Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion | Kent State University

Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion

The Department's role in matters of reappointment, the granting of indefinite tenure, and promotion in rank is defined by the policies stated in the University Promotion and Tenure Policy (Tenure (UPR 3342-6-06) and Promotion (UPR 3342-6-08)).  The following is supplemental and specific to the Department.  Instructions for completion of reappointment, tenure and promotion files are given below. 

  1. Reappointment

    Each academic year, a set of 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 Reappointment Committee (defined in Section III).  The FAC, in consultation with the Chairperson, assigns two faculty members to visit the classes of each probationary faculty member, interview students in the classes, and generally evaluate the teaching performance.   A written report is submitted to the Chairperson for placement in the candidate's file.  Probationary faculty will also create an updated file that is presented to the Chairperson who will make these materials available to the Reappointment Committee (Appendix VII).  Each probationary faculty member is discussed by the Reappointment Committee which then votes on a recommendation for reappointment.  The Chairperson independently assesses the accomplishments of each probationary faculty member and forwards the Chairperson's recommendation and the committee's recommendation to the Dean.  The Chairperson informs probationary faculty of the reappointment committee's deliberations and provides a copy of the recommendation made to the Dean of the College.  The Chairperson's recommendations are also available to the committee.  Probationary faculty members who are not to be reappointed must be notified according to the schedule established by the "Notification of Nonreappointment" in the CBA.  For faculty members at Regional campuses, reappointment, tenure, and promotion recommendations from the Chairperson are forwarded to the Dean of the College, the Vice President for Regional Campuses, and the appropriate Regional Campus Dean as described in Section IX.

    Reappointment is contingent upon demonstration of adequate progress toward the requirements for tenure.  Moreover, the individual must have established and articulated short and long term plans for achieving these goals.  For faculty following the traditional tenure clock for Assistant Professors, the review after completion of three full years at Kent State (referred to below as the 3rd year review) is particularly critical.  For reappointment, these individuals should be at least at the “good” level for the Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application and the Scholarship of Teaching as defined in Section B, Tables 1 and 2.   Specific concerns expressed by the Ad Hoc Advisory committee and/or Chair during this stage of the probationary period should be addressed by the candidate in the subsequent reviews. Finally, the overall evaluation of a candidate for reappointment must include consideration of the individual'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 reappointment in the department.

    In the event that concerns about the candidate’s performance are raised during the reappointment process, the ad hoc committee and Chairperson shall provide detailed, prescriptive comments to serve as constructive feedback.  If such concerns arise during the review that occurs after completion of three full years, the chair, with the guidance of the FAC, will advise and work with the candidate on a suitable, positive plan for realignment with the tenure and promotion expectations; ultimately, the candidate is responsible for their success in implementing this plan.

  2. Tenure and Promotion

    Tenure and promotion are separate decisions.  Promotion is a reward based on accomplishments completed during the review period; tenure is based on the projected potential career development.  For Kent campus faculty, promotion considerations 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 and the scientific field.  For Regional campus faculty, promotion considerations include evaluation of research accomplishments, multiple aspects of citizenship and various evaluations of teaching.  In contrast to promotion, the tenure decision is based on all of the evidence available to determine the candidate’s potential to develop a successful career likely to result in eventual promotion to Full Professor.  Tenure considerations can include evaluation of accomplishments prior to arrival at Kent State 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.

    Consideration for promotion to Full Professor differs from consideration for promotion to Associate Professor.  Promotion to Associate Professor is a reward 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 Full Professor is a reward to an individual for bringing their career to national/international prominence.  For Kent campus faculty, evidence for this prominence includes a record of sustained major extramural funding from highly competitive funding sources and a record of increased prominence in the field.  For Regional campus faculty, promotion to Full Professor requires demonstrated excellence in teaching and service to the campus and university, including assuming leadership responsibilities typical of senior faculty, and documented activity in the individual’s field of research.

    It is recognized that there are many factors and criteria, both subjective and objective, to be considered in recommending an individual for academic advancement.  The criteria are related to the individual’s performance in the areas of Scholarship of Discovery, Integration, Application, and Teaching, as well as University Citizenship in the Department, the Campus, the College, the University, and to the Public (Appendix III).  It is also recognized the faculty differ in the nature of their appointments and that those that have administrative assignments devote a significant amount of time to those duties. For faculty who have administrative appointments, qualifications for tenure and promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor will be evaluated in light of the time assigned for administrative duties.

    The overall evaluation of a candidate for tenure and promotion must include consideration of the individual'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 promotion and tenure in the Department.

  3. Areas of Evaluation

    The following are the areas of performance to be considered by Tenure and Promotion Committees and the Chairperson when making their recommendations (Appendix II, Appendix III, Appendix IV, Appendix VII, UPR 3342-6-06, UPR 3342-6-08).  The tables and text below are designed to facilitate assessment of performance of those under evaluation.  During reappointment evaluations these tools are to be used for developmental assistance and projection of future success in tenure and promotion.

    Tables 1 (A and B), 2, and 3 provide guidelines for the assessment of faculty member performance and a rating scale for use in evaluation of candidates.  For promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor it is required that the individual meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in the Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application or the Scholarship of Teaching with at least “very good” in the other. University Citizenship must at least meet the minimal departmental obligations as outlined in Table 3.  These same categories and assessment tools apply for tenure.

    A candidate for promotion to full Professor must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in either the Scholarship of Discovery, Integration, and Application and the Scholarship of Teaching with at least “very good” in the other.   The University Citizenship assessment must exceed minimal departmental obligations.

    Documentation of achievement will be demonstrated in a seminar presented to the department on accomplishments prior to application for tenure or promotion; for Assistant Professors, this will typically be done during the 3rd full year of employment at this rank.  For senior promotions, the presentation should be the year prior to an anticipated promotion application.

    a. Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application

    Scholarship of Discovery, Integration, and Application are a crucial component of scholarly activity with Discovery a major focus area of Biological Sciences.  While it is easy to count items used to document scholarly activity, the originality, quality, and value of the work may be difficult to assess.  Thus, the candidate must submit the names of at least three experts in an appropriate field considered capable of judging the candidate's work.  Moreover, the candidate must provide the committee with ample descriptive evidence of his or her scholarly activity (Appendix VII).  It is recognized that an individual'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.  Significant scholarly activities in addition to funded research projects and scholarly publications include for example attending and participating in professional meetings, chairing society committees, presenting papers before learned societies, holding membership in professional societies, attending and participating in institutes and seminars, organizing institutes, seminars, and workshops, insofar as such activities enhance professional competency. 

    Standards for Evaluation of Scholarship Research:  

    It is the stated expectation of the department that all faculty seek excellence in Scholarly activity.  Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of Scholarly activity are based are provided in Tables 1A (Kent campus Faculty) and 1B (Regional Campus Faculty). 

    Kent Campus Faculty:

    Indicators of the quality of the research record include the quality and quantity of published work as well as the generation of extramural funds.  It is expected that faculty will produce records of scholarship that reflect their disciplinary focus and that the attributes of the body of work that represents an individual’s scholarly activity will vary among disciplines.

    To achieve “excellent” in the category of the Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application, at the time faculty stand for tenure and promotion, they should have established a research program that generates, on average, two or more peer-reviewed articles per year in journals of demonstrated excellence as well as attracting extramural grant funding sufficient to support a productive research program.   

    These expectations are guidelines for achieving tenure and promotion.  Because of the diverse nature of the disciplinary backgrounds of the BSCI faculty, quantitative differences in the records of successful candidates are expected.  For example, an excellent publication record is reflective of both the quality of the published work and the number of articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals.  Likewise, an excellent extramural funding record reflects the specific requirements of a faculty member’s research program in light of the fact that requirements vary among disciplines.  Both of these factors create variation in the number of publications and amount of extramural funding by faculty who are demonstrably excellent in the Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application.  Even with the inadequacy of straight quantitative evaluation, it is nevertheless emphasized that the department has firm expectations in terms of the Scholarship of Discovery and that the assessment of performance in this area is based on standards in the field.  Whether the candidate meets these standards is determined via evaluation by the ad hoc committee and department chair.

     

    Within this context, during the annual review period, each faculty member seeking tenure or promotion is obligated to provide evidence supporting their assessment of their 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 supplementary materials of any other evidence of the scholarship of discovery they deem appropriate.  In turn, the members of the departmental Ad Hoc reappointment, tenure and promotion committee and the chair have the responsibility to evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the department’s expectations for a successful tenure decision.  Hence, it is incumbent upon the candidate, the members of the Ad Hoc reappointment, tenure and promotion committee, and the Chair to make their evaluation of the candidate’s record clearly reflect departmental expectations.  

    Table 1A. Kent campus faculty: Evaluation Components for Assessment of Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application for promotion and tenure.

    Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application Assessment

     

           Definition

    Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score

    Excellent

    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 at meetings/seminars

    Good

    Active research program

    Some peer-reviewed

    publications or ‘seed’ grants, some presentations at meetings/seminars

    Fair

    Limited research program

    Occasional publications or

    meeting presentations

    Poor

    No research program

    No publications,

    presentations, or grants

    Note: definitions in footnotes below refer to the meaning of “publications”, “grants,” and “recognition” through out Table 1 A.

    1Publications include: papers in peer-reviewed journals of recognized quality, 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 here.  “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.

                Regional Campus Faculty: 

    The components and assessment of scholarship differs between the Kent campus and Regional campuses reflecting differences in the mission of the units, resources available, and variation in the nature of faculty appointments.  Table 1B provides quantitative and qualitative information about expectations for different levels of performance in the Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application for Regional campus faculty.

    Quantification of scholarly success must be tempered by quality of the work.  In addition, the nature of scholarship varies among fields and, as such, the faculty member’s record should be appropriate for the particular disciplinary field and mission.  Quality of the work, impact on the field and the role of the faculty member are central components of the assessment of performance in this field.  Thus, while two publications in the probationary period may be sufficient for tenure and promotion if they are of clear quality and the faculty member played a central role in their completion, this may be insufficient if they do not meet the standards for a particular field.  In the case of publications, in particular, both peer and non-peer reviewed articles are considered given that in some fields non-peer reviewer papers are standard.

    Table 1B. Regional Campus Faculty: Evaluation Components for Assessment of Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application for promotion and tenure.

    Scholarship of Discovery, Integration and Application Assessment

    Definition

    Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score

          Excellent

    clear line of inquiry and established research program, meaningful integration and application

    Meets 4 of these 5 criteria, including #1:

    1) publications commensurate with expectations in the discipline

    2) Presentation of work at state/Regional/national/international meetings

    3) submission of extramural/intramural proposals

    4) receiving extramural/intramural funds

    5) meaningful applied work on community projects

     

        Very Good

    clear line of inquiry and established research program

    Meets 3 of the 5 criteria for “excellent” including #1.

           Good

    Active scholarship

    Meets less than 3 of criteria for “excellent” but partially meets others

            Fair

    Limited scholarship

    Partially meets some of the criteria for “excellent”

            Poor

    No research program

    No publications,

    presentations, proposals, or grants

    b. Scholarship of Teaching

    Criteria for evaluation of the scholarship of teaching are listed in Table 2.  Course revision is defined as making a substantial modification in 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 Department, or University administrators shall be considered when available.  Peer reviews and student evaluation results (including all student comments) must be a part of the submitted record of candidates for tenure and promotion.  Copies of representative syllabi, examinations, and other relevant material should be available for review.  Documentation related to graduate student, undergraduate, and post-doctoral student training should be included in materials provided by the candidates for evaluation.  Faculty on the Kent Campus are expected to mentor graduate (particularly at the doctoral level) and/or postdoctoral students, while faculty on Regional campuses do not have this same expectation.  Evaluation of the scholarship of teaching will account for differences in missions and expectations across campuses.  In particular, on the Kent campus seeking and/or securing educational program/instructional grant funds are more critical for a rating of “excellent” than on the Regional campuses.

    Table 2. Evaluation Components for Assessment of Scholarship of Teaching for promotion and tenure for Kent and Regional campus faculty.

    Scholarship of Teaching Assessment

    Definition

    Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score

    Excellent

    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

     Good

    Meets obligations well

    good student and peer perceptions

     

      Fair

    substandard teacher

    Below average student and peer perceptions

      Poor

    substandard,

    ineffective teacher

    Below average student and peer perceptions, pattern of

    complaints

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Citizen

    A.  A candidate's contributions as a University citizen includes service to the Department, the Campus, the College, and the University as outlined in Table 3.  The merits of University service should be evaluated as to (1) whether or not the candidate chaired the committee and (2) the importance of the service to the mission of the unit served.  Less tangible components of citizenship includes active participation in departmental events such as faculty and graduate student recruitment, seminars, departmental meetings, etc.

    Being a useful and active citizen of the Department and University is expected and of genuine value; however, service of any magnitude cannot be considered more important than a candidate's research and instructional responsibilities.  Expectations in service for promotion to Full Professor are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor.

    The components of university citizenship and expectations for faculty may differ between those with Regional and Kent campus appointments; details on Regional campus faculty expectations can be found in the Regional Campus Faculty Handbook as well as, in some cases, the faculty handbook for a particular campus. 

    Table 3. Assessment of University Citizenship for promotion and tenure for Kent and Regional campus faculty.

    Citizenship Assessment

    Examples of Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score

    Exceeds obligations

    Significant role in Department, Campus

    College and/ or University as evidenced by productive service on committees, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, specific administrative assignments, meaningful public outreach

    Meets obligations

    Meets the minimal Departmental/Campus

    obligations

    Does not meet obligations

    Does not meet Departmental/Campus

    obligations in a timely manner or does not actively participate in significant departmental/campus events

    B.  Other components of service are also considered (including public outreach and public and professional service) in tenure and promotion decisions and may differ in their importance among individuals with different appointments.