AY 2022-2024 Unit Policy Review and Highlights

The first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the University of Oregon and United Academics, ratified in 2013, required the development of many unit-level policies. Units developed policies, which were then approved by their school or college, and the Office of the Provost. Current unit-level policies may be found at Department and Unit Policies

A new collective bargaining agreement between United Academics and the University of Oregon is in effect as of August 1, 2022. This agreement includes substantive changes to many articles in the CBA which will necessitate revisions to several unit policies. What follows are highlights of areas units should be aware of and consider as they revise policies. In addition, units should carefully review Appendix 1 and 2 in the new CBA for implementation agreements, unit-policy development guidelines, and the standards and criteria for major reviews.

Highlights of CBA Changes that Impact Unit-Level Policies

  • The Office of the Provost has provided process instructions and templates that are to be used in unit policy revisions. The templates primarily consist of exact language from the CBA. That text should not be changed at any level of the process. There are clearly marked areas of each template for faculty to provide their desired text, and for dean or designee to accept or revise the faculty-developed text. 
  • Detailed guidance for policy development as it pertains to DEI and Service should be reviewed by your unit at the start of your review process.
  • Units may elaborate on or nuance, but not replace, standards or criteria in the CBA. Exceptions may be made when standards or criteria are inapplicable or irrelevant due to disciplinary norms and practices. In general, unit policies should not only accord with the CBA, but must use language that closely resembles that found in the CBA. The intent is to minimize discrepancies between the CBA and unit-level policies. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Faculty Personnel Reviews (both Career and Tenure-track Faculty) 

  1. UO CBA, Appendix 1 indicates that unit-level review and promotion policies for both Career and Tenure-track Faculty “should be modified as necessary to address the University’s goals on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”  
  2. UO CBA, Appendix 2 (“General Considerations and Standards related to Tenure, Review, and Promotion (Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty)”): For research, teaching and service, “unit-level policies must consider and define contributions that demonstrably promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.” 
  3. UO CBA, Appendix 2 (“Review and Promotion (Career and Limited Duration)”): “All faculty are expected to contribute to the University's goals regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. These contributions may be in the areas of research, teaching, and service activities, as appropriate given the faculty member’s job duties.”  
  4. In the previous CBA (2015-2018), faculty members, both tenure-track and career, were required merely to include a “discussion of contributions to institutional equity and inclusion” in their personal statements. These contributions could not be assessed formally.  
  5. The new CBA, like the old, requires that faculty discuss “contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion” in their personal statements. Faculty may discuss their contributions to equity and inclusion either as a separate section of their personal statement or to integrate the discussion into the other sections of the personal statement. Both approaches are equally acceptable. DEI and OtP offer guidance to assist faculty in writing personal statements.  

Definitions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Unit-level policy development 

For the purposes of unit-level policy development, contributions to institutional values and priorities of diversity, equity, and inclusion may include efforts to address and remove barriers to allow Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), people with disabilities, women, and people with the full range of gender and sexual identities to contribute fully to institutional success. This may involve efforts to restructure existing systems, practices, and norms to ensure the meaningful participation, and leadership, of people from diverse racial, ethnic and other backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives in decision-making processes. This is the way to move the institution forward in its focus on academic excellence. Such efforts also may include efforts to incorporate individuals or groups from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, first generation college students, students from urban and rural communities, and those who speak English as a second language. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Examples for Research, Teaching, Service and Recruiting

The examples below are intended to assist personnel committees as they consider the wide range of contributions that can be made to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

  • Research - Specific examples of scholarship, research or creative activity related to institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Teaching - Specific examples of evidence that faculty might use to show their contribution to institutional diversity, equity and inclusion in their teaching. See also the Senate Legislation on inclusive teaching. 
  • Service - Specific examples of service related to advancing institutional diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Recruiting - A recruitment rubric example from UO’s Department of Human Physiology. 

Evaluating Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Units may wish to adopt or modify the following rubric, developed at UC-Berkeley, to guide their evaluation of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is a heuristic tool to guide discussion and units may wish to adjust the rubric to reflect the factors and features specific to their discipline/area. 

Additional references and resources that may be useful in unit-level policy development are available here

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Professional Responsibilities Policy and Promotion Policies (for both Career and Tenure-track Faculty) with regard to Service 

The CBA addresses the university and professional service that faculty are expected to perform in the course of their duties. Furthermore, several articles define what constitutes service for the purposes of major reviews (e.g., Art. 20, Section 38 on Post-Tenure Reviews).  

Units may proceed with the revision of their policies relevant to the definition and evaluation of service. However, the Office of the Provost advises units to defer revision of the sections of their policies concerning service until the University Senate Taskforce on Service has issued its recommendations, which are expected in December 2022, to advance the equitable distribution of faculty service assignments.  

In Fall 2021, the Senate established a Taskforce on Service. The Taskforce produced a report in Spring 2022. In accepting the Taskforce’s report, the Senate passed a resolution, one section of which contained the following statement: “(ii) Urge individual units/departments to, by the end of spring term 2023, elaborate policies that explicitly define the department’s service expectations, procedures by which service is distributed to individual faculty members, and means by which service work is to be evaluated. So that each department is not obliged to work entirely independently in this task, by the end of fall term 2022, the Task Force will produce a document proposing norms/best practices for service.” 

Article 17 - Assignment of Professional Responsibilities

This article has been updated to: 

  • include the possibility of considering caregiving responsibilities in scheduling of assignments 
  • provide clear guidance for all faculty on what reassignment options exist when a course is canceled for insufficient enrollment.  
  • say that units should revisit their professional responsibilities policies and modify them “as necessary to address the University’s goals on diversity, equity, and inclusion with particular focus on course loads of 9 or more. Discussions should include course allocation across terms, preparation time, number of new course development and preparations, number of contact hours, size of classes, teaching load variation, course maximums, and support mechanisms for faculty with heavy teaching loads.” 

In updating unit policy for Assignment of Professional Responsibilities, consider the following: 

  • The OTP-provided template now calls for just one unit policy on this topic that incorporates all faculty types 
  • Units are to consider the University’s goals on diversity, equity, and inclusion with a particular focus on course loads of 9 or more. 
  • Units are to describe their process for assigning service, with particular emphasis on how the unit maintains equitable workloads. This task will be informed by the recommendations of the Senate’s Taskforce on Service, to be provided by December 2022. For additional information, see the Guidance on Service accompanying this memo. 
  • Units are to describe how service outside the unit is determined such that faculty have reasonable service loads that count in reviews. This task will be informed by the recommendations of the Senate’s Taskforce on Service, to be provided by December 2022. For additional information, see the Guidance on Service accompanying this memo. 
  • At faculty request, caregiving responsibilities are to be considered in the scheduling of assignments. 
  • The policy template contains expectations of faculty related to university policies on course content and pedagogy, syllabi, use of Canvas and student attendance and engagement. 

Article 19 – Career Faculty Review and Promotion 

This article has been updated to: 

  • better define the types of reviews for Career faculty 
  • establish a mechanism for performance improvement plans 
  • change the eligibility requirement for promotion from an annualized 0.3 FTE or greater over six years to an annualized 0.5 FTE or greater over six years 
  • establish a new type of review for Career faculty who have achieved the highest level of promotion, “Continuous Employment Reviews”. Successful Continuous Employment Reviews result in a salary increase of at least 4% for meeting expectations in all areas or at least 8% for exceeding expectations in all areas (see Article 26 of CBA). In addition, reviews are to include an evaluation of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion across the categories of job duties (See Guidance on DEI accompanying this memo). 

In updating unit policy for Career Faculty Review and Promotion, consider the following: 

  • The timing and frequency of reviews was changed with the implementation of the continuous employment agreement as there are no longer contracts. These new timelines are detailed in the CBA. 
  • Eligibility for promotion is changed from an annualized 0.3 FTE or greater over six years to an annualized 0.5 FTE or greater over six years. This is effective immediately but cases involving positions below 0.5 FTE may be considered for promotion with the approval of the Office of the Provost. 
  • Career faculty who have accumulated six years of service at 0.5 FTE or greater since their appointment in a single-rank category (e.g., Professor of Practice) or since achieving promotion to the highest rank in their category are eligible for a new type of review, a “Career Continuous Employment Review”. If the review results in a “Meets” or “Exceeds” expectations, the faculty member will receive an increase to their base salary as described in Article 26. Units will need to incorporate these new types of reviews into their review processes, as outlined in the policy. In general, these reviews closely resemble, and are based on, the criteria for promotion. 
  • Faculty reviews should address contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the categories of professional responsibilities as applicable to the discipline and the specific job duties of each faculty member. As the university standards for teaching include inclusive teaching, all faculty who teach courses are already expected to demonstrate inclusive teaching practices. Further DEI guidance may be found in the accompanying document.

Article 20 – Tenure-track Faculty Review and Promotion 

This article provides greater detail with regard to post-tenure reviews than the previous CBA provided. Specifically, it: 

  • creates a formal, 3rd-year post-tenure review option for Associate Professors, shifting away from the informal structure of reviews between tenure and promotion to full professor to allow for formal reviews for tenured associate professors if there are indications they are not on track for promotion to full professor; full professors can also undergo formal 3rd-year post-tenure reviews .  
  • clarifies that only full professors will have 6th-year post-tenure reviews; associate professors will have 3rd-year reviews—whether formal or informal—every 3 years. 
  • introduces formal criteria for post-tenure reviews and describes in detail how performance issues for tenured faculty should be addressed (i.e., Development Plans). 
  • clarifies and elevates the role of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in major reviews (See Guidance on DEI accompanying this memo).  

In updating unit policy for Tenure-related Faculty Review and Promotion, consider the following: 

  • There is now a formal 3rd-year post-tenure review option for Associate Professors built into the template, but units should review Article 20 for the process to be followed. The existence of the formal review option should not impact unit-level standards or criteria. As the new CBA introduces formal criteria for post-tenure reviews and describes in detail how performance issues for tenured faculty should be addressed (i.e., Development Plans), units should indicate clearly whether PTR criteria differ at all from promotion criteria. Such modifications are acceptable as long as they are consistent with the CBA. The detail provided in the new CBA should assist units in this effort.  
  • Since the role of contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in major reviews is clarified and elevated in importance, units must ensure that standards and criteria for evaluation reflect this change. The Guidance on DEI accompanying this memo should assist units in completing this work. 

Article 26 – Salary (affects Merit Review Policies) 

In addition to across-the-board increases in January 2022 and 2023, a 3% merit pool will be allocated to Career and Tenure-related faculty in January 2024. As such, unit Merit policies will need to be updated by June 2023. 

There are some changes to merit in the new CBA that will necessitate changes to unit policies. The next merit distribution will occur in January 2024. To ensure that reviews are done in time, Merit policies will need to be updated and approved by OtP by June of 2023. 

  • Criteria for merit reviews should be “consistent with those relevant to Article 19: Career Review and Promotion and Article 20: Tenure Review and Promotion.” That is, the upcoming merit review should be informed by criteria in current policies and by existing reviews where those reviews consider work within the review period. This is what is meant by the following template language: “Merit reviews will include information from any performance, mid-term, third-year, tenure, promotion, post-tenure, or continuous employment reviews that were completed during the merit review period. The unit may request supplemental materials from each faculty member to cover any time during the merit review period that did not include any of the reviews described above.” Units have latitude about what materials to consider in the review, but all faculty in a unit should be evaluated based on the same materials.
  • In order to be eligible for merit, faculty must at least meet expectations in all relevant job categories during the review period. We recognize that productivity and achievement suffered for many during the pandemic. The university has offered a range of supports and resources to mitigate COVID impact on faculty work. Still, we expect merit evaluations in the fall will be conducted in the context of the pandemic, and “meets expectations” will be understood in that context—provided that such understanding is extended to everyone in the pool.  That said, if a faculty member was not meeting expectations in reviews before the pandemic, COVID should not be invoked to explain away a longer documented history of needing to improve performance.
  • Merit is to be distributed as a percentage of base salary and not a flat dollar amount. The Office of the Provost is not entertaining requests for exceptions to the requirement that raises be given as a percentage of base salary. Further, faculty with the same rating should receive the same percentage raises. There should also be a clear difference between amounts given for “meets expectations” and those given for “exceeds expectations” to ensure that these distinctions are meaningful. 
  • The Office of the Provost will provide a spreadsheet to calculate raises as a percentage of base salary. Because we are asking units to use this spreadsheet, Section II.D. of the template can merely state the following:
    • “Unit will use a spreadsheet for calculating raises as a percentage of base salary such that:
      • -Faculty with the same merit rating receive the same percent raise.
      • -Percent raises are precisely proportional to the merit rating for faculty who at least meet expectations."
  • Merit reviews will be based on the work performed by the faculty member since the last merit review. The Office of the Provost has determined this period to be 9-16-2019 through 9-15-2023. There shall be no double counting of work between this raise and the 1-1-2020 raise.
  • Per the CBA (Article 26, Section 3, a), faculty hired after 7/1/23 are not eligible for this merit raise. For all other faculty, unit policies will guide merit raises.
  • Pre-retired TRP TTF are in the TTF pool if their retirement date is after 1/1/24. Post-retirement TRP faculty are not eligible for this merit raise.
  • As for all review types, any reviews for periods that include approved leave (e.g., FMLA) or other changes to workload (e.g., reductions in teaching load to take on administrative service) should evaluate those duties assigned during that period accordingly. Faculty in these situations are eligible for the highest levels of review.

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