Policies and Procedures Banner 

4.18 / Review for Tenure or Promotion: Procedures

Nomination for Review for Tenure and Promotion:
 
1. The department chair will write to all full-time faculty members of the department to tell them that nominations of persons to be reviewed that year for tenure or for promotion must be given to the chair by a specified date. The chair must nominate all faculty whose tenure review is mandatory for that year. All others may be nominated by the chair or by the faculty member himself or herself.
2. The department chair will send copies of the list resulting from step 1 to all full-time departmental faculty and specify a second date by which any additional nominations must be provided in writing to the chair.
3. The department chair will confer individually with all nominated faculty members and provide information about departmental, college/school/University Libraries, and University criteria for tenure or promotion.
4. Except for those whose review for tenure is mandatory, faculty who have been nominated must inform the department chair in writing by a date specified by the department chair (which will be no sooner than two days after their conference) of the faculty member's decision to remain in nomination or to withdraw.
5. The final, typed list of those nominated will be sent to the dean and to all members of the department electorate. Each person on the list will be notified in writing by the dean that he or she is officially a candidate for promotion or tenure. In addition, the dean will inform the candidate of the criteria for tenure or promotion and will instruct the candidate to give his/her supporting materials to the department chair by a specified date.

Preparation of the Primary and Secondary Dossier:

The candidate will present a primary dossier and may prepare a secondary dossier. Only material contained in the primary and secondary dossiers and additional materials appropriately obtained and added to the dossiers may be used by the Tenure and Promotion Committee at each level.

The candidate is responsible for assembling the materials and reviewing the entire dossier to determine that it is complete and accurate. Adherence to established deadlines should ensure that the final dossier is complete at the time of submission. The candidate then submits the copy of the primary dossier and supplemental materials to the chair of her/his department. Once they have been submitted to the chair, these original materials cannot be changed or rewritten. 

As the review proceeds through the various levels, the primary dossier and the secondary dossier will be in the custody of the administrator at each level. Items are added as attachments to the primary dossier by the administrator as called for in these procedures, but the administrator must give the candidate a copy of the additions and provide the candidate an opportunity to write a rebuttal that will also be added to the primary dossier.

Primary Dossier: The primary dossier consists of the basic document, the required cover sheet which records each step of the review process, copies of the annual reviews (and rebuttals if filed) for untenured faculty, the chair's nonevaluative role statement, statements of evaluation by the committee and administrator at each level of review (and rebuttals if filed), letters of external review (and rebuttals if filed), and items added during the review process. The basic document will follow the standard format recommended by the University Tenure and Promotion Committee and approved by the Faculty Senate. Deviations from the established format should be clearly explained. The basic document may be no more than 25 pages. The chair will provide a statement of the role of the candidate in the department which is purely descriptive and not evaluative. If the candidate's role involves a weighted distribution of responsibility among the three categories of professional activity, that should be indicated in the role statement. The chair will make copies of the primary dossier available for all voting faculty.

Secondary Dossier: A secondary dossier may be submitted to the chair by the candidate. It consists of such additional materials as the candidate wishes to submit. Examples might include, but are not limited to, copies of publications or other evidence of scholarship, copies of student evaluations or course materials, etc. The candidate may add items to the secondary dossier during the review process (see calendar in Section 4.16 of this manual). Should documentation significant to the candidate's case arrive after the deadline for adding materials to the secondary dossier, the candidate should notify the dean and the chair of his/her college/school/University Libraries committee who will add the material to the dossier. The chair of the committee will bring it to the attention of the next higher committee. The secondary dossier will not be duplicated but will be available to committee members.

Department Review for Promotion and Tenure: 1
The complete files of all faculty members under review in the department must be available for a reasonable time (at least five working days) to all voting faculty.

Tenure cases will be reviewed at a meeting of the tenured faculty of the department or a committee of tenured faculty chosen by these faculty members. In departments having fewer than three voting tenured faculty members, the college/school/University Libraries faculty will develop appropriate procedures for the review, subject to the approval of the college/school/University Libraries dean. Each eligible person except the department chair will vote on each case under consideration and will sign the tally sheet. The tally sheet will not identify individual voters with their votes but must account for all eligible voters. If a committee wishes, straw ballots may precede the final ballot. Only the votes on the final ballot are binding and recorded. Abstentions will not be registered except when a faculty member on a committee declares he/she has a conflict of interest concerning a case. A positive recommendation by the committee results when more than 50 percent of those casting ballots other than abstention have voted to recommend tenure. A copy of the tally sheet will be kept in the departmental office for three years.

Promotion cases will be reviewed at a meeting of the departmental faculty who hold rank equal to or higher than that for which the candidate is being considered or of a committee of those with appropriate rank chosen by these faculty members. The limitation of voting to persons of equal or higher rank need not apply to votes at the college/school/University Libraries or University level. In departments having fewer than three faculty members with appropriate rank, the college/school/University Libraries faculty will develop appropriate review procedures subject to approval of the college/school/University Libraries dean. Each eligible person, excluding the department chair, will vote on each case under consideration and will sign the tally. The tally will not identify individual voters with their votes but must account for all eligible votes. Straw ballots may precede the final ballot. Abstentions may occur only in cases involving declared conflict of interest. A positive recommendation will result when more than 50 percent of those casting ballots (i.e., other than abstentions) have voted to recommend promotion. Copies of the tally sheets will be kept in the departmental office for three years.

Chairs do not participate in their own evaluation or in evaluations of faculty when the chair has a conflict of interest. Such cases automatically go forward without prejudice for review at the next level.

The results of the departmental deliberations and the chair's separate recommendation will be sent to the dean by the department chair. When the committee's discussion of a candidate is complete, the committee chair will summarize in writing the committee's evaluation of the candidate. The department chair will also provide a written evaluation to accompany his/her recommendation for each case. These statements will be included in the primary dossier. The candidate will be provided an opportunity to review these statements and to file a written rebuttal in the primary dossier. In cases where the chair's recommendation differs from that of the voting faculty, the case will go forward to the next higher level without prejudice, and that transmittal will not constitute an appeal. The chair will also send forward the copies of the primary dossier and the secondary dossier.

The dean will inform each candidate in writing of the department's recommendations, the chair's recommendation, the right to appeal, and the procedures for appeal. The dean will also notify the candidate that he/she may request meetings with the department chair and/or the chair of the departmental tenure and promotion committee, at the candidate's option, to discuss the decision.

College/School/University Libraries Review of Nominees for Tenure or Promotion:
The dean will give a copy of the primary dossier of each faculty member favorably recommended for promotion and/or tenure and of all appealed cases to each member of the college/school/University Libraries committee and will indicate the location of the secondary dossiers. These materials must be available to the committee for at least five working days prior to deliberation.

The committee will meet with the dean to receive information about the schedule of meetings and about administrative matters related to the cases to be reviewed. The dean may also request other meetings with the committee. Each college/school/University Libraries shall adopt procedures regarding the role of the dean in these other meetings. If the committee discovers that information is lacking in a dossier, it can ask the dean to acquire the information. Consistent with the department procedures, the dean must provide the candidate a copy of the material and allow the candidate to write a rebuttal. The college/school/University Libraries committee may, at its option, adopt a policy which prohibits a committee member from the same department as a candidate for tenure or promotion from speaking about the case during the committee's deliberations. If such a rule is adopted, it must apply to all cases before the committee. If additional information about the departmental committee's deliberations is desired, the committee may request explanatory information to be submitted in writing from the chair of the departmental committee. This statement will be added to the primary dossier, and the candidate will be provided an opportunity to place a rebuttal in the primary dossier.

The committee will then consider the cases before it, whether regular or appealed. Straw ballots may be taken, but these are neither binding nor recorded. Abstentions will not be registered except when a faculty member on a committee declares he/she has a conflict of interest concerning the case. At a meeting without the dean each case will be discussed and the committee will conduct its final vote. A positive recommendation by the committee will result when more than 50 percent of those casting ballots other than abstention vote to recommend tenure or promotion.

The committee must notify the dean in writing of its final ballot on each case. (Note: The college/school/University Libraries committee may meet with the dean as it sees fit but it must hold a discussion on each case and take its final vote in the absence of the dean.)

The results of the college/school/University Libraries deliberations and the dean's separate recommendations will be sent by the dean to the Provost and Senior Vice President. When the committee's discussion of a candidate is complete, the committee chair will summarize in writing the committee's evaluation of the candidate. The dean will also provide a written evaluation to accompany his/her recommendation for each case. These statements will be included in the primary dossier. The candidate will be provided an opportunity to review these statements and to file a written rebuttal in the primary dossier. In cases where the college/school/University Libraries committee's recommendation differs from that of the dean, the case will go forward to the next higher level without prejudice and the transmittal will not constitute an appeal. A positive recommendation requires the affirmative vote of more than 50 percent of those voting. The dean will also send forward the primary dossier and the secondary dossier.

The dean will notify each candidate in writing of the college/school/University Libraries committee's recommendation, the dean's recommendation, the right to appeal, if any, and the procedures for appeal. The dean will also notify the candidate that he/she may request in writing meetings with the dean and/or the chair of the college/school/University Libraries committee, at the candidate's option, to discuss the recommendation.

University Review of Nominees for Tenure or Promotion:
The Provost and Senior Vice President will give a copy of the primary dossier of each faculty member favorably recommended for tenure or promotion and of each appealed case to each member of the University committee. In addition, the Provost and Senior Vice President will indicate the location of the secondary dossiers. The materials must be available to the committee for at least five working days prior to deliberations.

If the committee discovers that information is lacking in a primary dossier, it can ask the Provost and Senior Vice President to acquire the information, which will be placed in the primary dossier. Consistent with college/school/University Libraries procedures the Provost and Senior Vice President must provide the candidate a copy of the material and allow the candidate to write a rebuttal, which will also be placed in the primary dossier.

The committee will then consider the cases before it, whether regular or appealed. The committee may request a written response from the dean on matters of interpretation of evidence, the academic needs of the unit, or its current resources, but the committee will not invite the dean or other outside persons to meet with the committee. Consistent with college/school/University Libraries procedures, the candidate shall be provided a copy of any additional written material provided to the committee and shall be provided an opportunity to write a rebuttal. Both the statement and the rebuttal will be placed in the primary dossier. Straw ballots may be taken, but these are neither binding nor recorded. Abstentions will not be registered except when a faculty member on a committee declares he/she has a conflict of interest concerning a case. At a meeting without either the Provost and Senior Vice President or the Dean of the Graduate School present, each case will be discussed and the committee will conduct its final vote. A positive recommendation will result when more than 50 percent of those casting ballots other than abstention vote to recommend tenure or promotion.

The committee must notify the Provost and Senior Vice President in writing of its final ballot on each case. Any person not recommended by the University committee may request meetings with the Provost and Senior Vice President and/or the chair of the University committee, at the candidate's option, to discuss the recommendations. The candidate may invite a faculty colleague to accompany him/her.

The results of University committee deliberations and the Provost and Senior Vice President's separate recommendations will be sent by the Provost and Senior Vice President to the President. When the committee's decision on a candidate is complete, the committee chair will summarize in writing the committee's evaluation of the candidate. The Provost and Senior Vice President will also provide a written evaluation to accompany his/her recommendation for each case. These statements will be included in the primary dossier. The candidate will be provided an opportunity to review these statements and to file a written rebuttal in the primary dossier. In any case where the proposed vice presidential recommendation differs from that of the University committee, the Provost and Senior Vice President will meet with the committee to discuss the reasons for his/her position.

The President will notify the candidate, the candidate's dean, and the chair, in writing, of his/her decision by the calendar date. Any person not recommended by the President may request a meeting with the Provost and Senior Vice President and the President to discuss the recommendations. The candidate may invite a faculty colleague to accompany him/her, in either case.

Use of External Evaluation:
The use of external reviews is required in all promotion and tenure reviews to demonstrate earned recognition in professional circles. External reviews are not part of the Professor Incentive Review process. The dean's office will assume responsibility for obtaining the reviews in accordance with the procedures described below. The same questions will be asked of all reviewers. In general, the dean may ask reviewers to comment on (1) the originality and creativity displayed in the candidate's research, scholarship, or creative work and (2) the significance of the work and its impact on the field. Reviewers will be specifically instructed not to remark on the promotability or tenurability of candidates. Candidates will receive a copy of the reviews which identifies the reviewer. If they wish to do so, candidates may provide their written rebuttal to the external reviews in the primary dossiers.

External reviewers should be distinguished scholars or recognized authorities in their fields capable of providing an unbiased professional assessment of the quality of the candidate's work.

The process for obtaining external reviews should be started at least two months before the campus review begins. The following process should be followed for external reviews:
 
1. The candidate will give the departmental chair the names and addresses of five potential external reviewers, six sets of reprints or copies of work that the candidate believes best represents his/her research, scholarship, or creative work, and six copies of a complete bibliography that clearly delineates the candidate's research, scholarship, or creative work. Any material that the candidate wishes to have returned should be so marked.
2. The department chair will forward to the dean information provided by the candidate along with five additional names and addresses of potential external reviewers. The department chair may wish to seek the counsel of the faculty in developing this list. For cause, the candidate may challenge to the dean the names selected by the department chair.
3. The dean will draw by lot three reviewers from each list of names supplied. Individual colleges/schools/University Libraries shall develop their own policies regarding pursuit of non-responding or late evaluators; these policies shall be applied consistently whenever external review is sought. If fewer than three responses are obtained within a reasonable time, the dean may send additional requests for reviews to other persons named on the original lists, in rotating order from both lists.
4. The dean will send to each reviewer a letter requesting a professional opinion of the quality of the candidate's work following the guidelines stated above, along with the material supplied by the candidate.
5. Copies of the reviewers' comments will be returned to the department chair and the candidate immediately upon receipt by the dean. The department chair will add the reviews to the candidate's primary dossier. The chair, in consultation with the candidate, will place in the primary dossier a brief summary of the reviewers' academic credentials. Candidates are permitted to place in the primary dossier comments on or rebuttals to the letters provided by reviewers.
6. Reviews can be added to the candidate's primary dossier up until the time that the college committee begins its deliberations on the candidate.

Appeal of Decisions Related to Tenure or Promotion:
A candidate may make only one appeal during the entire review process. The appeal is made to the next higher level. No hearing is provided, and the appeal must be written. Some typical reasons for appeal are violation of academic freedom, failure to follow procedures concerning time periods or committee operations, inadequate consideration, discrimination, etc.

The committee to which the appeal is made will give full consideration without prejudice to the case in that the committee will review it in the same manner as favorably recommended cases and will apply similar standards.

If the candidate's one appeal results in an unfavorable recommendation, the candidate's dossier will be forwarded directly to the President. The President will make the final decision regarding the candidate as provided in Regents policy without further recommendations. 

No Publication of Names:
Names of faculty being considered for tenure or promotion will not be published. The right of privacy of such faculty members was affirmed by vote of the faculty on March 6, 1978.

Confidentiality of Proceedings:
All deliberations are confidential. However, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if the case goes to litigation.

Disposition of Dossiers:
The Provost and Senior Vice President in each case will keep a copy of the primary dossier for three years and return to the candidate the remaining copies of the primary dossier and the secondary dossier.

Precedence of University Procedures:
If department and college/school/University Libraries tenure or promotion procedures differ from those of the University, University procedures take precedent.

Student Members:
Students will not cast a vote regarding the award of tenure or promotion to individual faculty members.

Definition of Terms:
Committee - The tenure review committee at the departmental level will consist of all tenured members of the department or a committee of tenured faculty chosen by those faculty members and reported in writing to the dean. In departments with fewer than three tenured members, the college/school/University Libraries faculty will develop appropriate procedures for the review subject to the approval of the college/school/University Libraries dean.

The review committee at the college/school/University Libraries level is the College/School/University Libraries Tenure and Promotion Committee. Members of this committee are all tenured, full-time faculty with the rank of assistant professor or higher. The total membership of the committee is an odd number, with a minimum of five members. The majority of the committee are elected by the faculty, according to a representational formula adopted by the college/school/University Libraries. Members are elected or appointed for either two- or three-year terms (depending upon the college/school/University Libraries policies), staggered to maintain continuity. If a replacement is required due to a resignation, the replacement is selected only for the duration of the unexpired term. The committee chair is elected by the committee. No person can serve on the committee in a year in which he or she is considered for promotion or for more than two consecutive terms.

The review committee at the University level is the Faculty Senate Tenure and Promotion Committee, whose general charge is established in the Faculty Senate rules. No person may serve on the University-level review committee in a year in which he or she is considered for tenure or promotion.

Administrator - The administrator at the departmental level is the department chair. The dean is the administrator at the college/school/University Libraries level, and the Provost and Senior Vice President is the administrator at the University level.

Calendar - A Tenure and Promotion Calendar will be developed and published each year by the Provost and Senior Vice President or their designee.

Documents - The basic document consists of the 25-page statement prepared by the candidate in accordance with the standard format. The primary dossier consists of this basic document, the required cover sheet, copies of annual reviews (and rebuttals if filed) for untenured faculty, the chair's nonevaluative role statement, statements of evaluation by the committee and administrator at each level of review (and rebuttals if filed), letters of external review (and rebuttals if filed), and items added during the review process. Candidates must be notified of any items added to the primary dossier and be provided an opportunity to submit a written rebuttal to such items, which will be included in the primary dossier. At each level of review, each committee member has a copy of the primary dossier. The secondary dossier consists of such additional materials as the candidate wishes to submit. Examples might include, but are not limited to, copies of publications or other evidence of scholarship, and copies of student evaluations or course materials, etc. Only one copy of the secondary dossier is maintained.

Mandatory Review Year - The next to the last year of the allowable probationary period is the mandatory review year.

Straw Ballot - A non-binding vote taken for the purpose of monitoring progress toward a final decision is a straw ballot.

Favorable Case - A favorable case occurs at any level of review if either the faculty committee or the administrator makes a positive recommendation concerning the case. Such cases automatically move forward for review at the next level.

Probationary Appointment - A probationary appointment is an appointment that may, on the basis of continuing satisfactory performance, lead to review for the award of tenure. However, probationary appointments carry no expectation or promise that review for the award of tenure will be undertaken or that tenure will be awarded. Probationary appointments are reviewed on an annual basis and may or may not be renewed. Probationary appointments may not be continued for more than seven years.

Refereed - An article counts as "refereed" when it has been reviewed and evaluated before publication by scholars or experts in the research topic of the manuscript.

Temporary Appointments - A temporary appointment is for a fixed term. Such appointments carry no rights to the consideration for the award of tenure.

1 By action of the college/school/University Libraries faculty and as incorporated in the college/school/University Libraries handbook, a group of departments may decide to act as a division rather than as a single department. Such a decision must be approved by the dean of the unit and by the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Revision Date:
September 29, 1998
April 16, 1999
January 1, 2009
October 13, 2009
January 1, 2011
May 15, 2011

Click the left half to go to
        Chapter 4. Click the right half to go to the Table of Contents. Chapter 4 Table of Contents