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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: To come...

File: Personnel Policies > Faculty

Faculty Research Release Policy for Full-Time Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Members

Policy Summary

This policy explains which faculty members on campus are eligible to receive an annual release from teaching duties to pursue scholarly research and how this determination is made.  

Policy Owner

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Approval Date

October 14, 2015 

Effective Date

October 14, 2015 (for determination);
2016-2017 academic year (for reassignment of time)

 

Search Terms

pvpaa, f, r, faculty, personnel, research, release

Scheduled for Review

Fall 2018 

Policy Statement

The standard teaching load for a full-time faculty member in an academic year is 24 workload hours.1 Full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members who are meeting or exceeding department, school and college research expectations shall receive reassigned time in an academic year2 equivalent to one course3 to pursue scholarly activities. 


1 For non-science lab courses (excluding independent study type classes) one credit hour scheduled equals one workload hour. For science lab courses each scheduled hour of lab equals 0.75 workload hours.

2 Normally the release time will be reassigned in the academic year next scheduled (e.g., 2017-2018 for determinations made in Spring 2016). See “Scheduling of Reassigned Time” below.

3 One course equals three credits. The release equivalent may vary depending on whether the faculty member teaches labs.  

Reason for Policy 

Tenured and tenure-track faculty are expected to produce scholarly work as part of their contribution to the Fort Lewis College mission. This policy ensures that full-time faculty who are actively involved in scholarly activities are given adequate time to conduct such research. 

Responsibilities 

For following policy: All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty
For enforcement of policy: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
For oversight of policy: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
For notification of policy: Policy Librarian
For procedures implementing policy: Deans, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, College Personnel Committee and Department Chairs

Procedures 

Except for blanket reassignments noted below, for all full-time tenured or tenure track faculty members an annual determination must be made as to whether the faculty member is meeting or exceeding department, school and college research expectations. The procedure for this determination varies by tenured status and type of annual evaluation scheduled.

Tenure-Track Faculty
Part of the hiring process for tenure-track faculty is a determination of the potential for developing a scholarly profile. In order to facilitate such scholarly research, probationary tenure-track faculty will be provided with reassigned time for research. A probationary faculty member who is not renewed will not receive reassigned time in his or her terminal appointment year.

Note: The reassignment of time for tenure-track faculty is an independent decision from reappointment, tenure or promotion.

Tenured Faculty

Years requiring review by the College Personnel Committee 4  – The College Personnel Committee (CPC), during their review of overall expectations, ascertains if the faculty member is meeting research expectations and forwards a recommendation as to reassigned time to the appropriate dean or the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (AVPAA). The dean or AVPAA determines if the faculty member is meeting research expectations and should receive reassigned time for a three year time period after the review.

Post tenure years not scheduled for review by College Personnel Committee – During the first three years after receiving promotion to associate or full professor a faculty member will automatically receive reassigned time.5 Starting in the second year after the most recent CPC review, or the first year if the faculty member was not approved for reassigned time in the CPC review year, the department chair reviews the faculty member’s research activity upon receiving the annual PAF on February 1 which includes a current CV6 and forwards a recommendation as to reassigned time to the appropriate dean or AVPAA by April 1. The dean or AVPAA determines if the faculty member is meeting research expectations and should receive reassigned time. The dean or AVPAA may request a review by the CPC outside the usual review schedule.

Associate Professors in rank beyond expected time for promotion – Associate Professors who have remained in rank beyond six years are not eligible for reassigned time until they have successfully been promoted to professor.

Note: The reassignment of time for tenured faculty is an independent decision from the decision for promotion or the decision for a post tenure review outside the usual review schedule as outlined in the Faculty Handbook, Section 11.a.

Appeal

Faculty members who do not receive reassigned time for research activities may appeal the decision to their respective dean or APVAA with documentation of research activity. The dean or AVPAA may request a review by the CPC outside the usual review schedule.

Any faculty member may appeal the decision via processes already in place. Each step of the review process allows faculty members the opportunity for response. A faculty member may ultimately take a grievance to the Grievance Committee in accordance with policies and procedures outlined in that policy.

Scheduling of Reassigned Time  

Effective for the academic year 2016-2017, scheduling of classes and instructors is completed by November 1, 2015. Reassigned time for 2016-2017 will be determined by the deans or AVPAA in October 2015 utilizing the concepts of this policy but without CPC recommendations. Reassigned times for future years will be determined prior to the scheduling process for that year. Therefore, there is a one year delay between the determination of reassigned time and the receipt of the reassigned time. For example, the faculty evaluation process that occurs during the 2015-2016 academic year will determine reassigned time for the 2017-2018 academic year. In this way, the scheduling process can be completed based on the reassigned time.

Resolution in intervening year – Because of the delay in the application of reassigned time for research activities, it is possible that a faculty member who did not receive reassigned time might resolve the situation during the intervening year. This would be accomplished by carrying out an active, sustainable research program meeting or exceeding the department, school and college standards. In this case, the faculty member may appeal to the appropriate dean or AVPAA to receive reassigned time in an academic year already scheduled. Since such a reassignment requires a modification in a published class schedule, the determination of such a reassignment will be made by the dean or AVPAA taking into consideration the impact on the schedule as well as the nature and quality of the faculty member’s research activities. Faculty members whose resolution includes obtaining promotion to professor will automatically receive reassigned time during their first three years in rank as professor.

The scheduling of reassigned time after an academic year schedule has been published is entirely at the discretion of the appropriate dean or AVPAA except as noted above for promotion to professor. 


4 Includes years in which the faculty member applies for promotion, scheduled post-tenure review years, and post-tenure reviews outside the usual review schedule as outlined in the Faculty Handbook, Section 11.a.

5 If the dean or AVPAA requests a review by the CPC during the first three years after promotion to associate or full professor and the CPC determines that the faculty member is not research active, the CPC may recommend to the dean or AVPAA that the reassigned time be suspended.  The dean or AVPAA determines if the faculty member is meeting research expectations and should receive reassigned time.

6 Section 10i of the Faculty Handbook states that all faculty not under a specific review will submit a PAF which contains a current CV.