Appointment and Review of Tenure-Track Faculty | Kent State University

Appointment and Review of 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 (See, Section III of this Handbook). Probationary Faculty members are expected to work with the School Director to identify at least one (1) faculty member each year to visit their class and evaluate their teaching performance.  A written report of the evaluation is submitted to the Director for placement in the Faculty member’s reappointment file. Probationary Faculty members also will 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 members 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 compelling evidence of the potential to have an impact upon the discourse of her/his discipline. This record can be demonstrated through peer reviewed work and other significant scholarly contributions in one or more established lines of inquiry, as well as a clear and focused plan for building on this work. 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, 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 the University’s 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.  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 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. On the other hand, promotion is recognition based on a candidate’s accomplishments completed during the review period and promotion decisions are based on papers published and accepted, grants received and graduate students graduated during the review period, as well as high quality teaching evaluations and service to the University and the profession consistent with his/her faculty assignment.

  3. Criteria for Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion

    The School has undergraduate programs in the following areas: Athletic Training, Exercise Science, Health Education and Promotion, Integrated Health Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Speech Pathology and Audiology. At the graduate level, the School offers Master's degrees in the following program areas: Athletic Training, Exercise Physiology, Health Education and Promotion, and Speech Pathology, Health Education and Promotion, Nutrition and Dietetics and doctoral programs in Health Education and Promotion, Exercise Physiology, and Speech Pathology, and Audiology. Because of the diverse nature of the Faculty in this School, evaluation of faculty members for reappointment, tenure and promotion must reflect the program area with which they are associated with and the assignments stated in their appointment letters and workload statements.

    Principles of Evaluation

    When a Faculty member has met the academic credential of possessing the terminal degree in his/her discipline (i.e., Ph.D., Ed.D.) and met the University experience criteria, the individual will be evaluated on the basis of his/her research/scholarship, teaching and service. In general, expectations include establishing one or more lines of research/inquiry, demonstrating effective teaching and student mentoring, and becoming contributing citizens of their professions (i.e., community engagement and service to professional organizations) and of the University (i.e., service to the program, School, College, and University).

    Contextual Statement/Vitae

    Candidates for reappointment, tenure, and promotion are expected to include a contextual statement and current vitae in their file.  The contextual statement should clearly articulate the candidate’s lines of inquiry, describe the candidate’s roles in producing each scholarly contribution and explain how his/her work impacts the field and/or builds his/her line(s)of inquiry.


    1.    Basic Expectations
    Faculty members are expected to conduct empirical research (basic or applied) using any combination of accepted research methodologies and analyses (e.g., quantitative, qualitative, mixed-method, etc.). Non-empirical scholarship (e.g., conceptual pieces, extensive reviews of the literature, and descriptions of professional practice or teaching strategies) is valued, but should not be the exclusive focus of a candidate’s research agenda.

    2.  Standards

    Reappointment:  The candidate must provide evidence that he/she has an active research program, and that the candidate’s scholarly work is deemed of high quality by peers in his/her profession.

    Tenure: The candidate must provide evidence that his/her scholarly work is deemed of high quality by external peers. Evidence of a pattern of scholarship and demonstrated potential for continued meaningful clearly defined lines of inquiry with an emerging nationally recognized research program is required.

    Promotion to Associate Professor: The candidate must provide evidence that his/her scholarly work is deemed of high quality by external peers. Evidence of sustained, significant involvement in systematic lines of scholarship and demonstrated potential for continued meaningful inquiry with an emerging nationally recognized research program is required.

    Promotion to Professor: The candidate must demonstrate an extended, record of scholarship that demonstrates sustained achievement and leadership in the systematic line(s) of inquiry within his/her profession. The candidate also must provide documentation of nationally and/or internationally recognized, outstanding scholarly productivity with a clear impact in one or more of his/her area of expertise.

    3.    Evaluation of Research. In evaluating the research of a candidate for reappointment, tenure and promotion, the Committee should consider the following factors:

    a.    Reputation.  A Faculty member's 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 tenure and promotion. For tenure and promotion, a candidate must provide evidence that his/her work has provided an impact on his/her discipline.  Reputation is typically evaluated by letters from outside reviewers in the candidate's area of expertise, invited colloquia, book chapters, invited presentations, monographs, and editorships of journals and special honors as pertains to the Faculty member’s research.

    b.    Dissemination of Research.  The quality and quantity of peer- reviewed journal articles, including empirical articles, theoretical and review articles, are important considerations in arriving at a decision to recommend reappointment, tenure and/or promotion.  The expectation in the School is that the candidate’s record will include a significant body of empirical research. Candidates should describe their roles in producing each contribution and explain how their work impacts the field and/or builds their lines of inquiry.
       i.    Only publications or “in press” material are counted
       ii.    Items that are under review or in preparation may be considered but given very little weight.
       iii.    Quality of the publication is evaluated by a variety of factors:
              1.    Candidates are advised to publish in journals associated with national or international professional organizations, journals known for disseminating high quality scholarship related to the candidate’s specific area of focus, or journals having a high impact on research or practice within the candidate’s field and should be justified in the candidate’s contextual statement. When candidates choose journals outside these parameters, it is imperative they provide further justification for doing so in the candidate’s contextual statement.
              2.    In addition to providing features such as the journal’s rate of acceptance and/or rankings, candidates for reappointment, tenure, and promotion are advised to describe the journal’s audience and why that audience is an appropriate fit for the article’s content, explain whether or not the article was peer reviewed, including an explanation, if the journal is not refereed, and identify the journal’s association with the candidate’s specific area of research or professional practice.
              3.    Candidates must demonstrate capacity to lead a project through either sole or first authorship publication (e.g. co- authorship with a student) or last authorship if appropriate to the field.
              4.    Within all programs in the School, co-authored publications with colleagues and students are common, and collaboration is viewed as a strength.
       iv.    Presentations. Refereed presentations at the national or international level are a contributing factor to the body of work in the candidate’s line of inquiry.

    c. Funding

    Candidates for reappointment, tenure, and promotion are encouraged to seek internal and external funding to support their lines of inquiry by submitting applications to foundations or grant-funding sources.  Funding norms of specific fields should be discussed in the candidate’s contextual statement. External funding may be difficult to secure by junior Faculty, and applications for funding should not be the primary focus of a candidate’s research agenda prior to tenure, but unsuccessful applications at this stage of a Faculty member’s career have value and are viewed as a
    foundation for subsequent submissions. External funding is valued more highly than internal funding. External funding supporting the candidate’s scholarly activities is expected for promotion to Professor.

  4. Professional activity

    Faculty members are expected to be active participants in their professional field.  Evidence of outside professional activity is necessary for tenure and promotion.  Examples of such activity would be reviewing for journals, attending professional meetings regularly, holding office in a professional organization, serving on professional committees, etc.