3
Faculty Performance and Institutional Quality

An increasing proportion of faculty members over age 70 or of older faculty in general could have adverse effects on colleges and universities for two reasons: Older faculty could be less productive—in scholarship, teaching, and service—because of the effects of aging, and even if older faculty continue to teach and engage in scholarship, reduced turnover because of postponed retirements could limit an institution's ability to hire faculty in new research and teaching fields.

At one level the link between faculty productivity and institutional quality is obvious. The quality of a college or university depends to a large degree on its faculty's work, although the nature of that work varies by an institution's relative emphasis on a range of roles—undergraduate teaching, research, and the training of future scholars (see Appendix C). Institutional quality will decline if the overall quality or quantity of faculty work declines. Moreover, the standards of a discipline can change as new research areas and methods develop, or the standards of a college or university can change as it chooses to emphasize one field over another or to change its balance of research and teaching. Even if a faculty member continues to do excellent work in a particular field, such work may not meet changed standards. Low turnover could hinder the efforts of colleges and universities to improve their quality or to launch new research areas by hiring junior or senior faculty.

In this chapter we examine the effects of age on faculty performance in order to address the question of whether an increased proportion of older faculty members would adversely affect institutional quality. We also evaluate ways colleges and universities can mitigate negative effects on institutional quality and can positively influence individual faculty performance. These options include the use of performance evaluation in combination with actions ranging from administrative and peer feedback to dismissal of incom-



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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education 3 Faculty Performance and Institutional Quality An increasing proportion of faculty members over age 70 or of older faculty in general could have adverse effects on colleges and universities for two reasons: Older faculty could be less productive—in scholarship, teaching, and service—because of the effects of aging, and even if older faculty continue to teach and engage in scholarship, reduced turnover because of postponed retirements could limit an institution's ability to hire faculty in new research and teaching fields. At one level the link between faculty productivity and institutional quality is obvious. The quality of a college or university depends to a large degree on its faculty's work, although the nature of that work varies by an institution's relative emphasis on a range of roles—undergraduate teaching, research, and the training of future scholars (see Appendix C). Institutional quality will decline if the overall quality or quantity of faculty work declines. Moreover, the standards of a discipline can change as new research areas and methods develop, or the standards of a college or university can change as it chooses to emphasize one field over another or to change its balance of research and teaching. Even if a faculty member continues to do excellent work in a particular field, such work may not meet changed standards. Low turnover could hinder the efforts of colleges and universities to improve their quality or to launch new research areas by hiring junior or senior faculty. In this chapter we examine the effects of age on faculty performance in order to address the question of whether an increased proportion of older faculty members would adversely affect institutional quality. We also evaluate ways colleges and universities can mitigate negative effects on institutional quality and can positively influence individual faculty performance. These options include the use of performance evaluation in combination with actions ranging from administrative and peer feedback to dismissal of incom-

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education petent faculty. Finally, we explore the implications of our findings for tenure and for the ability of colleges and universities to maintain or raise institutional quality. EFFECTS OF AGE ON PERFORMANCE Overall Abilities and Age Studies suggest that certain abilities decline with age, but not necessarily those central to faculty quality. For example, physical vigor declines with age, as do some physical abilities. Older people typically have more difficulty hearing speech (National Research Council, 1987a). Visual acuity, range of focus, and color discrimination decrease after age 40, although differences among individuals are considerable (National Research Council, 1987b). Some mental abilities may also decline with age. In one study, for example, older people scored lower on certain tests of creativity (Ruth and Birren, 1985); however, people aged 25–35 differed from people aged 45–55 more than those aged 45–55 differed from those aged 65–75. Using a test measuring such skills as remembering an address or reasoning by analogy, a Harvard research team tested for cognitive decline in more than 1,000 healthy volunteer physicians. Although the average total test scores and scores on subtests declined with increasing age, ''many functions did not show significant declines up to the age of 65 and for some of the [sub]tests, these changes were not apparent until the age of 75'' (Weintraub et al., 1991:6). Warner Schaie's studies of the relationship between cognitive abilities and age suggest that people of different ages score differently on tests for different types of cognitive ability, which could indicate that certain mental abilities are stronger at certain ages. Younger people score higher on tests requiring quick responses on test questions not related to daily living; older people score higher on tests with questions about legal terms in common contracts and the need to get help from other people (Schaie and Willis, 1986:281). Older people's greater experience with various activities may counteract or compensate for abilities that decline with age (National Research Council, 1990a:26). Most studies of age and ability compare the abilities of younger and older people, rather than measuring changes over time in the abilities of a single group of people. Therefore, it is impossible for these studies to separate out decreased ability owing to age from any differences owing to other factors, such as the older group's having attended school in a different period. From a policy perspective the distinction may not matter (Bayer and Dutton, 1977:10); if older people now are less able than younger people now, older people will be less desirable employees. However, isolating the effects of aging does matter for the purpose of predicting changes in the

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education performance of individuals who may postpone retirement. The few available studies of groups of people over time suggest little decline in mental ability until age 60, after which the decline is slight until the middle 70s with the rate of decline possibly increasing again in the early 80s (Schaie and Willis, 1986:299). After a series of studies designed to check the validity of the test and the effects of factors other than age that might affect test performance, including different intellectual abilities and medical histories, the Harvard researchers concluded that "normal aging does not entail general mental deterioration. Normal cognitive loss is not broad and debilitating" (Powell, 1991:2). A 7-year study of older people aging from 60 to 67, from 67 to 74, and from 74 to 81 found that there was a decline in the abilities of approximately 30 percent of the people in the younger two categories and 40 percent of the people in the oldest category. Interestingly, there was an improvement in the abilities of approximately 10 percent of the people in all three age categories (Schaie and Willis, 1986:306–307). This evidence suggests there would be little overall decrease in the mental abilities of faculty for several years of continued employment past age 70. Weintraub et al. (1991:4) found that ". . . there are, in fact, individuals over the age of 75 who maintain their cognitive skills at a level overlapping with the average performance of individuals under 35." The variation in individual abilities found in these studies outweighs any general trend of decline with increasing age. Schaie and Willis point out that the results may be biased by the tendency of less healthy subjects to "drop out" so that decline may begin earlier on average (1986:302–303). But less healthy people may be more likely to retire, and individuals whose cognitive abilities have declined may also be more likely to retire. To test this hypothesis, Weintraub et al. (1991:7) compared the 10 highest and lowest scorers in each age category (over 75 years old, 65–74, 55–64, 45–54, 35–44, and under 35). The top and bottom scorers in the two oldest groups had no statistically significant differences in their medical histories. However, the difference in numbers of top and bottom scorers who were currently working was significant: Of the 20 top scorers aged 65 and over, 12 reported that they continued to work; only 4 of the 20 bottom scorers age 65 and over reported that they continued to work (one participant did not respond to this question). Measuring Faculty Performance The above studies are related to general abilities rather than to the complex range of abilities that make up faculty quality. There are no tests of faculty ability comparable to a vision test or a mental aptitude test. Nevertheless, there have been some studies of the nexus between faculty activities and age.

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education Many academics take . . . the "mystical" . . . view of quality in higher education: They maintain that quality simply cannot be defined or measured because the activities of institutions are too complex and varied, because different institutions have different objectives, because the outcomes of higher education are too subtle, because methodological problems are insurmountable, and so on (Astin, 1980:1). In spite of this widespread view, judgments regarding quality of individuals, departments, and colleges and universities are rendered regularly and depend on the eye of the beholder. For example, rankings of colleges and universities are a common feature of the academic landscape, ranging from rankings of undergraduate programs to rankings of professional schools to periodic studies ranking research doctorate programs by discipline (e.g., Committee on Assessment of Quality-Related Characteristics of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States, 1982). The bases for such rankings include: purely subjective assessments of reputation and quality; more quantitative counts of faculty publications, student scores, or alumni placement; size of endowment or research funding; and a host of other factors. These measures cannot reflect fully what we mean by quality in higher education, however, nor are they always current. Over time, faculty come and go and departmental reputations rise and fall, prompting periodic reassessments and constant discussions of the relative quality of departments and institutions. Furthermore, measuring faculty quality, like measuring any quality, requires the exercise of values and judgment. Institutional standards as well as disciplinary standards shape the measures of quality for any given institution or department. Consequently, different colleges' and universities' standards of faculty quality must reflect their different priorities and missions. Teaching and Age Studies of teaching ability generally rely on student evaluations of faculty members. The lack of measures of teaching success prevents checking the validity of faculty scores on teacher evaluations, although researchers have checked their reliability. For example, Blackburn and Lawrence (1986:271–272) found that the results of different teaching evaluation instruments are highly correlated (over 0.9): When factor analyzed, the same factors emerge. Students take completing the instruments seriously and do not simply randomly fill in the spaces. Test-retest reliabilities, are over 0.9. . . . When colleagues also rate a faculty member as to the quality of his or her teaching, the correlations with student ratings are high (around 0.7). . . . The correlations between administrator and student ratings are about 0.5. However, the tendency of students to give faculty high ratings reduces the

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education spread of scores and weakens statistical relationships between teaching scores and age or any other factor (Blackburn and Lawrence, 1986:272–273). Studies of faculty at the start of their careers suggest that teaching ratings initially improve with experience. Students give the lowest average teaching ratings to faculty in their first 2 years of teaching (McKeachie, 1983:60). Centra and Creech (1976) found that faculty in their third to twelfth year of teaching earned the highest teaching ratings, but they did not test for differences among faculty with more than 12 years of experience. Since most studies of the relationship between teaching ability and age are based on student ratings of faculty at one or two institutions, the number of faculty in an age group, particularly the oldest age groups, is so small that an individual exception could mask a trend. The only conclusion one can safely draw from these studies is that they do not show a trend. The results range from showing increasing ratings followed by decreasing ratings for an overall negative correlation between age and teaching ratings (Blackburn and Lawrence, 1986:272–273); to nonsignificant correlations (Blackburn, 1972; Blackburn and Lawrence, 1986:272–273); to teaching ratings at a single university increasing with age for faculty over age 50 in the humanities and 65 or older in the social sciences, but decreasing after age 46 for faculty in the sciences (Kinney and Smith, 1989). On the basis of a study of two liberal arts colleges, Blackburn (1972) found increased variation in teaching scores by age. Although such evidence is hardly conclusive, it does not indicate that the teaching ability of college and university faculty declines with age. Research and Age The question of whether age affects the quality or quantity of an individual's scholarship is an old one. On the basis of data for a sample of scientists, medical researchers, and philosophers who made "significant contributions" based on reviews of histories of science, Lehman (1953) found that most such contributions were made by individuals younger than 45. However, Lehman examined the productivity at different ages only of people who at some age had made a significant contribution, not the proportion of all researchers in each age group who made such a contribution (National Research Council, 1980:207). Thus, his results do not shed light on the probability of a researcher at any given age making a significant contribution or on how the probability of making a significant contribution changes with age. Direct, quantitative measures of the quality of research are unavailable, and thus there is little evidence on the relationship between age and research quality. Some researchers have measured the scholarly productivity of faculty in general—rather than of the few faculty making major scientific

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education discoveries—by using counts of publications. This approach provides some measure of scholarly activity, although results may be biased by variations in types of publication by age. For example, if older faculty publish more books and fewer articles, their average number of publications may be lower than the average number for younger faculty. Variation in the quality of publications could also affect these results if one age group is more likely to publish in prestigious journals or to be cited by other authors. Over (1989) compared the age distribution of authors of frequently cited articles in psychology journals to the age distribution of authors of less frequently cited articles in the same journals. He found more articles by younger authors but no relationship between age and frequency of citation. If frequency of citation is a measure of an article's influence, this study found no relationship between age and the publication of influential articles. Studies of quantity of publications vary from counts of articles to counts of all publications with and without weighting for type of publication (e.g., a book equals three articles) and with and without weighting for some measure of prestige (e.g., type of journal or number of times publication cited). The mixed results generally show an initial rise in number of publications, then a more steady output, followed by a decline (Blackburn and Lawrence, 1986:275). Regression analyses of data on approximately 2,000 tenured arts and science faculty in a 1989 Carnegie Foundation survey show an inverse correlation between faculty age and number of professional writings published or accepted for publication over the preceding 2 years. Although older faculty on average published fewer writings than younger faculty, in the sciences and humanities the difference between the average number of writings published by a group of faculty at one age and the number of writings published by the group of faculty 1 year older decreases as age increases (Howe and Smith, 1990:19): It should be emphasized that these findings do not suggest that research activity ceases as the faculty member approaches the current mandatory retirement age. They show that between age 60 and age 70, recent publishing activity for the average tenured faculty member would decrease by 0.2 articles [over a decade] in the humanities, by 0.5 articles in the social sciences, and by 0.4 articles in the physical and biological sciences. Bayer and Dutton (1977) fitted curves to data on number of publications over 2 years and career age from a 1972 American Council on Education survey of faculty for seven disciplines. They found that in six—chemical engineering, earth sciences, economics, experimental psychology, physics, and sociology—the best fit model showed two groups of faculty publishing most: those with approximately 10 years of experience and those with between 30 and 40 years of experience. In biochemistry, faculty with approximately 20 years of career experience published more than faculty with

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education both more and less experience. These patterns suggest that, at least in some disciplines, older faculty may publish as much as or more than their younger colleagues. However, the equations also show no strong relationship between age and quantity of publications. Furthermore, individual rates of publication vary widely, regardless of age. As an extreme example of individual variance, one study found that in every age group, Nobel laureates published more than a sample of nonlaureates chosen from American Men of Science and matched to the laureates by age, field of specialization, and organizational affiliation at the time of the award (university, government, independent nonprofit, or industrial laboratory) (Zuckerman, 1977:145,302). A study of a single university provided a possible explanation for the higher productivity of the faculty with 30–40 years' experience. Information on the average dollar value of sponsored research support by age for faculty at Stanford University showed a consistent pattern for 1979, 1982, and 1987 (Biedenweg, 1989:32): . . . average research [volume, measured in dollars) increases until around age 50, then slowly drops until around age 65, at which point the average starts increasing again. It is believed that self selection (i.e., retirements of faculty less engaged in research] causes the increase for this age group. . . . In disciplines for which outside funding for research is common, having a research grant can be a predictor of research activity. Howe and Smith (1990) used regression equations on data from the 1989 Carnegie Foundation faculty survey to estimate the effect of age on the probability of having a grant from the federal government, a foundation, or industry for tenured faculty in social science and in biological and physical sciences at 4-year universities. They concluded (Howe and Smith, 1990:22): . . . [age] has a [statistically] significant and negative effect on receipt of grant support in both disciplines, though in each case [social science and biological and physical sciences) the effect is quite small. . . . Other factors again [as in predicting number of publications] have a much larger influence on the probability of receiving major grant support. The cause of the inverse relationship between grant-getting and age from these data cannot be determined (Howe and Smith, 1990:21): [B]ecause there is no information on grant applications, no consideration can be given to differences by age in the propensity to seek outside support for research. Finally, it must be acknowledged that a decline in the probability of grant support with age, may, in part, reflect age discrimination by the funding institutions and not be wholly attributable to a decline in either research activity or research quality with age. The National Science Foundation does not keep information on the age of

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education applicants for its grants, but it found (1988:4) that "21 percent of applicants had received their highest degree since 1980, 41 percent received it between 1970 and 1979, 26 percent between 1960 and 1969, and 11 percent before 1960." One of our case study universities obtained 1979 and 1985 data from the National Institute of Health (NIH) on applicants' success rates by age in receiving new grants and renewing old grants. For grant applicants who reported their date of birth, those aged 31–50 had a higher probability of getting a grant than those aged 51–70. However, when the data are divided into 5-year age groups, the probabilities for applicants over 50 do not show a clear or steady trend of decline with age. The committee obtained NIH data on numbers of research grant holders by date of birth for 1987 and 1989, reported in Table 5. However, the NIH data do not show clear evidence of declining research interest with age, since the number of active faculty born before 1925 is probably small. In general, administrators support new research areas by hiring new faculty. They regard new positions as an opportunity to define the future of a department. New positions, however, do not necessarily demand younger faculty. Limited evidence indicates that age is only one of the factors affecting which scholars work in new research areas. Based on a study of 96 geologists' responses to plate tectonics, Messeri (1988) concluded that receptivity to new ideas and willingness to engage in research based on new theories depends on professional standing as well as age. Zuckerman (1988:68) summarized these findings: "[I]t was largely the middle-aged and comparatively well-established scientists who adopted these ideas while they (were] still controversial and speculative; younger scientists followed only after the research potentials of these ideas had become clear." In contrast, Hull, Tessner, and Diamond (1978) found that in the nineteenth century, younger TABLE 5 National Institutes of Health Research Grant Holders, by Year of Birth, 1987 and 1989   Percentage of Grant Holders Year of Birth In 1987 In 1989 After 1955 1 4 1946–1955 33 24 1936–1945 32 20 1926–1935 14 22 Before 1925 5 7 Not reported 14 22   Source: Data provided by National Institutes of Health.

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education natural scientists accepted Darwinian theory more readily than older scientists, and scientists past middle age predominated among the few who resisted Darwinian theory for more than a decade. The evidence on age and new research fields is not of sufficient depth or clarity to draw firm conclusions. We believe that the process of developing new research fields involves complex interactions among professional and scientific variables, of which age is only one factor. This complexity may be reflected in the varied patterns of hiring in higher education: some colleges and universities prefer to hire junior faculty; others renew their faculty and enter new research areas primarily by bringing in middle-aged senior faculty with the professional standing to confidently adopt and pursue new ideas. Changing Interests and Age Faculty activities may vary by age less because of changing abilities than because of changing interests. However, research in this area is inconclusive in that one cannot separate the effects of aging from other factors. For example, a study of male faculty from 12 midwestern liberal arts colleges, at career stages ranging from new assistant professors to "full professors within five years of formal retirement" found that self-reported "comfortableness with teaching" increased for each succeeding career group, while comfortableness with research and scholarship was lowest for full professors (Baldwin and Blackburn, 1981:605). The 1989 Carnegie Foundation survey of faculty found the percentage of faculty identifying their interests as ''primarily in research" or ''leaning toward research" was highest for faculty under age 40 and lowest for faculty aged 60–64, while the percentages of faculty interested "primarily in teaching" showed the reverse trend. These results may be due to differences between generations rather than effects of age. Of greater interest, the percentage of faculty preferring research is higher among faculty aged 65 and older than among faculty aged 60–64 (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1989:43), supporting the hypothesis that faculty engaged in research are more likely to retire later. Through its letters of inquiry and case studies, the committee heard from both faculty and administrators that many faculty are able to make continuing contributions regardless of age, that the older generation has something special to contribute, and that declines in faculty performance can occur at any age. During this time my personal observation has been that there have been many members of the faculty doing an excellent job teaching well into their sixties and seventies (faculty senate chair).

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education I have found older professors very capable of stimulating younger faculty members. There is much that the older generation can contribute to the development of the younger generation of professors (college president). A faculty member is not "dead wood" just because he has lived a long time; many people retire mentally when they are rather young (college president). Mid-career faculty may become less active scholars or less capable teachers as a result of getting stuck in a line of research inquiry or a particular approach in the classroom. As Corcoran and Clark (1989:27) note: "[I]t is easy to imagine that jadedness could set in after years of teaching routine courses in the curriculum, and that older faculty could feel far removed from the cutting edge of a rapidly changing field (biology, for example)." This factor could account for the declining performance of some older faculty, but getting stuck in a rut is not a function of age. An example may help to clarify the distinction between effects of time and effects of age: Assume that faculty produce poorer research at the end of 10 years of studying a single narrow area or that faculty are poorer teachers at the end of 10 years teaching the same material. A line of inquiry could be pursued to its conclusion and exhausted, the results of a study could be fully accounted for, or a syllabus could fail to reflect important recent developments in a field. This can be true whether the faculty start the research or teaching in question at age 30, 40, or 60. Based on a study of faculty at one "research-oriented university," Corcoran and Clark (1989:27) conclude "that stuckness or work blockage is not an exceptional experience for faculty members at any stage of their lives." Conclusions On the basis of our review of the literature, as well as our experience, it is clear that measures of research activity show no strong relationship with age. Moreover, studies have not shown a clear decline of teaching ability with advancing age. In scholarship and in teaching, individual variance is greater than any average tendencies to decline. An older faculty member who performs less well than he or she did a decade earlier may nevertheless perform at a higher level than a colleague a decade or more younger and thereby contribute as much or more to an institution's reputation for quality. In some cases performance may decline because a faculty member falls into patterns of poor teaching and uninspired scholarship. The committee believes many of these cases have been mistakenly attributed to inevitable age-related declines. Therefore, in the next section we address ways faculty and administrators can respond to declining faculty performance.

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education Although there is little evidence in the literature on aging and responsiveness to new developments in a field, evidence from our letter survey and case studies indicates that colleges and universities rely on hiring as a way of supporting new areas of research and teaching. The committee is thus deeply concerned about colleges' and universities' need for new (not necessarily young) faculty members as bearers of new ideas and research areas. We address policies that affect faculty turnover in Chapter 4 and policies specifically designed to encourage faculty turnover in Chapter 5. EVALUATION OF FACULTY MEMBERS Some faculty and administrators have raised the question of whether colleges and universities can accurately measure the performance of tenured faculty members. They have also questioned whether faculty development or dismissal could provide an effective way of maintaining faculty and institutional quality. Lastly, some have questioned whether evaluating tenured faculty threatens tenure and collegiality. In this section we review ways of evaluating the performance of individuals in academia and other settings and possible actions based on the results of faculty evaluation. As detailed above, there is no precise way to measure faculty performance. Moreover, studies of personnel evaluation instruments in industry and government (National Research Council, 1991:3) show that although performance appraisal may be justified as a way to provide employees with feedback on their actions and to motivate them, it cannot be justified on the basis of scientific validity. Effective job performance is difficult to describe or observe for the purposes of measurement, particularly in the case of professional and managerial jobs in which people have a higher degree of autonomy in setting job goals and activities. Definitions of effectiveness are subjective and vary over time. It would be possible to improve the reliability and validity of existing performance appraisal measures, but one comprehensive review of the research literature on performance appraisal in industry and government concluded that in the case of appraising federal managers, "vast human and financial resources" would be required to develop performance appraisal instruments meeting "the strictest challenges of measurement science." Instead, the committee concluded that for most personnel management decisions, ". . . the goal of a performance appraisal should be to support and encourage informed managerial judgment, and not to aspire to the degree of standardization, precision, and empirical support that would be required of, for example, selection tests." Likewise, in the absence of reliable and valid selection tests, colleges and universities cannot use performance appraisal as any kind of scientifically accurate basis for identifying nonperforming faculty or even faculty who are performing less well than some of their peers.

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education Despite the lack of scientific measures, colleges, universities, industry, and governments all use various procedures and practices to evaluate their employees. Many use evaluations to give feedback to employees about their performance. Academia has a long tradition of evaluating faculty carefully and acting on evaluations through the process of promotion and granting tenure. Depending on the purpose, colleges and universities place different emphasis on different kinds of evaluations and the actions that are based on those evaluations. Bryant Kearl, cited in Reisman (1986:75–76), lists common areas of faculty evaluation: public scrutiny of professors' ideas as these are regularly presented in lectures and writing; reviews of faculty applications for research grants or awards for study or travel; student evaluations of teaching; promotional reviews of tenured associate professors considered for full professorships; recommendations for annual salary increments; decisions about university teaching awards and allocation of named professorships or chairs; departmental reviews in which note is taken of functioning of individual faculty; and review of articles and book manuscripts submitted for publication. Of course, evaluation practices vary among institutions and among departments within institutions. Some institutions and departments use formal written evaluations; many do not. Colleges and universities with faculty collective bargaining agreements may have to have contractual arrangements for faculty evaluation. Some colleges and universities rely more heavily than others on peer review in faculty evaluation. A few use peer review in conjunction with decisions about salaries, sabbaticals, and internally allocated research funds. Many use peer review only as a part of major personnel actions, such as promotion to tenure or to full professor and dismissal proceedings. Regardless of its use, formal evaluation of tenured faculty remains controversial. When the National Commission on Higher Education Issues recommended formal evaluation of tenured faculty, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure (American Association of University Professors, 1983:14a) responded: The Association believes that periodic formal institutional evaluation of each postprobationary faculty member would bring scant benefit, would incur unacceptable costs, not only in money and time but also in a dampening of creativity and collegial relationships, and would threaten academic freedom.

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education Some colleges and universities have reduced the perceived threat of formal evaluation by not confining it to use in the faculty dismissal process. A review of faculty development programs in Minnesota and North and South Dakota (Eble and McKeachie, 1985:217) found: [the most successful programs] did not aim at "deadwood" or "developing" those who had been ineffective but rather offered opportunities for the solid, substantial contributors as well as the "stars" or the alienated; they gave the faculty the sense that they were valued. Other reviews of evaluation and feedback programs at colleges and universities also suggest the potential of these programs. Centra (1978:34) found that a combination of students' teaching evaluations and self-evaluations led teachers whose student ratings were lower than their self-assessments to change their teaching techniques: These changes were most evident in the instructors' preparation for class, use of class time, summarization of major points in lectures and discussions, openness to other viewpoints, and the likelihood of making helpful comments on papers and exams. A few colleges and universities have adopted extensive processes for evaluating tenured faculty (Goodman, 1990; Licata, 1985, 1986). The University of California system uses departmental committee reviews of assistant and associate professors every 2 years and of full professors every 3 years as a basis for salary reviews and promotions. Reviews for major promotions involve campus-wide review committees and external review letters. At one of our case study universities, department chairs review the annual report from each member of the department and rate each as satisfactory, meriting official concern, or inadequate. The department chair, sometimes with the assistance of other faculty members, meets with tenured faculty members who receive less than satisfactory evaluations to develop a plan for improvement, which can involve such redirection of effort as a greater teaching load for a faculty member who is doing little research or suggestions on how to improve the faculty member's current efforts. Another cast study research university has just implemented a similar procedure, with the stipulation that at least three senior faculty members advise the chair or dean of a department in assessing an individual's performance and in developing a plan for improvement if the individual disagrees with the chair's initial assessment. Formal and regular evaluation processes require commitment on the part of both faculty and administrators. At one case study university, the arts and sciences dean meets with each department chair, going over the annual reports submitted by all tenure track and tenured faculty in the department and grading each one on research, teaching, and service in connection with the awarding of merit raises. The provost reported that annual

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education review of 600 faculty takes "a brutal amount of time" but added that the faculty members must spend several hours filling out the reports, so "we owe it to them" to give the reports careful consideration. The dean has found that a systematic process of faculty evaluation is also useful for purposes as wide-ranging as awarding a teaching prize to finding evidence in a lawsuit alleging discriminatory awarding of raises. For some colleges and universities the time and resources required for an elaborate formal evaluation procedure may outweigh the benefits. "Formal, precise performance appraisals" of employees whose performance is not easily quantified and measured "may make employees skeptical of their performance appraisals" (National Research Council, 1991:133). Faculty and administrators at some colleges and universities have found that less formal reviews can also provide the basis for feedback, ranging from rewards to notices that an individual's current activities are unlikely to result in rewards. At one of our case study liberal arts colleges, the dean of the faculty informally follows the progress of faculty members. Several faculty reported that they expected the dean and their colleagues to let them know if their performance declined. Measures of individual faculty performance and of faculty quality in general need to be broad enough to fit different institutional missions and the different roles faculty play. Clark, Corcoran, and Lewis (1986:178) state: . . . ideal types of faculty and faculty performance emphases will differ according to institutional type and mission. Institutions that emphasize teaching and/or service will need to focus more on faculty development policies that revitalize routine teaching and retrain faculty for shifting curricular emphases, whereas institutions that emphasize the research and scholarly orientation will need to consider more attentively the adequacy of sponsorship and resources to sustain scholarly productivity. Standards can also recognize different individual activities within an institution. A committee of faculty and administrators reviewing the need for evaluation procedures for one division of a state university suggested a lower standard of research productivity for faculty who are serving in administrative positions or who have just completed administrative service (Faculty Development and Renewal Subcommittee, 1987). Colleges and universities can seek to maintain overall faculty quality by assigning faculty members, when possible, in ways that meet institutional needs. As noted above, one university assigns additional teaching to some faculty members who are less active in research. Periodic review of faculty assignments provides a way of recognizing that faculty interests and abilities may change over time. However, recognizing changes in individual interests and trying to match individual activities and institutional goals do not offer a complete solution to divergence between individual and institutional goals. More

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education faculty members may want to emphasize research, teaching, or service than an institution needs. Evaluations can be used to give faculty feedback on both the quality of their work and how their activities fit disciplinary and institutional directions. The committee concludes that faculty performance evaluation can be a useful tool for maintaining and improving faculty quality, particularly when administrators and faculty use it to provide faculty with feedback on their performance. The committee recommends that faculty and administrators at all colleges and universities work to develop ways to offer faculty feedback on their performance. We recognize that institutional goals, standards, and governance vary, and, consequently, different ways will be appropriate at different colleges and universities. We believe elaborate systems for faculty review may not be worth the additional effort and cost. We stress that faculty should play a role in providing colleagues with feedback on their performance. Traditions of academic freedom and collegiality limit outside control over a faculty member's activities, but the committee believes faculty and administrators can find collegial, informal, and positive ways to assist some faculty who get stuck in unproductive scholarship or teaching. THE EXTREME CASES: FACULTY DISMISSAL Not all faculty will respond positively to efforts at faculty development. In this section we consider the dismissal of tenured faculty in response to concerns about both individual and institutional quality. Negative evaluations rarely lead to dismissals. In our contacts with colleges and universities, including our 17 case studies, we heard of almost no cases of dismissal for nonperformance. The formal evaluation processes cited above include as a possible outcome the start of procedures leading to dismissal, but colleges and universities keep procedures leading to dismissal separate from evaluation and development, and they rarely resort to them. The primary barriers to the dismissal of faculty for nonperformance are traditions of collegiality and the administrative difficulty of dismissal. Many faculty members and a few administrators at our case study institutions stated that they would rather have their institution carry the weight of the occasional inadequate faculty member than risk a dismissal that might undermine the principle of tenure protecting all faculty members. Although the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure set the guiding principles behind most institutional tenure policies and practices, the definition of tenure, its legal basis, and the procedures to be followed in

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education dismissal cases vary widely among colleges and universities and sometimes even within divisions of an institution (Commission on Academic Tenure in Higher Education, 1973:2–3). The courts that have reviewed cases of faculty dismissal have recognized that colleges and universities have the right to dismiss tenured faculty members. The 1973 Commission on Academic Tenure in Higher Education, jointly sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of University Professors, recommended (Commission on Academic Tenure in Higher Education, 1973:75): ". . . 'adequate cause' in faculty dismissal proceedings should be restricted to (a) demonstrated incompetency or dishonesty, (b) substantial and manifest neglect of duty, and (c) personal conduct which substantially impairs the individual's fulfillment of his institutional responsibilities." Courts have upheld the dismissal of faculty for causes ranging from refusal to teach an assigned course to failure to meet classes on a regular basis and to demonstrated unfamiliarity with the basic concepts of the subject matter taught (Morris, 1990). In general, they have held that tenure provides a presumption of professional competence but not a right to lifetime employment. Morris (1990:15) concludes: "[T]enure's procedural requirement of full academic due process only guarantees basic procedural fairness by the institution when dealing with faculty members about quite important concerns, such as dismissal." Dismissing faculty would remain difficult even in the absence of tenure. Some colleges and universities with faculty collective bargaining agreements have contractual limits to their ability to dismiss faculty in addition to the traditional protection provided by tenure. Moreover, if colleges and universities began to hire faculty under contracts with a fixed term instead of tenure, regular contract renewals could require more regular faculty performance appraisal; disproportionate nonrenewal of the contracts of older faculty would raise questions of age discrimination (Finkin, 1989). Anecdotal evidence suggests that in institutions of higher education—as in business or other organizations—administrators can take steps leading to the resignation or retirement of a nonperforming employee without completing a formal dismissal procedure. In some cases the suggestion of possible dismissal proceedings has prompted a faculty member to leave, or a faculty member has left before procedures leading to dismissal were complete. In other cases administrators and a faculty member negotiate arrangements for the individual's departure without mention of dismissal (see discussion of ad hoc individual buyouts in Chapter 4). Such arrangements can benefit both the faculty member and the institution: The individual departs without the stigma of having been dismissed, administrators and colleagues do not have to expend the effort required to dismiss a faculty member with due process, and the institution avoids the effects of a dismissal on collegiality and morale. However, quiet dismissals could also

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education deprive faculty members of due process that might have ended in a decision not to dismiss. Since departures of nonperforming faculty by means other than formal dismissal are not recorded, there is no evidence on the frequency or fairness of such procedures. Evidence from a review of cases on the dismissal of tenured faculty gives some guidance as to fair and acceptable procedures for dealing with poorly performing faculty, whether the case eventually leads to dismissal or not. Although the procedures vary from institution to institution, dismissing a faculty member generally requires administrative effort in assembling and reviewing evidence. Since review by colleagues is the traditional basis for judging faculty quality, performance appraisals for dismissal also usually include peer review. Due process requires that administrators give to an individual considered for dismissal notice and opportunities to respond, in some cases including opportunities for improvement and development during a probationary period prior to the beginning of formal dismissal procedures (Morris, 1990). The actual amount of effort required to dismiss a tenured faculty member varies from case to case, depending on institutional policy, the nature of the case, and the individual administrators and faculty involved. However, our discussions with faculty and administrators led us to conclude that in all cases these procedures impose significant costs to faculty and administrative time, create potential legal expenses, and cause considerable strain on faculty and administrative morale. Although the formal dismissal of tenured faculty and resignations of faculty in lieu of dismissal do provide colleges and universities with a means of responding to individual performance problems, these means are designed for infrequent use in the worst cases, not as a general solution to coping with changing faculty performance. Colleges and universities can dismiss tenured faculty members in response to extreme financial problems. Colleges and universities can also dismiss tenured faculty when, acting in good faith, they close a department or program and the tenured faculty in that department or program cannot be reassigned. However, the ability of colleges and universities to close departments or dismiss faculty in response to what is legally termed "financial exigency" is not likely to be relevant to problems arising specifically from the end of mandatory retirement. There are a number of "substantive technical, bureaucratic, and emotional barriers" to closing academic programs, including adverse effects on faculty morale (Mortimer, Bagshaw, and Masland, 1985:51–53). Some medical schools raised a particular financial concern. At many medical schools tenured faculty are expected to "earn" a large proportion of their salaries from outside funds. (This is distinct from the common practice of allowing a faculty member whose work is supported by an outside grant to use such funds to cover a salary reduction in order to teach less and

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Ending Mandatory Retirement for Tenured Faculty: The Consequences for Higher Education devote more time to research.) Some medical schools interpret tenure as a guarantee of a salary based on expected outside earnings, and faculty and administrators at those schools have expressed concern that older faculty members would obtain fewer grants or see fewer patients and become a burden on the school budget. However, most medical schools define a base salary protected by tenure and exclude income from research grants or clinical practice from the base amount. Our analysis of tenure law suggests that grant and clinical practice income are not part of salary protected by tenure as long as university rules specify this (Morris, 1990). We believe universities should define the link between tenure and salary to exclude or limit outside income above a base salary protected by tenure. At the beginning of this chapter, we distinguished between poor faculty performance resulting from (1) declining productivity because of age and (2) work that may have been consistent with previous disciplinary or institutional standards but that limits an institution's ability to upgrade. In the first instance, an increase in the number of faculty over age 70 or, more generally, an increase in the average age of faculty does not necessarily affect institutional quality. Studies of the relationship between age and cognitive abilities, teaching ratings, and research activity suggest faculty can continue to perform well in their 70s and that there are variations in performance among faculty of any age. Moreover, there is little evidence on whether the number of inadequate faculty would increase if faculty were allowed to work past age 70; some evidence suggests that poor performers may be less likely to keep working past age 65. Therefore, dismissal of faculty members for poor performance is rare now and likely to remain rare. Dismissal procedures are intended for rare extreme cases, not regular use. The second possibility is more troublesome because it does not necessarily involve a decline in individual productivity, and if it happens to a number of faculty members, the quality of the institution or the department can be harmed. Moreover, it can happen to a faculty member well before age 70. Consequently, mandatory retirement does not directly address these problems. Tenure does not protect faculty against dismissal for inadequate performance. Colleges and universities can dismiss tenured faculty for adequate cause provided they afford due process in a clearly defined and understood dismissal procedure. Therefore, the committee concludes: Eliminating mandatory retirement would not pose a threat to tenure. Performance evaluation followed by dismissal of poor performers is not a necessary or useful response to the elimination of mandatory retirement. Colleges and universities hoping to hire scholars in new fields or to change the balance of faculty research and teaching interests will need to look to mechanisms other than dismissal for encouraging turnover. We address mechanisms associated with pensions and other retirement programs in the next two chapters.