Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Consideration for Tenure-Track Faculty | Management & Information Systems Handbook | Kent State University

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

All tenure-track faculty undergoing review for reappointment, tenure, and/or promotion are required to provide their portfolio for evaluation during the fall semester, save for those undergoing first year reviews, who are reviewed in the spring. In addition to the specific criteria for reappointment, tenure, and promotion noted below, candidates for reviews are required to demonstrate:

  • an up-to-date curriculum vita,
  • candidate’s letter of application and statement of teaching, research, and service objectives and self-evaluation of same,
  • instructional effectiveness,
  • publication in high quality academic journals recommended in the Department’s journal list and maintenance of academic qualifications as defined by the AACSB,
  • performance of service responsibilities in the Department, College and University,
  • involvement with external and professional organizations,
  • syllabi for courses taught during the period under review,
  • evaluation summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (SSI) for all courses taught during the period under review, and
  • three external letters of reference (tenure and promotion only).
  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 Department’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee comprised of the tenured members of the Department. The annual review also provides each untenured faculty member opportunity to receive feedback from the members of the Department Ad Hoc RTP committee as to the ways in which her/his performance, strengths, weaknesses, and contribution to the department mission are perceived.

    At least once before the 3rd year, the FAC, in consultation with the Chair, assigns two (2) faculty members to visit the classes of each probationary faculty member, interview students in the classes, and generally evaluate the faculty member’s teaching performance.  A written report of the evaluation is submitted to the Chair for placement in the faculty member’s reappointment file. Probationary faculty will also create an updated file that is presented to the Chair 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 Chair also independently assesses the accomplishments of each probationary faculty member. She/he informs the probationary faculty of the committee's recommendation and forwards her/his recommendation and that of the committee to the Dean.  Probationary faculty members who are not to be reappointed must be notified according to the schedule established by the Office of the Provost. For faculty members, whose appointment is at the Regional Campuses, recommendations on reappointment from the Chair 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 peer reviewed work including assessment of the impact (as measured by the quality of the journal publishing the paper) or citation indices such as Google Scholar. Specific concerns expressed by the Ad Hoc RTP Committee and/or the Chair 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, publication, and the academic profession is expected of all who seek reappointment in the Department.  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 Chair 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 Chair, in consultation with the FAC, will advise and work with the candidate on a suitable, positive plan for realignment with the Department’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.

    1. Tenure

      Each spring semester the Chair shall inform faculty members of their eligibility for tenure consideration during the next academic year. Faculty members being considered for tenure are responsible for preparing and organizing their dossiers for the purpose of tenure review.

      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 and scholarship, relevant to the mission of the candidate’s academic unit(s) and to the mission of the University. Tenure considerations can include evaluation of accomplishments prior to arrival at Kent State University 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.  The tenure decision is based on all of the evidence available to determine the candidate’s potential to pursue a productive career.

      Prima facie evidence of scholarship requisite for qualification for tenure shall be an appropriate mix of refereed journal articles, the majority of which appear in A+, A or B level journals.  The articles are expected to appear in the recommended College of Business Administration journal list or other journals demonstrated to be at least equivalent in quality.  The current College journal list is available from the department office.  The list may be updated by submitting information to the department FAC.

      Probationary faculty whose appointment carries no years of credit toward tenure shall undergo mandatory tenure review in the sixth (6th) year of their appointment. An assistant professor whose appointment carries some years of credit toward tenure will undergo mandatory tenure review in the year less the number of years of credit. The maximum number of credit toward tenure for an assistant professor is 2 years. A probationary faculty may, however, elect to apply for early tenure consideration. If unsuccessful, the candidate shall be re-evaluated at the normal time without prejudice.

    2. Promotion to Associate Professor

      Tenure and promotion are separate decisions. Promotion is recognition based on a candidate’s accomplishments completed during the review period and promotion decisions 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. 

      Promotion to Associate Professor is recognition for establishing a career likely to achieve national/international prominence as evidenced by papers published in refereed scientific literature, students graduated, etc.  As one of the senior ranks in academia, promotion to associate professor is earned by a requisite degree of effort and efficacy that goes beyond the minimum criteria for tenure. Promotion decision is governed by two major classes of criteria—academic credentials and university experience, and academic performance and service. While the former describes the nominal minimums of credentials and time-in-rank necessary for promotion consideration, the latter refers to the record of actual performance and accomplishments of the candidate.

      Under university regulations, a faculty member will usually not be considered for advancement to this rank until completion of 5 years as an assistant professor, but in extraordinary cases may be considered after completion of fewer years as an assistant professor. An initial appointment at the rank of associate professor may carry tenure. The right to early submission for promotion is provided without prejudice.

    3. Promotion to Full Professor

      Promotion to Professor recognizes the highest level of university achievement and national/international prominence. This is the most senior rank in academia. Consequently, the successful candidate for promotion to professor must have demonstrated a commendable and continuing record of activity across the domain of department criteria of professional performance and department citizenship in the time period preceding submission for promotion to professor.

      Candidates for promotion to professor are expected to show evidence of research leadership, demonstrated by sole authorship of A+, A, or B papers in recognized refereed journals, first authorship on a significant number of publications, and other similar forms of excellent professional performance. A faculty member may be considered for advancement to this rank after completing 5 years as an associate professor. An initial appointment at the rank of professor may carry tenure.

      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 Department.

  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 at the Kent Campus the faculty member must meet the criteria for a “very good” rating or better in both scholarship and teaching. At the Regional Campuses the faculty member must meet the criteria for “Good” rating or better in scholarship and a “very good” rating or better in teaching. University citizenship must at least meet the minimum Department criteria as outlined in Table 3.  These same categories and assessment tools apply for tenure decisions.

    A candidate for promotion to Professor at the Kent Campus must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in scholarship and “very good” or better in teaching. At the Regional Campuses the Faculty member must meet the criteria for a “very good” rating or better for scholarship and a “very good” rating or better in teaching. University citizenship must exceed the minimum Department criteria. A candidate for promotion to Professor may not have equal activity in scholarship, teaching and service as she/he becomes more specialized.

    Documentation of a Faculty member’s achievements will include a record of presentations in Department organized research seminars prior to a faculty member’s application for tenure or promotion. For Assistant Professors, this seminar will typically be presented during the faculty member’s third full year in this rank.  For promotion to Associate Professor and Professor, the seminar should be the year prior to an anticipated promotion application.

    1. Scholarship

      Scholarship 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 her/his scholarly activity.

      In addition to scholarly publications, other scholarly activities including, but not limited to serving on national professional organizations, presenting at refereed professional meetings, chairing society committees, and presenting papers before learned societies should be considered.  These latter activities complement 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. 

    2. Standards for the Evaluation of Scholarship and Research

      All faculty of the department are expected to seek excellence in scholarly activity. Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of scholarly activity is based are provided in Tables 1A and 1B.

      Indicators of the quality of a faculty member’s research record include the quality and quantity of published work.  All faculty members in the Department are expected to produce records of scholarship that reflect their disciplinary focus and the attributes of an individual faculty member’s scholarly activity will vary across disciplines.

      Table 1A. Evaluation Components for Assessment of Scholarship for promotion and tenure.

       

      Scholarship

       

      Definition

      Examples of Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score

       

      Excellent

      Nationally/ Internationally recognized research program

      Demonstrated record of publications1, invitations to give presentations, research-related service to external organizations, awards, recognition from scientific societies2

       

      Very Good

      Emerging nationally recognized research program

      Demonstrated record of publications, presentations at well recognized meetings with rigorous criteria for paper review.

       

      Good

      Active research program

      Some peer-reviewed

      publications, some presentations at meetings/seminars

       

      Weak

      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” and “recognition” throughout Table 1 A.

      1Publications include: papers in peer-reviewed journals of recognized quality (“A+, A or B” (See, Table 1-B)) and book chapters.  Evaluation of publication record will include an assessment of quality and impact on the field as well as quantity. 

      2Recognitions from scientific societies include, for example, election to office, editorial board membership, editorship, etc.

      Table 1B

      Journal Ranking for Guidance in RTP Decisions is listed in the Department’s web site at http://mis.kent.edu/jl.php, or through the Department office.

      A+ Journals

      Highest ranking journals in discipline as measured by established criteria

      A Journals

      High ranking journals in discipline as measured by established criteria

      B Journals

      Middle tier journals

      C Journals

      Low tier journals

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

      Within this context, during annual reappointment reviews, each faculty member who will seek tenure or promotion is obligated to provide evidence supporting her/his scholarly record.  This obligation will be met by providing specific information about article and journal quality and impact, 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 Department’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee and the Chair shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the Department’s expectations for a successful tenure decision.   

    3. Teaching

      Faculty members must prepare a syllabus for distribution at the beginning of each semester in each course they are teaching. A copy of the syllabus is to be on file in Department office by the end of the second week of the semester.  The syllabus must specify course prerequisites, department-approved learning objectives, last date to withdraw, the materials to be covered in the course, grading scale, assignments, approximate dates and number of examinations, and other details relevant to the effective management of the class.

      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 of web courses and formally proposing to change course content/format, etc.

      Other information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the Department, 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. 

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

       

      Scholarship 

       

      Definition

      Examples of 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

       

    4. University Citizenship

      A faculty member's contributions as a University citizen include service to the Department, the Campus, the College, and the University as outlined in Table 3, and are required of all faculty members as part of their regular workload. Service responsibilities should be distributed as equitably as possible to all members of the department.  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.  Citizenship also includes active participation in department events such as faculty and student recruitment, department meetings and seminars, etc.

      Being an active and useful citizen of the Department, 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.
       

      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 Department/Campus Obligations

      Does not meet obligations

      Does not meet Department/Campus obligations in a timely manner or does not actively participate in significant departmental/campus events

      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 Department.