Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion of Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty

The information in this section supplements the information concerning reappointment, tenure and promotion that is included in the Tenured/Tenure-Track Collective Bargaining Agreement and the University Policy Register, and is specific to the College of Aeronautics and Engineering.

  1. Overview and General Information for Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty RTP

    1. The role of the College in matters of reappointment, the granting of indefinite tenure, and promotion in rank is defined by policies stated in the Tenured/Tenure-Track Collective Bargaining Agreement (Addendum A: University Policy Regarding Faculty Promotion (3342-6-15); Addendum B University Policy Regarding Faculty Tenure (3342-6-14); Addendum C University Policy and Procedures Regarding Faculty Reappointment (3342-6-16)), and in the Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion: A Guide for Administrators, Faculty and Staff issued annually by the Provost’s Office.  .
    2. The Dean shall assign a tenured faculty member as a mentor to each probationary tenure-track candidate upon his/her initial appointment.  The mentor shall be responsible for providing guidance and advice to the candidate regarding reappointment, tenure, and promotion policies and processes.  The mentor will also provide advice to the candidate to assist in his/her teaching and professional development, and in creating research and publication opportunities.
    3. Faculty are strongly encouraged to seek out institutional resources (e.g., workshops, seminars, conferences, etc.) that are periodically made available by the University to obtain further information regarding faculty professional development, file organization and construction, and research and grant opportunities.
    4. RTP criteria are included in the approved College Handbook in place when the faculty member was hired in a tenure-track appointment.  Candidates may, instead, elect to use the RTP criteria in the current College Handbook for their review.  In any case, candidates should clearly specify in their file(s) which College Handbook they have selected, and include the relevant pages in their file(s).
    5. Evaluation of tenured/tenure-track faculty shall focus on the areas of teaching, scholarship/research, and service/citizenship.  All tenured/tenure-track faculty of the college are expected to achieve excellence in scholarly activity for tenure and promotion advancement.
    6. The decision to grant tenure and promotion plays a crucial role in determining the quality of the College faculty and in the perceived status of the College at both the national and international level.  Tenure and promotion will be awarded only when there is documented, convincing evidence that there is a body of scholarship which has had a positive impact on the candidate’s discipline, high quality teaching, and quality service that suggests continual success in these areas. 
  2. Reappointment

    1. 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 for Kent and Regional Campus faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost.  Probationary tenure-track faculty members are reviewed by the College’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee.  The probationary faculty member is to ask two or more faculty members in the College to visit his/her class and provide a written review using the form provided by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.  Probationary faculty will also create a file using the University software platform that will be 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 and provides formative comments for the probationary faculty member.  Notification of reappointment is from the Provost. Probationary faculty members who are not to be reappointed must be notified according to the schedule established in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    2. 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 written short (1-2 year) and long-term plans for achieving these goals.  This progress can be evaluated through review of the candidate’s published (or “accepted for publication”) peer-reviewed papers and articles, including an assessment of the quality of the publication and/or the impact of the article using citation indexes appropriate to the field; grant activity (proposals submitted, grants received); presentations; graduate students advised; teaching evaluations and peer reviews; university and professional service; and other professional activity.  Specific concerns expressed by the Ad Hoc RTP Committee and/or the Dean 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 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 College.
    3. If concerns about a candidate’s performance are raised during the reappointment process, the Ad Hoc RTP Committee shall provide detailed, prescriptive comments to serve as constructive feedback.  If such concerns arise during a review, the probationary faculty member’s faculty mentor will advise and work with the candidate on a suitable, positive plan for realignment with the College’s tenure and promotion expectations; however, the candidate is solely responsible for her/his success in implementing this plan.
    4. 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 Procedure Governing Modification of the Faculty Probationary Period is included in the University Policy Register (see, University Policy Register 3342-6-13).
  3. Tenure and Promotion

    1. The policies and procedures for tenure are included in the University Policy Regarding Faculty Tenure (see, A. University Policy Register 3342-6-14) and the policies and procedures for promotion are included in the University Policy Regarding Faculty Promotion (see, A.    University Policy Register 3342-6-15).  Each academic year, tenure and promotion guidelines for Kent and Regional Campus faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost.
    2. Both the tenure decision and the promotion decision can include evaluation of accomplishments prior to arrival at Kent State University, when specified in the offer letter (i.e., years of “service credit” towards tenure and/or promotion).  Accomplishments while at Kent State are the key indicator of present and future success of a tenure-track faculty member.  These evaluations can include review of the candidate’s published, or “accepted for publication” peer-reviewed papers and articles, including an assessment of the quality of the publication and/or the impact of the article using citation indexes appropriate to the field; grant activity (e.g., proposals submitted, grants received); graduate and undergraduate research students advised; presentations; teaching evaluations and peer reviews; university and professional service; and other professional activity.
    3. Many factors and criteria, both subjective and objective, are considered in recommending a faculty member for tenure and promotion.  The overall evaluation of a candidate for tenure and promotion shall include consideration of the faculty member's 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 College.
    4. Tenure and promotion are separate personnel actions and require separate decisions.  The criteria for tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor are the same in the College.
      1. Tenure
        1. The granting of tenure is a decision that plays a crucial role in determining the quality of the University’s faculty and the national and international status of the University.
        2.  As such, the awarding of tenure must be based on convincing documented evidence that the faculty member: 
          1. has achieved a significant body of scholarship that is likely to have an impact on her/his discipline and that will ultimately result in the establishment of a nationally and internationally recognized research program, Level II in Table 3-1); 
          2. has demonstrated effectiveness as a teacher and mentor (Level II in Table 3-2);  and 
          3. has met the normal obligations for university service (Level II in Table 3-3).  
            The candidate should also be likely to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high-quality teaching and scholarship relevant to the mission of the College and to the mission of the University.
      2. Promotion
        1. As with tenure, promotion to Associate Professor must be based on convincing documented evidence that the faculty member:  
          1. has achieved a significant body of scholarship that is likely to have an impact on her/his discipline and that will ultimately result in the establishment of a nationally and internationally recognized research program (Level II in Table 3-1); 
          2. has demonstrated effectiveness as a teacher and mentor (Level II in Table 3-2); and 
          3.  has met the normal obligations for university service (Level II in Table 3-3). 
            The candidate should also be likely to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high-quality teaching and scholarship relevant to the mission of the College and to the mission of the University.
        2. Promotion to the rank of Professor recognizes the establishment of a nationally and internationally recognized research program that has had an impact on the field (Level I in Table 3-1).  A candidate for promotion to Professor must also have demonstrated effectiveness as a teacher and mentor (Level II in Table 3-2) and must have met the normal obligations for university citizenship (Level II in Table 3-3).
  4. Evaluation Criteria for Scholarship, Teaching, and University Citizenship

    1. Scholarship

      1. Scholarship is an essential and critical component of University activity, and the originality, quality, impact and value of the candidate’s scholarship must be assessed.  To facilitate this assessment, the candidate must provide the Ad Hoc RTP Committee with ample descriptive evidence of his/her scholarly activity.  All tenure and promotion candidates must submit the names of at least five (5) experts in her/his field who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work.  The Dean will then solicit reviews from at least three (3) experts on the candidate’s list.  The Dean will also solicit reviews from up to 3-5 independent reviewers.  As provided in University Policy, the Dean will give the candidate a copy of the letter to be sent to all outside evaluators and offer him/her the opportunity to comment before the letter is mailed.
      2. Evaluation 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.  Because the attributes of scholarly activity may vary across disciplines and even within disciplines, the candidate’s specific area of specialization may be a factor in the venues in which papers or articles are published; in the scope and time required for research and the resulting publications; and in the number and size of grants received.  External reviews are crucial for evaluating the appropriate scholarly activity for the candidate’s specific area.
      3. In addition to scholarly publications and funded research, other scholarly activities should be considered.  These may include but are not limited to serving on grant review panels, journal editorial boards, and/or conference program committees; chairing or serving on conference organizing or steering committees; and chairing or serving on committees or councils of professional societies or government agencies.  These activities complement scholarly publications and funded research and are in addition to the normal faculty expectations such as holding membership in professional societies, staying current in the field, and other activities to enhance professional competency.
      4. Different levels of scholarly activity are summarized in Table 3-1.  The last column in this table summarizes the type of activity typically required to reach each level and may be useful to the candidate as a guide.  However, candidates are cautioned that promotion decisions are based on the outcomes specified in the first column, not on the amount of activity expended.
        Table 3-1. Evaluation Components for Assessment of Scholarship for Promotion and Tenure

      Level

      Scholarship

      Typical Activities

      I

      Nationally and internationally recognized research program

      Sustained record of publications1, grant activity2, and professional service3

      II

      Emerging nationally and/or internationally recognized research program

      Demonstrated record of publications1, grant activity2, and professional service3

      III

      Active research program

      Regular publications and/or grant activity

      IV

      Limited research program

      Occasional publications and/or grant activity

      V

      No research program

      No or very few publications or grant activity

      1Publications include journal articles, conference/symposium/workshop papers, books, book chapters, monographs, technical reports, posters, etc.  Evaluation of a candidate’s publication record should consider (1) the type of publications common to the candidate’s discipline; (2) the quality of the publications (including the method of review, venue, sponsoring society, acceptance rate, or ranking if available); and/or (3) the recognition received for the specific publication (e.g., best paper awards, citation indexes appropriate to the field, for example Google Scholar).

      2 Grant activity refers to submitting grant proposals or receiving grants.  Grants refer to extramural funding where the role of the faculty member in securing the funding is clearly demonstrated.  Grants may include funding from Federal, State, or local government agencies, foundations, or industry.  Grants may support students, postdocs, faculty salary, equipment, professional service, travel, or other items.  Grants may support the candidate’s research or teaching, or may fund scholarships or infrastructure improvements.  Grants may or may not include full Indirect Costs (“overhead”).  Evaluation of a candidate’s funding record should consider: (1) the availability and type of funding common to the candidate’s discipline; (2) the size and type of grants received and the candidate’s role in securing the funding; and (3) any unsuccessful attempts by the candidate to secure funding.

      3 Professional service includes serving on formal grant review panels, journal editorial boards, or conference program committees; reviewing grant proposals, articles, papers, or other publications; chairing or serving on conference organizing/steering committees; and chairing or serving on committees/boards/councils of professional societies or government agencies.  Activities such as holding membership in professional societies, reading scholarly publications in the field, attending conferences, or other activities to enhance professional competency are considered part of a faculty member’s normal professional activity and are not considered as professional service.
       

    2. Teaching

      1. The criteria for the evaluation of the teaching are listed in Table 3.2.  Evaluation is based on three main activities:
        1. classroom teaching and instruction;
        2. course and curriculum development; and
        3. student mentoring.
      2. Classroom teaching and instruction is mainly evaluated using peer reviews, student evaluations, and developed teaching materials.  Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction are to 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 of innovative teaching methods may be included for review.
      3. Activities that involve making substantial modification to a course or part of the curriculum are to be considered.  Examples include, but are not limited to developing a new course, developing new lab materials, addition of distance learning options, changing course content/format, etc. Documentation of taking a leadership role on curricular changes and implementing such changes can be included for review.
      4. Documentation related to graduate student, undergraduate student, and post-doctoral student training should be included in materials provided by the candidate for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  A list of graduated and current students along with supervised individual studies, honors thesis, thesis, and dissertations should be included for review.
      5. Other information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the College or University administrators shall be considered when available.

      Table 3-2. Evaluation Components for Assessment of Teaching for promotion and tenure

      Level

      Teaching

      Typical Activities

      I

      Effective teacher, effective mentor, and provides leadership in educational activities

      Very good peer and student4 perceptions; regularly supervising graduate student research projects, theses, dissertations; demonstrated leadership in teaching innovations, course development, or curriculum development

      II

      Effective teacher and mentor

      Goodpeer and student4 perceptions; supervising graduate or undergraduate student research projects, theses, or dissertations

      III

      Meets obligations well

      Goodpeer and student4 perceptions

      IV

      Substandard teacher

      Fairpeer and/or student4 perceptions

      V

      Substandard, ineffective teacher

      Poorpeer and student4 perceptions; pattern of complaints for ineffective teaching

      4 When measured by a Student Survey of Instruction (SSI) with a Likert scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor.

    3. University Citizenship

      1. A faculty member's contributions as a University citizen include service to the Campus, the College, and the University as outlined in Table 3-3.  Less tangible components of citizenship include active participation in College events such as faculty and student recruitment, College meetings and seminars, etc.
      2. Being an active and useful citizen of the 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.
      3. 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 College.

      Table 3-3. Assessment of University Citizenship for promotion and tenure

      Level

      University Citizenship

      Typical Activities

      I

      Exceeds normal obligations

      Significant role in the College and/or University as evidenced by productive service on committees, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, specific administrative assignments and leadership activities, or meaningful public outreach, among other similar citizenship activities

      II

      Meets normal obligations

      Meets normal College obligations (e.g. as evidenced by service on committees, participation in significant events, and assisting in public outreach, among other similar College activities)

       

      III

      Does not meet obligations

      Does not meet College obligations in a timely manner or does not actively participate in significant College events