Review of Tenure Track Faculty | Department of Economics Handbook | Kent State University

Review of Tenure Track Faculty

University policy regarding promotion and University policy regarding tenure, including means of initiating promotion and tenure and the procedures for both, are contained in the University Policy Register and in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  These policies are supplemented each academic year by a document sent to the Department from the Provost’s office.  Procedures and deadlines for promotion, tenure, and reappointment are detailed in these documents.  Faculty who wish to request the probationary period be extended (also referred to as “tolling” a year or “stopping the tenure clock”) should refer to the University Policy Register. Judgments based on sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or political activity or other legally protected categories are expressly forbidden.

  1. Methods for Assessing a Candidate’s File for Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion

    This section outlines the methods for assessing a candidate’s file for reappointment, tenure, and promotion.  This includes how to evaluate the quantity and the quality of research, how to evaluate teaching as defined by course design and course delivery, and how to evaluate service.  This section only discusses the methods for assessment; the criteria for tenure, promotion, and reappointment are contained in sections B, C, and D.

    1.  Method for Assessing Research

    In evaluating a candidate’s research portfolio, both the quantity and quality of research is considered. 

    a.  Assessing the Quality of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

    Economics is a large, diverse discipline with hundreds of peer-reviewed journals.  In order to apply a consistent standard in evaluating the quality of journals, the department uses a journal quality index (JQI) for peer-reviewed journals in business and economics that has been constructed based on factors such as external international rankings of journals, journal influence scores, and peer institutions.    The JQI is fairly comprehensive, with almost 3,000 Business and Economics journals included.  The JQI is continuous on a scale from 0 to 10, but the distribution is skewed with more than forty percent of journals having a score of zero.  A JQI of 0 means the journal is peer-reviewed but is not ranked on international lists, is not targeted by peer institutions, and has a low journal influence score.  Given the skewed nature of the JQI score, reference is made to the percentile in the JQI distribution rather than the score.  The index will be periodically updated and candidates have the option of using the JQI percentile at the time the paper was submitted or the JQI percentile at the time the file is evaluated if the JQI percentile has changed.  If a faculty member publishes in a journal that is not on the JQI list, the faculty member should provide documentation on the journal quality.  The method used to calculate the JQI is described in Appendix B.

     In evaluating research, the department considers the four broad tiers of research outlined below.  These four tiers are meant as guides, with the recognition that journal quality is a continuous measure and there will be variation within tiers.  In addition, the external reviewer’s evaluation of the quality of the research and other indications of quality (such as particularly high citations for an article, best paper awards, etc.) are important factors in assessing the quality of published articles independently of the specific journal the article is published in.   

     Tier 1:  Highest Influence Journals

    Tier 1 research is indicated by publication in journals that have the highest level of influence on the discipline.  This category includes the highest impact general interest journals and the top broad field journals.  Examples, with their JQI percentile at the time of the handbook revision in Fall, 2014, in parenthesis, include American Economic Review (100%), the American Economic Journal:  Applied Economics (98.3%), Economic Journal (97.9%), Journal of Monetary Economics (99.0%), Journal of Labor Economics (97.9%), Journal of Applied Econometrics (97.6%), Journal of Public Economics (97.2%), Journal of International Economics (98.6%), Rand Journal of Economics (99.0%), and Journal of Urban Economics (96.0%).  Journals in Tier 1 have a JQI in the top 5% of all journals on the JQI list.

     Tier 2:  High Influence Journals 

    Tier 2 research is indicated by publication in journals that have a high level of influence on the discipline.  This category includes secondary general interest journals, well-read field journals, and top journals with a focus on more narrowly defined subfields.  Examples include Oxford Economic Papers (88.2%), Southern Economic Journal (83.2%), Macroeconomic Dynamics (78.1%), National Tax Journal (82.0%), Review of International Economics (82.8%), Journal of Regional Science (89.9%), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (90.3%), Economics of Education Review (88.2%), and Journal of Forecasting (81.4%).  Journals in Tier 2 have a JQI in the 75th to 95th percentile of all journals on the JQI list.

     Tier 3:  Journals with Influence

    Tier 3 research is indicated by publication in externally validated journals that have an influence on the discipline but are more limited in readership.  This category includes lower-level general and field journals. Examples include Eastern Economic Journal (64.6%), Journal of Applied Economics (59%), Journal of Economics (71.4%), Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance (71.4%), Education Economics (69.4%), Review of Development Economics (62.8%), Public Finance Review (44.1%), and History of Economics Review (44.1%).  Journals in Tier 3 are externally validated by international journal rankings, influence factors, and peer institutions such that they have a positive JQI but are outside of the top quartile of all journals on the JQI list. 

     Tier 4:  Peer Reviewed Journals With Limited External Validation of Influence

    Tier 4 research is indicated by publication in peer reviewed journals that have a limited external validation of their influence on the field.  Examples include Indian Journal of Economics, Global Economic Review, Northern Economic Review, Ethics and Economics, Business and Economics Research Journal, and Journal of Forensic Economics.  These journals have a JQI of zero indicating that they are not ranked on international lists, are not targeted by peer institutions, and have a low journal influence score.  More than 40 percent of all journals in business and economics fall into the category of Tier 4.  Research in Tier 4 will be considered for candidates at the regional campuses, but will receive no weight for candidates at the Kent campus. 

     b.  Assessing the Quantity of Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

     The department generally expects a publication record at the Kent campus that averages about one publication per year of the probationary period and an average at the regional campuses of about two publications every three years.  However, given the length of time required to establish a research agenda and the long lag time in publication, it is not unusual in Economics to have most of the publications come near the end of the probationary period. 

     The department recognizes there may be a tradeoff between the quantity of publications and the quality of publications.  As reflected in the criteria outlined in sections B-D, a lower quantity of higher-quality publications is valued and a higher quantity of lower-quality publications is valued provided these publications meet the quality threshold within the criteria.   

     The Department values jointly authored scholarship as well as individually authored scholarship; there is no requirement for sole-authored scholarship.  While in some disciplines the order authors are listed is important, in Economics the order of authors is generally alphabetical; not being the “first author” does not imply a lesser role in the authorship of the paper unless explicitly stated.  The candidate’s file should include an indication of his/her relative contribution to each co-authored paper.

     c.  Other Factors Assessed in Evaluating the Research Portfolio

     While emphasis is placed on peer reviewed journal articles,  the successful funding of external grants, published books, published book chapters, and prestigious invited research presentations are also valued as part of  the research portfolio of a candidate.  In evaluating the quality of research grants, both the dollar amount of the grant and the selectivity of the funding agency will be considered.  Finally, as noted in the section on assessing the quality of peer-reviewed research, the external reviewers’ evaluations of the importance and quality of the research are used in evaluating the totality of the research portfolio.  While the criteria in sections B, C, and D focus on peer-reviewed journal articles, a strong record in grants, books, book chapters, presentations, or exceptionally strong external letters may cause a research portfolio to be rated higher; similarly, external letters that indicate the record is not as strong as the criteria below would suggest may cause a research portfolio to be rated lower.

     2.  Methods for Assessing Teaching

     In evaluating a candidate’s teaching portfolio, both course design and course delivery is considered.  Greater emphasis is placed on teaching near the tenure decision than earlier teaching.

     a. Assessing the Quality of Course Design

     Course design focuses on the structure of the course, assessments, and content.  The quality of the course design will be assessed based on the peer teaching reviews, quantitative and qualitative results in student surveys, course materials such as syllabi, exams, and assignments, and the faculty narrative about teaching. 

     i) Effective Course Design

    A faculty member will have an effective course design if the course is designed in a manner that provides the student knowledge and skills required for basic application of the course content.  Examples of this include a course that is organized, covers the appropriate content, maintains currency, and has appropriate assessments.  It is expected that all courses will meet the standard of effective course design.  Major design issues raised in earlier evaluations are expected to be addressed and improved upon.

     ii) Exemplar Course Design

    Exemplar course design exceeds the effective standard with courses that have intentional planning designed to help students achieve significant learning.  While the nature of an exemplar course design may vary depending on the class enrollment, subject content, and program, examples of this may include a variety of assessment tools specifically suited for the course, the integration of material from a variety of sources, design features that facilitate advanced application of the course content, etc.  The faculty member must articulate in the narrative on teaching the intentional planning that went into the course design. 

     b.  Assessing the Quality of Course Delivery

     Course delivery focuses on the act of teaching, including what happens in front of the classroom and other student interactions.  For fully on-line courses, it includes the communication of material in any multimedia materials included in the course and interactions with students throughout the course.  The quality of course delivery will be assessed based on peer teaching reviews and quantitative and qualitative results in student surveys.

     i) Effective Course Delivery

    A faculty member will have effective course delivery if they are able to convey course content that provides the students knowledge and skills required for basic application of the course content.  For example, this includes being understandable, clear, organized, and respectful.  Effective course delivery should be demonstrated by peer reviews and student evaluations that demonstrate effective communication of course material.  Major delivery issues raised in earlier evaluations are expected to be addressed and improved upon.   

     ii) Exemplar Course Delivery

    Exemplar course delivery exceeds the effective standard with delivery that helps students achieve significant learning.  Exemplar course delivery should be demonstrated by peer reviews and student evaluations that demonstrate exceptional communication of course material. 

     c.  Other Factors Assessed in Evaluating the Teaching Portfolio

     Although emphasis is put on the quality of course design and course delivery, published research on teaching, participation in teaching conferences, and professional development in teaching are also valued as part of the teaching portfolio of a candidate.  While the criteria in sections B, C, and D focus on quality of course design and delivery, a strong record in these other factors may cause a teaching portfolio to be rated higher.  However, it is not necessary to have any of these other factors in order to meet the criteria below.

     3.  Methods for Assessing Service

     In assessing a faculty member’s service record, service to the department, college, campus, university, community, and profession will be considered.  Both the quantity of service and the quality of service are important.

  2. Criteria for Tenure

        The granting of tenure is a decision that plays a crucial role in determining the quality of university faculty and the national and international status of the university.  Essentially, those faculty members involved in making a tenure decision are asking the question: "Is this candidate likely to continue and sustain, in the long term, a program of high quality scholarship, teaching, and service relevant to the mission of the academic unit and the mission of the university?"  The awarding of tenure must be based on convincing documented evidence that the faculty member has achieved a significant body of scholarship, excellence as a teacher, and has provided effective service. The candidate must also be expected to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high quality scholarship, teaching, and service relevant to the mission of the candidate's academic unit(s) and to the mission of the university. 

        The mutually supportive, complementary, and often overlapping areas that need to be considered include research that advances knowledge in economics and/or related disciplines; the act of teaching as well as the planning and examination of pedagogical procedures; and service activities not necessarily tied to one’s special field of knowledge which make significant positive contributions to the advancement of the educational, scholarly and governance goals and missions of the University, College, Campus, Department, and profession.  For purposes of tenure the Department places as much importance on research as it does on teaching at the Kent campus.  At the regional campuses, teaching receives more weight than research.  At all campuses, although service receives substantially less weight than research and teaching, it is expected that all faculty contribute positively in this area.  The service component includes the general value of the faculty member to the department; all faculty are expected to positively contribute to the functioning of the department.

        To be eligible for tenure, the Department requires that a candidate either a) shows a balanced portfolio of excellence across the three areas of research, teaching, and service or b) is truly exceptional in one area and very good in the others.  These two criteria are described in greater detail below.  In evaluating a candidate for tenure, there is an important judgment component; these criteria are meant to guide the reviewer but not replace the judgment of those reviewing the file.

     

              a.Balanced Portfolio of Excellence

     

        A candidate will successfully meet the criteria for tenure if they have an excellent record in all three categories:  research, teaching, and service.  Refer to section A, methods for evaluating files, for explanations of the journal tiers and descriptions of effective/exemplar course delivery and design.

        For candidates at the Kent campus, an excellent record in research would typically be an average of about one publication per year of peer-reviewed journal articles that are generally in the Tier 2 range.  A portfolio that includes a lower quantity of peer-reviewed journal articles but with a higher quality (a portfolio of Tier 1 and Tier 2 publications) may also be consistent with an excellent record.

        For candidates at the regional campuses, an excellent record in research would typically be an average of two peer-reviewed journal publications every three years generally in the Tier 3 category.  A portfolio that includes a lower quantity of peer-reviewed journal articles but with a higher quality (a portfolio of Tier 2 and Tier 3 publications) may also be consistent with an excellent record.

        For candidates at all campuses, excellence in teaching would be either i) effective course design and exemplar course delivery or ii) exemplar course design and effective course delivery. 

        An excellent record in service includes a demonstrated record of significant service to the department, college, campus, or university and significant value to the functioning of the department.  Service to the profession and community can strengthen the service record but is not a substitute for service at the department, college/campus, and university level.

               b. Exceptional Record in One Area and Very Good Record in the Others

         A candidate who does not meet the criteria of a balanced portfolio of excellence may still successfully stand for tenure if they are truly exceptional in one area.  A candidate at the Kent campus will successfully meet the criteria for tenure with an exceptional record in either teaching or research and at least a very good record in the other two areas.  A candidate at the regional campuses will successfully meet the criteria for tenure with an exceptional record in teaching and at least a very good record in research and service. 

    For candidates at the Kent campus, an exceptional record in research would typically be an average of about one publication per year with a portfolio of peer-reviewed journal articles that are generally in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories.  A portfolio that includes a higher quantity of peer-reviewed journals generally in Tier 2 may also meet the criteria for exceptional. 

        For candidates at all campuses, an exceptional record in teaching would be exemplar in both course design and course delivery.

        For candidates at the Kent campus, a very good record in research may include lower than the average one per year quantity of generally Tier 2 publications or an average quantity of publications that are a mix of Tier 2 and Tier 3.  For candidates at the regional campuses, a very good record in research may include a lower-than average quantity of generally Tier 3 publications or an average quantity of publications that are a mix of Tier 3 and Tier 4.

        A very good record in teaching would be effective in course design and effective in course delivery.

        A very good record in service includes demonstration of sustained service to the department, college, or university and a positive value to the functioning of the department.  Service to the profession and community can strengthen the service record but is not a substitute for service at the department, college, and university level.

     

    Table 1:  Summary of Criteria for Tenure by Category

     

    Research at Kent Campus

    Research at Regional Campus

    Teaching

    Service

    Very Good

    Average less than one publication per year, generally Tier 2

    Or

    Average about 1 publication per year, mix of Tier 2/Tier 3

    Average less than 2 publications every 3 years, generally Tier 3 

    or

    Average 2 publications every 3 years, mix of

    Tier 3/Tier 4

    Effective design and effective delivery

    Sustained service and positive value to the functioning of the department

    Excellent

    Average about 1 publication per year, generally Tier 2 

    or

    Average less than one publication peer year, mix of Tier 1/Tier 2

    Average 2 publications every 3 years, generally Tier 3 

    or

    Average less than 2 publications every 3 years, mix of Tier 2/Tier 3

    Exemplar design and effective delivery

    or

    Exemplar delivery and effective design

    Significant service and significant value added to the functioning of the department

    Exceptional

    Average about 1 publication per year, mix of Tier 1/Tier 2

    Or

    Average more than 1 publication per year, generally Tier 2

     

    Exemplar design and exemplar delivery

     

     

  3. Promotion

        Promotion shall be viewed as a recognition of a faculty member having contributed sustained and distinguished service to the University, College, Campus and the Department.

        Recommendations for promotion shall be based upon two 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 department follows the academic credentials and university experience requirements that are in the Policy Register.  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.  The mutually supportive, complementary, and often overlapping areas that need to be considered include research that advances knowledge in economics and/or related disciplines; the act of teaching as well as the planning and examination of pedagogical procedures; and service activities not necessarily tied to one’s special field of knowledge which make significant positive contributions to the advancement of the educational, scholarly and governance goals and missions of the University, College, Campus, Department, and profession.  For purposes of promotion the Department places as much importance on research as it does on teaching.  In addition, the quality, as well as the quantity, of one’s scholarship is an important consideration for promotion.  While service receives substantially less weight than research and teaching, it is expected that all faculty contribute positively in this area.  The service component includes the general value of the faculty member to the department; all faculty are expected to positively contribute to the functioning of the department.  These criteria are explained in greater detail in sections 1 and 2 below.

    1. Criteria for Promotion to Associate Professor

      The Department follows the Promotion procedures as outlined in the University Policy Register and the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  To be recommended for Promotion to Associate Professor, candidates must meet the criteria for tenure outlined in section A.

    2. Criteria for Promotion to Professor

           To be recommended for Promotion to Professor, the Department requires that a candidate either i) shows a balanced portfolio of excellence across the three areas of research, teaching, and service or ii) is truly exceptional in research and at least very good in teaching and service.  Only performance since the faculty member’s promotion to Associate Professor will be considered when evaluating promotion to Professor.  For promotion to Professor, the criteria for excellence and very good in teaching and service are the same as the criteria outlined in section B on tenure.

          For promotion to Professor, an excellent record in research at the Kent campus would typically be a portfolio consisting of a minimum of five peer-reviewed journal articles that are generally in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories.  A portfolio that includes a higher quantity of peer-reviewed articles generally in Tier 2 journals or a lower quantity of articles generally in Tier 1 journals may also meet the criteria for excellence in research.

          For promotion to Professor, an excellent record in research at the regional campuses would typically be a portfolio consisting of a minimum of five peer-reviewed journal articles that are generally in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 categories.  A portfolio that includes a higher quantity of peer-reviewed articles generally in Tier 3 journals or a lower quantity of articles generally in Tier 2 or higher journals may also meet the criteria for excellence in research.

          For promotion to Professor, an exceptional record in research at the Kent campus would typically be a portfolio consisting of a minimum of eight peer-reviewed journal articles that are generally in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 categories.  A portfolio that includes a higher quantity of peer-reviewed articles generally in Tier 2 journals or a lower quantity of articles generally in Tier 1 journals may also meet the criteria for exceptional in research.

          For promotion to Professor, an exceptional record in research at the regional campuses would typically be a portfolio consisting of a minimum of five peer-reviewed journal articles that are generally in the Tier 2 category.  A portfolio that includes a higher quantity of peer-reviewed articles generally in Tier 2 and Tier 3 journals or a portfolio of a lower quantity of articles generally in Tier 1 and Tier 2 journals may also meet the criteria for excellence in research.

      Table 2:  Summary of Criteria for Promotion to Professor by Category

       

      Research at Kent Campus

      Research at Regional Campus

      Teaching

      Service

      Very Good

       

       

      Effective design and effective delivery

      Sustained service and positive value to the functioning of the department

      Excellent

      Minimum of five publications, generally Tier 1 and Tier 2

      or

      Higher quantity of publications, generally Tier 2

      or

      Lower quantity of publications, generally Tier 1

         

      Minimum of four publications, generally Tier 2 and Tier 3

      or

      Higher quantity of publications, generally Tier 3

      or

      Lower quantity of  publications, generally Tier 2

      Exemplar design and effective delivery

      Or

      Exemplar delivery and effective design

      Significant service and significant value added to the functioning of the department

      Exceptional

      Minimum of eight publications, generally Tier 1 and Tier 2

      or

      Higher quantity of publications, generally Tier 2

      or

      Lower quantity of publications, generally Tier 1

      Minimum of five publications, generally Tier 2

      or

      Higher quantity of publications, generally Tier 2 and Tier 3

      or

      Lower quantity of  publications, generally in Tier 1 and Tier 2

      Exemplar design and exemplar delivery

       

  4. Reappointment

    Reappointment of probationary Faculty is contingent upon documented, continued and consistent evidence of professional growth and proficiency in research, teaching, and service. Annual evaluations in these areas are similar to those for Promotion and Tenure, accompanied each year at the appropriate time by a letter of evaluation and assessment from the Departmental Chairperson to the reappointment candidate.  To be recommended for reappointment, candidates must demonstrate that they are making progress towards meeting the criteria for Tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.