Tenure and Tenure-track Faculty | Kent State University

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.