UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Faculty Advisory Committee to the Illinois Board of Higher Education
Report of Meeting of February 27, 1998
Concordia University, River Forest
After a welcome and remarks about the issues of quality, access, and affordability currently facing higher education in Illinois by President George Heider, the panel on Evaluation of Tenured Faculty was introduced. Panelists were;
Lizanne DeStefano, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Robert Menges, Northwestern University
John Ory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dent Rhodes, Illinois State University
The public perceives that universities are over tenured, even though much instruction is delivered by untenured faculty and teaching assistants. The corporate orientation is causing governing boards and politicians to question tenure at this time. External incentives based on reinforcement theory seem to be guiding much of the thinking about post-tenure review.
A case study of post-tenure review at IUS was presented. It is done every four years. There are no positive consequences; but negative consequences appear to have never occurred; the reviews occur because of policy. There is a lack of continuity, with different review committees and departmental chairs. Post tenure review at ISU is not significant.Robert Menges
Dr. Menges stressed that financial support for higher education is under stress, so cost containment has become a primary concern. Yet demand for higher education is increasing.
With respect to post-tenure review, he feels the Florida initiative is punitive, seeking only to sanction "problem" faculty. Arizona is similar, viewing tenure as an economic benefit for the faculty, and post-tenure review motivated by accountability concerns.. The California State University system uses annual merit salary reviews for purposes of post tenure review. But Dr. Menges stressed the long and demanding process for receiving tenure. The institution's mission needs to guide the process of post tenure review, taking a long term view of faculty activity, with peer review, and safeguards for academic freedom. Under these conditions, post-tenure review can be beneficial.
Dr. DeStefano distributed the materials used at UIUC, and also the AAUP guidelines. Post-tenure review must relate to the mission of the institution, and the unit, recognizing the full continuum of faculty performance. There should be both positive incentives, and negative consequences if post-tenure review is to be effective. The process can keep faculty more closely connected with their departments.
Dr. Ory, commenting on some of the pitfalls, indicating that the full spectrum of faculty work is seldom judged. The improvement of faculty (or the unit) is not taken into account in most evaluation systems. Reviews are often overly quantified, not communicated to the person being reviewed, and should open communications, but often do not.
There followed extensive discussion involving all of the panelists and FAC members.
The business meeting occupied the afternoon.
1. The new Chair of the IBHE will be selected by the Governor, since Chairman Kustra of the IBHE has accepted an appointment as President of Eastern Kentucky University. Kustra will chair two more meetings.
2. Keith Sanders is very anxious to meet with the FAC next month in Springfield. He has developed a consent agenda for the IBHE, in part so the advisory committees will have a better place on the agenda.
3. The case of the ISU trustees withdrawal of protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation was discussed. It was decided that the concern of the FAC in this case is with shared governance, and statewide policy, not with a specific campus discrimination issue. Roth moved that Chair Strobel report to the IBHE at the next meeting, reaffirming the value of shared governance in higher education. The motion passed unanimously.
4. There were reports of all subcommittees.
5. The final draft of the "Futures" statement was approved, and in addition to the IBHE, it will be forwarded to the Kellogg Commission.
6. It was agreed after discussion that shared governance would be one major theme for next year.
Walter W. McMahon
UIUC Representative to the FAC/IBHE