Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Consideration for Tenure-Track Faculty

  1. Reappointment

    The policies and procedures for reappointment are included in the University policy and procedures regarding faculty reappointment (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-16).  Each academic year, reappointment guidelines are distributed by the Office of the Provost.  Probationary tenure-track faculty members are reviewed by the Program’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee (See, Section III of this Handbook).  The FAC, in consultation with the Chair, assigns two (2) faculty members to visit the classes of each probationary faculty member and generally evaluate the faculty member’s teaching performance.  A written report of the evaluation is submitted to the Chair for placement in the faculty member’s reappointment file.  Probationary faculty will also create an updated file that is presented to the Chair who will make these materials available to the Ad Hoc RTP Committee. Each probationary faculty member is discussed by the committee which then votes on the faculty member’s reappointment.  The Chair independently assesses the accomplishments of each probationary faculty member and forwards her/his recommendation and the committee's recommendation to the Dean.  The Chair informs probationary faculty of the committee's recommendation and provides a copy of her/his recommendation to the Dean.  Probationary faculty members who are not to be reappointed must be notified according to the schedule established in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    For probationary faculty, reappointment is contingent upon demonstration of adequate progress toward the requirements for tenure.  Moreover, the faculty member must have established and articulated short and long term plans for achieving these goals.  For faculty members following the traditional tenure clock for Assistant Professors, the review after completion of three (3) full years in the probationary period at Kent State University is particularly critical. Upon completion of the third year of the probationary period, faculty reviewing a candidate for reappointment should consider the record of the candidate’s achievements to date.  This record should be considered a predictor of future success.  The hallmark of a successful candidate is a record of compelling evidence of impact upon the discourse of her/his discipline. This record can be demonstrated through review of the candidate’s grants and peer reviewed work including assessment of the impact (as measured by the quality of the journal publishing the paper/journal impact factor) or citation indexes such as the ISI Science Citation Index. Specific concerns expressed by the Ad Hoc RTP Committee and/or the Chair during this stage of the probationary period should be addressed by the candidate in subsequent reappointment reviews. Finally, the overall evaluation of a candidate for reappointment must include consideration of the faculty member's personal integrity and professional behavior as recognized by the University community.  A sound ethical approach to all aspects of teaching, research, publication, and the academic profession is expected of all who seek reappointment in the Program.  A candidate who fails to demonstrate likely success in the tenure process will be notified promptly that she/he will not be reappointed.

    In the event that concerns about a candidate’s performance are raised during the reappointment process, the Ad Hoc RTP Committee and the Chair shall provide detailed, prescriptive comments to serve as constructive feedback.  If such concerns arise during a review that occurs after completion of three (3) full years in the probationary period, the Chair, in consultation with the FAC, will advise and work with the candidate on a suitable, positive plan for realignment with the Program’s tenure and promotion expectations; however, the candidate is solely responsible for her/his success in implementing this plan.

    From time to time, personal and/or family circumstances may arise that require an untenured faculty member to need to request that her/his probationary period be extended.  Upon request, a faculty member may be granted an extension of the probationary period which has been traditionally called “tolling” or “stopping the tenure clock.”  The University policy and procedures governing modification of the faculty probationary period is included in the University Policy Register. (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-13)

  2. Tenure and Promotion

    The policies and procedures for tenure are included in the University policy and procedures regarding faculty tenure (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-14) and the policies and procedures for promotion are included in the University policy and procedures regarding faculty promotion (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-15).  Each academic year, tenure and promotion guidelines are distributed by the Office of the Provost.  Tenure and promotion are separate decisions.  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.  The awarding of tenure must be based on convincing documented evidence that the faculty member has achieved a significant body of scholarship that has had an impact on her/his discipline, excellence as a teacher, and has provided effective service.  The candidate is also be expected to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high quality teaching, scholarship and relevant to the mission of the candidate’s academic unit(s) and to the mission of the University.  Tenure considerations can include evaluation of accomplishments prior to arrival at Kent State University to examine consistency, as well as grant proposals submitted but not funded, proposals pending, papers “in review” or “in press,” graduate students currently advised, and any other materials that may reflect on the candidate’s potential for a long-term successful career.  The tenure decision is based on all of the evidence available to determine the candidate’s potential to pursue a productive career. On the other hand, promotion is recognition based on a candidate’s accomplishments completed during the review period and promotion decisions are based on papers published, grants received and graduate students graduated during the review period, as well as teaching evaluations and service to the University.

    Consideration for promotion to Professor differs from consideration for promotion to Associate Professor.  Promotion to Associate Professor is recognition for establishing a career likely to achieve national/international prominence as evidenced by extramural grants received, papers published in the refereed scientific literature, students graduated, etc.  Promotion to Professor recognizes the highest level of university achievement and national/international prominence.  Evidence for this prominence includes a record of sustained major extramural funding from highly competitive funding sources and a record of increased prominence in and impact on the field.

    Many factors and criteria, both subjective and objective, are considered in recommending a faculty member for tenure and advancement in academic rank. The overall evaluation of a candidate for tenure and promotion shall include consideration of the faculty member's personal integrity and professional behavior as recognized by the University community.  A sound ethical approach to all aspects of teaching, research, publication, and the academic profession are expected of all who seek tenure and promotion in the Program.

  3. 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 tables and text below are designed to facilitate assessment of performance of those candidates who are being evaluated for tenure and promotion.  During the probationary period, these tools should be used for developmental assistance and projection of future success in achieving tenure and promotion.

    Tables 2, 3, and 4 provide guidelines for the assessment of a faculty member’s performance and a rating scale for use in the evaluation of candidates.  For promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor the faculty member must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in either scholarship or teaching with at least a “very good” rating in the other category. University citizenship must at least meet the minimum Program criteria as outlined in Table 3.  These same categories and assessment tools apply for tenure decisions.            

    A candidate for promotion to Professor must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in scholarship and teaching.   University citizenship must exceed the minimum Program criteria.  A candidate for promotion to Professor may not have equal activity in scholarship, teaching and service as he/she becomes more specialized.

    1. Scholarship

      Scholarship is an essential and critical component of University activity. The originality, quality, impact and value of the work must be assessed.  To assist this process, the candidate shall submit the names of at least five (5) experts in her/his field who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work.  Moreover, 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 number and size of grants received and in the scope and time required for research and the resulting publications.

      In addition to funded research and scholarly publications, other scholarly activities including but not limited to serving on national grant review bodies, presenting at refereed professional meetings, chairing society committees, and presenting papers before learned societies should be considered.  These later activities complement scholarly publications and grant funded research. Faculty members are expected to hold membership in professional societies, attend and participate in institutes and seminars, organize institutes, seminars, and workshops, insofar as such activities enhance their professional competency.

      Standards for the Evaluation of Scholarship and Research: 

      All faculty of the program are expected to seek excellence in scholarly activity.  Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of scholarly activity is based are provided in Tables 2A and 2B.

      Indicators of the quality of a faculty member’s research record include the quality and quantity of published work as well as the faculty member’s success in obtaining extramural funds.  All faculty members in the Program are expected to produce records of scholarship that reflect their disciplinary focus and the attributes of an individual faculty member’s scholarly activity will vary across disciplines.

      To achieve “excellent” in the category of the scholarship at the time a faculty member stands for tenure and promotion, she/he should have established a research program which demonstrates an impact upon his/her discipline.

      Within this context, during annual reappointment reviews, each faculty member who will seek tenure or promotion is obligated to provide evidence supporting his/her scholarly record.  This obligation will be met by providing specific information about article and journal quality and impact, funding history and plans, and description in the faculty member’s supplementary materials of any other evidence of scholarship that the faculty member deems appropriate.  In turn, the members of the Program’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee and the Chair shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the Program’s expectations for a successful tenure decision.

      Specific criteria for the evaluation include:

      1. Publications (printed, accepted, submitted, in preparation).
      2. Citations of publications.
      3. Papers presented at scientific meetings.
      4. Off campus colloquia and talks.
      5. Dissertations directed (number and quality of dissertations directed with degrees awarded; number of graduate students being supervised currently).
      6. A long term commitment to research and scholarship as demonstrated, for example, by active research programs and by ongoing supervision of doctoral students.
      7. External support (grants and contracts awarded).
      8. Proposals for external support submitted during each year at KSU (principal investigator type versus program or institutional proposals; status of each).
      9. KSU support (e.g., research time grants).
      10. Scholarly and creative activity not necessarily leading to publications (e.g., proposals referred to external organizations; papers reviewed for scientific journals; editorships).
      11. Consulting experience.
      12. Other professional experience (e.g., chairing conference sessions; professional group and committee activities).
      13. Published books or monographs.
      14. Patents, copyrights and other intellectual property.


      Table 2. Evaluation Components for Assessment of Scholarship for Promotion and Tenure

      Scholarship Assessment


      Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score


      Nationally/internationally recognized research program

      Demonstrated record of publications1 and grants2, invitations to give presentations, research-related service to federal/state organizations, awards, recognition from scientific societies3

      Very Good

      Emerging nationally recognized research program

      Demonstrated record of publications and ”seed” grants, presentations well recognized  meetings with rigorous criteria for paper review.


      Active research program

      Some peer-reviewed publications or ”seed” grants, some presentations at meetings / seminars


      Limited research program

      Occasional publications or meeting presentations


      No research program

      No publications, presentations, or grants

      Note: definitions in footnotes below refer to the meaning of “publications,” “grants,” and “recognition” throughout Table 2.


      1Publications include: papers in peer-reviewed journals of recognized quality (taking into account the scientific reputation and impact factor of the journal), books, and book chapters.  Evaluation of publication record will include an assessment of quality and impact on the field as well as quantity.  Papers of exceptional length, impact and quality are given particular consideration. 

      2“Grants” refers to extramural funding where the role of the faculty member in securing the funding is clearly demonstrated and which are of sufficient magnitude to fully support research at a level and duration appropriate for the discipline, including funds for supplies, materials and personnel (graduate students, research technicians and/or post-doctoral associates).  For NIH grants, this includes R01s, AREA grants, and others of sufficient magnitude as described herein.  “Seed Grants” are extramural grants that are not of sufficient magnitude to fully support doctoral students or are intramural grants.  "Seed Grants" should be designed to lead to successful applications for “Grants.” Grantsmanship should be commensurate with the field of research with the recognition that the dollar amount of awards varies among fields. 

      3Recognitions from scientific societies include, for example, election to office, editorial board membership, editorship, etc.  Service to federal/state institutions includes service on federal proposal panels, site visits, and other research related activities.




    2. Teaching

      Criteria for the evaluation of the teaching are listed in Table 3.  Course revision is defined as making a substantial modification to a course such as developing several new laboratories, addition of distance learning options, formally proposing to change course content/format, etc.

      Other information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the Program, College or University administrators shall be considered when available.  Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (including all student comments) must be submitted as part of a candidate’s file for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  Copies of representative syllabi, examinations, and other relevant teaching material should also be available for review.  Documentation related to graduate student, undergraduate student, and post-doctoral student training 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.

      The Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program faculty member has a responsibility to select from the accumulation of knowledge that which is educationally significant and to transmit this knowledge in a proficient manner.  The evaluation of teaching proficiency is based on documentation of items such as the following:

      1. Familiarity with the current literature in the field.
      2. Organization and/or presentation of subject matter including stimulating teaching techniques and new laboratory experiments.
      3. Academic counseling.
      4. Evaluation by students.
      5. Evaluation by peers.
      6. Evaluation by alumni.
      7. Student achievement.
      8. Teaching awards.

      Evaluation of contributions to chemical physics education of a professional and/or scholarly nature may be based on documentation of items such as the following:

      1. Authorship of textbooks.
      2. Authorship of pedagogical articles in refereed teaching journals such as The American Journal of Physics, The Physics Teacher, etc.
      3. The design of a new course or curriculum.
      4. The invention and publication of new demonstrations or laboratory equipment.
      5. The production of films and videos.
      6. The pioneering of an interdisciplinary course sequence or a new format.


      Table 3. Evaluation Components for Assessment of Teaching for promotion and tenure

      Teaching Assessment


      Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score


      Innovative teacher; provides leadership in instructional development

      Develop/revise courses, develop research projects for students (undergraduate and/or graduate), excellent student and peer perceptions, instructional creativity, actively participate in curricular revisions

      Very Good

      Innovative teacher

      Develop/revise courses, good student and peer perceptions, work with graduate and/or undergraduate students in research


      Meets obligations well

      Good student and peer perceptions


      Substandard teacher

      Below average student and peer perceptions


      Substandard, ineffective teacher

      Below average student and peer perceptions, pattern of complaints



    3. University Citizenship

      A faculty member's contributions as a University citizen include service to the Program, the LCI, the Campus, the College, and the University as outlined in Table 4.  The merits of University service should be evaluated as to (1) whether or not the candidate chaired the committee listed and (2) the importance of the service to the mission of the unit served.  Less tangible components of citizenship include active participation in program events such as faculty and graduate student recruitment, seminars, program meetings and seminars, etc.

      Being an active and useful citizen of the Program, Campus, College and University is expected and valued; however, service of any magnitude cannot be considered more important than a candidate's research and other scholarly activity and instructional responsibilities.  Expectations in service for promotion to Professor are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor.

      Table 4. Assessment of University Citizenship for promotion and tenure

      Citizenship Assessment

      Examples of Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score

      Exceeds obligations

      Significant role in Program, LCI, Campus College and/ or University as evidenced by productive service to the LCI,  on committees, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, specific administrative assignments, meaningful public outreach

      Meets obligations

      Meets the minimal Program/LCI/Campus obligations

      Does not meet obligations

      Does not meet Program/LCI/Campus obligations in a timely manner or does not actively participate in significant program/campus events

      Other components of service are also considered (including public outreach and public and professional service) in reappointment, tenure and promotion decisions and may differ in their importance among faculty members depending on each faculty member’s duties and responsibilities within the Program.


    4. Merit Award

      Procedures under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article XII, Section 4. Merit Awards – General Principles will be followed.  The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) will oversee the review process of the merit award. The award will be broken down into three categories of documented meritorious Faculty performance. There will be 20% for Service, 30% for Teaching and 50% for Research.  Faculty members are responsible to submit the required documentation needed to be evaluated to the FAC for review.  The FAC should meet, discuss the evaluations submitted and make a ranking. They should then vote to determine the FAC recommendation and ranking. With this recommendation in mind, the Director’s recommendation is then made to the Dean and communicated to the Faculty.