Update from CAP about Evaluation and "Clocks"

1 April 2020

Dear faculty colleagues,

Last week I wrote to you on behalf of the CAP to invite your input on a proposal concerning the tenure-clock for assistant professors and the evaluation of teaching during this semester (Spring 2020). Thanks to the many of you who took time to write to me and other CAP members to share your thoughts and questions about our proposal. I write today to share our decision concerning these matters.

Thanks to your feedback, our decision also pertains to assistant professors of Athletics on 3-yr. contracts as well as lecturers and artists-in-residence on 3-yr. contracts.

The CAP grants all assistant professors the option to pause either their reappointment or tenure clock by one year in light of these circumstances. Assistant professors may continue their progress as planned, if they wish.

For faculty currently scheduled to come up for tenure next fall, the deadline to decide whether or not to delay the decision is April 15, 2020. For faculty scheduled to come up for reappointment next fall, the deadline to decide whether or not to delay the decision is June 1, 2020. An assistant professor in year 1 or 2 who does not delay the reappointment decision will still be able to elect later to delay the tenure decision by one year.

In subsequent years, assistant professors will need to make a decision whether or not to delay the tenure decision by January 15th of year 5, consistent with the deadline for faculty who have the option to delay the tenure decision due to maternity or parental leaves. First year assistant professors will need to make a decision whether or not to delay their reappointment by May 1, 2021 (bearing in mind that, if they opt not to delay reappointment, they may always still opt to delay the tenure decision after reappointment).

Any assistant professor who already has the option to delay their tenure decision will continue to have that option in addition to this new option; that is, a few assistant professors will now have the option to delay their tenure decision by as many as two years.

If an assistant professor currently in year 1 or 2 opts to delay their reappointment decision, their assistant professor leave (AP) leave will also be delayed by one year. But the assistant professor will retain two semesters’ of accrued eligibility towards a future leave, pending a positive tenure decision. Assistant professors who delay the tenure decision by one year will not have their leave timing affected by that decision. (As is always the case, the timing for sabbaticals is dependent upon unit and CAP approval.)

As for other faculty members in continuing contracts, the CAP is extending this option to delay a reappointment or renewal decision also to assistant professors (and lecturers) of Athletics on 3-year contracts, as well as instructors, lecturers, and artists-in-residence on 3-year contracts. All of these faculty may opt to delay their next reappointment or renewal decision by one year, or to continue on their current schedule. Faculty who want to take this option must inform the Director of Athletics or their unit chair by May 1st prior to the year of their reappointment/renewal decision.

The CAP thanks faculty for their thoughts concerning the evaluation of teaching. We heard overwhelming support for our proposal to field SCS forms but for their results to go only to individual faculty members. In other words, SCS results will NOT be used for evaluation; accordingly, SCS results will neither be sent to chairs nor the CAP. This semester’s results remain solely for the instructor and may NOT be used in the evaluative process. Faculty may certainly speak to their teaching experiences during this semester in self-evaluations and annual activity reports, but may not submit SCS data.

To reiterate, the CAP has waived the classroom observation report requirement; any that have been conducted already may function for developmental purposes. No student interviews will be conducted for this semester’s courses. Departments that use questionnaires may only field them if the results go only to individual faculty members and not to senior colleagues or chairs. If student interviews for fall 2019 courses have not yet been conducted, they may be done so remotely later this spring.

To sum up, this semester’s teaching will not be evaluated by senior colleagues as part of the assessment of assistant professors’ teaching performance.  Any assessment conducted (including SCS forms) will function purely to provide information for individual faculty members to understand how students experienced their teaching under these unusual circumstances.

I ask that department, program, and evaluation committee chairs please forward this message to anyone who ought to receive this message I may have inadvertently omitted on the recipient list. And, of course, please write with any questions you may have.


Denise, on behalf of CAP