Tenure Track (TT) Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion

The School of Peace and Conflict Studies criteria for the evaluation of Faculty include an assumption that all Faculty members are committed to the University's missions of teaching, research and service. Two additional assumptions are that each Faculty member is dedicated to: the School’s mission of community outreach and applied practice; and to advancing the field of Peace and Conflict Studies while contributing to Kent State University’s continued leadership in that field.

  1. Reappointment of TT Faculty

    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 faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost.  Probationary tenure-track (TT) faculty members are reviewed by the School’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee.

    The Director annually assigns a tenured member of the faculty to visit at least one class session of each probationary TT faculty member, interview students in the class, evaluate the course materials and syllabus, and subsequently discuss the course and the class session with the instructor. A written evaluation is submitted to the Director for placement in the TT faculty member’s reappointment file.

    Reappointment is a formal judgment—based upon the candidate’s performance in scholarship, teaching, university citizenship, and public service—made annually as to whether a tenure-track faculty member should be appointed for an additional year. This process occurs in the Spring Semester of the first year of appointment for a new faculty member and in the Fall Semester in each subsequent year until a decision is made regarding tenure. The reappointment process is intended to assess and guide tenure-track faculty members in their development as they move toward the tenure and promotion decisions. Each year’s reappointment review should take into account the candidate’s previous reappointment evaluations and should be a candid analysis of the extent to which the candidate is meeting the School’s expectations.

    Because reappointment is closely related to the tenure and promotion decisions, each tenure-track faculty member undergoing an annual reappointment review should consult the relevant sections below for specific guidelines on the criteria to be utilized by the Ad Hoc Reappointment Committee and the format for compiling a reappointment file.

    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. 

    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 comments and constructive suggestions. If 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 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.

  2. Tolling

    From time to time, personal and/or family circumstances may arise that require a probationary faculty member to request that her/his probationary period be extended. Upon written request with rationale provided, 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 are included in the University Policy Register. (See University Policy Register 6-13)

  3. Tenure and Promotion of TT Faculty

    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 are distributed by the Office of the Provost.

    A candidate for tenure will normally be reviewed during the sixth year of service, although years of credit toward tenure may be granted at the time of the initial appointment and specifically stated in the letter of appointment. A faculty member may apply for early tenure consideration, but the faculty member must be able to meet the criteria for promotion to the next rank. Tenure and promotion are related yet separate decisions; nonetheless, the School generally expects to recommend tenure and promotion in the same year. 

    Materials reviewed for tenure for persons hired at the TT assistant professor rank shall consist primarily of those items generated since the initial hiring. Tenure considerations may include some minimal consideration of relevant scholarly activities prior to arrival at Kent State University in order to establish research trajectory, but the overwhelming emphasis must be on work accomplished while on the tenure track at Kent State. The vitae submitted in applying for the position shall be used as the baseline; materials already published or listed as forthcoming will be given significantly less weight than those produced after the submitted vitae. Exceptions will be made when incoming faculty are explicitly given credit toward tenure for prior experience.

    Tenure is the formal granting of continuous appointment as a faculty member in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies. Notably, the granting of tenure includes a demonstrated record of achievement suggesting that the candidate can be expected to continue and sustain such a program over the long-term. 

    Promotion to TT Associate Professor, on the other hand, is based solely on a candidate’s accomplishments completed while at Kent State, i.e., during the review period. Candidates for promotion to TT Associate Professor must meet all the qualifications for tenure but they must also show—as evidenced by the body of work presented in the promotion file—the potential for a career likely to impact their area of specialization and the field of Peace and Conflict Studies. 

    Greater standards exist regarding promotion to TT Full Professor than to TT Associate Professor, as detailed below. Promotion to Professor is the highest level of university achievement.

  4. Criteria for Tenure and Promotion of TT Faculty

    A candidate for tenure and promotion must have the doctoral degree in Peace and Conflict Studies or an appropriate cognate field. Candidates for tenure shall present the necessary documents for consideration by the Ad Hoc Tenure and Promotion Committee. Specific guidelines for tenure and promotions files are provided below. 

    The awarding of tenure will be based on convincing documented evidence that the faculty member has succeeded in the following mutually supportive and often overlapping areas: 

    • creating a body of published research scholarship that has undergone peer review 
    • served as an effective teacher, including using applied and interactive pedagogies
    • provided adequate service
    • having applied for extramural funding
    • engagement in some community outreach and applied practice as appropriate for the field of Peace and Conflict Studies 

    Promotion to TT Associate Professor will be based on convincing documented evidence of the following achievements in what are mutually supportive and often overlapping areas: 

    • creating a strong record of peer-reviewed research scholarship
    • served as an effective teacher, including using applied and interactive pedagogies
    • provided adequate service
    • multiple applications for extramural funding
    • engagement in community outreach and applied practice as appropriate for the field of Peace and Conflict Studies

    Promotion to TT Full Professor requires convincing documented evidence of a well-rounded record of significant and sustained accomplishments that include the following achievements in what are mutually supportive and often overlapping areas: 

    • a significant and sustained record of published, peer reviewed research in rigorous and well-regarded outlets that includes evidence of influence and impact on the research scholarships in the candidate’s area of specialization and in the field Peace and Conflict Studies
    • consistently effective teaching, including using applied and interactive pedagogies 
    • sustained commitment to acquiring extramural funding
    • continuing service to the School, the University, and the profession of Peace and Conflict Studies as befits a senior scholar in the field
    • community outreach and applied practice as befits a senior scholar in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies
    • the effective mentoring of students 
  5. Research Scholarship

    Not all research activities are equally meritorious.  Both the quantity and the quality of research scholarship shall figure into the evaluation of the candidate’s record. Published research scholarship carries far greater weight than non-published. Further, some published materials are more valuable than others.  

    Quality of research scholarship will be evaluated as a combination of the following characteristics: research that contributes to theory-building is given more weight than descriptive work; data-driven research is given more weight than descriptive work; the relative stringency of the review process that publications have undergone. Journals with strict refereeing processes and low acceptance rates are given more weight than those with less rigorous procedures and higher rates of acceptance. The prestige/visibility of the medium in which the work appears is also relevant; for example, university presses are generally given more weight than trade publishers. 

    Published research within the field of Peace and Conflict Studies and related cognate fields is valued. It is expected that candidates for tenure and promotion demonstrate a range of publication outlets, publishing articles not only in specialized journals read only within their community of expertise but also articles in broader journals, including those serving the field of Peace and Conflict Studies.

    The School welcomes, encourages and values collaborative research work and co-authorships. Nonetheless, the record of all candidates for tenure and promotion ought to also include sole-authored peer-reviewed publications. With respect to jointly authored works of scholarship and collaborative grant applications, the degree of the candidate’s contribution will be considered. Thus, candidates should indicate the extent and nature of their contributions.

    “Early online” publication of journal articles shall count as published articles. A book contract is valued and may be considered as a component of an application for tenure, but does not count in nearly the same way as published material does. 

    With respect to applications for extramural funding, the School expects applications for external funding from faculty members receiving start-up funds. It also encourages applications from all faculty members. All submitted proposals for extramural funding are meritorious; however, successful grant applications carry more weight. 

    In contrast to the above, a scholarly record of sporadic publications, publishing primarily in low-quality journals, no or low levels of extramural grant activity, minimal engagement in the profession, and weak external letters are evidence of deficiencies in a candidate’s record of research scholarship.  

    Primary evidence of research scholarship includes:

    • peer-reviewed (refereed) books, peer-reviewed journal articles, peer-reviewed book chapters, and peer-reviewed edited books
    • publications undergoing double-blind peer review are more meritorious than other sorts of peer-review processes
    • seeking and/or securing grants, especially extramural funding

    Additional evidence of scholarship includes:

    • textbooks
    • presentation of papers at professional meetings
    • review essays
    • encyclopedia/handbook chapters or entries
    • book reviews
    • research and technical reports which are distributed locally or informally
    • organizing, conducting, and participating in workshops and panels
    • reviewing manuscripts for journals and/or publishers
    • reviewing grant proposals and/or reports for external granting agencies and foundations
    • consulting contracts with governmental, non-profit, or private sector organizations
    • on-going involvement, consulting work, or the provision of services and training based upon professional expertise, in community-based or professional organizations, including the production of training manuals and related materials
    • op-eds and articles in newspapers, online platforms, and similar non-academic publications
    • instructor’s manuals and instructional software
    • collegial recognitions of outstanding achievement, such as awards
  6. Teaching

    Evidence of effective teaching includes:

    • peer reviews and evaluations of teaching
    • student evaluations, and written comments from students
    • course syllabi, examinations, and assignments
    • course revisions and adjustments over time
    • creative assignments, applied exercises in-class and out, simulations and other sorts of activities demonstrating interactive, participatory and cooperative pedagogies leading to applied knowledge and skills-development
    • recognition of outstanding achievement, such as teaching awards
    • supervision and mentorship of undergraduate students
    • publications on the act of teaching and on the development of new methods and materials and platforms for instruction
    • supervision and mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students
    • direction of and participation in undergraduate and graduate theses and doctoral dissertation committees
    • seeking and securing professionally reviewed, instruction-related grants, especially extramural funding

    The above list demonstrates that simply teaching a variety of classes is not, by itself, a credential toward tenure. The candidate should provide evidence bearing on the quality, creativity, extent and effectiveness of pedagogical efforts. Due to the applied nature of many courses in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies, poor teaching may result in the denial of tenure to a candidate who meets other criteria for tenure. By contrast, a record of somewhat limited scholarship may be partially offset by evidence of exceptional teaching.

  7. Service and Citizenship

    The components of service and citizenship for the School of Peace and Conflict Studies include:

    • administrative service within the University, College, and School
    • professional service through academic and professional associations, especially in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies
    • community outreach and applied practice via the provision of professional expertise to public and private entities within and beyond the university

    While service activity and university citizenship is expected and required, service of any sort or magnitude cannot be considered more important than a candidate’s teaching and research scholarship responsibilities. Nonetheless, a faculty member’s willingness to make contributions to the University, to the overall progress of the School, and to utilize their expertise through community outreach and applied practice, are indicators of the faculty member’s fitness for tenure or promotion. 

    Contributions as a university citizen include service to the School, the College, and the University through membership on committees and councils. The merits of university service should be evaluated as to whether or not the candidate chaired the committee listed, and the importance of the service to the mission of the unit served. In other words, simply holding a position as a committee/task force member is not, by itself, a strong credential toward tenure. The candidate also should provide evidence bearing on the quality and extent of the contributions which have been made to the organization in question. 

    Other components of citizenship include active participation in School events, seminars, and workshops, taking part in faculty and student recruitment, and actively promoting the School’s degrees, courses, and events.

    Similar principles apply to community outreach and applied practice outside of the University. Applying one’s professional expertise as an advisor or consultant or trainer or intervenor in conflict situations or other problem-solving activities for a group or organization is meritorious. Evidence should be provided regarding the nature and extent of the contribution, including providing evaluations and demonstrating the impact of this work.

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

  8. Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Files

    The candidate’s file for reappointment, tenure and promotion is the primary means for conveying the activity and productivity of the candidate to the Ad Hoc Tenure Committee and to subsequent review bodies. The primary purpose underlying a well-structured tenure and promotion file is to provide a continuum of development throughout all reappointment review periods. Thus, the candidate for tenure and promotion is encouraged to build and maintain a file structured so as to allow a simple updating with each new annual review procedure. Generally speaking, files for promotion to full professor should follow the same basic guidelines below as files for tenure and promotion.

    1. Narrative Statement of Accomplishments

      The candidate shall provide a narrative overview of her/his career, highlighting his/her accomplishments during the period under review. This is the first item in the file. Early in that narrative there should be a numerical listing of major accomplishments in order to provide a summary overview, i.e., a listing of numbers of the following: books, journal articles, edited books, book chapters, paper presentations at professional conferences, citations, external and internal grant applications, book reviews, and courses taught. The statement should provide detail on the scope of the research agenda, and address issues of trajectory.

    2. Curriculum Vita

      The curriculum vitae is the second item in the file. The CV should provide full citation information on each publication. It should also clearly differentiate between peer-reviewed publications and non-peer-reviewed publications, and between published and forthcoming and under review and in progress items.

    3. Research Scholarship Documentation Includes:

      Pdfs of publications, conference papers, grant proposals (transmittal form with budget and abstract, evidence of submission, and reviewers’ comments if available), published reviews of candidate’s books or articles, and any additional documentation deemed relevant. For peer-reviewed items, faculty should document the following where applicable: quality of the publication; acceptance or rejection rates; reputation and prestige of the publication outlet; targeted audience; impact of the item (especially course adoptions and citation levels).

    4. Teaching Documentation Includes:

      Student evaluations and student comments; course syllabi; examinations; exercises; assignments and handouts; peer reviews of teaching; evidence concerning supervision of theses and dissertations; evidence of service on student committees; evidence of extraordinary advising; and any additional documentation deemed relevant.

    5. Citizenship and Service Documentation Includes:

      Evidence of committee, council, task force and working group memberships, and contribution levels to those entities; evidence of professional service through academic and professional associations and contribution levels; evidence of peer reviewing; evidence of applied practice within and beyond the university; and any additional documentation deemed relevant.

    6. Supplementary Activities Documentation:

      The candidate may add any documentation or evidence of additional activities which she or he may want the relevant reviewing bodies to view and which assist in establishing the contours and details of professional accomplishments in the period under review.

    7. Letters of Reference

      Outside letters of reference are required for tenure and promotion reviews. To assist this process, the candidate may submit the names of experts in her/his field who he or she considers capable of judging the candidate's work in an objective manner. The Director will also generate other possible outside reviewers to be contacted. The specific means for acquiring these letters are detailed in the University Policy Register. The Director is responsible for meeting this requirement and for placing these letters in the candidate’s file.

    8. File Submission

      The file should be submitted electronically, using the format, platform and interface in use at the university at the time the file is submitted. The candidate’s file should be reviewed with the Director for completeness and accuracy prior to acceptance for review.