Tenure-Track Line Requests

DATE: November 2012

TO: Members of the Faculty

FROM: Kathy Aidala, Chair, Academic Priorities Committee

Christopher Benfey, Interim Dean of Faculty

RE: Requests for new tenure-track lines: Deadline Friday February 22, 2013

The APC serves as the faculty’s representative voice in the process of allocating tenure-track positions. As such, it serves as a resource to departments considering tenure-track hires and advises the Dean on the relative priority of submitted proposals.

Departments, programs, or groups of faculty seeking a new tenure-track position should submit a proposal to the APC, through the Dean of Faculty’s office, by Friday, February 22. Please send the proposal electronically to Emily Stivers, stive20e@mtholyoke.edu.

The proposal must contain an abstract or summary for a general audience. We will lift that paragraph and put it in the March or April faculty meeting agenda. The body of the proposal is expected to be no more than 5 pages. Include a draft of the proposed job advertisement. Appendices that include additional relevant information are acceptable.

Hiring new tenure track colleagues is one of the few opportunities we have to direct the future of our liberal arts curriculum, and we expect departments and programs to reflect on what that direction should be. Successful requests will clearly articulate the value of the position to the department and to the college (beyond simply filling a retirement, for example) and why we ought to invest in such a position this year. In making the case for the importance of this hire, proposals should address the following.

(1) How would this hire strengthen your department/program and allow it to grow flexibly as your broader field changes through the decades? Are there new areas/methodologies that have developed? What is distinctive about your department/program? How does the proposed hire relate to student interests?

(2) How would this position strengthen the college as a whole, in the short and long term future? Does it align with the priorities of the college? Are there interdisciplinary programs to which it contributes? Would new collaborations become possible? Does it strengthen the Five College Consortium? Have the appropriate programs/departments been consulted? (Proposals for joint positions are welcome.)

(3) What relevant feedback, if any, has been provided by external reviews?

(4) How would the new hire contribute to the essential courses taught in your department/program? Both specialization in research and flexibility in teaching are expected.

(5) What would the consequences be to your department/program if this request were not approved? Would a visiting position be sufficient?

(6) While the APC reviews data on course enrollment and majors/minors, please address any challenges or pedagogical rationale to contextualize the numbers in a meaningful way.

(7) What strategies do you have to develop a diverse pool of applicants? (See “best practices” for suggestions.)

(8) What are your mentoring plans for the new faculty member?

Turning now to logistical matters, here is the calendar the APC expects to follow:

February 22 : Requests due to APC (send to stive20e@mtholyoke.edu)

March and April : APC deliberations

March and April : APC may request revisions or further information

March or April : Abstracts published in Faculty Meeting agenda

Late April or early May : APC submits recommendations to Dean of Faculty

As early in the spring as possible, the Dean of Faculty will announce how many new tenure-track searches we are likely to be able to approve.

Chris and Lynn will make the final decisions about which tenure-track positions to approve, taking into account the APC recommendations. Chris expects to report those decisions in late May.