Report to the President
The University should recruit and retain an increasingly adaptable and diverse professoriate of intellectually outstanding and internationally recognized teachers and scholars, and support their research and educational efforts. Uncompromising intellectual standards must be applied in research and scholarship. Diversity among faculty must be promoted and increased to enrich our scholarly, educational, and global objectives. Staff and administrative structures should facilitate the highest level of faculty research, teaching, and service activities. These steps are crucial if we are to ensure that BU students attain the highest standards of intellectual and professional exchange, and graduate with proven knowledge, ability, and confidence.
Focus on recruitment and retention of an outstanding and diverse faculty.
- Create incentives for departments and Schools to engage actively in strategic recruiting and hiring of the most accomplished faculty to improve BU’s overall quality and reputation.
- Encourage deans and department chairs to take a broad perspective on hiring to promote the best interests of the University as a whole.
- Facilitate joint appointments across departments or Schools in order to hire faculty who are adept in interdisciplinary research or are likely to become leaders in emerging fields.
- Conduct energetic, targeted, professional, and thoroughly researched recruiting efforts to enhance faculty diversity and quality; publicize case studies on how this is successfully done and train faculty in the best strategies.
- Assure merit-based compensation levels that are equitable across the University within reasonable margins and competitive with peer institutions in the particular field.
- Establish a housing support program for faculty.
- Offer attractive start-up packages for junior faculty comparable to those offered at top-flight research universities, including guaranteed junior leave time and research support for the period before tenure.
- Develop opportunities and networks for spousal employment where possible.
- Expand the availability of high-quality child-care services that could positively draw on and enhance the expertise of our professional Schools and their students.
Enhance the professional expectations and visibility of faculty and the caliber of their involvement in teaching and scholarly activities.
- Improve the administrative infrastructure at all levels to aid faculty in the delivery of excellent advising, teaching, research, and service, informed by the latest knowledge and highest professional standards.
- Commit to continuing support of research infrastructure including professional staffing and operational costs for multi-user facilities that serve a wide cross section of our faculty and students.
- Streamline and improve the quality and accountability of the various offices relating to research and grant support to create a maximally efficient administrative structure that facilitates faculty research and external funding. Continually train and update staff in the latest trends in funding of research. Arrange for systematic feedback mechanisms to administrators from faculty.
- Continue to encourage and support scholars and post-doctoral fellows who visit and collaborate with our faculty.
- Foster faculty exchange programs with universities around the globe, in consultation with departments, Schools and Colleges, institutes, and programs. Encourage BU faculty to become known internationally and to invite prestigious counterparts, post-doctoral fellows, and research collaborators from abroad for short-term visits here.
- Increase the visibility of the faculty and their research trainees through participation in seminars of general interest to students, other faculty, alumni, and members of the community, and publicize their recognized accomplishments and election to honorary positions.
- Involve faculty in recruiting their outstanding alumni to contact an expanded population of other alumni to remain engaged with the University.
Sharpen the promotion and tenure system.
- Review and apply promotion and tenure standards University-wide to ensure transparency, uniformity to the extent reasonable, timeliness, and recognition of professionally accepted norms of intellectual accomplishment. Where appropriate, uniformly apply current requirements that tenure-track faculty have national recognition to receive tenure and that associate professors have an international reputation to receive promotion to full professor.
- Ensure that every tenure-track faculty member has clear notice throughout their pre-tenure years of the applicable tenure standards, the tenure process, the history of tenure cases in the department or School, and the relevant guidelines for preparing a tenure dossier.
- Create a mentoring system in which informed senior faculty are expected to assist new faculty regularly with teaching, scholarly publication, and grant proposals, with the goal of crafting and launching an intellectual and professional trajectory that is realistic, informed, and likely to achieve intellectual and professional success.
- Ask departments and Schools to establish and regularly review, as appropriate, the relevant guidelines for expected workloads and service at each rank of appointment of faculty members and to record the results and report them to the Provost.
Create optimal conditions for teaching and research across disciplines, departments, Schools, and Colleges.
- Remove administrative barriers that make it difficult to engage in interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, and collaborative teaching and research.
- Streamline access to information across departments, Schools, and Colleges.
Further the University’s core commitment to teaching excellence.
- Encourage and reward pedagogical innovation, sharing information with the University about success stories.
- Allocate resources to improve, encourage, and update the faculty’s interface with student evaluation reports, using technology-based, real-time, interactive models.
- Ensure that teaching responsibilities are distributed optimally among senior and junior faculty to achieve the best possible educational outcomes in all departments and Schools.
- Reduce reliance on part-time and adjunct faculty.