The reappointment, promotion, and tenure process: Additional faculty consultation

02-24-2015

The reappointment, promotion, and tenure (RPT) process at Michigan State University, as is the practice at peer institutions, involves a review at the department/school level and at the college level, before review at the provost level. Unit peer review committees provide recommendations to the department chairperson or school director, who then makes a recommendation to the dean. College RPT committees provide peer review and a recommendation to the dean, who then makes a recommendation to the provost. Since the early 1990s it has been the practice at Michigan State that the provost-level recommendation is formed through a process that includes a meeting of each dean with representatives of the Provost – the Associate Provost for Academic Human Resources (APAHR), the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (VPRGS), and beginning in 2007, the Senior Associate Provost. At that meeting, the dossier of and recommendation for each candidate for reappointment, promotion, and/or tenure is reviewed and discussed. The Provost representatives then meet with the Provost for discussion of the candidates.

With the restructuring of the role of the Senior Associate Provost, a position I held while Kim Wilcox was Provost, the opportunity arose to reexamine the method by which the provost-level review is conducted. Many of our research institution peers have a university-level peer review committee that advises the provost. In 2011, a proposal to institute such a committee here at MSU was presented to Academic Governance through the University Committee on Faculty Tenure (UCFT). UCFT did not support the idea of a university-level advisory committee on RPT decisions. Nevertheless, I think it advantageous to seek the consultation of distinguished MSU faculty in making decisions as important as promotion and tenure. Additionally, I think there is value to the institution and that it is important to engage faculty from across the University in this process.

For the upcoming 2015 RPT process, I am asking twelve distinguished MSU faculty members to become part of the provost-level review process. I have selected a diverse set of faculty members drawn from University Distinguished Professors, endowed professors, and those selected as recipients of the Beal Outstanding Faculty Award (formerly Distinguished Faculty Award). These faculty members will be assigned in interdisciplinary panels of three to review approximately 25% of the candidates for promotion and tenure, but will not review reappointment candidates. Dossiers will be assigned by college so that each distinguished faculty panel is asked to review approximately one fourth of the total candidates being considered.

Though not asked to provide a written recommendation on the dossiers reviewed, their feedback will be provided as part of the provost-level review process. With this input, I will finalize recommendations for presentation to the President, and to the Board of Trustees.

Distinguished faculty selected for this assignment will be asked to serve for a term of two years, with staggered terms initially. An honorarium of $2,000 will be provided to each distinguished faculty member who serves in this capacity.

I’m pleased to announce the initial selections of those who will provide additional faculty consultation for the provost-level review:

  • Steven Arnoczky - Wade O. Brinker Chair of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Melanie Cooper - Lappan-Phillips Professor of Mathematics and Science Education, College of Natural Science
  • William Davidson - University Distinguished Professor, College of Social Science
  • Roger Haut - University Distinguished Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Anil Jain - University Distinguished Professor, College of Engineering
  • Cheryl Kerfeld - Hannah Distinguished Professor, College of Natural Science
  • Nancy Marino - William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award Recipient, College of Arts and Letters
  • Nigel Paneth - University Distinguished Professor, College of Human Medicine
  • Kathy Petroni - Deloitte & Touche/Michael Licata Professor, Eli Broad College of Business
  • G. Philip Robertson - University Distinguished Professor, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Anita Skeen - William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award Recipient, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
  • Cynthia Taggart - William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award Recipient, College of Music