Tenure and Promotion | Tuscarawas Faculty Handbook | Kent State University

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.