The APLU Task Force on Tenure, Promotion, and Technology Transfer was constituted in August, 2014, and charged with surveying current practices at universities and making recommendations. The recommendations should be useful to universities considering modifying criteria for faculty advancement and changing practices to include technology transfer explicitly as one form of contribution for some faculty.
Survey results and next steps can be found here. Over the past several decades, the historical tri-partite mission of a public research university in teaching, research, and service has often been broadened to include economic development and various forms of engagement. This highlights the contributions of the university to economic vitality and societal well-being. Many campuses have placed even greater emphasis on this critical dimension of their mission since 2008.
In that light, faculty activities in technology transfer and commercialization of ideas springing from research can be very much a contribution to the mission and the proper work of the university. The questions are whether that awareness has been incorporated into the language governing faculty reward and recognition and whether technology transfer activities are duly considered in the processes of faculty reviews for tenure and promotion.
Task Force Chairs:
Additional Task Force Members: