The New Scholarship and the Work of Faculty: From Adaptation to Transformation of the Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Process

Judith Aiken, Pamela J. Kay, James Mosenthal, Phyllis Paolucci-Whitcomb


Systems for reappointment, promotion, and tenure of university faculty have long been part of most institutions of higher education; tenure has been equated with the preservation of academic freedom. Recent demands for faculty accountability challenge the assumption that tenure is of value to society. Changing demographics of students and faculty call into question systems of reappointment, promotion, and tenure, which rest exclusively on research and publication. Guided by Boyers ideas (1990, 1996) of a new scholarship, the authors of this paper engaged in collaborative inquiry to define what it means to be a scholar. Acting as the Faculty Affairs Committee of a college, we generated recommendations for reappointment, promotion, and tenure and established new criteria for faculty evaluation. This paper frames, narrates, describes, and interprets our transformation of the new scholarship. Tenure remains as the basis of academic freedom, while expanded criteria link the process of reappointment, promotion, and tenure to both societys needs and to the demands of a flourishing epistemology.


higher education; tenure; promotion; Ernest Boyer;

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Higher Education Perspectives. ISSN: 1710-1530