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4.15 / Tenure and Promotion - Guidelines and Criteria

Guidelines and criteria related to tenure and promotion are developed by the college/school/University Libraries faculty and in some instances the department faculty. They are approved by all the constituencies involved in the review process, including initiating faculty, the college/school/University Libraries faculty, the college/school/University Libraries dean, the University Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Provost and Senior Vice President. The subsections that follow identify the guidelines and criteria that are operative at the University level. Reference is also made to college/school/University Libraries guidelines and criteria.

General Policies for the Awarding of Tenure:
The judgments of all faculty committees in tenure decisions are to be based on the academic credentials, qualifications, and merits of the candidate. These judgments will always be made primarily at the departmental and college/school/University Libraries levels. Ranking of candidates for tenure is neither necessary nor appropriate.

College Guidelines and Criteria:
Detailed guidelines and statements of criteria for tenure and promotion have been adopted by all the colleges/schools/University Libraries, and in some instances at the departmental level. Each statement should include explicit statements of expectation for teaching, librarianship, research, scholarship, or creative activities, and academic and professional service. These statements should define the relative significance of different activities within each area and the nature of documentation which candidates must provide to establish their accomplishments in each area. The statements may specify guidelines for faculty with unusual appointments, consistent with the University guidelines for tenure or promotion contained below. It is acceptable to establish differential criteria for tenure or promotion for faculty with different assignments, so long as the differential criteria and the nature of the faculty assignments are clearly identified and recorded on the annual evaluation form.

Guidelines and statements of criteria for college/school/University Libraries and in some cases departments shall be submitted in the spring for review by the University Tenure and Promotion Committee on a three-year cycle. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the guidelines and statements are consistent with University guidelines and provide an adequate degree of clarity and specificity so that candidates for tenure and promotion will understand the criteria which will be utilized to evaluate their cases.

The college/school/University Libraries guidelines and statements of criteria developed for tenure and promotion shall be distributed annually to all untenured faculty at the time of their annual evaluation. The evaluation of individual candidates at the University level should take into account the degree to which the individual has met the guidelines as well as his/her role statement and annual performance criteria identified in the annual evaluation of untenured faculty. Consideration, in context of the candidate's entire career, will be given to teaching, librarianship, research, scholarship, creative activities, and the service conducted while the candidate has been employed at the University. If the guidelines in effect at the time of initial appointment differ from those in place at the time a tenure case comes forward for consideration, the current guidelines can be used in place of the earlier guidelines only if both the candidate and the department agree.

In cases where department and/or college/school/University Libraries policy contradicts University Policy, the appropriate department administrator, the dean of the college/school/University Libraries, the college/school/University Libraries Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Provost and Senior Vice President will be notified by the University Tenure and Promotion Committee that the contradiction needs to be corrected, and that the University policy will take precedence until the correction is in place.

University Guidelines and Criteria:

Promotion:

1.  A terminal degree in a field appropriate to the discipline in which the candidate teaches or conducts research, scholarship, or creative activities is normally required for appointment or promotion to the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or professor. Exceptions to this guideline will require careful documentation based upon an adequate rationale.

2.  Under normal circumstances, a faculty member should not expect to be considered for promotion with less than six years in rank.

3.  The standards for teaching, librarianship, scholarship, and service for each rank are indicated below. The relative significance of teaching; librarianship; research, scholarship, or creative activities; and service may vary from case to case. Consideration, in context of the candidate's entire career, will be given to teaching, librarianship, research, scholarship, creative activities, and the service conducted while the candidate has been employed at the University.

Assistant Professor: Evidence is normally expected of the following: (1) demonstrated adequacy in teaching/librarianship; (2) potential for achievement in research, scholarship, or creative activity; and (3) some University service appropriate to the mission of the department and college/school/University Libraries.

Associate Professor: Evidence is normally expected of the following: (1) documented effectiveness of teaching/librarianship; (2) a record of research, scholarship, or creative activities which has earned recognition in professional circles at the regional or national level; and (3) some professional or University service.

Professor: Evidence is normally expected of the following: (1) sustained effectiveness in teaching/librarianship; (2) a record of substantial accomplishment in research, scholarship, or creative activities which has led to recognition in professional circles at the national level; and (3) demonstrated academic leadership in the form of service to the University and the profession.

Tenure:
All full-time faculty with 50 percent (.5 FTE) or more responsibility for teaching, librarianship, research, scholarship, and/or creative activities with the rank of instructor or higher must undergo review for tenure during their sixth year of employment at Wichita State University unless their employment at the University is to be terminated at the end of their seventh year of service. Those individuals given credit for prior experience in higher education at the time of initial appointment shall undergo review for tenure according to the policies stated.

Expectations of performance in and the relative importance of (1) teaching; (2) librarianship, research, scholarship, or creative activities; and (3) service will be defined at the time of the initial appointment. Specific performance goals will be established each year during the annual evaluation of untenured faculty. These expectations and goals form the foundation for evaluation for tenure in the context of the tenure criteria established by the faculty of the college/school/University Libraries, but do not constitute a definitive review for tenure. The terminal degree is preferred for the granting of tenure except in exceptional and well documented cases. The award of tenure normally requires documented evidence of effective teaching/librarianship and a record of research, scholarship, or creative activities which has earned recognition in professional circles at the regional or national level.

University Committee Procedures:
In the process of reviewing tenure and promotion cases according to its charge, the University Tenure and Promotion Committee applies the respective college guidelines as approved by the college/school/University Libraries and university tenure and promotion committees. It is important to emphasize that these guidelines are not rigid rules.

Tenure and Promotion Review Process:
The tenure and promotion review process is governed by the "Tenure, Promotion, and Appeals Procedures" document, which was adopted by the University faculty, May 1994. The text of this policy follows at Section 4.17 and Section 4.18 of this manual. Individual units may adopt by vote of the faculty of the college additional procedures, policies, and interpretive statements to govern their internal review of tenure and promotion cases, so long as those procedures, policies, and interpretive statements are consistent with all higher level procedures, policies, and interpretive statements, as determined in the triennial review of policies and procedures conducted by the University committee. These additional statements should be provided in writing to all candidates for tenure and promotion and to all probationary faculty at the time of their initial appointment and at each annual review.

Presidential Review of Nominees for Tenure or Promotion:
The laws of the State of Kansas provide that, subject to policies approved by the Board of Regents, the President shall appoint employees and administer the affairs of Wichita State University. In matters of tenure and promotion, the President has delegated the authority to make recommendations to certain faculty committees and administrators. However, the President retains the authority to make the final decision on the tenure and promotion of faculty members.

A person dissatisfied with committee or administrator recommendations concerning his/her tenure or promotion may, after exhausting the procedures and appeals in the tenure and promotion review process, petition the President of Wichita State University for a favorable decision on tenure or promotion.

Revision Date:
September 29, 1998
April 16, 1999
October 13, 2009

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