June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
New Engineering Educators
15.915.1 - 15.915.9
New Faculty and Navigating the Contract Renewal Process
At new faculty orientation sessions discussion of the peer review and contract renewal process (such as a tenure process) always generates immediate interest and attention. Of key importance are the details of how and when a review takes place, and what needs to be done to be successful at it. While the topics of teaching methods, student learning styles, and classroom techniques are of interest and importance to new faculty, maintaining employment is also a significant practical concern.
saw it the same way. After all, they read the same set of rules and follow the same process. But do they have any differences in viewpoint or understanding? This paper examines the different views that faculty members have and how they came to arrive at them. The views of four professors will be compared, two of which are new faculty. The other two have decades of experience, one being the Chief Academic Officer, the other a senior faculty member who was also a multi-year chair of the review committee.
A process that appears straightforward to one group can seem daunting to another. For a new faculty member to navigate the process requires that all involved understand their viewpoint. Similarly, they need to understand the needs of the university and of their own peers. This paper examines these traits and discusses ways to make the process a better one for the new faculty member.
New faculty members are faced with many early-career challenges including how to effectively teach, establish a rapport with (but still be respected by) students, critique and grade assignments, relate to the department chair and colleagues, establish or continue research, and maintain employment at the university. All except the last item are skills that can evolve, and be
be jumped on a single well-defined date. To say that it weighs heavily on the mind of a new faculty member is an understatement.
Given the gravity of such a task and our expertise as problem solvers, we would normally define the problem and determine the solution. That is, we would read the documentation describing the contract-renewal process and follow the steps outlined, in the exact order, giving detailed answers to the questions. While this approach is necessary, it may not be sufficient. The task is not a linear engineering one, but is much broader. The key reasons have to do with people.
Our Review Process
At the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) we have a long-term contract review process1 rather than a tenure system. Every four, six, or eight years, depending on rank, a faculty
Wierer, J., & Frankowski, R., & Prust, C., & Reyer, S. (2010, June), New Faculty And Navigating The Contract Renewal Process Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16559
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