Provost and Promotion an Tenure

Question posed to Dr. Szymanski, UNF President and Dr. Coleman

Given that the provost’s voice weighs heavily in the promotion and tenure process, is there any guidance from you or your office for the folks went up this year?

Answered from the Floor by Dr. Coleman and Dr. White, FA President

Dr. Coleman answered that he’d rather avoid an answer here and would instead leave it at he would likely examine research in a way similar to Dr. Rhodes.

Dr. White offered that OFE is a good resource too.

Tenure and Promotion

Questioner: over zoom

Question posed to FA president, Dr. John White

Has Academic Affairs provided the Faculty Association with the Tenure and Promotion decisions by the provost?

Answered from the floor by FA President, Dr. John White

That information was sent to the President of the Faculty Association immediately following the reading of this question. The delay was an oversight.

Evaluation of Teaching and Promotion

Question asked from the floor by Dr. Beven Livingston:

I understand that you have done the evaluation of teaching and the promotion and tenure timeline, but what about the impact on our scholarly activities?

Answer from the floor by Dr. Malcom – Bjorklund, President of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF):

This is a great question and that UFF needs to look at this more closely. She added that in an earlier survey, many faculty (~77%) reported that their scholarly work has been negatively affected by COVID as they are shifting to ensuring their teaching continues to go well.

Answer from the floor by Dr. Simon Rhodes, Provost and Vice President (VP) of Academic Affairs:

while the fall MOU is under negotiations the P&T deadline (i.e., an extension process) is being worked on to help individual faculty make decisions that are good for their circumstances. This has yet to be approved by both parties for fall 2020.


Questioner: Dr. Santavicca (Physics)

Question Posed from the floor

In past years, there’s always been an announcement at one of the last FA meetings of the year about the T&P cases for that year: how many people went out, what the outcomes were, the university committee votes. We did not have that this year. Can we get that information?

Answer from the floor by David Fenner and Others

It has been common practice that we get a P&T report usually around April. Usually, once it has gone through the provost, the provost provides us with that report; we hear about the positive, we hear about the negative, we hear about the whole picture. This year, Faculty Association has not been provided with that report. Cindy and I have both asked for it on a few occasions. We’ve been told it has to now wait till the full slate is approved by the Board of Trustees, so I go back to the point about June 18. On June 18, there will be a BOT meeting at which the positive slate is voted on. Once that happens, I believe that the provost’s office will then release to us a report about P&T cases, but, yes, this is not normal precedent, to not have a report.


ISQ results and Promotion of Faculty

Questioner : Anonymous

Question posed to Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs and Kally Malcom – Bjorklund, UFF President

This question is for the UFF union president and the UNF administration interim Provost. Can each of you weigh in on the appropriateness — contractually and scientifically — of a Promotion and  Tenure Committee or an administrator to focus narrowly on ISQ results (student evaluations) and impose a threshold score for a particular item when making judgements of teaching?

Question answered by Pamela Chally, Interim Provost and VP of Academic Affairs

Kally and I thought we would answer that together. I really appreciate that, because it comes directly form the contract.

The Collective Bargaining agreement addresses criteria for demonstrating teaching effectiveness, and the process of applying for tenure and promotion. Article 20 addresses tenure:
“Judgments of academic excellence are complex. They cannot easily be reduced to a quantitative formula, nor can the considerations that must be applied in each individual case be completely described in general terms or by numbers alone, separate from necessary qualitative assessments.”


Article 20.5 is the section titled Criteria for Tenure and Basis for Tenure Decision.

This section includes the paragraph I just mentioned, and section D states that the tenure decision shall take into account annual assignments and annual performance evaluations, among other things.


Performance Evaluations are addressed in Article 18, and on teaching effectiveness. This article offers the most specific language about how faculty can demonstrate teaching effectiveness. And it is in Article 18 where ISQs are addressed specifically.


Article 18.2(d) University Required Student Evaluations.

“(1) The University required student Instructional Satisfaction Questionnaire (or ISQ) is one tool for evaluating teaching performance, and all the required ISQs must be included in the annual evaluation portfolio. However, the evaluation of a faculty member shall not be based solely or primarily on student evaluations if the faculty member has provided other information or evidence in support of his/her teaching performance.”


Article 18.4(a)1

“There are many approaches to and dimensions of pedagogical work. Thus, the evaluation of teaching performance shall consider the range of pedagogical activities engaged in by the faculty member.”


Another section in Article 18 offers 15 examples of pedagogical activities that can be used to evaluate teaching effectiveness, and ISQs are but one of the measures listed.


The Collective Bargaining agreement has language in Articles 18 and 20, as well as several promotion articles that outline the appropriate way to evaluate teaching effectiveness. The person asking the question also seeks scientific data supporting or challenging the use of student evaluations as the singular method of assessing teaching effectiveness. In the interest of brevity, I will not use this time to point to the several studies that are out there related to the usefulness of student evaluations. The best practices for evaluating faculty teaching are already addressed clearly within the collective bargaining agreement. And that is an agreement that is negotiated not just by UFF but also by the administration, and I was so happy that Provost Chally told us this morning that they are committed to following the contract, which we all must do, so we are happy to stand together in support of Articles 18, 20, and so many more.


Dr. Chally: It’s a multifaceted decision, and it’s really important that the individual make their case as to why they should be supported

CBL Carnegie standards

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Pamela S. Chally, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

At a recent meeting discussing the Carnegie standards for community engaged research, the LARGE discrepancy between the CBA’s interpretation of scholarship and what is put forth for consideration for P&T committees by CCBL regarding community engaged research was discussed.  The UFF President noted that, if a faculty member were to not be promoted and/or receive tenure due to a perceived lack of scholarship despite engaging in high quality and quantity community-engaged scholarship as defined by Carnegie, this would not be a grievable incident. Is this true? If it is, what can be done? And isn’t exploitative of the university to seek out Carnegie status, say they value community-engaged scholarship of this nature, and then not give credit to community scholars for their work?

Response from the Floor by Provost Chally

Provost Chally stated that she knew that the contract stated that community based research and teaching will be considered, recognized, and valued. To her, that meant that it will be considered as part of the tenure and promotion decision.

Promotion and Tenure Standards

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Pamela S. Chally, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

UNF is supposedly an institution that provides undergraduate students with an exceptional classroom experience and promotes and rewards excellence in teaching, per UNF Strategic Plan Goal 3 Strategy 2. As a 10-year faculty member in a large department in a large college at UNF, I teach and meet with a large number of undergraduate students. It is my opinion that many of our students are not always getting the excellent experience in the classroom they deserve. Yet every single tenure candidate and every single instructor promotion candidate was approved this past year–that all of these candidates are truly “excellent teachers” seems implausible. What is UNF doing to ensure that we sort out what is really good teaching (as opposed to “I put my course online and therefore I am a good teacher”) and spare our students the poor teachers that we seem to be claiming from the promotion data do not exist, yet whom we all know do exist?

Response from the Floor by Provost Chally

That is an important issue. It is important that we become extremely cautious of the individuals we deem as exceptional teachers. Our students deserve the very best.