Providing Promotion Pathways That Reflect Changing Faculty Workloads
by C. Scott Peters, University of Northern Iowa
The workload of faculty is changing to incorporate many tasks that are important to the institution: adopting ‘high-impact practices’ to improve recruiting and retention; innovating our teaching and our curriculum to respond to a changing economy; engaging with the community in our teaching, scholarship and service; and, of course, filling committees to respond to a growing list of demands from accreditors and regulators. While workloads are changing, many universities still provide pathways to promotion that rest primarily on peer-reviewed scholarship. Reliance on these traditional promotion standards, however, may hamper both the university’s pursuit of its goals and the professional development of its faculty members. In this article, I argue that universities do not adequately support the career development of post-tenure faculty and, in fact, have put roadblocks in their paths to promotion by failing to reward the work that they increasingly ask faculty to do. I argue that colleges and universities should support faculty development throughout their entire career paths and should create pathways to promotion that recognize the changing nature of faculty work, properly rewarding people for the work that is important to the institution.