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Baylor University Beefs Up Lecturer Evaluation & Promotion Policies

By Rob Bradfield

Faculty lecturers seeking promotions at Baylor have a new set of rules to learn.

The Baylor chapter of the American Association of University Professors hosted a panel discussion on the Faculty Senate’s new policies for lecturers and senior lecturers.

Dr. James Bennighof, vice provost for academic affairs and policy, and Dr. Ann McGlashan, chair of the Faculty Senate’s ad-hoc committee on lecturers’ issues, gave a brief explanation of the changes and addressed concerns.

Some of the reforms enacted by the Faculty Senate include a new evaluation process for promotions that increase faculty involvement, new policies for faculty evaluations and earlier deadlines for contract renewals. Also included was a provision to allow a lecturer’s outside experience and research to play a larger role in advancement evaluations, much like the system in place for the tenure track.

Even though the criteria have been expanded, “a majority of lecturers are [still] going to be evaluated primarily on their teaching,” Bennighof said.

In 2008, a Senate committee composed of faculty from across the university and headed by McGlashan began evaluating the old system and discussing improvements. After repeated collaboration with administrators, and several drafts, the committee returned with the new system, which they hope will streamline the promotion process.

Part of that system includes “a rolling two-year contract for senior lecturers” that prevents them from having to re-apply repeatedly, McGlashan said.

The role of student feedback will also be preserved in the new system. Student evaluations and concerns raised to department chairs and administrators have always played a part in the promotion process, and according to the Faculty Senate, the reforms won’t diminish their role in any way.

“They’re definitely an essential and inviolable part of the evaluation process,” Bennighof said.

The regulations can be found in the policies section on the Baylor faculty and staff web page at http://www.baylor.edu/facultystaff/.

 

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