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Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief (2022)

Chapter:Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Proceedings of a Workshop


IN BRIEF

February 2022

PROMOTION, TENURE, AND ADVANCEMENT THROUGH THE LENS OF 2020

Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

The COVID-19 pandemic upended nearly every aspect of academia, leading colleges and universities to reexamine how they instruct their students and how they reward their faculty. But the pandemic was not the only disruptive event that took place in 2020. Colleges and universities have been forced to address issues related to productivity, teaching, student learning, mentoring, service, and innovative research in the context of remote or hybrid work—all amplified by the increased attention to and discussion of systemic racism, widespread economic hardships, and extreme environmental events. To help leaders of higher education understand how one particular issue—the current faculty reward, advancement, and hiring system—has changed and continues to change in response to several of the events of 2020, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (National Academies) commissioned a set of papers.1 These papers formed the basis for a series of four virtual workshops held on September 20, 23, 27, and 30, 2021. They examined how the events of 2020 have affected existing hiring and advancement policies and practices of institutions of higher education, the differential effects on the promotion and advancement of faculty from different populations, new policies and programs to support faculty, and new approaches that support more equitable faculty advancement. This document is a short summary of the three workshops on the Next Normal for Leadership and Culture; Recruitment, Retention, and Support; and Advancement of Tenure and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty, as well as the fourth workshop with closing discussions. The presentations were intended to point toward the pandemic and beyond, as well as contextualize how these issues have played out in the last two years.

WORKSHOP 1: THE NEXT NORMAL FOR LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders in academia were discussing different ways of thinking about change in higher education, according to opening remarks by Laurie Leshin, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and planning committee chair. Now, the events of 2020, including the racial justice movement and pandemic-triggered economic difficulties, have exacerbated many of the systemic challenges and inequities that higher education faces. The challenge moving forward, said Leshin, is how to work together to evolve higher education—which she said has been “a highly effective engine of inequity”—to become all it should be regarding diversity, equity, inclusion, fairness, justice, and support for its faculty and students.

WPI, for example, overhauled its approach to tenure, promotion, and faculty mentoring to embrace the broader conceptualization of scholarship that Ernest Boyer proposed in 1990.2 As a result, the last three groups of promoted professors have been equally split between men and women. Although Leshin has received criticism that WPI lowered the bar, she believes it has broadened the bar. This past year, WPI added a tenure track for teaching faculty that is also advancing the institution’s diversity goals.

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1 Available at https://www.nap.edu/catalog/26405/promotion-tenure-and-advancement-through-the-lens-of-2020-proceedings.

2 Boyer, E. L. 1990. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Leadership and Culture

When determining tenure, promotion, and reward policies, an institution’s leadership and culture are important, R. Todd Benson, Harvard University, said in his context setting remarks.3 Leadership in higher education is messy, in part because it is often unclear who is leading the institution. On the one hand, there is institutional leadership—the president and provost, as well as the increasing number of other administrators. On the other hand, there is faculty leadership through shared governance and in individual departments. While the tenure for a president or provost may be quite short, the majority of tenure-line faculty remain at their institution for decades. Additionally, Benson noted, “If faculty leadership is predicated on the idea that faculty have a vested interest in the long-term sustainability of their institution, then what does it mean when the vast majority of faculty do not have the job security that a tenure-line position affords?” Though faculty diversity is increasing across academia, that diversity is predominantly evident in the less prestigious, more tenuous positions such as non-tenure-track or part-time positions.

Benson discussed faculty diversity and leadership development, a process that largely occurs serendipitously given the deficit in understanding how colleges and universities work. Leaving leadership development to chance means institutions are more likely to maintain the status quo. He said he would like to see academia develop leaders who understand the ecosystem in which they exist so that they can improve it. He would also like graduate education to better prepare faculty to be campus leaders and to include incentives that give developing good citizenship and leadership skills higher value in graduate education.

Culture, like leadership, is another poorly understood construct, one that people only seem to notice when it does not serve their needs and negatively affects their lived experience, noted Benson. The culture of academia has changed as the ratio of tenure-track positions to graduate students has declined and increased the “luck factor” versus the “merit factor” in securing a tenure-track position. However, Benson has noticed that tenure-line faculty are now advocating more for their untenured and part-time colleagues because they understand the critical role those faculty play in how their departments function. The question, said Benson, is whether this increase in empathy can lead to systemic change.

Benson also addressed the pace of work, noting most institutions operate at full capacity in terms of time and intellectual energy. This creates a problem in that essential ingredients to invention and creativity are space and time. “What are we losing when everyone is overworked and under-supported?” asked Benson. He worries that people working extreme hours in an organization that rewards ‘workaholism’ are molding the next generation of students.

The Effects of 2020 on Faculty Leadership4

Lars Johnson, Wayne State University, reiterated the idea that leadership and faculty were both operating at the limit of their resources when the events of 2020 hit. While pandemic-imposed restrictions affected leadership and faculty directly, other events of 2020—multiple hurricanes, massive fires, flooding, the racial justice movement, and the growing political divide and animosity—triggered a heightened sense of threat across academia that affected both work and home life. The pandemic in particular affected faculty in multiple ways: balancing parenting and work demands, dealing with increasing calls from leadership to pursue pandemic-related research, managing additional committee work to address the issues the events of 2020 raised, deciding whether to pause the tenure clock, and others.

Prior to 2020, leadership in academia was largely transparent because faculty, in general, had similar institutional information as leadership regarding budgetary ebbs and flows and the decision-making process, according to Johnson. In addition, leaders were well equipped to notify faculty of any pending institutional policy changes. When the pandemic struck, many leaders found themselves struggling to figure out how to deal with the unexpected and rapidly evolving situation. Then, when the other disruptive events of 2020 arose, that combination of factors required leaders to make decisions while considering the long-term and interrelated effects of those decisions. That made it difficult for them to plan, let alone communicate in an effective and timely manner.

Stressing the other major events of 2020, Johnson also noted a pronounced challenge for leadership decisions and communications. For example, with initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), there were concerns about authenticity and whether leadership would be able to create a sustainable plan. Now, leadership needs to revisit the effects of their 2020 decisions on short- and long-term outcomes, such as potential pay and promotion inequities that will affect faculty who decided to pause their tenure clock. Leadership should also develop sustainable crisis plans with detailed support scaffolding and multiple flexible options for faculty.

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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Responding to Johnson’s presentation, Monica Cox, The Ohio State University, noted that higher education was for a long time aware of the issues that came to the fore during the pandemic, particularly those affecting underrepresented populations, so it is important to understand why the crisis has only now triggered change to occur. Issues are often compartmentalized—DEI, for example, assigned to human resources or an institutional equity committee—but no one was designated for the adaptive challenges that arose occurred during the pandemic, nor was leadership prepared for the magnitude of 2020’s events.

One question that arose during the pandemic, said Cox, was whether new rules were “real”—whether they were authentic commitments—given the dramatic changes the pandemic triggered and the lack of transparency that Johnson noted. For example, faculty wondered if there really is an extension of the tenure clock with no associated penalties and if the changes meant to address DEI were genuine demonstrations of transformation or merely window dressing. During the pandemic, there was a need for a different type of leadership, one that was more inclusive, open, available, and accessible to answering those types of questions. Going forward, leadership will need to be accountable and courageous in terms of following through on new policies promised during the pandemic.

Cox commented on increased faculty self-empowerment and organization, with junior faculty and faculty of color now serving on committees and speaking up in ways that they have not in the past. Institutional leaders will have to respond with more commitment to the issues that existed before the pandemic, since people have taken time to reflect and decide if they want to pursue a career at an institution that may not truly value their time, effort, and outside interests. “A good leader is going to realize that they cannot go back to business as usual,” said Cox. Addressing those issues will require authentic conversations that protect people who may suffer harm for expressing their views and that genuinely show how institutions care about the well-being of their people.

What Is Academic Culture?5

Demetri Morgan, Loyola University Chicago, and Norma López, Tufts University, defined the term minoritized faculty as people and populations that power dynamics and systems of oppression have marginalized not merely through numerical accounting but also through organizational norms in what is considered valuable and desirable. By this definition, contingent faculty are minoritized faculty.6 Morgan and López based their idea of academic culture on William Tierney’s work showing that an organization’s culture is reflected in what is done, how it is done, and who participates in doing it.7 They focused on interpersonal connections—between faculty and students, colleagues, administrators, staff members, and the scholarly community—and the collective social agreements regarding how faculty relate to the profession broadly and campuses specifically.

One form of relationship building occurs via mentoring, which often occurs only for early-career faculty and not for non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF). For faculty of color, mentoring may include advice for how to navigate their careers but delivered in a way that is incongruent with their values and the responsibility they may feel to their communities. López noted that both tenure-track and contingent faculty of color often feel responsible for mentoring students with minoritized identities, which creates cultural taxation that institutions do not prioritize in evaluating faculty for tenure and promotion. She also pointed to what she called the nameless-faceless aspect of academic culture: the unknown entities who judge early-career faculty and whose anonymity obscures the forces that inhibit minoritized faculty from developing their careers. Taken together, the layers of faculty members’ different identities and tenure statuses often do not enhance each other but rather work against each other.

While the events of 2020 contributed to further inequity, they also created opportunities to use the skills developed during the pandemic to build community and connections. The events of 2020, however, also commodified race: only valuing a person’s racial identity for what it brings to a particular department in terms of appearing to be equitable and inclusive.

Morgan raised the issue of how faculty relate to their profession and scholarly community at large and what that means to a faculty member’s allegiance to their institution. A cosmopolitan-oriented faculty member is someone who is more attached to their disciplinary community than to their institution, while a locally oriented faculty member is someone who is hyper-attached to their institution, more likely to be involved in faculty governance, and less connected to their scholarly and disciplinary community. This reductionist framing provides a way of examining faculty relationships during the pandemic. For example, digitally inclined cosmopolitan faculty might be thriving given their ability to leverage their comfort in the digital realm and their existing connections outside of their institution. In contrast,

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5 See: Morgan and López, 2022, https://www.nap.edu/resource/26405/2_The_Impacts_of_2020_on_Faculty_Culture-Morgan_Lopez.pdf.

6 Morgan and López define contingent faculty as any faculty member who has a contingent employment relationship with the institution of 1 year or less.

7 Tierney, W. G. 1988. Organizational Culture in Higher Education: Defining the Essentials. The Journal of Higher Education 59(1): 2––21. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1981868.

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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an analog local faculty member who prefers face-to-face meetings may feel more isolated and deprived of supportive relationships. These different personal characteristics imply a need for post-2020 updating of how faculty are embedded in academic organizational culture.

Morgan and López made several recommendations. They suggested that institutional leaders should lead institution-wide conversations about digital divides and that academic organizations should provide ongoing professional development and resource support for analog faculty that maintain dignity and highlight meaningful ways for contingent faculty to engage with the institution in both remote and in-person settings. They also suggested that faculty should leverage technological skills acquired during the pandemic to connect with others in ways that are intentional and holistic. Returning to the nameless-faceless phenomenon, López noted that all faculty and administrators should heed these recommendations because, in the nameless-faceless academic culture, these tasks are currently nobody’s responsibility and nobody is held accountable.

Responding to this presentation, Kiernan Mathews, University of Chicago, noted that it is important to interrogate an organization’s culture and examine its processes and policies using an equity-minded lens. These examinations should help reform an institution’s culture and address any misalignment. In the meantime, presidents, provosts, and deans should function as “chief reminding officers”8 who repeatedly emphasize the strategies and priorities that institutions have developed to improve their culture. Mathews called on academic leaders to commit to a more deliberately developmental university with a commitment to a 21st century growth culture rather than expecting faculty to arrive “fully formed.”

Mathews also pondered potential approaches for academic leadership struggling to diversify its faculty. Perhaps, he suggested, they could consider giving faculty members the freedom to teach from their home located anywhere in the country with the condition they spend 1 week per month, for example, on campus. He asked, what would be the implications if the position were on the tenure-track? How might the frameworks of cosmopolitan and local, as well as digital and analog, laid out by Morgan and López factor into these considerations?

He commented on the anxiety that the nameless-faceless nature of academia can cause faculty, particularly minoritized faculty, when an institution keeps them in the dark about the privileges, resources, and deals they are negotiating with other faculty. While higher education fetishizes anonymity and secrecy in the name of fairness, scholarship from multiple disciplines shows that secrecy is not necessary to ensure quality and is more likely to obscure or even launder the biases involved in making judgments about a faculty member’s value to the institution.

Early-career faculty have been calling for change for at least 20 years, and Mathews agreed with arguments that early career and minoritized faculty should lead a re-envisioning tenure and promotion. The widespread normalization of digital instruction and collaboration is an opportunity to dismantle social and institutional isolation that minoritized faculty experience because of their low representation. He implored institutions not to minimize the value of local faculty in favor of cosmopolitan faculty, because they are often the ones that stay long-term and thus have the power to change an institution.

Discussion

Questions raised by the participants highlighted the need for creative leadership that can engage in shared governance, listen to faculty, and rethink the norms that distract from their institutions’ values. They also noted that the idea of a meritocracy was a response to something worse, inherited privilege, but in fact, it has propagated the systems of inherited privilege in the guise of objectivity.

WORKSHOP 2: THE NEXT NORMAL FOR RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND SUPPORT

To provide context, Amal Kumar, Harvard University, discussed the financial commitment a university or college makes when it employs a faculty member.9 The changing finances of public colleges and universities, which enroll nearly three-quarters of the nation’s undergraduates and employ two-thirds of all faculty, has been a key driver in the growth of NTTF positions. Figures from the National Center for Education Statistics show that state appropriations account for nearly 20 percent of university revenues, with community colleges being more reliant on state and local funding than 4-year institutions. As of 2020, state appropriations for higher education had fallen 15 percent from 2001 levels. As a result, institutional leaders have increased the number of NTTF as a means of retaining budget flexibility and reducing

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8 Term comes from: Lencioni, P. (2012). The advantage: Why organizational health trumps everything else in business. San Francisco, CA: JosseyBass.

9 See: Kumar and Benson, 2022, https://www.nap.edu/resource/26405/7_Inequities_in_Faculty_Hiring_Promotion_Tenure_and_Advancement-Kumar_Benson.pdf.

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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costs. Indeed, the American Association of University of Professors has estimated that NTTF account for 91 percent of the growth in faculty positions between 1975 and 2011. Today, only one in three faculty members are either tenured or on the tenure track.10

While filling fewer tenure-track positions, institutions of higher education have been confronting the lack of diversity among their faculty. There has been progress on this front—the percentage of women faculty has increased from 32 percent to 47 percent over the past 30 years—but nearly 70 percent of full-time faculty still identify as non-Hispanic White. Lack of diversity of doctoral recipients is partly responsible for the lack of progress, but research shows that the academic hiring process is inequitable at every step. For example, search committees and the networks upon which they rely are largely homogenously White. Women and racially minoritized faculty are less likely to perceive tenure expectations as being clearly stated and less likely to report that their departments and institutions are supportive of a healthy work-life balance. Women faculty are also more likely than their men colleagues to engage in service work at the expense of their research, while faculty of color are often tapped for additional committee assignments in well-intentioned efforts to be inclusive, and to serve as informal mentors and advisors supporting students of color. Most universities, said Kumar, do not recognize service as a critical piece of tenure, promotion, and retention criteria. One result is that women-identifying and racially minoritized faculty members report greater intentions to leave the academy and higher rates of attrition throughout their academic careers, and evidence suggests that institutions do less to retain them.

Since much of the growth and diversification of faculty has come in NTTF positions, there are now fewer opportunities for those historically excluded from the faculty to occupy the more secure and prestigious tenure-track positions. The result, said Kumar, is a class hierarchy in academia, one that invites marginalized faculty into the academy only to further marginalize them. His charge to the workshop was to think about how to invite new voices and new faces to the table and create new, equitable, and inclusive structures that dismantle these inequities that have structured American higher education.

COVID-19 and Faculty Recruitment11

To Autumn Reed, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to address inequities in recruiting. There has been progress, particularly in developing policies that are more family friendly, creating dual-career hiring offices, instituting implicit bias training, building diversity-oriented recruitment toolkits, and encouraging departments and search committees to hire more diverse faculty. However, stand-alone diversity initiatives can obscure the structural causes of underrepresentation within the academy, including inhospitable climates, tokenism, isolation, service burden biases, and epistemic marginalization.

Prior to the pandemic, some institutions required search committees to develop an intentional diversity recruitment plan that details how the committee would conduct its search based on principles of DEI. Each plan includes a review of the state of DEI in the specific academic discipline; search committee composition and justification; the specific, active recruitment strategy for reaching a diverse talent pool; draft job advertisements that are inclusive and welcoming in tone and language; and the initial evaluation and interview strategy.

It is important, said Reed, for the provost’s office to help faculty develop and operationalize these plans, perhaps by using the Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE) model to advise faculty on practices that make searches more successful in producing diverse candidate pools.12 STRIDE advisors are faculty peers who have demonstrated a commitment to DEI excellence. STRIDE committees signal that it is everybody’s responsibility to work toward DEI, and they disrupt the cultural service burden that often falls on women and marginalized members of being responsible for the “diversity piece of recruitment.”

Reed also discussed two programmatic approaches—postdoctoral fellowships and cluster hiring—that can disrupt target opportunity hiring practices, which incentivize a department to find an individual that fits a certain category without addressing structural issues. Institutions can design postdoctoral fellowships to prepare scholars committed to DEI in higher education for careers in academia. Departments, rather than individual investigators, administer these fellowships that may then be converted to tenure-track positions. Reed noted that cluster hiring—hiring multiple faculty simultaneously around broadly defined topics or challenges—directly addresses the structural inequalities like tokenism, isolation, and epistemic marginalization.

Using data and analytics to improve assessment and accountability through monitoring application pools,

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10 AAUP (American Association of University Professors). 2021b. The annual report on the economic status of the profession, 2020–21. In Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors, 1–40. Washington, DC: American Association of University Professors. p14.

11 See: Reed, 2022, https://www.nap.edu/resource/26405/3_The_Impacts_of_2020_on_Faculty_Recruitment-Reed.pdf.

12 STRIDE programs have been implemented at multiple universities. For example, more information about the University of Michigan’s STRIDE program is available at https://advance.umich.edu/stride.

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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longitudinal recruitment, and retention is another promising practice that aims to change culture to value DEI. Data disaggregation is important to reveal the true nature of diversity and identify areas that need further attention. Such assessments require institutions to engage fully and be transparent about their findings.

The COVID-19 pandemic not only altered the work-life balance of faculty, but it also changed the size of the available talent pool: many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows were unable to finish and publish the research that would help them to compete for open faculty positions in 2020. In addition, the evolving budget crisis that many institutions face threatens to decrease the number of available positions and sacrifice commitments to DEI. Reed offered suggestions to address these and other issues affecting recruitment. She advised search committees to incorporate discussions of how they will mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the search plans. For example, they might host online webinars for applicants, develop evaluation criteria that account for how COVID-19 might have reduced productivity, institute flexibility in scheduling interviews and provide candidates with information about how the institution is supporting faculty through the disruptions, and create individualized mentoring plans that consider the needs and circumstances of the new hires.

Reed would also adapt peer education to design searches that account for COVID-19. She would implement or modify novel hiring approaches such as the postdoctoral programs and cluster hiring she discussed above. Reed advised institutions to consider partnership approaches, look to other institutions for successful models and approaches, and adapt their approaches for their needs. Commitments alone, she added, do not translate into meaningful change.

Reflecting on Reed’s presentation, Christiane Spitzmueller, University of Houston, spoke about systematic approaches to ascertain that recruitment initiatives are integrated with the experiences faculty have on campus. Empirical evidence on faculty recruitment shows what institutions should do. Referring to what she called “data mirrors,” Spitzmueller describe how data can help motivate well-intentioned faculty, departments, or institutions to understand potentially significant discrepancies between intentions and reality. However, recruitment as a stand-alone solution will not solve the challenges academia faces regarding the continued underrepresentation of individuals from marginalized backgrounds. The problem is that culturally sensitive, inclusive, equitable recruitment practices often do not align with the remainder of an institution’s academic systems, such as how those same values are integrated in the annual performance review or criteria for promotion and tenure.

Spitzmueller cited research that shows that having diverse faculty increases the diversity of the graduate student body. In the same way, having minoritized faculty members serve as search committee chairs results in a larger and more diverse applicant pool, in part because minoritized faculty have access to different networks. One finding she highlighted from the pandemic experience has been the importance to the recruiting process of providing flexible transitions for new faculty, particularly those with families that will also have to relocate. She noted that the more institutions can integrate recruitment initiatives and the accompanying criteria with those that are used for promotion and tenure processes, the more likely it will be that academia can move to a system where the promises made during recruitment hold true for faculty from marginalized backgrounds. This will enable faculty from marginalized backgrounds to thrive and build careers that allow them to make contributions in all areas that are consistent with their beliefs and values.

2020 and Retention and Support13

Kecia Thomas, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and NiCole Buchanan, Michigan State University, presented their paper on faculty retention and support. When the pandemic began, faculty were forced to rapidly pivot not only their research and teaching but also nearly every aspect of their personal lives, said Buchanan. They attempted to fulfill workplace obligations while confronting the fear of losing household income, lacking access to their labs and their research participants, and trying to meet family obligations, including often having to homeschool children of a variety of ages. Their situation continues to be overwhelming, she added, given that institutions faced with financial uncertainty are forcing faculty to assume more responsibility with fewer institutional supports and even salary reductions. As a result, many faculty have left or are considering leaving academia.

Buchanan mentioned shifting institutional strategies for support and retention away from acute, emergency, short-term efforts, triggered when there was a risk of losing a highly valued faculty member. Instead, long-term practices that extend beyond helping faculty succeed in their roles could result in efforts that foster a sense of belonging and ownership of the institution and its mission for all faculty. Buchanan called for faculty, regardless of rank or title, to have at least one formal meeting with their supervisor annually in which faculty get to express professional needs rather than

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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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solely focusing on past performance. Importantly, the expectations must be set that the meeting will be a supportive conversation in order to help create a safe and equitable climate in which the institution can address those needs.

Institutions, said Buchanan, should also review their policies and institutional data on past efforts to retain faculty, both preemptively and through counteroffers, and exit data to ensure that they are equitable across gender, race, and rank and consider how these practices contribute to faculty feeling valued within the institution. They could then implement data-driven retention strategies across the institution to derail the opportunity for bias in the retention of faculty; especially underrepresented faculty. To create institutional cultures that prioritize faculty support and retention, department chairs and deans should be held accountable by examining exit survey data and explaining why productive faculty members leave.

Thomas discussed recommendations for creating a supportive onboarding experience that enables new faculty to engage with their institution and connect with other members of their incoming cohort. The onboarding experience should provide new faculty members with an opportunity to learn about the institution and its culture, identity, and values. It is also important to discard the colorblind model of onboarding and create space for new faculty to express their identities and have a menu of options to meet individual needs.

Leadership should be mindful of the changing nature of work when thinking about support and retention, noted Thomas. Remote work, for example, will not go away when the pandemic ends, so institutions need to consider which faculty can work remotely and which content can be delivered effectively via online platforms. Thomas also suggested that institutions consider how remote work can increase workload, support faculty members with culturally competent resources, and help them manage stress and burnout that could accompany an increasing workload. Ultimately, the goal of these activities is to create an inclusive climate that promotes the success of a diverse faculty.

There are ways of signaling to new faculty that they are joining a supportive institution that wants them to succeed, starting with the messaging embedded in their offer letters, Thomas continued. While offer letters should articulate teaching and research priorities and value a new faculty member’s specific area of research, offer letters should also explain what service and good citizenship look like and acknowledge the expanding role of faculty to be ambassadors to the community. Institutions should create and publicize multicultural support for new faculty and establish a developmental approach for dealing with existing faculty who act poorly toward new faculty as a means of extinguishing negative behaviors in the workplace.

Thomas suggested some cross-cutting, equity-focused practices that universities and colleges can adopt to support and retain faculty. These included: using a data-driven assessment of problems revealed by exit interviews or when someone declined an offer to create and implement future faculty support systems; using the third-year review to modify a faculty member’s experience to be successful going forward; and automatically implementing tenure clock extensions, with an option to opt out rather than opt in, for events that fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

Institutions should embrace on-campus affinity groups and networks as support systems for faculty success; sources of fellowship, award, and leadership nominations; and as a means for leadership to get feedback about institutional challenges to inclusion, continued Thomas. Institutions also need to better integrate and use technology to promote more efficient and creative teaching and research that can meet broader institutional, community, and societal needs. Finally, faculty need easy access to support systems such as remote counseling that can protect faculty well-being and mental health and that are culturally sensitive.

Thomas said she hopes that academic leaders and faculty have used the pandemic as an opportunity to “press reset” and become more reflective about the balance they want between career and the rest of life. Buchanan noted that both she and Thomas made transitions during the pandemic that highlighted the fact that colorblind approaches probably do not work well for everyone. “The veil has been lifted, taboos have been broken, and the silence has been broken on individual experiences of what it means to be an academic, especially for those from marginalized groups,” said Buchanan. She encouraged academic leaders to think about ways in which there can be a more multicultural and customized experience for faculty and to relinquish deficit-oriented models of how they think about faculty development and replace them with structures that are empowering and reaffirming so that faculty can reach their goals and the institution’s goals.

In her comments on Buchanan and Thomas’s presentation, Diana Bilimoria, Case Western Reserve University, noted that new faculty hired since March 2020 have faced a gap in orientation, socialization, and information sharing that will require universities and colleges to supplement their normal onboarding procedures and consider investments in those faculty to ensure equitable opportunities for support, advancement, and promotion. This is particularly true, she noted, for new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty who have had difficulty establishing their new laboratories, acquiring equipment, recruiting students, and hiring laboratory assistants, let alone demonstrating productivity by submitting grants and papers for publication. She reiterated Buchanan and Thomas’s call

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×

for support and retention efforts to become long-term, institution-wide priorities that extend beyond helping faculty succeed to include efforts that foster a sense of belonging and ownership of the institution and its mission.

Faculty support, said Bilimoria, is different from efforts to ensure faculty performance, particularly for faculty from underrepresented and marginalized populations. To support and retain faculty, institutions should expand their slate of assistance programs, such as coaching and counseling services, delivered by culturally competent professionals. She also suggested paying attention to the mental health and well-being of postdoctoral scholars, doctoral students, lab assistants, technical specialists, computer workers, and staff who support the scientific enterprise. “We need to look at the entire ecosystem within the institution that supports the academic enterprise, not just the faculty member,” she added.

Bilimoria encouraged institutions to focus on actions that improve the workplace climate created by deans and department chairs. She would make more explicit the incentive structure for deans by requiring them to create and disseminate diversity plans for their units, basing their annual merit pay on success in recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, and holding them accountable for providing training and education on DEI.

As academic work moves to remote work perhaps permanently, newer forms of exclusion, microaggressions, and racism are occurring in online settings. Therefore, actions aimed at creating a positive and respectful climate on campus should extend to online environments and account for the extra pressures and barriers that underrepresented faculty face.

Given the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on contingent and part-time faculty, Bilimoria suggested that institutions of higher education take seriously how they resource, support, and retain those faculty members who play a critical role in the nation’s academic enterprise. Colleges and universities need to inform their actions with the realization that the academic careers and pathways faculty take today differ from those of earlier generations of scholars. Bilimoria called on government agencies and nonprofit organizations that have actively supported efforts to increase faculty diversity to keep the pressure on academia to sustain successful programs and prevent the forces of inertia from halting progress.

Discussion

The ensuing discussion highlighted the importance of transparency during the recruiting process—identifying all the members of the search committee, not just the chair, for example—and accountability for following through on plans for increasing the diversity of the search pool and providing mentoring and other support activities for new faculty. Participants suggested that accountability should extend across the institution, start with institutional leadership, and be data-based.

Participants also suggested creating launch committees for new faculty composed of existing faculty that can fulfill a distinct mentoring role, adding mentorship to performance appraisals, and implementing upward mentoring for chairs, deans, and provosts to help them better understand the unique experiences of marginalized faculty. The discussion noted there are now evidence-based practices that can improve DEI of the hiring, support, and retention of faculty, and that no one program or activity will solve all the issues raised by the speakers.

WORKSHOP 3: THE NEXT NORMAL FOR ADVANCEMENT OF TENURE AND NON-TENURE-TRACK FACULTY

In context-setting remarks, Kumar noted that most college and university leaders come from the ranks of tenured faculty and asked, “If we systematically exclude minorities faculty from the opportunity to achieve tenure, then how can the upper echelons of academic leadership ever be equitable?”14

Regarding career advancement, Kumar raised three factors for consideration: (1) much of the growth and diversification of the professoriate has come off the tenure track in the form of contingent and part-time labor, (2) NTTF have less agency over their work and career trajectories, and (3) the existing reward structure was created for a less diverse professoriate and for a time when the majority of positions were on the tenure track and thus may no longer serve the needs of a diversifying professoriate that is mostly off the tenure track. Kumar noted, too, that while research has shown that minoritized scholars produce higher rates of scientific novelty, their contributions are often devalued and discounted. Through this process of epistemic exclusion, minoritized faculty become less competitive on presumed “objective” metrics such as publication numbers.

__________________

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×

Using Epistemic Exclusion Theory to Understand the Effect of Two Pandemics on Faculty Advancement15

Martinque Jones, University of North Texas, and co-author with Buchanan, discussed how epistemic exclusion theory can frame an understanding of how two 2020 pandemics—the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic of racial injustice—have affected tenure-track faculty retention and advancement. These two pandemics made biases in the tenure-track faculty evaluation process more visible, intensified the demands on marginalized faculty, and undermined institutional goals for faculty diversification.

Buchanan explained that epistemic exclusion is a type of scholarly devaluation that scholars of color or from marginalized groups, including women, experience more often and that it is rooted in a set of invisible biases built into formal systems of evaluation and reflected in informal faculty interactions. Two types of bias shape epistemic exclusion: disciplinary bias—disciplinary norms that determine which qualities contribute to research being defined as rigorous research or good scholarship—and identity-based bias, which holds that a researcher’s identity, experiences, and beliefs are not relevant to the scientific process. Disciplinary bias, she said, contributes to narrow definitions of rigor that lead to the systematic discounting of research theories, topics, and methods that scholars from marginalized groups use more often. Moreover, negative stereotypes about faculty from marginalized groups further marginalize these scholars and undermine their credibility as experts in their fields.

Within formal systems of evaluation, epistemic exclusion can take different forms. For example, Buchanan explained, in a field where peer-reviewed journal articles are the norm, books or book chapters may be discounted, even if they are also peer reviewed and published by prestigious presses. In addition, traditional evaluation standards often count the products (e.g., the number of papers) but they do not account for the effort involved in conducting certain types of research, such as those that involve building trust in a community. Buchanan stated that the COVID-19 pandemic, even overlaid with the blight of racism, did not cause epistemic exclusion or the devaluation of the contributions of scholars from marginalized groups. Instead, these pandemics exacerbated the societal ills that contribute to their devaluation and increased the need for these scholars to engage in more activities that are not rewarded or valued in today’s academia.

Jones noted that the twin pandemics of 2020 exacerbated disparities in teaching, service, and mentorship, carried as additional burdens by women and faculty of color. Many institutions deemed faculty with marginalized identities to be the in-house diversity experts charged with educating faculty, staff, and students on systemic racism and developing anti-racism and inclusive programming. Grant review panels and journals called on faculty of color in their attempt to quickly prioritize scholarship on race, racism, and other social issues. Racial tensions in 2020 prompted many faculty of color to serve as the primary support for students of color as they processed racial trauma. Although these activities that further inclusion are important, they contributed to greater service responsibilities among marginalized scholars, especially those at the highest ranks. “We assert that epistemic exclusion will occur if such activities are not recognized as forms of meritorious productivity in evaluations,” said Jones.

Buchanan said the first step to reaching aspirational goals for equitable evaluation and advancement processes is to identify the places where seemingly natural evaluation processes—publications in “high-impact journals,” for example—are creating and built on bias. Having discussions with minoritized tenure-track faculty about why they publish in certain journals would allow institutions to reflect on the status quo. Departments can have conversations about their scholarly values and ensure they have processes in place that align with those values. With adequate discussion and redefinition of scholarly work, institutions may then begin to employ new evaluation policies and practices, such as engaging in a more holistic evaluation that can fully recognize and value the range of activities a scholar may participate in as a faculty member.

The Impacts of 2020 on Advancement of Non-Tenure-Track and Adjunct Faculty16

While tenure-track faculty have clearly defined opportunities for advancement and opportunities for autonomy, professional growth, and collegiality, this is not the norm for NTTF, said KC Culver, University of Southern California. She noted that 64 percent of full-time NTTF and 85 percent of adjunct faculty have annual or shorter contracts even though data show that these faculty average 9 years of employment at their current institution, with more than a third of NTTF having worked at their institution for at least 10 years.17

__________________

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×

In addition to career instability, most NTTF lack economic stability given that their salaries are significantly less per course than that of their tenure-track peers and rarely include employer contributions to health-care and retirement benefits. Moreover, NTTF often contribute to their institutions beyond their stated job responsibilities with no increase in salary. Less than half of adjunct faculty receive merit raises, and research NTTF are increasingly expected to fund their own salaries through grants, creating an additional layer of economic uncertainty. Culver noted that widespread hiring freezes in academia meant that NTTF on short-term contracts that were not renewed have little hope of finding an academic job elsewhere.

NTTF and adjunct faculty lack meaningful promotion and professionalization opportunities, and even when they do receive a promotion in title, it rarely comes with a salary increase. Because evaluations and reappointment decisions often rely heavily on student ratings, the shift to online instruction threatens the reliability of those ratings and adds another layer of career insecurity for NTTF. Institutions often exclude NTTF governance functions, do not invite them to faculty meetings, and deny them professional autonomy to choose the texts and assignments for the courses they teach, explained Culver. During the pandemic, many NTTF, who most often teach introductory-level courses with higher enrollment, did not receive compensation for the extra work of moving courses online and supporting more and higher-need students.

The events of 2020 highlighted the need to improve conditions for NTTF, and especially for those with other marginalized identities, if the goal is for these faculty to be successful, said Culver. One promising practice is to provide more employment stability for NTTF, given their long-term commitment to those institutions and their careers as faculty members. Greater employment stability has resulted, in part, from the increase of faculty unions; the collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the California Faculty Association includes both multiyear contracts and employment guarantees for NTTF, along with guaranteed priority hiring for adjuncts who teach for more than two consecutive semesters. Another promising practice allows NTTF to participate in professional development activities, such as learning communities, faculty mentoring, and teaching workshops. In fact, Culver noted, this is one area that appears to have improved for NTTF in 2020 as institutions realized the need to include NTTF in their instructional development efforts that help faculty move courses online.

Medical schools are starting to design teaching and clinical tracks that include practices such as long-term contracts, offering opportunities to serve in leadership roles, and even sabbaticals and funding to attend conferences. Culver added that while most promotion tracks are limited to full-time NTTF, some 2-year institutions have developed promotion opportunities for adjunct faculty, high-end credentialing programs that focus on instructional effectiveness, and opportunities for priority scheduling and salary increases.

Facilitated Discussion

The third workshop ended with a discussion among Leslie Gonzales, Michigan State University; Brendan Cantwell, Michigan State University; Christine Grant, North Carolina State University; Jennifer MacKinnon, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Jennifer Gómez, Wayne State University; and the day’s speakers. Reflecting on what she had heard, Gonzales noted that there are many different titles or employment categories for NTTF that make it difficult to have a strong sense of the roles and responsibilities being assumed by NTTF that were historically filled by tenure-track faculty. She also noted that a decade of research has documented how anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism play out in the evaluation process. Cantwell commented on the different ways institutions fail to account for many of the contributions that new faculty make to those institutions and the need, therefore, to radically rethink evaluation, promotion, and reward processes. He called for creating a comprehensive national database on faculty.

Grant commented on the cultural differences that exist in different STEM fields, including medicine, and wondered how those play out in evaluation, promotion, and reward processes for NTTF. She, too, called for revamping the evaluation process to fully recognize and value the range of activities in which faculty members engage and reflected that there is no one approach that will fit all departments and all disciplines. MacKinnon noted the pushback she gets in her role as associate dean for equity and diversity when trying to change processes around promotion because they are codified in institutional practices. She also commented on the role that the COVID-19 pandemic has played in humanizing people, thanks to at-home online video meetings, and hoped this would bring attention to the fact that faculty should not have to hide their full selves to be academic professionals. Gómez commented on the need to address the nameless-faceless issue and epistemic exclusion as major issues affecting minoritized faculty, as well as explicit bias against NTTF.

When asked if academia would discard tenure, the panelists said there have been discussions about this but that there is a need for data, which institutions could generate as part of the accreditation process, to track whether this is happening or not. If tenure were deemphasized, institutions of higher education would need to develop other

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×

mechanisms of rewarding valuable faculty and providing them with more stability and economic certainty, which would require developing new metrics for evaluation that account for the wide range of tasks that faculty fill beyond research and teaching. They also commented on the increasing number of categories for NTTF and the need to understand the different work portfolios that NTTF are assuming, particularly given the increasing percentage of positions that NTTF are filling and given the changing enrollment situation and economics buffeting academia. Currently, there is little transparency at most institutions about titles, roles, and responsibilities. What tenure does provide is the ability to speak truth to power, so Culver suggested there be some mechanism that protects academic freedom if tenure goes away.

One issue raised was the evaluative power that well-established, tenured faculty hold in hiring and tenure at colleges and universities, but do not always recognize new or different portfolios of success. The panelists related this back to epistemic marginalization and exclusion and the need for evaluation that expands the horizons of research, not evaluation for exclusion, and to “broaden the bar, not lower it.”

The panelists noted that institutions could both increase the opportunity for minoritized and NTTF to participate in governance and make it worthwhile for them to do so by creating welcoming environments that are not hostile to new points of view. Research has shown that increasing NTTF participation in governance leads to the type of changes that speakers at all three workshops highlighted as critical for improving DEI and creating a better work-life environment for faculty.

WORKSHOP 4: CLOSING DISCUSSIONS

The final workshop began with the attendees engaging in breakout sessions, followed by reports from each breakout group. The following presents some of the suggestions made during those reports:

  • Metrics of successful leadership to encourage leaders to take time to reflect on how they performed during the events of 2020 and 2021.
  • A change in the narrative around what it means to be a faculty member and what higher education will be going forward, with academic leadership framing that narrative so that legislators, students, and the general public understand and buy into the evolving nature of higher education.
  • Tenure and promotion procedures that better align with the stated values of an institution, rather than an often antiquated evaluation system based on apprenticeship. Steps include reviewing the current tenets of tenure and advancement processes to determine which aspects remain valuable and relevant; broadening the metrics for success to include new areas of science and new methods of research, such as community-based research; and including DEI contributions and mentoring activities.
  • Data to better understand institutional cultures, as well as resources to understand how they influence institutional policy and affect the success of change initiatives, and how leadership responds to faculty and student needs and drives improvements in DEI.
  • Retention policies that consider more than money or teaching load and include issues of support or nonsupport, location, family and work-life balance, access to child- and eldercare, and epistemic marginalization.
  • A reexamination of tenure clock extension policies and the potential positive and negative outcomes of extensions.
  • Involvement of the professional (non-tenure-track) workforce more in addressing issues of DEI to reflect that this workforce is more diverse and growing faster than the academic workforce as a whole.

In her closing remarks Kimberly Griffin, University of Maryland, College Park, and planning committee member, noted that the traumas of the past 18 months have created an opportunity for learning and growth. The pandemic highlighted problems that were present before 2020, as well as new ones, and it pointed the way to solutions to address persistent challenges should institutions choose to learn from their experiences. She called on the workshop participants to leave encouraged and to be brave in their decision-making going forward—to look to other institutions for best practices, and to sit with faculty and staff and understand the harms they have experienced in the challenges they have endured and produce new and innovative ways to be better, to be accountable, and to try a different path forward.

Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×

DISCLAIMER: This Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief was prepared by Maria Lund Dahlberg and Joe Alper as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The statements recorded here are those of the individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all participants, the workshop planning committee, workshop sponsors, or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

REVIEWERS: To ensure that this Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity, it was reviewed by Kiernan Matthews, University of Chicago; Joya Misra, University of Massachusetts; Tuba Ozkan-Haller, Oregon State University; and Paola Sztajn, North Carolina State University. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. Marilyn Baker, National Academies, served as review coordinator.

Workshop planning committee members are: Laurie A. Leshin (Chair), Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Raymonda L. Burgman, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education; Annmarie Caño, Gonzaga University; Maureen T. Connelly, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine; Kimberly Griffin, University of Maryland, College Park; Robert Martello, Olin College of Engineering; Julie Risien, Oregon State University; and William B. Rouse, Curis Meditor, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Georgia Institute of Technology.

This workshop was supported by the Kavli Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26405.

Policy and Global Affairs

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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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Suggested Citation:"Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshopin Brief." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement through the Lens of 2020: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26405.
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The COVID-19 pandemic upended nearly every aspect of academia, leading colleges and universities to reexamine how they instruct their students and how they reward their faculty. But the pandemic was not the only disruptive event that took place in 2020. Colleges and universities have been forced to address issues related to productivity, teaching,student learning, mentoring, service, and innovative research in the context of remote or hybrid work - all amplified by the increased attention to and discussion of systemic racism, widespread economic hardships, and extreme environmental events. To help leaders of higher education understand how one particular issue - the current faculty reward, advancement, and hiring system - has changed and continues to change in response to several of the events of 2020, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine commissioned a set of papers. These papers formed the basis for a series of four virtual workshops held on September 20, 23, 27, and 30, 2021. They examined how the events of 2020 have affected existing hiring and advancement policies and practices of institutions of higher education, the differential effects on the promotion and advancement of faculty from different populations, new policies and programs to support faculty, and new approaches that support more equitable faculty advancement. This publication is a short summary of the three workshops on the Next Normal for Leadership and Culture; Recruitment,Retention, and Support; and Advancement of Tenure and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty, as well as the fourth workshop with closing discussions. The presentations were intended to point toward the pandemic and beyond, as well as contextualize how these issues have played out in the last two years.

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