Correction: This story has been modified from its original version. — This story has been modified from its original version. Neck had already attained tenure and was seeking a promotion to full professor. The Collegiate Times regrets this error.
"First you reach associate, and you are there for so many years, and then you can apply for a full professorship," Sorensen said. "There is additional consideration given to a faculty member's service during the consideration for full professor, but the committee also continues to look at the strength of the faculty member's research program. Strong research programs vary by person and by discipline. Also, we use outside letters of reference to make a decision about full professorship. First of all the decisions are primarily made in the department, and then the other review is done to see that the quality of the faculty member is consistent, but we use those outside letters of reference in the process. We ask the people who write the outside letters of reference to talk about the impact that the person's research has had on their particular field of study."
Neck said he does not understand the reasoning as to why he did not receive full professor when he applied for promotion three years ago.
"What I feel, and people will say differently, is that if you talk to them they will say, 'Oh, his work was not scholarly enough,' even though I am in a top journal in my field," Neck said. "I am not trying to get by on my teaching, even though I have a teaching record. When you go out for full professor, the committee seeks letters from people around the world to write about you, and usually that is what prevents someone from getting full professor, but in my case, that never came up as a reason for why I didn't get full professor, because I know my letters were good."
Neck said he teaches in an "unconventional manner that other faculty do not approve of."
"Basically, I teach a big class that gets a lot of attention, and I always do my own thing," Neck said. "I am not the professor who shows up at 8, sits around, drinks coffee, goes to lunch, chats about the world and then leaves at 5. No. I travel around the world, I consult, and I study organizations. I am always there for my students; I am not there for these other faculty members. I am not there to have lunch with those faculty members. That is not my job."
Although Neck said he does not place priority on pleasing other faculty members, Kerry Redican, professor of education and the 2008 Faculty Senate president, said it is vital for faculty members to have a solid connection with faculty when going up for full professor.
"It is extremely important to have a strong relationship with faculty members," Redican said. "A department faculty functions like a family, and they depend upon one another; they work together for common goals. It is very important that you relate and work well with your colleagues. If there is a situation where a faculty member is not helping in a department, such as not serving on curriculum committees or things like that which are labor intensive, that means the other members have to. You function like a family; there has to be give and take."
However, he said not working as closely with other faculty members "may not be the reason someone would not get promoted," Redican said.
"I think the merits of the case are the merits of the case," Redican said. "The closeness of faculty does not have that significant of an influence on a person's case."
Neck said he feels as though all criteria for his position were met.
"Look at the people in the last five years in Pamplin that got full professor, and I ask you to compare my record to theirs," Neck said. "If you can say that their record is better than mine, then I will walk away today."
France Belanger, an accounting and information systems professor, was one of the most recent faculty members to be promoted to full professor in Pamplin in 2008.
"The process itself happens within about eight months, where you have to prepare files, get them approved at multiple levels, get your evaluations together, and send them off," Belanger said. "You have to do research to be qualified for full professor, but there are several other criteria as well, including teaching."
Belanger added that faculty applying for full professor have to receive international recognition for research in their field of expertise.
"I am the editor of a very major journal in my field, and I was also a distinguished chair on the Fulbright in 2006 in Portugal," Belanger said.
Belanger added that not having enough research or proof of good teaching can inhibit someone from becoming full professor.
"I think the faculty input is part of everything," Belanger said. " ... Really what you have to look at is the whole package, and ask if this person is someone who adds to the mission of the university and that involves the teaching, research and service."
Neck's accomplishments outside of teaching include writing eight books and more than 80 research journal articles.
Belanger said that if a faculty member is passionate about what they do, they should eventually reach full professor.
"I love what I do so much that my work does not stop there," Belanger said. "It is not like you have reached something and then it stops; it is another level and a nice recognition, but it will not change my job, which is to continue to be passionate about my research and my teaching."