Junior Faculty Development and Retention
Recommendations from the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs
Sub-Committee on Junior Faculty Development and Retention, Spring
1998. NB: Some of these recommendations are already implemented in
various parts of the University.
Marva Barnett, Chair, Teaching Resource Center; Department of
George Cohen, Law School
Mark Haskins, Darden
George Mentore, Department of Anthropology
Charge to the Committee: "To recommend measures that will enhance
junior faculty development and retention."
To respond to this charge, we studied current practices by polling
deans and chairs and investigated junior faculty concerns with all
tenure-track and general faculty members hired at the University of
Virginia since Fall, 1992, into the College of Arts & Sciences,
and Schools of Architecture, Commerce, Darden, Education, Engineering
, Law, and Nursing.
Given the specialized and different nature of work in the School
of Medicine, we will meet separately with colleagues there and treat
their issues separately. We have also taken into account comments
from various deans, from members of the Senate Executive Council and
Committee on Academic Affairs, and from Senators at the February 11,
1998, Faculty Senate meeting.
Our various conversations with junior faculty highlighted as
primary issues of concern the following areas: the tenure process,
third-year review structures, availability of pertinent information,
the development of interdisciplinary intellectual community,
effective advising from colleagues, parking, non-salary resources
such as travel funds and summer research support, teaching
assignments and student evaluations. The concerns specific to
incoming academic general faculty have been separated from this
report because they involve structural considerations relating to
academic general faculty members at all ranks. We wish to refer these
concerns to the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee for action
Definition of various terms used to refer to faculty groups: "new
faculty": faculty hired at the University within the past six years.
"incoming faculty": faculty in their first year at the University.
"academic general faculty": faculty who conduct research and/or teach
within an academic unit.
"general faculty": both academic and administrative general
faculty members who work under renewal appointments. "junior
faculty": faculty at the rank of assistant professor or lecturer.
IA. Information Dissemination: Retention of faculty:
- Chairs should make available in their departments the
non-confidential elements of recently successful tenure dossiers,
including, for instance, CVs and statements on research, teaching,
- Deans or Chairs, as appropriate, should encourage and
facilitate creation of a tenure file from the beginning of a
appointment by giving newly hired faculty prototype folders for
accumulating and organizing one's eventual dossier (e.g., folders
labeled for such items as CV, statement about one's professional
goals, copies of publications, student evaluation data, list of
- The Provost's Office should require, collect and analyze annual
reports from the deans on why tenure-track faculty leave their
respective schools before tenure review.
IB. Information Dissemination: Reviews of faculty:
- Deans should develop standards for and train those responsible
for advising and conducting annual reviews with junior faculty.
- Chairs should formalize the third-year review process with an
explicit consideration of informing candidates how they are doing,
particularly in light of the relative weights of teaching and
research as part of their tenure evaluation. This review should be
documented in writing for both the school and the candidate.
IC. Information Dissemination: Policies and procedures:
- Department chairs and deans should make clear in their offer
letters the expectations of the position for which an individual is
- Deans should distribute to incoming tenure-track faculty the
current school policies and procedures for renewal, promotion, and
tenure and to incoming academic general faculty members the policies
and procedures for promotion in rank.
- Deans and Chairs should encourage recently tenured faculty
members to discuss with tenure-track faculty issues related to
professional development and career management.
- Appropriate University offices (e.g., that of the Provost, the
Vice Provost for Research, the Teaching Resource Center) should
provide all new faculty members with necessary information and
sources for more information (such as the Provost's web page).
Available resources should be outlined in offer letters and faculty
- Chairs should clarify expectations for service from junior
faculty, and should advise them of the benefits and burdens of such
- While continuing all currently effective departmental efforts
to advise junior faculty to become excellent teachers, researchers,
and members of our community, departments and/or schools should
initiate active and formal systems of junior faculty advising where
none so far exist. Extant models include regular, focused meetings
between advisors and junior faculty members.
- Each department should make available from its ranks of tenured
faculty at least one person to act as faculty advisor for each junior
tenure-track or academic general faculty member. Careful
consideration should be taken over the compatibility of the pairing
between advisor and junior faculty,
and appropriate training offered to the advisor. If junior faculty
members prefer not to have mentors, their wish should be respected.
Multiple advisors for multiple aspects of one's career may be best in
some cases, as would advisors drawn from other departments and from
various University organizations.
- Advising should begin as soon as the process of work gets
underway for the junior faculty member, and occur as regularly as the
junior faculty member and advisor deem appropriate, on both a formal
and an informal basis.
- The faculty advisor role should be noted on annual reports as
an important contribution. We envision the role of faculty advisor as
being a substantive contribution to the University, and Deans should
recognize it accordingly.
- Chairs should delineate the responsibilities of the advisor in
regard to the junior faculty's annual review process, and
dissemination of information to the junior faculty member. This
delineation should be crafted in consultation with the junior faculty
member. It should be understood that the advisor's role is one of
assistance and not evaluation or advocacy.
- Departments should organize regular faculty seminars at which
all faculty present their work and receive feedback from their peers.
III. Teaching Concerns
- Departments need to develop consistent protocols for assigning
teaching. Assigned course subjects and enrollments should reflect the
interests, expertise, and experience of junior faculty members.
- Departments should offer incoming junior faculty a reduced
teaching load at some point early in their careers.
- The University should expand the training of incoming faculty
as teachers. NB: In response to this request, the TRC will, beginning
in 1998, offer different sessions for faculty and TAs at the Fall
Teaching Workshop, and clearly identify the expected audiences.
- Departments should revamp teacher evaluation forms so as to be
congruent with departmental needs and objectives and should allow
faculty to read and copy evaluations as soon as final grades are
- Chairs and advisors should treat student evaluations of courses
taught for the first time as informational rather than evaluative.
IV. Resource Scarcity/Allocation: Non-salary resources
- Departments and the Office of the Provost should consider the
desirability of giving preference to meritorious junior faculty for
- Deans should develop and make known to incoming faculty uniform
policies with respect to start-up items such as moving expenses,
travel funds, computers, book purchase subvention, fourth-year leaves
and should investigate the feasibility of obtaining bulk discounts on
such items and services.
V. Academic and Social Networking
- Deans should support cross-departmental interaction at an early
stage, including introductions to student life and faculty across the
Grounds as a critical element of acculturation. Possible programs
include junior faculty lunches by different departments in a rotating
fashion; yearly retreats on or off Grounds; interest groups (e.g.,
Women's Faculty and Professional Association, U.va. Women's Club,
parenting, sports, singles, outdoors, reading, crafts, tours); and
creation of a faculty center.
- The Faculty Senate should create a faculty directory searchable
topics as primary pedagogy used, areas of research interest,
teaching and research awards received. NB: This sub-committee has
created and disseminated to junior faculty members "Junior Faculty
Profiles," a pilot version of such a document.
- The University should set up a system through which junior
faculty members could talk informally with a colleague about their
courses. NB: The Teaching Resource Center plans to implement "Talking
about Teaching," which would include a list of experienced faculty
willing to talk with junior faculty colleagues about teaching issues
informally, as well as social events to bring these people together.
- The Department of Parking and Transportation should publicize
well the 25% parking discount available with the Cavalier Advantage
Card and the fact that academic units can subsidize parking at the
Newcomb Hall Garage and elsewhere.
- The Department of Parking and Transportation should make known
to deans and chairs the possibility of making exceptional, temporary
accommodations for faculty with exceptional needs.
- The Committee on Parking and Transportation should consider
giving junior faculty priority over students for access to closer
spaces in certain lots or parts of lots and during the evening.
- The Committee on Parking and Transportation should study the
feasibility of a faculty shuttle to improve access to remote lots.
Academic Affairs Committee, 1997-98
Benjamin C. Ray, Religious Studies, Chair
J. Milton Adams, Engineering
Marva A. Barnett, Teaching Resource Center
Robert F. McNergney,Curry
George M. Cohen, Law
Richard F. DeMong, Commerce
Doris F. Glick, Nursing
Reuben M. Rainey, Architecture
Mark Haskins, Darden
William R. Johnson, Economics
George B. Craddock, Medicine
George P. Mentore, Anthropology
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