Post-tenure Review FAQ
What is post-tenure review?
Like many institutions, the University of Connecticut awards tenure after a rigorous review of an individual’s performance in teaching, scholarship and service. Usually after six years on the tenure-track, an assessment is made of the likelihood that the faculty member will continue to be productive throughout his or her career. For some faculty, this career may last for another two decades.
Many institutions have instituted, or negotiated in the case of collective bargaining chapters, ways to monitor that a faculty member remains active throughout their careers. Some faculty believe this is simply a way to replace higher paid, less active faculty with non-tenure track, junior faculty. Other faculty believe that state legislators are trying to use post-tenure evaluations as a way to increase workloads.
Does UConn have a post-tenure review process?
Currently, UConn does not have a post-tenure review process. In 2014, the University embarked on a Strategic Plan Initiative, which called for the implementation of a post-tenure review process. As was rightly pointed out by UConn-AAUP, supported by a legal opinion from its lawyer, and eventually confirmed by the Provost Office, any new evaluation of faculty member is a mandatory subject of bargaining and therefor must be negotiated with UConn-AAUP. Recently, some departments faculty have agreed to language for their governance documents that allows for an evaluation of faculty workload with the potential for increasing their teaching assignment. These have not been negotiated with the administration, so any change in assignment which is objected to by the faculty member, may rise to a grievance.
Would a faculty member lose tenure with a poor evaluation?
Can a faculty members lose their tenure status with a poor evaluation?
Any evaluation of a faculty member at UConn must be negotiated with the union. As such, all evaluations will be
The American Association of University Professors has long criticized the practice of post-tenure reviews and its leaders said such a system rarely provided any benefits. “It can deprive a tenured faculty member of the presumption of competence and it can have a chilling effect on academic freedom,” said Greg Scholtz, AAUP’s director of academic freedom, tenure and governance.
AAUP’s existing policy on such reviews says that “no procedure for evaluation of faculty should be used to weaken or undermine the principles of academic freedom and tenure. The association cautions particularly against allowing any general system of evaluation to be used as grounds for dismissal or other disciplinary sanctions.”
While the organization approves of reviews for merit raises, it does not call them post-tenure reviews. “We are also not opposed to voluntary reviews that are intended to assist a professor in improving his or her performance. But such a review is not what is usually called ‘post-tenure review,’ ” Scholtz said.
Scholtz drew a distinction between formalized post-tenure processes and a “dismissal for cause”, which can be a way for a tenured professor to be fired but also added that “some post-tenure reviews procedures can, and all-too-often do, lead to a faculty member being dismissed for cause.”