Appointment Process: Tenure Track Faculty

IV-4. Appointment Process: Tenure Track Faculty

As indicated in Policy IV-3, new tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure track faculty members at the School of Law will be appointed to one of the three departments of the faculty (the “respective department” or “the hiring department”). Each department will have its own appointments committee and pursue the appointments process for its candidates. The following procedures govern the appointments process for each of the three departments: Clinical Education, Lawyering Skills and Legal Studies.

A.        The Faculty Appointments Committee (“Committee”) for the respective department will consist of at least four members of the tenured or tenure-track faculty in the case of the Legal Studies department, and three members of the tenured or tenure-track faculty in the case of the Clinical Education and Lawyering Skills departments.[1] The head of the department, in consultation with the Dean, will appoint all members of the Committee and appoint one member to serve as Chair. The Chair may be, but does not need to be, the head of the department. All committee appointments are for one year. If a member is unable to complete his or her term, a replacement will be appointed to serve the balance of that term.

            The majority of committee members should be from the respective department absent unusual circumstances. (In the case of the Clinical Education and Lawyering Skills departments, because of their small size, unusual circumstances include when two or more department members are unavailable to serve on the committee). However, the Committee may include faculty from other departments in the School of Law(or, for that matter, from other schools or colleges in the University) and in appropriate cases may include School of Law staff. (Additional members of the Committee, such as an Affirmative Action Representative, may be added by the University.)

B.        The Chair of the Committee will seek suggestions for entry-level and lateral faculty candidates from existing members of the law faculty and will encourage existing members of the law faculty to seek suggestions from the faculties of other law schools, prominent lawyers and judges, and other sources. The Chair will forward any suggestions that he or she receives to the other members of the Committee.

C.        The Committee will decide, by majority vote, which candidates will be invited to interview at the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference and/or on campus. Members of the Committee will conduct screening interviews at the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference. Committee meetings are closed to non-members, unless the Committee decides otherwise.

D.        A candidate invited to interview on campus will generally:

  1. Interview with all available members of the Committee, individually or as a group;
  2. Interview with all available full-time members of the teaching faculty, usually in groups of three or four;
  3. Interview privately with the Dean and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, if available;
  4. Interview with members of the library staff, as a group;
  5. Interview with the Vice President for Academic Affairs or his or her designee;
  6. Interview with a panel of students appointed by the President of the Student Government; and
  7. Present a “job talk,” to which all administrators, faculty, senior staff, and student panel members will be invited.

E.         All faculty candidates who interview on campus will be discussed at a faculty meeting and voted upon by those eligible to vote. The Appointments Committee may present to the faculty its recommendations concerning whether to appoint a candidate, but there will be no separate vote on candidates by the Appointments Committee as part of the formal appointments process.

  1. The faculty will meet in executive session when deliberating about candidates. When eligible to vote under paragraph E.2, all tenured, tenure-track faculty, and non-tenure track full-time clinical faculty, including faculty from outside the hiring department, may attend the executive session during deliberations about the candidate. Those who have interviewed a candidate but who are not able to attend the executive session will be invited to share their views with the Chair (who, in turn, will convey those views at the executive session) or at a faculty meeting (prior to the beginning of the executive session).
  2. Only tenured or tenure-track members of the faculty may vote on recommending whether an appointment to the tenured or tenure-track faculty should be made. Only tenured members of the faculty may vote on whether such an appointment should be tenured. See [Policy on “Eligibility to Vote”]. When a two-thirds majority of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in a department and the dean conclude that special circumstances so warrant, a “full-time non-tenure track clinical faculty” position may be created in that department, defined as meaning that at least 75 percent of the clinical faculty member’s time will be devoted to faculty duties (teaching, professional engagement, or service) and no more than 25 percent to non-faculty administrative/staff responsibilities. All tenured, tenure-track faculty, and non-tenure track full-time clinical faculty may vote on recommending whether an appointment to the position of clinical faculty should be made.
  3. All tenured, tenure-track faculty, and non-tenure track full-time clinical faculty are eligible under paragraph E-2 may cast a vote on recommending whether to appoint a candidate. However, pursuant to paragraph G below, only the votes of members of the hiring department constitute a formal recommendation to the Dean concerning whether to appoint to candidate. Only the votes of members of the hiring department will be considered in determining whether, under paragraph G-1, the candidate has the required support from the faculty to permit a recommendation by the Dean to the University that the candidate by appointed.
  4. Voting must be by secret ballot. Proxy ballots are not permitted; only those who have attended the meeting and listened to substantially all of the discussion regarding a candidate will be permitted to vote on that candidate.
  5. The ballots will be counted and the results announced at the faculty meeting. The Dean will announce only (a) the total vote concerning the candidate and (b) whether the candidate has sufficient votes from members of the hiring department, under paragraph G-1, to support a recommendation by the Dean to the University that the candidate be appointed. The results will be kept confidential within the faculty. Except as permitted by this policy or by the Dean, neither the results of any vote nor any comments made about a particular candidate will be disclosed to any person who is not a full-time member of the teaching faculty. The minutes of the meeting will state only that the faculty met in executive session; the minutes will not describe the results of any votes or any comments made about particular candidates.

F.         All votes regarding candidates are advisory only. Such votes represent the recommendation of the respective department’s faculty to the Dean and the Executive Vice President regarding whether a candidate should be offered a faculty appointment and, if so, whether the appointment should be tenured.

G.        The Dean will make an independent recommendation to the Executive Vice President regarding whether a candidate should be offered a faculty appointment and, if so, whether the appointment should be tenured.

     1.  In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Dean will not recommend the appointment of a candidate unless:

a.    Two-thirds of those tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the hiring department who are present and voting at the meeting vote to recommend the appointment of the candidate; and

b.    Those tenured and tenure-track faculty members present and voting to recommend the appointment of the candidate represent a majority of all tenured and tenure-track faculty in residence in the hiring department.

     2.   In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the Dean will not recommend that a candidate be offered tenure unless:

a.    Two-thirds of those tenured faculty members in the hiring department who are present and voting at the meeting vote to recommend that the candidate be offered tenure; and

b.   Those tenured faculty members present and voting to recommend that the candidate be offered tenure represent a majority of all tenured faculty in the hiring department.

H.        After receiving the recommendations of the law faculty and the Dean, the Executive Vice President will make his or her own recommendation to the President, who makes the final decision regarding whether a candidate will be offered an appointment and whether that appointment will be tenured or untenured.

 Adopted by the Law Faculty, July 18, 2002
Placed in catalog, August 6, 2002
Amendments approved by the Law Faculty, December 5, 2005 and January 23, 2006
Amendments approved by the Law Faculty, February 7, 2011


   

[1][ Note: The alternative is to not require that the 3- or 4-person minimum be met solely through faculty. That may make it somewhat easier to satisfy the departmental-majority requirement in smaller departments (where e.g., it is also desired to have a librarian on the committee), and it may make s-called “unusual circumstances” truly unusual. However, there are also sensible reasons for requiring that the minimums be met entirely through faculty: i.e., recruiting to the faculty should be done substantially by faculty.]

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