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Allocations Guidelines for Faculty Positions

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this document is to articulate a set of criteria for guiding the allocations process. It is our hope that in doing so we will improve the transparency, efficiency, and consistency of this process. Ultimately, the goal is to establish clear and meaningful criteria similar to those currently in place for the tenure and promotion process.

It should be noted that these criteria are intended to guide EPAG in its deliberations on specific allocation requests from departments and programs. EPAG recognizes that any significant programmatic additions or deletions must be determined by the faculty as a whole, not by EPAG acting alone. We also recognize, however, that in the case of small departments, marginal changes in allocations can have a qualitative impact on their sustainability, and the criteria articulated below attempt to address this concern. It should also be noted that, should EPAG bring recommendations to the faculty relating to significant programmatic additions or deletions, the criteria listed below would be among the considerations that would influence our thinking.

This document consists of two parts. The first briefly lays out three key assumptions in the allocations process, while the second articulates the criteria upon which allocations decisions are best made.

A. GUIDING ASSUMPTIONS

All allocations decisions will be guided by the following assumptions:
  1. Reversion: All open positions revert to the college for allocation.
  2. Equity: No departments or programs are automatically privileged in the allocation process.
  3. Sustainability: Departments and programs will not be permitted 'accidentally' to become too small to offer a reasonable academic program.
B. FIRST ORDER CRITERIA

Beyond these basic assumptions, allocations requests will be evaluated in terms of how well the requested position will enhance the College's ability to provide an academic program based on its core value of academic excellence in a liberal arts setting.

Academic Excellence in a Liberal Arts Setting

All allocations should endeavor to sustain and create excellent academic programs and departments that comprise both the traditional core of a liberal arts curriculum and new domains of liberal scholarship. Individual departments serve the College and its students in a variety of ways, just as individual faculty members serve the College, their students, and their profession in a variety of ways. Rules cannot be substituted for good judgment on the part of persons responsible for allocations decisions. The following criteria are considered to be of primary importance, but it is not always desirable or necessary that they be given equal weight. Nothing in the following criteria in intended to privilege any department or division over any others.

Specific criteria include:
  • Is the requested position consistent with the distinctive nature of a liberal arts education? We define it in the following ways:
    • cultivates an ability to think, learn and express oneself both rigorously and creatively;
    • develops an understanding of disciplinary theory and method;
    • encourages an understanding that disciplines provide only partial insights into complex realities and that inter-disciplinarity is therefore important;
    • cultivates a capacity to address the 'big' issues/questions confronting society and to place more specialized knowledge in a broader historical, social, political, ethical and cultural context;
    • fosters life-long learning;
    • promotes a sense of personal and social responsibility;
    • cultivates a capacity for critical thinking; and
    • cultivates an attention to aesthetic issues.

  • Is the position consistent with the college's stated mission of being a preeminent liberal arts college with an educational program known for its high standards for scholarship and its special emphasis on internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement?
  • Is the position consistent with building a curriculum that sustains the requirements that the faculty has established relating to graduation and to student competencies (e.g., writing, quantitative skills, divisional distribution, foreign language, major concentration)?
  • Is the allocation essential for the integrity, that is, the central core of the program or department curricular offerings? By central core, we refer to the generally accepted methods, bodies of theory, and accumulated conceptions of the discipline.
C. SECOND ORDER CRITERIA

After being evaluated in terms of academic excellence in a liberal arts setting, allocations requests will be judged in terms of the following 'second order' criteria:

Student Interest/Demand

This will be determined primarily in terms of number of majors/minors; overall course enrollments; participation in activities for which faculty or students receive credit (e.g., plays, forensics); and, recommendations from duly constituted student representative bodies within departments/programs.

Past Success and Future Prospects of the Department/Program

This will be determined primarily through a careful examination of the most recent external review (including the self-study and department/program letter of response). In cases where no recent external review exists, EPAG may request that one be completed before it will consider an allocation request.

Relationship to Other Departments/Programs

This will be determined primarily through an examination of the way in which the requested position contributes (a) to the College's interdisciplinary, pre-professional (e.g., pre-law, pre-med), and cooperative programs (e.g., architecture, engineering); and (b) to the other departments.

Approved as amended on December 11, 2002

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