Valencia’s Practice Regarding Retention of Tenure Has Changed

The recruitment and retention of excellent faculty and academic leaders is a priority of the college, and yet, this past year Valencia experienced vacancies in academic leadership, with almost half of our dean positions open. During this time, college leadership reviewed current hiring practices, and elected to change the practice pertaining to tenured faculty who transition into a non-tenure eligible role.

As a result, tenured faculty who are hired into a professional, administrative or executive position will not retain tenure or the right to return to a tenured faculty position. This change is predicated on our need for consistency of practice among employees in similar employee classes.

The revised practice specifies that:

  1. Any tenured faculty member who currently holds a dean or other non-tenure eligible position will be given five years to decide whether to relinquish tenure or return to the classroom.
  2. Tenured faculty members who are selected to fill dean or other non-tenure eligible positions opened after April 9, 2013, will not retain their tenure. All new deans and administrators, are now required, as a condition of employment, to complete a designated learning leadership program within the first 18 months of employment. More details on the learning leader program will be shared via The Grove in the coming months.

If you have questions regarding these changes, please contact Amy Bosley, interim vice president of human resources and diversity, at abosley@valenciacollege.edu or extension 8255.

3 Comments

  • Chris Borglum said:

    Hmm. So the rationale for this change is to esnure "consistency of practice among employees in similar classes"? Well, this inconsistency has been in effect since at least the early 1990s, if not from the inception of the college. So why was it suddenly such a concern that it needed addressing?

    I understand that not all employees in administrative (ie, non tenure-eligible) positions come from faculty, and thus not all would have tenure to fall back on. But one wonders how that is problematic for those administrators without tenure. If the worry is that they are at a disadvantage because they don't have a faculty position to fall back on in case of a loss of administrative position, then is it fair to understand this move as a way of ensuring that all administrators must share that disadvantage? Further, would it be wrong to see this move as a way of ensuring that the removal/firing of administrators is easier to accomplish?

    Finally, as some new administrative hires have gotten a financial adjustment for their willingness to give up tenure, will currently tenured administrators who choose to give up tenure also be afforded this benefit?

    AMWed, 01 May 2013 08:37:16 +0000Wed, 01 May 2013 08:37:16 +0000am13,8:37 am

  • Don Quixote said:

    In a nutshell, I would advise tenured faculty members not to move into administration, regardless of position, due to this policy.

    PMWed, 01 May 2013 15:08:37 +0000Wed, 01 May 2013 15:08:37 +0000pm13,3:08 pm

  • Amy Bosley said:

    Hi Chris,
    I believe that you have had a conversation with Dr. Shugart in person but I wanted to respond to your questions for the benefit of the larger community.

    You asked about the timing of this decision – about why it was "suddenly such a concern that it needed addressing." The primary issue that elevated this issue for review was the large number of open dean positions through the summer, late fall, and early spring. Just this spring alone, we have recruited for eight academic dean positions and over the course of the last year, we hired deans of learning support, deans of academic affairs, and moved other positions to full professional or administrative roles rather than faculty on reassignment. As I began to see such a large number of positions coming open for recruitment, I thought it was time to rethink our practice and develop a consistent approach to the retention of tenure by individuals no longer assigned to faculty roles.

    In your comment, you asked about the consistency of having everyone in a similarly situated position on the same contractual status. That was a central concern as we reviewed a number of options in how we might approach the issue. When we hire deans/administrators from outside the college, those individuals do not have, nor do they have the opportunity to earn tenured status and thus have a different contractual status with the college than their peers who have come from faculty at Valencia.

    It is possible that the college (or the dean/administrator) may decide that it is in the best interest of the individual and/or the institution to reassign the dean/administrator to a faculty role. In the event that the dean had not previously been awarded a tenured faculty contract at Valencia, the reassigned dean/administrator would be required to successfully complete the Teaching and Learning Academy and pre-tenure processes. The reassigned dean/administrator would be placed on the correct step on the faculty salary schedule and the salary reduction processed over a period of three years. If the individual had been a tenured faculty member prior to assuming an administrative role, we would have a conversation about the best way to proceed given number of years outside the classroom, changes to the pre-tenure process, etc.

    You also asked about an exchange of value for those who decide to relinquish tenure and the answer is yes – the college will provide additional compensation to current deans/administrators. We are also changing the method by which we determine starting salaries for deans. In the past, the starting salaries were tightly coupled to the faculty compensation schedule and there were limits on the amount of experience that could be counted toward that placement (15 years). We are uncoupling starting salaries from the faculty schedule so that we have additional flexibility to recruit and hire excellent deans to lead academic divisions.

    We currently have twelve deans/administrators at the college who are reassigned from a tenured faculty role. As mentioned in the post, those individuals will have five years to decide whether or not to return to the classroom or to stay in the administrative position (and relinquish tenure).

    I hope these comments are helpful and I welcome further conversation if you have additional questions. My extension is x8255 and my email address is abosley@valenciacollege.edu.

    AMSat, 18 May 2013 11:30:35 +0000Sat, 18 May 2013 11:30:35 +0000am13,11:30 am

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