April 13, 2020
The disruption in work caused by the pandemic certainly deeply touches our appointment stream teaching faculty in very specific and significant ways. Our appointment stream teaching faculty are essential to realizing our educational mission and integral to our University’s success. In our most recent Council of Deans meeting we spoke about our collective concerns and our wish to assist them and to mitigate potential negative impact. Reflecting that discussion, we are taking a number of steps which I ask that you share with your faculty members today.
First, as is true for all faculty, for both our 2020 spring and summer terms, student opinion of teaching surveys will not be used in annual performance evaluations, in promotion and/or tenure dossiers, or in contract renewal decisions unless a faculty member chooses to share the data for these purposes.
Additionally, the distribution of OMET data from spring 2020 and summer 2020 will be limited. Specifically, spring and summer reports will be sent to individual faculty members, but neither the individual faculty reports nor the raw data will be shared with chairs, deans, regional campus presidents or other administrators. Deans and regional campus presidents will receive aggregated OMET data only from spring and summer, and they may share the aggregated data with others, as appropriate.
Regarding contracts, in accordance with University policy,* faculty with contracts expiring on April 30, 2020 (or June 30, 2020) whose contracts are not being renewed were notified no later than January 15, 2020 (or March 15, 2020). The review and reappointment process for appointment stream faculty with contracts expiring in spring or summer of 2021 will begin in the coming months. Academic units are encouraged to take into account possible impacts of COVID-19 when conducting upcoming reviews.
- If, as part of a previous annual review process, a faculty member has been asked to demonstrate improved teaching, but has had insufficient time to demonstrate progress in teaching performance due to the disruptions of COVID-19, deans and regional campus presidents are encouraged to extend the faculty member’s contract for one year to allow sufficient time for showing progress.
- Similarly, if academic units have not had sufficient time to conduct a thorough review of a faculty member’s performance due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, deans and regional campus presidents are encouraged to extend the faculty member’s contract for one year to allow sufficient time for completing a review.
If the decision is taken not to renew a faculty member’s contract, the faculty member must be notified in writing in a timely manner in accordance with existing University guidelines. While contract non-renewal decisions may not be based on spring 2020 or summer 2020 teaching performance, deans and regional campus presidents may elect not to renew faculty for other reasons. All non-renewal letters must inform the faculty members of their right to appeal in accordance with University Policy and Procedure 02-02-10.
Should a faculty member choose to appeal a non-renewal decision to the Provost, we will handle that appeal as expeditiously as possible.
Thank you for your continued leadership on this matter—and on so many others.
Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh, Faculty Bylaws: *6.3 Terms of Appointment. The terms of appointment of full-time faculty members outside the tenure stream may be for one to five years and are renewable. When a decision is made not to renew an appointment of a faculty member who has completed less than five full years of continuous service, the faculty member shall be notified in writing no later than three and a half months prior to the end of the appointment. When a decision is made not to renew an appointment of a faculty member who has completed at least five full years of continuous service, the faculty member shall be notified in writing no later than five and a half months prior to the end of the appointment. Faculty members outside the tenure stream who are supported in whole or in part by grants must be notified by the applicable time before the termination of the grant as to whether or not they will be reappointed should a supporting renewal or replacement grant be obtained.