The faculty of Marlboro College was a body of professional equals, whose primary dedication is to teaching. Every member of the faculty, from their first appointment, had the full rights and responsibilities of the profession.

All members of the faculty had the same freedom and obligation to construct their courses within the terms of their appointments and to participate in faculty meetings. All members could be elected or appointed to any committee or other faculty or Town Meeting office. The faculty was in practice self-governing, with a strong tradition of support for individual independence and cooperative responsibility.

The faculty consisted of regular and visiting members who were appointed to give instruction for academic credit. The President, the senior Deans, the Library Director, the Director of Admissions, and the Director of Academic Advising were members of the faculty ex officio. Members ex officio could also teach in their areas of academic expertise. Regular members, visiting members, and members ex officio were voting members of the Faculty and were expected to attend both open and closed meetings.

Regular members of the faculty were those appointed to positions expected to remain permanent.

Tenured members of the faculty were those who had been specifically designated as such by the President, after a vote by the Board of Trustees (see also Tenure).

Visiting members of the faculty were those so designated, usually appointed to positions, such as sabbatical replacements, that were not expected to be permanent. Visiting faculty could serve as primary Plan sponsors only after consultation with the Dean of Faculty.

Teaching support staff were those so designated whose occasional teaching responsibilities are described under “Staff-Taught Courses.” Teaching support staff could attend closed faculty meeting when they were offering instruction for credit.

Retired members could continue to serve as primary sponsors in order to complete work with students begun before their retirement. Continued support for Plan work was offered by retired faculty at the request of the curriculum committee or in consultation with the Dean.

Visiting scholars are qualified academic professionals with a close informal association with the College who are granted guest faculty status without compensation. As associate faculty, they may use College facilities as appropriate. They may also offer an occasional course in the College, with the advice and consent of the Dean of Faculty.

Jointly with the President, the faculty was responsible to the Board of Trustees for the academic program of the College, within the objectives of the College as determined by the Board. Specifically, within these objectives, the faculty was responsible for:

  • formulating academic policy;
  • establishing academic standards;
  • formulating admissions policy;
  • establishing admissions standards; and
  • recommending candidates for degrees.

Jointly with the President, the faculty was responsible to the Board of Trustees for maintaining proper order at the College. In general, the faculty legislated and the President administered. It was understood that the President and faculty traditionally delegated to the Town Meeting much of their authority to maintain proper order.

Authority not specifically delegated remained with the President and the faculty. Once delegated, authority could not be withdrawn except by formal action of the faculty or the Board of Trustees. Before taking effect, organic changes in the delegated powers must have been reported to the Board of Trustees by the President, but functional changes not altering the principle or substance of the delegated powers did not need to be.

Decisions of the faculty were taken in an official meeting by a majority vote of those present and voting. Fifty percent of active faculty members not on leave constituted a quorum. A motion to dismiss a student must have been carried by a majority of those present.

Proposed changes in the academic regulations of the College must have been presented to the faculty in writing, with sufficient copies so that all those present at the meeting could read them. Where proposals were for the amendment or elimination of provisions, the text of the regulations to have been amended or eliminated, together with all relevant context, must also have been presented. Complex or substantial proposed changes should also have been circulated one week prior to the meeting in which they were discussed. This requirement that changes be presented in writing could be waived with the unanimous consent of the faculty. Nothing in this provision was intended to prevent the Faculty Meeting from further amending a proposal so presented.

All faculty members, unless exempted or specifically excused, were expected to attend Faculty Meetings. They must also have attended meetings of committees to which they were elected or assigned, commencements, and other formal occasions.

Official Faculty Meetings were normally scheduled every two to three weeks during the academic year. However, special meetings could be called by the President, by the acting chairman of the faculty, or upon formal petition by five faculty members. Notice of special meetings must have been given at least 24 hours in advance during the semester, and two weeks in advance when the College was not in session.

Should the President and the Dean of Faculty have been unavailable, the President could designate an acting head of the College. If no such designation had been made, the tenured member with the longest service on the faculty would act as head of the College and preside at Faculty Meeting.

Academic and Administrative Responsibilities: All faculty members were responsible to the President and the Dean of Faculty for their work in course, for submitting course descriptions and evaluations of students’ work when called for (in accordance with such forms and standards as the faculty had approved), and for meeting their own classes as scheduled (see also Professional Responsibilities below).

A faculty member could request of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees the privilege of appearing before the Board.

New Appointments

The College subscribed to AAUP guidelines, as follows, on new faculty appointments:

The total period of full-time service prior to the acquisition of continuous tenure would not exceed six years, including all previous full-time service with the rank of instructor or higher in other institutions of higher learning, except that the probationary period would be a minimum of four years, even if the total full- time service in the profession thereby exceeded six years.

The probationary appointment schedule was:

Probationary Years
At Marlboro




Terms of Appointment

  1. An initial appointment to the faculty should have normally been for a term of two years.
  2. The initial two-year term could be followed by two successive terms, if the College and faculty member agreed.
  3. The two successive terms could be followed by an appointment for an indefinite term. The College incurred no contractual liability for failure to renew any of the term appointments, or for failure to appoint to an indefinite term.
  4. Faculty members on a term appointment for the following academic year or faculty members on indefinite term should have notified the College prior to March 1 if they planned to leave at the end of the current academic year. Otherwise, they were under contractual obligation to the College.
  5. All appointments of part-time faculty who were not tenured members were on an annual basis.

New Appointments

New Appointments to the faculty were made by the President, with approval of the Board of Trustees, after recommendation by the Committee on Faculty. The President and the Dean of Faculty could, in extraordinary circumstances, make faculty appointments of up to one term without prior Board action, but such appointments should have been reported to the Board at the next regular meeting. It was the sense of the faculty that the President should not make appointments contrary to the advice of the Committee on Faculty or of the Dean of Faculty.


Re-appointments were made by the President, after recommendation by the Committee on Faculty.

Tenured members of the faculty were those who had been specifically designated as such by the President, after a vote by the Board of Trustees. This vote followed a recommendation by the Committee on Faculty regarding the faculty member’s appointment. Tenured members were appointed for an indefinite term. For all tenure appointments, the criteria were the same as for term appointments, with the understanding that tenure appointment particularly required evidence of strength according to the criteria, not merely an absence of shortcomings. Part-time teachers could, in special circumstances, be eligible for tenure. Tenure for part-time teachers could be warranted when the part-time position was well established within the curriculum, the position was at least one-half time, and the part-time teacher maintained an active role in the College community beyond the teaching of classes.

Appointments by the Trustees of Associate Faculty for a three-year term shall be made upon recommendation of the President, the Dean of Faculty, and the Committee on Faculty.

Teachers Not on Marlboro Faculty

Except for tutorials with non-Marlboro faculty for Plan students all courses taught by non-members of the faculty must be approved by the Curriculum Committee.

  1. Faculty members may arrange for the teaching of credit courses in their field (i.e. courses that they are qualified to evaluate) on an occasional basis (not more than once every two years) by someone not on the faculty, with the following conditions:
  • that they provide, as necessary, for supervision of the classes and of the grading, and that they be responsible for the grades in the course;
  • that they submit for the approval of the Curriculum Committee a course description, a curriculum vitae of the proposed teacher, an explanation of what fees, if any, are to be charged, and how they will be collected, and an explanation of how and to what extent the classes and grading will be supervised;
  • that students understand that they are to pay any expenses incurred.
  1. Marlboro College does not encourage courses taught by non-members of the faculty on a more regular basis. Courses taught by those not on the faculty more often than once every two years are subject to the same requirements as those in “1”, but must, in addition, be approved in advance by the Curriculum Committee. Where the Curriculum Committee determines that it is in the interest of the College to offer on a fee basis courses not otherwise available in the curriculum, the Dean of Faculty may arrange for such courses, with fees to be billed for the instructor through the College. The committee should weigh, in making such determination, possible unfairness to students without extra money and any possible distorting pressures on our curriculum. Before approving such a course when the proposal has not been made by a faculty member, the Dean of Faculty shall assure that a member of the faculty, in the area of the course to be taught, agrees to vouch for the credits and grades in the course, and to assume responsibility for submitting grades on time.

Each regular faculty salary is calculated as a base plus an annual increment (step) multiplied by the number of years of full time teaching experience. The base is our entry level tenure track salary. The step implements faculty advancement which occurs annually and serves the purpose of faculty ranks at other institutions.

The faculty established several standing committees and, from time to time, established others, either as standing committees or ad hoc committees. Though some faculty committees (notably the Committee on Faculty, the Admissions Committee, and the English Committee) did much of their work in carrying out policy established by the faculty, most committees prepared policy recommendations for discussion and action by the faculty; policy was established only by action by the faculty as a committee of the whole. At least once a year, each committee of the faculty should have considered matters of long-term interest related to its function and reported informally to the faculty. Committees customarily arrived at decisions by consensus, but may have taken a formal vote when necessary.

Where no chair was specified ex officio, a committee may have acted without a chair, may have elected a chair, or may have had the Dean appoint a chair. Except for the few committees for which the faculty established elections, committee assignments were made by the Dean of Faculty, taking into consideration the interests and talents of faculty members, the needs of various committees, and an equitable distribution of committee work from year to year. Faculty members who wished to serve on a specific committee were encouraged to request assignment; someone with an unusually heavy teaching load may have requested a light assignment. Each policy-shaping committee of the faculty also had members chosen by Town Meeting.

The Admissions Committee consisted of the Director of Admissions, three other members of the faculty, and three student members elected by Town Meeting. Two additional members of the admissions staff, designated by the Director of Admissions, also met with the committee. The committee was responsible for admissions decisions for all new applicants to the College (in practice, it delegated to admissions staff decisions where candidates obviously met admissions criteria, but it could review any decision); for assisting and advising the Director of Admissions in administering the Admissions Program; and for proposing any changes in admissions procedures or standards to the full faculty. The faculty members of the committee were responsible for awarding merit scholarships and certain grants.

  • The Financial Aid Subcommittee consisted of the Director of Financial Aid and the members of the Admissions Committee. It was responsible for the application of financial aid policy and for recommending policy changes to the faculty. The Board of Trustees reserved final authority for policy changes with significant financial implications for the College.

The Committee on Academic Integrity consisted of the Dean of the Faculty, the Director of Academic Advising, two students elected by Town Meeting, and two members of the Faculty appointed annually by the Dean of the Faculty. The Committee considered regulations of academic policy and issues of academic integrity and made recommendations to the Faculty either directly or through another committee. In particular, the Committee, together with affected faculty, investigated suspected plagiarism, making a determination as to scale and intent to deceive, with recommendations to the Faculty for action.

The Committee on Academic Prizes and Scholarships consisted of four members of the faculty, one from each area of the curriculum. It was responsible for gathering and coordinating information on eligibility for academic scholarships, for making recommendations to the faculty for the award of such scholarships, and for gathering the information on the award of prizes in specific areas from the faculty who decided them.

The Committee on Faculty consisted of the Dean of Faculty, who served as chair ex officio; three faculty members, with one or two elected in alternating years for two-year terms, including at least one tenured member; and two student members, elected by Town Meeting. Its primary functions were to conduct searches for new faculty, to conduct regular and special reviews of members of the faculty, excluding ex officio members except for their teaching when they chose to offer classes, and to make recommendations to the President concerning appointments to the faculty. From time to time, it may also have reviewed and proposed to the faculty changes to the procedures governing its actions or pertaining to the professional rights and responsibilities of faculty members.

Duties of the committee:

  1. Faculty Reviews
  • The committee conducted regular reviews of the faculty members on the schedule and using the procedures outlined in the Handbook.
  • It may have conducted special reviews of faculty, as appropriate. Special reviews may have focused on narrow issues or any or all of the criteria outlined in the Handbook, at the discretion of the committee. Special reviews may have been initiated by the committee in response to allegations of unprofessional conduct in the course of professional duties (see in particular the previous sections on Professional Ethics and Limits of Relationships with Students) or by an accumulation of negative evaluations or complaints from students or colleagues.
  • Faculty members were entitled to meet with the committee to discuss issues of significant concern regarding their performance of professional duties whether they were currently under review or not. A request for such a meeting went to the Dean of the Faculty for scheduling; every effort should have been made to provide the meeting within two weeks.

2. Faculty Hiring

  • It carried out searches for new faculty members using procedures outlined in the Handbook.
  • When hiring for regular appointments, the Committee on Faculty decided which other faculty would join the search committee. The Dean of Faculty, or the Dean’s designee, chaired the search committee.
  • When hiring for non-regular appointments, especially for sabbatical and single course replacements, the committee may have delegated hiring responsibility to faculty in the area. For full-time appointments, at least one Committee on Faculty member should have been a member of the search committee.

The Committee on Finances consisted of three members of the faculty, with one elected each year for a three-year term. It consults with the President and the Board of Trustees on the finances of the College, with an emphasis on matters relating to faculty salaries and benefits; it determines faculty opinion concerning College finances, represents those opinions wherever it may be appropriate, and reports back to the faculty on the results of such efforts; and it may propose action to the faculty in appropriate areas.

The Committee on the First Two Years consisted of the Dean of Students, Director of Academic Advising, three faculty members appointed annually by the Dean of Faculty, three students elected annually by Town Meeting and based on the charge, representatives from Admissions, Academic Support, Residential Life and the Registrar were invited to participate. The Committee was charged with supporting student learning both in and outside the classroom. Concerns specific to the Committee included, but were not limited to, academic advising, retention, orientation, residential life, transition to Plan.

The Committee on Lectures, Concerts, and Exhibits consisted of four members of the faculty, two students elected by Town Meeting, the Director of Development, the Director of Housing & Residential Life of Academic Affairs, and the Public Relations Coordinator. The Committee was responsible for organizing public lectures, concerts and exhibits, for administering the funds in support of such activities, including, but not limited to, special gifts and endowments; and for coordinating with the Lyceum Committee of Town Meeting. It could apply for grants in support of its activities to supplement the College budget.

The Curriculum Committee consisted of (1) the Dean of Faculty, who served as chair; (2) four other faculty members, one from each of the four areas of the curriculum, who were nominated by their area and elected by the faculty to two-year staggered terms, such that two terms expired each year; at least two nominations must have been put forth for each vacancy; and (3) three students, elected by Town Meeting. The Registrar and the Director of Academic Advising met with the Committee to advise and consult on matters of academic regulations. The Committee considered a broad range of questions pertaining to the curriculum: proposed changes in course offerings; the need or advisability of adding new positions to the faculty or of allocating positions differently; the definition and description of open regular positions; changes in academic regulations; curricular issues referred to it from the whole faculty or raised by faculty or students or the Registrar; and so on. Although it may have informally advised the Dean of Faculty and the Registrar, it took formal action only by proposing matters to the Faculty Meeting. The minutes of the Committee were circulated regularly to the community.

The Library Committee consisted of the Librarian, who chaired the committee ex officio; two other members of the faculty appointed by the Dean; and one student elected by Town Meeting.

The Academic Computing Committee consisted of the computer science faculty member, who chaired the committee ex officio, and two other members of the faculty selected from the faculty members of the Curriculum Committee. The committee considered matters relating to the acquisition, allocation, and use of computing resources.

The Dean’s Advisory Committee consisted of the Dean of Students, who generally chaired the committee; three other members of the faculty; and three students elected by Town Meeting. Dean’s office staff sat with the committee at the Dean’s discretion. The committee advised the Dean on student business and on the application of College and Town Meeting regulations; it may have proposed changes in regulations to the faculty, to Town Meeting, and to the administration.

The English Committee consisted of the writing instructors and four other members of the faculty, one from each area of the curriculum. Its primary functions were to read and evaluate the writing of students who had not yet passed the Clear Writing Requirement; to recommend action to the faculty or the Dean of Faculty concerning those students; and occasionally to consider changes to the regulations covering the Clear Writing Requirement.

The Trustee Delegates were two members of the faculty elected to staggered two-year terms. They attended meetings of the Board of Trustees, and of Trustee committees as appropriate, as non-voting representatives of the faculty. They were responsible for reporting to the trustees on matters of faculty concern and for reporting to the faculty on trustee discussions and actions.

The Language Committee consisted of two of the faculty members teaching language (with each faculty member serving a two-year term every three years), one faculty representative of the Committee for Global Engagement, two students elected by Town Meeting, and a staff member representing I.T. The committee consulted regularly with other faculty and staff who teach and/or support the teaching of languages at Marlboro such as the Classics and Arabic Fellows. The Language Committee’s chief responsibility was to manage, encourage, and communicate the language study offerings, opportunities, and initiatives of the College. This included especially the coordination of student requests for, and available College support for, Less Commonly Taught Languages. The Language Committee awarded Marlboro College Summer Language Study Grants.

The Committee for Global Engagement consisted of four faculty members (one from each area of the curriculum) appointed by the Dean, two students (one WSP and one non-WSP) elected by Town Meeting, the Director of World Studies, and the Director of International Services. The World Studies Director chaired the committee. The Committee for Global Engagement considered a broad range of policies governing international and intercultural study opportunities and initiatives that fostered global perspectives across the curriculum. The committee worked to ensure community-wide discussion on international programs, served as an advocate for internationalization of the curriculum, and provided guidance on international academic programs. Policy or program changes were brought to the Curriculum Committee for advice and to the faculty for formal approval. The committee worked with the international administrative staff on implementation of policy.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) consisted of the Assistant Dean for Academic Records and Institutional Research, four faculty (one from each area) and one community member, not otherwise affiliated with the institution, appointed by the Dean of Faculty, in compliance with FDA regulations regarding Institutional Review Boards (45 CFR 46.107). The IRB reviewed all faculty, staff, and student research involving human and non-human animal subjects. For research projects involving animal subjects, the Dean of Faculty appointed an additional member (a veterinarian) from outside the College community. The IRB was also responsible for holding annual workshops on research and updating College materials on research policies and procedures.

Principles of Faculty Review

Marlboro’s success depended on cultivating in its faculty excellent teaching and advising, a commitment to the College’s mission, engagement in its governance, and continuing professional development. The periodic review of faculty served both to measure and enhance these practices and qualities. Faculty under review prepared dossiers that required extensive self-reflection. The Committee on Faculty used these dossiers, together with student and peer evaluations, to assess faculty members’ performance, celebrate successes, and highlight areas in need of improvement. The Committee, through the office of the Dean of Faculty, provided coaching and professional development to foster improvement in areas of weakness. Through assessment and support, the review process sought to strengthen the work of faculty granted on-going appointments. It also served to identify cases when, despite this support, a faculty member was not suited to continued appointment.

 Criteria for Faculty Evaluation

The Faculty adopted the following criteria for the evaluation of performance, with special attention to those practices expected from all members of the faculty regardless of tenure or years of service. The criteria described below were intended to provide some consistency to faculty work while also acknowledging and respecting pedagogical and disciplinary differences in individual faculty practices. It was the goal of the Committee on Faculty to offer clear feedback while also providing fair and equitable evaluations of each faculty member.

1. Teaching

Marlboro College was primarily a teaching institution. Therefore, not only was the quality of teaching the most important criterion in evaluating faculty, but demonstrated excellence in this area was necessary for continuing appointments.

Given Marlboro’s curricular model, Faculty were expected to work closely with students from the first-year through graduation, developing courses that were developmentally appropriate for students’ progress through the curriculum.

Faculty should have recognized that students came from a variety of backgrounds and brought with them a wide array of experiences and abilities. Faculty should also have understood that students had different needs as they progressed through their Marlboro education. Excellent teaching required that faculty be flexible in their classes, tutorials, and on Plan to address a diverse range of students. Excellent teachers recognized their students’ abilities and provided strategies for their continued development and success.

Faculty were expected to provide opportunities for feedback in their courses throughout the semester and built the necessary scaffolding for the development of skills and knowledge in their classes and throughout their curriculum. Faculty were also expected to provide students on Plan with tutorial support and guidance throughout the Plan process.

Practices of an excellent teacher included:

  • Courses and tutorials that demonstrated thinking and discovery as well as content, the fostering of self-directed learning, and written, oral, and other forms of communication.
  • A curriculum that included how individual courses represented a progression through a particular field/fields of study while supporting students in developing skills central to the mission of the College.
  • Grading and evaluation practices with appropriate standards and expectations for student work, including clear criteria for evaluation for different course levels, tutorials, and Plan work.
  • An awareness of different learning styles in the preparation of course materials and assignments.
  • Classroom practices that taught students how to plan and execute projects in preparation for Plan, required students to engage collaboratively, and provided support for writing.

2. Advising

The faculty advisor played a vital role in the intellectual growth of Marlboro students. The advisor was not only an experienced guide to the curriculum and the institution but was active in helping students set educational and career goals and work toward meeting them. While the advisor was expected to introduce, inform, and offer advice, the most critical part of the advisor’s role was to listen, discuss, challenge, assist, collaborate, and model activities that were a natural extension of teaching and support Marlboro’s mission.

Practices of an excellent advisor included:

  • Demonstrated commitment to the liberal arts and to the goal of studying broadly as an important preparation for life-long learning, engaged citizenship, and meaningful work.
  • An established Dedicated Hour that met regularly to provide support and guidance for all advisees and Plan students.
  • Accessibility outside of Dedicated Hour to meet individually with students.
  • An approach to advising that recognized that different students have different needs and that the advisor’s role was to support all students toward the completion of their degree.
  • A familiarity with the curriculum as a whole, the operations of community governance, the support services available to students, and the varied opportunities for students, including grants, internships, and scholarships.
  • An understanding of the arc of the curriculum and how it provided structured advising opportunities to support student learning across the four years.

3. Service and College Governance

As an intentionally small learning community committed to collaboration and civic engagement, Marlboro College depended on faculty members taking an active part in governance and committee work, both to support the working of the College and as models for student learning. It also required faculty to be responsible, collegial, and engaged when interacting with students, staff, and other faculty.

Marlboro expected all faculty to serve the College’s mission in the following ways:

  • Expressing one’s own ideas with courage and listening respectfully to the others.
  • Meeting administrative deadlines, particularly those established by the registrar for grades, course requests, and book orders.
  • Participating in functions that support the College, especially events supporting Admissions and Development.
  • Supporting students and colleagues by attending campus events.
  • Representing the College to the wider community, both through College-sponsored functions and through other forms of community engagement and service.
  • Being active and well-informed participants in Faculty and Town Meetings.
  • Serving actively on faculty committees, both elected and appointed.
  • Contributing to faculty reviews and hiring processes.
  • Assisting in periodic reviews and assessment of College programs and curricula.
  • Supporting Town Meeting through active engagement in Selectboard, committees, and Community Court.

4. Professional Development, Scholarship, and Creative Work

As an institution of higher learning, Marlboro College had a responsibility to contribute to the creative and intellectual life of our society. Marlboro faculty were expected to remain professionally involved in the creative and scholarly work of their discipline. Faculty should have promoted the exchange of ideas and acquisition of knowledge that enriched their teaching and contributed to the advancement of learning in the profession at large. Professional engagement provided important context for curriculum and course development, modeled lifelong learning for students, created opportunities for students through faculty connections, and contributed to the visibility of the College.

Examples of professional development included:

  • Active and effective participation in one’s field, through individual or collaborative publications, exhibitions, or performances.
  • Research on the scholarship of teaching and learning.
  • Active participation in scholarly or artistic discourse, through the presentation of invited lectures, conference papers or posters; or through other active scholarly involvement in conferences or public programming; or through the receipt of grants.
  • Active work with students on artistic, scholarly, or research projects that went beyond regular courses or tutorials.
  • Administration and management of professional organizations and institutions.
  • Board membership or consulting, where participation reflected the candidate’s standing as an expert in the field.
  • Acquisition of new skills or the pursuit of secondary fields of scholarly interest, including learning a new language or other research tool, attending a workshop or conference in support of a new line of scholarly inquiry, and gaining training and experience to prepare and teach courses in support of college-wide priorities.

 Procedures for Faculty Review

The Committee on Faculty adopted the following procedural guidelines, in keeping with the regulations of the faculty and with the goal of maintaining fairness.

  1. Faculty to be reviewed were notified the semester prior to which the evaluation was to take place and received a copy of these procedures, directing attention to this section of the Handbook.
  2. Faculty to be reviewed were provided with data from the Registrar’s office about course and tutorial enrollment, data on Plan Students, course and advising evaluations, and review file letters by the first week of the term in which a faculty member was reviewed. In the semester prior to the review, the Committee on Faculty offered to have a faculty member sit in on a class and write up their observations to be included in the review file.
  3. Faculty under review submitted supporting material, including:
    • Current Curriculum Vitae
    • Evidence of professional work
    • Evidence of community service or activities outside of the College
    • Syllabi of courses and tutorials
    • Publications, exhibitions, and the names of colleagues at peer institutions or professional organizations who could contribute to the evaluation
    • A Self Reflection that reflected on advising, teaching, service, and scholarship since the faculty member’s last review. In this Reflection, the faculty member should have specifically addressed the comments and broad themes from teaching and advising evaluations, and how the faculty member has responded to issues raised in those evaluations. The Self Reflection should also have addressed the broad themes from the Review Questionnaires and how the faculty member would address these themes going forward. If there were recurring concerns or comments in either teaching and advising evaluations or the faculty questionnaires, the Self Reflection was a place to discuss them. The advising section of the Self Reflection should have specifically addressed work with Plan students. The Self Reflection may have discussed how courses and tutorials fit into a curriculum, and should also have reflected on curriculum more broadly.
  4. One week before the review, the Committee on Faculty provided the faculty under review with a letter summarizing the feedback of the Committee, based on the review file, setting the agenda for the discussion during the review.
  5. When conducting reviews, the committee should have solicited opinions from all constituencies and could solicit opinions on curricular issues from the Curriculum Committee and on other issues it deemed important from community and non-community members, as appropriate. In particular, opinions should have been solicited from colleagues and students who worked closely with the faculty member in classes, committees, or curricular areas. Committee members should have submitted their own evaluations of the person under review prior to the review so that they were free to act as representatives of the faculty in conducting an evaluation that took into account all of the information available to the Committee.
  6. The Committee assumed that most observations from the community pertinent to a review would be expressed via the Review Questionnaire. Community members who wished to raise concerns confidentially may have done so via a letter to the Committee on Faculty. Such letters must have been received by the end of the first week of the semester in which the review was to occur. The Committee met with the community member who submitted the letter to determine (a) whether the concerns raised were pertinent to the Review, and (b) how these concerns should have been raised with the faculty member under review. If the Committee determined that the concerns were pertinent to the review, the Committee would draft a letter for the review file communicating the concerns to the faculty member. The Committee conferred with the community member raising the concerns prior to placing the letter in the review file.
  7. The Dean of Faculty, the Registrar, the Dean of Admissions, and the Bookstore Manager were invited to comment on the faculty member’s fulfillment of their professional responsibilities as outlined in the Professional Responsibilities section.
  8. Based on the material in the review file, the Committee conducted an interview with the faculty member. This interview normally began with an opportunity for the faculty member to expand on the Self Reflection and address the questions provided by the Committee in advance. The Committee discussed with the faculty member all aspects of their work at the College and shared with the faculty member its sense of both strengths and weaknesses.
  9. Based on the materials in the review file and the interview with the faculty member, the Committee drafted a letter summarizing its findings and making a recommendation to the President, as appropriate. Such letters should not have commented on matters that had not been raised during the interview with the faculty member under review. The committee reported its findings to the President, with or without recommendation, and to the person under review.
  10. The President of the College wrote to the faculty member announcing their decision.
  11. The Dean of Faculty was available for consultation with each faculty member to be reviewed to discuss the procedures and to determine any special arrangements that needed to be made to ensure a fair and complete review of that faculty member’s work.

 Procedure for Appeal and Review of Decision Not to Renew Contracts or Not to Award Tenure*

1. Procedure for Teaching Faculty

Members of the teaching faculty had the right to appeal a decision not to renew their contract or to award tenure. Faculty had this right whether the President accepted a recommendation from the Committee on Faculty or failed to accept such a recommendation.

In cases of decisions not to award contract prior to tenure or pre-tenure, the President or Committee on Faculty would provide reasons in writing. It must also have been kept in mind, however, that a faculty member’s teaching time before award of tenure was probationary, that the institution must have been accorded the widest latitude consistent with academic freedom and standards of fairness in establishing criteria and reaching a decision, and that in any appeal the burden of proof rested with the faculty member. This was consistent with 1971 AAUP Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Non-Renewal of Faculty Appointments.

(1) To appeal a decision not to renew or award tenure, faculty members must have indicated in writing to the President that they wished to appeal within 30 calendar days from the beginning of the semester (first class day) following notification of a decision.

(2) Upon appeal, the President, the Dean of Faculty, and the faculty member would select an Appeal Committee consisting of three members of the regular teaching faculty acceptable to all three parties.

(3) Before beginning its work, the Appeal Committee would attend a session on appropriate policy and procedures by the College’s designated human resources professional or legal counsel.

(4) All relevant material was submitted to the Appeal Committee in writing. Such materials must have been submitted within 60 days of the beginning of the semester following notification of a decision. The written materials included at least the following:

(a) A copy of the reasons for the negative decision received by the faculty member and any supporting documents the Committee on Faculty or the administration may have chosen to provide;

(b) An appeal document detailing the grounds for an appeal and any supporting documents the faculty member may have wished to provide.

(5) The grounds for an appeal were (1) that the process of evaluation and/or decision making, as stated in the Handbook, was violated, (2) that the faculty member’s academic freedom had been violated, as defined by the appropriate AAUP statement, or (3) unlawful discrimination. The faculty member may not have grounded an appeal in disagreements over the judgments of the Committee on Faculty or President if those judgments were themselves the product of correct procedure. The College retained the right to make judgments about the quality of candidates’ performance in accord with the process specified in the Handbook; good performance was not in itself a guarantee of renewal or tenure. If, however, a faculty member believed that an incorrect judgment about the quality or nature of their work had been arrived at because of faults in process, violation of academic freedom, or unlawful discrimination, they must have shown how such violations resulted in an improper judgment about performance.

(6) The Appeal Committee would review the decision broadly for fairness of process and conformity with Handbook guidelines. The Appeal Committee was charged with determining whether a faculty member should have their case reconsidered and, if so, under what conditions. It was not the role of the appeal committee to render an independent judgment on the merits of any candidates’ qualifications for tenure or renewal. The Appeal Committee must have been given full access to all persons and documents that would help it reach a sound conclusion, including the faculty member’s appeal document, attachments (if any) and the faculty member’s file, should the Appeal Committee have wished to see it.

(7) The Appeal Committee could recommend any of the following:

(a) The appeal was not sustained and no further College action was recommended;

(b) The decision-making process ought to have been repeated because of a violation of process, academic freedom, or unlawful discrimination as specified in #5 above. In this case, the Appeal Committee could recommend that the Committee on Faculty reconsider the faculty member’s case for tenure or renewal.

The Appeal Committee should have specified to the Committee on Faculty the ways in which its new process should differ from its prior consideration of the faculty member’s case.

The Appeal Committee would communicate its findings to the faculty member and President in writing.

The Committee on Faculty must have reconsidered the faculty member’s file in conformity with the recommendations of the Appeal Committee and produce a second recommendation. Whether the new recommendation concurred or differed from the previous recommendation, it superseded the previous recommendation and became the recommendation that the President must use in forming a recommendation to the Board.

(8) The official record of the Appeal Committee was kept in the President’s Office files and consisted of the following:

(a) All written materials received from the administration, the faculty member, and other parties seen to be appropriate by the Committee;

(b) A copy of the committee’s recommendation;

(c) A log of the Committee’s actions, including times of meeting, documents received, and a record of parties with whom the Committee or its members conversed.

2. Procedure for Appeal and Review of Decision Not to Renew Contracts for Teaching Staff

Members of the teaching staff had the right to appeal a decision not to renew their contract. In cases of decisions not to award contract renewal, the supervisor provided notice in writing to the faculty member by April 1st.

(1) To appeal a decision not to renew, faculty members must have indicated in writing to the President that they wished to appeal within 30 calendar days of the notification of non-renewal.

(2) The grounds for an appeal were that the process of evaluation and/or decision-making, as stated in the handbook, was violated. The teaching staff member may not have grounded an appeal on disagreements over the supervisor’s judgments if those judgments were themselves the product of correct procedure. The College retained the right to make judgments about the quality of a staff member’s performance in accord with the process specified in the Handbook; good performance was not in itself a guarantee of renewal. If, however, the teaching staff member believed that an incorrect judgment about the quality or nature of their work had been arrived at because of faults in the process, they must have shown how flaws in the process led to such an improper judgment about performance.

(3) The President reviewed the decision broadly for fairness of process and conformity with Handbook guidelines. The President was charged with determining whether teaching staff members should have their case reconsidered and, if so, under what conditions. The President informed the teaching staff member of the decision. An official record of the appeal and response were kept in the President’s office.

*Policy and procedures adapted from Earlham College

The responsibility for hiring new faculty was in the hands of the faculty. The procedure depended upon the ability of the members of the faculty to define and discuss the needs of the curriculum and the College in an open and thoughtful manner and avoided the imposition of considerations outside those needs.

Step I

When a vacancy occurred on the faculty, the faculty members most closely concerned would meet with the Curriculum Committee to discuss the nature of the position and the needs of the College. The group would develop a job description and an advertisement based on this discussion. Note: This policy did not address either the issue of what constitutes a vacancy or how a vacancy, once identified, was to be allocated by discipline or by area.

Step II

The Committee on Faculty, supplemented by those faculty most closely concerned, constituted the search committee. The search committee met to discuss the mechanics of the search, the job description, and the criteria for selection, which was based on the levels of competence demanded of successful Marlboro faculty members. As nearly as practicable, scheduling should have been arranged in advance to ensure that all members of the search committee could participate fully in the process. Note: The discussion among the members of the faculty and the members of the Committee on Faculty must have been full and open. While unanimity regarding the exact characteristics of a successful candidate was unlikely, each member of the search committee should have made clear their preferences within the limits of the job description developed under Step I.

Step III

The search committee reviewed applications using criteria discussed fully and openly in Step II. Under normal circumstances, at least four candidates would be selected for interviews.

Step IV

So far as practical, candidates selected for interviews were treated uniformly throughout the interview process. Note: The search committee should have devised a procedure that enabled the candidates to demonstrate their fitness for the position. Each candidate might have been asked to bring projected course descriptions and syllabi, to give a public lecture, or to teach a class.

Step V

Following the interviews, the committee ranked the candidates based on the criteria selected in Step II and on the interviews. The committee would recommend to the President that the position be offered to the candidates in order of this ranking. No candidate was included on this list who was not fully qualified to be a Marlboro College faculty member.

If there were two or more candidates with roughly equal qualifications, the search committee should, before making its recommendations, have considered the need for diversity of thought, training, disposition, age, race, gender, and ethnicity on the faculty.

Faculty members could not have engaged in sexual relations or romantic relationships with students.

Marlboro College did not tolerate the corruption of professional standards, authority, and duties by such relationships. This could have been grounds for dismissal from the College. Complaints should have been brought to the attention of the Committee on Faculty. (Also see the Discrimination and Harassment and Sexual Misconduct sections of this Handbook.)

While both parties could consider the relationship a matter of mutual consent, the imbalance of power and authority and the potential for manipulation and misunderstanding inherent in such relationships could undermine the freedom and equity of the academic setting. All members of the Marlboro College community should have been aware that initial consent to a sexual relationship did not preclude the potential for charges of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault should consent be withdrawn by either party.

Purpose: To provide fuller and more substantial information on which to base tenure decisions. To a large extent, the burden for ensuring that the faculty had means to judge performance was borne by the faculty member being reviewed, so that the faculty member had considerable discretion in determining how to provide the basis for such judgment.

  1. Descriptions of what was expected of faculty members in order to receive tenure were contained in Criteria for Faculty Evaluation in the Handbook.
  2. Each non-tenured faculty member was expected to provide a short written evaluation of each course taught, at its conclusion. Forms were provided, but faculty members could provide evaluations on their own forms.
  3. Each non-tenured faculty member should have ensured that some other faculty members were in a position to have first-hand information on the non-tenured member’s teaching. This could be accomplished by co-teaching courses, inviting colleagues to sit in on classes, participating in colleagues’ classes, taping classes, making public presentations, participating on examining committees, co-sponsoring Plans, and so on.
  4. New faculty members were expected, within the first few years at Marlboro, to give public presentations of their work. This might have included performances, exhibitions, lectures on research or teaching, or presentations to WSP Colloquium, alumni, families, etc. The goal was to provide evidence of professional activity and to enrich the intellectual and artistic life of the community. The activity could be on or off campus, could include publications and performances; and at least one should have been accessible to the College community.
  5. Written self-evaluation at the time of formal reviews was expected. Not every item had to be addressed in early reviews, and the first submission could be updated for further reviews. Some of the items could be addressed in an expanded curriculum vitae or in materials submitted during hiring. By the tenure review, the self-evaluation should have addressed, at a minimum, the following items:
          • Curriculum. Description of curriculum, including courses, their content and rotation, and areas where tutorials are offered or would be considered. This should compare the candidate’s curriculum to that of other liberal arts colleges. Providing syllabi would be helpful. It should include descriptions of links to other areas and faculty members, including any co-taught courses, guest lectures, or other collaborations.
          • Teaching. Description of teaching philosophy, including any innovative teaching methods. An evaluation of teaching successes and failures, including an assessment of relevant Plan issues. This could include a critique of the teaching environment and what might be done to make teaching more effective.
          • Professional Development, Scholarship, Public Service. Description of contributions to the intellectual, artistic, and social life of the College. Description of contributions outside the College, including public service, professional meetings, scholarly or artistic works, and continuing education or technical training.
          • For each of the above categories, provide a description of any difficulties that have been or need to be resolved, and make an assessment of what challenges you intend to address in the future.

Marlboro College followed the code for professional ethics set forth by the American Association of University Professors. The following statement, a revision of the statement originally adopted by the AAUP in 1966, was approved by the AAUP Committee B on Professional Ethics, then adopted by the Council as Association policy, and finally endorsed by the 73rd annual meeting of the Association in June, 1987.

AAUP Introduction

From its inception, the American Association of University Professors has recognized that membership in the academic profession carries with it special responsibilities. The Association has consistently affirmed these responsibilities in major policy statements, providing guidance to professors as their utterances as citizens, in the exercise of their responsibilities to students and colleagues, and their conduct when resigning from his institution or when undertaking sponsored research. The Statement on Professional Ethics that follows sets forth those general standards that serve as a reminder of the variety of obligations assumed by all members of the profession.

In the enforcement of ethical standards, the academic profession differs from those of law and medicine, whose associations act to assure the integrity of members engaged in private practice. In the academic profession the individual institution of higher learning provides this assurance and so should normally handle questions concerning propriety of conduct within its own framework by reference to a faculty group. The Association supports local action and stands ready, through the General Secretary and Committee B, to counsel with members of the academic community concerning questions of professional ethics and to inquire into complaints when local consideration is impossible or inappropriate. If the alleged offense is deemed sufficiently serious to raise the possibility of adverse action, the procedures should be in accordance with the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the 1958 Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings, or the applicable provisions of the Association’s Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

The Statement on Professional Ethics

  1. Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
  2. As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to assure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.
  3. As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas professors show due respect for the opinion of others. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.
  4. As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institutions in determining the amount and character of the work they do outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.
  5. As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of any citizen. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.

The primary responsibility was to design and to teach courses and tutorials consistent with the fields of study within which they held their appointments and within the terms of their appointments. In addition, faculty members served as academic advisors to students (see Academic Advising). Faculty members were also generally expected to participate in the governance of the College through Faculty Meetings, Town Meetings, and committee assignments.

While it was obviously impossible to define an appropriate work load for faculty in simple and definitive terms, given the very substantial differences between, for example, teaching a new course on previously unfamiliar material and teaching a familiar course for the third time, the following general guidelines could have been helpful. Full-time faculty members should have expected to teach at least two courses and four to six tutorials with Plan students, or the equivalent, and to serve on one or two committees. Most long-term faculty routinely carried a greater load than this, reflecting their more settled course offerings and their experience with a broad range of tutorials. No one should have expected to teach more than three courses and four to six tutorials, or the equivalent, with committee work. All faculty were encouraged to regulate their work loads to efficient levels. Unanticipated overloads sometimes occurred, and faculty members were free to discuss with the Dean possible relief from committee responsibilities or a compensatory lighter load in a succeeding term.

Faculty were expected to schedule classes primarily for the greatest efficiency and curricular coherence but were nonetheless free to establish their schedules and office hours as best suited their preferences. Many faculty found it necessary or desirable to schedule at least part of a day for uninterrupted work at home.

Limited funds were available for travel to professional meetings, for summer research, and for similar professional development. These included annual competitive awards for research and performance. Application for funds must have been made to the Dean of Faculty. The College provided no funds for membership in professional organizations by individual members of the faculty.

Emeritus status was granted by the President and Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the Committee on Faculty in recognition of distinguished service to the College.

  1. Emeritus Faculty could enroll in any of the regular or supplemental health insurance plans offered by the Emeriti program subject to the terms defined by the Emeriti Consortium.*
  2. Emeritus Faculty could retain their Marlboro email accounts and receive limited technical support for those accounts.
  3. Emeritus Faculty had access to the library and limited access to library services such as interlibrary loan.
  4. Emeritus Faculty had access to the computer lab in the library and limited use of the Mather photocopy machines.
  5. Emeritus Faculty could continue to offer an occasional course when such an arrangement was mutually agreed upon by the retiree, the Curriculum Committee, and the Dean of Faculty.
  6. Emeritus Faculty were eligible for the college’s tuition exchange program for dependent children.
  7. Emeritus Faculty could take classes at the undergraduate college free of charge.
  8. Emeritus Faculty had access to a shared office space (if available) at the Marlboro College Graduate Center during regular business hours.

In accordance with policy adopted by the Board of Trustees, sabbatical leaves at full salary were granted to faculty members for one or more semesters as determined by the following rules of eligibility: one semester immediately following the conclusion of six (6) years of active teaching as a regular College faculty member; thereafter, one semester after each five (5) years of active teaching.

Faculty members who had become eligible for sabbatical leaves could apply for longer leaves at reduced salary or for longer leaves at greater intervals.

Applications for sabbatical leaves must have been made in writing to the Dean of the Faculty at least one semester before the semester when the leave was to commence, and should include some description of the proposed arrangements for covering the field. Notice of such applications should have been posted promptly, so that those affected could have a chance to state objections or make whatever arrangements may be necessary. Faculty members applying for leave should have determined jointly with their colleagues and students, particularly those who were or would be on Plan, how work in their areas would be covered, with disagreements to come to the Dean of Faculty. All sabbaticals were at the discretion of the administration, and should teaching needs at the College, or other circumstances, have made the granting of such a leave impossible, the faculty member with the longest period of uninterrupted active teaching should have been given priority. Notice of all leaves granted should have been posted promptly, and whenever possible by at least eight weeks before the end of the semester preceding the semester in which the sabbatical commenced.

Faculty members granted sabbaticals should have been prepared to indicate the nature of their sabbatical activities and the relationship of those activities to their teaching. It was expected that faculty members would resume their teaching responsibilities at the College for at least one year following the sabbatical. Faculty members with staff appointments and with substantial and continuing teaching responsibilities were eligible for sabbatical leaves on the same schedule as the regular faculty, but only if adequate replacement could be arranged.

After three years of service, regular faculty members could apply for leaves of absence without pay for periods of up to two years. Application for such leaves must have been made to the President, who in granting such leaves would consult with the Dean of Faculty and the Committee on Faculty. This was to ensure that the granting of such leave would not jeopardize the teaching program at the College. Normally, requests for such leaves must have been made at least one semester before the semester during which the leave commenced.

Appointments for an indefinite term could be terminated only by either of the following procedures:

  • By following AAUP guidelines in force at the time for dismissal of tenured members.
  • By notice in writing from the President twenty-one (21) months before the termination was to take effect. A faculty member had the right to be heard by an ad hoc elected faculty committee of five (5), three (3) of whom should have been at the College for at least eight years. If the faculty member elected to exercise this right, the judgment of the committee was final.


The criteria for recommendations by the Committee on Faculty and decisions by the ad hoc committee were: effective teaching, sound scholarship, fulfillment of non-academic obligations to the College and the College community, and a proper regard for colleagues and students.

If the question of burden of proof arose, it was placed on the faculty member before the Committee on Faculty; it was placed on the administration before the ad hoc committee of five (5).

Non-Tenured Faculty

A non-tenured faculty member on a term appointment could appeal a Committee on Faculty non-renewal recommendation. Within one month of being notified of a non-renewal recommendation by the Committee, the faculty member must have requested of the Dean of Faculty the right to be heard by an elected faculty committee of five (5), three (3) of whom should have been at the College for at least eight years and none of whom sat on the Committee on Faculty. This committee was elected each spring to serve during the following academic year, should the need arise. The purview of this committee was limited to determining whether adequate consideration was given; if adequate consideration was given, the Committee on Faculty recommendation would stand; if not, the Committee on Faculty would take new considerations into account but would still make the recommendation.