Kent State Stark Guidelines for Weighting Unit Tenure and Reappointment Criteria | Stark Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

Kent State Stark Guidelines for Weighting Unit Tenure and Reappointment Criteria

Kent State Stark considers the annual probationary reappointment review to be a formative and mentoring evaluation. It is an opportunity to help colleagues establish a record of performance in scholarship, teaching, and service that will be sufficient for continued reappointment and ultimately a successful tenure review. In return, each year candidates are expected to demonstrate through their self-reflection materials and improvement activities how they addressed issues raised in the previous year’s review. The file submitted is to be an accurate, complete, and well-organized representation of the candidate’s record.

Candidates for review are not evaluated along single, isolated dimensions of performance, but rather on their whole performance, viewed as a unified, integrated record of a teacher-scholar and university citizen. Since candidates are evaluated on their entire record, it is inappropriate to assume that excellence in one area can offset a deficiency in another. Reappointment and tenure evaluations are guided by the following general principles, which reflect the mission and values of the campus:

1. Teaching

Because teaching is the primary mission of the Stark Campus, the goal for a successful candidate for reappointment and eventual tenure is to demonstrate excellence in teaching.

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, ongoing efforts to reflect upon and improve the act of teaching, and positive SSI scores. Excellence in teaching may also be demonstrated by pedagogical research related to the discipline and disseminated for peer review.

2. Scholarship

Because active engagement with the discipline is necessary to remain current in teaching, a successful candidate for reappointment must demonstrate scholarship appropriate to the discipline and venue, which could include pedagogical research, and which is disseminated for peer review. In early years of reappointment, the candidate must at least demonstrate the development of appropriate scholarship.

By the time of the tenure review, it is expected that this scholarship will have been reviewed/performed/exhibited at the appropriate level of impact (e.g., international, national, regional) for the discipline. Note that the “appropriate level” refers to level of impact rather than to geography. For example, an artistic performance or exhibition could have a regional or national impact even though it is held locally. All candidates are to provide support for the case that their work is of an appropriate level for the discipline.

3. Service

Service is expected of all tenure-track faculty. By the time of the tenure review, it is expected that the candidate will demonstrate a pattern of increasing service contributions, including some form of leadership (e.g., committee chair or campus representative) or a variety of lesser but noteworthy contributions. Faculty are encouraged to contribute to all levels of service: campus, unit and university. Service also includes professional contributions to the faculty member’s discipline, and the provision of professional expertise to public and private entities beyond the university.

4. Evaluation Process Overview

Each year the reappointment and tenure process necessarily has new candidates and new committee members who may be unfamiliar with the process and how to operationalize the criteria in reviews. This section provides a guide to how this can be done—without prescribing how it must be done—to facilitate evaluation consistency and to clarify expectations as reappointment and tenure ballot recommendations are made.

A candidate’s performance in each category teaching (handbook section C.1.), scholarship (C.2.), and service (C.3.) can be evaluated using a four-rank scale of excellent, significant, satisfactory, and deficient.

Because of the differences among disciplines and publication, presentation, performance, and/or exhibition venues—and the year of the review process—it is inappropriate to quantify absolutely the scale noted above. Based on the standards of the relevant discipline, the testimony provided by the candidate’s file and peer reviewers, and the discussions during the reappointment/tenure committee meetings, each member of the committee must necessarily apply his or her own professional judgment in the review to make a final ballot recommendation. When all the evaluations are summarized, a recommendation regarding a candidate’s whole performance, viewed as a unified, integrated record of a teacher-scholar and university citizen emerges consistent with Section (C).

Candidates standing for reappointment and tenure are strongly encouraged to acknowledge these facts as they prepare their files and to explain fully why they think their accomplishments should be considered excellent, significant, or satisfactory given their discipline, their year in the review process, and how they addressed issues raised in the previous year’s review.

In a reappointment decision, evaluators are required to make a final ballot recommendation of “yes,” “yes with reservations,” or “no.” For tenure decisions, only final ballot recommendations of “yes” or “no” are possible. The minimum performance required for an unreserved positive ballot recommendation for a candidate’s reappointment or tenure can be illustrated by the following table:

Teaching (C.1.)

Scholarship (C.2.)

Service (C.3.)

excellent

satisfactory

satisfactory

significant

significant

satisfactory

significant

satisfactory

excellent

satisfactory

excellent

satisfactory

It should be made clear to both reviewers and candidates that this table does not attempt to identify every possible combination of performance leading to specific ballot recommendations, as that would be inconsistent with the intent of guidelines. Instead, it is consistent with and intended to signal the “general principles, which reflect the mission and values of the campus.” “Deficient” does not appear in the table because deficiency in any area signals that a “yes with reservation” or a “no” reappointment ballot recommendation is warranted. In the case of tenure, it signals that a negative ballot is indicated. Finally, it should be reemphasized that this table makes no attempt to quantify absolutely what constitutes excellent, significant, satisfactory, or deficient performance, which was discussed above.

For tenure-track librarians, whose primary appointment is not as a classroom instructor, The Work Culture of Libraries and Media Services at Kent State University document should be consulted as it describes the criteria used for assessing the teaching and scholarship of librarians.