Criteria for Tenure and Promotion of TT faculty on the Kent Campus

The Ad Hoc RTP Committee shall consider the following areas of faculty performance when making recommendations on tenure and promotion. The text below is 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.

For tenure and promotion, the faculty member must meet expectations in Scholarship, Teaching, and Citizenship. Distinctions between levels of promotion are made in the sections below.  Please note that the established evaluation criteria for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor are the same.

  1. Standards for the Evaluation of Scholarship

    Scholarship is an essential and critical component of University activity. The originality, quality, impact and value of the work must be assessed. In support of University requirements for external reference letters, the candidate shall submit the names of at least five (5) experts in his/her 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.

    Faculty are expected to seek excellence in scholarly activity.  Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of scholarly activity is based are provided below. In cases where the candidate is one of multiple participants in a particular scholarly activity (e.g. multiple-authored paper, multiple-investigator grant), he/she is expected to designate his/her role as part of the overall assessment.

    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 Department 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 meet expectations in the category of the scholarship at the time a faculty member stands for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, he/she should have established a research program which demonstrates an emerging impact upon his/her discipline.  For promotion to Professor, he/she must provide documentation of an established research program, with a level of achievement that demonstrates a recognized national and international prominence.  Promotion to Professor requires a sustained impact on the field above and beyond that expected for promotion to Associate Professor.

    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 activities in each of the following four categories: Publications, Grants, Professional Activity, and Reputation. In turn, the members of the Department’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee and the Chair shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the Department’s expectations for a successful tenure decision. The totality of a candidate’s scholarship will be evaluated via the expectations in each of the categories listed below.  Examples for each category are provided for additional guidance.


    • Evidence of a research agenda resulting in a clear record of publications in quality venues. Publications include:
      • Peer-reviewed journal articles. The quality of journals will be assessed through several means, including Journal Impact Factors, as well as stature and readership within the discipline and the specific field, and also the appropriateness of the outlet to the faculty member’s research.
      • Books and book chapters in reputable presses.
      • Other forms of publications may also serve as evidence of a quality publication record, if relevant to the candidate’s research.


    • All candidates are expected to seek extramural funding as relevant to support his/her research; candidates, moreover, should frequently serve in PI or Co-PI positions on these awards. Funding expectations will be based on the conditions specified in the candidate’s original letter of offer.

    Professional Activity:

    • Evidence of participation in advancing and disseminating results of the research through demonstrating professional visibility. Examples include, but are not limited to, presenting at meetings, serving on professional committees, research-related service to federal/state agencies or non-profits.


    • Positive and supportive external letters.
    • Evidence of impact/ recognition in this discipline. Examples include, but are not limited to, editorship or guest editorship of journals, invitations to review manuscripts and grant proposals, invitations to speak at meetings, citations, awards or other meritorious recognition from scholarly/learned societies.

    Alternatively, examples of insufficient activity in these categories include, but are not limited to, sporadic publications, especially in low-quality journals, lack of acquiring adequate external funds to support his/her research, minimal engagement in the profession, or weak external letters.

  2. Standards for Evaluating Teaching

    Evaluation of teaching is conducted in two categories: Classroom Instruction and Mentorship.  In order to meet expectations for tenure and promotion in this category, the faculty member must demonstrate the following:

    Classroom Instruction:

    • Evidence of high quality teaching. Examples include, but are not limited to, peer reviews, contributions to curricular development, innovative instructional practices and course offerings, professional development, scholarship of teaching and learning, examples of assessments and feedback to students, student surveys of instruction (SSI), and evidence of self-reflection and responsiveness to constructive criticism.  Curricular development may include the development of new courses as well as revision of existing courses, which includes any substantial modification to a course such as developing new laboratory exercises, addition of distance learning options, and formal changes of course content/format.


    • Evidence of active mentorship of graduate and/or undergraduate students. Examples include, but are not limited to, serving as advisor and committee member for graduate students, supporting and mentoring student research through publications and/or professional presentations, advising undergraduate honors theses or independent research, encouraging students to apply for their own external research funding and publish their own research.

    Alternatively, examples of insufficient activity in these categories include, but are not limited to, consistent evidence of poor teaching performance, lack of professional development or response to constructive criticism, or consistent lack of mentorship and/or advising.

    Other information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the Department, College or University administrators shall be considered when available. Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (including relevant and constructive student comments) must be submitted as part of a candidate’s file for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  Copies of representative syllabi, assignments/assessments, and other relevant teaching materials should also be included. Documentation related to graduate student, undergraduate student, and post‐doctoral student mentorship 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.

  3. Standards for Evaluating Citizenship

    A faculty member's contributions as a University citizen include service to the Department, the Campus, the College, and the University, as well as the Community and his/her Discipline. In order to meet expectations for tenure and promotion, the faculty member should demonstrate consistent, responsible service as outlined below. 

    • Evidence of consistent responsible service to the Department, College, and/or University. Examples include, but are not limited to, actively serving in committee positions, undertaking specific administrative assignments, and performing meaningful public outreach.
    • Service to the profession and discipline is also valued.  These activities may include but are not limited to elected positions in specialty groups and on boards.

    Alternatively, examples of insufficient activity in this category include, but are not limited to, consistent lack of service or evidence of low quality service to the Department, College, and/or University.

    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 department events such as faculty and graduate student recruitment, seminars, department meetings, etc.

    Being an active and useful citizen of the Department, 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.  In particular, for promotion to Professor, there should be a clear demonstration of leadership roles that seek to further the mission of the Department, University, or Profession.

    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 Department.