Fuentek's Tech Transfer Blog

Promotion and Tenure Trends: Takeaways from #AUTM2022

At the recent AUTM annual meeting in New Orleans, I helped facilitate a panel discussion about incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) activities into university promotion and tenure (P&T) decisions. Joining me in the conversation were Rich Carter of Oregon State University and Almesha Campbell of Jackson State University. It was great to have a room full of individuals representing a diverse range of institutions engage in lively conversation about this important topic. Some of the attendees were well on their way to making progress on their campuses, while others are just starting their journey and were seeking resources.

Use PTIE Resources

For those new to this discussion, the Promotion and Tenure Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PTIE) Coalition offers a wealth of resources. Working groups formed of coalition members have worked tirelessly since 2019 to identify consensus and next steps on how to inclusively recognize I&E outputs within P&T. They’ve folded outcomes into PTIE’s Adopted Recommendations.

Use these resources. Join the conversation. Don’t go it alone. You don’t have to incorporate every one of the recommendations to make a difference on your campus. At the AUTM session, Almesha discussed specific recommendations that are not a fit for her institution, so she is not pursuing them, and is instead emphasizing the elements that will have greater impact and be easier to implement.

The PTIE Coalition is hosting a conference on July 25-27 to further the conversation. Abstract submissions will open later this month, and scholarships will be available to support inclusivity and diverse attendance. The conference is supported by the National Science Foundation and hosted by Oregon State University.

Consensus is Critical

Gaining consensus and finding champions at your institution is critical. But the messaging for each stakeholder is a bit different, so approach these conversations from the angle of what is important to each individual.

Many people already have had these conversations with various aspects of their universities, for example, the provost, academic vice president (AVP), faculty senate, department chairs, and deans. Leverage their lessons learned to increase your own chances for success. I recommend reaching out to Rich, Almesha, or other members of the coalition directly; it is likely they will be happy to coach you and provide suggestions.

Emphasize societal impact

Academic institutions and the people working at them care about societal impact, so leverage this leaning as you work to point out why institutions should consider broader achievement as part of P&T decisions.

Including innovation and entrepreneurship as part of P&T evaluation will help address other key issues like diversity and inclusion. It is critical to dispel the myth that increasing opportunities for impactful work to be recognized as part of P&T is not a requirement for all, nor does it take away from existing opportunities.

If you missed AUTM 2022, visit our conference webpage for our session resources. We share a variety of tools for approaching key university stakeholders. Contact us with questions, comments, and feedback or if you’d like help implementing this type of initiative at your institution.