WRITTEN RESPONSE – II:
Question Regarding P & T Process
from John White, President, UNF – United Faculty of Florida
I (JW) will address this question as well as refer it to the new chapter president, Becky Marcon; in case, she wishes to contribute her thoughts.
Our chapter’s leadership believes that part and parcel of any promotion system should be a significant and demonstrable level of rigor. Such rigor is possible within the current system so long as those reviewing candidates’ dossiers maintain high expectations, high evaluation standards, and so long as evaluators are willing to make difficult decisions (decisions that would not be beneficial to some colleagues). The fact that in recent years we have seen almost universal approval of applications for promotion and tenure is, I posit, not a problem with the review system codified in the CBA; rather, it results from the fact that the various stages of review—departmental committees, chairs, deans, the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the Provost—have not held candidates to a consistently high level of rigor.
Our union has consistently focused on creating fair and equitable systems for annual reviews and for promotion and tenure. The form that these systems take is subject to negotiation; thus the P & T process itself may be amended per the wishes of UNF faculty and UNF administration. With negotiations on a completely new collective bargaining agreement beginning in the fall of 2017, now is the time for faculty to decide whether a change to the P & T system is warranted. That said, an additional level of review—e.g., a college-level P & T committee—is by itself no panacea.