Third-Year Probationary Review of Tenure-Track Faculty

Each year the Law School Budget Committee (approximately 10-12 faculty members), reviews the writings, teaching, and service activities of every faculty member. Tenure-track faculty members in their third year are included in that process. Moreover, each year our Tenure Committee conducts a thorough review of all tenure-track faculty. This review includes class visitations, internal review of the faculty member’s writings, and a thorough discussion of the faculty member’s progress toward tenure.

Our Tenure Committee pays special attention to tenure-track faculty in their third year. The Chair of the Tenure Committee discusses the faculty member with the Chair of the Budget Committee to gain any information revealed during the Budget Committee’s review of the faculty member’s work. The Chair of the Tenure Committee also collects written evaluations of the faculty member’s teaching and writing, and prepares a report summarizing the findings of this process. Those written materials and report are then forwarded to the Dean for review.

After reviewing the materials submitted by the Chair of the Tenure Committee, and then discussing the matter with the Chair, the Dean has a conference with the tenure-track faculty member, usually at the end of the spring semester of his or her third year. The Chair of the Tenure Committee attends that meeting. The Dean and the Chair of the Tenure Committee review the faculty member’s progress toward tenure, and discuss any deficiencies or remedial matters that are necessary. The Dean then makes a written report to the file and provides a copy to the faculty member. The faculty member has an opportunity to make a written response for the file. This process is completed by the end of June of the faculty member’s third year.

In addition, a senior member of the Law School faculty serves as Associate Dean for Research. That person works closely with all tenure-track faculty, reviewing their scholarship and teaching. The Associate Dean for Research is a mentor, and thus does not play a formal role in the third-year review process. Nevertheless, he or she would play a significant role in helping a tenure-track faculty member remedy any deficiencies, and does play a significant informal role in identifying problems.

A copy of this policy is given to each new tenure-track faculty member at the time of his or her appointment.