Promotion, Tenure and Salary Committee Report and Recommendations

2003-2004 Academic Year

(Members:  Joseph Anderson, Robert Carney, Deborah Dougherty-Harris [recorder], Carl Foster, Susan Kelly, Wahhab Khandker, Robin McCannon, Carol Miller [chair], Richard Sullivan)


The Committee’s charge was to investigate service in three different areas.  Because we are the Promotion, Tenure and Salary Committee, we agreed that our focus should be on the following component of that charge (conclusions about the additional components are provided in the appendix of this report):


Define faculty service expectations more explicitly as they relate to promotion and tenure

a.       Pam Rodgers and Sandi Krajewski, representatives from the Joint Promotion Committee, met with us and provided the following description of the service expectations for promotion:

·        Candidates must develop a service reputation in their discipline or university to be promoted; it can be national, or it can be local/community, but some at UW-L is needed.

·        For promotion in general, must exhibit diverse service:  Dept. activities, at least one university committee, Wisconsin Idea (community service).

·        For promotion to full professor, must be a campus leader. Chairing committees is important for promotion to full professor

·        Candidates do not need to be on more than one university committee at one time.

·        These expectations have been confirmed by Carl Foster, who serves on both PTS and JPC.

·        “A Guide to Faculty Promotions and Portfolio Development at UW-La Crosse” recently drafted by JPC, also identifies these expectations.


b.      Members of PTS have received reports from faculty who apparently were told that their failure to be promoted was at least partially due to a lack of service.  The main concern was that the comment about the candidate’s service was vague. These concerns were shared with JPC, and we learned that the committee has since then altered the process of writing the letters to candidates not earning a promotion, which should better express the weaknesses in the individual’s promotion candidacy.


c.       The current draft of  “A Guide to Faculty Promotions and Portfolio Development at UW-La Crosse” expresses the important responsibility of a promotion candidate’s department and college dean in making a strong argument for promoting the candidate.  The department promotion committee needs to explicitly argue how the candidate’s service, scholarship and teaching record meet the expectations for promotion. PTS is in the process of reviewing the draft of these guidelines and will provide additional feedback in the fall.


Appendix:  Additional components of the charge to investigate faculty service at UW-L

I. Assess the types and quantity of service that faculty perform and how this impacts service on standing faculty committees


a.       We acquired data about who requests service on university committees for 2003 and determined that only 54.17% of the full professors, 65.66% of associate professors, but 90.11% of assistant professors on campus request positions on university committees this past year.  Additionally, 77.01% of the faculty from SAH, 73.95% of CLS, 70.27% of CBA and 60.47% of HPERTE requested university committee service. The lower numbers for Full and Associate professors or for some of the colleges could in part be due to service they may have on search and screen committees or within departments.  Additional analyses are necessary if there is indeed a need to determine this.


b.      From our meeting with Carmen Wilson-VanVoorhis (Committee on Committees) we learned that this spring there were 207 requests from faculty to be on committees, but that there were 210 slots to be filled on the committees.  There were only 2 committees that were left unfilled, and alternates were not available for some other committees.  She concluded that there is not a significant problem filling committees. 


c.       The committee is unable to agree on whether or not additional information should be gathered on this particular portion of the charge.  We are especially hesitant to investigate this issue further considering the information we gleaned from our meeting with Carmen Wilson-VanVoorhis.  Some members of our committee have argued that if filling committees is not a problem, we don’t need to gather additional data (either from a campus survey or from department annual reports) about the types and amount of service performed? 


II.                 Consider potential incentives and/or penalties that may improve faculty participation on faculty committees.  We have brainstormed this issue quite extensively:

a.      Recognition of accomplishments of committees by faculty senate.  Faculty senate needs to somehow communicate to the committees that their work is truly meaningful and valued.  This can best be accomplished by requiring whomever called for charge to subsequently report to the committee how the committee’s work actually influenced policy and/or why all or part of their work was not used.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the more senior faculties’ unwillingness to participate in committee service arises out of many prior experiences in which all of their efforts amounted to nothing and in retrospect appeared to have been a waste of time.


b.      If possible, send out “Request for Committees” forms after charges of committees have been established. Once charges have been made, faculty can then sign up for the committees that truly interest them, and ones that may be a better match for their corresponding workload.

c.       Decrease the number of standing committees and convert some of them to ad hoc committees.  That way, if there is a charge that needs to be addressed the committee forms and meets, and Faculty Senate is not forced to come up with charges for committees, just because the committee exists.

d.      Faculty Service Day or Workshop:  We recommend that the Provost Office organize a day or workshop (possibly only a few hours the week before the semester begins) highlighting service.  Possible topics that could be presented that day could include:

                                                               i.      The Wisconsin Idea: Defined, examples

                                                             ii.      The importance of service for the university and for building relationships between colleges/departments

                                                            iii.      Importance of Service for Promotion:  What are the expectations?

                                                           iv.      Typical experiences on the various committees

                                                             v.      Service at the University level vs. Department, College, Professional and Community

                                                           vi.      Opportunities for community service (useful to junior faculty).

                                                          vii.      JPC expectations for promotion



Respectfully Submitted:


Carol Miller

Promotion, Tenure and Salary Chair