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Policy Details

6 -16

University policy and procedures regarding faculty reappointment

(A)    Purpose. All tenure-track faculty members hold probationary appointments for one year, subject to annual renewal. Except where indicated below in this section (A), the total period of full-time tenure-track employment at the university prior to continuous tenure will not exceed six (6) years. Faculty members with probationary appointments in the tenure track will be reviewed annually until the academic year in which they are considered for tenure.

 

Because the purpose of the probationary period is to provide an opportunity for observation, time spent on leave other than a scholarly leave of absence or time spent pursuant to the university policy and procedures governing modification of the faculty probationary period is not considered part of the probationary period. Summer appointments are not counted within yearly appointments. Scholarly leaves of absence for one (1) year or less will count as part of the probationary period.

 

Reappointment reviews have as their primary purpose the preparation of probationary faculty members for a successful tenure review, and annual reviews will help to prepare them in the following ways:

 

(1)     Probationary faculty members will be given Information about university policies and unit and/or regional campus goals, culture, and professional and collegial standards and expectations;. For the purposes of reappointment, the term “unit” shall be defined as a department, school, or college without departments or schools. The term “faculty” shall be understood to mean those who hold regular full-time tenured or tenure-track appointments. Given some variance in procedures followed for faculty from colleges without departments or schools and/or regional campuses, sections of this policy have been included to delineate these specific procedural differences.

 

(2)     Probationary faculty members will participate in regular, complete, and specific formative evaluations during the probationary period to foster their scholarship, teaching and service.

 

(3)     Probationary faculty members will have an opportunity to discuss their annual reviews; to respond to suggestions for improvement in scholarship, teaching, and service; and to receive a timely, fair evaluation of their responses.

 

(4)     Probationary faculty members will have the opportunity to establish a mentoring relationship as an aid in satisfying unit and if applicable, regional campus requirements and conditions for tenure;.

 

(5)     Finally, probationary faculty members will have the opportunity to establish a clear and consistent record from which the university may confidently draw conclusions about their future performance.

 

(B)    Initial Procedure. Reappointment review is a deliberate and important process. During the course of reappointment reviews, the academic administrators (e.g., department chair, school director, college dean, regional campus dean) will communicate to both the probationary faculty member and to the evaluators a clear understanding about the requirements and conditions of tenure. Eventually, at the time of tenure review all parties should be sufficiently informed of these requirements and conditions so that the process occurs in an atmosphere of fairness and is based on well-documented employment practices. To help make sure this takes place, the format of the electronic file (or portfolio) to be submitted at the time of application for tenure and promotion should be shared with the probationary faculty member early in the probationary period. To prevent annual reappointment reviews from becoming an undue burden on probationary faculty members and the colleagues who evaluate their files, units shall develop reasonable guidelines for the construction of electronic reappointment files and the presentation of documentation.

 

All reappointment reviews will be carried out on a paperless, electronic system provided by the university for this purpose. Probationary faculty members, reviewers and administrators must submit and review reappointment documents on this system, and any official notification required under this policy will appear in this system. The probationary faculty member will be notified by email of anything that is added to or removed from the file as soon as it is added or removed. At each level of reappointment review, the probationary faculty member, faculty advisory bodies and administrators will be able to view the complete file.

 

(C)    Criteria. The criteria used in assessing the quality of scholarship, teaching, and service in the review of faculty seeking reappointment should conform to the unit’s tenure guidelines in the unit’s handbook. Guidelines concerning the weighting of those criteria will be applied consistently at all levels of review and will come from the probationary faculty member’s unit of appointment or, if applicable, campus of appointment as follows: all reappointment evaluations of Kent campus probationary faculty members shall follow the unit’s guidelines concerning the weighting of the unit’s tenure criteria, and all reappointment evaluations of regional campus probationary faculty members shall follow the campus’ guidelines concerning the weighting of the unit’s tenure criteria.

 

(D)    Affirmation Principle. The principle to affirm at reappointment review is, “Given the years of service to date and the number of years until mandatory tenure review, it is reasonable to expect that the probationary faculty member will eventually undergo a successful tenure review.” To help the probationary faculty member accomplish this and to aid the reappointment committee in making such an affirmation, expectations about scholarship, teaching, and service should be outlined in the letter of appointment. Specific criteria should be detailed in the unit handbook, and, if applicable, the campus handbook.

 

(E)    Due process is integral to an effective reappointment policy. The guiding premise in the following procedure is that the essential phases in reappointment considerations occur at the unit level and, if applicable, at the regional campus. Assessments and recommendations beyond these levels should reflect due regard for the professional judgment 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 reappointment process.

 

(F)    Procedures for making decision regarding reappointment: the unit level. All actions involving reappointment shall be initiated at the academic unit level (department, school, or college without departments or schools). Consideration of those standing for reappointment shall be undertaken by the unit reappointment committee chaired by the unit administrator as a non-voting member and composed of all tenured members of the unit’s faculty advisory committee and any tenured professors who may not be members of the advisory committee. No member of the committee may be present when the committee deliberates or votes on the reappointment of an individual in a rank higher than that of the individual member of the reappointment committee, or on the reappointment of a spouse, domestic partner or relative.

 

(1)     In the first year of the probationary period the unit administrator will notify the probationary faculty member in the appointment letter that a reappointment review will occur shortly after the end of the first semester. At that time the probationary faculty member will submit only a two (2) to three (3) page statement describing his/her accomplishments and plans for the remainder of the academic year. All parties participating in the review should be aware that a full review is not required at this time, but that two things should be accomplished during this first review.

 

(a)     The unit administrator and the unit’s reappointment committee should review the probationary faculty member to make certain that the terms of the initial appointment have been satisfied.

 

(b)     The unit administrator and the unit’s reappointment committee should apply those criteria in section (C) above which are appropriate or are available (e.g., first semester peer review(s) and student surveys of instruction) for the reappointment review.

 

Faculty members from departments or schools in the their first probationary year will not be reviewed by the college advisory committees, but will be reviewed only at the unit, and where appropriate, regional campus level, with a recommendation by the unit administrator and, where appropriate, campus dean to the college dean.

 

(2)     For every following annual review, near the end of the spring semester the unit administrator shall notify all probationary tenure-track faculty members in the unit, Kent campus and regional campus faculty members alike, that a reappointment review will begin early in the fall semester of the next academic year.

 

(3)     The unit administrator shall make available copies of the guidelines, timetables and other information concerning reappointment review to all probationary faculty members in the unit 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. At the same time, for regional campus probationary faculty, the campus dean will make available to the probationary faculty member and to the unit copies of those sections of the campus handbook concerning the campus’ method of weighting unit criteria.

 

(4)     Probationary faculty members are responsible for developing, organizing and submitting the documentation supporting their reappointment. However, the unit administrator, as well as colleagues, should assist probationary faculty members in the preparation of their files, especially in their early years of service.

 

(5)     The unit administrator is responsible for including past reappointment letters and, for Kent campus probationary faculty, the original letter of appointment in the file. For regional campus probationary faculty, the campus dean is responsible for including past reappointment letters and the original letter of appointment in the file. The unit administrator will review the file with the probationary faculty member to insure that the file is complete, and the probationary faculty member and the unit administrator will certify that the file is complete. Thereafter, the probationary faculty member must be informed of anything added to or removed from the file and provided with the opportunity to  include written comments concerning that new or removed material.

 

(6)     Before convening the reappointment committee, the unit administrator will inform all tenured faculty members that the files are available for inspection, and will formally invite written comments from all tenured faculty members who are not members of the reappointment committee. The unit administrator will include those comments in the file.

 

(7)     Members of the reappointment committee on leave of absence may vote or they may request from the committee the right to abstain from voting. If the reappointment 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.

 

(8)     The unit administrator will comment on the strengths and weaknesses of, and the extent to which the probationary faculty member has responded to issues raised in previous reappointment reviews, especially suggestions about improvement in scholarship, teaching, and service. Finally, the unit administrator should provide his or her judgment of how well the probationary faculty member is progressing toward a successful tenure review.

 

(9)     Each candidate’s file shall be subject to candid discussion by the committee. During the meeting, each voting member shall indicate his/her non-binding vote of “yes,” “yes with reservations,” or “no” concerning the reappointment of the probationary faculty member. After the meeting, each voting member shall record his or her final vote by completing the electronic evaluation form, with comments. The reappointment committee members should consider their remarks carefully when they prepare them because such peer evaluations are critical to the reappointment process.

 

(10)   A simple majority of the reappointment committee members who vote, excluding those who abstain under section (F)(7) of this policy, will constitute recommendation to the unit administrator for reappointment. A vote of “yes with reservations” will count as a positive vote to reappoint the probationary faculty member, but it shall carry an additional message of concern.

 

(11)   The unit administrator shall review the recorded votes, and evaluation forms, along with supporting statements, as well as other relevant documentation regarding the faculty member’s application for reappointment. The unit administrator shall weigh and assess all relevant information and decide whether to recommend the reappointment of the probationary faculty member. He or she will include in the file a single, detailed assessment and recommendation, which clearly conveys the strengths and weaknesses of the probationary faculty member’s performance in scholarship, teaching, and service. The assessment and recommendation should follow the criteria as specified in section (C) of this policy and also any individual expectations for a given probationary faculty member. Specific suggestions concerning performance necessary to achieve a positive tenure decision should also be included in this assessment and recommendation.

 

(12)   As part of the unit administrator’s assessment and recommendations, the unit administrator shall inform the candidate that he/she has the right, within ten (10) working days, to add a statement to his/her file responding to any procedural errors or errors of fact that the candidate believes have been included in either the unit administrative officer’s assessment and recommendation or in the committee members’ evaluations. The unit administrator shall also indicate that, if the candidate wishes to appeal a negative recommendation, such intent shall be expressed to the next higher education officer in writing within ten (10) working days of the submission of the unit administrator’s assessment and recommendation.

 

(13)   In addition, for regional campus and Kent campus faculty alike, the unit administrator shall invite the probationary faculty member 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 probationary faculty member within five (5) working days from the date of the submission of the unit administrator’s assessment and recommendation.

 

 

(G)    Procedures for making decisions regarding reappointment: the regional campus level. Faculty members at the regional campuses will have reappointment reviews occur at both the regional campus level and unit level (as described above in section (F)). The reappointment committee of a regional campus will be composed of tenured members of the campus’ faculty council and the campus’ tenured professors. No member of the committee may be present when the committee deliberates or votes on the reappointment of an individual in a rank higher than that of the individual reappointment committee member, or on the reappointment of a spouse, domestic partner, or relative. The faculty council chair conducts the deliberations and is a voting member of the campus reappointment committee.

 

(1)     In the first year of the probationary period the campus dean will notify the probationary faculty member in the appointment letter that a reappointment review will occur shortly after the end of the first semester. At that time the probationary faculty member will submit only a two (2) to three (3) page statement describing his or her accomplishments and plans for the remainder of the academic year. All parties participating in the review should be aware that a full review is not required at this time, but that two things should be accomplished during this first review at the campus level.

 

(a)     The campus dean and the campus reappointment committee should review the probationary faculty member to make certain that the terms of the initial appointment have been satisfied.

 

(b)     The campus dean and the campus reappointment committee should apply those criteria and weighting in section (C) above which are appropriate or are available (e.g., first semester peer review(s) and student surveys of instruction) for the reappointment review. Regional campus faculty members from departments or schools in their first probationary year will not be reviewed by the college advisory committees, but will be reviewed only at the campus and unit levels with a recommendation by the unit administrator and the campus dean to the college dean.

 

(2)     For every following annual review, near the end of the spring semester Probationary faculty members in the first year will not be reviewed by the college advisory committees, but will be reviewed only at the campus and unit levels with a recommendation by the campus dean and college/school dean/semester the unit administrator will notify all probationary tenure-track faculty members in the unit, Kent campus and regional campus faculty members alike, that a reappointment review will begin early in the fall semester of the next academic year.

 

(3)     The unit administrator shall make available copies of the guidelines, timetables and other information concerning reappointment review to all probationary faculty members no later than three (3) weeks before the deadline for submission of materials, which is at the end of the first week of the semester. At the same time, for regional campus probationary faculty, the campus dean will make available to the probationary faculty member and the unit copies of those sections of the campus handbook concerning the campus’ method of weighting unit criteria.

 

(4)     Probationary faculty members at the regional campuses are responsible for developing, organizing and submitting to the unit administrator the documentation supporting their reappointment. However, it is expected that the campus dean, unit administrator, and campus and unit colleagues will assist probationary faculty members in the preparation of their files, especially in their early years of service.

 

(5)     The unit administrator is responsible for including past reappointment letters from the unit administrator, and the campus dean is responsible for including past reappointment letters from the campus dean and the original letter of appointment in the files. The unit administrator will review the file with the probationary faculty member in order to insure that the file is complete, and the unit administrator will certify that the file is complete. Thereafter, the probationary faculty member must be informed of anything that is added to or removed from the file and provided with the opportunity to include written comments concerning that new or removed material.

 

(6)     Before convening the reappointment committee, the faculty council chair will inform all tenured faculty members that the files are available for inspection, and will formally invite written comments from all tenured faculty members who are not members of the reappointment committee. The faculty council chair will include these comments in the file.

 

(7)     Members of the campus reappointment committee on leave of absence may vote or they may request from the committee the right to abstain from voting. If the campus reappointment committee consists of fewer than four (4) members, including the voting faculty council 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.

 

(8)     The campus reappointment committee will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each probationary faculty member. The committee will evaluate the probationary faculty member’s response to previous reappointment letters, especially to suggestions about improvement in scholarship, teaching and service, and judge how well the faculty member is progressing toward successful tenure review.

 

(9)     Each candidate’s file shall be subject to candid discussion by the committee. During the meeting, each voting member shall indicate his/her non-binding vote of “yes”, “yes with reservations,” or “no” concerning the reappointment of the probationary faculty member. After the meeting, each voting member shall record his/her final vote by completing the electronic evaluation form, with comments. The campus reappointment committee members should consider their remarks carefully when they prepare them because such peer evaluations are crucial to the reappointment process.

  

(10)   A simple majority of the reappointment committee who vote, excluding those who abstain under section (G)(7) of this policy, will constitute a recommendation to the campus dean for reappointment. A vote of “yes with reservations” will count as a positive vote to reappoint the probationary faculty member, but it shall carry an additional message of concern.

 

(11)   The faculty council will then summarize the committee’s vote and evaluation forms in a single, detailed assessment and recommendation to the regional campus dean which addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the probationary faculty member’s performance in scholarship, teaching, and service. The assessment should follow the unit and campus standards as specified in section (C) of this policy, as well as any individual expectations for a given probationary faculty member. The assessment and recommendation shall be included in the file and shall indicate that, if the candidate wishes to respond to a recommendation of not to reappoint, such a response must be made to the campus dean and the unit administrator within ten (10) days of the submission of the faculty council chair’s assessment and recommendation to the campus dean.

 

(12)   The regional campus dean shall review the recorded votes and evaluation forms, along with supporting statements, as well as other relevant documentation regarding the faculty member’s application for reappointment. The campus dean shall weigh and assess all relevant information, and decide whether to recommend the reappointment of the probationary faculty member. He or she will include in this file a single detailed assessment and recommendation, which clearly conveys the strengths and weaknesses of the probationary faculty member’s performance in scholarship, teaching, and service. The assessment and recommendation should follow the unit and campus standards as specified in section (C) of this policy and also any individual expectations for a given probationary faculty member. Specific suggestions concerning performance needed to achieve a positive tenure decision should also be included in this assessment and recommendation.

 

(13)   As part of the regional campus dean’s assessment and recommendation, the regional campus dean shall inform the candidate that he/she has the right, within ten (10) working days, to add a statement 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 assessment and recommendation, the faculty council chair’s assessment and recommendation, or the committee members’ evaluations. The regional campus dean shall also indicate that if the candidate wishes to appeal a negative decision, such intent shall be expressed to the next higher academic officer in writing within ten (10) working days of the submission of the regional campus dean’s assessment and recommendation.

 

(14)   In addition, the regional campus dean should invite the probationary faculty member 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 campus dean must meet with the probationary faculty member within five (5) working days from the date of the submission of the campus dean’s assessment and recommendation to the college/school dean or provost, as applicable.

 

(H)    Procedures for making decisions regarding reappointment: colleges with departments or schools. The dean shall conduct a review of the unit’s and, if applicable, the regional campus’ assessments and recommendation for reappointment. Probationary faculty members in the first year will not be reviewed by the college reappointment committee. For every following annual review, the college dean shall convene the college advisory committee, which shall function as the college reappointment committee. Based on the probationary faculty member’s progress toward tenure as presented in the supporting materials and the unit/regional campus level assessments and recommendations, this college reappointment committee will recommend to the dean whether to reappoint or not to reappoint the probationary faculty member.

 

(1)     The college dean shall be the chair and a nonvoting member of the college reappointment committee. Tenured members of the college reappointment committee shall review the assessment and recommendations from the departments and schools and recommend to the dean in each case whether to reappoint the probationary faculty member. No member of the college reappointment committee may vote on candidates from his/her own unit, and no a member of the committee shall be present, when the committee deliberates or votes on the reappointment of a spouse, domestic partner, or relative.

 

(2)     In the cases of positive recommendation from the unit’s reappointment committee and the unit administrator, and positive recommendations from the regional campus reappointment committee and the campus dean where applicable, the college reappointment committee may approve all such recommendations without reviewing each individually. Each voting member will say either “yes” or “no” and the dean will record the vote.

 

(3)     In the case of:

 

(a)     a negative reappointment recommendation by the unit’s reappointment committee or the unit administrator, or the campus’ reappointment committee or campus dean where applicable, or

 

(b)     any individual case not acted on pursuant to section (H)(2) of this policy, the probationary faculty member’s file will be the subject of candid discussion by the committee. During the meeting, each voting member will indicate his/her non-binding vote of “yes”, yes with reservations,” or “no” concerning the reappointment of the probationary faculty member. After the meeting, each voting member will record his/her final vote by completing the electronic evaluation form, with comments. The college reappointment committee members should consider their remarks carefully when they prepare them because such peer evaluations are crucial to the reappointment process.

 

(4)     Approval by a simple majority of the members of the college reappointment committee who are eligible to vote (excluding those who abstain for reasons under section (H)(1) of this policy) shall constitute a recommendation for reappointment to the college dean. A vote of “yes with reservations” will count as a positive vote to reappoint the probationary faculty member, but it shall carry an additional message of concern.

 

(5)     The dean shall prepare the recommendation of the college reappointment committee. In the case of a block vote, the dean will report whether the college reappointment committee supports the unit or regional campus recommendation. In the case of votes on individual cases, the dean will submit the actual vote of the college reappointment committee. The dean will include in the file the actual recommendation whether to reappoint or not to reappoint the probationary faculty member.

 

(6)     As part of the college dean’s recommendation, the dean shall inform the candidate that he/she has the right, within ten (10) working days to add a statement 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 recommendation or the committee members’ statements. In addition, the college dean 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 college dean’s recommendation.

  

(I)      Procedures for making decisions regarding reappointment: The provost level. The provost shall review the reappointment recommendations at the college/school and unit/regional campus levels. Unless reversed by the provost, the recommendation of the previous level academic administrator will stand. The unanimous recommendations of the college/school dean and his or her reappointment committee and the unit administrator and his or her reappointment committee, or where applicable the campus dean and his or her reappointment committee, will stand unless the provost can provide compelling reasons for reversing them. Probationary faculty members receiving a negative recommendation at the provost level must be notified in accordance with guidelines established in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

 

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

 

(K)    Any faculty member who has not been recommended for reappointment at any level will have the right to appeal to the next highest 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. All appeals must be initiated by the probationary faculty member in writing within ten (10) working days after the submission of a negative recommendation by an administrative officer or as specified otherwise in the Collective Bargaining Agreement . Appeals should be heard in a timely manner (e.g., thirty calendar days). At each level of appeal at which a faculty advisory body is designated to hear an appeal and make a recommendation to the next highest academic administrative officer, the appellant will be offered the opportunity to appear in person to present his/her case orally before the appropriate reappointment committee. At the college level, appeals are heard by the college advisory committee. The appellant may be accompanied by a colleague who may assist in presenting her/his case. Furthermore, if an individual other than the appellant (including any academic administrator) is invited to address the committee, the appellant shall have an opportunity to respond to any new information. The committee shall determine whether the information is new and whether to invite an oral or written response. The academic administrator in question will consider the vote of this body seriously before making his/her recommendation and will inform both the appellant and the academic administrator at the next highest level of the results of this vote.

 

(L)     Academic administrators and members of reappointment committees are expected to act in accordance with the principles of due process and abide by the University policy regarding faculty code of professional ethics. All official documents in the reappointment process are subject to the Ohio Public Records Act as included in the Ohio Revised Code.

 

(M)    Decisions regarding reappointment for all faculty members who are appointed to a tenure-track position for academic year 2010-11 or later will be governed by this policy and the unit handbook in place at the time of the initial appointment. Faculty members who were appointed prior to the adoption of this policy will have the option of being governed by this policy and the current unit handbook or the university policies and procedures regarding faculty reappointment, tenure and promotion and the handbook in place at the time of the faculty member’s initial appointment. The faculty member will include an election of this option in his/her file. Given the elimination of the executive dean for regional campuses, for regional campus faculty electing to be governed by the University policy and procedures faculty reappointment in place at the time of the faculty member’s hire, sections (H)(1)-(2) and (I) of that policy will be replaced by section (I) of the current policy. 

 

Effective: June 20, 2012  

Prior Effective Dates: 3/7/2000, 11/20/2004, 6/1/2007  

Related Forms: