REAPPOINTMENT, TENURE, AND PROMOTION criteria and the criteria and processes relating to other faculty personnel actions | Kent State University

REAPPOINTMENT, TENURE, AND PROMOTION criteria and the criteria and processes relating to other faculty personnel actions

Although Kent State Stark faculty members have their appointment in the regional campus system, they are also regular members of their respective departments and colleges/schools, and so have the opportunity to serve on faculty advisory committees and their designated subcommittees at all levels of university governance. A description of the standing college level committees appears in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. A complete list and description of university level committees appears in Faculty Senate Catalogue of Committees.

  1. Scholarship, Teaching, and Service

    Per University policy regarding faculty tenure (see University Policy Register 3342-6-14), “For the purposes of this policy ‘scholarship’ is broadly defined to include research, scholarly and creative work. For the purposes of this policy ‘service’ is broadly defined to include administrative service to the university, professional service to the faculty member’s discipline, and the provision of professional expertise to public and private entities beyond the university.”

    Because of the emphasis on teaching and service in the regional campuses, faculty members have a special responsibility to develop, continue, and sustain, in the long term, a program of high quality teaching and service; indeed, greater consideration may be given to these areas when evaluating faculty whose appointment is at a regional campus.

  2. Tenure and Tenure-track Faculty

    The quality of a candidate’s scholarship, teaching, and service is of central importance in personnel decisions. Criteria for assessing this quality for candidates for promotion, tenure, and reappointment are developed departmentally and collegially, and appear in their respective departmental handbooks. Guidelines used to weight those criteria in tenure and reappointment reviews are developed by the Stark Campus and appear in this handbook. Information regarding minimal expectations of performance and years in rank are described or referenced in the original appointment letter, in the University Policy Register (3342-6-06, 3342-6-08), and procedural guidelines and timetables circulated annually by the provost’s office.

    Faculty eligible for promotion will be nominated either by their unit faculty advisory committee (department, school, or independent college), by self-nomination, by the unit administrator, or by an academic administrative officer of the University in the spring semester. Candidates for tenure or reappointment will be notified in the spring that a review will begin early in the fall semester of the next academic year. The Provost’s office initiates the review process for all candidates by circulating the annual guidelines and timetables for faculty review to units throughout the University. The unit administrator will make these materials available to the candidates for promotion, tenure, and reappointment no later than three weeks before the deadline for submission of files and supplemental materials, which is at the end of the first week of the fall semester. At the same time in tenure and reappointment reviews, the Dean will make available to the candidate and the unit copies of Kent State Stark’s method of weighting unit criteria. Tenure and reappointment evaluations at all levels of review and on both the Stark and Kent Campuses should follow the Kent State Stark’s method of weighting unit criteria.

    Kent State Stark candidates are responsible for developing and organizing a file that presents evidence supporting their promotion, tenure, or reappointment. The file is certified as complete by the unit administrator and is then available for review by the unit and Stark Campus promotion, tenure, and reappointment committees. The chair of the Council then convenes and chairs the Kent State Stark promotion, tenure, and reappointment committee. Members of the committee are all tenured members of Council. The file is read by all members of the committee and is the subject of candid discussion, except that no member shall be present while the committee discusses or votes on his or her own case, or on the case of a domestic partner or relative. Further, no member other than the Council chair shall be present while the committee (1) discusses or votes on a promotion to a rank higher than that of the individual member, or (2) while the committee discusses or votes on the tenure of an individual in a rank higher than that of the individual member. After the committee meeting, each member prepares and signs an evaluation form in support of his or her vote, and conveys the evaluation to the faculty chair. The Council chair then summarizes the committee’s vote, deliberations, and signed evaluation forms in a letter of recommendation to the Dean. Votes in tenure and promotion considerations are "yes" or "no". Three-fourths of the tenure and promotion committee voting "yes" represents an endorsement of the candidate. In reappointment considerations, a third type of vote, "yes with reservation," is also allowed. A vote of "yes with reservation" is a positive vote for reappointment, but it carries with it an additional note of concern. A simple majority of the reappointment committee voting "yes" or "yes with reservation" represents an endorsement of the candidate.

    After reviewing the materials and advisory recommendations, the Dean makes a recommendation to the appropriate college/school dean. The review process continues with recommendation letters from the college/school dean and the Vice President for System Integration prior to consideration by the Provost. Candidates for reappointment, tenure or promotion should consult the appropriate appendices of the Collective Bargaining Agreement or sections of the annual Procedures and Policies Governing the Review of Faculty for information regarding appeal and grievance procedures.

    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 files and documentation, procedures, timetables, and guidelines. Moreover, undergoing a successful tenure review is a necessary condition for promotion to associate or full professor.

  3. 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.

     

  4. Full-Time Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

    Per Article X, Section 1. of the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, FTNTT faculty members “are full-time faculty of Kent State University who are appointed annually to a limited term of employment with the University. Appointments and offers of employment in this role are made annually at the sole discretion of the University. The normal duration of appointment is nine months, encompassing a full academic year, excluding summer and intersession(s) following the conclusion of one (1) academic year and the inception of the next academic year.” Per Article X, Section 3. of the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, “[w]hile it is recognized that appointments for FTNTT Faculty members covered by this Agreement are made annually and that the term of each appointment is limited to a single academic year, a FTNTT Faculty member may be offered an appointment for a subsequent academic year if programmatic need, satisfaction with performance of previous responsibilities, and budgeted resources supporting the position continue in accord with the conditions and provisions of Section 2.A. of this Article and with the procedural expectations detailed in Section 2.B.”

    According to Article X, Section 2.A. of the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, “[t]he provisions of this Section do not, however, create any right to expectation of continuous employment nor do they create a right to renewal of appointment as a regular and routine condition of employment save as the University, at its sole and exclusive discretion and in accord with the provisions of this Article, may deem suitable in accord with the priorities of continuing programmatic need, its assessment of demonstrated satisfactory performance of current and previous responsibilities in a faculty capacity by the FTNTT Faculty member, and its determination of sufficient budgeted resources to continue to sustain the position. In the event of unsatisfactory performance, unit administrators should discuss the performance issue(s) with the FTNTT Faculty member as soon as possible.”

    1. According to Article X, Section 2.B. of the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, “[a]cademic units, regional campuses and Colleges without departments or schools are encouraged to develop guidelines for the allocation and reallocation of FTNTT Faculty positions and include those guidelines in the unit/regional campus’ section of the Faculty Handbook and/or the handbooks currently in effect or as such handbook(s) may subsequently be modified, amended or otherwise revised for this purpose. The following are a list of suggested considerations:

         a.   completion of one (1) successful Full Performance Review;

         b.   completion of more than one (1) successful Full Performance Review;

         c.   the University’s commitment to affirmative action and its policies adopted there under;

         d.   quality of the bargaining unit member’s contributions as documented with the accumulated record; or

         e.   the impact on the academic program or regional campus resulting from the release of the FTNTT Faculty member, which may be assessed by necessary credentials, experience, academic rank and competence to perform the instructional and/or other responsibilities of such a FTNTT Faculty member which are essential to a designated program(s).

    In accordance with procedures and timelines established by the University, as annually distributed through the Provost’s office, a Stark Campus FTNTT candidate for review is responsible for developing and organizing a file presenting evidence supporting her or his continuing appointment. The file is then made available to the Stark Campus Performance Review Committee. The FTNTT Performance Review Committee will be chaired by the Council Chair, and will consist of all tenured Council representatives and all promoted Council FTNTT representatives. The file is read by all members of the committee and is the subject of candid discussion, except that no member shall be present while the committee discusses or votes on the case of a domestic partner or relative. After the discussion and vote, the Council chair summarizes the committee’s vote and deliberations in a letter of recommendation to the Dean. Votes in FTNTT performance reviews are “yes,” “yes with concerns,” or “no.” A vote of “yes with concerns” is a positive vote, but it carries with it a note of concern. A simple majority of the promotion, tenure, and reappointment committee voting “yes” or “yes with concerns” represents a positive assessment of the candidate. After reviewing the materials and advisory recommendations, the Dean will make a judgment regarding reappointment in view of the candidate’s past record, programmatic needs, and budgeted resources supporting the position. Each FTNTT faculty member is to be provided with a written summary of the outcome and conclusions of the review and an indication of whether an additional appointment may be anticipated and, if so, under what programmatic, budgetary and/or anticipated staffing or projected enrollment circumstances. FTNTT candidates for review should consult Article VI of the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement regarding appeal and grievance procedures.

  5. Kent State University at Stark Criteria for FTNTT Faculty Three-Year Term Performance Review

    Per Article X, Section 7 of the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, FTNTT faculty members completing three or six consecutive academic years of annually renewable contracts shall be subject to a Full Performance Review during the third and sixth year respectively, before an additional appointment can be anticipated or authorized. While acknowledging the varied contributions and responsibilities of FTNTT faculty members, classroom instruction is the principal responsibility of an FTNTT faculty member in the Instructional Track, so the goal in the three-year Performance Review is to document excellence in teaching. Such excellence may be evaluated in multiple ways, including, but not limited to, effective course design and teaching materials, a pattern of positive written comments on student evaluations, supportive peer evaluations, ongoing efforts to reflect upon and improve the act of teaching, and consistently positive SSI scores. Fulfilling those minimal expectations and responsibilities required of all faculty members as delineated in Section II is necessary—but not sufficient—for teaching excellence.

    1.    The Full Performance Review file will normally include the following items:

    a.    Past Performance Review letters, if any;

    b.    A self-evaluation providing an assessment of the candidate’s teaching during the period under review, as well as the candidate’s performance of other responsibilities, if any;

    c.    An up-to-date curriculum vitae;

    d.    The syllabi for courses taught during the period under review;

    e.    The Evaluation Summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (SSI) for all courses taught during the period under review. SSI summaries include both numerical data and student written comments; and

    f.    One peer teaching review each year during the period under review.

    2.    At the candidate’s discretion, the Full Performance Review file may include other materials that will clarify and/or enhance her or his record of excellent teaching, including but not limited to:

    a.    Samples of examinations, assignments, study guides, and/or other course materials;

    b.    Evidence that the candidate has remained current in the pedagogical theory of her or his discipline;

    c.    Details of innovations in teaching, e.g., service learning or the use of learning technologies;

    d.    Documentation of teaching awards or nominations;

    e.    An account of scholarly or professional activity necessary to maintain professional standing in the discipline; and

    f.    Assessments of other contributions beyond the contractual expectations for FTNTT faculty members.

    3.    Evaluation Process Overview

    Each year the performance review process necessarily has new FTNTT candidates and new Performance Review 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 committee recommendations are made to the Dean.

    A candidate’s teaching performance can be evaluated using a three-rank scale of excellent, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory. Because of the differences among disciplines—and acknowledging the varied contributions and responsibilities of FTNTT faculty members—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 committee meeting, each member of the Performance Review Committee must necessarily apply her or his own professional judgment in the review to make a vote of “yes,” “yes with concerns,” or “no.” Usually, a record of performance judged to be excellent receives a “yes” vote, while an unsatisfactory record receives a vote of “no.” A vote of “yes with concerns” may be warranted if a candidate’s record of performance is judged to be satisfactory in most respects, but is problematic in others. Examples of problematic aspects of a candidate’s record include, but are not limited to:

    a.    A poorly organized or incomplete file, e.g., files lacking peer teaching evaluations when appropriate;

    b.    SSI scores on various dimensions of a candidate’s performance evidencing a recurring problem, e.g., showing disrespect to students or being unavailable for student consultation;

    c.    A recurring kind of student written complaint left unaddressed in the self-evaluation, e.g., “It took weeks to get our papers back”;

    d.    Poorly crafted syllabi evidencing an inadequate number or kind of evaluations of student learning; and

    e.    Evidence that the candidate’s courses are insufficiently rigorous.

    FTNTT candidates undergoing a three-year performance review are strongly encouraged to acknowledge these facts as they prepare their files and to explain fully why they think their teaching performance should be considered excellent or satisfactory.
     

  6. Kent State Stark Criteria for FTNTTFaculty Simplified or Abbreviated Performance Review

    Per Article X, Section 8 of the Full-time Non-tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, after nine (9) twelve (12) and fifteen (15) years of consecutive appointments, FTNTT Faculty members shall undergo a simplified performance review”. While acknowledging the varied contributions and responsibilities of FTNTT faculty members, classroom instruction is the principal responsibility of an FTNTT faculty member in the Instructional Track, so the goal in the Simplified Performance Review is to document excellence in teaching. Fulfilling those minimal expectations and responsibilities required of all faculty members as delineated in Section V is necessary—but not sufficient—for continuing teaching excellence.

    1.    The Simplified Performance Review file will be electronically submitted, and will normally include the following items:

    a.    A narrative of up to five pages in which the candidate describes her or his professional activities during the past three years;

    b.    An up-to-date curriculum vitae; and

    c.    The summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (SSI) for all courses taught during the period under review. SSI summaries include both numerical data and student written comments.

    2.    At the candidate’s discretion, the Simplified Review file may include other materials that will clarify and/or enhance her or his record of continuing excellent teaching, including but not limited to:

    a.    Past Performance Review letters, if any;

    b.    A self-evaluation of the candidate’s teaching performance during the past three years;

    c.    Recent peer teaching reviews;

    d.    Samples of syllabi, examinations, assignments, study guides, and/or other course materials;

    e.    Evidence that the candidate has remained current in the pedagogical theory of her or his discipline;

    f.    Details of innovations in teaching, e.g., service learning or the use of learning technologies;

    g.    Documentation of teaching awards or nominations;

    h.    An account of scholarly or professional activity necessary to maintain professional standing in the discipline; and

    i.    Assessments of other contributions beyond the contractual expectations for FTNTT faculty members.

    3.    Evaluation Process Overview

    Each year the performance review process necessarily has new candidates and new Performance Review 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 committee recommendations are made to the Dean.

    A candidate’s teaching performance can be evaluated using a three-rank scale of excellent, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory. Because of the differences among disciplines—and acknowledging the varied contributions and responsibilities of FTNTT faculty members—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 the discussions during the committee meeting, each member of the committee must necessarily apply her or his own professional judgment in the review to make a vote of “yes,” “yes with concerns,” or “no.” Usually, a record of performance judged to be excellent receives a “yes” vote, while an unsatisfactory record receives a vote of “no.” A vote of “yes with concerns” may be warranted if a candidate’s record of performance is judged to be satisfactory in most respects, but is problematic in others. Examples of problematic aspects of a candidate’s record include, but are not limited to:

    a.    A poorly organized or incomplete file;

    b.    SSI scores on various dimensions of a candidate’s performance evidencing a recurring problem, e.g., showing disrespect to students or being unavailable for student consultation; and

    c.    A recurring kind of student written complaint left unaddressed in the self-evaluation, e.g., “It took weeks to get our papers back.”

    FTNTT candidates undergoing a simplified performance review are strongly encouraged to acknowledge these facts as they prepare their files and to explain fully why they think their teaching performance should be considered excellent or satisfactory.
     

  7. Kent State Stark Criteria for FTNTT Faculty Performance Reviews after Eighteen Years of Consecutive Appointments

    Per Article X, Section 9. A. of the Full-time Non-tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, “[a]fter eighteen (18) years of consecutive appointments, and every three (3) years thereafter, FTNTT Faculty members shall be reviewed by their academic unit administrator. This administrative performance review will follow the format, procedures and timelines established by the University, as annually distributed through the Office of Faculty Affairs. To complete this review, the academic unit administrator will schedule a meeting with the FTNTT Faculty member who will submit, prior to the meeting, a current vitae and a narrative of 1-3 pages in which the FTNTT Faculty member describes her/his professional activities during the past three (3) years prior to the meeting. A FTNTT Faculty member who successfully completes this review is eligible for a three (3) year term of annually renewable appointments which is conditional from year to year only upon continued satisfaction with demonstrated performance, continued programmatic and staffing need within the academic unit, and continued budgetary resources supporting the position.”

    Per Article X, Section 9. B. of the Full-time Non-tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, “[a]t the conclusion of this review and after consultation with the Dean, if applicable, the academic unit administrator will provide the FTNTT Faculty member with a written summary of its outcome and conclusions and an indication of whether an additional appointment may be anticipated and, if so, under what programmatic, budgetary and/or anticipated staffing or projected enrollment circumstances. In the event that an additional appointment is not indicated, the academic unit administrator will include in the written summary provided to the FTNTT Faculty member an explanation of whether lack of adequate satisfaction with performance or the absence of anticipated continuing programmatic need or budgeted resources to support the position is the reason. The FTNTT Faculty member may, if desired, seek review of the decision by the established Faculty Advisory Committee or Council of a regional campus and by the College Dean or his/her designee, if applicable, as provided for in Article VII, Section 1 of this Agreement. An additional appointment immediately subsequent to the completion of this administrative performance review normally is expected to be part of a three-year term of renewable annual appointments as defined in Section 6 above, provided that continuing programmatic need and budgeted resources supporting the position can be anticipated for the term in question. In the unusual case when a FTNTT Faculty member is approved for a three-year term of annually renewable appointments, as defined in Section 6 above, and the unit administrator determines that a subsequent review is needed due to performance concerns, the academic unit administrator will include a performance plan and timeline for this subsequent review in the written summary of the review provided to the FTNTT Faculty member as described in B.1. above of this Section 9.”