Criteria for Tenure and Promotion | Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies Handbook | Kent State University

Criteria for Tenure and Promotion

The Ad Hoc RTP Committee shall consider the following areas of Faculty performance when making recommendations on tenure and promotion.  The text which follows is designed to facilitate assessment of performance of those candidates who are being evaluated for tenure and promotion.  During the probationary period, this information should be used for developmental assistance and projection of future success in achieving tenure and promotion.

All Faculty of the School are expected to seek excellence in scholarly activity.  Indicators of the quality of a Faculty member’s research record include the quality and quantity of published work. All Faculty members in the School are expected to produce records of scholarship that reflect their disciplinary focus. The attributes of an individual Faculty member’s scholarly activity will vary across disciplines as certain disciplines have opportunities for significant funding, while others may not. Additionally, various forms of scholarly publications and creative work are evaluated within and across professional communities. The contextual statement should provide evidence of how the body of work is valued within the Faculty member’s professional community, being sure to explicitly explain how Faculty publications and presentations support stated inquiry strand(s).

  1. Scholarship and Its Evaluation

    Scholarship is an essential and critical component of University activity. The originality, quality, impact and value of the work must be assessed.  The candidate must provide the Ad Hoc RTP Committee with ample descriptive evidence of his/her scholarly activity.  A Faculty member's specific area of specialization may be a factor in the availability of extramural funding and in the scope and time required for research and the resulting publications.

    Sustained scholarship which clearly supports a Faculty’s line(s) of inquiry is imperative.  Further, the merit of scholarship will be evaluated based upon the quality of the publication. Peer reviewed publications in national and international journals are highly regarded although large (more than $25,000), multi-year, highly competitive (like National Science Foundation) grants are also highly regarded.  While solo publications are highly regarded, author leadership is even more important and expected for a significant number of peer-reviewed publications.

    Other forms of scholarship such as books, chapters, conference proceedings, book reviews, smaller non-KSU-funded grants, and curricular materials are also valued.  Other scholarly activities which provide evidence of an established research agenda by demonstrating influence upon his/her discipline may include, but are not limited to, writing grant proposals, serving on national grant review bodies, presenting at refereed national/international professional meetings, chairing professional society committees, and presenting papers before learned societies are considered. Faculty members are expected to hold membership in professional societies and encouraged to serve in editorial capacities.  Faculty are also expected to attend, participate and organize institutes, seminars, and workshops, insofar as such activities enhance their professional competency.

    For Regional faculty, for whom teaching is a primary responsibility, excellence in teaching weighs more heavily than scholarship. While the expectations of the quality of scholarship is the same as that expected of Faculty on the Kent campus, the same quantity is not as expected for Faculty on the Kent campus.

  2. Teaching and Its Evaluation

    Teaching in the School is of utmost importance and may be defined as interactions with students including teaching in undergraduate and/or graduate classes, seminars, workshops and institutes; supervision of students in student teaching, practica, field components of methods and other courses, and internships; and advising of students with respect to coursework, programs, theses and dissertations, careers, and so forth.

    Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (SSI), including all student comments, must be submitted as part of a candidate’s file for reappointment, tenure and/or promotion.  Probationary Faculty should work with the School Director to invite at least one (1) faculty member each year to visit their class and evaluate their teaching performance.  A written report of the evaluation is submitted to the Director for placement in the Faculty member’s file.  Copies of representative syllabi, examinations, and other relevant teaching material should also be presented. Peer reviews are required for those Faculty submitting materials for promotion. The committee will use all available data to assess the quality of instruction, and will be looking for the following criteria:

    • High quality teaching as evidenced by positive peer reviews.
    • Positive student evaluations of instruction, including summaries of student comments, particularly through evidence of success (averages of 4.0 and above) by using Question 19 (or its equivalent) of the SSI
    • Evidence of reflective teaching and intentional revision of areas requiring improvement included within contextual statement.
    • Teaching materials such as syllabi and examinations that include disciplinary knowledge representing contemporary theoretical perspectives and relevant research.
    • Any other available data to assess the quality of instruction.

    Documentation related to graduate student, undergraduate student, and post-doctoral student mentoring should be included in materials provided by a candidate for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  Faculty members are expected to mentor graduate students (particularly at the doctoral level) and/or postdoctoral students.  Evaluation of teaching will account for differences in workload expectations across campuses.

    Development of a course portfolio which includes not only the items previously mentioned but also includes submission of observations and other feedback given to students during field supervision, as well as evidence of the successful completion of doctoral dissertations and master’s theses may be helpful to reviewers.

    As stated before, for Regional faculty, for whom teaching is a primary responsibility, excellence in teaching weighs more heavily than scholarship. While the expectations of the quality of scholarship is the same as that expected of Faculty on the Kent campus, the same quantity is not as expected for Faculty on the Kent campus.

  3. University Service and Its Evaluation

    Service includes activities that make significant positive contributions to the advancement of the educational, scholarly and governance goals and missions of the School, Campus, College, University, the profession, and/or the community.

    Being an active and productive citizen of the School, Campus, College and University is expected for all faculty; however, service of any magnitude cannot be considered more important than a candidate's research and other scholarly activity and instructional responsibilities.  In the School, Faculty members are expected to be involved in public outreach and other forms of professional service.  These expectations increase during the Faculty member’s career and, therefore, candidates for promotion to Professor will be held to a higher standard.

    In the School, service and citizenship frequently take the form of participation at School and program meetings (which may involve extensive program and course development, as well as evaluation) and membership on standing and/or ad hoc committees within the School, College, and University. On-going mentorship of undergraduate and masters students is expected; however, mentoring of doctoral students, especially membership on advisory and dissertation committees is essential.  Faculty are also encouraged to take active roles in their professional organizations (on the international, national, regional, state, and local levels) by holding elected or appointed office; serving on advisory boards or other committees; and serving as an elected delegate or representative to a meeting. Professional service includes but is not limited to membership on the board of a local school district or non-school agency; consultation with a committee from the State Department of Education or other public agency; membership on public advisory boards related to education and similar committees; and so forth. Similar to other areas of scholarship, it is the candidate's responsibility to document service activities, including, where appropriate, evidence of the quality of performance. Citizenship and service related commitments should be commensurate with the candidate’s role and experience within the unit.

    The merits of service activities should be evaluated based upon nature of contribution, and significance to the profession. University service should be evaluated as to (1) nature of the candidate’s involvement (e.g. leadership roles and quality of contribution), and (2) the importance of the service to the mission of the unit served.  Less tangible components of service include active participation in School events such as faculty and graduate student recruitment, seminars, School meetings, seminars, and such.  Again, understanding the difference in roles for Faculty on Regional campuses, service is a significant aspect of reappointment, and therefore of progress for tenure and promotion over the probationary period.  Faculty on Regional campuses are expected to be active participants in a variety of service activities.

  4. Promotion

    Granting promotion in academic rank is dependent upon demonstrated scholarship and teaching, as well as service to the University and to the profession.

    1. Overall consideration for promotion includes:

      ·    Documented evidence of outstanding scholarship
      ·    Documented evidence of effective teaching is necessary for promotion in rank for those whose assignment includes instruction. (Faculty whose responsibilities do not include teaching may use annual peer and/or administrative evaluation.)
      ·    Documented evidence of service

      Faculty whose appointment is at the regional campuses have a primary responsibility for lower-division instruction. Consequently, a major consideration for promotion shall be given to effective teaching and service activities.

    2. Promotion Criteria Specific to Rank

      1. Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

        Promotion to Associate Professor requires evidence of sustained scholarship and demonstrated potential for excellence. Promotion to Associate Professor is recognition for establishing a scholarly body of work representing expertise in one or more defined lines of research, which is likely to achieve national/international prominence as appropriate to the Faculty member’s respective field.

        An Assistant Professor who has completed five years in rank and who possesses a terminal degree may be considered for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. In extraordinary cases, promotion may be considered for a person with fewer years in rank but “going up early” is not a decision to take lightly.  Extended conversations by the Faculty member with members of the School’s Ad Hoc RPT committee, the School Director and the Dean are strongly recommended.

        In either case, the candidate must have demonstrated consistently high quality teaching (SSI scores for Item 19 or current question concerning overall assessment of learning which typically average “Very Good” to “Excellent) and have developed a substantial record of scholarship. It is generally expected that the candidate will have achieved full membership, at either the F3 or F4 level, on the Graduate Faculty.

        Although co-authorship of published reports of collaborative inquiry is appropriate, a candidate for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor will generally need to have served as principal investigator or first author in multiple instances. It is also expected that the candidate will have served on a number of School, College, and/or University committees, demonstrating evidence of increasing leadership potential, and/or have demonstrated other forms of service within the University. The candidate will also have participated in professional organizations and/or other appropriate professional activities outside the University, demonstrating evidence of contributions to the profession at the international, national, state, and/or regional levels.

      2. Associate Professor to Professor

        Promotion to Professor requires demonstration of sustained excellence and national/ international recognition as a scholar. Promotion to Professor recognizes the highest level of University achievement, which must include a record of scholarly work of sufficient quality and quantity necessary to demonstrate increased prominence and significant influence in the Faculty member’s respective field.

        An Associate Professor who has completed five years in rank and who possesses an earned doctorate may be considered for promotion to the rank of Professor. In extraordinary cases, an associate professor may be considered for promotion to Professor after completion of fewer years in rank.  Again, extended conversations by the Faculty member with members of the School’s Ad Hoc RPT committee, the School Director and the Dean are strongly recommended before this action is taken.

        Demonstrated high quality teaching, as defined above, is a minimum expectation for promotion but alone, is not sufficient. The decision to promote a Faculty member to the rank of Professor carries additional considerations. At this rank, colleagues and the institution acknowledge that a Faculty member’s contributions since promotion to the rank of Associate Professor are exemplary. At this point, the expectation is that the Faculty member has provided evidence of the accumulated worth of his/her contributions through publications, grants, awards, peer acknowledgements, editorships, professional demand, or other evidence in one or a variety of academic roles, while simultaneously maintaining high quality teaching and advising as assigned. Reputation, influence, initiative, productivity, and disciplined leadership are all considerations. The rank of Professor carries with it certain prestige and responsibility toward being a model of good citizenship in the academy.

        As with promotion to Associate Professor, while the most significant and necessary attribute is peer-reviewed articles in significant research journals, these activities might take the form of, but are not limited to, scholarly books, monographs, articles in state or regional journals, book chapters, conference presentations, and other forms of dissemination. Promotion to the rank of Professor requires first authorship in several instances and suggests leadership within collaborative grants or consultations.  The candidate is also expected to have demonstrated continued contributions in the area of service to the School, College, and University; this is critically important and often takes the form of mentoring doctoral students through serving on coursework advisory committees and co-chairing or chairing dissertation committees. Demonstrated, increased scholarly leadership in the profession at the national and/or international level is also an expectation, such as international teaching and outreach efforts.