Post-Tenure-Review-Best-Practices

In this report, Hanover Research examines post-tenure review practices at public, Midwestern universities that have a collectively bargained agreement with instructional faculty. To this end, the report profiles the post-tenure review practices of seven institutions, focusing on evaluation procedures and rewards and sanctions mechanisms for exemplary and unsatisfactory performance, where applicable. Data or estimates for the number of faculty members undergoing review and their outcomes are provided for institutions for which this information was available.

Key Findings

  • The institutional policies reviewed in this report illustrate a range of approaches universities may take toward post-tenure review within the context of a collectively bargained agreement with faculty. Of the profiled institutions, two have “full” post-tenure review processes that include or are linked to mechanisms for rewarding meritorious performance by providing salary increases, and acknowledge unsatisfactory performance by imposing sanctions that may lead to dismissal or non-reappointment. These institutions are Fort Hays State University and Pittsburg State University.
  • It is important to note, however, that even though procedures for responding to unsatisfactory performance exist, they may very rarely be implemented. For example, a representative of Fort Hays State University indicated that of the roughly 200 faculty members, approximately one percent are identified as exhibiting “chronic low performance.”
  • Three of the universities we examined – University of Minnesota, Duluth, Eastern Illinois University, and Governors State University – occupy a middle ground by offering rewards for positive post-tenure reviews but limited consequences for negative outcomes. For example, the University of Minnesota, Duluth may reward faculty receiving positive post-tenure reviews with salary increases, while negative reviews are met with concrete improvement plans for faculty. Further, annual evaluation processes at Eastern Illinois University and Governors State University may trigger other rewards processes for meritorious performance but are not linked to mechanisms for addressing underperformance.
  • Finally, Minnesota State University, Mankato and Saint Cloud State University have “limited” post-faculty review practices, designed to support faculty performance and identify faculty strengths and weaknesses. The evaluation processes for these institutions do not include and are not linked to mechanisms for rewarding meritorious performance or imposing sanctions for unsatisfactory performance.

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Hanover Research