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

The Department is research oriented and aims for excellence in its graduate programs. Consequently, research accomplishments will normally be heavily weighted in reappointment, promotion, and tenure considerations.  Quality of research is weighted more heavily than quantity.

At the same time, the Department recognizes that other criteria, particularly quality of teaching, may also be of primary importance for some Faculty members. The relative weighting of research and teaching in any individual case, especially for reappointment, promotion to Associate Professor, or tenure, will be made with consideration of the expectations laid out in that individual’s offer letter.

Since education is a primary mission of the Department, a high level of teaching competence is expected of all Faculty. It is expected that there will be continued interaction between teaching and research, to the benefit of both.

  1. Reappointment of TT faculty

    The policies and procedures for reappointment are included in the University policy and procedures regarding Faculty reappointment (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-16).  Each academic year, reappointment guidelines for Kent and Regional Campus faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost.  Probationary tenure-track Faculty members are reviewed by the Department’s Ad Hoc RTP Committee (See, Section III of this Handbook).  The FAC, in consultation with the Chair, assigns at least one Faculty member to visit representative classes of each probationary Faculty member and generally evaluate the Faculty member’s teaching performance.   A written report of the evaluation is submitted to the Chair for placement in the Faculty member’s reappointment file.  Probationary Faculty will also create an updated file that is presented to the Chair, who will make these materials available to the Ad Hoc RTPC. Each probationary Faculty member is discussed by the RTPC, which then votes on the Faculty member’s reappointment.  The Chair independently assesses the accomplishments of each probationary Faculty member and forwards her/his recommendation and the RTPC's recommendations to the Dean.  The Chair informs probationary Faculty member of the RTPC's recommendations and provides a copy of her/his recommendation to the Dean. For Faculty members whose appointment is on the Regional Campuses, recommendations on reappointment from the Chair are forwarded to the Dean and the appropriate Regional Campus Dean.

    For probationary Faculty, reappointment is contingent upon demonstration of adequate progress toward the requirements for tenure.  Moreover, the Faculty member must have established and articulated short and long term plans for achieving these goals.  A sound ethical approach to all aspects of teaching, research, publication, and the academic profession is expected of all who seek reappointment in the Department.

    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, Faculty reviewing a candidate for reappointment should consider the cumulative record of the candidate’s achievements to date and their impact on the discipline.  This record should be considered a predictor of future success.  The research record can be demonstrated through review of the candidate’s peer reviewed publications and accepted publications (with quality valued more highly than mere quantity) and her/his record in grant application and grant award. Other indicators of quality performance include advising of graduate students, editorship of high quality journals, and invitations to present at national or international conferences. Measurement of journal quality is a complex task; a journal’s inclusion in the SCI listings is a basic indicator, but other criteria may also be used, with all due precaution.

    Specific concerns expressed by the Ad Hoc RTPC and/or the Chair during the probationary period should be addressed by the candidate in subsequent reappointment reviews.  A candidate who fails to demonstrate likely success in the tenure process will be notified promptly that she/he will not be reappointed.

    In the event that concerns about a candidate’s performance are raised during the reappointment process, the Ad Hoc RTPC and the Chair shall provide detailed, prescriptive comments to serve as constructive feedback.  If such concerns arise during a review that occurs after completion of three (3) full years in the probationary period, the Chair, in consultation with the FAC, will advise and work with the candidate on a suitable, positive plan for realignment with the Department’s 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 require an untenured Faculty member to need to request that her/his probationary period be extended.  Upon request, a Faculty member may be granted an extension of the probationary period.  Such an extension has been traditionally called “tolling” or “stopping the tenure clock.”  The University policy and procedures governing modification of the Faculty probationary period is included in the University Policy Register. (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-13)

  2. Tenure and Promotion of TT faculty

    The policies and procedures for tenure are included in the University policy and procedures regarding Faculty tenure (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-14) and the policies and procedures for promotion are included in the University policy and procedures regarding Faculty promotion (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-15).  Each academic year, tenure and promotion guidelines for Kent and Regional Campus Faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost.

    Faculty members are expected to hold membership in professional societies, attend, participate in, or organize seminars, workshops, and conferences, with a view to enhancing their professional competency.   For Kent campus Faculty, there is an expectation of regular solicitation of extramural funding. It is recognized that 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. 

    Tenure and promotion are separate decisions.  The granting of tenure is a decision that plays a crucial role in determining the quality of university Faculty and the national and international status of the University.  The awarding of tenure must be based on convincing documented evidence that the Faculty member has achieved a significant body of scholarship that has had an impact on her/his discipline, has demonstrated excellence as a teacher, and has provided effective service.  The candidate is also expected to continue and sustain, over the long term, a program of high quality research, teaching, and citizenship relevant to the missions of the Department and the University.  To evaluate consistency, tenure considerations will include evaluation of accomplishments prior to arrival at Kent State University, as well as grant proposals submitted but not funded, proposals pending, papers “in review” or “accepted,” graduate students currently advised, and any other materials that may reflect on the candidate’s potential for a long-term successful career.  The tenure decision is based on all of the evidence available to determine the candidate’s potential to pursue a productive career.

    On the other hand, promotion is recognition based on a candidate’s accomplishments completed during the review period. In making promotion evaluations, the research record will be judged more narrowly than in tenure evaluations. For example, judgments will be based on papers published and “accepted,” with no weight being given to papers “in review.” While it is an expectation that candidates actively pursue extramural funding, only grants received or grants accepted will be counted for promotion purposes. Finally, graduate students graduated during the review period will be taken into consideration, but current students will not.

    Consideration for promotion to Professor differs from consideration for promotion to Associate Professor.  Promotion to Associate Professor is recognition for establishing a career likely to achieve national/international prominence as evidenced by papers published or accepted for publication in the refereed high quality scientific literature, significant monographs published or accepted for publication, extramural grants received or approved, journal editorship, presentations at national and international conferences, graduate students graduated, etc.  Promotion to Professor recognizes the highest level of university achievement and national/international prominence.  Evidence is required of increased impact on the field, including a sustained record of solicitation of extramural funding from highly competitive funding sources, with some success.

    Many factors and criteria, both subjective and objective, are considered in recommending a Faculty member for tenure and advancement in academic rank..  A sound ethical approach to all aspects of teaching, research, publication, and the academic profession is expected of all who seek tenure and promotion in the Department.

  3. Criteria for Tenure and Promotion of TT faculty on the Kent Campus

    In all cases, the Ad Hoc RTPC shall consider Faculty performance in research, teaching, and citizenship when making recommendations on tenure and promotion. The tables and text below are designed to facilitate assessment of performance of those candidates who are being evaluated for tenure and promotion.  During the probationary period, these tools should be used for developmental assistance and projection of future success in achieving tenure and promotion.

    Minimum expectations for tenure or promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor for Kent campus Faculty members include

    • a substantial body of published research in top tier journals in the discipline and/or publication of significant research monographs, where
      • quality is valued more highly than mere quantity, and
      • papers of exceptional length, impact and quality are given particular consideration;
    • a national/international reputation in the discipline, with indicators including, but not limited to
      • external reviewers;
      • top tier journal editorship;
      • invitations to make presentations at high quality conferences;
    • a sustained record of applications for extramural funding;
    • a good teaching record; and
    • an adequate citizenship record.

    Tables 2 (A and B), 3, and 4 provide quantitative guidelines for the assessment of a Faculty member’s performance and a rating scale for use in the evaluation of candidates.  In all cases, the quality of the candidate’s work is weighed more heavily than mere quantity.

    For tenure or promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor, a Kent campus Faculty member must meet the criteria for a least a “very good” rating in research and in teaching, with at least a “good” rating in citizenship.

    The Department has higher expectations of a candidate for promotion from Associate Professor to Professor than a candidate for promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor. In particular, the candidate’s reputation in and impact on the discipline are expected to be high.  The candidate must demonstrate full involvement in the graduate program, including successful direction of theses and/or dissertations. In addition to the expectation of a sustained record of applications for external funding, it is normally expected that the candidate will have achieved some success in obtaining grants. Nevertheless, it is recognized that opportunities for obtaining grants vary widely from one sub-discipline to another.

    For promotion from Associate Professor to Professor, a Kent campus Faculty member must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in both research and teaching and a “very good” rating in citizenship.

    1. Standards for the Evaluation of Research

      Research is an essential and critical component of University activity. The originality, quality, impact and value of the work must be assessed.  The candidate must provide the Ad Hoc RTPC with ample descriptive evidence of the nature of his/her scholarly activity. Moreover, to assist the evaluation process, the candidate shall submit the names of at least five (5) experts in her/his field who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work.  In addition, the Chair may independently identify two (2) further experts who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work. The selection of these persons shall be discussed with the FAC and the candidate.

      All Faculty of the department are expected to seek excellence in research.  Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of research is based are provided in Tables 2A and 2B.

      Indicators of the standard of a Faculty member’s research record include the quality and quantity of published work as well as the faculty member’s success in obtaining extramural funds.  In all cases, quality of research is valued more than mere quantity. It is recognized that the attributes of an individual Faculty member’s research activity will vary across sub-disciplines.

      Within this context, during annual reappointment reviews, all Faculty members who will seek tenure or promotion are expected to provide evidence supporting their research records.  In particular, it is expected candidates will provide specific information about article and journal quality and impact, funding history and plans.  They should also include materials, in supplementary files when appropriate, of any other evidence of research and scholarly activity they deem relevant.  In turn, the members of the Department’s Ad Hoc RTPC and the Chair shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the Department’s expectations for successful promotion and tenure decisions.    

      Table 2A. Evaluation Components for Assessment of

      Research for Promotion and Tenure

       Research Rating

      Indicators of Rating

      Excellent

      At least 10 quality points, of which at least 7 are publication points, at least one is a grant point, and at least one is a discipline impact point

      Very Good

      At least 7 quality points, of which at least 5 are publication points, and at least one is a grant point or a discipline impact point

      Good

      At least 4 quality points, of which at least 3 are publication points

      Below Expectations

      Below good rating


       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Quality points are assigned as follows:

      Publication Points

      Indicator

      n

      n high quality papers published or accepted for publication in top tier journals during review period**

      n/2

      n high quality papers published or accepted for publication in middle tier journals during review period

       

      Grant Points

      Indicator

      2n

      n extramural grants awarded or held during review period, each exceeding $15,000 annually ($10,000 for RC candidates)

      1

      At least one extramural grant proposal every 2 years (4 years for RC candidates) of review period, each exceeding $15,000 annually ($10,000 for RC candidates)















       

      Discipline Impact Points

      Activity

      1 point for each activity listed on the right, with the total not exceeding 2 points.

       

      • Author of a research monograph***

       

      • Editor of top tier journals

       

       

       

      • Organizer of international conferences

       

       

      • At least one half hour or hour national/international conference presentation every 2 years of review period


       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Graduate Program Points

      Indicator

      n

      n Kent State doctoral dissertations directed to completion in review period

      n/2

      n Kent State Master’s theses directed to completion in review period

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      **On the recommendation of the Committee, papers of unusual quality and significance may be awarded multiple quality points

                *** On the recommendation of the Committee, research monograph publication may in addition be awarded one or more publication points

       

      Table 2B. Journal Ranking for Guidance in RTP Decisions

      Top tier journals

      Journals with high ranking in the discipline, as evidenced by inclusion in the SCI listings; exceptions must be approved by GSC and FAC

      Middle tier journals

      Journals with medium ranking in the discipline, as evidenced by inclusion in the SCIE, but not SCI, listings; exceptions must be approved by GSC and FAC

      Low tier journals

      Journals with low ranking in the discipline, as evidenced by exclusion from the SCIE listings and not approved for higher ranking by GSC and FAC

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    2. Standards for Evaluating Teaching

      Information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the Department, College, or University administrators shall be considered when available.  Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (including all student comments) 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 graduate student, undergraduate student, and post-doctoral student advising should be included in materials provided by a candidate for reappointment, tenure and promotion.  Kent campus Faculty members are expected to mentor graduate students (particularly at the doctoral level) and/or postdoctoral students.

      Criteria for the evaluation of teaching are listed in Table 3. 

       

      Table 3. Assessment of Teaching for promotion and tenure

      Teaching rating

      Indicators of Rating

      Excellent

      At least 5 quality points, of which at least 3 are student and peer perception points, and at least one is an innovation and award point

      Very Good

      At least 4 quality points, of which at least 3 are student and peer perception points

      Good

      At least 3 quality points, of which at least one is a student perception point and at least one is a peer perception point

      Below Expectations

      At least one of:

      • Student perceptions consistently worse than norms
      • Unsatisfactory peer evaluations
      • Pattern of complaints

       

      Quality points are assigned as follows:

      Student Perception Points

      Indicator

      2

      Student perceptions consistently better than norms

      1

      Student perceptions consistently close to norms








       

       

      Peer Perception Points

      Indicator

      2

      Consistently superior peer evaluations

      1

      Consistently satisfactory peer evaluations






       

       

       

       

       

       

       


       

       

    3. Standards for Evaluating Citizenship

      A Faculty member's contributions as a University citizen include service to the Department, the Campus, the College, the University, and the discipline as outlined in Table 4.   Judgments of merits of University service should weigh the importance of the service to the mission of the unit served. 

      Citizenship contributions include committee membership at departmental, college, campus, and University levels. In judging committee work, extra weighting should be given for committee chairing.  Citizenship contributions also include active participation in Department events such as faculty and graduate student recruitment, seminars, department meetings and seminars, etc. 

      Other components of citizenship are also considered (including public outreach and public and professional service) in reappointment, tenure and promotion decisions and may differ in their importance among faculty members depending on each faculty member’s duties and responsibilities within the Department. 

      Being an active and useful citizen of the Department, Campus, College 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.  Expectations in service for promotion to Professor are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor.

       

      Table 4. Assessment of University Citizenship for promotion and tenure

      Citizenship Assessment

      Examples of Accomplishments Corresponding to the Assessment Score

      Very good

      Significant role in Department, Campus College, and/ or University as evidenced by productive service on committees, active participation in significant events, effectively chairing committees, specific administrative assignments, meaningful public outreach

      Good

      Achieves the minimal departmental expectations, meeting Department/Campus obligations in a timely manner and actively participating in significant departmental/campus committees or events

      Below Departmental Expectations

      Does not meet Department/Campus obligations in a timely manner or does not actively participate in significant departmental/campus committees or events



       

  4. Criteria for Tenure and Promotion of TT faculty at the Regional Campuses

    Considerations for Regional Campus Faculty will differ from those on the Kent campus, for two distinct reasons. First, for Regional Campus Faculty members, tenure is held on the Regional Campuses, but rank is held within the University as a whole. Second, the primary mission at the Regional Campuses is the teaching of undergraduate classes, particularly lower division or developmental classes. Thus, a Regional Campus Faculty member’s teaching record assumes particular importance in promotion and tenure decisions.

    For tenure or promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor, a Regional Campus Faculty member must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in teaching, with at least a “good” rating in research. In addition, the Faculty member must achieve a “good” rating in citizenship, according to the criteria established in the appropriate Regional Campus handbook For promotion from Associate Professor to Professor, a Regional Campus Faculty member must meet the criteria for an “excellent” rating in both research and teaching.  In addition, the Faculty member must achieve a “very good” rating in citizenship, according to the criteria established in the appropriate Regional Campus handbook. There is, however, no expectation of full involvement in the graduate program or of success in obtaining extramural funding.

    1. Standards for Evaluating Teaching

      Information such as written comments from students, colleagues within and beyond the Department, College, or University administrators shall be considered when available.  Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (including all student comments) 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 graduate student, undergraduate student, and post-doctoral student advising should be included in materials provided by a candidate for reappointment, tenure and promotion.

      Evaluation of teaching will account for differences in missions and expectations across campuses.  Criteria for the evaluation of teaching are listed in Table 3. 

    2. Standards for the Evaluation of Research

      Research is an essential and critical component of University activity. The originality, quality, impact and value of the work must be assessed.  The candidate must provide the Ad Hoc RTPC with ample descriptive evidence of the nature of his/her scholarly activity. Moreover, to assist the evaluation process, the candidate shall submit the names of at least five (5) experts in her/his field who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work.  In addition, the Chair may independently identify two (2) further experts who are considered capable of judging the candidate's work. The selection of these persons shall be discussed with the FAC and the candidate.

      All Faculty of the department are expected to seek excellence in research.  Indicators on which the assessment of the quality of research is based are provided in Tables 2A and 2B.

      Indicators of the standard of a Faculty member’s research record include the quality and quantity of published work as well as the faculty member’s success in obtaining extramural funds.  In all cases, quality of research is valued more than mere quantity. It is recognized that the attributes of an individual Faculty member’s research activity will vary across sub-disciplines.

      Within this context, during annual reappointment reviews, all Faculty members who will seek tenure or promotion are expected to provide evidence supporting their research records.  In particular, it is expected candidates will provide specific information about article and journal quality and impact, funding history and plans.  They should also include materials, in supplementary files when appropriate, of any other evidence of research and scholarly activity they deem relevant.  In turn, the members of the Department’s Ad Hoc RTPC and the Chair shall evaluate a candidate’s record in light of the Department’s expectations for successful promotion and tenure decisions.    

    3. Standards for Evaluating Citizenship

      A Faculty member's contributions as a University citizen include service to the Department, the Campus, the College, the University, and the discipline as outlined in Table 4. Judgments of merits of University service should weigh the importance of the service to the mission of the unit served. 

      Citizenship contributions include committee membership at departmental, college, campus, and University levels. In judging committee work, extra weighting should be given for committee chairing.

      Other components of citizenship are also considered (including public outreach and public and professional service) in reappointment, tenure and promotion decisions and may differ in their importance among faculty members depending on each faculty member’s duties and responsibilities within the Department. 

      Being an active and useful citizen of the Department, Campus, College 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.  Expectations in service for promotion to Professor are higher than for promotion to Associate Professor.

  5. Appointment and Renewal of Appointment of FTNTT faculty

    Appointments for full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty are governed by Section IX of the NTT Collective Bargaining Agreement and are made annually. Renewal of appointment is contingent upon programmatic need, satisfactory performance of previously assigned responsibilities, and budgeted resources to support the position.

    Each academic year, guidelines for periodic reviews of Kent and Regional Campus NTT faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost. As specified in Section IX of the NTT Collective Bargaining Agreement, reviews are conducted by FAC, and recommendations are made to the Chair.