IIE Network - Spring 2012 - (Page 25)

TENURE POLICIES Overcoming “Publish or Perish”: Fostering Faculty Engagement in Internationalization through Tenure Codes and Other Employment Policies By Robin Matross Helms AS THE DRIVING force of teaching and research in higher education institutions, faculty play a pivotal role in the efforts of colleges and universities to internationalize their campuses and curricula. While the numerous programs and initiatives featured in this issue attest to the commitment of institutions, governments, and other organizations to provide international opportunities for faculty, employmentrelated policies such as those surrounding tenure and promotion in U.S. institutions may inhibit young professors from seeking out and engaging in such activities. Publish or Perish Tenure codes that significantly prioritize research productivity above teaching, service, and other faculty work have been criticized for years, and some institutions have begun to reexamine their policies. Nonetheless, “publish or perish” is still the reality for many junior faculty. Simply because activities such as international research collaborations and teaching abroad consume valuable time, they may be perceived by faculty as compromising their research productivity and ability to publish, and therefore hurting their chances for tenure. Ryan Edwards, an associate professor of economics at The City University of New York, notes that he did not take on any international activities as a junior faculty member and would have considered doing so “risky.” After attending a conference in Japan in 2003, he thought about pursuing a research collaboration with Japanese colleagues, but worried that establishing a productive relationship with them would require a large time commitment, which would amount to “sunk costs” and a substantial setback to his research agenda if the collaboration did not work out. In addition, he notes that the tenure code at his institution prioritizes single authorship of publications; an international research collaboration would mean co-authorship, and a potential strike against him in the tenure process. While these concerns are undoubtedly common, as institutions deepen their commitment to internationalization, many are finding innovative ways to mitigate the “publish or perish” problem and facilitate faculty international activity through tenure codes and other employment policies. The following successful strategies implemented by individual institutions, combined with advice and reported outcomes by faculty themselves, provide best practices and potential models for institutions seeking to increase their own faculty’s international engagement. Amend the Tenure Code In 2007, the University of Minnesota amended its tenure code to include provisions related to international engagement by faculty. The code states: • "Interdisciplinary work, public engagement, international activities and initiatives, attention to questions of diversity, technology transfer, and other special kinds of professional activity by the candidate should be considered [in tenure evaluations] when applicable." • In order to be awarded tenure, a faculty member must demonstrate that she or he has "established and is likely to continue to develop a distinguished record of academic achievement that is the foundation for a national or international reputation or both." For further promotion from associate to full professor, an "international reputation" is explicitly required. Arlene Carney, Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs at the University of Minnesota, reports that in reviewing the institution's tenure files each year, she has seen an increase in junior faculty members' international activities in the five years since the code was revised. She notes that in addition to the stated emphasis on international work, the requirement that all faculty must have a "national or international reputation" for tenure and an "international reputation" for promotion to full professor underscores the need for international engagement; in order to acquire an international reputation, a faculty member must be engaged with the international research community in her or his discipline. It is important to note, however, that while the wording changes to the University of Minnesota's tenure code were fairly simple, making sure they had their intended effect was a more involved process. First, the timing of the changes was critical. Internationalization was already underway throughout the institution, supported fully by senior administration. The changes to the tenure code were a natural continuation of ongoing efforts, rather than an attempt to jumpstart internationalization without providing the necessary opportunities and resources for faculty. Second, Dr. Carney worked closely with department heads and faculty to explain the changes and their implications. She recognized that cooperating with stakeholders throughout the institution was necessary to bridge the gap between the "theory" of the tenure code and the "practice" of how it is actually applied. From the faculty perspective, international provisions in the tenure code are most likely to spur increased international engagement when they are specific, and make international work more than just a "plus factor" in the evaluation process; in some tenure codes, international work is loosely "encouraged" but not actually rewarded, and therefore still falls to the bottom of faculty members' priority lists. Dr. Edwards, the CUNY professor cited previously, observed that the number of publications produced is a key evaluation criterion in his tenure code; he suggests that the institution might increase international research collaborations by junior faculty by making concrete quantitative modifications to evaluation criteria, such as requiring fewer publications by those producing international work and giving increased weight to co-authored books and articles. 25 http://www.naylornetwork.com/iie-nxt/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Spring 2012

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
News
2012 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series: Renu Khator, University of Houston
Overcoming “Publish or Perish”: Fostering Faculty Engagement in Internationalization through Tenure Codes and Other Employment Policies
Engaging Science Faculty in Internationalization: Teaching Innovations at UW-Madison
Early-College Study Abroad: A Gateway for Faculty Engagement in Internationalization
Promoting Engagement in Curriculum Internationalization
The International Network of Universities (INU): The Consortium for Global Citizenship
Ten Elements of Faculty Involvement in Global Engagement
Building an Interculturally Competent Faculty
A Shrinking World with Expanding Visions: Faculty as Key Players in Internationalization
China’s Policies on Overseas Faculty Recruitment
Overcoming the “American Bubble”: The Norwegian Partnership Programme (PPNA) for Collaboration in Higher Education with North America
Advertisers Index
IIE Program Profi le: Fulbright Visiting Scholar Occasional Lecturer Fund

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