Southeast Missouri State University

F. Faculty Tenure and Promotion Policy

A university is an institution where the collective pursuit of knowledge and learning by its faculty and student body is the paramount focus. It achieves highest stature when students are exposed to excellent faculty, and where both faculty and students are actively involved in the pursuit of increased understanding in the academic disciplines. The tenure and promotion processes at Southeast Missouri State University are meant to reward, foster, and protect those types of activities by the faculty.

Historically at Southeast, tenure and promotion decisions have been reached by evaluation of a faculty member's past performance. At times, those making the tenure decision also attempted to incorporate an evaluation of the faculty member's likely future performance based primarily on that person's past performance.

Because both tenure and promotion decisions historically have been intended to evaluate a faculty member's performance, the Faculty Senate made the decision in 2008 to recommend combining into one decision what until that time had been two separate ones. It was decided that a faculty member whose performance had been strong enough to warrant promotion to the rank of Associate Professor would no doubt have performed strongly enough also to warrant tenure.

For that reason, this Tenure and Promotion Policy was designed to implement that decision. Under this policy, a faculty member promoted to, or hired at the level of Associate Professor or above shall automatically and concurrently receive tenure. The policy set out below may seem to emphasize promotion, but that is due in part to the fact that there are at least two ranks to which one may be promoted, only one of which (associate professor) is accompanied by tenure. Tenure, however, is much more important to maintaining a vital professoriate, for the reasons set out in the sections that follow.

Academic tenure is an agreement under which faculty appointments are continued until retirement, subject to dismissal for adequate cause or unavoidable termination on account of financial exigency or change of institutional program. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in the 1940 Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure states that tenure is "a means to certain ends: specifically, (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society" (Policy Documents and Reports, AAUP, 10th ed., 2006).

Southeast Missouri State University (hereinafter referred to as Southeast) endorses the 1940 Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, and in addition, subscribes to the following principles:

  1. No faculty member, whether tenured or not, shall have his or her employment terminated in violation of the principles of academic freedom and tenure. Therefore, a probationary faculty member has the same academic freedom enjoyed by all tenured faculty.
  2. A faculty member shall not lose his or her eligibility for tenure as a result of a break in his or her service at Southeast because of an approved leave or because of an institutional assignment to a special university program, e.g., a faculty exchange program.
  3. Tenure is not intended to ensure a continuing academic position to those who cease to deserve it. Hence, the employment of any tenured faculty member may be terminated at any time for due cause arising out of neglect of duty, incompetence, or moral turpitude. In the event the faculty member chooses to contest the effort to terminate his or her employment for cause, he or she will have recourse to procedures of Academic Due Process set forth in the appropriate sections of the Faculty Handbook.
  4. Once granted, tenure is not lost through a reduction in teaching load for administrative, professional, or personal reasons if approved by Southeast. Nor may tenure be lost through the taking of leaves or other alterations in assignment if sanctioned by Southeast.

Promotion is granted to faculty making appropriate contributions to Southeast, as measured against departmentally developed criteria, in the critical areas of teaching, professional growth, and service to the university, community, and profession.

In the promotion process, emphasis is placed on teaching effectiveness with the responsibilities for scholarly and creative endeavors, research, and service fulfilling the traditional concomitant roles. Faculty members are also expected to participate in tasks which are inseparable from the teaching and learning process and are essential to the harmonious operation of the departments, colleges, and Southeast as a whole.

Promotion in rank is a mechanism whereby Southeast accords recognition to a faculty member for his or her accomplishments in fulfilling the responsibilities outlined above. Academic rank is awarded following recognized standards that are commonly accepted by institutions of higher learning and indicates to the academic community as a whole the stature of the individual within the discipline and within the university. Promotion in rank is neither automatic nor the result of seniority. Promotion acknowledges the individual faculty member's excellence through the formal recognition and the financial reward associated with the higher rank.

The promotion process at Southeast is intended to ensure that all faculty members are evaluated fairly, using unit-specific criteria that are applied equally to all applicants. The process is open and transparent, based on written criteria. Every evaluating body or individual is, thus, expected to evaluate the faculty member according to the written criteria alone and to include in the written recommendations a statement of specific reasons why the faculty member meets or fails to meet the criteria for tenure and/or promotion. These reasons must be based on department criteria and cannot be based on undocumented statements, hearsay, or extraneous information.

Faculty who meet the criteria for promotion must be recommended for promotion regardless of the ratios among the ranks existing at that time.

Scholarship and creative activity manifest themselves differently in the various disciplines of the university. Within this context, departmental faculty are best informed and in the best position to establish specific criteria or objectives which indicate satisfactory contributions in teaching effectiveness, professional growth, and service.

While other University interests must be addressed and other review levels are a part of the promotion process, it is the department that initiates the review process and has the responsibility for assessing the extent to which departmental members have pursued their professional obligations. It is also the responsibility of the department and the department chair to advise a faculty member about the adequacy of his or her progress throughout the probationary period.
Amended by Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-20, April 20, 2011, reviewed by President April 2011, approved by Board of Regents October 21, 2011

To be considered eligible for tenure and promotion, a faculty member must meet the departmental standards. Five years in the Assistant Professor rank are expected before eligibility for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, unless otherwise contractually stipulated. (Faculty members, however, may elect to postpone application for tenure and promotion until the sixth year.)

A faculty member who is contractually granted years toward tenure and promotion at the time of appointment may include within his or her dossier activities and achievements during the five (or six) most recent years, although in evaluating the record, emphasis will be placed on activities and professional achievements while at Southeast.

Academic leaves with or without pay are not included as part of the probationary period. Institutional assignments to University programs, such as faculty exchange programs, are included as part of the probationary period.

A faculty member who applies for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor in the fifth year may consider the comments of evaluators and choose to withdraw his or her dossier from further consideration and then re-apply the following year without prejudice. This may be done any time in the process prior to review by the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee and shall be done by submitting a letter to the dean with copies to all previous evaluators. (A faculty member may not withdraw his or her dossier in the sixth or final year of the probationary period.) If tenure and promotion are granted, the faculty member will be placed on a continuing contract. If tenure and promotion are not granted in the sixth year (or in the fifth year if the dossier has been considered by the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee), a one year terminal, or a special contract as negotiated, will be granted.

Creditable Experience. The important role of teaching in the tenure and promotion process was noted in the section titled Guiding Principles for Promotion though, as noted below, credit may be awarded for relevant non-teaching experience. As a minimum, however, the following guides are used to determine creditable experience:

Classroom teaching at the college or university level, with equivalent partial credit being awarded for part-time teaching experience; full-time relevant non-college teaching, with credit up to full-time equivalent; and Relevant non-teaching experience, with credit up to full-time equivalent.

Credit is determined at the time of initial employment as negotiated by the faculty member, recommended by the department chairperson and dean, and approved by the provost.

Impact of Approved Leave or Temporary Institutional Reassignment. A faculty member does not lose years of creditable experience as a result of a break in service at Southeast because of an approved leave, or because of an institutional assignment to a special University program, e.g., a faculty exchange program.

The creditable experience guides in the preceding section will be used in determining time granted toward tenure and promotion. Scholarly and professional activities pursued during an approved leave or institutional assignment may be included in appropriate areas of the faculty member's dossier.

Academic Preparation. For a faculty member to be hired at the assistant professor level or higher, he or she must hold the doctorate in an appropriate field, except that in certain areas Southeast may be well served if an alternative, appropriate, recognized terminal degree is substituted for the doctorate. In those areas where a terminal degree is not the doctorate, the department may petition to have the doctoral requirement waived. The petitioning process allows a department to specify a particular area and degree that is appropriate for the discipline. In such cases, the request, along with supporting rationale, must be recommended by the Department Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee, department chairperson, endorsed by the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee, and the dean, and approved by the provost. This judgment is made in relation to disciplinary expectations and is independent of individuals seeking or applying for such positions.

Eligibility. The following are the minimum eligibility requirements for the award of Tenure and Promotion, Promotion, and Post-Professorial

Merit: Assistant Professor -- An earned doctorate or approved terminal degree. Tenure and Associate Professor -- An earned doctorate or approved terminal degree.

AND

Five years as an assistant professor, with at least three of those years at Southeast, except as explicitly designated in the initial contract. The faculty member is eligible to apply during the fifth year in rank.

Professor -- An earned doctorate or approved terminal degree.

AND

Four years as an associate professor, with at least three of those years at Southeast, except as explicitly designated in the initial contract. The faculty member is eligible to apply during the fourth year in rank.

Post-Professorial Merit -- An earned doctorate or approved terminal degree.

AND

Five years as a professor at Southeast or since previous Post-Professorial Merit. The faculty member is eligible to apply during the fifth year in rank. A faculty member may repeat the process with application during the fifth year following any previous successful application. There is no limit to the number of awards a faculty member may receive.

Hiring at Appropriate Rank. In order for a faculty member or academic administrator to be hired with academic rank, that person must have an official affiliation with an academic department or Kent Library. To be hired above Assistant Professor the individual must meet the departmental criteria for that rank, as judged by the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. Only once this has been done may that person be offered a contract and, if at the Associate Professor rank or above, will automatically be granted tenure upon appointment.

At least once per year, the provost shall provide to the Faculty Senate a report on the academic hiring activity of the previous year. This report shall cover all faculty positions and administrative positions with academic rank. Information to be reported shall include type of contract (tenured, tenure-track, non-tenure track, etc.), rank, salary, and discipline.

Tenure and promotion at Southeast Missouri State University are explicit collegial decisions based upon qualitative judgments about established criteria. These judgments are made by examining evidence at the department, college, and university levels and submitting recommendations to the Board of Regents for approval. In addition to the tenure and promotion eligibility standards listed above, faculty members in departments and other units (e.g., Kent Library) develop specific criteria that provide measures and/or standards appropriate to the unique character of the particular department or unit.

Each department or unit will recommend evaluative criteria. A faculty member assigned to non-teaching duties must be assigned to one or more home departments. In such cases, the department or departments shall develop relevant, evaluative criteria.

The criteria for the first award of post-professorial merit shall be the same as those for the promotion from Associate Professor to Professor. For subsequent application for post-professorial merit, the faculty member may choose

  1. to meet the same criteria as those for promotion from Associate Professor to Professor,
  2. to contract an exception to the criteria that would permit a specialized focus while maintaining the overall rigor of performance expectations. Under this option the faculty member initiates a proposal that is reviewed by the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee, departmental chairperson, dean, and provost. If supported at all stages, the contract shall go into effect. In the event of disagreement, the provost shall convene a meeting of all parties to resolve the disagreement. The proposal shall be negotiated during the first year of the performance period. The faculty member may abrogate this contract at any time and elect option 1.

Contracts may take the form of, but are not limited to, the following examples: "A faculty member may propose to emphasize a second area and deemphasize the third (e.g., if the criteria for full professor are ratings of one "outstanding" and two "superior," then a positive recommendation can be achieved with two ratings of "outstanding" and one "good"). If departmental criteria require a rating of "outstanding" in one specific area, that requirement must be met.

"A faculty member may propose to meet the requirements in one area by placing additional emphasis on some criteria and reducing or eliminating the emphasis on other criteria.

"A faculty member may propose to do fewer, but more specialized, activities from a list of activities included in the departmental criteria.

Expectations

To achieve tenure and promotion or promotion, a faculty member shall hold the appropriate terminal degree and must satisfy the departmental criteria for that rank in the following areas:

  1. Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness as measured by various criteria, such as self-evaluation, peer evaluation, department chairperson's evaluation, appropriate student performance, and student evaluation. Teaching effectiveness, in addition to in-class performance, shall include course planning, organization, and development. For evaluation of librarians, librarian effectiveness is equated with teaching effectiveness, and includes those activities directly supporting the educational mission of Southeast: reference work, information literacy, collection development, acquisitions, bibliographic control, archival management, access services, administrative activities, and library systems/technology. The faculty member may not be compelled by unit criteria, committees, or individuals to submit student evaluation data as evidence of teaching effectiveness (Student Evaluation of Instruction Policy). The absence of such data may not be construed negatively.
  2. Evidence of Professional Growth as demonstrated by scholarly, research, and creative activities, involvement in professional organizations and societies, and participation in seminars, institutes, and educational opportunities.
  3. Evidence of Service as indicated by the fulfillment of departmental duties and responsibilities, such as academic advising, involvement and leadership in departmental, college, and university committees, contributions to student and professional organizations, and representation of the discipline or Southeast in the larger community: locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Exceptions

Departmental criteria are developed with an acknowledgment that on rare occasions a faculty member who does not meet minimum standards in every area may be able to support such a powerful case for promotion that his or her application deserves consideration through the regular promotion process. In those unusual instances, the dossier (see below for definition) must indicate that the objective criteria are not completely met, and the faculty member's dossier must unequivocally demonstrate exceptional merit.

Each department has the responsibility to develop, maintain, and, when necessary, recommend changes to its tenure and promotion criteria. Nothing in those criteria may contradict other provisions of the Faculty Handbook. For example, departmental criteria shall not require that a faculty member submit student evaluations if other Handbook policy prohibits such a requirement.

Departmental criteria for tenure and promotion, promotion, and post-professorial merit should be organized by the headings Teaching Effectiveness, Professional Growth, and Service and contain within each heading those activities that the department considers relevant accompanied by the expectations for achieving promotion. Once developed or modified, these criteria are subject to the approval of the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee, college dean, University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee, and provost. Once approved, and until revised by the department, these criteria shall serve as the sole basis upon which faculty members are evaluated for tenure and promotion. No committee or individual evaluating a dossier may impose criteria upon a faculty member in excess of those itemized in the departmental criteria. New sets of criteria or revisions to existing criteria shall be approved through the process described below. Until such time as new or revised criteria are approved, existing criteria remain in force.

  1. The Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee develops draft criteria, which are then approved by a majority vote of the tenured and tenure-track faculty of the department.
  2. The criteria are transmitted to the dean for him or her to share with the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. If both the dean and the college committee approve the recommended departmental criteria, the criteria will be sent to the chairperson of the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee.
  3. If the recommendations of the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee or the dean differ from those of the department, the dean or college committee chairperson will submit the suggested changes, along with supporting rationale, to the department chairperson within 45 calendar days of receipt of the criteria during the academic year (or within a mutually agreed upon time period during summer). If this deadline is not met, the department chairperson will contact the provost for resolution. Following deliberations in the department, the recommended departmental criteria will again be submitted to the dean and college committee for review. If differences persist with either the college committee or the dean, the recommendations of the department, college committee, and the dean shall be submitted within 30 calendar days of receipt of the criteria during the academic year (or within a mutually agreed upon time period during summer) to the chairperson of the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee. If this deadline is not met, the department chairperson will contact the provost for resolution. The University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee shall either endorse the criteria or return them to the department with suggested changes, along with supporting rationale (with a copy sent to the dean), to repeat steps 1 through 3.

    If the criteria are approved by the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee, they shall be transmitted to the provost for final approval.
  4. 4. If the provost approves the criteria, he or she shall so inform the department, dean, and members of the university committee. If the provost does not approve the criteria, he or she shall meet with the university committee to resolve the disagreement. If the disagreement cannot be resolved, the university committee shall return the criteria, along with any suggested changes and supporting rationale, to the department for its consideration.

For a period of three years following the final approval of a revision of the departmental criteria, a faculty member applying for tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit may elect to be evaluated by the previous criteria instead of the new ones.

The faculty member's promotion dossier shall comprise the Summary Form, a Record of Service of accomplishments organized according to the departmental tenure and promotion criteria, a professional curriculum vita, letters of support from professional colleagues addressing the three areas of Teaching Effectiveness, Professional Growth, and Service, and any supporting materials that the faculty member wishes to include, provided that the documents forwarded beyond the departmental level do not exceed the contents of two, three-inch binders.

Period Covered by Dossier. The period covered by the faculty member's Record of Service should be
from the time of original employment (including any activities contractually counting towards tenure and/or promotion), or
"from the time of any previous, successful application for tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit
until the date when the final version of the dossier is submitted for consideration for tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit.

Preparation of the Dossier. The tenure and promotion and post-professorial merit processes involve critical reviews by individuals and committees on several levels. The evaluations and judgments made during these processes must be based solely on evidence presented in the dossier as measured against the departmental criteria. For this reason, the collection and organization of evidence are vital. Thorough documentation enables the reviewers to make judgments based on sound evidence and greatly enhances the prospects of a favorable recommendation. Conversely, inadequate documentation can seriously reduce the possibility of a favorable recommendation even though the performance of the faculty member may otherwise warrant it.

The suggestions that follow are intended to assist departments and faculty members in collecting evidence to be included in the dossier. They are not requirements; rather, they are presented as general guides. When integrated with the criteria, these guides suggest how the faculty member can most clearly substantiate his or her performance in a well-documented academic profile, and therefore present the strongest case possible.

Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness. None of the criteria is more important in the promotion process than that of teaching effectiveness. The faculty member, recognizing the inevitable range of opinion with respect to teaching effectiveness, should include all evidence accumulated as part of the promotion material. The complexity of this area suggests the collection of data from a variety of sources:

  1. Course planning activities play an important role in subsequent classroom activities; for example, syllabi and course outlines, bibliographies, methods for testing and evaluation, texts, and assignments required of students may be used to demonstrate the quality of the planning process as it relates to teaching.
  2. Classroom and laboratory activities form another measure of teaching effectiveness; for example, student and peer evaluations of actual performance, peer evaluation of effectiveness of educational approaches, and the quality of faculty-student interaction are areas in which documentation could be provided. This information may be collected from observations by students, peers, and/or department chairpersons.
  3. Analyses of team-teaching situations, video-taped presentations, and/or group interactions may also be submitted.
  4. Academic performance of students is another factor which may be considered in making judgments concerning teaching effectiveness. This might include such factors as appraisal of student development, pre-test/post-test performance, evidence of students' ability to perform in subsequent sequenced courses, demonstrable competencies, special student awards or recognition, placement and follow-up studies, creative exhibits and concerts developed by students.
  5. Adaptability and disciplinary currency demonstrated in the teaching/learning process may also be used. In this respect, a faculty member may call attention to the extent of course revisions made, how objectives were met, how student feedback was employed to enhance teaching effectiveness, and/or personal assessment mechanisms developed.
  6. Other systematic reviews of instructional strategies appropriate to particular disciplines may also be helpful in adjudicating teaching effectiveness.

Evidence of Professional Growth. Documentation of activities in this area is essential if this criterion is to receive the high priority it deserves. The approaches used to provide evidence may vary widely from one discipline to another and may vary considerably within a discipline, depending upon the nature of the activity. The measurements of the value of recitals, exhibits, and presentations may be diverse, but the common goal is to provide evidence of scholarly or creative activity within a wider forum than the particular classroom or laboratory. Providing evidence of scholarly or creative activity makes possible the judgment of peers within the discipline. Quantification of such scholarly/creative activity is difficult, and the sheer volume of such activities is not the sole or primary measure. The following points may be considered.

  1. Books, articles, and reviews are common forms used to demonstrate scholarly activity. Complete bibliographic information and copies of the material augmented by reviewer comments when available are helpful. Some indication of the stature of the publication (juried, circulation, national/regional scope) may provide assistance in judging the scholarly activity of the faculty member. In the case of joint authorship, the faculty member should indicate his or her contribution.
  2. Documented innovations in pedagogy that have had an effect upon teaching within a discipline, more broadly than a specific course, may be submitted.
  3. Exhibitions, public performances, and concerts provide another source of information, particularly in the visual and performing arts. For example, evidence may be provided that reveals the significance of the activity or event, whether the works were "juried," whether they were made on an invited basis, and what awards were received.
  4. Advanced study and other forms of professional development may provide additional basis for judgment. For example, special participation in national workshops or programs, endorsements by experts in the field, advanced course work, and personal evaluations of new pedagogical methods may add another perspective.
  5. Leadership in professional associations may be demonstrated by office held, a description of the responsibilities, an indication of the size of the organization, time committed, the selection process for the position, and the type of association in which the leadership was demonstrated.
  6. The importance of conducting workshops, consulting, and jurying may be revealed by the significance of the activities, their resulting effect, the level or stature of the group being served, and requests for repeated performance.

Evidence of Service. This criterion plays an important role in the promotion process. Under its broad heading high priority is given to service to students through formal and informal contacts as academic advisers and counselors. The area also embraces participation on committees on the department, college, and university levels, as well as various professional roles in the community at large.

In developing documentation, individuals may present various forms of evidence such as

  1. Assignment and performance of academic advising.
  2. Involvement in student organizations.
  3. Committee participation at the departmental, college, and university levels is an essential professional responsibility. Documentation in this area may be provided through the use of peer and committee chairpersons' evaluations of the effectiveness of the role performed, descriptions of the responsibilities and their impacts, identification of committee work, and the types of leadership performed.
  4. Contributions to the broader university community may be illustrated through peer, chairperson, and administrative letters of support, notation of special performances and/or presentations, and special recognitions or awards received.
  5. Involvement in off-campus activities may be demonstrated by evidence of activities in continuing education or other outside agencies and institutions.
  6. Evidence may be presented which indicates significant discipline-oriented professional service to the community at large through the identification of the groups served and the level of activity provided.

The review of a faculty member for the purposes of promotion is a critical decision-making process in the professional advancement of the individual. Next to tenure, it is the most significant action that can be taken in regard to the status of a faculty member. The deliberative action taken in the process serves as a primary component in the review of dossiers. The committee structure integral to this process provides a framework for collegial activity by fostering faculty and administrative dialogue. The chairs of each review committee submit recommendations to the corresponding administrator. The chairperson, dean, and provost coordinate procedures at their respective levels and also submit recommendations to the next level.

Because the process requires an independent and unbiased review of a faculty member's dossier at each level, no one shall serve on a tenure and promotion review committee at more than one level. (With regard to Kent Library, the department shall function as the committee, the director functions as chair, and the dean functions also as the college committee.) This does not preclude a member of any one of these committees writing a recommendation for a faculty member. If a committee member becomes ineligible to serve because of a change of status, a replacement to fulfill the unexpired term shall be named by the original electing authority according to its election procedures. The committee shall be responsible for determining a procedure to be followed in the event that one of its members is applying for promotion or post-professorial merit.

The three committees in sequential order are as follows:

Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. The functions of the Department Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee are 1) to develop and review departmental tenure and promotion criteria and procedures and 2) to make recommendations regarding a faculty member's qualifications to the department chairperson, who will then forward those recommendations to the dean. Each department will establish a tenure and promotion advisory committee consisting solely of tenured faculty. Because one tenured department faculty member will serve on the college committee and another could possibly serve on the university committee (and because such individuals are not eligible also to serve on the departmental committee), the departmental committee will not consist of all tenured faculty in the department. Beyond these constraints, the department shall choose whether the committee shall consist of the remaining eligible faculty or of some smaller number of those faculty. Members of this committee and its chairperson are to be selected using procedures agreed upon by a vote of all tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department. The chairperson of the department shall not serve on the committee, not participate in the committee process, and not be present during committee deliberations.

In those departments where the department determines that there are insufficient tenured faculty to constitute a working tenure and promotion advisory committee, the tenured faculty of the department shall be augmented by a sufficient number of tenured faculty from other departments to achieve the desired number.

These members shall be chosen using procedures agreed upon by a vote of all tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department. No one shall be eligible to serve in this capacity if he or she would be in a position of evaluating any faculty member's dossier at more than one level, or if he or she is a department chairperson.

College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. The functions of the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee are 1) to review and approve departmental tenure and promotion criteria and procedures and 2) to make recommendations regarding a faculty member's qualifications to the dean, who will then forward those recommendations to the provost. Each college (or free-standing "school" composed of academic departments made up of faculty, e.g., the School of Polytechnic Studies) will establish a College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee comprising tenured faculty, at least one representing each department. These departmental representatives shall be elected by procedures agreed upon by a vote of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in each department. No member of this committee may also serve on a Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee in the same college or school. Members are elected only by tenured and tenure track faculty from among tenured faculty in the department. Should a department lack sufficient tenured members, it shall elect a tenured representative from a other department as its representative on the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. No one shall be eligible to serve in this capacity if he or she would be in a position of evaluating any faculty member's dossier at more than on level, or if he or she is a department chairperson. The dean shall not serve on the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee, shall not participate in, and shall not be present during deliberations of the committee. The committee shall determine its own chairperson. The college dean is responsible for coordinating tenure and promotion procedures at the college level, for making recommendations on tenure and promotion to the provost, and for transmitting recommendations of the college committee to the provost.

University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee. The purposes of the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee are to 1) review and approve departmental promotion criteria, 2) make recommendations regarding a faculty member's qualifications for tenure and promotion, promotion, and post-professorial merit to the provost, and 3) make recommendations for sabbatical leave in accordance with the sabbatical leave policies and procedures. The committee is composed of one tenured faculty member from each college (or free-standing "school" composed of academic departments made up of faculty, e.g., the School of Polytechnic Studies), and Kent Library elected to the committee by a vote of the tenured and tenure track faculty in each unit. Though elected from each of these units, members are not representatives of their respective units, but rather of the faculty as a whole. Members shall be elected by secret ballot through a process conducted within each unit (as defined above). The provost shall inform the dean or director of each unit when an election is necessary. The dean or director shall invite all eligible faculty members to become candidates. There must be at least two candidates on the ballot. The chairperson and another member of the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee shall together count the votes and announce the outcome. In the event that no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the dean or director shall conduct a run-off election between the top two candidates. (Deans, department chairpersons, and faculty with over 50% administrative release time are ineligible to serve. Should the responsibilities of a faculty member elected to the committee change to include more than 50% administrative responsibilities, he or she must resign from the committee. A replacement member shall be elected by the unit for the remainder of that individual's term or his or her release from administrative duties, whichever is the shorter time period.) In the event that a vacancy occurs on the University Committee resulting from a member's resignation, that vacancy shall be filled by a special election in the relevant unit to complete the term, employing the same procedures as for the regular election. Faculty members serve terms of four years with the terms of one or two members expiring every year. Members may be re-elected. The committee shall annually elect its own chair. The dean of graduate studies shall be responsible for convening the initial annual meeting at which the chair is elected. The dean is not a voting member of this committee and may only be present during committee deliberations if invited by the committee for consultation.

The probationary faculty member is to be evaluated each semester for the first two years and once each year for the remaining years of the probationary period. Evaluation in the fifth and/or sixth year will be conducted in the fall semester. Evaluations will include at least two observations by members of the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee of classes taught by the probationary faculty member. At least one observation per year must be made by the department chairperson. Classroom observations must be conducted at a mutually agreeable time; the faculty member must be informed in advance of all evaluative visits. The faculty member may provide a set of class objectives to the evaluator ahead of the visit. These visits will be preceded by a discussion between the faculty member and evaluator regarding the objectives of the class period to be evaluated. Following the evaluation, the evaluator will review the evaluation with the faculty member. The probationary faculty member may also invite other individuals to observe his or her teaching (or its equivalent) for purposes of evaluation.

The department chairperson, after consideration of the teaching evaluations made by the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee members and reflection on his or her own evaluation of the probationary faculty member's progress towards tenure and promotion, will prepare a written report appraising the performance of each probationary faculty member at each evaluation period, i.e., each semester during the first two years and each year in subsequent years. These reports are submitted to the probationary faculty member, the dean of the college, and the provost, and shall be signed by each acknowledging that the reports have been seen and read. Should the probationary faculty member disagree with the evaluative reports, he or she may indicate that disagreement by means of an explanatory note or letter that shall be permanently attached to the evaluation. It is the responsibility of the department chairperson to confer with the probationary faculty member to discuss the contents of each written report and the professional evaluation it summarizes. Upon the request of the probationary faculty member or at the discretion of the department chairperson, follow-up conferences may be scheduled.

At the beginning of the third year, the department chairperson shall inform the faculty member of his or her option to choose to be reviewed in either the third or fourth year. (The faculty member's selection shall not restrict his or her option of selecting the fifth or sixth year to submit an application for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.) The faculty member shall inform the department chairperson of his or her choice of a third or fourth year review, and the chairperson shall inform the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee.

For dates specified in this section, materials and/or recommendations will be due by 5:00 p.m. on the listed day. Should any of these dates fall on a weekend or university holiday, materials and/or recommendations will be due on the business day after the date specified.

By March 1st of the chosen (third or fourth) year, the probationary faculty member will submit his or her Record of Service to the chairperson for review by the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee and the chairperson. The evaluation of the probationary period constitutes a general review of the probationary faculty member's progress toward tenure and promotion. As a part of this review, the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee shall identify the faculty member's strengths and weaknesses with respect to the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. By March 31st a conference shall be called by the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee and include the faculty member, the entire committee and the department chairperson to discuss the committee's preliminary review. This meeting provides an opportunity for the faculty member and colleagues to discuss the faculty member's record of service and future direction.

Within five working days of this meeting, the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee shall prepare a letter identifying its recommendation and specifically stating how well the faculty member is making progress towards meeting each of the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. A copy of the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee's letter shall be sent to the faculty member. The Record of Service and letter(s) shall then be forwarded to the department chairperson.

By April 15, the department chairperson shall prepare a letter identifying his or her recommendation and specifically stating how well the faculty member is making progress towards meeting each of the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. A copy of the department chairperson's letter shall be sent to the faculty member and the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee.

Following receipt of these letters, the faculty member shall have the option of submitting to the department chairperson within five business days a letter of response that shall be attached to the chairperson's letter. A copy of these letters will be forwarded to the dean who will then forward them to the provost.

The third or fourth year review is a critical event in the progress of a probationary faculty member toward tenure and promotion and should not be underestimated. In the event that a probationary faculty member cannot demonstrate evidence of addressing unsatisfactory evaluations received during previous semesters, the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee may recommend termination of the contract.
Amended by Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-20, April 20, 2011, reviewed by President April 2011, approved by Board of Regents October 21, 2011

The individual faculty member is responsible for the collection, organization, and presentation of material to support his or her application.

Only professional accomplishments while serving at the current rank (or since the previous successful application for post-professorial merit) will be considered. Throughout the process, all parties and/or committees shall afford open access to the dossier by the faculty member. The faculty member may withdraw his or her dossier from consideration at any level of the promotion or post-professorial merit process, except when tenure is involved. (Withdrawal when tenure is involved is described under "Tenure and Promotion Eligibility Standards").

For every tenure track or tenured faculty member hired by Southeast, the initial contract shall explicitly state when that individual is eligible for tenure and promotion or promotion. For faculty hired to begin service at mid-year (i.e. January), the provost shall inform the faculty member upon signing the initial contract of employment of the choice to be eligible for tenure and promotion or promotion one semester earlier or one semester later than a faculty member hired at the beginning of the academic year.

The department has the principal, but not exclusive, responsibility to evaluate how qualified the faculty member is for tenure and promotion or promotion. This is appropriate since both tenure and promotion relate to the specific discipline. However, the department constitutes but one emphasis in the college and the college one component of the university; the dean of the college, the provost, and the president have roles in the effective operation of the tenure and promotion processes. Ultimately, as in all major decisions, it is action by the Board of Regents that is legally binding.

Throughout the process defined below, evaluators will generally either recommend or not recommend promotion of the faculty member. However, in the case of a faculty member in the final year of his or her probationary period, the evaluators will recommend the following:

  1. tenure and promotion, OR
  2. denial of tenure and promotion, but instead a recommendation of extension of employment by term contract when it is in the best interests of Southeast, OR
  3. denial of tenure and termination of the faculty member's contract at the end of the following year of service.

Should disagreements arise during the process described in this policy, individual faculty members may seek redress through the procedures herein established. All institutional procedures and judgments in these matters should uphold and protect free speech, fair comment, objective dissent, and critical thought, attributes that lie at the heart of a free intellectual life.

Materials and/or recommendations will be due by 5:00 p.m. on the listed day. Should any of the following dates fall on a weekend or university holiday, materials and/or recommendations will be due on the business day after the date specified.

Tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit steps will be completed by the following dates:

August 15 - The provost shall inform deans, chairpersons, and the faculty member eligible to be considered for tenure and promotion, promotion, or post- professorial merit that he or she may submit a dossier to the department chairperson. If a faculty member is entering his or her final year of the probationary period, the provost must inform all parties that the faculty member must submit an application for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.

Preliminary Review. November 15 - The faculty member who wishes to apply for tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit shall submit his or her dossier to the department or unit chairperson, who shall forward it to the Department Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. In those cases where the department or unit chairperson is applying for tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit, the tenured and tenure track faculty of the department or unit shall select, with the assistance of the dean, an individual to fulfill the department or unit chairperson's responsibilities.

December 15 - The Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee chair shall notify the faculty member in writing of deficiencies in or recommended modifications to the dossier.

Final Review
A faculty member's application for tenure and promotion, promotion, or post- professorial merit will continue forward through the following process unless it receives two consecutive negative recommendations at the college level or above, with the following exceptions:

In the event that a faculty member's application receives negative recommendations from the University Tenure, Promotion, and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee and provost, the faculty member may appeal to the president. During this appeal, the faculty member may introduce any evidence he or she wishes.

If in the sixth or final year of the probationary period, a faculty member's application for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor has received support from the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee and department chairperson, but not from the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee and dean, the faculty member may ask the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee for review. If the university committee supports the application, it continues forward. Alternatively, if the university committee upholds the college recommendation, the application stops.

A faculty member may withdraw his or her dossier from further consideration at any time in the process except in the final year when tenure is involved. (Withdrawal when tenure is involved is described under Tenure and Promotion Eligibility Standards.)

January 15 -The faculty member shall submit a revised tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit dossier to the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. Once the dossier is submitted, no further amendments to its contents may be made by the faculty member, unless in response to a recommendation as delineated below. (A letter of response shall not insert into the dossier specific information about the faculty member's professional accomplishments or performance that was not included in the dossier upon its original submission.) In addition, no evaluator may mark on the dossier or add anything to the dossier, except for the Recommendation Form, without prior consultation with and written approval by the faculty member involved.

January 25 - The Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee shall prepare the Recommendation Form identifying its recommendation and specifically stating the reasons why the faculty member meets or fails to meet each of the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. A copy of the Recommendation Form shall be sent to the faculty member and the original added to the dossier. The dossier shall then be forwarded to the department chairperson. Within two business days of receipt of the recommendation, the faculty member shall have the option of notifying the department chairperson in writing that he or she wishes to submit a letter of response to the recommendation. The written notification shall be added to the dossier. The actual letter of response must be submitted within five business days of receipt of the recommendation (with a copy to the chairperson of the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee), at which time it will also be added to the dossier.

February 10 - The department chairperson shall prepare the Recommendation Form identifying his or her recommendation and specifically stating the reasons why the faculty member meets or fails to meet each of the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. A copy of the Recommendation Form shall be sent to the faculty member and the original added to the dossier. The dossier shall then be forwarded to the dean. Upon receipt of the faculty member's dossier, the dean will forward it to the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee.

Within two business days of receipt of the recommendation, the faculty member shall have the option of notifying the chairperson of the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee in writing that he or she wishes to submit a letter of response to the recommendation. The written notification shall be added to the dossier. The actual letter of response must be submitted within five business days of receipt of the recommendation (with a copy to the department chairperson), at which time it will also be added to the dossier.

March 1 - The College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee shall prepare the Recommendation Form identifying its recommendation and specifically stating the reasons why the faculty member meets or fails to meet each of the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. A copy of the Recommendation Form shall be sent to the faculty member and the original added to the dossier. The dossier shall then be returned to the dean.

Within two business days of receipt of the recommendation, the faculty member shall have the option of notifying the dean in writing that he or she wishes to submit a letter of response to the recommendation. The written notification shall be added to the dossier. The actual letter of response must be submitted within five business days of receipt of the recommendation (with a copy to the chairperson of the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee), at which time it will also be added to the dossier.

March 15 - The dean shall prepare the Recommendation Form identifying his or her recommendation and specifically stating the reasons why the faculty member meets or fails to meet each of the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. A copy of the Recommendation Form shall be sent to the faculty member and the original added to the dossier. The dossier shall then be forwarded to the provost. Upon receipt of the faculty member's dossier, the provost will forward it to the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee.

Within two business days of receipt of the recommendation, the faculty member shall have the option of notifying the chairperson of the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee in writing that he or she wishes to submit a letter of response to the recommendation. The written notification shall be added to the dossier. The actual letter of response must be submitted within five business days of receipt of the recommendation (with a copy to the dean), at which time it will also be added to the dossier.

April 15 - The University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee shall prepare the Recommendation Form identifying their recommendation and specifically stating the reasons why the faculty member meets or fails to meet each of the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. A copy of the Recommendation Form shall be sent to the faculty member and the original added to the dossier. The dossier shall then be returned to the provost.

Within two business days of receipt of the recommendation, the faculty member shall have the option of notifying the provost in writing that he or she wishes to submit a letter of response to the recommendation. The written notification shall be added to the dossier. The actual letter of response must be submitted within five business days of receipt of the recommendation (with a copy to the chairperson of the University Tenure and Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Advisory Committee), at which time it will also be added to the dossier.

May 5 -The provost shall prepare the Recommendation Form identifying his or her recommendation and specifically stating the reasons why the faculty member meets or fails to meet each of the departmental tenure and promotion criteria. Copies of the Recommendation Form shall be sent to the faculty member, department chairperson, and dean and the original added to the dossier. The dossier shall then be forwarded to the president.

Within two business days of receipt of the recommendation, the faculty member shall have the option of notifying the president in writing that he or she wishes to submit a letter of response to the recommendation. The written notification shall be added to the dossier. The actual letter of response must be submitted within five business days of receipt of the recommendation (with a copy to the provost), at which time it will also be added to the dossier.

The president has the responsibility of making recommendations to the Board of Regents concerning the tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit of eligible members of the faculty. The Board shall make the final decision on granting tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit to faculty members.

Within one week of the meeting at which the Board of Regents renders its decision on a faculty member's application for tenure and promotion, promotion, or post-professorial merit, the President will inform the faculty member in writing of the decision of the Board.

Embedded within the preceding process is the provision providing a faculty member with the opportunity to challenge any evaluation at any level (i.e., department, college, university) with which he or she disagrees by including in the dossier a written response. The written response then becomes part of the dossier reviewed and considered at the next level. In addition, appeals regarding claims that a policy or procedure has been misapplied or violated will be handled in accordance with the Grievance Policy.

A faculty member who receives promotion or post-professorial merit shall receive a base pay increase and a one-time individual professional development allocation (in addition to existing professional development funding). The base pay increases will be funded by a pool of monies included in the University's annual cost of continuing determined through the annual budget review process. Post-Professorial Merit increases will be funded by a pool consisting of no more that 12.5 percent of the aggregate amount of each year's faculty salary increase determined through the annual budget review process. If there is a year in which there is no faculty salary increase, contingencies will be made to fund Post-Professional Merit through the annual budget review process. The amounts of the base pay increase and the professional development allocations (see table below) shall be reviewed during the fiscal year 2010 budget review process and every two years thereafter.

Monetary Amounts for Fiscal Years 2004 to 2009
Level Base Pay Increase Professional Development
Associate Professor $6400 $1000
Professor $7900 $1000
Post-Professional Merit $5000* $1000

*Adjusted in 2007 from $4000

Name _____________________ Department__________________________
Present Rank________________Length of Service at University_____________________
Years of Service at Each Rank:
Instructor_______________Associate Professor____________________
Assistant Professor________________________Professor_____________________
Post-Professorial Merit____________________________________
Degrees Held Institution Date
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

Former Promotion Policy: Former Tenure Policy:

Approved by Faculty Senate, Bill 76-A-12 Revised and Amended-November 1980
Approved by Senate – November 1980
Approved by Board of Regents – January 1981
Amended by Faculty Senate, Bill 83-A-07
Approved by Faculty Senate – December 1983
Approved by Board of Regents – December 1983
Amended by Faculty Senate, Bill 00-A-11
Approved by Faculty Senate – May 2000
Approved by Board of Regents – June 2000
Revised & Approved by Faculty Senate 03-A-06 – May 14, 2003
Approved by Board of Regents – June 27, 2003
Amended by Faculty Senate, Bill 04-A-04, Approved by Board of Regents December 11, 2004

Approved by Faculty Senate, Bill 76-A-10 – April 1977
Approved by Board of Regents – May 1979
Amended by Faculty Senate, Bill 82-A-05: Revised – December 1982
Approved by Board of Regents – February 1983
Amended by Faculty Senate, Bill 83-A-03 – March 1983
Approved by Board of Regents - April 1983
Amended by Faculty Senate, Bill 03-A-05, May 14, 2003
Approved by Board of Regents – June 27, 2003
Combined Tenure and Promotion Policy:
Approved by Faculty Senate, Bill 08-A-04, May 7, 2008; Approved by Board of Regents May 9, 2008

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