Scholarship Reconsidered

Scholarship Reconsidered

A UCCS Think Tank

The goal of the Think Tank is to facilitate a unique collaboration among selected attendees to learn together, share knowledge, and be inspired to consider bold actions and unconventional approaches to transform the future of promotion to full professor reviews at UCCS. We are creating an intentional space that allows for discussing and sharing of visions, definitions, and values, as well as to strategize possible change efforts. We will actively challenge each other on the assumptions, implications, and future directions for promotion to full professor processes at UCCS. Follow along with our syllabus here!

 

Problems with the Promotion to Full Professor Process

When was the last time your unit updated its criteria for promotion to Full Professor? Even if updates were made recently, how much has it really changed in the last 25 years? Over the years, the ways in which scholarship is manifest has evolved, including more novel dissemination outlets (e.g. podcasts, blogs), community participatory research, and interdisciplinary research teams. However, the ways in which faculty are rewarded for these efforts is not reflected in current promotion evaluation criteria. Beyond just scholarship, these criteria often undervalue the vital work our faculty do in service to their university and overlook the countless hours spent mentoring the next generation of scholars. How then can we make intentional shifts in how faculty are evaluated for promotion and tenure to better reflect and reward the work they do?  

The Boyer Model

Long before we were holding regular Zoom meetings with our research team in different parts of the world, Ernest L. Boyer was advocating for a new way of thinking about what "counts" as scholarship and how teaching and service duties can be more fairly rewarded. The Boyer Model, described in detail in the 1990 publication from Boyer himself Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate challenges the status quo of the academy's publish-or-perish expectation of faculty productivity and success.  Other universities have successfully initiated change to their promotion criteria based upon the Boyer Model including Seattle University's ADVANCE from whom Project CREST has adapted procedures for creating system-level change right there at UCCS. Additionally, other institutions have leverage the Boyer Model for modifying other university systems including undergraduate education.

The Future of Promotion to Full Professor at UCCS

Can we change the promotion to Full Professor criteria here at UCCS to better reflect what our faculty do to serve our students, the university, and their fields? The answer is yes, we must. In the Fall of 2022 a group of 20 faculty and administrators representing every college on campus have been brought together by Project CREST to think deeply on what scholarship means to them and how best we can move forward as a university to effectively and equitably evaluate our faculty for promotion decisions. The Scholarship Reconsidered: A UCCS Promotion Think Tank met three times through the Fall 2022 semester to discuss the Boyer model and learned how other institutions have integrated this model into their evaluation policies. They will produce a white paper in Spring 2023 to make recommendations to leadership about what they want included in promotion criteria revisions.

Scholarship Reconsidered: A UCCS Promotion Think Tank

Who is the Think Tank:

All faculty members of the Think Tank were self- or other-nominated to take part in these discussions via an open call to campus. Members and the departments they represent are listed below.

Name Department Rank
Johanna Baez Social Work Assistant
Jackie Berning Health Science Full
Philip Brown Computer Science Assistant
Tom Christensen Physics Full
Samantha Christiansen History Associate
Minette Church Anthropology Full
Beth Daniels Psychology Associate
Tabby Farney Library Associate Dean
Peter Gorder MAE Associate
Christina Jimenez History Full
Martin Key Marketing Associate
Farida Khan Economics Associate
David Kocsis Information Systems Assistant
Joey Lee Health Sciences Assistant
Sylvia Mendez Leadership, Research, Foundations Full
Emily Skop Geography Full
Jessi L. Smith Psychology Full
Heather Song Electrical and Computer Engineering Full
Joe Wehrman Counseling Full
Regina Winters Public Administration Associate Dean
Patty Witkowski Leadership, Research, Foundations Associate