Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

 
Effective date: 02-27-2013

Last reviewed/Reformatted:  Summer 2020

Southeastern Green Seal

Special Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academic Affairs Council approved COVID-19 Faculty Guidelines in May of 2020 that allows for an adjustment to the tenure clock.  Upon request, all faculty with mandatory promotion and/or tenure clocks, who are in the probationary period of their appointment term during 2019-2020 will receive a one-year extension to his/her tenure clock. The request should be submitted to the provost through the department head and dean. For faculty whose mandatory promotion and/or tenure review is scheduled for academic year 2020-21, requests should be submitted before July 1, 2020. For all other faculty, requests for a one-year extension may be submitted any time before July 1 of the mandatory promotion and/or tenure year. 

 

Policy Statement

By encouraging and rewarding faculty excellence, Southeastern’s tenure and promotion guidelines and procedures protect the quality of teaching and research provided by the University and provide guidance for mission-appropriate service. Faculty have a crucial role in the accomplishment of the University’s mission. The University’s tenure and promotion guidelines and procedures ensure individual faculty members contribute to the University’s mission of leading the educational, cultural, and economic development of southeast Louisiana, as appropriate given the faculty member’s discipline and rank.

 

Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to promote consistency across the entire University while allowing for variations in the academic departments and colleges to accommodate their specific needs. This policy aligns with the following current Rules of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors: 

 

Applicability

These guidelines are effective for interim reviews, tenure reviews, tenure and promotion reviews, and promotion-only reviews beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, with the exception of faculty who have completed the interim review prior to the 2014-2015 academic year. Faculty members who completed the interim review prior to the 2014-2015 academic year have the option of having their first tenure/promotion review only conducted under either these guidelines or under the Spring 2011 update of Southeastern Louisiana University’s 2007 Tenure and Promotion Guidelines.

For recommendations regarding the granting of tenure/promotion for faculty reviews that do not fall under these guidelines as described above, see the Spring 2011 update of Southeastern Louisiana University’s 2007 Tenure and Promotion Guidelines.

 

Principles of Tenure

  1. For assistant professors, recommendation for tenure will only be made in conjunction with recommendation for promotion to the rank of associate professor.

  2. Tenure is a means to certain ends, specifically: (a) the freedom to teach and research, and (b) a degree of economic security sufficient to attract men and women of ability into college teaching. “Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligation to its students and to society.” (AAUP, 1940 Statement of Principles)

  3. More than any other single factor, tenure decisions affect the faculty since individuals awarded tenure will retain that status until they “retire, resign, or are terminated for cause or as a result of financial exigency or program discontinuance” (Rules, Part Two, Section XI Tenure, located at: http://www.ulsystem.net/assets/docs/searchable/boards/Chpt_3_XI_Tenure_2_25_2011.pdf.)

  4. Therefore, tenure shall be granted only to those faculty members who demonstrate the ability and potential to advance the mission of the University.

  5. The probationary period for faculty appointed as assistant professors is normally six years; for faculty appointed as associate professors or professors, the probationary period is normally four years. However, prior to tenure-track appointment, a faculty member may negotiate with the dean, in consultation with the department head and with the approval of the Provost, President, and University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, to count years of previous full-time experience at the rank of assistant professor or higher as fulfilling part of the probationary period for tenure.

  6. Only time spent in a tenure-track faculty rank may be included in the probationary period. Time at rank of instructor shall not be counted.

  7. The tenure review must be completed no later than the end of the sixth year of full-time service at Southeastern for an assistant professor, or the fourth year for as associate professor or professor.

    In accordance with Board Rules of the University of Louisiana system, the institution may award tenure to faculty members of extraordinarily high merit prior to the end of the sixth probationary year. Any academic unit’s recommendation to award tenure before the end of the usual probationary period should be accompanied by an accounting of compelling reasons for this action. Denial of an early application for tenure does not affect the time allowed in the probationary period.

  8. Tenure shall be granted and held only within an academic discipline offered at the institution and assures renewed appointments only within that discipline.

 

Principles of Promotion

  1. Promotion in rank allows the University to reward and encourage true excellence in its faculty. It is a primary means of fulfilling the University’s self-concept as a premier regional university.

  2. Promotion in rank is recognition of the faculty member’s past achievement as well as his/her future potential for professional growth and the assumption of increasing responsibility.

  3. Policy of the University of Louisiana System limits the number of professors to 20-35% of the faculty and the number of associate professors to 25-35% (Rules, Part Two, Chapter III, Section X Faculty Rank, located at: https://s25260.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Chpt_3_X_Faculty_Rank.pdf.)

  4. Since promotions in rank are recognitions of success in a professional career, they should not be withheld for economic reasons. The promotion in rank should be accompanied by a salary increase. No situation should arise in which someone is denied a promotion because of insufficient financing.

  5. In cases or extraordinary merit, the time criterion may be waived.

 

Principles of Tenure and Promotion

  1. The principle of equality in the application of tenure and promotion criteria should be adhered to as much as possible across the University. It is primarily the responsibility of each dean to assure that the criteria are applied consistently from department to department within each college. It is primarily the responsibility of the Provost to assure that the criteria are applied consistently from college to college.

  2. From one department and college to another, there exists variety both in the opportunities for achievement and in the way activities are carried out. The principle that outstanding accomplishments in any area should be rewarded is perhaps as close as one can come to ensuring equity across diverse situations.

  3. The level of achievement in the work categories of Teaching/Job Effectiveness, Professional Activity, and Service (University Citizenship) forms the basis of tenure and promotion decisions.

  4. Achievement by faculty in the three work categories can be most readily assessed by members of the profession who are themselves engaged in similar pursuits; therefore, a thorough assessment by a faculty committee, optional external reviewers within the candidate’s discipline, and the department head is one of the utmost importance.

  5. No one element should be used as the principle evaluation metric for gauging effectiveness in Teaching/Job Effectiveness, Professional Activity, or Service. Rather, multiple measures should be employed to capture the dynamic of effectiveness across the categories.

  6. Every department will document and communicate its expectations for Teaching/Job Effectiveness, Professional Activity, and Service with regard to tenure and promotion and departmental review.

  7. Each department should ensure that its criteria for evaluation of Teaching/Job Effectiveness, Professional Activity, and Service accommodate unique aspects associated with the department.

  8. Factors irrelevant to professional performance (e.g., race, color, national origin, religion, gender, marital status, age, or disability) are excluded from consideration unless mandated by federal or state law or by judicial order.

 

Guidelines for the Evaluation of Candidates for Tenure and Promotion

Each department, working in conjunction with the department head and dean, shall establish specific guidelines for evaluation of each of the categories (Teaching/Job Effectiveness, Professional Activity, and Service) for purposes of tenure and promotion. The guidelines must delineate three levels of achievement (excellence, distinction, and adequacy) for each of the categories. Departmental guidelines must be approved by the dean and the Provost prior to being promulgated by the department. The meaning of the words "excellence," "distinction," and "adequate" should not be minimized. Excellence means superior achievement, that which is truly outstanding. Distinction means achievement of a high order, that which sets itself apart from the ordinary or the merely acceptable. Adequacy means competency, that which fulfills all of the essential requirements, that which sets itself apart from the perfunctory or casual. Candidates who do not meet the criteria should not receive a positive recommendation.

Departments may want to use the same specific guidelines for annual evaluations as for tenure and promotion. If so, care should be taken that the annual evaluation guidelines conform to the tenure and promotion criteria and guidelines herein promulgated.

 

The Categories for Evaluation of Tenure and Promotion

Categories for evaluation of faculty for the purposes of tenure and promotion, and the specific elements to be considered within each category are presented below.

 

Teaching

An individual’s achievements in Teaching should be measured in ways that engender high expectations and support for student learning and success, engage students’ active involvement in learning, encourage meaningful academic and career guidance, support students’ pursuit of educational and professional goals, and promote collaboration and interaction between students, students and faculty, and students and the larger community within which the university exists. 

Evaluation of Teaching shall include, but not be limited to, the following: 

  • Evidence of activities that encourage interaction with other students, faculty, the University, and/or the community that supports student success and demonstrates student learning in the classroom and/or in the pursuit of a career and/or graduate/professional school placement upon graduate (e.g., individualized instructions of students outside of the classroom; supervision of service learning; student research; internships or field experiences; active participation in programs/activities designed to better prepare students for university-level work.
  • Course Syllabi and Examination
  • Student Opinion of Teaching (SOT)
  • Grade Distributions
  • Student Enrollment Statistics/Patterns
  • Evaluation of classroom instruction (visitation/observation by peers and/or department head)7

 

Evaluation of Teaching may include, but not be limited to, the following: 

  • Contributions to course and curriculum development, particularly with regard to changes based on program assessment results, student learning, and student progression toward graduation.

 

Job Effectiveness

An evaluation of Job Effectiveness should include any assigned duties performed by the faculty member which do not fall within the areas of teaching, professional activity, or service. Such duties could include administrative or supervisory tasks. These duties should be detailed in a written job description, a copy of which should be given to the faculty member upon employment or assignment. 

Specific guidelines for evaluation of Job Effectiveness shall be developed by the department or the immediate supervisor based on the job description for the position. 

For each department head, the academic dean shall conduct a written annual evaluation of Teaching/Job Effectiveness, Professional Activity, and Service, based on the criteria and procedures for department head evaluation established by the department and approved by the dean and Provost. In the case of a director or similar position, the head of the department of which the director is a faculty member shall conduct the annual faculty evaluation of Teaching, Professional Activity, and Service. The immediate supervisor of the director shall conduct the annual evaluation of Job Effectiveness.

 

Professional Activity

Professional Activity includes those activities requiring professional and/or academic expertise that support and advance a discipline pertinent to the candidate’s faculty position and student professional development through publications/performances/exhibitions.2 

Evaluation of Professional Activity may include, but need not be limited to, these faculty and faculty-student activities: 

  • Publishing refereed journal articles, books chapters, books
  • Publishing non-refereed journal articles, book chapters, books
  • Presenting papers
  • Submitting, obtaining, and administering internal and external grants
  • Refereeing manuscripts for publication
  • Editing periodicals
  • Gaining formal field experience
  • Engaging in professional development
  • Acquiring and maintaining professional certification or holding office in professional organizations
  • Chairing professional meetings
  • Receiving substantial scholarly/professional awards/honors

 

In assessing merit in this category, the recommending units should stress quality over quantity. Generally, quality of the item under consideration is most readily judged by faculty within the same field who are engaged in similar pursuits. In considering the quality of the contribution, the appropriate evaluators should weigh its scope, the prestige of its forum, and its relevance to the individual's professional field. In most cases, the broader and more influential the contribution, the greater would be its value. Judgments regarding the quality of works must be justified in the written evaluation of the peer review committee and department head. 

An individual’s achievement should be measured in proportion to the support opportunities (e.g., reassigned time, sabbaticals, equipment, library resources, grants, travel to professional meetings, research opportunities) that are available.

 

Service (University Citizenship)

Service includes professional contributions made to the University, students, and the larger community within which the University exists. Within the area of service to students, important qualities include approachability, understanding, ability to listen, caring, willingness to guide, and general rapport. 

Evaluation of Service shall include, but need not be limited to, activities in the following three areas: 

  1. The University: committee work (university, college, department), Faculty Senate, special projects or programs within the University or sponsored by the University, etc. Creativity, leadership, service as committee chairs, a willingness to work, performance of assigned tasks, an ability to listen, preparedness and attendance at meetings, thoughtfulness, and teamwork are the hallmarks of outstanding university service.

  2. The Students: academic and career guidance, course scheduling, active support of student organizations, availability, participation in and support of student activities.

  3. The Community: involvement in organizations or activities in which the faculty member is acting in his/her professional capacity and/or as an official representative of the University, which contributes to the economic or cultural development of the community, region, and state; this includes services to the discipline such as hosting professional meetings.

 

Criteria for Tenure

To be eligible for tenure, the faculty member must be in a tenure-track position, hold the rank of assistant professor or higher, and have: 

  1. Earned the appropriate doctorate or other appropriate terminal degree from an accredited university3.

  2. Demonstrated excellence in Teaching/Job Effectiveness4 or in Professional Activity. If Teaching/Job Effectiveness4 is chosen as the category of excellence, then the individual must have demonstrated distinction in Professional Activity. If Professional Activity is chosen as the category of excellence, then the individual must have demonstrated distinction in Teaching/Job Effectiveness’ Regardless of the category chosen for excellence, Professional Activity must include publication (as defined by approved departmental guidelines). The individual must have demonstrated adequacy in Service.

 

Criteria for Promotion

Instructor to Assistant Professor

An instructor whose initial full-time appointment began prior to the academic year commencing July 1, 1994, is eligible for promotion to assistant professor if he/she has: 

  1. Earned the appropriate doctorate or other appropriate degree from an accredited university3 in an area of specialization needed by the department.

  2. Demonstrated excellence in Teaching/Job Effectiveness or in Professional Activity, and demonstrated adequacy in Service in the area not selected for excellence.

  3. Accumulated three years of full-time professional experience, two of which must have been at Southeastern.

 

Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

A recommendation for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor will be made only in conjunction with a recommendation for tenure. To be eligible for promotion from assistant to associate professor, the faculty member must have: 

  1. Earned the appropriate doctorate or other terminal degree from an accredited university.3

  2. Demonstrated excellence in Teaching/Job Effectiveness4 or Professional Activity. If Teaching/Job Effectiveness4 is chosen as the category of excellence, then the individual must have demonstrated distinction in Professional Activity. If Professional Activity is chosen as the category of excellence, then the individual must have demonstrated distinction in Teaching/Job Effectiveness.4 Regardless of the category chosen for excellence, Professional Activity must include publication (as defined by approved departmental guidelines). The individual must have demonstrated adequacy in Service.

  3. Held the rank of Assistant Professor for at least four years.

 

Associate Professor to Professor

To be eligible for promotion from associate professor to professor, a faculty member must have: 

  1. Earned the appropriate doctorate or other appropriate terminal degree from an accredited university.3

  2. Demonstrated excellence in both Teaching/Job Effectiveness and Professional Activity.4 A substantial record of commitment to student learning and success in the classroom and beyond as well as a substantial record of publication is required for promotion to this level. The individual must have demonstrated distinction in Service.

  3. Held the rank of associate professor for at least five years.

 

Procedures for Tenure and Promotion Reviews

Submissions for the File

The candidate for tenure or promotion should seek advice from the department head and may choose to consult with the dean regarding eligibility for tenure or promotion. The candidate should maintain a file of supporting materials. Tenure candidates must provide supporting materials from the entire probationary period. Promotion candidates who are also applying for tenure must provide supporting materials covering at least the four most recent years of his/her current rank. 

Decisions by the Board of Supervisors to grant tenure and promote faculty in rank are separate actions. As a result, an application for tenure and/or promotion should be accompanied by the appropriate form(s), i.e., Summary - Evaluation for Tenure and/or Summary - Evaluation for Promotion. Assistant professors applying for tenure must also apply for promotion to associate professor. Accordingly, one application may be submitted; however, both Summary of Evaluation forms must accompany the application. 

The candidate will be notified in writing of the recommendation at each level. The candidate may add to the file a written response to each recommendation for review by subsequent evaluator(s), but no other materials may be added to the review file during the review period unless they are requested by one of the reviewers. The written response must be made within five working days of the evaluator's recommendation. 

It is important that the entire review file be kept secure and confidential, to be seen only by faculty and administrators who need to take action. The candidate shall be allowed access to his/her file at any stage of the tenure or promotion process. 

By January 15,6 the candidate must submit to the department head a review file which shall contain at least the following for the specified period of time in the order indicated, if applicable: 

  1. Concise narrative summary presenting the candidate’s basis for requesting consideration for tenure or promotion, not to exceed five pages. The candidate should clearly state and justify the level of achievement (excellence, distinction, and adequacy relative to approved departmental guidelines) on which level he/she believes the categories of Teaching/Job Effectiveness4, Professional Activity, and Service should be judged.

  2. Current and complete curriculum vitae (resume’) in whatever format the candidate desires.

  3. Annual faculty evaluation summaries and/or annual job effectiveness calculations.

  4. Summary of activities addressing each category of evaluation for each year.

  5. Course syllabi, examinations, and grade distributions.

  6. Original summary printouts of the "Student Opinion of Teaching." This survey instrument is administered university-wide in most classes taught in a department. Some academic units have developed separate survey instruments, which are administered in individual classes in addition to the university-wide instrument. In those circumstances where the dean determines that the University SOTs cannot be used, some other instrument, developed by the department and approved by the dean, must be administered.

The Center for Faculty Excellence assists faculty in compiling their tenure/promotion materials by offering helpful guidance for the completion of a “Professional Portfolio.” Information on the Professional Portfolio can be located at: http://www. southeastern.edu/admin/cfe/ teaching-res/advancement/prof_ port/index.html.

 

Departmental Peer Review

The department head will forward the file to a review committee.5 Because an application by an assistant professor for tenure must be made concurrently with an application for promotion to associate professor, the review committee in these cases will consist of all tenured faculty in the department who hold the rank of associate professor or professor. The review committee for applications for tenure by faculty at the rank of associate professor or professor will consist of all tenured faculty in the department who hold the rank of associate professor or professor. For promotion review from associate professor to professor, the review committee will consist of all tenured and tenure track faculty at the rank of professor. The most senior member (highest academic rank and time of service in that rank) of the committee is expected to serve as chair. In the event two or more members have an equal number of years at the highest rank, those members shall rotate as chair every six years. Should the senior member of the department not be able to fulfill the duties of the chair, the department member next in seniority will automatically become chair. For review committees that include members from outside the department, the senior member from the candidate’s department shall serve as chair. 

The candidate shall meet with the committee(s) to discuss, clarify, or interpret the basis for tenure or promotion. The evaluation shall not be tainted by undocumented or hearsay evidence. 

The committee(s) will discuss the merits of each candidate's application and vote by secret ballot in closed session. To vote, a committee member must have been present at the meeting at which the candidate met with the committee as well as at meetings during which the merits of the candidate’s application were discussed. A written report of the number of positive and negative votes and a written narrative explaining the basis for the recommendation for each application shall be inserted in the candidate's file. For each category of evaluation, the report must indicate whether the candidate’s performance is at the level of excellence, distinction, adequacy, or not adequate. The basis for those determinations must be included in the report and must be in accordance with these guidelines and with the department-specific criteria for those ratings. Before the chair submits the narrative, faculty serving on the departmental peer review committee(s) shall read and initial the statement. The candidate will be given a copy of each committee's narrative explanation and recommendation by February 1.6

 

Department Head Evaluation

The department head's evaluation of the categories for tenure/promotion should be founded primarily upon a definite interpretation of the individual's review file. The evaluation shall not be tainted by undocumented or hearsay evidence. The department head will review the candidate's file and may request additional supporting information as well as an interview with the candidate. The department head will make a separate recommendation in the form of a written narrative explanation of his/her evaluation of the candidate's performance in each of the three work categories of evaluation. For each category of evaluation, the department head’s written recommendation must indicate whether the candidate’s performance is at the level of excellence, distinction, adequacy, or not adequate. The basis for those determinations must be included in the report and must be in accordance with these guidelines and with the department-specific criteria for those ratings. This written recommendation will be inserted in the candidate's file, which will be forwarded to the dean of the college. The candidate will be given a copy of the department head's narrative explanation and recommendation by February 15.6

 

Dean Evaluation

The dean's evaluation of the categories for tenure/promotion should be founded primarily upon a definite interpretation of the individual's review file. The evaluation shall not be tainted by undocumented or hearsay evidence. In making his/her decision, the dean should consider carefully the evaluations of the candidate's department head and departmental evaluative committee(s). When there are conflicting recommendations from the committee and department head, the dean should study the particulars, seek advice outside the University if deemed necessary, interview the candidate if deemed necessary, and make his/her own recommendation. 

Approval/disapproval by the dean should be a matter of careful review to ensure that no major misjudgments have been made by the departmental peer committee and the department head, and that no major inequalities exist from department to department in meeting the academic standards of the college or school. The dean's recommendation with written narrative justification shall be inserted in the candidate's file, and all supporting materials will be forwarded to the Provost's Office. For each category of evaluation, the dean’s written recommendation must indicate whether the candidate’s performance is at the level of excellence, distinction, adequacy, or not adequate. The basis for those determinations must be included in the report and must be in accordance with these guidelines and with the department-specific criteria for those ratings. The candidate will be given a copy of the dean's written narrative explanation and recommendation by March 2.6

 

University Tenure/Promotion Committee Review

Review by the University Tenure/Promotion Committee is an optional step, at the candidate's discretion. By March 9,6 the candidate shall send to both the Provost and the chair of the committee, written notification of his/her decision about having the committee review the file. 

The University Tenure/Promotion Committee will be composed of thirteen tenured full professors of the General Faculty elected by the respective tenured and tenure-track faculty in each college to staggered three-year terms, with representation as follows: 

  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – three members
  • College of Business – two members
  • College of Education – two members
  • College of Nursing and Health Science – two members
  • College of Science and Technology – three members
  • Library – one member

 

If any of these units have no full professors, the committee member may be a tenured associate professor. If there is no tenured associate professor in the unit, the member may be a tenured assistant professor. The Faculty Senate shall conduct the elections at the end of each spring semester. The most senior member (highest academic rank and time of service in that rank) of the committee shall serve as chair. 

The recommendation of this committee shall be based on careful review to ensure that the criteria for tenure or promotion in the candidate's department have been applied fairly and consistently by lower recommending units. When there are conflicting recommendations from the lower units, the committee should study all the particulars. It may seek advice outside the University and interview the candidate, the chair of the departmental committee, the department head, and the dean. The evaluation shall not be tainted by undocumented or hearsay evidence. 

The committee will discuss the merits of the candidate's application and vote by secret ballot in closed session. A written report of the number of positive and negative votes and a written narrative explaining the basis for the recommendation shall be inserted in the candidate's file. Before the chair inserts the narrative, the committee members will read and initial the statement. The candidate will be given a copy of the committee's written narrative explanation and recommendation by April 7.6 The committee chair will forward the file to the Provost by April 7.6

 

Provost Review

Approval/disapproval by the Provost should be a matter of careful review to ensure that no major misjudgments have been made by the lower recommending units and that no major inequalities exist from college to college in meeting the academic standards of the University. When there are conflicting recommendations from the lower units, the Provost should study all the particulars. The Provost may seek advice outside the University and interview the candidate. 

The Provost will review the recommendations of the departmental committee, the department head, the dean, and the University Tenure/Promotion Committee. In a case where all of the recommendations have been positive and the Provost concurs, he/she need only make a brief statement to that effect. If, however, the Provost recommends against awarding tenure or promotion, or does not concur with any or all of the previous recommendations, he/she will write a narrative justification explaining his/her recommendation. The Provost's recommendation with written narrative justification will be inserted in the candidate's file, and all supporting materials will be forwarded to the President by April 24.6 The candidate will be given a copy of the Provost's written narrative explanation and recommendation by April 24.6

 

Promotion Decision

The President shall make the final recommendation for promotion. If affirmative, the President's recommendation will be forwarded to the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors for final action. The President's decision regarding promotion shall be forwarded to the candidate by May 5.6 Supporting documents will be returned to the candidate after the Supervisors have announced their decision. The decision shall be made public only after the System has approved the promotion.

 

Tenure Decision

The President will make the final recommendation to award tenure or not. If affirmative, the President's recommendation will be forwarded to the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors for final action, and the candidate shall be informed of his/her recommendation by May 5.6 

A decision to recommend denial of tenure by the President will be conveyed to the candidate for tenure by May 5,6 in time that the appropriate notice guidelines may be followed. If a decision is made not to grant tenure in the sixth year, it shall result in a terminal appointment for the seventh year. The notice of terminal appointment shall be made in writing to the faculty member prior to the conclusion of the sixth year (Rules, Part Two, Chapter III, Section XI Tenure, located at: http://www.uls.state.la.us/site100-01/1001055/docs/chapter_3_9_5_03.pdf). 

Should the Board of Supervisors award tenure, the faculty member shall be so informed by the President in writing. The decision shall be made public only after the Supervisors have awarded tenure.

 

Evaluation Schedule for Tenure and Promotion6

  • May 1 Deadline - The department head is to inform, in writing, each faculty member who is approaching the final review year for tenure that the file is to be prepared by the faculty member for submission by January 15.
  • September 1 Deadline - A faculty member who is in the final review year for tenure and who does not desire evaluation for tenure must submit to the President through the department head, a letter of resignation effective at the end of that academic year or request a terminal appointment for the following year.
  • September 15 Deadline - Each candidate for promotion must notify the department head of the intent to apply. Faculty intending to file for tenure/promotion review shall notify their department head of their need for current classroom observation(s).
  • January 15 Deadline - The completed application file for promotion and/or tenure must be submitted to the department head.
  • February 1 Deadline - The faculty peer review committee's written review is forwarded to the department head. The candidate is notified of the committee's recommendation.
  • February 7 Deadline - The candidate’s optional response to the peer review committee’s recommendation is submitted to the chair of the peer review committee and to the department head who includes it in the candidate’s portfolio.
  • February 15 Deadline – The department head’s written recommendation, with all supporting materials, is forwarded to the dean. The candidate is notified of the department head’s recommendation.
  • February 22 Deadline – The candidate’s optional response to the department head’s recommendation is submitted to the department head and to the dean who includes it in the candidate’s portfolio.
  • March 2 Deadline – The dean's written recommendation, with all supporting materials, is forwarded to the Provost's office for perusal, when applicable, by University Tenure/Promotion Committee. The candidate is notified of the dean's recommendation.
  • March 9 Deadline - The candidate’s optional response to the dean’s recommendation is submitted to the dean and to the Provost who includes it in the candidate’s portfolio.
  • March 9 Deadline – The candidate sends to the Provost and the committee chair written notification of his/her decision about submitting the file to the University Tenure and Promotion Committee.
  • April 7 Deadline – When applicable, the University Tenure and Promotion Committee’s written recommendation, with all supporting materials, is forwarded to the Provost. The candidate is notified of the committee’s recommendation.
  • April 14 Deadline - The candidate’s optional response to the University Tenure and Promotion Committee’s recommendation is submitted to the chair of the University Tenure and Promotion Committee and to the Provost who includes it in the candidate’s portfolio.
  • April 24 Deadline - The Provost's written recommendation, with all supporting materials, is forwarded to the President. The candidate is notified of the Provost's recommendation.
  • April 29 Deadline - The candidate’s optional response to the Provost’s recommendation is submitted to the Provost and to the President who includes it in the candidate’s portfolio.
  • May 5 Deadline – The candidate is notified of the President’s decision.

 

Procedures for Interim Review

Faculty of any rank serving the probationary period shall be evaluated each year by the department head or other appropriate administrative head in order to establish progress toward meeting departmental, college, and institutional goals for the awarding of tenure. 

For faculty with a six-year probationary period, an interim review will take place no later than the spring semester of the third year. The interim review process will follow the time schedules listed in the Interim Review Schedule for Probationary Faculty. For those faculty having a shorter probationary period, the review will occur approximately midway in the period.

 

Principles of the Interim Review

The interim review of faculty is a supportive process that offers information that assists the faculty member in working toward achieving promotion and tenure. The review process allows a forum for self-assessment and, through peer review, provides the faculty member with concrete benchmarks. Through the review process the candidate will receive an overview of what he or she has achieved to date and benchmarks upon which the candidate should focus his/her future efforts. Interim reviews are advisory in nature, and are part of the overall review a faculty member receives during the probationary period. The interim review is not a recommendation for future promotion and tenure. 

The probationary faculty member will forward to the department head a review file to be evaluated by a peer review committee, department head, and dean as outlined in the Interim Review Schedule. The review file shall contain the annual evaluations by the department head and materials supporting progress in Teaching/Job Effectiveness, Professional Activity, and Service. The peer review committee will consist of all tenured, full-time faculty in the department excluding the department head. The probationary faculty member shall meet with the committee to discuss his/her progress toward the requirements for promotion and tenure. A draft of an evaluation statement shall be written and reviewed, revised, and signed by the Committee, similar to the procedures for tenure. The original copy shall be given to the probationary faculty member and a copy inserted in the review file. The department head shall review the file and the committee’s recommendations and then write an evaluation, with the original copy given to the probationary faculty member and a copy inserted in the review file. The dean shall review the file as well as the recommendations from the committee and the department head, and then write an evaluation, with the original copy given to the probationary faculty member and a copy inserted in the file. The dean shall forward copies of all three recommendations to the Provost and release the file to the probationary faculty member. The dean shall also send copies of the department head’s and dean’s evaluations to the chair of the Interim Review Committee. If the evaluations are significantly different, then the dean, department head, and review committee chair should discuss the evaluations. The candidate has the right to write a rebuttal to the evaluation made at any level. 

The narrative comments provided by the tenured faculty and department head must be clear and concise, with very defined statements regarding the faculty member's performance. It is imperative that both the faculty member and the department head monitor closely the faculty member's progress toward tenure and promotion in subsequent annual evaluations. Reviews are important indicators relative to the potential success of the faculty member in meeting promotion and tenure expectations. It is expected and incumbent upon all parties involved that they be candid and forthright in their assessment of the faculty member's performance and their recommendations for improvement. Evaluations shall not be tainted by undocumented or hearsay evidence. The Provost reserves the right to return for clarification any vague or unclear comments by faculty committee, department head, or dean.

 

Interim Review Schedule for Probationary Facutly6

  • May 1 Deadline – Each eligible faculty member must be notified in writing by the department head that an interim review shall take place in the spring semester, and that the file is to be prepared by the faculty member for submission by March 3.
  • March 3 Deadline – The probationary faculty member submits his/her review file to the department head. The file should include documentation regarding his/her teaching/job effectiveness4, professional activity, and service during the probationary period.
  • March 21 Deadline – The chair of the peer review committee forwards to the faculty member the summary evaluation of the progress of the probationary faculty member by the tenured faculty. A copy is provided to the department head, dean and Provost.
  • April 3 Deadline – The department head completes his/her review of the faculty member’s file and summary comments by the tenured faculty. The department head responds to the evaluation where appropriate. A copy of the department head’s comments is provided to the faculty member, dean, and Provost.
  • April 17 Deadline – The dean completes his/her review of the probationary faculty member’s materials, the committee’s comments, and the department head’s evaluation, and responds where appropriate to those documents. A copy of any comments/recommendations is given to the faculty member, department head and Provost.
  • May 1 Deadline – The dean provides written copies of all evaluation summaries and recommendations to the Provost.

 

The narrative comments provided by the tenured faculty and department head must be clear and concise with very defined statements regarding the faculty member’s performance. Reviews are important indicators relative to the potential success of the faculty member in meeting tenure and promotion expectations. It is expected and incumbent on all parties involved to be candid and forthright in their assessment of the faculty member’s performance and recommendations for improvement. The Provost reserves the right to return any vague or unclear comments by either the faculty committee, department head, or dean for rewriting or clarification.

 

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines Endnotes

  1. Other reference to “dean” in this policy also apply to Library Director.

  2. For many professors and administrators in academic circles, the term “publish” has a very clear, but narrow meaning. It means simply to produce a written manuscript that is then disseminated through one of the conventional print media – a journal, a book, etc. However, with today’s variety of media, significant scholarly activity in several traditional, even ancient, disciplines is not encompassed by the narrow definition of “publish” cited above. In other words, though that definition may describe a common scholarly activity for the historian, the literary critic, or the research scientist, it may be inadequate to describe the normal work of the specialist in radio/television or computer programming and grossly inadequate to describe the productivity of the studio artist and practitioners of the performing arts. In fact, in our changing world, historians, et al., will find increasing opportunities to disseminate the result of their scholarly inquiry by means other than the conventional print media. Moreover, scholars in all fields have customarily published the result of their scholarship by presenting papers at professional meetings.

    The solution is not to find a new term, but to return to an older, and much broader, meaning of the word “publish,” to make public. A professor should be engaged in scholarly and/or creative activity appropriate to his/her discipline, laboratory research, rehearsal, writing, painting, or whatever, and the result of this activity should be made public, i.e., “published,” by some appropriate means. What is appropriate will vary greatly depending upon the discipline. Therefore, to “publish” for a pianist might mean presenting a recital. For an artist, it might mean participating in an exhibition. For a director, it might mean directing a theatrical production. And for professors in a variety of disciplines, it might mean producing an audio or video production, computer software, or any appropriate medium, including electronic formats, that would make the result of scholarly or creative activity “public.”

    Departments shall discuss, with their deans, applications of this broad definition of “publication” so that a mutual understanding within the department and within the college is established.

  3. What other degree or degrees may be considered as appropriate will be determined by the dean and the Provost after due consideration of evidence presented by the individual department of contemporary practices and standards in that field. In those subject areas in which the doctorate is not offered or when unique circumstances prevail, evidence of professional competency may be considered in lieu of credit requirements for tenure or promotion in accordance with the standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  4. If Job Effectiveness is being evaluated, required documentation will be specified in job-specific guidelines.

  5. The review committee must consist of at least three persons. If such a committee is not possible in a department, the dean shall consider recommendations from the candidate and the department head in selecting tenured professors of high rank from within the college, so as to constitute a committee of three; their disciplines should have some affinity for that of the candidate. If such a committee is not possible within the college/library, the dean shall appoint members from the tenured Southeastern faculty who have knowledge of the candidate's discipline or field.

  6. All deadlines which fall on a university holiday or a weekend shall be moved to the next working day university offices are open.

  7. Classroom observations are required during the academic year of the interim review as well as the academic year of the tenure and/or promotion review. By September 15, faculty intending to file for tenure/promotion shall notify their department head of their need for current classroom observation(s).