Update of faculty review process starts its second phase

Aerial view of campus

Two oversight committees tapped with helping create an improved and streamlined faculty review process have completed the first part of their work and are embarking on the second phase of the project.

The project, called Faculty Insights and overseen by the Office of the Provost, is being designed to replace an out-of-date system where faculty up for promotion, tenure and post-tenure review gather information to showcase their work. Under the proposed new system, tentatively scheduled to launch in late 2020, faculty members will use an online system to submit materials about their research, teaching and creative activities. Reviewers will use the same system.

This month, the oversight committees are working on next steps for the project, including making recommendations to the provost on the scope of the project and the university’s must-have requirements for any new system. Future work will include working with faculty members and staff to evaluate and test drive any potential new system, setting up ways to train all users and designating pilot units to ensure that implementation is smooth and successful.

Once operational, Faculty Insights will make the faculty personnel process much less cumbersome and, through the use of new technology, bring the process into line with many fellow members of the Association of American Universities across the country. The process has involved a variety of stakeholders from across campus.

“We have taken care to make sure this process involves as much thoughtful discussion and creative brainstorming as possible, along with sustained input from many stakeholders across campus,” said Ellen Herman, vice provost for academic affairs and the chair of one of the two committees leading the efforts. “We want an outcome that is sensitive to the full spectrum of qualitative and quantitative measures in our diverse disciplinary and professional fields at the UO.”

The two oversight committees are:

  • The steering committee, led by Herman, charged with setting direction and making decisions about the project’s overall scope.
  • The technical review committee, led by Paul Taylor, enterprise IT project manager for Information Services, which has refined the project’s technical requirements and will make recommendations to the steering committee. In the future it will evaluate and select potential vendors.

Herman said numerous stakeholders were consulted during the planning phase, including members of the Faculty Advisory Council, the Research Advisory Board, and staff, faculty and deans in every school and college.

Initially, plans called for a vendor to be selected in spring 2019 and implementation to take place at the end of the calendar year. But given budget reduction issues, the committees expect the process will be slowed.

The committees will continue their work consulting stakeholders and updating the campus community on their progress. The new tentative start date is targeted for late 2020.