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AA/PPS 04.02.20 - Tenure and Promotion Review

Tenure and Promotion Review

AA/PPS No. 04.02.20 (8.10)
Issue No. 2
Effective Date: 4/23/2018
Next Review Date: 9/01/2022 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Provost

  1. POLICY STATEMENTS

    1. Texas State University is committed to supporting the mission and goals of the institution through effective hiring, evaluating, and promoting practices for its faculty. The following document contributes to the fulfillment of this goal and describes roles, responsibilities, and timelines associated with tenure and promotion review.

    2. Faculty candidates for tenure or promotion, as well as members of department or school personnel committees, college review groups, department chairs or school directors, deans, and the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs must understand that tenure and promotion decisions are based on judgments. While each department or school and college has its own criteria for promotion and tenure, these criteria, which are to be reviewed and approved by the college dean and provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, must assure that tenure and promotion are granted based on clearly documented evidence of high quality teaching, sustained peer-reviewed scholarly and creative activity, and effective leadership and service. In addition, for those disciplines where applicable, external and internal funding activities, patents or commercialization of research will be considered. This Academic Affairs Policy and Procedures Statement (AA/PPS) and the related college and department or school documents are designed to inform those judgments.

    3. Departmental or school personnel committees, college review groups, chairs or directors, deans, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and the president should review The Core of Academe: Teaching, Scholarly Activity, and Service as a guideline to follow in evaluating faculty. A faculty member is evaluated in the areas of teaching, scholarly and creative activity, and leadership and service, including his or her collegial contributions to the university community. Collegial faculty members are expected to contribute to the positive functioning of the department or school and the university.

      1. For faculty being reviewed for tenure, the evaluation will consider all the candidate’s accomplishments, but should emphasize the time period from the initial date of appointment on tenure-track at Texas State to the present.

      2. For faculty being reviewed for promotion, the evaluation will consider all the candidate’s accomplishments, but should emphasize the time period from the last promotion to the present.

  2. DEFINITIONS

    1. Voting Personnel Committee Members – tenured faculty members who:

      1. hold academic rank in a department or school at a rate of 50 percent or more and who do not hold an administrative appointment outside of their college;

      2. have at least one year of service at Texas State since the official start date of the faculty appointment; and

      3. have taught eight sections of courses at the college or university level. Tenured faculty who meet only the first provision will serve as non-voting members of the personnel committee until they have met all three requirements.

    2. Schools and Programs Equivalent to Tenure-Granting Departments – programs that have all the rights and obligations noted for tenure-granting departments, and their directors have all the rights and obligations noted for department chairs or school directors.

    3. Department or School Recommendation – the recommendations of both the personnel committee and the chair or director.

    4. College Recommendation – the recommendations of both the college review group and the dean.

  3. PROCEDURES FOR TENURE AND PROMOTION

    1. Eligibility for Tenure

      1. Typically, the probationary period prior to the awarding of tenure is six years so that when tenure is granted it begins with the next year’s contract. In exceptional cases, faculty who have truly outstanding records may apply for tenure without prejudice before the end of the six-year probationary period. This decision should be made after consultation with the personnel committee, chair or director, and dean.

      2. At the end of the sixth year, the faculty member must either be awarded tenure or terminated with one year’s notice.

      3. Faculty members in tenure-track positions may not move to non-tenure track status and then back to tenure-track status unless this change in status resulted from independent searches for non-tenure and tenure-track positions.

      4. Neither leaves of absence nor part-time appointments count as part of the probationary period, based on The Texas State University System (TSUS) Rules and Regulations. A written agreement, mutually satisfactory to the candidate and to the university, must be made at the time of initial appointment to a tenure-track position whether to credit or to exclude previous years of full-time teaching experience toward the probationary period.

      5. Tenure-track faculty members whose rank is below associate professor must apply for promotion to associate professor at the same time they apply for tenure.

      6. A faculty member may not be tenured by default or because of failure to recognize that the time for tenure or termination has arrived. Lecturers, senior lecturers, clinical, professors of practice, program faculty, and research and part-time faculty members are not eligible for tenure consideration; although academic administrators may be an exception to the part-time rule (see Faculty Handbook).

      7. Tenure-track faculty may request suspension of the tenure clock in order to accommodate one or more of the following exigencies or hardships: childbirth or adoption; dependent care (including children, parents, spouses, or other dependents); the faculty member’s own illness or other personal emergency; and the inability of the institution to provide agreed upon facilities for the faculty member’s research.

        1. Timing of the Request – The request to suspend shall, to the extent possible, occur prior to the occurrence of the events stated above, and within one year of the events. Requests made after the university provides written notice of the commencement of the promotion or tenure review process will not be honored.

        2. Faculty Member’s Obligation – The faculty member shall make a written request through his or her chair or director and dean to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs to suspend up to a maximum of two years of service on the tenure clock, explaining the basis for the request and why it impedes the faculty member’s ability to make progress toward achieving tenure. The faculty member is required to state the suspension period requested and provide any supporting documentation the university may require. A memorandum should be routed from the faculty member, via the chair or director and dean, to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

        3. Chief Academic Officer’s Obligation – The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs shall notify the faculty member, chair or director, and dean and submit his or her recommendation to the system vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

        4. Two-Year Limitation – The total time excluded from countable service under this policy is two years.

        5. No Property Right Created – The suspension of the tenure clock lies within the sole discretion of the university administration, subject to the vice chancellor for Academic Affairs’ approval, and creates no property right, contractual or other legal entitlement in a member of the faculty.

        6. Tenure and Promotion Criteria Unaltered – Chair or directors, deans, and the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs shall ensure that criteria for tenure do not change for the faculty member while service has been excluded from a faculty member’s probationary period.

      8. Other exceptional circumstances not mentioned above may be reviewed and can result in a suspension of the tenure clock if deemed appropriate by the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs to be in the university’s best interests.

      9. Exceptions to the eligibility criteria must be specifically justified during the tenure process.

    2. Eligibility for Promotion

      In all cases, promotions are based on judgments of professional achievements. Certain broad principles of eligibility, noted below, are generally observed in the promotion process:

      1. It is expected that a faculty member who meets the criteria for tenure will also meet the criteria for promotion to associate professor. A tenure-track faculty member whose rank is below associate professor must apply for tenure at the same time he or she applies for promotion.

      2. Assistant, associate, and full professors must hold the terminal degree or be adjudged by the personnel committee and the administration to possess exceptional proficiency and professional competency in their teaching discipline. If an individual does not have the recognized terminal degree, the maximum rank that will normally be attained will be assistant professor. Exceptions may be considered only for those individuals with exceptionally long service who have established a record of teaching, scholarly activities and service that clearly exceeds the requirements for promotion.

      3. Typically, faculty spend five years in rank before being eligible for promotion. The year in which the promotion is reviewed will count as one of the years in rank.

      4. Exceptions to the eligibility criteria should be specifically justified during the promotion process.

    3. Responsibilities of Candidates for Tenure and Promotion

      1. Candidates must verify and sign the Review Group Information Form (submitted by candidate), which confirms their candidacy for tenure or promotion.

      2. Candidates must provide documentation that supports the quality of their teaching, scholarly and creative activity, and leadership and service as defined in department or school and college criteria. This documentation should be arranged and presented in the order of categories prescribed by the Texas State Vita or Texas State Vita (With Fine Arts Components), and the Faculty Qualifications System.

      3. The Texas State Vita or Texas State Vita (With Fine Arts Components) must document all achievements and highlight those that apply to the probationary period or time period since the last promotion.

      4. Candidates must adhere to the timeline published for the tenure and promotion process and are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of the documentation submitted.

      5. As delineated in college policy (see Section 05.01 b.), all promotion and tenure candidates will work with their chair or director to select appropriate reviewers from outside the institution to review their creative and scholarly accomplishments. The outside reviewers will be acceptable to both the candidate and the chair or director.

      6. Tenured candidates who are not approved for promotion may request a meeting scheduled by the chair or director to develop a program of professional development to enhance the likelihood of future promotion.

      7. Candidates who are denied promotion or tenure are responsible for initiating any relevant appeal or grievance procedure.

  4. RESPONSIBILITIES, REVIEW PROCESS, AND VOTING

    1. Responsibilities

      1. After consulting with the voting faculty, the department chair or school director and personnel committee will develop a policy for tenure and promotion. The policy should specify the level of performance expected and clarify the requirements for documenting performance in teaching, scholarly and creative activities, and leadership and service, including expectations for collegial contributions to the university community. High quality teaching is a necessary, but not sufficient, achievement upon which to base tenure and promotion. In addition, all candidates for tenure or promotion must provide a documented record of sustained peer-reviewed scholarly and creative activity. For those disciplines where applicable, external and internal funding activities, patents or commercialization of research will be considered. An outstanding record of leadership and service is normally expected for promotion to full professor; a sustained level of effective service is necessary for promotion to associate professor.

      2. Each department or school will provide each faculty member a copy of the department or school and college criteria for tenure and promotion.

      3. The chair or director and members of the personnel committee should counsel the candidate about including relevant materials and organizing supporting documents.

      4. The chair or director and personnel committee are responsible for a thorough evaluation of the candidate’s documentation. The chair or director and the personnel committee’s evaluations should describe the scholarly and creative work of each candidate in its totality and assess its impact on the expansion of knowledge in the discipline. This is particularly critical for promotion to full professor.

      5. Where no internal peer evaluation for tenure or promotion is possible, candidates must be reviewed by at least two qualified peers outside the university, selected by both the candidate and the department chair or school director. The outside reviewers must be acceptable to both the candidate and the chair or director.

      6. The personnel committee will state briefly and clearly the criteria for evaluation on the forms to be forwarded with each candidate’s application. The personnel committee’s comments and the chair or director’s comments on the Evaluation Form should leave no doubt as to the action desired by the department or school. For candidates whose applications have been approved by the department or school, the comments should fully develop a rationale for recommending the candidate, leaving no doubt about the candidate’s suitability and importance to the future development of the department or school.

      7. Because members of the college review group serve as evaluators of the candidate’s credentials they will not serve as advocates. Remarks should be restricted to answering specific questions from the other members.

      8. Department or school faculty and administrators should refrain from attempting to influence the decision-making process at higher levels.

      9. Tenured faculty members and those on tenure-track with one or more years of service at Texas State will elect a tenured representative and maximum of two tenured alternates to the college review group. Names of the representatives and alternates will be submitted to the dean on the Nominees for College Review Group form. Representatives will serve staggered three-year terms.

    2. Review Process

      1. The department chair or school director and personnel committee will develop a policy for tenure and promotion, after consulting the voting faculty.

        1. The policy should specify the level of performance expected and clarify the requirements for documenting performance in teaching, scholarly and creative activities, and leadership and service, including expectations for collegial contributions to the university community.

        2. The policy should identify the role of the personnel committee, including the use of subcommittees, in the review process.

        3. High quality teaching is a necessary but not sufficient achievement which to base tenure and promotion.

        4. All candidates for tenure and promotion must provide a documented record of sustained peer-reviewed scholarly or creative activity. For those disciplines, where applicable, external and internal funding activities, patents, and commercialization of research will be considered.

        5. An outstanding record of leadership and service is normally expected for promotion to full professor; a sustained level of effective service is necessary for promotion to associate professor.

      2. The chair or director will make the candidate’s documentation available for review by the personnel committee, and members of the committee will review the candidate’s documentation before the formal meeting. The chair or director is responsible for the security of the files during the department or school review.

      3. No additional items may be included in the documentation without the permission of the chair or director and the candidate. Additional items should be clearly identified as supplemental to the original documentation.

      4. At a meeting of the personnel committee, presided over by the chair or director in a non-voting capacity, the personnel committee will discuss and vote by secret ballot to recommend or not to recommend each of the candidates for tenure or promotion. The chair or director will remind the committee that all discussions and actions taken are confidential.

      5. Members of the personnel committee may not vote on a candidate for promotion to a rank higher than their own. In accordance with UPPS No. 04.04.07, Nepotism and Related Employment, faculty members will not vote and must leave tenure and promotion meetings when their spouses or family members are being discussed and votes taken.

      6. A tie vote is a vote not to recommend.

      7. If on first vote a candidate is not approved for tenure and promotion, any member of the department or school personnel committee may request a second vote to reconsider the decision. Such reconsideration will be given if approved by a two-thirds majority of the departmental personnel committee present and voting. The vote to reconsider must be conducted in the same meeting and not a subsequent meeting.

    3. Voting

      1. Full professors who are members of the department’s or school’s personnel committee will vote by ballot first to approve or disapprove candidates for full professor. Once the vote is completed, both full and associate professors will convene to vote on candidates for tenure and promotion to associate professor. Members must be present to vote.

      2. In the second meeting, there is one vote to approve or disapprove candidates eligible for tenure or candidates eligible for promotion to associate professor. If a candidate already holds the rank of associate professor, there is a vote for tenure only. If a candidate already holds tenure at a rank below that of associate professor, there is a vote for promotion to associate professor only.

      3. The chair or director and a member of the personnel committee selected by the other members of the committee should conduct independent counts of the ballots before the results are announced. Any discrepancy between the two counts should be resolved before the results are announced to the personnel committee.

      4. A member of the personnel committee will enter the results of the voting on the Evaluation Form, along with evaluative remarks that include a statement showing how the candidate’s qualifications specifically met or exceeded the department and college criteria established for tenure or promotion from the personnel committee’s perspective. If the vote is to deny tenure or promotion, comments may be provided but are not required.

      5. The chair or director is responsible for ensuring that the comments accurately reflect the rationale for recommending the candidate for tenure or promotion.

      6. Following the verification and the official recording of the votes, the chair or director will destroy all ballots and tally sheets.

      7. The chair or director will indicate his or her recommendation of each candidate on the Evaluation Form and add evaluative comments. These will include a statement showing how the candidate’s qualifications specifically meet or exceed the department and college criteria established for tenure or promotion from the chair’s or director’s perspective. If the vote is to deny tenure or promotion, comments may be provided, but are not required. The chair or director will inform the department personnel committee of these recommendations, with explanations as appropriate, within three class days of the chair’s decision.

      8. The chair or director will verify that information forwarded about each candidate to the college review group is correct.

      9. The chair or director will attach a copy of the Tenure and Promotion Tracking Form to each application and will forward the approved applications and documentation, with a copy of the department’s evaluation criteria, to the dean of the college.

      10. Within three class days of the decision by the chair or director, the chair or director will notify the candidate of the action. The following two decisions require written notification:

        1. if the candidate is denied by either the personnel committee or the chair or director but not both, the application will be forwarded to the college review group; and

        2. if the candidate is denied by both the personnel committee and the chair or director.

      11. At the candidate’s request and provided that the denial of promotion does not result in a terminal contract, the chair or director will schedule a meeting with the candidate to discuss the department’s evaluation. Reasons for denial of promotion will be explained. The candidate will be advised in creating a program of professional development to enhance the likelihood of future promotion.

  5. PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW OF CANDIDATES

    1. Responsibilities

      1. Colleges must have detailed and explicit requirements for documentation incorporated into their tenure and promotion policies and procedures.

      2. Colleges must establish and implement a policy and procedure statement for the process of external review of scholarly and creative activity for all candidates.

      3. The review group must be composed of one tenured faculty member, preferably from the full-professor rank, elected by the tenure-track and tenured voting faculty in each department; the department chairs or school directors; one tenured faculty member from another college; one outside academic dean, chair, or director; and the dean of the college, who is a non-voting member. Elected representatives will serve staggered three-year terms.

      4. For colleges with four or fewer departments, college review group membership may be expanded at the discretion of the college dean by adding additional faculty members from departments within the college.

      5. Because members of the college review group serve as evaluators of the candidate’s credentials, they will not serve as advocates. Remarks should be restricted to answering specific questions from the other members.

      6. Departmental faculty and administrators should refrain from trying to influence the decision-making process at higher levels.

      7. On the forms to be forwarded with each candidate’s application, the review group’s comments and the dean’s comments on the Evaluation Form should clearly express the action desired by the college. For candidates whose applications will go forward to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, the comments of the review group and the dean should fully develop a statement in support of the candidate, addressing the suitability of his or her qualifications and importance to the future development of the college.

    2. Review Process

      1. The dean will make the documentation for each candidate available, and members of the college review group will review the candidate’s documentation before the formal meeting. Copies of each department’s criteria and the college criteria will be on file for use by members of the review group. The dean is responsible for the security of the files during the college review.

      2. No additional items may be added to the documentation for the college review without the chair’s or director’s, dean’s, and candidate’s permission. Additional items should be clearly identified as supplemental to the original documentation.

      3. At the meeting to formally consider the candidates, the college review group will discuss each candidate for tenure and promotion to associate professor and will vote by ballot to approve or disapprove each of the candidates. In accordance with UPPS No. 04.04.07, Nepotism and Related Employment, faculty members must leave tenure and promotion meetings when their spouses or family members are being discussed and votes taken. The dean will remind the committee that all discussions and actions taken are confidential.

      4. The dean and a selected faculty representative will tally the votes. A tie vote is a vote not to recommend.

      5. After all candidates for tenure and promotion to associate professor have been voted on, any member of the review group may request a re-vote for a candidate. If two-thirds majority of the voting members agree, the re-hearing and re-vote will be held.

      6. A separate vote will be taken on candidates for promotion to professor. A re-vote may be requested as mentioned in Subsection e., above.

      7. A member of the review group will enter the results of the voting on the Evaluation Form along with evaluative remarks including a statement showing how the candidate’s qualifications specifically met or exceeded the departmental and college criteria established for tenure or promotion from the review group’s perspective. If the vote is to deny tenure or promotion, comments may be provided, but are not required.

      8. The dean will indicate approval or disapproval of each candidate. The dean will add comments on the Evaluation Form, including a statement showing how the candidate’s qualifications specifically met or exceeded the department and college criteria established for tenure or promotion from the dean’s perspective. If the vote is to deny tenure or promotion, comments may be provided but are not required. Within seven class days, the dean will inform the review group of his or her recommendation, with explanations as appropriate.

      9. The dean will verify that information about each candidate forwarded to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs is correct.

      10. The dean will forward a completed Review Cycle Form from the college along with applications of the approved candidates to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Supporting material will be retained in the dean’s office until required for review.

      11. The dean will send a copy of the Texas State Vita or Texas State Vita (With Fine Arts Components), the Review Group Information Form (Submitted by Candidate), and the Tenure and Promotion Tracking Form for each faculty member considered for tenure or promotion to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

      12. Within three class days of the completion of action by the review group and the dean, each candidate will be notified by the dean of the status of his or her application for tenure or promotion. The following two decisions require written notification.

        1. if the application is denied by either the review group or the dean but not both, the application will be forwarded to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Notification to the candidate must specify whether it was the review group or the dean who denied the application; and

        2. if the candidate is denied by both the review group and the dean.

      13. At the same time, the dean will direct the department chair or school director to inform the departmental personnel committee as to which applications have been forwarded.

      14. Provided that the denial of promotion does not result in the termination of contract, the chair or director, at the candidate’s request, will schedule a meeting with the dean and the candidate to discuss the college’s evaluation. Reasons for denial of promotion will be explained and the candidate will be advised in creating a program of professional development to enhance the likelihood of future promotion.

  6. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PROVOST AND VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS, PRESIDENT, CHANCELLOR AND BOARD OF REGENTS

    1. The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will meet with the dean of each college, discuss the candidates for tenure and promotion from that college, and formulate a recommendation to the president on each candidate.

    2. The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will forward the applications and the recommendations, along with his or her recommendation, on each candidate to the president using Provost and President Tracking Form.

    3. The president will make the final recommendations to the chancellor and TSUS Board of Regents.

    4. The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will provide written notification to each candidate of the president’s recommendation.

    5. The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will provide the list of the candidates approved by the chancellor and the TSUS Board of Regents to Media Relations.

    6. Within one month of the conclusion of the cycle, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will return the Review Group Information Forms to the office of the college dean, where they are retained for three years. The dean will return the documentation to the candidates.

    7. The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will complete the Tenure and Promotion Tracking Form for each faculty member eligible for consideration for tenure or promotion and prepare appropriate statistical summaries.

    8. Neither promotion nor tenure is effective until approved by the chancellor and the TSUS Board of Regents.

    9. Provided that the denial of promotion does not result in the terminal contract, the chair or director, at the candidate’s request, will schedule a meeting with the dean, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and the candidate to discuss the provost’s evaluation. These officials will explain reasons why the candidate was denied promotion and will advise the candidate on creating a program of professional development that will enhance the likelihood of future promotion, provided that the denial of promotion does not result in a terminal contract.

  7. TIMELINE FOR THE TENURE AND PROMOTION PROCESS

    1. The timeline will make allowances for weekends by moving due dates to the next business day when relevant. Exact dates for each year are published in the annual Tenure and Promotion Calendar.
  8. PROCEDURE FOR APPEAL

    1. Candidates who are denied promotion or tenure may grieve the decision by following the procedures outlined in AA/PPS No. 04.02.32, Faculty Grievance Policy.
  9. PROCEDURES FOR INFORMING CANDIDATES OF DENIAL OF TENURE OR PROMOTION

    1. Each person in the review and evaluation process has a professional responsibility to treat information that evaluates another’s work as confidential. All discussions and votes in the process must be kept confidential.

    2. Faculty members who are denied tenure are not entitled to a statement of the reasons upon which the decision is based (see section 4.27 of Chapter V of the TSUS Rules and Regulations).

    3. Faculty members who are denied promotion at any level should be informed regarding the reasons for denial by the responsible administrator, the chair or director, the dean, or the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs provided that the denial of promotion does not result in a terminal contract. It is the responsibility of the candidate to request a meeting to determine the reasons for denial.

  10. REVIEWER OF THIS PPS

    1. Reviewer of this PPS includes the following:

      Position Date
      Associate Provost September 1 E4Y
  11. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Associate Provost; senior reviewer of this PPS

    Provost