Faculty Handbook

Faculty Career Advancement and Professional Development: A Special Affirmative Action Responsibility

Last updated: 8/1/1996


The following advisory statement was issued by the Office of the Provost on October 5, 1982 and revised on August 1, 1996.

University policy requires that each non-tenured faculty member in the tenure system be "evaluated and informed annually of his/her progress" (see statement on Non-Tenured Faculty in the Tenure System, Faculty Handbook ). Such annual reviews are to provide opportunities for two-way communication regarding academic unit performance expectations and, if necessary, to provide suggestions and reasonable assistance for improving performance. Faculty career advancement and professional development are to be encouraged.

Under the University's affirmative action policy, unit academic administrators have a special responsibility to encourage the career advancement and professional development of all women and racial minority faculty members appointed in the tenure system, especially non-tenured faculty. A supportive environment should be created in each academic unit to maximize the opportunity for success of these individuals in meeting both their career goals and the unit's performance standards for merit salary increases, reappointment, promotion and tenure. An important aspect of this environment is regular and supportive interaction with colleagues in the unit and in related fields in other units. Efforts of women and racial minority faculty members to overcome barriers related to gender and/or race can divert attention from the achievement of basic career goals and diminish the quality of professional experience.

Department and school administrators should give special attention to and encourage the professional development of their units' women/racial minority faculty members. Special attention is drawn to the importance of the role of annual performance reviews and/or special meetings with women and racial minority faculty to evaluate progress, to encourage professional development, and to ensure two-way communication. Among other things, performance reviews and/or special meetings are:

  1. To encourage opportunities as appropriate for membership in informal and formal research groups, teaching, research, and service program activities, assignment of graduate students and research assistants, committee assignments, and other critical activities in the unit.
  2. To discuss professional objectives and their relationship to the individual's distribution of effort among assigned duties.
  3. To discuss any issues and concerns that may be perceived as barriers to effective performance and full participation in the unit

Deans should ensure that unit administrators conduct annual performance reviews of each non-tenured faculty member appointed in the tenure system and that, among the topics addressed, those stated above, as appropriate, are included in these reviews. If college or unit practice is to require written annual evaluations, the dean should receive a copy of the evaluation sent to each faculty member. The dean should conduct in-depth reviews with each chairperson or director of the annual performance evaluations of each non-tenured faculty member appointed in the tenure system to identify issues and to implement appropriate steps to assist the faculty member in achieving success in the unit.

In addition to the chairpersons and directors, deans also are encouraged to schedule individual meetings at least annually with all racial minority and women--if underrepresented--tenure system faculty members appointed in their colleges. Issues identified in these meetings should be discussed with the applicable chairperson/director so that each individual can have full opportunity to develop professionally and make progress toward meeting unit standards.

Documentation of the occurrence of annual performance reviews of non-tenured faculty in the tenure system by unit administrators must be submitted by each dean to the Office of the Provost along with the reappointment, promotion and tenure recommendation list. The details of each performance review will be discussed in the meetings with each dean by the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs and the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies.

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