The Faculty Handbook has established policies and processes related to the review of full-time and part-time faculty. The goals of the merit review process are to:
Help each faculty member set short and long-term goals that are realistic and concrete in the areas of teaching, scholarship/artistic achievement, and service.
Provide a basis for assessing past performance, professional development, and growth in light of the established needs of their Department and Trinity University.
Supplement and, in some cases, quantify information provided in the faculty member’s curriculum vitae for decisions that impact salary, promotion, and other faculty benefits.
In preparation of the merit review process, full-time faculty members complete the Summary of Proposal Activities (SPA) form and submit it to their Chair by the announced deadline named in the Administrative Calendar. The Office of Academic Affairs is currently working with the Faculty Senate to develop the process of triennial review for tenured faculty as adopted by the Faculty Assembly.
In addition to the merit review process described above, during the probationary period, tenure-track faculty also undergo formal and informal reviews by their department. Tenure-track faculty should consult their Department Chair to discuss the timeline and process for these reviews.
Visiting full-time faculty members who taught in the Fall semester but will not be teaching at Trinity University in the next academic year do not need to complete a SPA but will be evaluated for their Fall teaching using the part-time faculty evaluation form and review process (see next section).
Evaluation of Part-Time Faculty
Department Chairs evaluate all part-time faculty in their department every semester. Upon reviewing teaching evaluations for the previous semester, Department Chairs submit the Part-Time Faculty Evaluation Form to Dr. Duane Coltharp, AVPAA-CFD.
Promotion and Tenure
The Commission on Promotion and Tenure has both an evaluation role and an oversight role. The primary oversight function is that the Commission will participate, jointly with the Administration, in the review of departmental and library promotion and tenure criteria and procedures.
The Commission on Promotion and Tenure reviews every candidate for promotion and/or tenure and makes a recommendation to the President of the University. In making its review and formulating its recommendations, the Commission shall have as its primary concern the maintenance of fair and objective standards for peer-review decisions across the University. Additional information about the Commission can be found in the Faculty Handbook (Chapter 2: Faculty Governance Structure).
The Commission on Promotion and Tenure holds two open meetings per year -- in April and August -- to discuss the promotion and tenure process, criteria, and suggestions for presenting materials. Early career faculty members are encouraged to refer specific questions about the promotion and tenure process and the schedule and criteria for formal and informal reviews to their Department Chair.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the ways in which Trinity University faculty members teach, conduct research, pursue creative activities, and perform service, on more levels than any one statement can adequately summarize. Early career faculty members, in particular, have had to continue working toward tenure under exceptionally difficult circumstances.
At the direction of the Presidential Task Force on Teaching and Learning, Academic Affairs convened an ad hoc committee, early in the Fall 2020 semester, consisting of representatives from the Faculty Senate and the Commission on Promotion and Tenure. This committee held two listening sessions in October 2020 in order to identify the concerns of early career faculty members in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on these and other conversations, and in consultation with representatives from the Faculty Senate and the Commission on Promotion and Tenure, Academic Affairs has taken the following position: it would be unreasonable for the University to apply the same standards under pandemic conditions that have been applied to tenure cases in the past. The University developed these guidelines in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.