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Consideration of DEI Contributions in Promotion and Tenure Review

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

As part of the overall accountability efforts related to the DEI Strategic Plan, the Office of the Provost will convene a DEI Faculty Evaluations Working Group comprising deans and department chairs to determine how best to include DEI-related contributions in faculty evaluations and tenure reviews. This working group will develop methods for valuing efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as service, and for ensuring inclusive teaching efforts and the consideration of DEI-related scholarship and service as part of the promotion and tenure process.

Progress update

The DEI-focused subcommittee of the Academic Programs Group (APG) has taken on this item for the past two years, culminating in a general recommendation that the university “adjust promotion criteria for faculty and staff with the goal of recognizing the ‘invisible DEI work’ that frequently goes unrecognized and which over time can decrease commitment to DEI.” Invisible work is defined as an unacknowledged workload burden for faculty and senior staff, and is frequently borne by individuals of color, women and others from minoritized communities.

Year Five was designated as a time to generate specific strategies for implementing this recommendation, with the goal of systemizing practices and processes that identify and “count” faculty’s previous or ongoing contributions to DEI work within the unit and beyond. 

Further efforts on this matter were delayed due to the pandemic but will restart in the current academic year. This is especially important, since in many cases, this invisible work results in minority faculty bearing larger than usual committee workloads as well as higher than usual mentoring and advising loads to meet the needs of diverse students, junior faculty and staff. Thus, recognizing invisible DEI work as part of the promotion and tenure review process for all faculty—and staff—may also help alleviate disproportionate workload burdens.

Responsibility: Office of the Provost