Development/Evaluation of Tenure-Track Faculty
AA/PPS No. 04.02.01 (8.01)
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 11/24/2015
Next Review Date: 5/01/2016 (ENY)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Provost
The years preceding a tenure-track faculty member’s receipt of tenure constitute a probationary period. During this period, the faculty member’s performance is carefully assessed. The purpose of this policy and procedure statement is to outline the review process that is used in this assessment. Supplementary policy and procedure statements consistent with this statement may be found in colleges and departments/schools and the Faculty Handbook.
Texas State University will not discriminate against any person in employment or exclude any person from participating in or receiving the benefits of any of its activities or programs on any basis prohibited by law, including race, color, age, national origin, religion, sex, disability, veterans’ status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Equal employment opportunities shall include: personnel transactions of recruitment, employment, training, upgrading, promotion, demotion, termination, and salary.
The following outline describes the procedure and criteria for evaluation and reappointment of full-time, probationary faculty. The model described below is based on a typical full six-year tenure-track period. Formative reviews are conducted in all years, and summative reviews are required in at least the third and sixth years but encouraged annually. The mid-term summative review for tenure-track faculty who have negotiated a shortened probationary period will be conducted at a time that is specified by the department chair/school director and the personnel committee. The time for this review should be stipulated when negotiating the initial contract or determined during the first year of the probationary period.
During each fall semester the department chair /school director should meet with each tenure-track faculty member to discuss relevant policy and procedure statements to explain departmental, college and university expectations, and to make available information regarding requirements that tenure-track faculty must fulfill in order to qualify for annual reappointment and, ultimately for tenure. AA/PPS No. 02.03.01, Conduct and Planning of Courses, AA/PPS No. 02.03.02, Conduct of Classes, and AA/PPS No. 02.03.20, Maintenance and Improvement of Quality in Teaching may serve as useful guides for chairs and tenure-track faculty members. In each review, the chair should communicate any serious concerns about the tenure-track faculty member’s performance and note that failure to improve might jeopardize continuing employment in the university, tenure and promotion.
FIRST-YEAR FACULTY EXPECTATIONS
In the first contract year, effectiveness in the classroom (mastery of the subject matter, the ability to communicate with students, and the ability to create a classroom environment conducive to learning) is crucial to successful progress toward tenure. The chair and experienced faculty are responsible for ensuring that tenure-track faculty members receive as much guidance as may be necessary.
The chair/director or assigned mentors and Departmental Personnel Committee should observe the first-year tenure-track faculty member’s performance in the classroom at least three times during the academic year to assess his/her strengths and weaknesses as a teacher, giving particular attention to classroom environment, and interaction between teacher and students.
An equally important objective for a beginning tenure-track faculty member is to initiate scholarly and professional contributions such as articles in refereed journals, books, grants, conference presentations and creative works.
Although the first-year tenure-track faculty member’s priorities are excellence in teaching and the development of a scholarly/creative program, he/she should also be expected to devote limited time and energy to community engagement, professional and university service.
SECOND-YEAR FACULTY EXPECTATIONS
- In the second-year, tenure-track faculty members should follow the first-year guidelines. In addition to their teaching and research responsibilities, tenure-track faculty members should continue some limited and targeted service. The chair/director and experienced faculty mentors should monitor the second-year faculty member’s progress through informal dialogue and at least one classroom visitation. Student evaluations should be one of the primary factors in the Departmental Personnel Committee’s evaluation.
During the third-year, the regular, annual formative review is complemented with a summative review. The summative review is designed to assess the tenure-track faculty member’s cumulative record as a teacher and scholar and to determine whether or not he/she has met institutional expectations. During the third-year, the chair/director should consult with tenure-track faculty members regarding their past and present performances. The conference will provide an opportunity for the chair/director to identify the teacher’s/scholar’s strengths and to suggest ways to overcome any major weaknesses. The reappointment decisions should be based largely upon the faculty member’s ability and willingness to:
stimulate students’ intellectual curiosity and communicate effectively with students in lectures, studio situations, and conferences;
provide current student evaluations showing evidence of high quality teaching along with evidence of students’ achievements as revealed by outstanding research projects, noteworthy creative endeavors, awards, honors, etc., as appropriate;
maintain harmonious working relationships with colleagues;
provide lists or samples of major research projects, books or published monographs (if any), published articles, major works, performances, productions, exhibits, external and internal funding activity, and other activities, and peer review of scholarly/creative activity as dictated by departmental and school policy; and
provide materials showing evidence of the targeted service achievement.
The departmental personnel committee’s recommendation to renew, not to renew, or terminate a tenure-track faculty member’s contract should be formed by evidence that directly reflects on the faculty member’s satisfactory progress toward meeting criteria for tenure and promotion at this stage of the probationary period, including evaluation of teaching and scholarly/creative activity and service. After reviewing the departmental personnel committee’s recommendation on each faculty member undergoing third year review, the chair/director will forward that recommendation along with the chair’s/director’s recommendation to the college dean. The packet submitted by the chair/director may include copies of evaluative letters from any faculty members, copies of letters from the chair/director to the faculty member regarding the results of the department’s annual reviews and third-year review, and other appropriate materials regarding the faculty member’s performance.
The college dean will review the recommendations of the departmental personnel committee and will make a recommendation to renew, not to renew, or to terminate a tenure-track faculty member’s contract. After reviewing the recommendation on each faculty member undergoing third-year review, the dean will forward that recommendation along with the dean’s recommendation to the Provost. The college dean’s recommendation should indicate what material was reviewed by the Dean and should include copies of letters from the chair/director and the Dean to the faculty member regarding the results of the departments and college’s annual reviews and third-year review.
An unsatisfactory third-year review normally leads to termination of employment.
FOURTH- AND FIFTH-YEAR REVIEWS
In the fourth contract year, successful faculty must demonstrate sustained growth and development in research and scholarly/creative record, successful teaching and service. Those with truly exemplary and stellar research and teaching records may prepare documents for promotion and tenure review in the fifth year.
In the fifth-year, the chair/director and departmental personnel committee should assess the faculty member’s progress and development in the key areas previously identified (teaching scholarly/creative activity, and service) with a continuing emphasis on excellence. The chair/director must advise tenure-track faculty members about assembling of documents required for the upcoming mandatory tenure deliberations.
In the sixth contract year, tenure-track faculty members must document their development and maintenance of excellence in teaching and research, and scholarly/creative endeavors and services. In preparation for the tenure review, tenure-track faculty members should assemble the documenting material required in AA/PPS No. 04.02.20, Tenure and Promotion Review including:
all student evaluations (including current ones);
peer review by colleagues in the probationer’s department or school, college, University as well as outside the University, as dictated by departmental and college policy; and
bibliography of publications, and a list and samples of research projects, and scholarly/creative work in progress, as dictated by departmental and college policy.
Further information about the tenure review process may be found in AA/PPS No. 04.02.20, Tenure and Promotion Review, Chapter V, Regents Rules and Regulations, Sections 4.2 and 4.7, plus a review of the paragraph on academic tenure, in the Faculty Handbook.
WRITTEN FEEDBACK FOR TENURE-TRACK FACULTY
- In each year of the probationary period, with the exception of faculty who are not reappointed, the chair will provide a written performance review to all faculty members on tenure track. This annual review should be made available to tenure-track faculty members prior to the notification deadline for reappointment (copies to the appropriate Dean and the Provost). Final evaluation forms, signed by the Associate Provost, are sent to the dean’s office. The dean’s office is responsible for distributing copies to each department chair/school director in the college, to be placed in the faculty members’ files with a copy that includes the dean’s comments to the faculty member.
DEADLINES AND REPORTING PROCEDURES
- The deadlines and reporting procedures related to the policies outlined above are listed in the Calendar For Evaluation and Reappointment of Tenure-Track Faculty and Reappointment of Untenured Continuing Tenure-Track Faculty form.
REVIEWERS OF THIS PPS
Reviewers of this PPS include the following:
Position Date Associate Provost May 1 ENY
This PPS has been reviewed by the following individuals in their official capacity and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.
Associate Provost; senior reviewer of this PPS