- Faculty research has led to a plethora of innovations and entrepreneurial resources (I&E), allowing for enhancements to the greater social good including, but not limited to, technological and economic advancements. Faculty I&E also enhances faculty competitiveness for funding, institutional image and fundraising, and supports students’ workforce preparation. Over time institutions of higher education have recognized the value of faculty I&E in their mission statements and strategic plans. Yet commensurate promotion and tenure processes and policies are not a given, within and across institutions, and many faculties may be in the position of weighing their own interests in I&E activity against a lack of its explicit value in academia. Admittedly, though, an empirical basis regarding these suspicions is limited. Herein, we describe our work: 1) mapping the otherwise unknown terrain of factors relevant to the evaluation of tenure-line faculty members’ I&E in promotion considerations in the US, via a survey of 99 unique institutions across the academic spectrum and, from this, 2) advancing recommendations to inform a non-binding alliance of over 67 US institutions that share a common commitment to pursuing best practices for inclusively recognizing faculty I&E impact through university reward structures.
- Keywords: Faculty Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Promotion, Tenure, Higher Education