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). Both policies are also included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Tenure and promotion are separate decisions, and the candidate will prepare separate dossiers for each action. Tenure is based on accomplishments as well as an assessment of the potential of the candidate as an academic and departmental peer. Promotion is a reward based on accomplishments completed during the review period.

For Kent Campus faculty, the department will generally recommend tenure and promotion in the same year. While it is possible to be tenured without being promoted, it is generally expected that faculty will accumulate a record of achievement that will be sufficient for a positive recommendation for both tenure and promotion. For Regional Campus faculty, tenure and promotion are less closely linked.

The decision to grant tenure 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 had an impact upon the discourse of her/his discipline, compiled a record of excellent teaching, and made contributions as a citizen of the department and the broader university community.

One of the major criteria for measuring whether publications have impact is peer review, the standard process through which other scholars recognize a candidate’s work as a significant and original contribution to a discipline. Peer review refers to evaluation of scholarship by individuals recognized as experts in one’s field of activity. Blind peer review is considered preferable to peer review in which the reviewer is aware of the candidate’s identity. Evidence of peer review includes such items as outside reader reports, letters from editors, and published editorial policies. Scholarly impact may also be demonstrated through marks of recognition that occur after the dissemination of the work. Candidates for reappointment, tenure or promotion must make explicit in their dossiers whether a scholarly activity has been peer-reviewed; the burden of proof lies at all times with the candidate.

Impact on the discipline may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including but not limited to the following:

Acceptance of the candidate’s work through a process of blind peer review in well-regarded journals, edited collections, applications for external funding, or peer review of book-length works.

Assessments of the candidate’s scholarship by disinterested, external scholars who are recognized experts in the field. These experts will be asked to comment on the actual and potential impact of the candidate’s work as part of the tenure review process.

Published book reviews or other acknowledgment of a candidate’s work by peers in the field, including citations of a candidate’s articles, books or other publications.

Publication in peer-reviewed journals and/or practitioner journals that are the outlets for the premier national organizations in the candidate’s field or otherwise can be shown to have a wide readership in the discipline.

Invitations by disinterested colleagues outside the University to contribute to edited collections, to undertake editorial projects, or to speak at conferences or other scholarly venues. Such invitations indicate that the candidate has been recognized as an expert in the discipline.

Wide adoption of a textbook or other instructional materials, including scholarly translations.

In assessing a tenure case, the department takes into consideration all evidence of the candidate’s likelihood of future success, including letters of acceptance for submitted works, book contracts, and grant proposals submitted but not funded. Tenure considerations also include evaluation of accomplishments prior to arrival at Kent State University, in order to aid in the assessment of a candidate’s scholarly potential. However, such documentation shall in no case constitute the sole basis for tenure. For promotion, all publications must have appeared or be available in the form of page proofs by the time the dossier is submitted.

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. Promotion to Professor recognizes the highest level of university achievement and national/international prominence. Evidence for this prominence includes a sustained record of major publications and a record of increased prominence in and impact on the field above and beyond that expected for the first promotion.

Many factors and criteria, both subjective and objective, are considered in recommending a faculty member for tenure and advancement in academic rank. 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 Department.