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Resolution on Academic Analytics - as passed on 14 Dec 2015

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Resolution Passed by the Faculty of the School of Arts Sciences, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, December 14th, 2015 on a vote of 92 versus 20 (0 abstentions)

 

WHEREAS in May 2013 the administration of Rutgers University entered into a four-year contract at a cost of $492,500  with Academic Analytics, LLC – a data crawler and compiler - to measure the scholarly performance of individuals, departments, and programs;

 

WHEREAS Rutgers has long employed robust standards and procedures for tenure and promotion – consonant with academic freedom, peer evaluation, and shared governance - while tasking deans specifically to assess departments and programs;

 

WHEREAS the entirely quantitative methods and variables employed by Academic Analytics – a corporation intruding upon academic freedom, peer evaluation, and shared governance - hardly capture the range and quality of scholarly inquiry, while utterly ignoring the teaching, service, and civic engagement that faculty perform;

 

WHEREAS, taken on their own terms, the measures of books, articles, awards, grants, and citations within the Academic Analytics database frequently undercount, overcount, or otherwise misrepresent the achievements of individual scholars; 

 

WHEREAS those measures have the potential to influence, redirect, and narrow scholarship as administrators incite faculty and departments to compete for higher scores from Academic Analytics;

 

WHEREAS the administration of Rutgers University has, thus far, not shared the personal data collected by Academic Analytics with regular faculty members;

 

and WHEREAS best practices regarding collected personal data – as well as the contractual terms governing personnel files at Rutgers – entitle individuals to obtain such data;

                                                                                                                      

BE IT RESOLVED:

 

1) that the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as Rutgers University in its entirety, shall make no use of data from Academic Analytics in tenure and promotion decisions affecting faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences;

 

2) that the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as Rutgers University in its entirety, shall make no use of data from Academic Analytics in allocating resources among departments and programs in decisions affecting the composition of the faculty, graduate and undergraduate curricula, and grant-writing in the School of Arts and Sciences;

 

3) that the Deans’ Office of the School of Arts and Sciences (or higher-level administration) shall distribute personal data collected by Academic Analytics to each faculty member of the School on or before March 1st, 2016.

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