will be reduced by the amount of income the individual receives from any new position, which he/she holds during the year in question.
c. Other Conditions for Termination of Tenure
Other conditions for the abrogation of tenure, and the processes appropriate to them, are described in Section N – Faculty Reduction Due to Financial Exigency and Section O – Discontinuance or Reduction of a Program or Department not Mandated by Financial Exigency of this handbook.
2. Tenure in Interdisciplinary Programs
While most faculty are tenured in a department, Earlham has long fostered and supported interdisciplinary programs, and it is sometimes important to the strength and stability of a program, and the professional identities of a faculty member that tenure be granted specifically in such a program. At the time of the 2001 edition of this Handbook, the only tenured position in an interdisciplinary program is in Peace and Global Studies. However, the College may choose to develop tenured positions around other interdisciplinary programs in the future. The definitive evidence of the department and/or program in which a faculty member receives tenure will be the minutes of the Board of Trustees for the meeting at which tenure is approved.
Earlham has offered shared teaching faculty positions for some time. The following policy relates to those positions. We are open to considering such positions for administrative positions faculty as well, but currently have no policy guidelines for such positions. Appropriate guidelines will be developed on a case-by-case basis for such opportunities.
A single full-time contract can be shared by two people who divide the duties of the full-time position between them in any combination. Faculty members sharing a position may work in the same department or in different departments and may have the same areas of expertise and be good substitutes for one another, or they may not be fully interchangeable. Faculty members sharing a full-time position are expected to share a single full-time teaching load as well as to carry the full-time equivalent of advisees and college, department, and program committee work between them. We recognize that the College benefits by having two persons share a full-time position as the community gains the perspectives and personal ties of two individuals rather than one.
The salary for such positions is on a full-time schedule rather than on an adjunct schedule. The College will provide full health insurance benefits to each person as if that person held the full-time position alone. Long-term disability insurance and retirement annuity contributions are also provided, based on the actual (fractional) salary of each person. For a description of tuition remission policies, refer to the Procedure and Policies document.
There are two categories of shared positions: 1) those in which there is enough overlap of areas of coverage and training so that each person has the presumptive right to the full-time position should either faculty member leave the College (called Full Shared Position); 2) those positions without such overlap and thus that carry no expectation that either faculty member will be extended a full-time contract should the other person leave the College (called Partial Shared Position). The category of shared position will be determined at the time of appointment by the Academic Dean, the faculty members themselves, and the relevant department or program. The process of contract renewal through tenure is the same for both categories. However, the information on what happens if one faculty member of a shared position leaves the College either before of or after tenure differs by category as explained in (b) and (c) below.
(a) Contract Renewal and Tenure
Each faculty member in a shared position will be evaluated for renewal tenure, promotion, and pay increments; each is evaluated separately and without reference to the performance of the other person. For example, both could receive renewal, neither could receive renewal, or only one could receive renewal. The same is true for tenure and promotion. Renewal, promotion, and tenure for each individual will be determined, as for all faculty members, according to the processes and criteria specified in this Handbook. Pay increases will likewise be determined in the same manner as for all other faculty members.
b) Rights of Faculty in a Full Shared Position if One Faculty Member Leaves the College
If either faculty member who shares a full-time tenure track position is denied renewal or leaves the College for any other reason prior to both members receiving tenure, the position will convert to a full-time tenure track position for the remaining faculty member. It may remain a part-time tenure track position if the College and the faculty member mutually agree.
If either faculty member were to leave the College for any reason after both have received tenure, the remaining faculty member will assume the vacated portion of the position, protected by tenure, unless the College and the faculty member agree otherwise.
(c) Rights of Faculty in a Partial Shared Position if one Faculty Member Leaves the College
If either faculty member sharing a full- time tenure track position is denied renewal or leaves the College for any other reason prior to both members receiving tenure, there is no guarantee of continuation of the remaining faculty member beyond her or his portion of the position.
If either faculty member were to leave the College for any reason after both have received tenure, the remaining faculty member has a claim to the position, protected by tenure, equivalent to his or her previous teaching load. Any change in the status of the position from part-time to full-time must go through the same process as any change at the College and will depend on the needs of the College at the time.
(d) Other Variations of Shared Positions
In other variations on shared positions (e.g. when two faculty members share more than one full- time equivalent positions), the nature of the agreement, including rights of each faculty member should the other leave, will be worked out between the faculty members, the Academic Dean, and the Department and Programs.
Earlham has three kinds of faculty status: Full-time, Part-time and Adjunct. They differ in responsibilities, compensation levels, benefits eligibility and eligibility for continuing contracts and tenure. Faculty members’ position descriptions should clearly specify the status of the position.
Teaching faculty whose workload is ¾ time or more, even if their teaching load alone is only ½ time or more, are considered to be full-time.
Full-time teaching faculty will be eligible for contract renewal, and for consideration for tenure as described elsewhere in this Handbook. They will assume full-time faculty responsibilities as outlined in this Handbook.
Administrative faculty who work ¾ time or more year-round or full time for at least 36 weeks a year are considered to be full-time.
Full-time teaching and administrative faculty are eligible for all full-time benefits.
Part-Time Administrative Faculty
Part-time administrative faculty either work less than 3/4 time year-round or work for less than 36 weeks per year. They may have committee assignments and other duties as assigned within their scheduled work.
Part-time administrative faculty do not receive any full-time benefits.
Part-Time and Adjunct Teaching Faculty
All part-time and adjunct teaching faculty work less than ¾ time. Some part-time and adjunct teaching faculty fill temporary positions and some fill ongoing regularly funded positions. Some offer only a course or two while others teach half-time or more.
Part-time teaching faculty and adjunct teaching faculty differ in their degree of attachment to the College and particular departments or programs. Adjunct teaching faculty typically teach short-term or in temporary positions and are not regarded as regular members of academic departments/programs. Part-time teaching faculty are regular participants in the activities of the departments and programs in which they serve; they are similar in most ways to full-time teaching faculty with the exception of working less than ¾ time.
Adjunct Teaching Faculty
Teaching Faculty members are adjunct teaching faculty if they teach 2/3 time or less in positions that may or may not be renewable and have no other duties or obligation to the College for the curriculum aside from those immediately associated with their course offerings.
Such teaching faculty members will not be assigned regular advisees or be nominated to standing Faculty committees. They are not expected to attend Department or Program meetings, to be engaged in curricular planning, or to work with students in informal ways unrelated to their classes. Adjunct teaching faculty are expected to hold regular office hours.
Adjunct teaching faculty are paid on a per course basis and do not receive any full-time or part-time benefits.
Part-Time Teaching Faculty
Part-time teaching faculty occupy ongoing funded full-year positions of less than ¾ time and their courses are part of the regular curriculum of an academic program or department. Such positions are eligible for annual renewal of contracts, pending satisfactory performance reviews.
In contrast to adjunct teaching faculty, because part-time teaching faculty can serve the College for extended periods of time, they are expected to assume a proportional share of the duties of full-time faculty. Such duties may include: advising students, supervising appropriate areas related to the curricular mission of the program in which they serve (studios, labs, etc.), participating in department meetings and curricular planning, working with students on senior projects, and so on. These positions may or may not entail a full fractional share of service on College committees, by arrangement upon hiring.
Part-time teaching faculty will be paid a pro-rated share of a full-time starting salary. Part-time teaching faculty do not receive any full-time benefits.
Earlham College undertakes to provide in every way for a teacher’s freedom to investigate, teach and publish the truth as one sees it.
Earlham encourages teachers to feel full freedom in the design of their courses and the exposition of course material, considering it an important condition for a vital intellectual community. Even while they may advocate positions, teachers may not use their authority, including grading, to insist that students hold particular views. Outside the classroom teachers are encouraged to express their opinions with clarity and vigor. On those occasions where faculty members make public comments or write about issues clearly at odds with known policies and positions of the College, they should make it clear that they are not representing the college.
1. Termination of faculty contracts by the institution before the end of their specified term may only be made for adequate cause (as explained in Section J – Tenure), financial exigency, or discontinuation or reduction of a program or a department. These circumstances also apply to termination or reduction of employment of a person on part-time appointment or fractional salary.
2. Faculty reduction in times of financial exigency should be consistent with the College’s commitments to academic excellence, and Earlham policies relating to equal opportunity employment and affirmative action. Before faculty reductions are made by early termination of contractual obligations, other procedures should be attempted to the extent that they are consistent with the integrity of the educational program; these procedures include natural attrition, voluntary early retirement, and voluntary leaves of absence. In the event that Earlham should consider early termination of contractual obligations for reasons of financial exigency, Earlham will use the following determination that a state of financial exigency exists. Earlham does not consider itself bound by other definitions and determinations used by other institutions or academic associations.
The President of Earlham and the Board of Trustees shall make the determination that a state of financial exigency exists or is imminent. The President shall have consulted with the Budget Committee, for their advice in making that determination. The following criteria, any one of which will be sufficient, will inform that decision.
a. A decline in total student enrollment totaling 20% or more over a period of three years;
b. A current operating deficit, as defined by the Budget Committee, in excess of 3% of the College budget for three consecutive years, or 10% in a single year;
c. A reduction in the market value of the assets available to Earlham to deal with financial difficulty to 25% of the College operating (“Green Book”) budget for the current fiscal year. These assets in order of availability are (1) unrestricted Current Fund balances and any reserves specifically designated by the Board for the support of the College, (2) the Earlham and White River Farms, and (3) College quasi-Endowment, primarily resulting from the reinvestments of cash flow in excess of the 4% spending limitation.
The President is not obligated to declare a state of financial exigency if any or all of these conditions obtain.
3. If the President (having sought advice in consultation with the Budget Committee) and the Board of Trustees, decide that a condition of financial exigency exists or is imminent, public notice shall be given of this. The Curricular Policy Committee and the Faculty Affairs Committee then are responsible for recommending specific discontinuance or reduction of a program or a department, and the Faculty Affairs Committee is responsible for recommending specific personnel decisions. Two weeks before these committees forward their recommendations to the President, the faculty directly involved in the reductions shall be informed and given the opportunity to speak before the appropriate committee. Final action will be taken by the President in consultation with the Academic Dean, and approved by the Board of Trustees.
4. Before terminating a faculty contract for reason of financial exigency earlier than the time of expiration of the contract, the College will make reasonable efforts to place the person in a position for which he/she is qualified. A position so opened will not be filled with a replacement within a period of three years, unless the released faculty member has been offered re-employment with at least his/her previous rank, and has been given at least one month within which to accept or decline.
5. Written notice that employment is to be terminated because of financial exigency shall be as follows:
a. For all untenured faculty, not later than December 31; or if the appointment terminates during the academic year, at least six months in advance of its termination.
b. For tenured faculty at least 15 months. Earlham shall have the option of substituting equivalent severance salary and benefits for the 15 months. The institution will have the right to discontinue severance salary and benefits whenever the faculty member assumes another position of comparable rank and salary.
6. Appeal Process
a. A faculty member wishing to appeal a termination or non-voluntary reduction in employment due to financial exigency may make a written request to the President that an Appeal Committee be established. This request must be made within two weeks of the date of the notice to terminate or reduce employment. The Appeal Committee will consist of three teaching faculty acceptable to both the President and the faculty person.
b. All relevant material will be submitted to the Appeal Committee in writing. These must include:
- (1) The reasons for termination, with any supporting documents the administration may wish to submit;
- (2) The reasons for appeal, with any supporting documents from the faculty member.
c. The only basis for appeal is that the process of decision-making defined in this Handbook has been violated.
d. The Appeal Committee may recommend either of two things:
- (1) The appeal is not sustained and no further College action is recommended;
- (2) The decision-making process ought to be repeated because of a violation of the decision-making process. A copy of the recommendation, in writing, will be sent to the President and to the faculty member.
e. The official record of the Appeal Committee, to be kept in the President’s Office will consist of the following:
- (1) All written materials received from the administration, the faculty member, and any other parties seen to be appropriate by the committee;
- (2) A copy of the Committee’s recommendation;
- (3) A log of the Committee’s actions, including times of meeting, documents received, and a record of parties with whom the Committee or its members conversed.
Termination of a tenured or provisionally tenured appointment, or of a probationary or term appointment, before the end of the specific term, may occur as a result of the discontinuance or reduction of a program or department of instruction. The following standards and procedures will apply:
1. Formal discontinuance or reduction of a program or a department will be based on an overall written plan for the academic program and staffing. This plan will be built upon long-range judgments derived from the College’s mission and objective of educational service and in consultation with the Faculty Meeting. The Curricular Policy Committee and Faculty Affairs Committee are responsible for recommending specific discontinuance or reduction of a program or department, and the Faculty Affairs Committee is responsible for recommending specific personnel decisions. Final action will be taken by the President in consultation with the Academic Dean and approved by the Board of Trustees.
2. Consideration of discontinuance or reduction of a program or a department may include the pattern of enrollments in the department or program’s combined course offerings and the enrollments per teaching FTE.
3. Before the administration issues notice to a faculty member of its intention to terminate an appointment because of formal discontinuance or reduction of a program or department of instruction, the College will make reasonable efforts to place the affected faculty member in another suitable position in the College, if such a position is available. If no position is available within the College, the faculty member’s appointment then may be terminated, following written notification. The place of the faculty member concerned will not be filled by a replacement within a period of three years, unless the released faculty member has been offered reappointment with at least his/her previous rank, and has been given at least one month within which to accept or decline.
4. The Appeal Process is outlined in Section N – Faculty Reduction Due to Financial Exigency.
Visiting appointments to the Earlham faculty provide staffing on a short-term basis. Sometimes these are occasioned by the need to replace faculty on sabbaticals or another kind of leave. They may also fill positions resulting from grant-funded special activities or when there is not time to have launched a national search appropriate for a tenure-track appointment.
Visiting faculty have contracts that extend only for one semester or one year or another term specified in the contract and letter of appointment. There is no presumption that visiting faculty will be considered for renewal of contract beyond the term originally specified.
Visiting faculty are provided benefits appropriate to the terms of their appointment (full-time or adjunct) and the duration of their contract. For details, consult the sections of the Employment Policies and Procedures part of this document which deal with benefits.
Visiting faculty are encouraged to have their courses evaluated, using the Earlham form or approved substitute form (see Section E – Personnel Reviews of Administrative and Teaching Faculty). If the faculty member were to apply for a subsequent vacancy at Earlham, the past student evaluation forms would be required as part of the application materials.
This section is not formally adopted as a part of the Faculty Handbook. It provides notes on approval history since 2013.
October 13, 2022: Trustees approved changes to criteria for promotion and tenure for Teaching Faculty
Oct. 12, 2018: Trustees approved the extension of protections under Section M, item 5b of the Faculty Handbook to Section N for tenured faculty during the FY2018-19 Academic Year.
June 4, 2016: Trustees approved the faculty recommendations for changes in the Faculty Handbook related to reviews of tenured faculty and promotions to the rank of Full Professor.
June 8, 2013: Trustees approved revision to the Faculty Handbook pertaining to outside review of individual scholarship as part of the teaching faculty review process was presented.
Feb 9, 2013: Trustees approved changes to the following sections of the Faculty Handbook:
- Section A: Faculty Appointments and Evaluations: Decision Making Process
- Section C: Contracts
- Section D: Schedule, Load, and Faculty Responsibility
- Section F: Procedure for Appeal and Revision of Decision Not to Renew Contracts or Not to Award Tenure
- Section I: Tenure
- Section J: Shared Positions
- Section K: Faculty Positions
- Section O: Visiting Faculty Appointments