Our 2018 Faculty Contract includes Article H: Evaluation and Tenure Review, which ensures the full-time faculty evaluation process does the following: provides established written criteria, includes peer review, and defines the specific parameters of our evaluation process. As such, it provides the framework and reference point for all matters related to our evaluation process.
What Has Changed?
First, Some Historical Context
The evaluation processes currently outlined in Article H are informed by and consistent with past practices, with some notable differences. The Academic Senate “10 + 1” responsibilities (including curriculum development, degree and certificate requirements, grading policies, standards for student preparation, faculty involvement in accreditation processes, governance structures related to faculty roles, policies for faculty professional development, program review and institutional planning) also included the reference to “other academic and professional matters agreed upon between the governing board and the academic senate.” In our instance, this included the full-time faculty evaluation and tenure review process. In past years, with the guidance of our Professional Growth and Evaluation Committee (PG&E), recommendations made by Tenure Review Committees (TRCs) were forwarded to the Academic Senate, which, in turn, made their recommendations directly to the Board of Trustees. The previous process allowed the President/Superintendent the means to provide a separate but parallel recommendation to the Board pertaining to tenure candidates. Subsequently, it is the Board who affirms our employment contracts (per Education Code) by March 15th each year.
The New Evaluation Process
It was direction from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) that inspired the change from PG&E to the new Tenure Review and Evaluation Committee (TREC). To comply with ACCJC’s directive that tenure recommendations to the Board be the sole responsibility of the President/Superintendent, the Faculty Assembly negotiated a change in the evaluation process with the District. Outlined in Article H, tenure recommendations now go directly from the TRCs to the President/Superintendent (with input from respective deans and vice-presidents). As stated earlier, TRC recommendations previously went to Academic Senate. Now if there are any grievances associated with this new process, Article H preserves and strengthens our legal protections by providing for an appeal process (Article H.3.0-3) and ensures that any legal grievances are directed to the District rather than our peers in the Academic Senate. Full-time faculty oversight of the tenure and evaluation process is now the responsibility of the TREC, chaired by Chad Tsuyuki, and comprised of faculty colleagues and district administrators. TREC provides both a global perspective, and serves as a resource to faculty undergoing evaluation and tenure review. Tenure candidates should carefully review Article H and confer with their Tenure Coordinator on any questions about the evaluation and tenure review process.
What Has Stayed the Same?
While the tenure candidate process defined through Article H replaces the process outlined in the 2017 Tenure Candidate (TC) Handbook, the tenured faculty process (including both 3-year and 6-year evaluations) remains consistent with what is outlined in the 2017 Tenured Faculty Member (TFM) Handbook. The Faculty Assembly (FA) and the District have agreed to maintain this process until a parallel agreement on tenured faculty member evaluation can be negotiated in 2019-20. However, TFMs should note the modifications provided in H.5.0 that address the role of TREC, the routing of evaluation recommendations, and the right to appeal.
What To Do If You Have Questions
TREC is engaged in documenting the unfolding of the contractual tenure candidate evaluation process and making recommendations to the FA specific to operational questions, issues, and concerns. Because we have a 3-year contract (2018-2021), there can be no modifications in the fundamental structure of the evaluation process (and consistency is a good thing). However, it should be noted that any interpretational questions pertaining to our evaluation process should be addressed directly to Brad Byrom, President of the Faculty Assembly, who will confer with the Hayley Schwartzkopf, the District’s Director of Labor Relations. If there are requisite changes to the process, they must be mutually agreed upon and codified in a Memorandum of Understanding between the FA and the District. TREC has forwarded a number of such interpretation questions that are currently under negotiation with the District, with agreement expected by semester’s end.