Issues surrounding Promotion and Tenure (P&T) of Design Educators in US institutions of higher learning have often been a point of confusion and frustration for both individual faculty members and institutional administrators.
Design is a relatively young discipline in the academic world, and does not easily fit into traditional models of teaching and research. As well, design is taught in a variety of US institutions of higher learning — from small, private art and design colleges to huge, state-funded universities.
While there are many positive aspects to our youth and diversity, a more uniform approach to P&T appears to be needed. The AIGA Education e-mail list routinely receives messages from Educators who find themselves caught in P&T processes where they’re being evaluated by educators from other disciplines with very different values and expectations.
We have also seen cases in recent years where Educators contact the e-mail list requesting P&T process guidelines from other institutions, as their school has no such policies in place. The DEC Steering Committee feels that it is now time to substantially address the various issues concerning Promotion and Tenure of US Design Educators.