Departmental Procedures Concerning First Appointment, Third-Year Review, and Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

  1. First Appointment

    The appointment of new faculty members is a matter in which the departments should exercise great care and diligence. Every member of the department should participate in the appointive process, and should have a voice in any decision; faculty have voting privileges on appointments at their own rank or below. The following considerations apply particularly to the appointment of tenure stream Instructors and Assistant Professors.

    Candidates should be solicited by advertisement in appropriate journals, by extensive canvassing, and by other suitable means, in a manner consonant with applicable standards of affirmative action. The credentials of candidates thus solicited should be closely scrutinized. Candidates' potential as scholars or artists and teachers should be evaluated rigorously. The most promising candidates should be invited to meet personally with all members of the department, and to submit for examination examples of their scholarly or creative work. A seminar presentation, lecture-discussion session, or other kind of performance should be required of each such candidate, to assist department members in judging the quality of the candidate's training and potentialities as teacher and scholar.

    When all candidates for a position have been fully evaluated, the Chairperson shall canvass the views of all members of the department with voting privileges at the rank of the appointment to determine whether a consensus exists favoring the appointment of one of the candidates; in the case of a tenured appointment, each tenured faculty member has a vote on the award of tenure, even if he/she does not have a vote on rank. The results of that canvass, together with the Chairperson's recommendation and all other relevant materials, shall be forwarded to the Dean for the Dean's action. The Chairperson's recommendation should provide a detailed rationale for the proposed appointment, including the anticipated contribution of the prospective appointee to the short- and long-term plans of the department.

  2. Faculty Dossier

    From the time of first appointment, the department shall maintain a dossier on each faculty member, for the purpose of assisting the Chairperson in advising the faculty member on his or her progress, and to provide evidence which the tenured faculty may use in deciding questions of renewal or promotion. The dossier shall include material bearing on the faculty member's teaching and research or creative activity, and service to the department, the University, and the community.

    Materials on teaching should be collected continually for inclusion in the dossier, so that the faculty member's colleagues will have sufficient information to make sound evaluations of teaching effectiveness. These materials may include course materials (such as syllabi, course descriptions, reading lists, etc.), student evaluations, peer evaluations, and self-evaluations by the faculty member.

    It shall be every faculty member's continuing responsibility to keep the dossier up to date in regard to research activities. The faculty member should provide the Department Chairperson with copies of published work and, at the faculty member's discretion, copies of samples of work in progress. The dossier should contain a record of publications or other public demonstrations of achievement (such as films, recitals, plays directed, etc.), a record of research grants and other awards received by the faculty member, and reviews of published work and comments by others in the faculty member's special field.

    The dossier should include a summary of the faculty member's professional activities apart from research and publication, including attendance at conferences, presentation of papers, participation in cooperative projects, etc. The dossier should also include any evidence of professional recognition, such as election to office in professional associations. Similarly, the dossier should contain a current record of the faculty member's extra-scholarly contributions to the department, the University, and the community. This record may include a summary of committee memberships, elective posts held, community activities, etc.

    The Department Chairperson shall inform every faculty member of his or her obligations in regard to keeping the dossier current and complete.

  3. Annual Evaluation

    Each year, the Department Chairperson shall write a letter of evaluation for each Instructor and Assistant Professor in the tenure stream, and for Associate Professors who do not hold tenure. This letter shall be separate from the annual salary letter. This annual letter of evaluation should be specific and detailed in communicating departmental and University expectations for tenure, the faculty member's progress toward tenure, and suggestions for improvement in areas where performance is not satisfactory.

  4. Third-Year Review

    Every Instructor and Assistant Professor shall be formally reviewed by the entire tenured faculty of the department in the third year of service. This review should coincide with a decision whether to renew the candidate's contract, and periods of appointment should be designed with this in mind. The Chairperson of the department shall be responsible for initiating the review.

    The third-year review need not be conducted for Instructors and Assistant Professors who have been notified that the third year of service will be a terminal year of appointment, so long as the timing of the notification has been in accordance with the University Policy on Appointments and Tenure.

    When a decision to recommend renewal is made, the Chairperson shall inform the candidate in detail of the judgments and comments of the tenured faculty, as an aid to the candidate's efforts to develop as a teacher and scholar, and to assist the candidate in evaluating and improving his or her prospects for eventual promotion to tenured rank. In case a decision not to recommend renewal is made at the third-year review, the candidate shall be offered a terminal appointment of one additional year; and again the Chairperson shall inform the candidate of the judgments of the tenured faculty.

    In preparation for a third-year review the Chairperson or a committee designed by the Chairperson shall assemble all relevant materials bearing on the candidate's development as a teacher and scholar, or creative artist. The candidate shall be given an opportunity in good time to present a written statement setting forth the candidate's achievements, progress, and goals, and to offer any other evidence that the candidate may wish. After an adequate period of discussion the Chairperson shall canvass the tenured faculty, and convey their recommendation to the Dean.

  5. Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

    Every senior member of a department must acquaint himself or herself as fully as possible with materials on teaching, research and service contained in the dossier of a colleague standing for tenure. The dossier should be supplemented by at least six letters from specialists of stature in the candidate's field. These evaluations shall be solicited by the Department Chairperson or by faculty member(s) whom the Chairperson designates in a non-biased fashion and with the assurance of confidentiality. These letters shall normally be available during the department's deliberations on the candidate's promotion. All letters received, whether congruent or not to the departmental judgment, must be forwarded to the Dean. No more than half of the names chosen by the department as external referees may be taken from the list suggested by the candidate. The referees should receive examples of the candidate's work, a curriculum vitae prepared by the candidate, and any other materials that might assist them in evaluating that candidate's scholarship. They should be asked to compare the candidate's potential for future research or other creative activity with that of others at a similar stage of professional development. The Chairperson should solicit the advice of faculty from other departments who have been associated with the candidate in academic activities. A candidate for promotion or tenure shall submit a written statement, outlining research and teaching accomplishments and goals, to be forwarded to the Dean as part of the dossier.

    Well before the tenured faculty meets to discuss the candidate's promotion, the Chairperson shall invite the candidate to provide materials bearing on his or her performance, including, if the candidate wishes, a statement outlining accomplishments and goals. All materials, including the candidate's statement and the letters of evaluation, shall be studied and discussed by the department's tenured faculty. After their meeting the Chairperson shall obtain a signed ballot from each of them. (If at the time of the meeting one or more years remain before University rules would require the department to recommend either that a faculty member be promoted or that the faculty member's contract be terminated, the department may elect to defer action. In this case the Chairperson shall inform the candidate of the reasons for the decision, but need not inform the Dean.)

    At least five tenured faculty shall have participated in the department's discussions and balloting before the department makes its recommendation to the Dean. If a department has fewer than five tenured faculty members, the tenured members of the department, together with the Dean, shall invite a sufficient number of senior faculty from other departments within the University to participate in the departmental discussions and balloting. Those so invited should have academic interests that would especially equip them to assist the department in its deliberations on the particular candidate.

    A departmental recommendation in favor of promotion to tenured rank should normally reflect a consensus of the department's faculty. At a minimum, such a recommendation must be supported by a majority of the votes of those who have participated in departmental deliberations.

    The departmental decision on whether to recommend a promotion to tenured rank will be conveyed to the Dean as a recommended personnel action, accompanied by the signed ballots of the senior faculty, a Chairperson's cover letter, and the supporting materials described in the Provost's guidelines. The cover letter should summarize and interpret the evidence bearing on the candidate's real and potential achievements and role in the department. In the event of a significant difference of opinion at the meeting, the Chairperson shall ask one or more persons whose views are not fully expressed in the cover letter to write to the Dean.

    The Chairperson shall inform the candidate of the substance and rationale of the departmental recommendation in as much detail as is possible without infringing on the privacy of communications from referees or ascribing views expressed at the departmental meeting to individual faculty members.