COE Mentor Leadership Seminar
December 8, 2017
8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Attendees: David Hough, Bill Agnew, Leslie Anderson, Tami Arthaud, Mandy Benedict-Chambers, Jef Cornelius-White, Becky Crowder, Denise Cunningham, Steve Jones, Cindy MacGregor, Jim Meyer, Sarah Nixon, Cathy Pearman, Kim Roam, James Satterfield, Becky Swearingen, Sharon Lopinot
Dean Hough welcomed everyone to the seminar. Regarding the current draft of the COE Faculty Mentorship Guidelines, he asked for any comments/suggestions by the end of this semester. The document will then be posted on the COE website.
The dean is meeting with his P/T group next week. He is going to ask them if they have been working on their notebook for their evaluation. He will also ask what advice they have been getting from their mentor and what artifacts they are putting in their documentation notebooks. The dean then asked the mentors what have they been telling the person they are mentoring to use for documentation.
Dean Hough asked everyone to listen to a scenario / case and then discuss with each other and then with the entire group.
Scenario: Regarding a faculty member and their first review for working toward tenure (6 months).
Teaching: If they only had student ratings and they are understood to be good at teaching.
Research: They have five publications. Four were completed prior to starting here and one was an article in the newspaper.
Service: They have one department, college level and university level committee they are on and do service in the community. There was a note in the notebook from the department head stating that not all committees met.
Teaching: Teaching they could check for any comments. If there were any concerns, do they state what they did to resolve it?
Research: Make sure they understand that you cannot be paid to publish. Are the publications at state or national levels? Is there an acceptance rate? Are they related to their area of expertise? Overall, are they meeting their department’s criteria? They should know what is expected.
Service: Some committees only meet once or twice a year. Some may not meet until second semester. Information on whether or not they have attended meetings for the committees they are on could be included, but it is not stated in department guidelines. Everyone should make a good faith effort and acknowledge what they have done.
The dean asked what if in the department P/T committee meeting someone says they saw/understood that the faculty member had teaching problems and was unorganized.
Discussion: Has that been conveyed to the faculty member? Was it hearsay? If there is a problem, they should be talking to the department head. Wouldn’t you want the faculty member to have the opportunity to correct them self? The group decided as part of the P/T committee they can only look at what is submitted. Only evaluate what is turned in.
What if a committee member knows someone was paid to publish? They would then ask the committee member for more information, but it should be discussed with the department head. No one should dig up dirt on someone. As long as department documents are followed, there is not much you can do. Mentors need to support new faculty, let them know what is expected of them.
Regarding numerous authors on a publication, should the percentage of work be included? A point system for the categories was brought up but not many wanted to go back to that. You can only do what is in your department document. Collaboration in work and research should be promoted.
What if a faculty member puts information in their documentation to make them look better than they are? Should it be pursued? (yes) Information on publications can be requested such as the acceptance rate, circulation, and rigor. Unless this is in the department guidelines, it cannot be asked for.
Regarding service, should it always be professional? Group members said the university wants faculty to go out into the community. What people do is not always related to their job.
Dean Hough asked the group to discuss what would they do regarding information not in the dossier but presented orally from a committee member claiming s/he had heard student complaints about a third year faculty member’s teaching, grading, and not being accessible for office hours. Under research, what would the committee do if the faculty member was still working on collecting data but nothing is completed and for service, they refuse to participate in their program and will not work on accreditation. How does a committee handle that? The discussion was that they would not recommend reappointment. Were there questionable comments in their previous review? There could be reasons if that is not the problem.
The theme for today’s discussions was to tighten up the committee review and department guidelines. Mentors need to communicate well with the person they mentor. Department P/T committees need to be honest and provide evidence for documentation. To give a fair understanding of what the faculty being mentored has been doing, they need to demonstrate rigor to assist the department P/T committees so they have a better understanding of what is being submitted as documentation.
Meeting adjourned at 9:55 a.m.
Submitted by Sharon Lopinot, Executive Assistant