University Faculty RSCA Assigned Time Program

On September 4th Provost Joan Ficke announced [pdf] the launch of a university program to provide assigned time for RSCA productive tenured and tenure-track faculty. Additional information was emailed by Dean Sheryl Ehrman [pdf] to all CoE faculty on September 7th.  Click on the following links for more detailed information [pdf] and to an FAQ [pdf]

The program will be administered by the colleges. This page is intended to provide summary information about how this program is implemented in the College of Engineering (CoE).

Application Deadline

Friday September 28, 2018 – for award beginning in spring 2019 (already passed for this cycle).

Application Procedure

Those who applied this cycle submitted an online Application Packet [docx] (AP, for short) by the deadline.  Similar AP is to be submitted by new applicants in the month of May of future yearly cycles.  The packet includes the following four sections:

  1. Cover Page Information – including name, rank, department, college, and date of initial appointment 
  2. Scholarly Agenda – describing the RSCA goals, activities, and expected outcomes/products for the coming 5-year period (tenured faculty) or until tenure (probationary faculty). The scholarly agenda should be concise (no more than two pages; see the AP for specific word count requirements) and must include a brief summary aimed at an educated lay audience describing the importance of the proposed line of inquiry. Note that this agenda is forward-looking and complements the CoE RSCA metric, which only looks at past activity.
  3. Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  4. The CoE specific RSCA productivity data used for the CoE RSCA metric. These include extramural grants, journal publications, and conference publications meeting the requirements stated in the CoE research-support guidelines [pdf]. Supporting information and documents should be uploaded to the CoE online database using the RTrack web-based application. Faculty who submitted the data to the online database in May 2018 do not need to upload the information again, but are welcome to add any relevant items, if desired. Summary listing of the achievements is to be documented in this AP section.  An update of this section is required in May of each program years. Corresponding documents should be uploaded to the online database.

The Applications Packets are to be uploaded online to Submit-Application-Packet.

Who Should Apply this Round?

In this first round of a three-year phase-in period, it is expected that almost all probationary faculty after their first two years (or after the first three years, if they have received three years of assigned time in the appointment letter) and 15% of tenured faculty will receive the University Faculty RSCA Assigned Time award. In subsequent years, an increasingly larger fraction of tenured faculty will receive the award until all demonstrably RSCA-productive faculty are covered by the program.

For the Sept. 28, 2018 deadline, all probationary faculty in years 3-6 (except faculty in year 3 who received three years of assigned time in their appointment letter) should apply. Probationary faculty in their first two years are receiving release time through another mechanism and are not eligible for this program. In addition, tenured faculty who have received CoE RCSA assigned time awards should apply for the university program. Any non-FERP tenured faculty member may apply, but since the program will only cover 15% of tenured faculty in spring 2019, and the CoE already has awarded release to a number of tenured faculty through the CoE RCSA assigned time program, it is unlikely that many additional tenured faculty will receive the University award in this initial round.

Note that in spring 2019, awards from the University Faculty RSCA Assigned Time program will not add assigned time to those already receiving CoE assigned time, but will replace some or all of the CoE awarded RSCA assigned time. Despite this, it is recommended that faculty who received the CoE assigned time award nevertheless apply for the university program. This is because the university awards are for multiple future years.

Selection Process

The Provost will make RSCA Assigned Time Awards based on recommendations from each of the deans. In the CoE, Dean Ehrman will make those recommendations based on an evaluation by the Research Committee of the CoE RSCA Metric, which measures past productivity, and the Scholarly Agenda, which is a forward-looking document. The weighting of these two factors could be different depending on the applicant’s tenure status. However, for this first cycle, the CoE weighting will be the same for both probationary and tenured faculty, and the recommendation will be based on 60% for the Scholarly Agenda and 40% for the CoE RSCA metric. The percentages may be different in future cycles as more experience is gained with the new program. The Provost’s office is expected to review the deans’ recommendations and provide final notice of award by November 16, 2018.

Duration of Award, Reviews, and Reporting Requirements

Each award will be for a 5-year period for tenured faculty or until the tenure decision for probationary faculty. There will be annual update of achievements based on the CoE RSCA metric (see CoE research-support guidelines [pdf]) and a formal review after year 3 of the award. Faculty receiving awards must submit information about their yearly scholarly productivity by completing a CoE RSCA application in May, uploading relevant supporting documents to the CoE online database (RTrack), and submitting an updated Section IV of the Application Packet summarizing the year’s RSCA achievements. Faculty who do not submit their data will not be eligible for continued award.

In most cases the outcome of the formal review will be that there is no change in the award. If, however, in the Dean’s opinion, there has not been adequate progress on the RSCA agenda nor adequate productivity according to the CoE-specific RSCA metric, then the Dean may recommend to the Provost that the remaining years of the Faculty RSCA Assigned Time award be rescinded.