Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Consideration for Tenure-Track Faculty | Kent State University

Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Consideration for 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 weigh those criteria in reappointment, tenure, and promotion reviews are developed by KSU at Tuscarawas 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, and procedural guidelines and timetables circulated annually by the Provost’s office.

Reappointment, tenure, and promotion decisions regulate the terms and conditions of Faculty employment. All three (3) decisions are made based on an assessment of a Faculty member’s performance in three areas:

  • Teaching, including the act of teaching as well as the planning and examination of pedagogical procedures;
  • Scholarship, defined broadly to include research, scholarly and creative work; and
  • Service/Citizenship, broadly defined to include administrative service to the University or to the Faculty member’s Campus, academic college, academic unit (department/school/independent college), or community; professional service to the Faculty member’s discipline; and the provision of professional expertise to public and private entities beyond the University.

Although different disciplines may vary in their interpretations of scholarship, the following criteria for assessing the merit of a scholarly project are applicable across diverse fields:  Are the scholar’s goals clear and worthwhile?  Has the scholar adequately prepared for the project?  Does the scholar use appropriate methods?  Does the scholar communicate effectively?  Does the scholar engage in reflective critique of his/her work?  Has the scholar disseminated the work to other scholars?

Evidence of teaching, scholarship, and service may be demonstrated by self-evaluation, peer evaluation, student evaluation, client evaluation, external colleague evaluation, and/or adjudication (See Section V: SUGGESTED RTP FILE CONTENTS).  In preparation for their review, candidates for reappointment, tenure, or promotion are expected to provide a file of documented evidence that may include such evidence as:

  • demonstrated significant involvement in curricular development and/or review;
  • measures of student achievement such as student performance on nationally standardized examinations;
  • publications such as professionally-reviewed and refereed articles, monographs, and books in the candidate's field;
  • invited participation in programs or presentations of papers at professional meetings at the state, regional, national, or international level;
  • significant creative activity, such as invited/juried exhibitions, performances, compositions, etc;
  • participation and leadership in professional or learned societies;
  • significant public service to a Faculty member's profession;
  • evidence of outstanding achievement, such as awards, patents, and copyrights;
  • seeking and securing professionally-reviewed research and/or service training grants, especially extramural awards;
  • outstanding service to the University, academic college, Campus, academic unit and/or community.
  1. Reappointment

    The policies and procedures governing the annual reappointment reviews of probationary Faculty are found in the University Policy Register.  Each academic year, specific reappointment guidelines and a timetable for each step of the review are distributed by the Office of the Provost.

    The guiding principle for reappointment reviews of tenure-track Faculty is, “Given the years of service to date and the number of years until mandatory tenure review, is it reasonable to expect that the probationary Faculty member will undergo a successful tenure review?”  Thus the purpose of annual reappointment reviews of probationary Faculty is to assess their progress toward tenure and to provide each candidate with constructive feedback regarding that progress. To this end, both the candidate’s academic unit and the Campus will conduct reappointment reviews using the same criteria utilized for tenure reviews. Furthermore, when Tuscarawas Campus reappointment candidates are evaluated by their academic units, the academic unit must use the Tuscarawas Campus guidelines concerning the weighting of the candidate’s accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service, and candidates for reappointment should include in their dossiers a copy of the weighting criteria from Section C below.

    Faculty members in the first year of a tenure-track appointment are generally reviewed at the beginning of the Spring semester.  Beginning in the second year, reappointment reviews are generally concurrent with tenure and promotion reviews during the Fall semester.  Tuscarawas Campus probationary Faculty members are evaluated by both their academic unit (department/school/independent college) and the Campus.  Each individual candidate for reappointment must develop, organize, and submit a file of evidence documenting his/her efforts and accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service, to support the case for reappointment using the University approved system. 

    As part of the documentation for teaching, it is required that reappointment candidates include in their dossiers an annual peer observation of their teaching, preferably from a senior colleague in the same or a related discipline.  The file should also include specific goals in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service, along with both short-term and long-range plans for achieving these goals.  Candidates must first review their dossier with their unit administrator (department chair/school director/independent college dean), who will certify its completeness. Once complete, a candidate’s dossier will then be available to the Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee of the candidate’s academic unit and to the Tuscarawas Campus Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee for their respective reviews and recommendations.

    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, the RTP Committee should consider the record of the candidate’s achievements to date. Specific concerns expressed by the RTP Committee and/or the Chair 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 progress toward tenure are raised during a reappointment review, the appropriate RTP Committee and the associated chair/director/dean will provide detailed prescriptive comments to serve as constructive feedback.  Candidates should regard such feedback seriously and take care to address it in their subsequent reappointment reviews.  Candidates may seek to work with their mentor or the Tuscarawas Campus RTP Committee to develop a suitable, positive plan for meeting the Campus’ 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 lead a probationary Faculty member to request an extension of his/her probationary period. Such an extension is referred to as “tolling” or “stopping the tenure clock.”  The policy and procedures governing modification of the probationary period can be found in the University Policy Register.

  2. Tenure and Promotion

    The policies and procedures governing tenure and promotion reviews are found in the University Policy Register.  Each academic year, specific tenure and promotion guidelines and a timetable for each step of the reviews are distributed by the Office of the Provost.

    Although Faculty may, and typically do, stand for tenure and promotion simultaneously, these are separate personnel decisions and therefore require separate reviews. While tenure and promotion decisions are separate, candidates are encouraged to develop portfolios that would allow for tenure and promotion during the same year.

    The granting of tenure is a deliberate and important decision that impacts both the quality of the University’s Faculty, and the national and international reputation of the University. Thus the granting of tenure is based on convincing and documented evidence that the Faculty member has achieved excellence as a teacher, produced a significant body of scholarship, and provided effective service.  A candidate for tenure is also expected to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high-quality teaching, scholarship, and service relevant to the missions of the candidate’s Campus, academic unit, and University. 

    Promotion, especially promotion to senior rank (Associate Professor or Professor), is viewed as recognition of a Faculty member having made sustained and distinguished contributions to the academic mission of the University, the academic unit, and the Campus.

    Consideration for promotion is based partially on specified minimum credentials and time-in-rank.  Associate Professor and Professor are senior ranks.  Accordingly, a Faculty member must possess the terminal degree in her/his discipline before promotion consideration.  A Faculty member will ordinarily not be considered for advancement to the rank of Associate Professor until completion of five (5) years as an Assistant Professor; consideration for promotion to Professor normally requires completion of five (5) years as an Associate Professor.

    While meeting these threshold criteria in terms of academic credentials and University experience determines eligibility for promotion consideration, the recommendation for or against promotion is based on the candidate’s record of actual performance and accomplishment in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service.

    For Tuscarawas Campus Faculty, a major consideration for both tenure and promotion is given to teaching and service, but documented evidence of significant scholarship is also critical.  For more specific information regarding the expected standards of performance in teaching, scholarship, and service, refer to Section C below.  Many factors, both objective and subjective, are considered in recommending a Faculty member for tenure and/or promotion.  A sound ethical approach to all aspects of teaching, research, publication, and the academic profession are expected of all who seek tenure and/or promotion.

    When evaluating a candidate’s accomplishments in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service, the Tuscarawas Campus RTP Committee will use the criteria and weightings described in Section C below.  Furthermore, when Tuscarawas Campus candidates for tenure and/or promotion are evaluated by their academic units, and the academic unit must use the Tuscarawas Campus guidelines concerning the weighting of the candidate’s accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service, and candidates for tenure and/or promotion should include in their dossiers a copy of the weighting criteria from Section C below.

    Tuscarawas Campus candidates for tenure and/or promotion are evaluated by both their academic unit (department/school/independent college) and the Campus. Each individual candidate must develop, organize, and submit a file of evidence supporting tenure and/or a file of evidence supporting promotion using the University approved system.  Documented evidence of accomplishments in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service since beginning the tenure-track appointment at the Tuscarawas Campus, along with an indication of the significance of those accomplishments, is critical.

    Candidates for tenure should also include evidence of achievements prior to their arrival at Kent State, which may be evaluated as indicators of the candidate’s consistency in their pattern of achievement.  Materials submitted in the tenure dossier may also include papers or creative works “in review” or papers “in press”, grant proposals submitted but not funded, pending grant or patent proposals, students currently advised, and any other materials deemed to reflect on the candidate’s potential for a long-term successful career.

    Promotion, on the other hand, is based on accomplishments completed during the review period.  Thus promotion decisions are based on papers published, performances given, exhibitions and installations reviewed, intramural or extramural grants received, and mentorship/advising of students who have graduated during the review period, along with evaluations of teaching and service to the University.

    A candidate for tenure and/or promotion should review his/her dossier with his/her academic unit administrator (department chair/school director/independent college dean), who will certify the dossier’s completeness.  The dossier will then be made available to the RTP Committee of the candidate’s academic unit and to the Tuscarawas Campus RTP Committee for their respective reviews and recommendations.

    Review and assessment by experts in the candidate’s discipline who are not associated with the University are necessary to insure the integrity of the tenure and promotion process.  All candidates for tenure and/or promotion must therefore submit the requisite number of potential external reviewers who are qualified to evaluate their achievements objectively as dictated by the academic unit.  The department and/or independent college administrator will then solicit evaluations from at least three (3) of the individuals whose names have been submitted by the candidate.  The unit administrator and/or the academic college dean may solicit evaluations from other reviewers dependent upon the academic unit policy as governed by the CBA provided the unit administrator and/or the academic college dean informs the candidate.

  3. Criteria for Tenure and Promotion

    As per University policy, “the unit handbook may recommend that candidates for tenure should be expected to meet the minimum criteria for promotion to Associate Professor and, in such cases, the higher standards that a candidate for early promotion is expected to meet may be applied to the candidate's application for early tenure as well. These criteria only apply to regional campus Faculty if a similar standard has been set in the regional campus handbooks.” Kent State University at Tuscarawas expressly does not require that a candidate meet the minimum criteria for promotion to Associate Professor to earn tenure but does expect that candidates for tenure exhibit potential for promotion at some future date.

    The RTP Committee shall consider the areas of Faculty performance described below when making recommendations on tenure and promotion. The tables and text provided are designed to facilitate assessment of performance of those candidates who are being evaluated for tenure and promotion. During the probationary period, the tables and text below should be used for developmental assistance and projection of future success in achieving tenure and promotion.

    Because of the differences among disciplines and publication, presentation, performance, and/or exhibition venues it is inappropriate to quantify absolutely the criteria for assessment of an individual candidate’s portfolio of accomplishment. Each member of the RTP committee must necessarily apply his or her own professional judgment to make a final ballot recommendation based upon the standards of the relevant discipline, the testimony provided by the candidate’s file and peer reviewers, and the discussions during the RTP committee meetings. When all the evaluations are summarized, a recommendation will be made regarding a candidate’s whole performance, viewed as a unified, integrated record of a teacher-scholar and university citizen emerges consistent with the standards described within this section.

    Candidates standing for reappointment and tenure are strongly encouraged to acknowledge these facts as they prepare their files and should endeavor to fully explain the level and context of accomplishment given their discipline, their year in the review process, and how they addressed issues raised in the previous year’s review.

    Tables 1, 2, and 3 provide guidelines for the assessment of a Faculty member’s performance and a rating scale for use in the evaluation of candidates in three areas; Scholarship, Teaching and Service. For tenure decisions a rating of “excellent” in either teaching or scholarship, at least “very good” in the other category, and at least “good” in service are needed for a positive recommendation.  For promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor the Faculty member must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in either scholarship or teaching with at least a “very good” rating in the remaining two (2) categories.  A candidate for promotion to Professor must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in scholarship or teaching and at least “very good” in the remaining two (2) categories.  A candidate for promotion to Professor need not have equal activity in scholarship, teaching and service as he/she becomes more specialized.

    1. Scholarship

      Scholarship is an essential and critical component of University activity.  The originality, quality and value of the work must be assessed.  To assist this process, the candidate shall submit the requisite number of potential external reviewers who are qualified to evaluate their achievements objectively as dictated by the academic unit.  Moreover, the candidate must provide the RTP Committee with ample descriptive evidence of his/her scholarly activity.  A Faculty member's specific area of specialization may be a factor in the number and size of grants received and in the scope and time required for research and the resulting publications.

      In addition to creative activity, funded research and scholarly publications, other scholarly activities including but not limited to serving on national grant review bodies, presenting at refereed professional meetings, chairing academic society committees, and presenting papers before learned societies should be considered. These latter activities complement creative activity, scholarly publications and grant-funded research.  Other scholarly activities in which Faculty members may engage include holding membership in professional societies, attending and participating in institutes and seminars, organizing institutes, seminars, and workshops, insofar as such activities enhance their professional competency.

      All Faculty of the campus are expected to seek excellence in scholarly activity.  Indicators on which the assessment of scholarly activity is based are provided in Table 1.

      Indicators for the assessment of a Faculty member’s research and creative activity record include the quality and quantity of performances, exhibitions, installations and published work as well as the Faculty member’s success in obtaining extramural funds.  All Faculty members on the Campus are expected to produce records of scholarship and creative activity that reflect their disciplinary focus, and the attributes of an individual Faculty member’s scholarly activity will vary across disciplines.

      To achieve “excellent” in the category of the scholarship at the time a Faculty member stands for tenure and promotion, she/he should have established a significant research and or creative activity program.

      Within this context, during annual reappointment reviews, each Faculty member who will seek tenure or promotion is obligated to provide evidence supporting his/her scholarly record.  This obligation will be met by providing specific information about the significance of performances, exhibitions and installations, article and journal quality, funding history and plans, and description in the Faculty member’s supplementary materials of any other evidence of scholarship that the Faculty member deems appropriate.  In turn, the RTP Committee and the Campus Dean shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the Campuses expectations for a successful tenure or promotion decision.

      Table 1. Tuscarawas Campus Faculty: Evaluation Components for Assessment of Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion.

       

       

      Scholarship

      Definition

      Accomplishments* Corresponding to the

      Assessment Score

      Excellent

      Established research program, and/or body of creative activity.

      Demonstrated record of publications1 and/or grants2, and/or performances, exhibitions and installations, invited presentations, research-related service to federal/state organizations, awards, recognition from artistic, professional and/or scientific societies3

      Very Good

      Active research program, and/or body of creative activity.

      Demonstrated record of publications1 and/or “seed” grants, and/or performances, exhibitions, installations and presentations at well-recognized meetings or venues with rigorous review criteria.

      Good

      Emerging research program and/or body of creative activity.

      Some publications1 or “seed” grants, some performances, exhibitions, installations or presentations at meetings/seminars.

      Fair

      Limited research program and/or body of creative activity.

      Occasional publications1, performances, exhibitions, installations or meeting presentations.

      Poor

      No research program and/or body of creative activity.

      No publications1, performances, exhibitions, installations, presentations, or grants.

      Note: definitions in footnotes below refer to the meaning of “publications1,” “grants2,” and “recognition3” throughout Table 1. *These accomplishments are intended to be neither all-inclusive nor exclusionary.

      Publications include papers in peer-reviewed journals, books, and book chapters of recognized quality. Evaluation of a candidate’s publication record will include an assessment of quality, originality and quantity. Papers of exceptional length and quality are given particular consideration.

      “Grants” refers to extramural funding where the role of the Faculty member in securing the funding is clearly demonstrated and which are of sufficient magnitude to completely support research or creative activity at a level and duration appropriate for the discipline, including, as appropriate funds for supplies, materials and personnel. “Seed Grants” are extramural grants that are not of sufficient magnitude to fully support a full program of research or creative activity or are intramural grants. “Seed Grants” should be designed to lead to successful applications for “Grants.”  Grantsmanship should be commensurate with the field of research or creative activity with the recognition that the dollar amount of awards varies among fields, but is a significant indicator of the accomplishment.

      Recognitions from scientific, artistic and scholarly societies include, for example, election to office, editorial board membership, editorship, etc. Service to federal/state institutions includes service on federal proposal panels, site visits, and other research related activities.

       

    2. Teaching

      Criteria for the evaluation of teaching are listed in Table 2.  Course revision is defined as making substantial modifications to a course such as developing new laboratories, adding distance-learning options, or formally proposing to change course content/format.

      Other information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the Campus or from University administrators shall be considered when available.  Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction must be submitted as part of a candidate’s file for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  Copies of representative syllabi, examinations, and other relevant teaching material should also be available for review.  Documentation related to student training should be included in materials provided by a candidate for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  Differences in missions and expectations across campuses will determine evaluation of teaching.

      Table 2. Tuscarawas Campus Faculty:  Evaluation Components for Assessment of Teaching for Tenure and Promotion

       

       

      Teaching Assessment

      Definition

      Accomplishments* Corresponding to the Assessment Score

      Excellent

      Innovative teacher; provides leadership in instructional development.

      Excellent student and peer perceptions across a breadth of courses that are consistent over time, highly recognized and documented student/mentor accomplishments, innovative teaching methods, develops and engages in significant involvement in research/honors/community engagement or other creative activity projects with students, instructional creativity, regularly develops/revises courses, actively participates in curricular revisions. Other documented recognition of excellence in teaching. Award of pedagogical or other instruction related grants1.

      Very Good

      Innovative teacher

      Very good student and peer perceptions, develops/revises courses to improve instructional delivery, works with students in research/honors/community engagement or other creative activity projects, participates in curricular revisions. Other documented recognition of very good teaching.

      Good

      Competent teacher

      Good student and peer perceptions. Occasionally works with students on research/honors/community engagement or other creative activity projects, develops/revises a course.

      Fair

      Substandard teacher

      Below average student and peer perceptions. Never works with students on research projects, occasionally develops/revises a course.

      Poor

      Ineffective teacher

      Well below average student and peer perceptions, pattern of complaints.

      * These accomplishments are intended to be neither all-inclusive nor exclusionary. 1As noted above “Grants” refers to extramural funding where the role of the Faculty member in securing the funding is clearly demonstrated and which are of sufficient magnitude to completely support the instructional activity at a level and duration appropriate for the discipline, including, as appropriate funds for supplies, materials and personnel. “Seed Grants” are extramural grants that are not of sufficient magnitude to fully support a full program of instructional activity or are intramural grants. “Seed Grants” should be designed to lead to successful applications for “Grants.”  Grantsmanship should be commensurate with the field of activity with the recognition that the dollar amount of awards varies among fields, but is a significant indicator of the accomplishment.

       

    3. University Service

      A Faculty member's contributions as a University citizen include service to the Campus, academic unit (department/school/independent college), academic College, University, discipline and community as outlined in Table 3.  The quality of the candidate’s service should be evaluated by the extent of the individual’s contribution and the importance of the service to the mission of the academic unit served.  Being an active and useful citizen of the Campus, academic unit and University is expected and valued; however, service of any magnitude cannot be considered more important than a candidate's research and other scholarly activity and instructional responsibilities.

      Table 3. Tuscarawas Campus Faculty: Assessment of University Service for Tenure and Promotion.

       

       

      Citizenship Assessment

      Definition

      Accomplishments* Corresponding to the Assessment Score

      Excellent

      Well-recognized record of professional service.

      Well-recognized participation at the Campus, academic unit, academic College, University and/or professional disciplinary levels as evidenced by productive service on committees and taskforces, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, completing specific administrative assignments and/or meaningful public engagement.

      Very Good

      Significant record of professional service.

      Significant participation at the Campus, academic unit, academic College, University and/or professional disciplinary levels as evidenced by productive service on committees and taskforces, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, completing specific administrative assignments and/or meaningful public engagement.

      Good

      Acceptable record of professional service.

      Dutifully participates in professional service at the Campus, academic unit, academic college, University and/or professional disciplinary levels. Actively participates on local committees, participates in specific administrative assignments and/or local public engagement activities.

      Fair

      Limited level of professional service.

      Modestly participates in professional service at the Campus, academic unit, academic college, University and/or professional disciplinary levels on an intermittent basis.  Occasionally attends local committee meetings, participates in specific administrative assignments and/or local public engagement activities.

      Poor

      Insufficient record of professional service.

      Does not meet service obligations at the Campus, academic unit, academic College, University and/or professional disciplinary levels in a timely manner or does not actively participate in significant Campus, academic unit, academic college and/or University level events and/or public engagement activities.


      *These accomplishments are intended to be neither all-inclusive nor exclusionary

       

  4. Suggested RTP File Contents

    Faculty must prepare an electronic file for reappointment using the University approved system.  When applying for tenure and/or promotion, the candidate must prepare two (2) portfolios; one (1) for tenure, and one (1) for promotion.  Specific timetables are disseminated annually from the Office of the Provost.  Use reverse chronology in all items, both regarding your curriculum vita and the portfolio contents.  Suggestions to streamline and clarify the process for Faculty at the Tuscarawas Campus are offered below.

    *   Write a narrative which includes information regarding your years in rank; a summary of your academic unit’s expectations; an overview of scholarly activities, teaching accomplishments and university citizenship, both on-campus and beyond; and future plans. (2-3 pages are suggested)

    *   Include an updated curriculum vitae.

    *   List the courses you’ve taught each semester.

    *  Ensure all reappointment/tenure letters from the Faculty Chair, the Campus Dean, the department chair/school director, independent college dean, the Provost and, if relevant, the President of the University are added by the Dean’s Office.

    *   Present course syllabi for the past academic year, but also include those for the semester of filing.  (Narratives regarding the candidate’s pedagogical philosophy may warrant adding prior syllabi to indicate changes and/or future plans.)

    Note: Faculty who participate in a team-teaching setting such as nursing, for example, should indicate those arrangements and only include data relevant to their portion of the course/s.  Faculty should offer overviews, not daily lesson plans.  Again, remember that Faculty outside your field need to understand your discipline.  Be reviewer-friendly.  If you are teaching a web-based or distance-learning course or employing other distance/distributed learning technologies, clarify your situation.

    *    Add sample course materials as appropriate.

    *    Offer summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (SSI) results (cumulative) as well as copies of individual SSI’s for the current year which contain written comments.  (Another option is to have a member of the RTP Committee verify your typed transcription of those statements.)  Note: Those undergoing their first-year review are exempt from this requirement.

    *    Seek class observations and written, annual peer review(s), ideally conducted by senior Faculty in your discipline or a related area.  These peer reviews should be included in your portfolio.

    *    Explain the credentials or the professional stature of any person whose name you use as a reference/evaluator.  When discussing grant applications or research, mention external reviewers’ comments, citations of your work by others, and/or publications, as applicable.

    *    Seek advice from your mentor and colleagues, and review the files of others who have attained tenure and promotion in your discipline in the Regional Campuses System.

    *    Ensure the Tuscarawas Campus’s Weighting Criteria and your Dept/school/independent college criteria are included in your portfolio.  Also, consider both the Campus criteria and the criteria your department/school/independent college, as applicable, in the preparation of your portfolio.