Equitable Evaluation of Faculty Workshop
The Provost’s Office is committed to addressing the impacts of COVID-19 in faculty evaluation processes and policies. One of the first steps was to address COVID-19 tenure clock extensions through a change to R&P. Since that time, it has become clear that disruptions to and changes in faculty work due to the pandemic will, in some cases, affect faculty careers for years to come. This pandemic has changed the personal and professional lives of faculty in innumerable ways from increased caregiving responsibilities and the need to develop new pedagogies to the cancellation of conferences and the loss of research funding. Faculty are feeling stretched and stressed like never before, and yet have been rising to each challenge. How do we as colleagues and an institution understand the challenges and recognize faculty efforts in the wake of the pandemic? How do we do the important work of evaluating faculty now?
There is much expertise in faculty evaluation that has been brought to bear on the question of how to equitably evaluate faculty both before and after the COVID-19 disruptions. Many institutions and scholars associated with groups like the ASPIRE Alliance and NSF ADVANCE have developed sets of best practices for our new context that apply across academic disciplines. Some of these efforts are explained in a recent article in Inside Higher Ed: Advice to academic administrators for how to best support faculty during the pandemic. We, at Lehigh, are committed to applying this knowledge in our own institutional context. To that end, deans, members of tenure and promotion committees, department chairs, and associate deans who work on faculty affairs are strongly urged to attend the upcoming workshop that will set a framework and provide you concrete tools and a common language so that you can provide the leadership we need to implement these best practices for equitable faculty evaluation at Lehigh. This is a crucial first step.