At a February Labor Management committee meeting, the University advised PSU-AAUP that there was an inconsistency between the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) website and the Human Resources (HR) website regarding supplemental offer letters for tenure-track (TT) faculty. The OAA website captured the current practice while the HR website did not. Consequently, a number of inconsistent TT supplemental letters which were based on information from the out-of-date HR website, had been issued and need to be addressed.
The past practice under question relates to faculty evaluation and promotion and tenure guidelines. Past practice has been that TT members could choose to be evaluated and apply for tenure under the University and Departmental P&T Guidelines in place at the time of hire, or the University and Departmental P&T Guidelines that were most recently approved. In the past the cases that have come before PSU-AAUP and OAA regarding applicable P&T Guidelines have been at varying junctures in the tenure review process; some at the 3rd year review, others at other points in the process, and a few at the tenure decision itself.
The Labor Management committee determined that we need to codify the practice and hence executed this Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). In discussing past cases, we felt it was most prudent for there to be a landmark point in the P&T process for the member to decide under which Guidelines to apply. We agreed that the 3rd year review was the appropriate point. The agreement states that effective September 2018, TT faculty members due to be reviewed in their 3rd year will make the decision at that point as indicated in the MOA.
For TT faculty members beyond their 3rd year review, may choose under which Guidelines to be evaluated when they submit for 5th year review materials. Members going up for tenure review next year may choose under which guidelines to be evaluated at the time they submit their materials.
This agreement between OAA and PSU-AAUP requires Faculty Senate approval of modifications in the University P&T Guidelines and revisions of forms in the University P&T Guidelines appendices. This governance process is now underway.