Weighting of Reappointment, Tenure & Promotion Criteria & the Criteria & Processes Relating to Other Faculty Personnel Actions | Kent State University

Weighting of Reappointment, Tenure & Promotion Criteria & the Criteria & Processes Relating to Other Faculty Personnel Actions

This section of the Handbook includes information concerning policies and procedures that govern processes of decision-making concerning such important issues as promotion, tenure, and reappointment of faculty within the Regional Campus system. In the case of academic personnel reviews, care should be taken to review the guidelines and other materials circulated annually by the Provost for specific procedures to be followed.

  1. Background

    There are no more important decisions made concerning the relationships between the University and its faculty than those related to promotion to higher rank, tenure with its implication of lifelong appointment with the University, and reappointment for probationary faculty. Consequently, the policies and procedures which govern these decisions are elaborated in some detail within the structure of University regulations.

    Reappointment, tenure, and promotion within the Regional Campus system follow the Kent Campus pattern, but with some important differences. First, promotion and tenure decisions provide for an advisory and recommendatory role for the faculty advisory group at the individual campus and for the Campus Dean and Chief Administrative Officer. The procedure recognizes that Regional Campus faculty hold membership and rank in an academic department while discharging their responsibilities and holding tenure within the Regional Campus System.

    Criteria for consideration of candidates for reappointment, tenure and promotion as well as minimal expectations of performance and years in rank, are described in detail or referenced in the original appointment letter, in the relevant University policies, and in materials circulated annually at the onset of the review process. Additional and more specific criteria may be found in departmental handbooks, the handbooks of the regional campuses, the Collective Bargaining Agreements, and in materials circulated annually at the onset of the review process.

    Substantive criteria, developed departmentally and collegially, are elaborated in the departmental, school, and college handbooks. University guidelines must also be observed. These guidelines are included in the documents circulated annually by the Provost’s Office.

     

    1. Tenure Track Faculty Reviews

      All regular, full-time, probationary, tenure-track faculty will go through a reappointment review as outlined in the university reappointment policy. Candidates should refer to their department/school/college guidelines for reappointment criteria and procedures. Because of the special mission of the Kent State University at East Liverpool, a candidate will be expected to submit evidence of the strength in the act of teaching and service/university citizenship. In addition, evidence of appropriate research and creative activity is expected.

    2. NTT Faculty Reviews

      Non tenure-track faculty (NTT) are reviewed according to the guidelines outlined in their own Collective Bargaining Agreement and their academic unit. In evaluating NTT candidates for reappointment on the teaching track, primary consideration will be given to demonstrating strength in the act of teaching.

    3. Tenure

      All regular, full-time, probationary, tenure-track faculty are eligible at certain times for tenure review according to years of service and rank differentiations. These are described in the materials distributed annually by the Office of the Provost.

      Regional Campus faculty who receive tenure are tenured in the Regional Campuses and not on the Kent Campus. Conversely, Kent Campus faculty who are tenured are tenured on the Kent Campus and not in the Regional Campuses according to University Policy 8-01.1: ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY REGARDING FACULTY TENURE IN REGIONAL CAMPUSES

      (https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/administrative-policy-regarding-faculty-tenure-regional-campuses)

      The granting of tenure is a deliberate and important decision. Essentially those involved in making a tenure decision are asking the question, “Is this person likely to make a positive contribution to his/her discipline, unit, campus, university and community over the long term?”

      Faculty should refer to the departmental/school and university guidelines for tenure criteria.  Because of the special mission of the East Liverpool Campus, a candidate will be expected to submit evidence of strength in the act of teaching and university citizenship. In addition, evidence of appropriate activity scholarly research or creative activity is expected (see weighting criteria in Section C).

    4. Tenure Track/Tenured Promotion

      All regular, full-time tenured and probationary faculty are eligible at certain times for promotion review according to years of service and rank differentiations. These are described in the materials distributed annually by the Office of the Provost.

      Although tenure is held in the Regional Campuses, academic rank is held in the department, school, or college. Therefore, the individual should refer to his/her academic department/school/college handbook for criteria for promotion. The criteria for promotion are established by the department/school/college in consultation with faculty.

      A major consideration for promotion to all ranks will be documented evidence of strength in teaching and service/university citizenship. In the area of citizenship, evidence of campus leadership commensurate with rank should be demonstrated. Scholarship that is recognized nationally and internationally tends to be necessary for promotion to full professor.

    5. Full-time Non-tenure Track Faculty (NTT) Academic Ranks and Promotion

      FT-NTT Faculty members hold appointments at one (1) of the following six (6) academic ranks: Lecturer, Associate Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor. The academic ranks of Lecturer, Associate Lecturer and Senior Lecturer are reserved for FT-NTT Faculty members who have not earned a terminal degree in their discipline, but whose professional experience and demonstrated performance warrant these ranks. The academic ranks of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor are reserved for FT-NTT Faculty members who have earned the terminal degree in their discipline and whose professional experience and demonstrated performance warrant these ranks. (NTT Collective Bargaining Agreement).

      FT-NTT faculty members who have completed five (5) consecutive years of employment as an FT-NTT faculty member and one (1) successful Full Performance Review may apply for promotion to the rank of Associate Lecturer/Associate Professor, as applicable, at the time of their second Full Performance Review or with any scheduled performance review thereafter.

      Normally, FTNTT faculty members at the rank of Associate Lecturer/Associate Professor may apply for promotion to the rank of Senior Lecturer/Professor, as applicable, in any year after five full years in rank as an Associate Lecturer/Associate Professor (NTT Collective Bargaining Agreement, ADDENDUM C).

      Promotion is from rank to rank and is sequential. NTT Faculty can apply for promotion in the third year of a cycle of three (3) one year annually renewable appointments after the member has successfully passed one Full Performance Review. However, the campus faculty do not advise on the promotion of NTT faculty. The candidates who are standing for reappointment and/or (NTT) promotion should consult with their specific Department, College, or academic unit to receive guidance in preparing their files. Such candidates should also receive and follow the guidelines and protocols defined in NTT Collective Bargaining Agreement.

  2. Procedures

    Usually in the spring semester, prior to the beginning of the academic year, the office of the Provost initiates the review process by circulating a document outlining procedures and deadlines to Schools, University departments/colleges and Deans of Regional Campuses.

    All regular, full- time probationary, tenure-track faculty are eligible at certain times for tenure review according to years of service and rank differentiations. Departments will notify prospective candidates, by the end of the spring semester of the previous academic year, of their nomination for promotion eligibility. The procedures are described by the materials distributed by the Office of the Provost and other documents which have been developed departmentally and collegially, and elaborated in the respective faculty handbooks. Faculty should consult their departmental handbooks for such procedures. University guidelines have also been developed which must be observed. 

    Although a faculty member may stand for both promotion and tenure at the same time, it should be remembered that these are two distinct personnel actions requiring separate procedures, timetables and guidelines.

    The University establishes a timetable for personnel actions for faculty. This varies from year to year and is specified in a document published by the Provost. Faculty seeking reappointment, tenure, or promotion should consult the schedule in this document upon publication. As a practical matter, preparation of materials and consultation with the department chairperson and campus dean should begin with nomination the preceding spring. All materials must be submitted to the FlashFolio system at Kent State University.

    1. Tenure Track Faculty Reappointment Review

      Annual review of probationary, tenure-track faculty for reappointment shall be undertaken each year until consideration for tenure.  Non-tenure track faculty are subject to separate review. Annual review is often undertaken at approximately the same time as tenure and promotion decisions, but specific time tables are established annually for each type of review.  Candidates for reappointment should consult the Annual Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Guide published by the Office of the Provost.

    2. Tenure Review

      Faculty who are eligible for tenure review are notified by department chair/school directors/college deans (henceforth, Chair). Faculty prepare a file of evidence in support of their review. The file is submitted electronically to the FlashFolio system at Kent State. Candidates meet with their department chairs or equivalents to assure that the file contents are complete. The candidate and the chairperson must both sign the Certification of File Completeness, and a copy of the certificate is placed in the electronic file.

      • All tenured faculty assigned to the Campus Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee will read each of the files, and make appropriate notes for recommendation to be written at a later time.
      • A meeting of the committee will be announced by the Chairperson of the Faculty Council, who will be the presiding officer during all discussions. Each of the candidates will be presented for discussion by the chairperson. The discussion of the committee will focus on the efforts of the candidate in all areas of review, with the understanding that teaching carries more weight for regional campus faculty. A statement reminding  the various administrative levels of review and assessment of the weighting criteria in Section C should be presented to the committee at the beginning of the review.
      • Each member of the committee will complete an evaluation form for each candidate and submit it to the Faculty Council Chair. The Chair will prepare a summary evaluation (that includes the weighting criteria in Section C) and recommendation to be forwarded to the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of the Columbiana County Campuses, with copy to the Departmental Chairperson, College Dean, and Vice President for Kent State System Integration. The Faculty Council Chair will also notify the candidate of the committee’s recommendation.
      • The Campus Dean and Chief Administrative Officer then reviews the materials for each candidate and with consideration of the recommendation of the Faculty Council Chair and the members of the Committee makes an independent recommendation to the College Dean, with copies to the Departmental Chair/Dean/Director, the Candidate, the Vice President for Kent State System Integration and the Provost.

      For complete guidelines see the timetable of the Tenure Review in the Annual Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Guide which is published by the office of the Provost.

    3. Promotion Review

      The Provost, initiating the promotion process, identifies those faculty eligible for promotion review and notifies appropriate departmental chairs and Regional Campus Deans. The Departmental/School/College FAC will formalize the list of potential candidates for promotion by a simple majority vote. The departmental chair then notifies the candidate that he/she has been nominated for promotion. This notification will take place during the Spring Semester, for consideration of promotion during the following academic year. This nomination does not confer favor or approval of the candidate, but only serves as notification. Faculty also may self-nominate or have their names entered by other faculty. Individual faculty have the right to remove their names from candidacy. All faculty nominees have the responsibility of providing all information pertinent to the nomination.

      Although promotion may be granted at any time, as recognition of outstanding performance, there are conventional expectations of years of service. Promotion sought prior to the conventional expectation to a particular rank is considered early promotion. Early promotion is unusual and is granted only under compelling and/or extraordinary circumstances.

      Regional Campus faculty nominees for promotion are to provide an electronic file of evidence. The file is to be reviewed with the candidate and the department chair/school director/college dean for completeness. The candidate and the chair must both digitally sign the Certification of File Completeness, and one copy of the file is sent to the Campus Dean and Chief Administrative Officer.

      The process for the review of those candidates to be considered for promotion is the same as for tenure and reappointment, with the following exceptions:

        1.   Candidates for promotion will be assessed by those who hold the rank for which they are applying or a higher one.
        2.   The faculty discussion about those who have applied for promotion will be limited to those who hold the rank or higher.
        3.   Promotion review to full professor requires that three letters from outside reviewers be added to the promotion file. These letters are solicited by the Chair of the Department/School Director/College Dean, from names submitted by the candidate. Copies are placed in the electronic FlashFolio. Also in compliance with the voting procedures, the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of the Regional Campus may ask for approval of the Provost to augment the Promotion Committee to bring the voting membership to four or more.
        4.   The Faculty Council Chair, regardless of his/her rank, will summarize the recommendations from the faculty who evaluated the candidates and send the summary to the Dean and Chief Administrative Officer and to the Department Chair/School Director/College Dean, along with a letter to the candidate, and the Provost.
    4. Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Review Committee

      The campus reappointment, tenure and promotion committee (RTP) will consist of all full-time tenured faculty whose primary assignment is the Columbiana County Campus at East Liverpool. The FC chair will convene the committee. After reviewing candidates’ files, the RTP members will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. The chair will take a straw vote of the RTP members regarding support or nonsupport of the candidates. Members will submit their written evaluation of each candidate to the chair. The chair will express these views in a letter which will be sent to the campus Dean and Chief Administrative Officer, the candidate, and the appropriate Kent Campus administrator. Copies of the written evaluations will also be included with the letter to the candidate and placed in the FlashFolio document.

  3. Guidelines for Weighting Evaluation Criteria

    Kent State University at East Liverpool considers the annual probationary reappointment review to be a formative and mentoring evaluation. It is an opportunity to help colleagues establish a record of performance in teaching, research and creative activity, as well as service/university citizenship that will be sufficient for continued reappointment and ultimately a successful tenure review. In return, each year candidates are expected to demonstrate through their self-reflection materials and improvement activities how they addressed issues raised in the previous year’s review. The electronic file submitted is to be an accurate, complete, and well-organized representation of the candidate’s record.

    Candidates for review are not evaluated along single, isolated dimensions of performance, but rather on their whole performance, viewed as a unified, integrated record of a teacher-scholar and university citizen. Because candidates are evaluated on their entire record, it is inappropriate to assume that excellence in one area can offset a deficiency in another. Generally, faculty will be evaluated on departmental/school criteria based on the following weighting:

    70% of the evaluation shall be based on demonstrated evidence of teaching effectiveness,

    15-20% of the evaluation shall be based on scholarship, and

    10-15% of the evaluation shall be based on service/university citizenship 

    There is an expectation that all tenure track faculty demonstrate an appropriate level of scholarship according to the faculty member’s discipline. Reappointment and tenure evaluations are guided by the following general principles, which reflect the mission and values of the campus:

    1. Teaching

      Because teaching is the primary mission of the East Liverpool Campus, the goal for a successful candidate for reappointment and eventual tenure is to demonstrate excellence in the scholarship of teaching, defined as “the act of teaching as well as the planning and examination of pedagogical procedures”. It may also include pedagogical research related to the discipline and disseminated for peer review. Performance in the act of teaching may be evaluated in multiple ways, including, but not limited to, effective course design and teaching materials, a pattern of positive comments on student evaluations, supportive peer evaluations, ongoing efforts to reflect upon and improve the act of teaching, and positive course evaluations (SSI scores).

      Teaching Criteria: (70% weighting)

      An Excellent rating in teaching would include but not limited to: Innovative teaching methods; constant assessment of effectiveness, superior student and peer evaluation of instruction that are consistent over time; development/revisions of courses in innovative ways using best practices; developing research projects for students (undergraduate and/or graduate); instructional creativity; actively participating in curricular revisions for a program; significant involvement in undergraduate projects and/or honors’ theses or projects or graduate theses; self-reflections on teaching with action plans to improve; and recognition of teaching excellence through instructional/teaching awards.

      A Significant rating in teaching would include but not limited to: Developing/revising courses to improve instructional delivery and student success; good student evaluations of instruction and good peer perceptions; work with graduate and/or undergraduate students in research or community outreach projects; self-reflections on teaching and evaluation of successes and areas of improvement; seeking out resources for instructional improvement and attending workshops/seminars on pedagogy.

      A Satisfactory Teaching rating would include appropriate delivery of course materials; good student and peer perceptions; appropriate updating of course materials; and self-reflective statement of instructional effectiveness.

    2. Research and Creative Activity

      Because active engagement with the discipline is necessary to remain current in teaching, a successful candidate for reappointment must demonstrate scholarship or creative activity appropriate to the discipline, which is disseminated for peer review. In early years of reappointment, the candidate must at least demonstrate the development of appropriate scholarship.

      By the time of the tenure review, it is expected that this scholarship will have been reviewed/performed/exhibited at the appropriate level of impact (e.g., international, national, regional) for the discipline. Note that the “appropriate level” refers to level of impact rather than to geography. For example, an artistic performance or exhibition could have a regional or national impact even though it is held locally. All candidates are to provide support for the case that their work is of an appropriate level for the discipline.

      Research and Creative Activity Criteria (15-20%)

      Excellence in scholarship would be demonstrated by a record of scholarship or creative work that exemplifies expertise in a field of study. For example, invitations to present papers/performances at national, international professional conferences; juried articles in important journals in a field of study or juried presentations/shows; presentations of papers, panels, workshops at professional meetings; research-related service to federal/state organizations; recognition from professional societies; receiving grants and awards for research or creative activities; advisory boards for major journals in the field of study or other related activities.

      A Significant rating in scholarship would be demonstrated by a record of research or creative activity demonstrating a level of expertise in the field of study. For example, research or creative activity that would have a regional or state audience; juried articles in regional or state journals; presentation of papers, workshops in conferences at state, regional or local levels; writing of grants for research or creative activities.

      A Satisfactory rating in scholarship would be demonstrated by a minimal amount of  scholarship in the discipline according to standards set by the department/school/college; attendance at regional or state conferences or workshops, presenting papers at conferences, workshops.

    3. Service/University Citizenship

      Service/University citizenship is expected of all tenure-track faculty. By the time of the tenure review, it is expected that the candidate will demonstrate a pattern of increasing service contributions, including some form of leadership (e.g., committee chair or campus representative) or a variety of lesser but noteworthy contributions. Faculty are encouraged to contribute to all levels of service: campus, department and university, and service to one’s profession.

      Service/University Citizenship (10-15% weighting)

      Excellence Significant leadership role at the Campus, College and/or University/Professional levels as evidenced by productive service on committees, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, specific administrative assignments, meaningful public outreach.

      Significance Involvement in campus and university wide committees, community presence; involvement as members on important campus and university committees; shows some leadership by chairing committees at the local level or county level.

      Satisfactory membership on standing campus committees and some community involvement; minimal leadership role.

  4. Evaluation Process Overview

    This section provides a guide on how the evaluation process can be done—without prescribing how it must be done—in order to facilitate evaluation consistency and to clarify expectations as reappointment and tenure ballot recommendations are made.

    A candidate’s performance in each category—teaching, research and creative activity/ scholarship, and service/university citizenship—can be evaluated using a four-rank scale of excellent, significant, satisfactory, and deficient. (See sections C1-3)

    Because of the differences among disciplines and publication, presentation, performance, and/or exhibition venues—and the year of the review process—it is inappropriate to quantify absolutely the scale noted above. Based on the standards of the relevant discipline, the testimony provided by the candidate’s file and peer reviewers, and the discussions during the Reappointment/Tenure Committee meetings, each member of the Committee must necessarily apply his or her own professional judgment in the review to make a final ballot recommendation. When all the evaluations are summarized, a recommendation regarding a candidate’s whole performance, viewed as a unified, integrated record of a teacher-scholar and university citizen emerges consistent with Section (C).

    Candidates standing for reappointment and tenure are strongly encouraged to acknowledge these facts as they prepare their files and to explain fully why they think their accomplishments should be considered excellent, significant, or satisfactory given their discipline, their year in the review process, and how they addressed issues raised in the previous year’s review.

    In a reappointment decision, evaluators are required to make a final ballot recommendation of “yes,” “yes with reservations,” or “no.” For tenure decisions, only final ballot recommendations of “yes” or “no” are possible. The minimum performance required for an unreserved positive ballot recommendation for a candidate’s reappointment or tenure can be illustrated by the following table:

    Teaching (C.1.)

    Research and Creative Activity (C.2.)

    Service (C.3.)

    excellent

    satisfactory

    Satisfactory

    significant

    significant

    Satisfactory

    significant

    satisfactory

    Excellent

    satisfactory

    excellent

    significant

    It should be made clear to both reviewers and candidates that this table does not attempt to identify every possible combination of performance leading to specific ballot recommendations, as that would be inconsistent with the intent of guidelines. Instead, it is consistent with and intended to signal the “general principles, which reflect the mission and values of the campus.” “Deficient” does not appear in the table because deficiency in any area signals that a “yes with reservation” or a “no” reappointment ballot recommendation is warranted. In the case of tenure, it signals that a negative ballot is indicated. Finally, it should be reemphasized that this table makes no attempt to quantify absolutely what constitutes excellent, significant, satisfactory, or deficient performance, which was discussed above.[1]

     

    1The Regional Campus librarians and library directors are members of the faculty of University Libraries. As such, these faculty members have duties and responsibilities to both their regional campus and to University Libraries. Like all Kent Campus UL faculty, the tenure-eligible and tenured Regional Campus librarians and library directors are expected to demonstrate evidence of scholarly activity, meeting the same tenure and promotion standards as Kent Campus UL faculty.

     

     

  5. Regular NTT Faculty Reviews

    Non-tenure track faculty (NTT) are reviewed according to the guidelines outlined in their own Collective Bargaining Agreement and their academic unit.  In evaluating NTT candidates for reappointment in the instructional track, primary consideration will be given to demonstrating strength on the instructional tract.

  6. Kent State University at East Liverpool Campus Criteria for NTT Faculty Three-Year, Six-Year, and Nine-Year Performance Reviews

    For full-time, non-tenure track teaching faculty members (NTT faculty), classroom instruction is the principal responsibility. The primary concern of NTT faculty in the three-year, six year, and nine-year performance reviews is the quality of their teaching. Criteria for teaching excellence will include the fulfillment of the following expectations. NTT faculty members:

    1. should be professional in the classroom, maintain order, and conduct class in a climate of civility and respect,
    2. should use the complete class time for instruction,
    3. should apply appropriate teaching techniques for a given course, depending upon class size and discipline,
    4. should remain current in the pedagogical theory of their disciplines and experiment with innovations in classroom teaching,
    5. should provide students and units with a syllabus that follows University procedures & guidelines.
    6. should evaluate student performance on a regular basis, and report grades in a timely manner according to University policy,
    7. should accommodate students with disabilities according to University and Federal and local policies,
    8. should receive satisfactory student evaluations from the approved evaluation measure.
    9. have a minimum of one per academic year peer review of their teaching.