Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion of Tenure Track (TT) Faculty | The Fashion School Handbook | Kent State University

Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion of Tenure Track (TT) Faculty

Many factors and criteria, both subjective and objective, are considered in recommending a faculty member for reappointment, tenure, and promotion including differentials in assignments. 

For the purposes of this policy, "scholarship" is broadly defined to include research, scholarly and creative work.  “Teaching” is broadly defined to include classroom instruction, curriculum development, course design and revision, research supervision, and mentoring among other related activities.  "Service" is broadly defined to include administrative service to the university, professional service to the faculty member's discipline, and the provision of professional expertise to public and private entities beyond the university (University Policy Register, section 06-15, section A).  In addition, consideration of the candidate’s personal integrity and professional behavior will be a factor, with the expectation that the Fashion School faculty observe ethical standards in all aspects of the academic profession.

  1. Reappointment

    In general, successful annual reappointment reviews for non-tenured TT faculty will show evidence of progress toward the requirements for tenure on three measurable criteria: research and/or creative scholarship, teaching, and service to the institution and the profession. In addition to these, consideration is given to personal integrity and professional behavior as recognized by the University community and as demonstrated in all aspects of scholarship, teaching, and service. Specific concerns expressed by the RT&P review committee and/or the director during annual reviews must be addressed by the candidate in subsequent reviews.

    1. Research and/or Creative scholarship (See Table 1. Evaluation Components for Research/Creative scholarship)

      To attain a rating of “very good”, candidates should be professionally active as researchers or creative scholars, indicated by publications and/or exhibitions each year, with a clear research focus emerging over time. As an external indicator of this activity, candidates will have begun to establish a strong positive professional reputation, with publications, presentations, and exhibitions at the regional, and increasingly, national and international levels which shows promise for making a significant impact on the field (or discipline) during the pre-tenure years. Ratings of “excellent” are awarded only exceptionally at this stage, since reputation is still being built.

    2. Teaching (See Table 2. Evaluation Components for Teaching)

      In order to be reappointed, candidates should attain a minimum rating of “good” in teaching by the end of the third year, recognizing that strong teaching takes time to develop. Candidates should demonstrate aspiration to “very good” ratings, even as differentials of assignment across The School mean that some assignments typically involve formats in which it is more difficult to achieve strongly positive results. Teaching quality will be evidenced in official teaching evaluation forms (SSIs), reports by peer reviewers based on observed classroom instruction, and/or other activity related to pedagogy, such as supervision of student research, advising, and curricular/course development.

    3. Service (See Table 3. Components of Evaluting Service)

      In order to be reappointed, candidates will have demonstrated active and cooperative service at one or more of the following levels: the program, division, school, college, university, and profession. This service and collegiality will increase as experience grows.

    4. Special Note for Reappointment

      The third-year review is particularly important: during this review, evidence for all three categories must rate minimally as “good,” with the understanding that a “very good” will be required for tenure. If at any time any criterion is assessed below the level of “good”, the candidate will, in consultation with the school director, devise plans for improvement and/or development, in order to attain levels of at least “very good.”

  2. Tenure

    Because tenure review is required in the next-to-last year of the probationary period, while promotional review is not mandated, tenure and promotion reviews require separate decisions.

    The granting of tenure is a decision that 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 achieved a body of scholarship that has had an impact on his/her discipline, demonstrated proficiency as a teacher, and has provided effective service.  The candidate is expected to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high quality scholarship, teaching, and service relevant to the mission of the candidate’s academic unit(s) and to the mission of the University.  Since this decision could result in life-long employment at this institution, it involves more than a mere survey of the candidate’s minimum quantifiable activities (University Policy and Procedures Regarding Faculty Tenure, section D, 28 November, 2001).

    Tenure considerations are based on documented achievements while a faculty member at this institution, yet can include evaluation of accomplishments prior to appointment at Kent State University to examine consistency, as well as grant proposals submitted but not funded, proposals pending, creative works and papers “in review” or papers “in press,” graduate students currently advised, and any other materials that may reflect on the candidate’s potential for a long-term successful career.  The tenure decision is based on all of the evidence available to determine the candidate’s potential to pursue a productive career.

    Indicators of a faculty member’s research and creative scholarship record include the quality and quantity of exhibitions and/or published work.  All faculty members in the School are expected to produce records that reflect their scholarly focus and the attributes of a candidate faculty member’s scholarly activity may vary across sub-disciplines within the fashion field.

    For Kent Campus TT faculty members to receive a positive recommendation for tenure, candidates must attain at least the level of “very good” in scholarship and/or creative scholarship on the indicators noted in the section titled “Criteria and Evaluation for Promotion and Tenure”. Teaching must also, at the minimum, be rated “very good” and service as “meets expectations.” 

  3. Promotion

    Promotion in rank shall be viewed as recognition of a faculty member's sustained and distinguished scholarship, teaching, and service. Promotion considerations are based on documented achievements while a faculty member at this institution, yet can include evaluation of accomplishments prior to appointment at Kent State University to examine consistency, as well as grant proposals submitted but not funded, proposals pending, creative works and papers “in review” or papers “in press,” graduate students currently advised, and any other materials that may reflect on the candidate’s potential for a long-term successful career. 

    1. Promotion to Associate Professor

      On the Kent campus, promotion to Associate Professor is recognition of a candidate for having established a career which has a research focus promising sustained development and which has begun to achieve national and/or international distinction deserving of an “excellent” or “very good” rating.  We recognize that not all TT faculty members will engage in every research activity, but distinction in scholarship will be evidenced by publications in refereed journals or with recognized presses; by exhibitions in prominent institutions, in distinguished company, or by selection of noteworthy individuals; by theses and projects directed; grants received; and/or by election to office in the relevant disciplinary/professional organization(s), and/or by appointment to boards or jury panels at the regional, national or international level as well as teaching evaluations and service to the University.

      Promotion is recognition based on a candidate’s accomplishments completed during the review period. For promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor, the faculty member must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in either “teaching” or “scholarship” with at least a “very good” rating in the other category. “Service” must at least meet the School expectation.

    2. Promotion to Professor

      On the Kent campus, promotion to Professor is recognition of a candidate for having brought his/her career to national or international prominence, with a demonstrated record of sustained scholarship and increased distinction in the discipline/field based on recognition by peers.  Promotion to Professor recognizes the highest level of university achievement and national/international prominence.  Evidence for this prominence includes a record of sustained scholarship and increased impact on the field.

      To achieve recognition for promotion to Full Professor, the candidate’s research/creative scholarship impact will be rated by peers as “excellent.” In addition to an “excellent” rating in research/creative scholarship, to achieve recognition for promotion to Full Professor, the candidate should also attain either an “excellent” rating in teaching or a rating of “exceeds expectations” in service.  The candidate will have made effective use of their professional and academic competence in service to the program, division, school, college, university, community, and/or profession.

  4. Components of Evaluation

    Scholarship, teaching, and service are essential and critical components of University activity. The originality, quality, impact and value of the work must be assessed.  To assist this process, the candidate shall submit the names of at least five (5) experts in his/her field who are considered capable of rating the candidate’s work based on the Evaluation Components in Tables 1, 2, and 3..  Moreover, the candidate must provide the Ad Hoc RTP Committee with ample descriptive evidence of his/her scholarship, teaching, and service.  A faculty member's specific area of specialization as well as differentials in assignments may be a factor in the scope and time required for scholarship and the resulting publications/outcomes. 

    1. Research/Creative Scholarship

      All faculty members in the School are expected to produce records of scholarship that reflect their disciplinary foci and the attributes of an individual faculty member’s scholarly activity may vary across sub-disciplines.  Indicators of a faculty member’s scholarship record include both quality and quantity of exhibitions and/or published work.   In addition to scholarly publications, creative scholarship, and funded research, other scholarly activities including but not limited to presenting at refereed professional meetings, presenting papers before learned societies, etc. should be considered.

      To achieve “excellent” in the category of scholarship at the time a faculty member stands for promotion, she/he should have established a scholarship program which demonstrates an impact upon his/her discipline.  Component of evaluation for scholarship are categorized and outlined below.

      a.  Recognition.  A TT faculty member’s scholarly reputation is a reflection of the quality, extent, and creativity of his/her research output and is, therefore, an issue that is carefully evaluated for advancement.  To be recommended for advancement, a candidate must provide evidence that his/her work has had an impact on the discipline.  Recognition by professional peers includes, for example, receipts of awards, citations or research, inclusion of images of work in publications, reviews of work in publications, invited lectures, and special honors on any type, including editorship of journals, invitation to service on boards and juries at an international or national level, curating of significant exhibitions, inclusion of work in significant public or private collections, and commissioned work.

      b.  Publications.  Evaluation of publication record will include an assessment of quality and impact on the field, as well as of quantity.  Publication in journals having stringent reviewing policies is more valued than publication in journals that are less rigorous in their editorial control.  The contribution made by publishing a book-scholarly/professional/textbook is judged, in general, on the amount of new content.  Research on teaching, pedagogy, student performance, and classroom instruction as well as external funding are included in this area.

      c.  Exhibitions.  Evaluation of the record of exhibitions will include an assessment of quality and impact on the field.  Exhibition in venues having stringent jury process is more valued than exhibition in venues that are less rigorous in their jury process. Consideration is given to documented showing of original work in solo, invited group/mixed or juried exhibitions and competitions.  Significance of the exhibition may be considered in relation to prestige of the sponsoring organization, venue, curator, juror, and/or inclusiveness/scope e.g., international, national, regional, or local.

      d. Grants.  Evaluation of the record of grants will include an assessment of quality and amount of grants received. Potential for external funding is limited in the fashion field, therefore, grant proposals submitted but not funded, and/or proposals pending may be considered for positive assessment.  However, while valuable, grants do not replace the importance of research dissemination.

      e.  Presentations.  Presentation of papers of original research/creative work will be evaluated according to significance of the venue and sponsoring organization with greater weight given to refereed presentations or peer-invited presentations to scholarly audiences. 

      f.  Related Activities.  TT faculty members are expected to be active participants in the field.  Some evidence of outside professional activity is necessary for advancement.  Examples of such activity would be curating an exhibition, non-refereed publications based on scholarly work, etc.

      Expectations in scholarship for promotion to Full Professor are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor.

      1. Table 1. Evaluation Components for Research/Creative Scholarship

        Scholarship Rating

        Research or Creative Scholarship is defined by:

        Typical Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment

        Excellent

        Associate Professor: Promising record

        with emerging national/international recognition

         

        Full Professor:

        Sustained record

        with national/international recognition

        Demonstrated significant record of peer-reviewed publications and/or exhibitions.  Presentations at professional meetings with rigorous peer review criteria.  Invitations to give presentations/lectures/exhibitions.  Review of works featured in national/international journals.  Recognition by professional organizations at regional/national/international level.  Recognition of scholarly impact by peers in the profession.

        Very Good

        Defined emphasis and emerging national recognition

        Demonstrated consistent record of peer-reviewed publications and/or exhibitions.  Presentations at professional meetings with peer review criteria. 

        Good

        Developing focus and active engagement

        Some Publications and/or exhibitions.  Some Presentations at professional meetings/seminars. 

        Fair

        Unfocused direction and limited engagement

        Occasional publications/exhibitions or meeting presentations.

        Poor

        Undefined research program or creative practice

        Few or no publications, presentations, exhibitions, or professional recognition.

    2. Teaching

      The mission of the Fashion School is “To inspire students to become creative and resourceful fashion leader.” Criteria for the evaluation of the teaching can include development and revision of courses, peer evaluations of teaching performance, student feedback, and other relevant documentation. 

      Other documentation information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the School, College or University administrators shall be considered when available.  Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (including all student comments) must be submitted as part of a candidate’s file for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  For tenure-track faculty, the FAC, in consultation with the Director, assigns two (2) faculty members to visit the classes of each probationary faculty member and/or candidate for promotion and generally evaluate the faculty member’s teaching performance.

      Copies of representative syllabi, tests/examinations, and other relevant teaching materials (such as project descriptions and rubrics, lesson plans) should also be available for review. Faculty members are expected to mentor students when appropriate.  Evaluation of teaching will account for differences in missions and expectations.

      a. Classroom Instruction.  Performance of the TT faculty member in the classroom is an important part of teaching evaluation and includes such characteristics as preparedness, coherence, innovation, interest-level, organization, interpersonal communication, etc.  The quality of course content and student learning experience is also critically important.

      b. Curriculum Development, and Course Design and Revision.  Indicators of active engagement in curriculum development, design, and revision including development of a brand new course, revision of existing course, updating the overall curriculum to maintain currency in appropriate new  concepts, and methods.  Course revision is defined as making a substantial modification to a course such as developing several new laboratories, addition of distance learning options, formally proposing to change course content/format, etc. Teaching related grants also indicate innovation and engagement in curriculum development.  Course or curriculum revision is defined as making a substantial modification in a course or curriculum.

      c. Research Supervision.  The supervision of undergraduate and graduate student research is an integral part of the responsibility of TT faculty members and properly serves as an important area in consideration for advancement.  Graduate TT faculty members are responsible for the educational and professional development of graduate students and are expected to be actively engaged in this endeavor.  The level and quality of supervision and service on committees are also important factors in evaluation of this aspect of teaching. 

      d. Other Indicators.  These could include supervision of teaching assistants, assuring professional and creative learning environment in the studio or classroom, but activity is not limited to the aforementioned.

      Expectations in teaching for promotion to Full Professor are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor.

      1. Table 2. Evaluation Components for Teaching

        Scholarship Rating

        Definition

        Typical Activities Corresponding to the Assessment

        Excellent

        Innovative teacher; provides leadership in instructional development and maintains high achievement on course evaluation and peer reviews

        Actively participates in curricular development/revisions.

        Demonstrates evidences excellent student evaluations and peer review. Demonstrates instructional creativity and effort. Establishes excellent record of graduate and/or undergraduate students in research and/or creative scholarship.  Receives recognition of educational impact by peers in the institution and profession.

        Very Good

        Innovative teacher; maintains very good course evaluations and peer reviews

        Develops/revises curriculum, establishes good student evaluations and peer review. Demonstrate good record of fostering graduate and/or undergraduate students in research and/or creative scholarship.

        Good

        Effective teacher; maintains good course evaluations and peer reviews

        Develops/revises curriculum, establishes mixed (moderate to good) student evaluations and peer review.

        Develops moderate level of fostering graduate and undergraduate research projects and/or creative activity.

        Fair

        Substandard teacher; meets minimal expectations; below average course evaluations and peer reviews

        Establishes below-average student evaluations and peer review; has limited supervision of student research, limited participation in curriculum development and/or revision.

        Poor

        Substandard, ineffective teacher; unacceptable course evaluations and peer reviews

        Establishes below-average student and peer perceptions, Receives as a pattern of complaints Have not engaged in curriculum development or research supervision

    3. Service

      A probationary faculty member's and/or candidate’s promotion’s contributions as a University citizen may include service to the School, the Campus, the College, the University, and the Profession as appropriate to his/her status.  The merits of University and Professional 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 service include active participation in School events such as faculty and graduate student recruitment, seminars, meetings and seminars, etc.

      As a component of service, faculty members are expected to hold membership in professional societies, attend and participate in conferences and seminars, insofar as such activities enhance their professional competency.  Organizing conferences, seminars, and workshops; reviewing for journals; holding office in a professional organization; serving on professional committees; serving on exhibition juries or as juror; editing or writing for a popular publication or newsletter, etc. will be recognized as impactful service.

      Other components of service are also considered (including public outreach and public and professional service) in decisions and may differ in their importance among faculty members depending on each faculty member’s duties and responsibilities within the School.  Service activities – to the program, division, school, college, university, community, and/or profession – will have increased in significance and visibility over the review period and will have been carried out with recognized effectiveness and cooperation.

      Being an active and useful citizen of the School, Campus, College, University, and Profession is expected and valued; however, service of any magnitude cannot be considered more important than a candidate’s Research/Creative Scholarship and instructional responsibilities.

      Expectations in service for promotion to Professor are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor.

      1. Table 3. Components of Evaluating Service

        Service

        Typical Activities Corresponding to the Assessment

         

        Exceeds Expectations

        Plays significant role (including some leadership) in the division, school, college, university and national/international professional organizations, as evidenced by collegial engagement with committee work and related functions including public outreach.

        Meets Expectations

        Has some participation in the division, school, college, university, and national/international professional organizations, as evidenced by collegial engagement with committee work and related functions including minimal public outreach.

        Does Not Meet Expectations

        Does not engage in division, school, college, university committee work or functions, or does not participate in a collegial manner