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Policy Details

6 -15

University policy regarding faculty promotion

(A)       Purpose.  Promotion shall be viewed as recognition of a faculty member's sustained and distinguished scholarship, teaching, and service.  For the purposes of this policy, "scholarship" is broadly defined to include research, scholarly and creative work. For the purposes of this policy "service" is broadly defined to include administrative service to the university, professional service to the faculty member's discipline, and the provision of professional expertise to public and private entities beyond the University.

(1)       For promotion purposes, the term "unit" shall be defined as a department, school, or college without subordinate academic departments or schools (hereafter, 'independent college'). The term "faculty" shall be defined as those who hold regular full-time tenured or tenure-track appointments.  Given some variance in procedures followed for faculty from independent colleges and/or regional campuses, sections of this policy have been included to delineate these specific procedural differences. 

(2)       Criteria appropriate to a particular unit shall be formulated by that unit in light of college (if applicable) and university standards and guidelines, the mission of the unit, and the demands and academic standards of the discipline.

(B)       Promotion criteria.  Recommendations for promotion shall be based upon two (2) major classes of criteria.  The first, "academic credentials and university experience," describes the normal minimums of credentials and time-in-rank necessary for promotion consideration.  The second, "academic performance and service," refers to the record of actual performance and the accomplishments by the faculty member in academic and service areas, as defined by the unit handbook. Unless otherwise specified in the unit handbook, documented in-press and forthcoming scholarly or creative works will be considered as part of the record of accomplishments.   

(1)       Academic credentials and university experience. 

(a)                   Assistant professor. A faculty member will not be considered for advancement to this rank until either completion of three years as an instructor and possession of at least the master's degree, or until the academic credentials minimally required for initial appointment at the assistant professor's level are achieved.

(b)       Associate professor.  This is one of the two senior ranks in academia; accordingly a faculty member must possess the terminal degree in his/her discipline before promotion consideration.  In exceptional cases, this rule may be modified with the approval of the unit's promotion committee and the provost.  A faculty member will usually not be considered for advancement to this rank until completion of five (5) years as an assistant professor, but in extraordinary cases may be considered after completion of fewer years as an assistant professor. A non-tenured faculty member applying for promotion to the rank of associate professor must also undergo a successful tenure review.

(c)        Full professor.  As with associate professor, a faculty member must possess the terminal degree in his/her discipline before promotion consideration.  In exceptional cases, this rule may be modified with the approval of the unit's promotion committee and the provost.  A faculty member will usually not be considered for advancement to this rank until completion of five (5) years as an associate professor, but in extraordinary cases may be considered after completion of fewer years as an associate professor. A non-tenured faculty member applying for promotion to the rank of full professor must also undergo a successful tenure review.

(2)      The criteria for assessing the quality of scholarship, teaching and service shall be clearly specified and included in the handbook of each unit and campus.  Guidelines for weighting the categories of scholarship, teaching and service shall be established by each unit for Kent campus faculty.  For regional campus faculty, guidelines for weighting the categories of scholarship, teaching and service shall be established by each campus faculty council and this weighting shall be used at all levels of review. The handbook should indicate with some specificity, how the quality and significance of scholarship and the quality and effectiveness of teaching and service are to be documented and assessed.  Only documented evidence of scholarship, teaching, and service will be used in assessing a faculty member's eligibility for promotion.  In the evaluation of scholarship, emphasis should be placed on external measures of quality. 

(3)       All tenured and tenure-track faculty members of the unit must have the opportunity to participate in the establishment, development and revision of the unit's criteria. These processes should be democratic and public.

(4)       As the university enters new fields of endeavor, including interdisciplinary initiatives, instances may arise in which the scholarship of faculty members may extend beyond established disciplinary boundaries.  In such cases, care must be taken to apply the criteria with sufficient flexibility.  In all instances, superior scholarly attainment, in accordance with the criteria set forth in the unit handbooks, is an essential qualification for promotion. 

(5)       Criteria based on sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or political activity or other legally protected categories are expressly forbidden.

(C)  Procedures for making decisions regarding promotion. 

(1)       Due process is integral to an effective promotion policy.  The guiding premise in the following procedure is that the essential phases in promotion consideration occur at the unit level and at the regional campus (if applicable).  Assessments and the recommendations beyond these levels should reflect due regard for the professional judgments and recommendations made at the unit and regional campus levels.  Review and assessment by extra-unit and extra-regional campus faculty and the academic administration are necessary to insure the integrity of the system. 

(2)       External reviewers.  All candidates for promotion must submit the names of at least five (5) persons outside the university who are qualified to evaluate their achievements objectively.  The unit administrator shall solicit evaluations from at least three (3) of the qualified individuals whose names have been submitted by the candidate.  The unit administrator may also solicit evaluations from external reviewers other than those named by the candidate but must inform the candidate of the persons contacted.  In addition, the college dean, where appropriate) may consult with the unit administrator regarding any letters the dean may wish to solicit for consideration at the unit level and inform the candidate of such letters received.  The candidate shall be given a copy of the letter to be sent to outside evaluators and have the opportunity to comment before the letter is mailed.

(3)       Any agreement at the time of appointment concerning a candidate's future promotion must be approved in writing by the unit administrator with the advice of the unit's faculty advisory committee.  Such agreement also must be approved by the college dean (if applicable) and the provost.  If previous experience at another institution or in a related field is to be counted toward eventual promotion, that shall be made clear in such an agreement.

(D)      Procedures for making decisions regarding promotion: the unit level. Any action for the promotion of a faculty member shall be initiated at the academic unit level.  (See paragraph (A)(1) for definition of "unit".)  Consideration of those standing for promotion shall be undertaken by a unit promotion committee chaired by the unit administrator as a nonvoting member and composed of the tenured members of the unit's faculty advisory committee and any tenured full professors of the unit who may not be on the faculty advisory committee.  No member of the committee shall be present while the committeedeliberates or votes on the promotion of a spouse or relative and no member other than the unit administrator (who shall not be present when his/her own promotion is discussed) shall be present while the committee deliberates or votes on promotions to a rank higher than that of an individual committee member. 

(1)       Each spring semester, the unit's faculty advisory committee shall review all faculty members below the rank of full professor in the unit, including regional campus faculty members, and from them nominate by simple majority vote a list of nominees for promotion.   To this list must be appended any names submitted by persons in their own behalf, by the unit administrator and/or by an academic administrative officer of the university.  Those nominated shall be notified by the unit administrator and permitted to withdraw their names if they wish.  Faculty with dual appointments shall be considered for promotion in their primary academic unit after consultation with the secondary academic unit. 

(2)       The unit administrator shall make available copies of the guidelines, timetables and other information concerning promotion review to all candidates in the unit, Kent campus and regional campus faculty members alike, no later than three (3) weeks before the deadline for submission of materials, which is at the end of the first week of the fall semester. 

(3)       Faculty members being considered for promotion are responsible for developing, organizing, and submitting to the unit administrator the evidence supporting their candidacy for promotion.  The unit administrator will review the file with the candidate for promotion in order to ensure that the file is complete and will prepare a statement indicating that the file is complete.  The completed file statement will be signed by both the candidate and the unit administrator. Thereafter, the candidate must be informed of anything that is added to or removed from the file, and provided the opportunity to insert written comments concerning that new or removed material.   At each level of review, advisory bodies and administrators will have access to the complete file before they consider the case. 

(4)       Before convening the promotion committee, the unit administrator shall formally invite written comments from all tenured faculty members who are not eligible to vote on the promotion. The unit administrator shall provide those comments to the promotion committee, shall provide a copy to the candidate, and shall place the comments in the file. 

 (5)      Members of the promotion committee on leave of absence or absent for justifiable reasons shall be notified of the nominations and shall vote by absentee ballot, or they may request from the committee the right to abstain from voting.  If the promotion committee consists of fewer than four (4) members, excluding the non-voting chair, then a special procedure for enlarging it shall be developed by the unit administrator with the advice of the faculty advisory committee and the assistance of the college dean, if applicable, and the approval of the provost. 

(6)       The unit administrator shall discuss his/her estimate of the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate with the unit promotion committee.

(7)       The case of each candidate shall be the subject of candid discussion by the committee.  During the committee meeting, each voting member shall indicate his/her nonbinding "yea" or "nay."  After the meeting, each voting member shall record his/her final vote by completing a signed evaluation form with comments.  

(8)       Approval of at least three-fourths of the members of the unit's promotion committee who vote (excluding those who abstain under paragraph (D)(5) of this policy) shall constitute the formal endorsement to the unit administrator for promotion. 

(9)       The unit administrator shall assemble the recorded votes, signed evaluation forms, along with supporting statements, as well as other relevant documents regarding the faculty member's application for promotion.  The unit administrator shall weigh and assess all relevant information and decide whether to recommend promotion. He/she shall record his/her decision, along with a signed statement supporting it.

(10)     In the case of regional campus and Kent campus faculty alike, the unit administrator shall extend an invitation to the candidate to meet in order to discuss the assessment and recommendation.  This meeting should take place as soon as possible.  In all cases that are not unanimously positive, the unit administrator must meet with the candidate within five (5) working days from the date of the submission of the unit administrator's letter to the administrator at the next higher level.

(11)     The unit administrator shall inform the offices of the appropriate college dean, regional campus dean, where appropriate, and the provost of the results of the unit's deliberations.  The file must be completed and closed at the unit level and no material shall be added or removed except as provided for in this policy.

(12)     No later than the date when the unit administrator transmits his/her recommendation to the next higher administrative officer, he/she shall notify the candidate of his/her recommendation by letter.

(a)       The unit administrator shall include with this letter a copy of his/her letter of recommendation to the next higher administrative officer, a summary of the advisory recommendations of the promotion committee, and copies of the committee's signed evaluation forms. 

(b)       In the unit administrator's letter to the candidate he/she shall inform the candidate that he/she has the right, within ten (10) working days, to add a letter to his/her file responding to any procedural errors or errors of fact that the candidate believes have been included in either the unit administrator's letter, or the committee members' statements.  

(c)        The letter shall also indicate that, if the candidate wishes to appeal a negative recommendation, such intent shall be expressed to the next higher academic officer in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the unit administrator's letter.

(E)       Procedures for making decisions regarding promotion: the regional campus level. Regional campus candidates for promotion will be reviewed at the unit level (as described above in paragraph (D) of this policy) and at the regional campus level. The promotion committee of a regional campus shall be composed of the tenured members of the faculty council and the campus full professors. No member of the committee shall be present when the committee deliberates or votes on the promotion of an individual to a rank higher than that of the individual faculty member of the promotion committee, or on the promotion of a spouse or relative. The faculty chair is a voting member of the campus promotion committee.

(1)       The regional campus dean will make available to the candidate and the unit copies of those sections of the campus handbook concerning the campus' method of weighing unit criteria. 

(2)       Regional campus faculty members being considered for promotion are responsible for developing, organizing, and submitting to the unit administrator the evidence supporting their candidacy for promotion. The unit administrator will review the files with the candidate for promotion in order to ensure that the files are complete and will prepare a statement for inclusion in each file indicating that the file is complete as indicated in (D)(3) of this policy. The unit administrator must notify the regional campus dean in a timely fashion that the file is available for review by the campus promotion committee.  Thereafter, the candidate must be informed of anything that is added to or removed from the file and provided the opportunity to insert written comments concerning the added or removed material.

(3)       Before convening the campus promotion committee, the faculty chair shall formally invite signed written comments from all campus tenured faculty members who are not eligible to vote on the promotion. The faculty chair will provide the comments to the campus promotion committee, copy the candidate, and place the comments in the file.

(4)       Members of the campus promotion committee on leave of absence shall be notified of the candidacies and shall vote by absentee ballots or they may request from the committee the right to abstain from voting. If the campus promotion committee consists of fewer than four (4) members, including the voting chair, then a special procedure for enlarging it shall be developed by the regional campus dean, with the advice of the faculty council and the approval of the provost. 

(5)       The case of each candidate shall be subject to candid discussion by the committee.  During the committee meeting, each voting member shall indicate his/her nonbinding "yea" or "nay." After the meeting, each voting member shall record his/her final vote by completing a signed evaluation form with comments.

(6)       Approval of at least three-fourths of the members of the campus promotion committee who vote (excluding those abstaining under paragraph (E)(4) of this policy) shall be required for a recommendation to the regional campus dean for promotion. 

(7)       The faculty chair shall then summarize the committee's vote, signed evaluation forms, and recommendation for support or non-support of granting promotion to the candidate in a signed letter to the candidate and the regional campus dean. The letter shall indicate that, if the candidate wishes to respond to a recommendation for non-support, such a response must be made to the campus dean and copied to the unit administrator within ten (10) working days of receipt of the letter. Copies of the faculty chair's letter shall be provided to the college dean and to the unit administrator of the candidate's unit. 

(8)       The regional campus dean shall assemble the records, along with supporting statements, ballots, and other relevant documents. The regional campus dean will then review the file and the advisory recommendations of the campus promotion committee and the unit administrator, weigh and assess all relevant information, and decide whether to recommend the granting of promotion to the candidate. He/she shall record his/her decision along with a signed statement supporting the decision. 

(9)       The regional campus dean should extend an invitation to the candidate to meet in order to discuss the assessment and recommendation. This meeting should take place as soon as possible in all cases. In all cases that are not unanimously positive, the regional campus dean must meet with the candidate within five (5) working days from the date of the submission of his/her letter to the appropriate administrator.

(10)     The regional campus dean's recommendation to grant or deny promotion to the candidate shall be submitted to either the college dean (in the case of a candidate from a dependent department or school) or to the provost (in the case of a candidate from an independent college), with copies to the unit administrator and (where the recommendation is to a college dean) to the provost. The file must be completed and closed at the regional campus level and no material is to be added or removed except as provided for in this policy.

(11)     No later than the date when the regional campus dean transmits his/her recommendations to the college dean or provost, the regional campus dean shall notify the candidate of her/his recommendation by letter.

(a)       The regional campus dean shall include within this letter a copy of his/her letter of recommendation to the college dean or provost, a summary of the advisory recommendations of the tenure committee, and copies of the committee's signed evaluation

(b)       In the regional campus dean's letter to the candidate he/she shall inform the candidate that he/she has the right, within ten (10) working days, to add a letter to his/her file responding to any procedural errors or errors of fact that the candidate believes have been included in either the regional campus dean's letter, the faculty chair's letter, or the committee member's statements.  

(c)        The letter shall also indicate that, if the candidate wishes to appeal a negative recommendation, such intent shall be expressed to the next higher academic officer in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the regional campus dean's letter.  

(F)       Procedures for making decisions regarding promotion: colleges with dependent units. The college dean shall conduct a review of the unit's decision and, where applicable, the regional campus' actions and shall convene the college advisory committee, which shall function as the college promotion committee. On the basis of the qualifications of the candidate, this committee shall evaluate all assessments deriving from the unit and, where applicable, the regional campus levels, and recommend to the college dean either promotion or denial of promotion. 

(1)       The college dean shall be the chair and a nonvoting member of the college promotion committee. Tenured members of the elected college advisory committee shall serve as the college promotion committee to review recommendations and evaluations from the departments and schools and recommend to the college dean in each case whether promotion should be granted. This committee shall have made available to it all data developed by the unit and, where applicable, the regional campus.  These materials shall be the subject of candid discussion by the committee, except that no member of the college promotion committee may vote on candidates from their own unit and no member of the committee shall be present when the committee deliberates or votes on the tenure of a spouse or relative.

(2)       During the committee meeting each voting member shall indicate his/her nonbinding "yea" or "nay."  After the meeting, each voting member shall record his/her final vote by completing a signed evaluation form with comments.

(3)       Approval of three-fourths of the members of the promotion committee who vote (excluding those who abstain for reasons under paragraph (F)(1) of this policy) shall constitute a recommendation for promotion by the college promotion committee to the college dean. 

(4)       The college dean shall prepare a written statement in which is recorded the recommendation of the college promotion committee, along with the numerical vote.  In addition, the college dean shall submit a recommendation for approval or disapproval of the candidate's promotion.

(a)       For Kent campus and regional campus candidates alike, the college dean's statement and candidate's file are submitted to the provost. 

(b)       The file must be completed and closed at the college level and no material shall be added or removed except as provided for in this policy.

(5)       No later than the date the college recommendation is submitted to the provost, the college dean shall notify the candidate of his/her recommendation by letter.

(a)       The college dean shall include with this letter a copy of his/her letter of recommendation to the provost, a summary of the advisory recommendations of the promotion committee, and copies of the committee's signed evaluation forms. 

(b)      In the college dean's letter to the candidate he/she shall inform the candidate that he/she has the right, within ten (10) working days, to add a letter to his/her file responding to any procedural errors or errors of fact that the candidate believes have been included in either the college dean's letter or the committee member's statements.  

(c)        The letter shall also indicate that, if the candidate wishes to appeal a negative decision recommendation, such intent shall be expressed to the next higher academic officer in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the college dean's letter.

(G)       Procedures for making decisions regarding promotion: the provost level.  The provost shall conduct a review of the previous actions and shall make an academic administrative recommendation on promotion forwarded to the president. 

(1)       To assist in this process with respect to Kent campus faculty, the provost shall convene the Kent campus promotion advisory board.  The members of this board shall be appointed by the provost in consultation with the provost's advisory council, from a list of tenured associate and full professors nominated by the faculty senate executive committee, the college advisory committees, and the college deans.  It is ordinarily expected that, through such discussion, consensus on the Kent campus promotion advisory board members will be reached.  In the unusual circumstance that the provost's faculty advisory council and the provost are unable to reach consensus in regard to the members of the board by the specified date for the beginning of the board's activity, the provost shall convene a Kent campus promotion advisory board that includes those for whom consensus has been reached and others that the provost appoints. This board shall evaluate from a Kent campus-wide perspective the recommendations made thus far and shall formally advise the provost as to whether, in its view, these recommendations should be accepted. 

(2)       To aid in making a recommendation with respect to regional campus faculty, the provost shall convene a regional-campus-wide promotion advisory board. The members of this board shall be appointed by the provost in consultation with the regional campuses faculty advisory council and regional campus deans from a list of tenured associate and full professors nominated by each regional campus faculty council and the regional campus deans. It is ordinarily expected that, through such discussion, consensus on the regional campuses-widepromotionadvisory board members will be reached. In the unusual circumstance that the regional campusesfaculty advisory council and the provost are unable to reach consensus in regard to the members of this board by the specified date for the beginning of the board's activity, the provost shall convene a regional campuses-wide promotion advisory board that includes those members for whom consensus has been reached and others that the provost appoints.  This board shall evaluate from a regional campus-wide perspective the recommendations made thus far and shall formally advise the provost as to whether, in its view, these recommendations should be accepted.

(3)       The provost shall provide written notification to the candidates for promotion of the action taken.  Such notification shall be made at least one (1) week prior to the date designated as the submission date for recommendations for promotion by the president to the board of trustees.  The communication to candidates whose promotions are not approved shall include reasons why approval was withheld. A negative recommendation shall include a statement of the relevant handbook criteria or criteria as established in this policy that the candidate has failed to meet. Copies of each communication shall be sent to the college dean, regional campus dean (if applicable) and academic unit administrator.

(H)       New material may be added as requested by a review committee or the responsible academic administrator at any level of review in order to correct or more fully document information contained in the promotion file. In such instances, the candidate shall be notified of, and given the opportunity to review, such new material as is added to the file and shall also be provided with the opportunity to include written comments relevant to this material and/or the appropriateness of its inclusion in the file. 

(I)         Any faculty member whose promotion has been disapproved at any level shall have the right to appeal to the next higher academic administrative officer.  In the case of denial by the provost, the appeal shall be to the president, or when appropriate, to the joint appeals board (see Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article VII, Section 2).  All appeals must be initiated by the candidate in writing within ten (10) working days of the candidate's receipt of the disapproval notification or as otherwise specified by the collective bargaining agreement.  At each level of appeal, the appellant shall be offered an opportunity to appear in person to present his/her case orally before the appropriate promotion advisory committee or board.  The appellant may be accompanied by a colleague who may assist in presenting his/her case.   Furthermore, if an individual other than the appellant is invited to address the committee or board, the appellant shall have an opportunity to respond to any new information.  The committee or board shall determine whether the information is new and whether to invite an oral or written response. The academic administrator in question shall consider the vote of this body seriously before making his/her recommendation and shall inform both the appellant and the academic administrator at the next higher level of the results of this vote. 

(J)         Academic administrators and members of promotion committees are expected to act in accordance with the principles of due process and abide by the Professional Code of Ethics (rule 3342-6-17 of this Administrative Code).  All documents in the promotion process are subject to the Ohio Open Records Law (Section 149.43 of the Ohio Revised Code).  

(K)        Faculty members being considered for promotion up to, and including the 2012-2013 academic year, may elect to be considered under the policy and the unit handbook in place at the time of their initial appointment. The faculty member will include a written election of this option in their file.  Decisions regarding promotion made after the 2012-2013 academic year will be governed by this policy and the unit handbook in effect at the time of the promotion decision. Given the elimination of the position of the executive dean for regional campuses, for regional campus faculty electing to be governed by the University policy regarding promotion in place at the time of their initial appointments, sections (G)(16)-(18) and Section (H)(1) of that policy will be replaced by section (G)(2) of the current policy.

 

Effective: August 22, 2010  

Prior Effective Dates: 4/5/1982, 8/7/1987, 10/20/1997, 4/5/2010  

Related Forms: