Faculty Personnel Committee
The Mechanical Engineering Department Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) is a standing committee responsible for providing first-tier review and recommendations for all proposed faculty appointments, reappointments, promotions, tenure reviews, and periodic career reviews. In all of its deliberations, the FPC is enjoined to ensure that the process is fair and equitable, and adheres to the policies of the University of Louisville as specified in its basic governance document, the Redbook , and the J.B Speed School of Engineering’s Personnel Policies and Procedures document.
Serve as a source of collective performance review and mentoring for junior (untenured or tenured below the rank of full professor) tenure-track faculty. In fulfilling this charge, the committee shall meet early each calendar year to review junior faculty activity reports. Based upon this review, the committee will then submit to each junior faculty member a short memorandum summarizing his/her progress toward tenure and/or promotion. This review shall not be construed to be a full tenure/promotion review, if for no other reason than complete documentation and external review data is not available. Instead, the committee should use these annual progress reviews to point out obvious deficiencies, laudable achievements, and areas that could be strengthened. The language of progress review memoranda should use the terminology for activity classifications (e.g., research, teaching, professional service) and performance level (e.g., not-proficient, proficient, superior) used in the actual promotion and tenure criteria. If deemed important to the integrity and utility of the progress review, the committee may request additional documentation on the candidate from the department chair, who should either secure and supply it, or provide written justification for not doing so.
In addition to the progress review memorandum, the FPC committee may request that the junior faculty member meet with either the entire FPC membership involved in the review, or the FPC chair alone. The department chair must attend any such meeting as a witness, but may only participate though answering questions regarding activity assignment. The agenda of the meeting should be limited to clarifying or answering questions about the progress review memorandum. The progress review memorandum may be revised as a result of such a meeting, in which case the original version shall be deemed a draft, withdrawn from all official records, and replaced by the revised document.
Provide input to the department chair regarding probationary faculty appointment renewals, if requested by the department chair to do so. The FPC may also submit such input without the explicit request of the department chair. All such input should be submitted in writing under the signature of the FPC chair, and copied to the probationary faculty and his/her personnel file. The department chair is enjoined to consider FPC progress review memoranda in formulating appointment renewal recommendations.
Prepare recommendations involving initial non-tenure track faculty appointments at the rank of associate or full professor.
Make recommendations to the department chair for nominating non-tenure track faculty for promotion evaluation. The department chair may make such nominations without an FPC recommendation, and reviews may be self-initiated.
Prepare written recommendations involving non-tenure track faculty promotions in rank.
Conduct formal, independent tenure and/or promotion reviews as required by the University of Louisville Redbook and the Speed Scientific School of Engineering’s Personnel Policies and Procedures document. The final FPC recommendation shall be determined by a majority vote of the members participating in a given case, and reported by the FPC chair in a memorandum addressed to the SSE Promotion and Tenure Committee.
Make recommendations to the department chair for nominating -tenure track faculty for promotion and/or tenure evaluation. The department chair may make such nominations without an FPC recommendation, and reviews may be self-initiated. In general, early reviews should be self-initiated.
Make recommendations to the department chair regarding the process and procedures used for faculty periodic career reviews. The M.E. Department bylaws shall specify and codify the process and standards used for such reviews.
Develop, review, and update as needed departmental policies and procedures for faculty promotion and tenure that interface with School and University guidelines.
Make recommendations to the SSE PAT committee regarding rank and tenure status for new faculty hires.
The membership of the Faculty Personnel Committee shall include all tenured faculty members in the mechanical engineering department at or above the rank of associate professor. Normally, individual committee members shall participate in, and vote upon only those cases involving faculty of lower rank (e.g., associate professors will not participate in deliberations involving promotions to full professor). There are two exceptions to this general rule. The full committee membership shall deliberate and vote:
If there are two or fewer tenured full professors on the department faculty.
In cases involving a tenure-only decision at any rank.
A majority of eligible committee members shall constitute a quorum for all FPC decisions.
The Faculty Personnel Committee Chair will be elected by the committee, and if possible, should hold the rank of professor. In the unlikely event that no full professors are eligible for service, the chair may be chosen from among the ranks of the department’s tenured associate professors. The chair will serve a three (3) year term expiring in August. The appointment may be renewed; however, an individual may not serve more then two consecutive terms as chair.
Duties of the Faculty Personnel Committee Chair include, but are not limited to, preparing committee agendas, convening and presiding at committee meetings, and summarizing results of committee deliberations and votes. The results of all faculty personnel deliberations should be reported in writing under the signature of the PAC chair, and copied to the candidate, department chair, and candidate personnel file.
Scope of Authority
Personnel committee deliberations shall not include matters involving the hiring, promotion, or assessment of classified or professional administrative staff.
The FCS is not responsible for conducting faculty periodic career reviews.
The FCS has no role in new faculty hiring decisions beyond that of reviewing and making recommendations regarding rank and tenure status.
The FCS will be asked to review all term full-time non-tenure track faculty appointments at or above the rank of assistant professor, or appointment renewals (term).
Methodology and Timing
The Faculty Personnel Committee shall meet on an as-needed basis, with the committee chair making arrangements and establishing an agenda for the meeting.
FPC meetings will normally be documented by memoranda or letters summarizing the committee’s decisions or recommendations. The department chair will be the recipient of many of these communications, and should be copied on the remainder.
Approved by the Mechanical Engineering Faculty, 7/31/03.