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UIS Senate Convenes, Standards of Scholarship Discussed

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The University of Illinois Springfield Senate met Friday, April 6 to discuss several issues related to the current academic and service standards for promotion to full professor. According to the resolution 47-20 as submitted, the current standard is, “neither consistent with expectations of faculty applying for full professor at other campuses of the University of Illinois Springfield, nor at comparable COPLAC institutions…”

The proposed resolution would change the wording and inherent intent of the milestones for promotion to full professor away from the previous system. The change comes amid complaints that the current standard does not adequately represent all disciplines equally—unequally benefitting certain disciplines, while making career advancement nigh impossible for others.

Among proposed changes would be the reduction of the required number of prerequisite years of associate professorship experience from the current seven, to six.

Debate centered around how the current model affected various disciplines. During the open debate portion, Professor Antoun stated that the UIS standard is “designed to prevent computer science from ever getting a professorship” due to the Computer Science field moving away from publications toward conference presentation as an indicator of scholarship.

One spectator commented on the apparent lack of women at the rank of full professor at the University of Illinois Springfield—citing a study claiming widespread bias in the subjective promotion process. Ultimately this point was not adequately resolved, with one UIS Senator warning that engaging with the topic could lead the discussion into a “hole of marginalizing.”

Following the departure from the topic of standards of promotion, several spectators left, visibly frustrated, prior to the opening of the next topic and ending announcements. 

The meeting concluded with the decision that the group would adjourn—electing to reconve April 20 to continue the discussion. 

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UIS Senate Convenes, Standards of Scholarship Discussed