University of Delaware

Promotion, tenure topic

Provost's town hall addresses faculty promotion and tenure


9:35 a.m., Nov. 18, 2015--In an ongoing effort to promote transparency and further establish relationships with campus stakeholders, Provost Domenico Grasso recently led an open-format, town hall meeting with the University of Delaware community. 

Although all students, faculty and staff were invited to meet with the provost to ask questions and share ideas about any topics on their minds, much of the focus quickly turned to faculty promotion and tenure (P&T).

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The provost addressed the current work that is taking place across campus to create clear paths of promotion for continuing-track faculty. He also noted that both the Provost’s Office and the deans of the seven colleges have suggested that academic departments and schools consider a minimum standard of excellence in scholarship and teaching for promotion and tenure.

“This is a very important conversation,” said Grasso at the town hall. “Our strategic plan commits us to excellence in everything we do and we should look at our P&T guidelines as articulating our aspirations.” 

There was lively discussion about the merits of considering a change to the University-wide P&T guidelines to establish a minimum standard of excellence in scholarship and teaching. Faculty and department chairs shared perspectives for and against this idea. 

Grasso noted that this dialogue will inform the important work happening in the departments this year as they work on their departmental P&T guidelines.

The provost was pleased to see such engaged discussion among the faculty because the faculty members in each department are responsible for establishing clear standards and guidelines for promotion and tenure.

This discussion at the town hall was a consequence of the campus-wide effort to revise P&T guidelines in light of the recommendations made by the provost’s commission on continuing-track faculty. The commission’s recommendations were supported by Faculty Senate and the provost

“Continuing-track faculty deserve their own path to promotion and we collaboratively achieved that with the full support of the Faculty Senate — in an effort that truly embodies shared governance,” said Matt Kinservik, vice provost for faculty affairs.

“Currently, many departmental promotion and tenure policies are geared toward tenure-track faculty only,” he said. “What we hope to do is create a more fair process that promotes the highest standards of achievement and provides all faculty with clear guidelines for advancement.”

“It is a collaborative effort that we are confident will support UD’s collective success.”

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