Recommendation of Campus Tenure Committee (May 2004)



Excerpts from Memo by Rick Tepker, Campus Tenure Committee Chair:


There is a general consensus that the CTC need not and ought not review files when it has already been decided to offer a position with tenure.


Hires with tenure are typically senior hires, often for distinguished positions or leadership positions after a competitive search process  Tenure is part of the agreement of these individuals to come to OU. A willingness to tenure must exist in the higher administration (Provost, President), who advances the offer letter.  It must also exist within the department, and dean of the college who made the decision to extend an offer to the particular candidate.  As we have often discussed, the CTC’s role is limited to process and whether there is substantial evidence to sustain the unit’s judgment.  The CTC seeks to avoid substituting its own substantive views for that of the unit.  In this category of cases, when a decision has, in fact, already been made when the dossier is presented to CTC, the members are not convinced the CTC has a genuine or authentic role to play.


The problem is compounded by timing.  Most of these files arrive too late for adequate consideration during the spring semester.  The press of getting a decision quickly has all too often led to files that "are almost always bare bones or inadequate."  In the summer, many members are committed to other research projects or are absent from Norman.  Inevitably, the files will be reviewed by an uncertain fraction of the CTC membership.


Additionally, it is appropriate to remember that almost all of CTC members are on nine month contracts.  Though others are compensated for summer administrative duties, faculty are not.  …


The CTC recommends that hire-with-tenure cases not be submitted for CTC review.  Further, we recommend development of procedures that avoid limited and uncertain review of other tenure dossiers during summer months.



Proposed Change in Section 3.7.3 (e) of the Faculty Handbook:


“… If the majority of the unit’s tenured faculty members favor tenure upon appointment, the determination of tenure shall be made in the regular fashion, as specified in Section 3.7.5 based on the candidate’s application, letters of recommendation, and summary of the search committee recommendations and shall include a vote of the tenured faculty,  a recommendation from Committee A, a recommendation from the chair/director, a recommendation from the Dean, and a recommendation from the Senior Vice President and Provost to the President, and a final recommendation from the President to the Board of Regents.


This would then define a procedure for new appointments with tenure that would not require the review by the Campus Tenure Committee. 


Because most of the summer activity over the past five years on tenure dossiers has involved new appointments hired with tenure, this change in policy would almost completely solve the problem of demands on CTC during the summer months.