Collegiality and tenure: Results of a national survey of academic librarians

Leo S. Lo, Jason Coleman, Lis Pankl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The propriety of using collegiality or related constructs as an evaluation factor in faculty promotion and tenure (P&T) is strongly contested. The work of many academic librarians requires extensive collaboration among their library colleagues as well as teaching and research faculty who work outside of the library. Given the centrality of communication and cooperation to their success, one might expect that collegiality could manifest differently in their tenure processes than in those of other faculty. Therefore, we surveyed library faculty to learn about their perceptions of the extent to which attributions of collegiality or lack of it influence tenure decisions at their institutions. With a total of 165 respondents, key findings include: 1) approximately 55 % of respondents whose libraries' P&T documents mention the concept of “collegiality” reported that they understood the concept clearly; 2) approximately 42 % of the respondents believe that collegiality should be included in their library's P&T documents; 3) the group that most strongly believed that collegiality should not be included were non-White respondents (58 %). Many of the respondents commented that a complex concept such as collegiality is too easily misused to perpetuate common biases against those who identify as being part of underrepresented groups; and 4) approximately 36 % of the White respondents and 59 % of non-White respondents thought that using collegiality as an evaluation factor would negatively affect underrepresented faculty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102589
JournalJournal of Academic Librarianship
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Library and Information Sciences


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