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APLU Creates Task Force on Tenure, Promotion, Technology Transfer

APLU has created a Task Force on Tenure, Promotion, and Technology Transfer (TPTT) that will focus on the appropriate consideration of technology transfer in faculty personnel decisions. (Note that the Task Force will work in parallel with the recently announced APLU Task Force on Managing University Intellectual Property.) After conducting a survey of current practices among APLU members, the TPTT Task Force will make recommendations to APLU and its membership on appropriate criteria and the assessment of technology transfer work as part of faculty advancement reviews.

Technology transfer and economic development, through the growth of commercial activity based on university-generated ideas, is generally recognized as an important role of research universities. Correspondingly, faculty members who have engaged creatively in technology transfer are contributing to this aspect of a university’s mission, whether in terms of generating intellectual property, forging ties with industry, or direct entrepreneurship. These contributions do not fit neatly into the traditional categories of research, teaching, and service.

This Task Force is to provide recommendations on appropriate consideration of technology transfer in faculty tenure and promotion reviews, including broadening of criteria and guidance for how faculty reviews should weigh and assess technology transfer activities and their quality and impact.

The Task Force co-chairs will be:

  • Judy Genshaft, President, University of South Florida
  • Jonathan Wickert, SVP & Provost, Iowa State University

Additional members of the Task Force include:

  • Bernadette Gray-Little, Chancellor, University of Kansas
  • Karen Hanson, Senior Vice President and Provost, University of Minnesota
  • Peter E. Schiffer, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Richard Marchase, Vice President for Research & Economic Development, University of Alabama, Birmingham

The Task Force had its first meeting in September and will be issuing the survey in mid-November. It aims to issue its set of recommendations in early 2015. Michael Tanner, APLU Vice President for Academic Affairs, is staffing the Task Force, in coordination with Jim Woodell and Christine Keller.

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