On April 6th, 2021, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee met with Provost Chilton and her team to discuss faculty concerns. Faculty have expressed continuing concern about earlier suggestions that the OneWSU initiative would lead to changes in the promotion and tenure processes at WSU. Provost Chilton said during this meeting that it was very clear from faculty feedback that changes to the process would not be in the best interest of the institution so this is no longer part of the discussion. As a clarification of this updated perspective, we asked Provost Chilton to answer the following two questions:
1. Given the proposed changes in governance under the OneWSU initiative, is WSU considering any delegation of authority to grant P&T to the campus level (e.g., through the VCAAs)?
Answer: Simply put, no. Complete authority for P&T will remain with the System Provost.
2. If individual campuses are encouraged to focus on local needs, there may be pressure to alter teaching load to accommodate those needs, deviating from normal department expectations. This could also happen depending on the revised budget model. Is there any way to backstop this process so mission creep doesn’t derail faculty career goals and make it more difficult to meet department expectations?
Answer: Clarified principles, as recently adopted by the Faculty Senate for the Faculty Manual, are fully endorsed by the System Provost whereby faculty will be evaluated by their job description. There is no intention to change the current process for designating faculty workloads.
3. How will campus leaders contribute to the T&P process?
Answer: We seek to maintain our standards of excellence as an R1 university across the entire ONEWSU system. We encourage department chairs to have open conversations about tenure expectations with their faculty in collaboration with campus academic leaders. These efforts should explicitly acknowledge the differential access to graduate students and facilities in some cases, and include appropriate mentoring. Complete authority for P&T will remain with the System Provost, who will ensure the maintenance of the standards of excellence for WSU.