Proposed policy may hurry tenure appeal process

A proposed policy may give faculty members a faster, more objective appeal process when denied tenure.

The Tenure, Promotion and Grievance Committee presented a revised draft of the Faculty Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Appeal Policy on Thursday at the first Faculty Senate meeting of the semester.

The new appeal policy would provide a neutral third party to ensure that all parties abide by the procedures outlined in the appeal policy.

The new policy would protect appellants from fear of reprisal if they appeal, according to a document distributed at the meeting.

The committee will take suggestions made by senators at the meeting and continue to make changes to the draft, said Dianna McFarland, the committee chairwoman.

If a professor goes up for tenure and is rejected, he or she has one more year to teach at TCU and is then required to leave, McFarland said. Professors apply for tenure after six years at the university.

Several senators were concerned about confidentiality and how it would be enforced. Others wondered whether the neutral third party should be a faculty member or someone from outside.

None of the concerns raised were resolved at the meeting but will be considered by the Grievance Committee, McFarland said.

The committee plans to present another revision at the next Faculty Senate meeting in March and will vote in April or May, said Stuart Youngblood, Faculty Senate chairman.

“We want to create a new policy that is updated and more timely in terms of how an appeal takes place,” McFarland said.

The committee is taking its time revising the document to make sure it gets as much feedback as possible from faculty members.

In other business, Rhonda Hatcher, the faculty athletics representative to the NCAA, gave a report on student-athlete academic performance.

She said every team met the required mark for the academic progress rate that is measured by the NCAA except for men’s basketball.

An academic committee is watching the basketball players closely and monitoring whom they bring in to participate in men’s basketball as a solution to the problem, Hatcher said.

The Faculty Senate also welcomed one new senator, Connie de Veer, a theater professor.