Post-Tenure Review Analyzed There is much talk these days about post-tenure review and its possible impact on faculty careers. Below is an excerpt that gives some background on two forms such reviews can take and how, at present, they are distributed among various types of institutions. The excerpt is from from Chapter 6, "After the Big Decision: Post -Tenure Review Analyzed," in POLICIES ON FACULTY APPOINTMENT - Standard Practices and Unusual Arrangements, Cathy A. Trower, Editor, Harvard University. © 2000 Anker Publishing Company, reprinted with permission.

Categories

There are two main categories of post-tenure review: formative and summative. Our use of the terms formative and summative differs slightly from the definitions offered by both the AAUP and Licata and Morreale. For our purposes, a "formative" review is purely developmental and does not result in any administrative action. A "summative" review, by contrast, may have a developmental purpose, but may also result in administrative action. Administrative actions include rewards, sanctions, and the creation of a faculty development plan, and / or placing the letter of evaluation in the faculty member's personnel file.

Of the 88 institutions with post-tenure review, 22 (25%) are clearly formative, 61 (69%) are clearly summative, and five (6%) are hybrids. (While our definition leaves little room for overlap, five institutions explicitly refer to their post-tenure review policy as both formative and summative.) The breakdown by Carnegie classification appears in Table 6-4. Within each classification, the percentage of summative post-tenure reviews far exceeds the percentage of formative post-tenure reviews.

Formative Reviews

Mount Mercy College and Pacific University are among those institutions with formative post-tenure review policies. At Mount Mercy College (B2), tenured faculty members submit, materials to the vice president for academic affairs:

Table 6-4
Formative and Summative Post-Tenure reviews

Carnegie Classification

Formative
Review
(n=22)

Summative
Review
(n=61)

Hybrid
(n=5)

#

%

#

%

#

%

R1

1

13

7

88

0

0

R2

2

33

4

67

0

0

D1

0

0

5

100

0

0

D2

2

33

4

57

1

14

M1

10

33

19

63

1

3

M2

1

17

5

83

0

0

B1

1

13

6

75

1

13

B2

5

28

11

61

2

11

R = Research Universities
D = Doctorate Universities
M = Comprehensive Universities
B = Baccalaureate Colleges

The review is completed with a conference of the faculty member, department chairperson (or division Chairperson) and the vice-president for academic affairs. The purpose of the conference is to provide feedback to the faculty member and discuss opportunities for future career development of the faculty member.

At Pacific University (M2), the post-tenure review consists of the following:
Every two years, the faculty personnel committee of the appropriate college or school should provide guidance in writing to tenured faculty regarding their record in meeting university expectations, and make suggestions as to how their performance and contributions to the university may be enhanced.

Formative reviews such as these have the clear purpose of guiding aculty members and assisting them in meeting their full potential. They do not mention, however, what should happen if a post-tenure review reveals deficiencies in production or performance.

Summative Reviews

In contrast, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Louisville, and California Lutheran University all conducted summative reviews of their tenured faculty. Such reviews have well defined consequences and can lead to rewards, sanctions, or other personnel or administrative actions. At Georgia Tech (R1),"where the review indicates outstanding performance," faculty members may receive "financial rewards and high development opportunities." Poor reviews at Georgia Tech require faculty members to design, with input from the chair and administrators, a development plan to correct deficiencies. Similarly, faculty members who fail to meet criteria at the University of Louisville (R2) shall also prepare "a development plan, including specific requirements to be met within a specified period." Disciplinary action may follow should the faculty member receive subsequent unsatisfactory evaluations. And at California Lutheran University (M1), unsatisfactory performance may lead to further review and remedial activity, while exceptional performance may result in a letter of commendation, additional funds for development, or merit pay. In all three cases, as in the other 59 instances of summative reviews, consequences are clearly linked to the results of the review.

The excerpt is from from Chapter 6, "After the Big Decision: Post -Tenure Review Analyzed," in POLICIES ON FACULTY APPOINTMENT - Standard Practices and Unusual Arrangements, Cathy A. Trower, Editor, Harvard University. © 2000 Anker Publishing Company, reprinted with permission.
minus-active minus-hover minus plus-active plus-hover plus