The College recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted faculty productivity in the areas of teaching, scholarly/professional activity, and service. While we must continue to uphold our standards throughout this challenging period, it is imperative that faculty are evaluated for tenure, promotion, and reappointment with understanding, compassion, creativity, and flexibility.
The College recognizes that transferring tried and true pedagogies from in-person to remote modalities has required faculty to invest a great deal of additional time and effort to learn how to deliver their content and reach their students. Faculty are asked to document efforts they made in this transition, and those efforts should be considered by evaluators. The time invested in making this pedagogical shift has the potential to impact other areas of faculty productivity, including scholarship and service.
In some cases, student statements may provide evidence of faculty struggling to make the transition to remote instruction. All faculty had to make this transition from in-person to remote instruction and the College asks that those tasked with evaluating faculty members for tenure, promotion, and/or reappointment extend empathy when reading these statements, and to consider student statements in conjunction with other forms of faculty evaluation, including peer- and self-evaluation. Those faculty responsible for providing peer evaluation within departments are asked to think creatively when coming up with strategies in order to provide supportive evaluative structures for our more vulnerable colleagues. Faculty being evaluated should have the opportunity to discuss how they made the shift and what they learned while doing so, and this discussion should be included as part of the documented peer evaluation. Faculty are encouraged to include syllabi, sample assignments, and other course materials from before and after the shift to remote instruction to further illuminate their efforts.
The College also recognizes the cascading impact COVID-19 has had on the scholarly and professional pursuits of all our faculty. Conferences were canceled, publications halted, matters of health and childcare absorbed precious hours that faculty members might have otherwise dedicated to scholarly work. Grace, flexibility, and creativity are asked when considering the body of scholarly and professional activity produced by individual faculty members. It stands to reason that the outcome of scholarly efforts might look different than they did before the pandemic. We may find an opportunity within our current situation to think more inclusively about what forms of scholarly productivity we value.
Letters from Deans soliciting external evaluation of scholarship/professional activity will include language to remind them of the impact that scholar-teachers in higher education are facing universally due to the pandemic, and to ask for sensitivity when considering candidate’s files.
When Ithaca College committees and individuals are evaluating candidates for tenure, promotion, or reappointment, scholarly output that has been fully vetted through the peer-evaluation process, but has been delayed or cancelled for final presentation, due to COVID-19, should be considered “complete.” Faculty are asked to provide evidence that shows the scholarship has been fully vetted and delayed or cancelled. The evidence should derive from the organization that has vetted the scholarship (e.g. journal, publisher, concert producer, theater company, etc.).
The College will recognize that some forms of service may have been curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others may have been amplified. Faculty are encouraged to explain how their service contributions at various levels have been affected by the pandemic.
Those candidates for tenure, promotion and/or reappointment whose teaching, scholarship/professional activity, and service have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may expand their ten-page statement to twelve double-spaced pages, in order to have additional space to contextualize the impact.