Improving Promotion and Tenure Reviews by Using a Deliberative Decision-Making Model



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Break the cycle of inconsistent promotion and tenure reviews by implementing an objective decision-making process.


By participating in promotion and tenure reviews, faculty make the most consequential decisions they will ever have to engage in on behalf of their colleagues. Without adequate training and preparation, departments often have a reputation of unfair decisions, power dynamics, and lack of transparency that taint the process going forward and impact culture and morale. Among the many challenges in re-envisioning what this process could look like is that expectations are often vague. Women and people of color tend to go up for P&T less and at slower rates than their white, male colleagues, and what is considered “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” in one unit could mean something different in another.

As part of a broader largescale initiative aimed at improving department culture and climate, The University of Denver sought to change how they deliberated on key decisions, and in doing so, had the opportunity to influence climate, perception of colleagues, and overall satisfaction. Their approach was to utilize deliberative decision making (DDM) as a tool by which to train their faculty at large on their role as reviewers to ensure that everyone had an equal opportunity to influence a decision and that everyone believed that the decision that was made was fair, regardless of the actual decision or who was on the review committee.

Join us online to learn how The University of Denver used deliberative decision making to increase consistency, equity, and satisfaction with promotion and tenure reviews.


Who Should Attend

Any faculty member who participates in promotion and tenure reviews will find this training valuable in preparing them for the role. This training is also beneficial for faculty affairs leaders who want to support faculty reviewers and ensure the process is successful.

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What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


September 23, 2021

1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time


Why Deliberative Decision Making?

This training will begin by providing an introduction to the broader rationale and importance of a more standardized, equitable, and transparent promotion and tenure review process.



Purpose and Process

With a shared understanding established, our expert trainers will help reframe the purpose and process of promotion and tenure reviews by unpacking the difference between consensus and convergence, and adjudication and deliberation.



3 Main Principles

We will then move into the practical components of DDM by breaking down the 3 main operating principles: criteria, interactions, and roles and expanding upon the different roles of facilitator, timekeeper, and process monitor.



Preparing for Implementation

The training will conclude with two different simulations, one guided by our subject matter experts and one led by participant volunteers, of how to incorporate the main principles and different roles into different scenarios.


Portrait of Darrin Hicks

Darrin Hicks

Professor, University of Denver

Darrin Hicks is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Denver. Darrin’s teaching and research centers on public deliberation and community collaboration, with a particular focus on designing and evaluating decision-making processes regarding inclusion, equity, transparency, and authenticity.

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Portrait of Kate Willink

Kate Willink

Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs, University of Denver

Kate Willink is the inaugural Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and an Associate Professor of Communication Studies. The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (VPFA) works closely with the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor and faculty members across the university to support the continued excellence of DU faculty by enhancing faculty development initiatives, increasing faculty diversity, and building a strong, inclusive, and collaborative faculty community.

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