U.P. Academic Union Letter on Tenureship Policy
All – U.P. Academic
University of the Philippines System c/o College
of Social Work and Community Development
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City
October 20, 2006
Board of Regents
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City
Through the Honorable Faculty Regent Roland
Dear Honorable Regents:
The All UP Academic Employees Union, the union of the rank-and-file faculty and REPS of the University of the Philippines duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Civil Service Commission, would like to request for a review of the “UP or Out Policy” for Instructors and the Faculty Tenure Rules (popularly known as the “tenure or Out” or the “In or Out” policy as provided for in the Revised University Code. We are also requesting for a one-year moratorium in their implementation while they are being reviewed.
Our recommendations are made in the spirit of nurturance of and collegiality for our Instructors and Assistant Professors to enable them to fulfill the University standards for faculty recruitment and/or tenure.
There are two specific provisions related the Faculty Tenure Rules that we would like reviewed:
1. The five year “up or out rule” for instructors to complete their masteral degrees in order to be elevated to the rank of Assistant Professor;
2. The three-year “tenure or out rule” for Assistant Professors to achieve tenure on the basis of outstanding to very good teaching performance, that the rationale behind the current Faculty Tenure Rules
The five-year “up or out rule”:
This provision allows the various academic units to hire as Instructors young graduates with high potential for an academic career based on their undergraduate performance. This ensures that young blood is infused into the university’s academic staff and a new generation of academics is groomed for the future.
The original rule providing Instructors five years (with a leeway to the units to provide an additional two year extension for those who are in the thesis stage in the fifth year of employment) to complete their masteral degrees is generally fair.
What has been the source of complaints from the Instructors and even unit administrators is the strict implementation of the five year rule in the various constituent units and in UP Diliman, the added provision that closes the door to reemployment in the University in perpetuity for those who were not rehired because of their inability to complete their masteral degrees in the time given them. (Cite BOR decision)
While the union recognizes that the University should set standards for its teaching staff, and five years are generally sufficient for Instructors to complete their masteral degrees, the various academic units at the college, school, institute and/or department levels should be given flexibility to utilize the two-year extension for those who have shown excellent teaching skills and have justifiable reasons for not completing their graduate degree in the prescribed five years. These reasons may include, but are not limited to, the inability to access or to be granted study leave by their units or who have been burdened by administrative responsibilities by their units.
The UP Diliman prohibition of future rehiring of former Instructors who were not able to comply with the five-year requirement penalizes them for perpetuity and does not recognize that there may be extenuating circumstances for the non-compliance of certain Instructors to the five year rule and the possibility that they would at a future time be in a more qualified position to serve the university. We request that the prohibition on the future rehiring of terminated UP Diliman instructors should be stricken out. This will allow them to apply in the future and to be considered among the pool of applicants and evaluated based on their merits.
In the implementation of the five-year (with two years possible extension), the University should provide enabling conditions to optimize the chances of the Instructors to fulfill the requirements.
These conditions include but should not be limited to:
A clear orientation on newly hired Instructors regarding the five-year rule and the criteria for tenure track. If major changes to such criteria are made after hiring, Instructors who have been hired prior to such changes should be evaluated based on the criteria provided to them upon hiring; Opportunities for study leave and fellowship to enable them to focus on their study full time; Mentoring by senior faculty members and opportunity to attend seminars on instruction given by the university; and Prohibition on loading them with too many committee work or administrative work that would get in the way of their studies and teaching.
The three-year “in or out” rule for Assistant Professors The current tenure rule for Assistant Professors sets the following minimum requirements: at least a master’s or equivalent degree, satisfactory teaching, and sole or lead authorship of at least one refereed journal article (local or international) or academic publication by a recognized academic publisher or literary publisher in the case of literary work; or in the field of visual arts, creative work that was exhibited and juried, or a similar requirement in music and other performing arts. The probationary period is for three years.
While this change corrects previous practice of Assistant Professors who served meritoriously for as long as seven years without being granted tenure, the strict requirement for publications in a refereed journal has had negative effects on a number of untenured UP faculty in the absence of, again, “enabling conditions” to fulfill this requirement. In a number of disciplines, there are limited academic journals which can serve as outlet for publications. In other cases, the refereeing process takes as long as six months to one year, affecting the status of the untenured faculty once his/her appointment ends.
The strict and inflexible application of the publication requirement has meant the termination of
UP faculty members who have otherwise served the university well in terms of their teaching ability and their extension work. Their termination also meant a loss in the investment of UP which had given them fellowships for the completion of their graduate studies.
Again, we are requesting for a review of the implementation of this policy and for a moratorium in its implementation while it is under review.
We hope that the Board of Regents will grant this request which is being made, as we have previously mentioned, in the spirit of in the spirit of nurturance of and collegiality for our Instructors and untenured Assistant Professors to enable them to fulfill the University standards for faculty recruitment and/or tenure.
Very truly yours,
Prof. Judy Taguiwalo
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in Oct 20th 2006