Tenure | Kent State University

Tenure

  1. Scope

    This section is designed to set forth specific tenure criteria for University Libraries (UL) and as such, works in conjunction with current Kent State University Policy Regarding Faculty Tenure as adopted by the Faculty Senate and as approved by the Board of Trustees. In any case where there is conflict between the language of the University Policy or the Tenure Track Unit Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the UL Handbook, the conflicting UL Handbook language will be superseded by the University Policy or CBA language. According to University policy, University Libraries is an "independent college" and as such operates on the University timeline as an academic unit.

  2. Definition

    "Indefinite tenure" is a right of a faculty member to continuous appointment to a professional position of specified locus in the university. The services of a faculty member with tenure may be terminated by the University only under policies stated in the "Sanctions for Cause and Retrenchment" articles of the Tenure Track Unit Collective Bargaining Agreement.

  3. Tenure Timetable

    3.1 Faculty appointed at the rank of Assistant Professor shall in most cases stand for tenure following five successful reappointment reviews. Faculty appointed at ranks higher than that of Assistant Professor may serve a shorter probationary period.

    3.2 University policy allows eligible, untenured faculty members to extend their probationary period (toll) if family or other personal circumstances warrant this change. If a faculty member is eligible and opts to toll, the faculty member would stand for tenure a year later than otherwise for each tolled year.

    3.3 In extraordinary circumstances, faculty who are appointed at the rank of Assistant Professor and who are scheduled to serve a full six-year probationary period may elect at their discretion to stand for tenure before the expiration of their probationary period. If a faculty member elects to stand for early tenure and is denied, such denial shall not prejudice a future departmental vote when he or she stands for tenure at the regularly scheduled time.

  4. Expectations for Tenure

    It is expected that faculty standing for tenure in University Libraries will demonstrate an appropriate level of accomplishment in job performance/teaching, scholarship, and service as defined by the subsequent rubrics. Given that the nature of faculty work varies widely within UL, and that teaching is not the primary job responsibility of most UL faculty members, UL defines the teaching aspect of tenure to include both job performance and teaching, with emphasis on the candidate's job performance. "Scholarship" is broadly defined to include research, scholarly and creative work. "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.  University Libraries' faculty is comprised of experts active in numerous areas of librarianship and related fields. In addition to their specific specializations, it is expected that individuals will demonstrate a broad knowledge of the field of librarianship. Likewise, in their scholarship UL faculty shall demonstrate clarity of goals and sound methods.

    The decision to grant tenure to a faculty member results from the assessment of the evidence available to determine the candidate's ongoing potential to contribute to University Libraries, the University, and the profession. A candidate's submitted record will be evaluated on the basis of the quality of the work, significance of contribution, and impact. The decision to grant tenure is made separately from the decision to grant promotion in rank.

    A faculty member's appointment may include operational or administrative responsibilities that may impact scholarly productivity. This will be taken into consideration in evaluating candidates.

    5.1 Criteria for Tenure

    The following categories, in order of importance, shall form the basis for evaluation of faculty for tenure in UL:

    1. University Libraries places particular value on the quality of its faculty as professional practitioners of librarianship. Accordingly, a candidate for tenure in UL must achieve a rating of "very good" or "excellent" in job performance/teaching according to the measures set forth in Section 6 of this policy.
    2. University Libraries also values the engagement of its faculty in research on the diverse areas of knowledge applicable to the goals and mission of UL, the University, and the profession. Accordingly, a candidate for tenure in UL must achieve a rating of "very good" or "excellent" in scholarship according to the measures set forth in Section 7 of this policy.
    3. Service which makes significant positive contributions to the advancement of the educational, scholarly, and governance goals and mission of UL, the University, the profession, or the community is expected of all faculty members. Kent State University also values service activities not necessarily tied to one's special field of knowledge. Accordingly, a candidate for tenure in UL must achieve a rating of "good" or "excellent" in service according to the measures set forth in Section 8 of this policy.

     

    5.3 Assessment of Scholarly Products

    Only materials compiled, finished (including work "in press"), or presented since initial appointment at current rank or since the last successful application for reappointment are to be considered in the evaluation of a candidate's qualifications for tenure. A candidate must supply official documentation for materials that are "in press."

    A regular pattern of scholarly activity is more important than achieving a specific number of scholarly products. A candidate's works will be evaluated on the basis of the quality of the work, significance of contribution, and impact on University Libraries, the University, and the profession.

    Works are more highly valued when they are:

    Invited - Such invitations reflect recognition of the candidate within the scholarly community. High profile invitations (for example, keynote speaker) are more valued than roles such as featured speaker or panel member.
     

    Peer reviewed - Peer reviewed or refereed works reflect a positive assessment by external experts of the value and quality of the work.

    Associated with publishers, publications, or organizations of high repute or high impact. (NOTE: UL does not maintain a list of core journals.) National and international venues are valued more highly than state and regional venues.

    Scholarly products can take many forms. There is no preference regarding the physical or electronic format of the work. When a work is repackaged (for example, reprinted), this should be clearly indicated by the candidate on all relevant materials in the file. Content posted on institutional repositories and blogs is not viewed as scholarly, unless it is also published or presented in a manner itemized below.

    The following list is a partial survey of types of valued scholarly output. The types are in alphabetical order. The categories under each type are in order with most highly valued listed first.
    1.     Articles in scholarly or professional journals

    a.     invited

    b.     peer reviewed

    c.     non-peer-reviewed

    2.     Bibliographies in scholarly or professional publications

    a.     critically annotated

    b.     descriptively annotated

    c.     unannotated

    3.     Book chapters in scholarly or professional books

    4.     Book reviews

    a.     review essay

    b.     evaluative

    5.     Book series - editor

    6.     Books from scholarly or professional presses

    a.     author

    b.     editor

    7.    Columns in scholarly or professional journals

    a.     author
             
    i.     invited
             
    ii.     proposed / submitted

    b.     column editor

    8.     Editorial role for scholarly or professional journal or book series

    a.     journal editor
    b.     guest editor

    c.     editorial board / reviewer of manuscripts

    9.     Exhibits

    a.     curated

    b.     catalog published

    10.   Grants for scholarly or professional research
    a.     funded grants

    b.     proposals

    11.   Indexing and abstracting

    12.   Presentations at scholarly or professional conferences

    a.     keynote

    b.     invited

    c.     selected

    d.     poster session

    13.   Proceedings from scholarly or professional conferences

    14.   Products of advanced degree work

    a.     dissertation

    b.     thesis
    c.     research studies

    15.   Reference book entries

    a.     author

    b.     editor

    16.  Review panel for funding agencies

    17.  Subject, name or series authority work contributed through nationally recognized professional organizations

    18.  Other scholarly activity - candidate must describe / summarize

     

  5. Assessing Job Performance/Teaching

    A candidate for tenure in UL shall compile a strong record in job performance/teaching. For UL, teaching is the sharing of professional expertise and specialized knowledge, primarily with students, in individual or group settings. Consideration shall be given to the varying emphases on teaching responsibilities among UL faculty positions when assessing this area.

    In addition to opportunities to engage in teaching that come with one's position within UL, job performance, pedagogical practice, and professional awareness may be enriched by adjunct teaching for other departments. For the purposes of this document, adjunct teaching is defined as that done under a separate contract for additional compensation. In such cases, a candidate may choose to describe the connection between the adjunct teaching and the teaching that is part of job responsibilities, but student evaluations of instruction for an adjunct appointment will not be considered.

    To be successful for tenure a candidate should have achieved either a "Very Good" or "Excellent" rating in the area of job performance/teaching according to the following rubric.

    Assessment

    Definition

    Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment

    Excellent

    Exemplary job performance: innovative, exemplary problem solver, possesses a strong sphere of influence, actively engaged

    Demonstration of creativity, leadership, and innovation and of problem solving. Significant impact on the department, UL, and the University. Thoroughly addresses any improvements needed based on yearly performance evaluations and reappointment letters. Significant evidence of sharing new insights and approaches within the profession and on campus through publications and presentations.

    Very Good

    Good job performance, engaged

    Evidence of innovation and contributions toward problem solving. Positive impact on the department, UL, and the University. Significant effort demonstrated to make improvements based on yearly performance evaluations and reappointment letters. Evidence of sharing new insights and approaches within the profession or on campus through publications or presentations.

    Good

    Satisfactory job performance, moderately engaged

    Some evidence of innovations. Maintains a positive yet modest impact on the department, UL, and the University. Modest effort to make improvements based on yearly performance evaluations and reappointment letters. Some evidence of sharing new insights and approaches within the profession or campus through publications or presentations.

    Fair

    Marginal job performance, little engagement

    Little evidence of innovation or impact on the department, UL, or University. Minimal effort to make improvements based on yearly performance evaluations and reappointment letters. Little evidence of engagement within the profession.

    Poor

    Unsatisfactory job performance: no engagement

    Lack of initiative. Documented negative impact on patrons or colleagues. No effort to make improvements based on yearly performance evaluations and reappointment letters. No evidence of sharing new insights and approaches within the profession or campus through publications or presentations.

  6. Assessing Scholarship

    A candidate for tenure in UL shall compile a strong record of scholarship. For UL, scholarship may include, but is not limited to, structured scholarly investigation that utilizes appropriate and sound research methods in the search for new knowledge. It may be typified by descriptive, relational, or causal research questions. The candidate must demonstrate a cohesive line of inquiry as part of the scholarly record presented.

    Scholarship should be conducted either (a) within the discipline of library science or (b) in relation to the responsibilities of one's position or (c) based on one's grounding as a librarian. A candidate who undertakes scholarly activity outside these areas must persuasively explain the appropriateness of the research in their reappointment file. In addition to the more traditional means of pursuing research, significant advanced degree work is also valued when it relates to one or more of the three areas listed above. See Appendix 2.C. of the UL Faculty Handbook for a statement on graduate study by faculty members in University Libraries.

    To be successful for tenure a candidate should have achieved either a "very good" or "excellent" rating in the area of scholarship according to the following rubric.

    Assessment

    Definition

    Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment

    Excellent

    Wide recognition of active research program

    Demonstrated evidence of a clear line of inquiry. Consistent record of publication. Invitations to give presentations to national, regional, or state organizations. Thoroughly addresses any improvements needed based on reappointment letters.

    Very Good

    Growing recognition of active research program.

    Emerging line of inquiry. Active record of publication. Evidence of presentations to national, regional, or state organizations. Significant effort demonstrated to make improvements based on reappointment letters.

    Good

    Active research program

    Evidence of some research activity. Some publications or presentations. Modest effort to make improvements based on reappointment letters.

    Fair

    Limited research program

    Little evidence of research activity. Few publications or meeting presentations. Minimal effort to make improvements based on reappointment letters.

    Poor

    No research program

    No evidence of research activity. No publications or presentations. No effort to make improvements based on reappointment letters.

  7. Assessing Service

    A candidate is expected to participate in service which may include contributions to University Libraries, as a University citizen, to the profession, and of library expertise to the community. The merits of the candidate's service should be evaluated as to the role of the candidate, the importance of the service to the entity served, and on the extent of effort associated with the activity.

    Consideration will be given to candidates with administrative appointments, who have fewer opportunities to participate on UL governance bodies as described.

    To be successful for tenure a candidate should have achieved a level of with "Good" or "Excellent" according to the following rubric.

    Assessment

    Definition

    Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment

    Excellent

    Established leadership across multiple service roles.

    Record of consistent significant contribution on UL and University committees. Leadership roles in UL or University citizenship activities, such as committees. Leadership roles in professional service activities at the local, state, regional, national, or international level. Consistent record of effective performance and participation regardless of specific role.

    Good

    Well-developed and consistent record of service.

    Record of consistent contribution on UL and University committees. Active roles in professional service activities at the local, state, regional, national, or international level. Record of effective performance and participation regardless of specific role.

    Poor

    Poor or negligible record of service.

    Few or no UL or University service activities. Little professional service activity at the local, state, regional, national, or international level. Ineffective performance and participation.

  8. Peer Evaluation Procedure

    9.1 (Step One) Each Spring Semester, the Dean of University Libraries shall notify candidates who are entering the final year of their probationary period that they shall stand for tenure in the fall.

    9.2 (Step Two) The candidate shall identify external reviewers in compliance with the requirements and timeline specified in Section V.D. of this Handbook.

    9.3 (Step Three) The candidate shall compile a file covering the entirety of the probationary period up to and including the day the file is submitted to support the tenure application. The candidate is permitted to use a reasonable amount of work time in compiling this file. The candidate shall complete and submit the file for review in compliance with the deadline set by the University.

    9.4  (Step Four)  The Dean shall review the file the candidate prepared with the candidate in order to insure that the file is complete and shall prepare a statement indicating that the file is complete. Both the candidate and the Dean shall sign the completed file statement. Thereafter, the candidate must be informed of anything that is added to or removed from the file and provided the opportunity to insert written comments concerning that new or removed material.

    9.5 (Step Five) Before convening the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee, the Dean shall inform all tenured faculty that the files are available for inspection and shall formally invite signed, written comments from all tenured faculty members who are not members of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee. The Dean shall provide those comments to the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee, copy the candidate, and place the comments in the file.

    9.6 (Step Six) The Dean shall appoint an ad hoc Tenure Review Committee. The Committee shall be comprised of at least five (5) voting members.

    a.     All tenured members of the College Advisory Committee shall serve as full, voting members.

    b.     Any tenured full professor who is a member of the Tenure-Track Collective Bargaining Unit and who is not a member of the College Advisory Committee shall serve as a full, voting member.

    c.     Additional tenured Faculty may be nominated by the College Advisory Committee so that the committee has at least five (5) voting members. These Faculty shall serve as full, voting members.

    d.     If there are insufficient tenured UL Faculty members to meet the requirement of at least five (5) voting members, the College Advisory Committee may nominate tenured Faculty outside of UL. These Faculty shall be full voting members of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee.

    e.     CAC may nominate additional tenured faculty, such as a Regional Campus Library Director, to the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee if it feels it is necessary for the full and fair evaluation of the tenure candidate. These faculty shall be full voting members of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee.

    f.      The Dean shall be the nonvoting chair of the Committee.

    g.     The administrator who serves as the liaison in faculty personnel matters of UL shall be a nonvoting member of the Committee.

    h.     If the vote concerns the spouse, domestic partner, or relative of a member of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee, that member of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee shall not vote nor shall he/she be present during deliberations or voting. In such a situation, the College Advisory Committee may, if necessary, nominate an additional tenured Faculty member to the committee for the review of that particular file to guarantee that the committee has at least five (5) voting members.

    i.      If the vote concerns a faculty member of higher rank than a member of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee, that member of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee shall not vote nor shall he/she be present during deliberations or voting. In such a situation, the College Advisory Committee may, if necessary, nominate an additional tenured Faculty member of equivalent or higher rank to the committee for the review of that particular file to guarantee that the committee has at least five (5) voting members.

    9.7 (Step Seven)

    a. The Dean shall convene a meeting of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee.

    b. The members of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee shall discuss each individual candidate for tenure. The
    Dean shall initiate discussion by sharing his/her estimate of the strengths and weaknesses of each individual candidate with the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee.

    c. At the conclusion of the deliberations of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee, there shall be a preliminary voice vote of all members, who shall vote yea or nay on each candidate under consideration.

    d. Abstentions are permitted only if a member of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee is on an approved leave of absence and has received the right to abstain from the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee. Members of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee on approved leave of absence may vote by absentee ballot rather than requesting permission to abstain.

    9.8 (Step Eight)

    a. After the adjournment of the meeting of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee, each voting member of the Committee shall promptly record his/her vote and the reasons for the vote on the appropriate University form. This written vote shall be the final vote. Each voting member shall return the completed form(s) to the Dean or his/her designee.

    b. When completing the ballot form, the Committee member should give careful consideration to fully supporting his/her vote on a particular candidate. The ballot should be written in such a way that reviewers at other levels of the tenure process can clearly understand the requirements of the UL tenure policy in particular and the candidate's success or failure at meeting those requirements. The Committee member must be sure to provide, using the language of other sections of this policy and examples from the submitted file itself, a clear indication of the Committee member's assessment of that particular tenure candidacy.

    c. In order to be recommended for tenure by the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee, a candidate must receive approval from at least three fourths of the written ballots of committee members who vote.

    d. Abstentions are permitted only if a member of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee is on an approved leave of absence and has received the right to abstain from the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee. Members of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee on approved leave of absence may vote by absentee ballot rather than requesting permission to abstain.

    9.9 (Step Nine) After carefully reviewing the recorded votes and comments submitted by all voting members of the Committee, the Dean shall weigh and assess each candidate's record as represented in the candidate's tenure file and in other relevant information that the Committee has reviewed. The Dean shall conclude his/her deliberations on each candidate by preparing a memo to the Provost or his/her designee for the Regional Campuses. In this memo, the Dean shall reference the numerical Committee vote on each candidate, indicate whether or not he/she concurs with the Committee's recommendation on each candidate, and outline his/her reasons for recommending or not recommending the candidate. The Dean should focus on the requirements of the UL tenure policy in particular and the candidate's success or failure at meeting those requirements. As with the committee members, the Dean is encouraged to use the language of the UL tenure policy when drafting this memo.

    9.10 (Step Ten) The Dean shall place a copy of this memo in the candidate's tenure and personnel file and shall send a copy of this memo to the candidate and to all members of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee. The Dean shall assemble his/her written recommendation on each candidate and the written recommendation on each candidate submitted by the voting members of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee. These documents shall be placed in each candidate's tenure file.

    9.11 (Step Eleven)The Dean shall notify the candidate by sending the candidate a copy of his/her letter of recommendation and copies of the written ballots of the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee at the same time the recommendation is submitted to the Provost or his/her designee for the Regional Campuses. This notification letter shall also include a statement informing the candidate that she/he has the right to include, within five working days, a letter in the file responding to any errors of fact that the candidate believes are in any of the recommendations and supporting documents from the Dean or the ad hoc Tenure Review Committee or other advisory committees. The letter shall also indicate that if the candidate wishes to appeal a negative decision, notification of such intent shall be sent in writing within ten working days of receipt of the Dean's letter.

    9.12 (Step Twelve) The Dean shall forward, in a timely fashion, the tenure file of each candidate to the Provost or his/her designee for the Regional Campuses, as appropriate.

     

  9. Timetable for Implementation

    The revised guidelines for tenure will be implemented as follows:

    a.     These guidelines will be effective for all new tenure-track faculty hired after the date of final approval of the revised criteria.

    b.     Faculty in tenure-track status prior to the final approval of the revised guidelines will have the choice of using either the previous or revised criteria. These faculty must provide notification in the tenure file of the guidelines being followed.

    Approved by the UL Faculty, 09/16/08
    Approved by the Provost, 01/30/09
    Revision approved by UL Faculty, 9/14/10

    Receipt acknowledged by the Provost's Office, 9/1710

    Final approval, 8/31/11