Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Criteria | Kent State University

Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Criteria

The weighting of reappointment, tenure and promotion criteria and the criteria and processes relating to other faculty personnel actions

  1. General Appointment, Employment Procedures and Regulations

    The responsibilities of faculty at the Salem Campus are the same that exist at every other campus of Kent State University: teaching, scholarship, and university citizenship.  The role of the Regional Campuses emphasizes teaching.

    Procedures followed at this campus regarding appointment of new faculty are in accord with established University policies, including implementation of Affirmative Action policy procedures.

    Any prospective faculty member’s appointment to the Salem Campus must be approved by the Campus Dean, the Senior Vice President and Provost, the President, and the Board of Trustees.

  2. Procedure for Appointment

    Procedures Leading to Tenure Track Appointments. The procedure for appointing a faculty member to the Salem Campus begins with the Staffing Needs Committee’s identification of needed faculty members.  The Staffing Needs Committee seeks approval from the Faculty Council, which recommends to the Campus Dean, who then seeks approval from the Senior Vice President and Provost.

    A job description is written in consultation with the campus faculty members in the same department that establishes the qualifications for the position, describes the nature of the position, establishes deadline dates for application, and names a contact person to receive the applications.   The position is then advertised appropriately according to University policy. (See https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/operational-procedures-and-regulations-regarding-job-communication.)

    The Search Committee may be appointed prior to the writing of a job description. The Campus Dean appoints and charges search committees.   The department chair is asked to suggest a department member to serve on the search committee.

    The search committee is responsible for identifying a short list of candidates to be submitted to the department chair for review and approval.  From the list of candidates approved by the department, the search committee submits a list of three or four candidates to the Campus Dean. A search committee, if it so chooses, may rank the candidates (CBA, Article VI, Section VI).

    Offer of Appointment. Once a person has been selected for a position, and the process is reviewed by the Office of Affirmative Action, an offer of appointment will be made by the Campus Dean. The written offer will minimally include: department of the prospective faculty member, dates and periods of appointment; type of employment, rank, salary, major assignment and duties, special and/or additional assignments; a description of the processes of review and assessment for reappointment, tenure, promotion; other terms of appointment, such as the initial Regional Campus to which the faculty member is assigned and the possibilities of summer teaching.

    This letter and one copy are sent to the prospective faculty member for signature and return. All appointments are subject to the approval of the Provost, President, and Board of Trustees.

    Full Time Tenure-Track Faculty Ranks. The Salem Campus follows the University policy with respect to faculty rank as set forth in the University Register:

    The ranks are as follows:

              Assistant Professor

              Associate Professor

              Professor

    Assignment or advancement to these ranks normally occurs by promotion or upon initial appointment when specific criteria are met.

    Procedures for Appointment of Full Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty.  Non-Tenure Track appointments are possible according to rules set forth in the University Register.

    Non-Tenure Track appointments are covered by a separate Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA: http://aaupksu.org/ftntt/content/ftntt_cba_2016_unsigned.pdf).

    Non-Tenure Track appointments carry with them only those benefits designated by the CBA. There is no institutional obligation beyond the period of Non-Tenure Track appointment.  Faculty are appointed in one of four tracks:

    1. Instructional
    2. Clinical
    3. Practitioner
    4. Research

    Multiple Campus Appointments. Faculty members may be appointed to teach at more than one campus. Primary assignment for Faculty Council representation will be determined annually based upon the teaching load in the Fall Semester.  However, for Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion decisions, the home campus is defined by the original offer letter.

  3. Teaching Evaluation

    Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty Evaluation. Student evaluation and review of faculty performance are important sources of information, both for the individual faculty member in his/her professional growth and for the University, especially in regard to evaluations associated with reappointment, tenure, and promotion.  Within each academic unit and within the Regional Campuses, mechanisms have been established to accomplish the goals of review and of evaluation in accordance   with University policy and the CBA regarding promotion, and tenure.  For such review, information must be offered that reflects systematic evaluation of teaching performance by students and peers. The procedures for such evaluations are described below.

    Student Evaluations. A standard university-wide Student Survey of Instruction form is used to evaluate faculty.  Faculty should follow the instructions for administering these evaluations. Faculty receive tabulated results including student comments after the end of the semester of said class and after grades have been processed. The Dean, in consultation with Program Directors/Coordinators and the Assistant/Associate Dean, is responsible for maintaining quality learning environments within programs.

    Peer Evaluations. Faculty members, especially probationary faculty and those seeking promotion, are expected to invite colleagues to evaluate their teaching on a regular basis.  Faculty are especially encouraged to seek evaluations from senior faculty, both from the Salem Campus and from their department.  Faculty are encouraged to speak with department chairs or coordinators about departmental peer evaluation procedures and requirements.

    Additional Evaluations. Faculty are encouraged to use additional methods of evaluating teaching and learning, which may include but are not limited to development of a teaching portfolio, evaluations from experts in the field from outside the University,  student focus groups, and other forms of scholarly examination of teaching.

    Non-Tenure Track Faculty Evaluation. The teaching evaluation procedures for Non-Tenure Track Faculty are the same as those for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty.

  4. Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion

    This section of the Handbook includes information concerning policies and procedures that govern processes of decision-making concerning such important issues as reappointment, tenure, and promotion of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty and reappointment of Non-Tenure Track Faculty within the Regional Campus system. In the case of academic personnel reviews, care should be taken to review the documents and instructions circulated early each fall semester by the Office of the Provost for specific procedures to be followed.

    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 in the University Policy Register (https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/chapter-6-personnel).

    Promotion, tenure and reappointment within the Regional Campus system closely follow Kent Campus patterns, but provides for an advisory and recommendatory role for the RTP Committee of the Faculty Council at the individual campus and for the Campus Dean. This procedure recognizes that Regional Campus faculty hold membership in an academic department while discharging their responsibility at an assigned regional campus.

    Criteria for consideration of candidates for promotion, tenure, and reappointment, as well as minimal expectations of performance and years in rank, are described in detail or referenced 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 the Kent Campus unit handbooks and in the Salem Campus Handbook.

    All Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty are eligible at certain times for tenure and/or promotion review according to years of service and rank differentiations. These are described by the materials distributed by the Office of the Provost.  Faculty should be aware that under certain circumstances they may request the modification of the probationary period.  (See https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/university-policy-and-procedure-governing-modification-faculty-probationary-period.)

    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 and timetables under separate guidelines.

    The University establishes a timetable for personnel actions for faculty. This varies from year to year.  Faculty seeking promotion, tenure, or reappointment should determine this schedule well in advance of the fall semester. Faculty members are strongly encouraged to seek out institutional resources that are periodically made available by the University and AAUP regarding file organization and construction. As a practical matter, preparation of materials and consultation with the department chair should be ongoing.

  5. Reappointment - Tenure Track

    Annual review of tenure track faculty for reappointment shall be undertaken each year until they are considered for tenure. Annual review is often undertaken at approximately the same time as promotion and tenure decisions, but specific time-tables are established for the completion of each kind of review. (See https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/university-policy-and-procedures-regardin....)

    Upon notification from the Office of the Provost, which involves circulating timetables, guidelines, and other information to unit chairs, the unit chair notifies the unit that review is to begin and invites each candidate to submit evidence in support of a favorable recommendation.  Each candidate prepares an on-line portfolio. Candidates are strongly advised to meet personally with the department chair and a Salem Campus senior faculty member from the same or a cognate discipline concerning the content and organization of the file. The candidate and the department chair must both certify file completeness.

    On the Salem Campus, each tenured member of the campus FC reviews the files of the candidate and makes an independent written evaluation for or against reappointment.  After a meeting of the tenured Faculty for purposes of discussion, the written evaluations and votes are forwarded to the Salem FC chair, who tabulates the votes and writes a letter of recommendation to the Campus Dean, including the faculty written evaluations for inclusion in the on-line portfolio.

  6. 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 excellence as a teacher, a significant body of scholarship, and has provided effective service. The candidate must also be 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), the Salem campus, and to the university.

    Upon receipt of pertinent materials from the Office of the Provost, unit chairs notify faculty who are eligible for tenure review in the fall.  Faculty so identified are notified by the unit and they prepare an on-line portfolio of evidence in support of their review.  Candidates are strongly advised to meet personally with the chair and a Salem Campus senior faculty member from the same or a cognate discipline concerning the contents of the file.  The candidate and the Chair must both certify file completeness, which is added to the on-line portfolio. (See https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/university-policy-regarding-faculty-tenure.)

  7. Promotion Review

    Upon receipt of documents from the Office of the Provost initiating the promotion process, unit chairs notify eligible faculty for promotion. Although promotion may be granted at any time as recognition of outstanding performance, and is thus early promotion, there are conventional expectations of years of service within rank.

    A faculty member will usually not be considered for advancement to associate professor until completion of five (5) years as an assistant professor, but in extraordinary cases may be considered after completion of fewer years as an assistant professor. A non-tenured faculty member applying for promotion to the rank of associate professor must also undergo a successful tenure review.

    A faculty member will usually not be considered for advancement to professor until completion of five (5) years as an associate professor, but in extraordinary cases may be considered after completion of fewer years as an associate professor. A non-tenured faculty member applying for promotion to the rank of full professor must also undergo a successful tenure review. (See https://www.kent.edu/policyreg/university-policy-regarding-faculty-tenure)

  8. Criteria for Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion

    Candidates for reappointment, tenure, and promotion are evaluated on their teaching, scholarship, and service. Because the primary focus of Salem Campus is teaching, teaching is the major evaluative category (70%).  Candidates may choose to have their scholarship/creative activity and service weighted as either 10 or 20% of their evaluation; if, for example, scholarship is weighted at 10%, service must be weighted at 20%. Each year the candidate should specify the weighting of scholarship and research in the review file.

    These percentages do not represent faculty workload but rather the weight that file reviewers should give to each category.

    Teaching (70%)

    Salem Campus expects candidates for reappointment to be moving from developing teachers in initial years of review to excellent teachers for tenure and to teacher-leaders for promotion. The following descriptions suggest ways to provide evidence of teaching practice.

    Excellence in 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, on- going efforts to reflect upon and improve the act of teaching and positive Student Survey of Instruction scores.

    A developing teacher:

    • Engages in innovative teaching practices
    • Participates in faculty professional development
    • Develops assignments, assessments, and other teaching artifacts
    • Assesses effectiveness of student learning
    • Reflects on teaching and teaching evaluations with action plans for improvement
    • Has good peer evaluations
    • Has good student evaluations

    An excellent teacher:

    • Develops curricula
    • Develops teaching-related publications and presentations
    • Involves students in research and/or service learning
    • Advises and mentors students
    • Engages in innovative teaching practices
    • Participates in faculty development
    • Develops assignments, assessments, and other teaching artifacts
    • Reflects on teaching and teaching evaluations with action plans for improvement
    • Has good peer evaluations
    • Has good student evaluations

    A teacher leader:

    • Develops community partnerships for learning
    • Assesses effectiveness continuously
    • Develops teaching-related publications and presentations
    • Involves students in research and/or service learning
    • Advises and mentors students and/or other faculty members
    • Engages in innovative teaching practices
    • Participates in and conducts faculty development
    • Develops assignments, assessments and other teaching artifacts
    • Reflects on teaching and teaching evaluations with action plans for improvement
    • Has excellent peer evaluations
    • Has excellent student evaluations
    • Receives recognition for teaching excellence

    Scholarship/Creative Activity (10 or 20%)

    Salem Campus expects tenure-track faculty members to engage in scholarly pursuits.  Candidates for reappointment should demonstrate clear plans for a research program that shows promise toward refereed publications and/or presentations. By the third year, candidates should show evidence of at least one refereed publication, presentation, or equivalent peer-reviewed scholarly/creative activity. By the tenure year, the candidates should have a developed research program with regular refereed publication and presentation.  For promotion to associate rank, candidates should show evidence of regional/national impact.  For promotion to professor, candidates should show evidence of national and/or international recognition, demonstrated by a record of scholarly work that has an impact on the discipline and/or teaching in higher education.

    Other demonstrations of scholarship and creative activity include internal and external grants, publication and presentation about pedagogy, some forms of engagement with the community (production of oral histories, for example), performance events and exhibitions, as well as publication of poems, fiction, or creative non-fiction.

    Service (10 or 20%)

    Probationary faculty members are expected to participate in service at the campus level in the early years of reappointment.  In addition to campus service, faculty members approaching their tenure year should engage in department or university service. Faculty members striving for promotion should have a significant role in campus, department, college, and/or university governance as demonstrated by productive service on committees, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, meaningful public outreach, and other professional service. Service to state, regional, national and international professional organizations is also valuable.  Because the Salem Campus is closely connected with the community, faculty members are encouraged to serve that community in meaningful ways.  Faculty service contributions should be documented.

  9. Reappointment - Full-Teime Non-Tenure Track Faculty

    For full-time non-tenure track faculty on the teaching track, the administration reviews Student Surveys of Instruction annually to determine annual reappointment. The Salem Campus tenured faculty members begin reviewing files during the third year full review.

    Full Performance Reviews occur during the third and sixth year of consecutive reappointment. (CBA Article X.) On the Salem Campus, each tenured member of the campus FC reviews the files of the candidate and makes an independent written evaluation for or against the candidate. After a meeting of the tenured Faculty for purposes of discussion, the written evaluations and votes are forwarded to the Salem FC chair, who tabulates the votes and writes a letter of recommendation to the Campus Dean, including the faculty written evaluations for inclusion in the on-line portfolio.

    The file for third and sixth year review will include:

    1. A self-evaluation providing an assessment of the candidate’s teaching/administrative performance and contributions during the review period. The self-evaluation should include teaching activities and innovations, course development, and professional development activities.  It may also include campus, unit, and university service; performance reviews; research activity and other evidence of instructional and/or professional effectiveness.
    2. Updated Curriculum vitae.
    3. Workload statements for the period under review.
    4. Summaries of SSIs and students’ written comments on the SSIs.
    5. Syllabi from courses taught during the review period.
    6. Peer evaluation of teaching (one is expected, two are preferred).
    7. FTNTT Faculty members in the Practitioner, Clinical or Research tracks should include documentation which demonstrates the effective performance of their assigned duties and responsibilities within their respective tracks

    The file may also include additional methods of evaluating teaching and learning, which may include development of a teaching portfolio, letters from experts in the field from outside the University, student focus groups, and other forms of scholarly examination of teaching.

    In the 9th year of consecutive appointments and every three years thereafter until the 18th year of employment, non-tenure track faculty undergo a Simplified Performance Review (CBA Article X).  The Non-Tenure Track Collective Bargaining Agreement specifies inclusion of a self-evaluation of professional activities, curriculum vitae, and SSI summaries (if applicable). On the Salem Campus, each tenured member of the campus FC reviews the files of the candidate and makes an independent written evaluation for or against the candidate. After a meeting of the tenured Faculty for purposes of discussion, the written evaluations and votes are forwarded to the Salem FC chair, who tabulates the votes and writes a letter of recommendation to the Campus Dean, including the faculty written evaluations for inclusion in the on-line portfolio

    During the 18th year of consecutive appointments, and every three (3) years thereafter, the FTNTT faculty member will go through a more informal Administrative Performance Review (CBA Article X) with the Salem Campus Dean.  The FTNTT faculty member will submit a curriculum vitae and a narrative of one to three pages in which the FTNTT Faculty member describes her/his professional activities during the past three (3) years to the Campus Dean.  The Campus Dean will schedule a meeting with the FTNTT faculty member.  The meeting will constitute the review. 

    In the unusual case when a FTNTT Faculty member is approved for a three-year term of annually renewable appointments and the Campus Dean determines that a subsequent review is needed due to performance concerns, the Campus Dean will include a performance plan and timeline for this subsequent review in the written summary of the review provided to the FTNTT Faculty member.