Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Consideration for Tenure-Track Faculty

  1. Reappointment

    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 School’s ad hoc RTP Committee. The FAC, in consultation with the Director, assigns a minimum of two faculty members to visit the classes of each probationary faculty member, and generally evaluate the faculty member’s teaching performance. A written report of the evaluation is submitted to the Director for placement in the faculty member’s reappointment file. Probationary faculty will also create an updated file that is presented to the Director who will make these materials 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. 


    The Director independently assesses the accomplishments of each probationary faculty member and forwards her/his recommendation and the committee's recommendation to the Dean. The Director informs probationary faculty of the committee's recommendation and provides a copy of her/his recommendation to the Dean. Probationary faculty members who are not to be reappointed must be notified according to the schedule established in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. For faculty members whose appointment is in the Regional Campuses, recommendations on reappointment from the Director are forwarded to the Dean and the appropriate Regional Campus Dean.


    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 short- and long-term plans for achieving these goals. For faculty members following the traditional tenure clock for Assistant Professors, the review after completion of three (3) full years in the probationary period at Kent State University is particularly critical. Upon completion of the third year of the probationary period, faculty reviewing a candidate for reappointment should consider the record of the candidate’s achievements to date. This record should be considered a predictor of future success. 


    The hallmark of a successful candidate is a record of compelling evidence of impact upon the discourse of her/his discipline. This record can be demonstrated through review of the candidate’s performances, exhibitions, installations, grants, peer reviewed work including assessment of the impact (as measured by the quality of the journal publishing the paper/journal impact factor) or citation indexes such as Google Scholar. Specific concerns expressed by the ad hoc RTP Committee and/or the Director during this stage of the probationary period 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 personal integrity and professional behavior as recognized by the University community. A sound ethical approach to all aspects of teaching, research, creative activity, publication, and the academic profession is expected of all who seek reappointment in the School. A candidate who fails to demonstrate likely success in the tenure process will be notified promptly that she/he will not be reappointed.


    In the event that concerns about a candidate’s performance are raised during the reappointment process, the ad hoc RTP Committee and the Director shall provide detailed, prescriptive comments to serve as constructive feedback. If such concerns arise during a review that occurs after completion of three (3) full years in the probationary period, the Director, in consultation with the FAC, will advise and work with the candidate on a suitable, positive plan for realignment with the School’s tenure and promotion expectations; however, the candidate is solely responsible for her/his success in implementing this plan.


    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 procedures governing modification of the faculty probationary period is included in the University Policy Register. (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-13)


  2. 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). Each academic year, tenure and promotion guidelines for Kent and Regional Campus faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost. Tenure and promotion are 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 significant body of scholarship that has had an impact on her/his discipline, excellence as a teacher, and has provided effective service. The candidate is also expected to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high quality teaching, scholarship and service relevant to the mission of the candidate’s academic unit(s) and to the mission of the University. For tenure, evaluation may refer to (but not count) accomplishments prior to appointment at Kent State in order to establish consistency. 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 may be considered. The tenure decision is based on all of the evidence available to determine the candidate’s potential to pursue a productive career. On the other hand, promotion is recognition based on a candidate’s accomplishments completed during the review period and promotion decisions are based on performances, exhibitions and installations reviewed, papers published, grants received and graduate students graduated during the review period, as well as teaching evaluations and service to the University. 


    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 and/or international prominence as evidenced by performances, exhibitions and installations reviewed, extramural grants received, papers published in the refereed literature, students graduated, etc., as appropriate to the discipline. Promotion to Professor recognizes the highest level of university achievement and national and/or international prominence. Evidence for this prominence may include a record of sustained creative activity in highly significant venues, major extramural funding from highly competitive funding sources, and a record of increased prominence in and impact on the field, as appropriate to the discipline. 


    Many factors and criteria, both subjective and objective, are considered in recommending a faculty member for tenure and advancement in academic rank. The overall evaluation of a candidate for tenure and promotion shall include consideration of the faculty member'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 tenure and promotion in the School.


  3. Criteria for Tenure and Promotion

    The ad hoc RTP Committee shall consider the following areas of faculty performance when making recommendations on tenure and promotion. The tables and text below are designed to facilitate assessment of performance of those candidates who are being evaluated for tenure and promotion. During the probationary period, these tools should be used for developmental assistance and projection of future success in achieving tenure and promotion.


    Tables 1 (A and B), 2, and 3 provide guidelines for the assessment of a faculty member’s performance and a rating scale for use in the evaluation of candidates. For promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor the faculty member must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in either scholarship or teaching with at least a “very good” rating in the other category. University citizenship must at least meet the minimum School criteria as outlined in Table 3. These same categories and assessment tools apply for tenure decisions.


    A candidate for promotion to Professor must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in scholarship and teaching.  University citizenship must exceed the minimum School criteria. A candidate for promotion to Professor may not necessarily have equal activity in scholarship, teaching and service as he/she becomes more specialized.

    1. Scholarship and Creative Activity

      Scholarship, research and creative activity is an essential and critical component 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 her/his field who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work. Moreover, the candidate must provide the ad hoc RTP Committee with ample descriptive evidence of his/her scholarly activity. A faculty member'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. 


      In addition to creative activity, funded research and scholarly publications, other scholarly activities including but not limited to serving on national grant review bodies, presenting at refereed professional meetings, chairing society committees, and presenting papers before learned societies should be considered. These later activities complement creative activity, scholarly publications and grant funded research. Faculty members are expected to hold membership in professional societies, attend and participate in institutes and seminars, organize institutes, seminars, and workshops, insofar as such activities enhance their professional competency. 

      1. Standards for the Evaluation of Scholarship and Creative Activity

        All faculty of the School are expected to seek excellence in scholarly activity. Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of scholarly activity is based are provided in Table 1.


        Indicators of the quality of a faculty member’s research and creative activity record include the quality and quantity of performances, exhibitions, installations and published work as well as the faculty member’s success in obtaining extramural funds. All faculty members in the School are expected to produce records of scholarship and creative activity that reflect their disciplinary focus and the attributes of an individual faculty member’s scholarly activity will vary across disciplines.


        To achieve “excellent” in the category of scholarship at the time a faculty member stands for tenure and promotion, she/he should have established a record of research and / or creative activity which demonstrates continued and sustained accomplishment.


        Within this context, during annual reappointment reviews, each faculty member who will seek tenure or promotion is obligated to provide evidence supporting his/her scholarly record. This obligation will be met by providing specific information about the significance of performances, exhibitions and installations, article and journal quality and impact, funding history and plans, and description in the faculty member’s supplementary materials of any other evidence of scholarship that the faculty member deems appropriate. In turn, the members of the School’s ad hoc RTP Committee and the Director shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the School’s expectations for a successful tenure decision.   


        Responsibilities of music faculty may include teaching courses in both academic and performance areas. In these cases, scholarly activities may be reported separately or together. Evaluation of such portfolios will be based on the proportion of assigned responsibilities as indicated by load credits.


        Table 1. Kent Campus Faculty: Evaluation Components for Assessment of Scholarship for Promotion and Tenure.




        Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score


        Sustained focus with nationally and/or internationally recognized research program, and/or body of creative activity

        Demonstrated record of publications1 and grants2, and/or performances, exhibitions and installations, invitations to give presentations, research-related service to federal/state organizations, awards, recognition from artistic and/or  scientific societies3

        Very Good

        Emerging nationally

        recognized research program, and/or body of creative activity

        Demonstrated record of publications and ”seed” grants, and/or performances, exhibitions, installations and presentations at well recognized  meetings or venues with rigorous review criteria.


        Active research program and/or body of creative activity

        Some peer-reviewed

        publications or ”seed” grants, some performances, exhibitions, installations or presentations at meetings/seminars


        Limited research program and/or body of creative activity

        Occasional publications, performances, exhibitions, installations or

        meeting presentations


        No research program and/or body of creative activity

        No publications, performances, exhibitions, installations,

        presentations, or grants

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


        1Publications include: papers in peer-reviewed journals of recognized quality, as well as journals, 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 support research at a level and duration appropriate for the discipline, including, as appropriate funds for supplies, materials and personnel (graduate students, research technicians and/or post-doctoral associates). “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, artistic and scholarly 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.

        See Appendices 5.B and 5.C for additional music criteria for Reappointment / Tenure/ and Promotion

  4. Teaching

    Criteria for the evaluation of teaching are listed in Table 2. 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.


    Other 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. Copies of representative syllabi, examinations, and other relevant teaching material should also be available for review. Documentation related to graduate student, undergraduate student, and post-doctoral student training should be included in materials provided by a candidate for reappointment, tenure and promotion. Faculty members are expected to mentor graduate students (particularly at the doctoral level) and/or postdoctoral students. Evaluation of teaching will account for differences in missions and expectations across campuses. 


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




    Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score


    Innovative teacher; provides leadership in instructional

    development, and maintains high achievement as evidenced in course, peer, and committee evaluations


    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 who  maintains very good teaching evaluations


    Develop/revise courses, good student and peer perceptions, work with graduate and/or undergraduate students in research and/or creative activity


    Meets obligations well and   maintains good teaching evaluations


    Good student and peer perceptions



    Substandard teaching that meets minimal expectations


    Below average student and peer perceptions



    ineffective teaching

    Below average student and peer perceptions, pattern of




  5. Service and University Citizenship

    A faculty member's contributions as a University citizen include service to the School, 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 listed and (2) the importance of the service to the mission of the unit served. Less tangible components of citizenship include active participation in School events such as faculty and graduate student recruitment, seminars, School meetings and seminars, etc.


    Being an active and useful citizen of the School, 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.



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


    Service and University Citizenship Rating


    Examples of Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score

    Exceeds obligations

    Significant role in School, 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 School/Campus


    Does not meet obligations

    Does not meet School/Campus

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

     B. 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 School.