[Major revision–posted 4/27/22 (replaces 1/9/18 edition)]
[Updated reference to Senior Vice Provost–10/28/22; no additional change to OP]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 32.22: Selection, Appointment, and Review of Endowed Chairs and Professorships
DATE: April 27, 2022
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure understanding and a standardized approach in the selection, appointment, and review processes for endowed faculty positions.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in October of even-numbered years by the Vice Provost for Faculty Success with substantive revisions forwarded to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP) by November 15.
1. Endowed Faculty Positions
a. Endowed Chair
Endowed Chairs are named faculty positions established by a donor or donors with a funded endowment of one million dollars or more. Endowed Chairs may be named for the donor or a person or other entity of the donor's choosing. A purpose of such a position is to provide a salary supplement, or in some cases an entire salary, from the earnings on the endowment sufficient to attract and retain faculty members of exceptional quality and significance in their fields.
Faculty filling Endowed Chairs may hold any of the full-time faculty positions outlined in OP 32.17, Faculty Appointments and Titles, including professor, associate professor, assistant professor, assistant professor of practice, associate professor of practice, professor of practice, research assistant professor, research associate professor, research professor, lecturer, and senior lecturer. Their quality and significance to their field may accrue via research or creative activity or from activities and accomplishments related to professional rather than academic endeavors. Thus, endowment earnings may be used to support the chair's research or creative activity or other activities appropriate to their position.
b. Endowed Professorship
Endowed Professorships are named faculty positions established by a donor or donors with a funded endowment of less than one million dollars. Endowed Professorships may be named for the donor or a person or other entity of the donor's choosing. A purpose of such a position is to provide a salary supplement from the earnings on the endowment sufficient to attract and retain faculty members of exceptional quality and significance in their fields.
Faculty filling Endowed Professorships may hold any of the full-time faculty positions outlined in OP 32.17, Faculty Appointments and Titles, including professor, associate professor, assistant professor, assistant professor of practice, associate professor of practice, professor of practice, research assistant professor, research associate professor, research professor, lecturer, and senior lecturer. Their quality and significance to their field may accrue via research or creative activity or from activities and accomplishments related to professional rather than academic endeavors. Thus, endowment earnings may be used to support the endowed faculty member's research or creative activity or other activities appropriate to their position.
c. The qualifications and quality of faculty selected to hold endowed faculty positions directly affect the national and international reputation of Texas Tech University and the university's educational mission. Therefore, the President shall approve those faculty members to be granted endowed faculty positions upon recommendation by the PSVP.
2. Search, Selection, and Nomination Procedures for Endowed Chairs and Endowed Professors
Documents associated with endowed faculty positions may establish selection criteria agreed to between the donor and Texas Tech University or the particular college in which the endowed position is established. It is Texas Tech policy to honor the intentions of the donor as agreed to in the endowing documents; however, as a matter of law, only an authorized university official can actually select a member of the university faculty.
b. External vs. Internal Selection Process
In preparing to fill a vacant endowed faculty position, the dean of the college, in consonance with the endowing documents, may decide to limit the applicant search to external candidates or to internal candidates (for the purpose of retention or in recognition of outstanding teaching, research, and service, as examples) or may open the search to both internal and external candidates. In the case of an Endowed Chair, a dean considering limiting the search to internal candidates should first discuss her/his rationale for such a limitation with the PSVP. The dean of the college will make faculty aware of the available endowed position and will solicit nominations/applications from faculty within the college.
In some cases, an area may wish to offer an endowed faculty position to a faculty candidate as part of a partner accommodation or direct/strategic hire. Sections 3 and 4 of OP 32.16, Faculty Recruitment Procedure, describe the exceptions to the search process for these appointments. In these situations, the department/area/college wishing to offer the endowed position may request from the PSVP a similar exception to the standard endowed faculty position selection and appointment processes described herein.
c. Diversity and Equal Opportunity
The college dean will ensure that the selection process encompasses both the law and the spirit of university diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity policies as stated in OP 32.16, Faculty Recruitment Procedure, and OP 40.01, Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Affirmative Action Program. The methodology used to comply with these policies will be sufficiently detailed in the packet the dean forwards nominating a person for approval by the PSVP and the President to allow them to accurately evaluate the transparency and fairness of the selection process. In line with TTU commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, excellence across a broad spectrum of diverse applicants (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender identity and/or expression, culture, nationality, religion, etc.) will be sought for all endowed faculty positions. Thus, faculty members who self-identify with marginalized or minoritized groups are strongly encouraged to apply.
Colleges seeking to fill an endowed faculty position externally shall follow those search and selection procedures included in OP 32.16, Faculty Recruitment Procedure, and OP 40.01, Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Affirmative Action Program. The selection process, whether external or internal, shall also adhere to the requirements included in the endowing documents, if any, and may include “substantiating evidence of quality submitted by appropriate observers … outside the university” (from OP 32.01). Whatever the procedure used, the goal should be to identify multiple individuals per position whose qualifications and quality will bring significant distinction in terms of academic ability, scholarship, pedagogy, community engagement and outreach, and overall contribution to the reputation and educational mission of Texas Tech University.
(1) Evaluation criteria that may be considered by the dean of the college, the PSVP, or any ad hoc advisory committee appointed by the PSVP under subsection (2) include:
(a) The publication of books, articles, reviews, works of art, and other evidence particular to the field of scholarly achievement. Publications shall be in scholarly journals or sources customary to the field of interest.
(b) Awards and prizes from professional organizations and foundations;
(c) Grants in support of research, study, teaching, outreach or community engagement, or creative works;
(d) Offices and memberships held in learned societies and professional organizations;
(e) Papers read before learned societies;
(f) Lectures or performances delivered at other academic, industrial, or professional venues;
(g) Services such as expert, consultant, etc., to business, industry, governmental agencies, and educational organizations;
(h) Indicia of teaching distinction;
(i) Examples of extraordinary service to the university or community;
(j) Examples of impactful outreach and community engagement; and
(k) Examples of outstanding professional achievement.
If the person is nominated to an endowed faculty position established in support of a university-wide theme of excellence, the ad hoc advisory committee, if any, will also make a recommendation concerning the ability of the nominee to contribute to that theme.
(2) The name or names of the nominee(s) selected by the college will be forwarded by the dean with her/his endorsement to the PSVP. The forwarded packet will include an explanation of the selection process used, including those methods employed to ensure equal opportunity as described in section 2.c above, and a description of the endowed faculty position, including the amount of the endowment and the prior holders of the position, if any. The packet will also include a complete dossier for the nominee or nominees and any other material or information deemed relevant to the selection process.
After receiving the nomination packet, the PSVP may appoint an ad hoc advisory committee to evaluate the nominee or nominees. This step may be especially helpful if the candidate is nominated to a position established to support a university-wide theme of excellence.
(3) Following her/his own review and considering any advisory committee input, the PSVP will recommend to the President whether or not the position should be offered to a nominee. The President will then approve the PSVP's recommendation or direct another action.
(4) The PSVP will inform the nominating dean of the President's decision.
3. Appointment Procedures
In addition to the letter outlining the employment offer, the faculty member appointed to the endowed faculty position will receive from the unit in which the endowment resides a separate letter of appointment to that endowed position. The appointment letter shall include:
a. Requirements of the position, including those stated by the donor;
b. Criteria by which performance in the endowed position will be evaluated;
c. When performance in the Endowed Chair will be evaluated (at least every six years or as specified by the donor); and
d. Conditions for reappointment and non-reappointment to the endowed position.
4. Review Procedures
The review of faculty in endowed positions will occur following the process and timing (at least every six years or as specified by the donor) determined by the academic unit in which the endowed position resides. Unit recommendations of both reappointment and non-reappointment shall be reported to the PSVP for her/his approval.
The standards to serve in an endowed faculty position are higher than the standards for any other faculty appointment (other than Horn Professor). An academic unit may determine that a positive outcome from the review procedure for endowed faculty positions satisfies the requirements for the comprehensive performance evaluation described in OP 32.31, Comprehensive Performance Evaluations of Tenured Faculty Members and Faculty Members Who Receive an Academic Promotion.
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