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On Criteria and Procedures in the Hiring and Promotion of Faculty

Position Statement by the Faculty Advisory Council of the IBHE (Illinois Board of Higher Education), March 18, 2011

It is our view that faculty are the backbone of our institutions and that the quality of higher education depends on recruiting and retaining excellent faculty. Towards that end it is imperative that institutions of higher learning have in place clear procedures and criteria on the hiring, evaluation and promotion of their faculty. Further, it is critical that these procedures and criteria are transparent and adhered to in a consistent manner in all cases. Hiring and promotion procedures should be based on standards and criteria developed by the faculty in collaboration with the administration, and when appropriate, should follow the guidelines established by the American Association of University Professors.

Clearly defined criteria and standards regarding recruitment, along with effective procedures in the evaluation and promotion of faculty, are the basic foundations for a healthy work environment. Such standards ultimately ensure quality and faculty dedication in an atmosphere of enhanced productivity, transparency and accountability. Academic freedom, tenure and due process are essential elements to this academic work environment. These can ensure a rich and learning environment not only for faculty but also for students who look to their instructors as sources of guidance, information and enlightenment. If the intellectual endeavors of faculty are threatened or compromised, it necessarily follows that the intellectual endeavors and experiences of their students will be diminished. When violations of established criteria and procedures occur they can lead to unnecessary tension, expensive legal procedures, low faculty morale and the waning of trust between faculty and administration. We strongly encourage all institutions of higher learning in our state to maintain, through their own faculty governance groups, clear standards, criteria and procedures on matters of hiring, tenure and promotion for faculty, to which all parties in the institution are expected and committed to adhere.