Board requires amendments to promotion and tenure; approves two supporting documents

May 18, 2015  

On Thursday (May 14), the Academic Affairs Committee of Purdue’s Board of Trustees approved two proposals updating promotion and tenure at the university and tabled a third for further refinement.

The Board adopted recommendations for the policies and procedures that direct faculty advancement, but asked for changes to the proposed criteria that guide promotion and tenure. Provost Deba Dutta will lead the effort to make the requested modifications before the policy returns to the Board in July for consideration and possible approval.

Board members tasked Dutta with incorporating additional criteria important to student success, as supported by university priorities and findings of the Gallup-Purdue Index. Changes will include more emphasis on mentorship and engagement with undergraduate students; advising and mentoring to enhance the academic success of at-risk students; a recognition of the value of including undergraduates in research; and credit for engaging in innovative pedagogy, including the transformation of courses and curricula.

JoAnn Brouillette, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, complimented the work that went into the proposal’s development and charged Dutta with strengthening the criteria for promotion and tenure.

“Great credit should go to the faculty for the steps they have recommended to modernize promotion and tenure criteria, yet the committee sees a need to take one more step," Brouillette said. "Faculty should be rewarded for including undergraduates in their research and for their contributions to pedagogical improvements. Knowing what we know about the elements of Student Success, the impact of mentoring and interaction with students, especially those at risk, evidence of commitment to those crucial aspects of teaching should be included in all future tenure decisions."

Dutta thanked the committee for its attention to the importance of promotion and tenure, agreeing to the need for additional enhancements.

“Our Board of Trustees, as the ultimate authority for promotion and tenure guidelines, has provided us with good feedback,” Dutta said. “We appreciate their active engagement in this discussion and, with their guidance, we will ultimately have a  set of criteria that reflects Purdue’s commitment to student success and staying at the leading edge of pedagogical innovations.”

The initial recommendations were developed by the Promotion and Tenure Task Force and endorsed by the University Senate.

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