Tenure and Promotion

The awarding of tenure is a commitment to continuous employment with the University as outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. An award of tenure represents significant contributions in scholarship, teaching, and service. Taken as a whole, the awarding of tenure acknowledges not only accomplishments but also the promise of sustained productivity that will lead to promotion to professor at some point in the future. The awarding of tenure must be based on convincing documented evidence that the Faculty member has achieved a body of scholarship that has had an impact on her/his discipline. The candidate is also expected to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high quality teaching, scholarship and service relevant to the mission of the candidate’s academic unit(s) and to the mission of the University.  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.

Promotion signifies high quality, thoughtful scholarship that contributes to the discovery of new knowledge; emerging theories; the integration of theory, knowledge, and thinking; and/or to the application of known ideas, theory, and or technologies. Additionally, promotion denotes the Faculty member has been a successful teacher, University citizen and a scholar who has contributed significantly to his/her relevant disciplines(s).

The policies and procedures for tenure are included in the University policy and procedures regarding faculty tenure (University Policy Register 6-14) and the policies and procedures for promotion are included in the University policy and procedures regarding faculty promotion (University Policy Register 6-15).  Each academic year, tenure and promotion guidelines for Kent and Regional Campus faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost.  Tenure and promotion are separate personnel actions.

All candidates for tenure and promotion must submit the names of at least five (5) persons outside the university who are qualified to evaluate their achievements objectively, as well as a paragraph providing a rationale as to the appropriateness of this person as an external reviewer.

Providing these names in March or April is suggested in order to secure a commitment from reviewers who are sometimes overwhelmed with requests.  Faculty should give careful consideration to the potential reviewer’s status in terms of rank, expertise, and the institution’s Carnegie ranking; it should be at least equivalent to KSU’s.   Individuals with whom the Faculty member has a close professional relationship as evidenced by shared publications or mentorship relationships should be excluded from the list of outside reviewers.  Only in rare cases are emeritus or international faculty approved as reviewers.

After the Dean approves the suggested reviewers, the Director will solicit evaluations from at least three (3) of the qualified individuals whose names have been submitted by the candidate. The candidate will be given a copy of the communication to be sent to outside evaluators and have the opportunity to comment before the letter is mailed. In cases involving regional campus faculty, copies of these letters are placed in both regional and Kent campus files. The Director will make the necessary contacts soon afterward, providing enough time for the receipt of reports from these external reviewers before the Ad Hoc RPT Committee meets early in the Fall semester. The candidate should be in close contact with the School Director in case any additional information is needed, especially in the case of needing additional names of potential reviewers.