Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Criteria and the Criteria and Processes Related to Other Faculty Personnel Actions

  1. Faculty Appointments

    An earned doctoral degree is required for all Faculty appointments to a tenure-track position in the Department. 

  2. Faculty Ranks

    1.   Assistant Professor.  This rank is normally the entry rank for Faculty holding the doctorate.

    2.   Associate Professor.  Hire at, or promotion to this rank presumes prior service as an Assistant Professor, significant academic achievements, and possession of the doctorate (the criteria for promotion to Associate Professor are specified in Section IV of this Handbook).  

    3.   Professor.  Hire at, or promotion to this rank requires credentials and achievements beyond those required for hire at, or promotion to Associate Professor, and is reserved for senior Faculty members who have achieved significant recognition in their discipline (see Section IV of this Handbook). 

    4.   Adjunct Appointments.  Adjunct appointments are made primarily to Ph.D. level psychologists who supervise advanced Clinical Psychological Science students on pre-internship placements.  These appointments are recommended by the Clinical Psychological Science Training Committee to the Faculty in the Department for their approval.  Adjunct appointments also may be made to other Ph.D. level psychologists who contribute consistently to the teaching and research mission of the Department.  Adjunct appointments may be at any of the professorial ranks, the level being determined by the experience and credentials of the person involved.  Adjunct faculty appointments are made at the discretion of the Chair in consultation with the FAC.

    5.   Visiting Faculty Appointments. Visiting faculty appointments at an appropriate faculty rank may be made when leaves of absence occur or special needs arise and funds are available.  A visiting faculty member is typically a faculty member from another institution who is employed by the Department for a period not to exceed one (1) year.  In the event that a visiting faculty member is employed in that capacity for a second consecutive year, the visiting faculty member will then become a FTNTT faculty member.

    6.   Part-Time Faculty Appointments.  When the Department cannot meet its teaching needs from the ranks of its full-time Faculty, full-time FTNTT faculty, or its graduate students, part-time faculty appointments will be made from an established pool of qualified applicants not currently on regular appointment at the University.  To qualify for a part-time teaching appointment, the candidate must have a master’s degree in psychology (or related field) and an empirical thesis.  All part-time instructors at the Kent and Regional campuses must be approved by the department chair in advance.

    7. Graduate Faculty Status.  As a doctoral-granting Department, the Department assumes that all Faculty hired on the Kent campus are eligible for appointment to the Graduate Faculty as either Associate or Full Members.  The criteria and procedures for appointment to the Graduate Faculty are given in Section V  

  3. Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Consideration for Tenure-Track Faculty

    1. Reappointment Policy

      Initial appointments to the Faculty in the Department are normally made at the Assistant Professor level.  To be hired as an Assistant Professor, a candidate must have a Ph.D. in psychology.  If the person hired is in the process of completing the degree after beginning an appointment at KSU, he/she must complete all requirements for the doctoral degree by January 15 of his/her first academic year at KSU or the contract will not be renewed.  That is, the Faculty member would not be recommended for reappointment.

      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 Faculty members are reviewed by the Department’s Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee (See Section III of this Handbook).  This committee, in consultation with the Chair, will assign two Faculty members to visit the classes of probationary Faculty, interview students, and generally evaluate teaching, research and service accomplishments.  A report will be submitted to the Chair for distribution to the Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee.  Probationary Faculty will also submit a current vita and other supporting materials to the Chair for review by the Promotion and Tenure Committee.  Each probationary Faculty member will be discussed by the Promotion and Tenure Committee and a vote on reappointment will be taken.  The Chair will independently assess the accomplishments   of each probationary Faculty member and, after considering the views of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, will make a recommendation to the Dean regarding reappointment.  The Chair is responsible for providing each probationary Faculty member with feedback regarding his/her performance.

      For probationary Faculty, reappointment is contingent upon demonstration of adequate progress toward the requirements for tenure.  Specific concerns expressed by the Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee and/or the Chair should be addressed by the candidate in subsequent reappointment reviews. Finally, the overall evaluation of a candidate for reappointment must include consideration of the Faculty member's personal integrity and professional behavior as recognized by the University community.  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.  A candidate who fails to demonstrate likely success in the tenure process will be notified promptly that she/he will not be reappointed.

      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 which 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 Policy - Department of Psychological Sciences

      Tenure and Promotion policies for Kent State University are described in Chapter 6 of the University Policy Register. There are three general categories considered for tenure and promotion: (a) Research, (b) Teaching, and (c) University Citizenship. The University Policy describes the criteria for assessing the quality of scholarship and citizenship in general terms but individual departments articulate the relative weight given to each category and the specific criteria to be considered by the department's Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee. This document provides information only on the Department’s particular manner of specifying the criteria for tenure and promotion. 

      The same general criteria are applied in evaluating candidates for tenure and promotion. In addition, the general criteria applicable to promotion to Associate Professor and Professor are the same for both ranks, although they are weighted somewhat differently. The major difference is that full Professors are expected to meet promotion requirements at a substantially higher level. Additionally, for promotion to Professor, emphasis is placed on scholarly accomplishments since the candidate’s promotion to Associate Professor. As will be seen, research accomplishments are essential for tenure and promotion for all Faculty. A description of the three areas considered in assessing a Faculty member for tenure and promotion follow.

      1. Research

        The Department puts the highest value on research in evaluating candidates.  This policy is consistent with our belief that a University must be a place that generates knowledge, rather than merely a place that disseminates a product.  We believe that active involvement in research enhances the quality of information presented in the teaching context.  In addition, research provides a valuable contribution to public needs and promotes the visibility of Kent State University.  No Faculty member in Psychological Sciences should expect to be tenured or promoted if he/she is seriously deficient in the broad area of research.  All candidates are expected to publish empirical research in refereed journals.  Integrative review papers that appear in journals such as Psychological Bulletin and the American Psychologist are also highly valued.  The Department has long recognized the importance of applied research and, at least in psychology, the best applied research is theoretically driven and can be published in appropriate refereed journals. 

        In evaluating the credentials of a candidate in the area of research, the Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee considers the following factors (see Table V.1):

        1. Publications

          The quality, quantity, and rate of publication of peer-reviewed journal articles, including empirical articles and theoretical and review articles, are important considerations in arriving at a decision to tenure and/or promote.  It is the Department’s expectation that the candidate’s scholarly record will include a significant body of empirical research.  Although quantity can be evaluated rather simply, the judgment of quality is more complex and involves a number of factors.  Only work accomplished since the Faculty member was appointed to the faculty at Kent State University is counted, unless explicit credit is given for previous academic or research experience.  Only publications or “in press” material are counted; items that are under review or in preparation are considered but given very little weight. 

          In general, the highest value is given to empirical articles in referred journals.  An integrated series of studies in a single article is more valued than piece-meal publication of single empirical studies.  Theoretical and review papers in peer-reviewed, prestigious journals are highly valued but candidates for tenure should also have articles reporting empirical research. Obviously, publications in journals having stringent reviewing policies are more valued than publications in journals that are less rigorous in their editorial control.  The contribution made by publishing a book is judged, in general, on the level of the book.  For example, professional books that make original contributions are considered more valuable than undergraduate textbooks.  Convention papers are encouraged, but because of their relatively narrow range of dissemination and sometimes superficial reviewing policies, they represent a more nominal level of research accomplishment.  Unpublished research reports or technical reports that are distributed locally or informally are not considered to be "publications."  In evaluating research activity, degree of contribution, not just authorship, will be considered.  Candidates need to specify the degree and nature of their contribution to co-authored publications.  For research activity that was begun before but finished after his/her appointment at Kent State, the amount of work completed since appointment also should be specified.  Since it is difficult to specify typical criteria for tenure and promotion, consultation with senior colleagues may be helpful.

        2. Research-related grants

          The ability of a researcher to support his/her own research program with external funding is a factor that reflects favorably on a candidate's research credentials.  Candidates who have grants that are not funded but have a positive evaluation from competent peer judgment can present that evaluation as a credential that works in favor of tenure and promotion.  Evidence of sustained attempts to obtain research grants is essential for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor and for promotion to Professor.  Obtaining external funding to support a Faculty member's research adds considerably to the case for tenure and promotion, particularly for promotion to Professor.  A very significant factor in assessing research accomplishment of Kent campus Faculty is a consistent pattern  of submitting grant proposals and even more significance is associated with essentially continuous external support.

        3. Professional activity

          Faculty members in Psychological Sciences are expected to be active participants in the profession of psychology.  Some evidence of outside professional activity is necessary for tenure and/or promotion.  Examples of such activity would be reviewing for journals, attending professional meetings regularly, holding office in a professional organization, serving on professional committees, etc.

        4. Reputation

          A person's scholarly reputation is a reflection of the quality, extent, and creativity of his/her research output and is, therefore, an issue that is carefully evaluated.    To receive a positive recommendation for tenure and/or promotion, a candidate must provide evidence that his/her work has provided an impact on the discipline of psychology.  Although international eminence is not required for tenure and/or promotion, it is true that a measure of scholarly reputation is needed.  Indeed, a particularly outstanding reputation in research can serve as an overwhelming mandate for tenure and/or promotion.  Reputation is typically evaluated by letters from investigators in the candidate's area of expertise, number of citations of his/her research, invited colloquia, book chapters, and special honors of any type, including editorships of journals.

      2. Teaching

        Quality of teaching is a very important consideration in evaluating a Faculty member.  Research on teaching can also be included in this area.  No one should expect to be recommended for tenure and/or promotion unless he/she can present solid evidence of good teaching.  Poor teaching can be a basis for denying tenure and/or promotion of a Faculty member who might otherwise exceed the criteria for tenure and/or promotion.  Teaching excellence is a concept that covers a variety of areas, described below (see also Table V.1):

        1. Classroom instruction

          Performance of the Faculty member in the classroom is an important part of teaching evaluation and includes such characteristics as coherence, interest-level, organization, etc.  The quality of course content is also critically important.

      3. University Citizenship

        This category includes service activities not necessarily tied to one’s special field of knowledge which make significant contributions to the advancement of the educational, scholarly, and governance goals and missions of the university, college, campus, or unit. Faculty members are expected to serve on Departmental, Collegial, and University committees as part of their ordinary responsibilities. [Regional Campus Faculty are expected to serve on committees at their Regional Campus and, when elected or appointed, on those in the Regional Campus System.]  It is also desirable for Faculty to make use of their professional competence in service to the community.  When such University and public service is truly exceptional it can contribute toward tenure and/or promotion. Service can be provided in a variety of ways, such as chairing committees, consulting, etc. 

        Service will be evaluated using methods similar to those used in assessing teaching or research activity.  For example, letters of recommendation and explanation from people from whom the individual has provided service will be obtained as practical.  Thus, both quantity and quality of the person's service contribution will be carefully and thoroughly evaluated.

        1. Quality of contribution

          Holding a position in the University or as a consultant is not,   by itself, a particularly strong credential toward promotion.  The candidate should also provide evidence bearing on the quality and extent of the contributions that have been made.  Examples of excellence in service-related activities would be recognition by professional groups such as ABEPP, awarding of Diplomate Status, etc.

        2. Service-related grants

          Just as research grants reflect on a candidate's scholarly quality, so do service type grants reflect on a candidate's performance.  Within the service category, a higher rating is given to service-related grants that are awarded in a competitive context and are based upon competent peer judgment.

      4. Expectations

        A Kent Campus Faculty member must meet expectations in all three areas (research, teaching, and service) to receive a positive recommendation for tenure and promotion to Associate or Full Professor (see Table V.1).  For tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, the quality and number of publications, and grant activity in the form of grant applications and external grant support, will be primary concerns.  However, excellence in research cannot compensate for poor teaching or a lack of quality service; such a profile would not result in a positive recommendation. 

        Because tenure implies a life-time commitment to a Faculty member, the potential of the Faculty member to make a positive contribution to the discipline, Department, University, and community over the long term is carefully assessed.  To that end, it is possible, in rare instances, that a Faculty member may not have the potential to be a positive influence in the Department, even though research and teaching accomplishments are adequate.  In such cases, the detrimental influence of a Faculty member would be grounds to recommend against tenure.

        As noted in the University Policy, promotion to Professor necessarily requires significant accomplishments in the area of research. In evaluating candidates for promotion to Professor, a substantial record of accomplishment in publications, grantsmanship and professional contributions are key considerations.  However, greatest weight is placed on the Faculty member’s scholarly reputation in evaluating a candidate for promotion to Professor.

        TABLE 1  Criteria for Tenure and Promotion of Kent Campus Faculty*




        [1] Exceptional performance in research may be justification for considering a candidate for early Promotion and Tenure.





        Professional Activity



        Substantial number of first authored publications in high quality journals since hire

        PI on multiple

        major grants

        Typical examples  

        include editorships,

        officer in professional organization(s)

        Outstanding external letters, evidence of substantial  

        impact (e.g., citation counts,

        high caliber publications,

        special awards, editorships)



        Evidence of an independent program of research that is resulting in a clear record of empirical publications in

        quality journals

        PI or Co-PI on a  funded major grant  or sustained effort to obtain major  extramural grants

        Typical examples  

        include ad hoc journal reviews, presenting at meetings, serving on professional committees

        Strong external letters, some evidence of  impact/

        recognition (e.g., citations, publication outlets and reviewing)


        Sporadic publications; and/or lack of evidence of an independent program of research and/or lack of quality publications

        Lack of sustained effort to obtain major extramural grants

        No engagement  in profession

        Lackluster external letters, minimal impact


        [1] Note that reputation is weighed much more heavily for promotion to Full than for Tenure and Promotion to Associate






                  Classroom Instruction

                            Student Supervision [1]


        Evidence of outstanding teaching (based on  peer reviews from Ad Hoc P&T committee    and student evaluations); teaching awards

        Exceptional mentorship as evidenced by productive graduate students (excellent progress, publications) and enthusiastic evaluations by supervisees



        Solid evidence of  good teaching (based on   peer reviews from Ad Hoc P&T committee    and student evaluations) 

        Has attracted graduate students to lab, evidence of active and effective research and/or Clinical Psychology supervision as evidenced by student progress and supervisee evaluations


        Consistent evidence of  poor teaching performance

        Consistent evidence of poor quality mentorship and/or supervision 


        [1] For faculty who participate in practicum supervision, their performance in clinical supervision is also considered here.


        *For a complete description of criteria, please see Tenure and Promotion Policy.






        Extensive, high-quality service; leadership roles, outreach activities

        Meets Expectations

        Consistent and responsible service on departmental and/or University committees


        Minimal and/or low quality service




    3. Regional Campus Faculty

      The criteria for reappointment, tenure, and promotion outlined on pp. 1-9 of this document apply to Kent Campus Faculty.  Below is a summary of how these criteria are modified for faculty at the Regional Campuses (see also Table V.2).

      University Policy regarding Faculty tenure states that criteria which are appropriate to a particular unit shall be formulated by that unit in light of college (if applicable) and University standards and guidelines, the mission of the unit, and the demands and academic standards of the discipline.  (See UPR 6-14, B2).  Accordingly, given the different mission of the Regional Campus System, meritorious performance in teaching and service is a major factor in considering Regional Campus Faculty for tenure and promotion.  Supervision of students in research, although laudatory, is not a requirement for Regional Campus Faculty, given the more limited opportunities for this activity.  Nevertheless, student supervision that results in conference presentations can also enhance a Faculty member’s teaching credentials.

      As for Kent Campus Faculty, a threshold of research accomplishment must be met for a positive recommendation on tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.  For Regional Campus Faculty, research expectations are less in terms of quantity of scholarly output, but maintain an emphasis on quality.  Quality publications are articles published in nationally (or internationally) recognized journals that have objective metrics of scientific merit (e.g., that are indexed in Psych Info).  Evidence of continued professional growth, (through, for example, research presentations at regional, national or international disciplinary conferences such as MPA, APA, or APS) must be present if a Faculty member is to be recommended for tenure and promotion.  A clear expectation is a program of research that culminates in peer reviewed empirical journal articles.  Unlike Kent Campus Faculty, Regional Campus Faculty are not expected to seek external funding for their research, nor is scholarly reputation a major consideration for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.  However, grant activity and evidence of scholarly reputation are credentials that can further bolster the case for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, assuming that all other criteria for tenure and promotion have been met (see Table V.2).

      As noted in the University Policy, promotion to Professor necessarily requires significant accomplishments in the area of research following promotion to Associate Professor.   In addition, as indicated on p. 3 of this policy, full Professors are expected to meet promotion requirements at a higher level than Associate Professors. In evaluating Regional Campus candidates for promotion to Professor, a substantial record of quality publications in nationally (or internationally) recognized journals, evidence  of continued professional growth since promotion to Associate Professor, and some evidence of scholarly reputation (see p. 5)  are all key considerations. Unlike Kent Campus Faculty, Regional Campus Faculty are not expected to seek external funding for their research.  However, grant activity is a credential that can further bolster the case for promotion to Professor, assuming that all other criteria for promotion have been met.  (see Table V.2). 

      TABLE V.2  Criteria for Tenure and Promotion of Regional Campus Faculty




      Professional Activity



      Meets Expectations

      A program of research that  results in quality publications in empirical, peer-reviewed journals

      Typical examples include  presenting at meetings  and ad hoc journal reviews 

      Solid external letters;

       For promotion to full must also

       have :  some evidence of impact /recognition  (e.g., citations, publication outlets, reviewing)




      Too few quality publications or no evidence of a program   of research

      No engagement in profession

      Lackluster external letters;

      For promotion to full:  minimal impact





                               Classroom Instruction

      Meets Expectations

      Solid evidence of high quality teaching (based on peer reviews from Ad Hoc P&T committee and student evaluations) 


      Consistent evidence of mediocre teaching performance





      Meets Expectations

      Consistent and responsible service on departmental and/or University committees


      Minimal and/or low quality service




  4. Appointment and Review of Full-Time Non-Tenure Track (FTNTT) Faculty

    1. Appointment and Renewal of Appointment

      Appointments for full-time non-tenure track (FTNTT) teaching faculty are governed by the applicable CBA and are made annually. FTNTT appointments are at the rank of Lecturer, Associate Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, without a terminal degree, and at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor, with a terminal degree

      Renewal of appointment is contingent upon programmatic need, satisfactory performance of previously assigned responsibilities, and budgeted resources to support the position. FTNTT appointments are not included under the umbrella of the University policy and procedures regarding Faculty tenure (See, University Policy Register 3342-6-14) and FTNTT faculty members are not entitled to any rights with regard to tenure.

    2. Third-Year Reviews for FTNTT Faculty

      Full Performance Reviews

      The Full Performance Reviews of FTNTT faculty members who are in their third or sixth year of consecutive employment are governed by the applicable CBA.  Each academic year, guidelines for the Full Performance Reviews for FTNTT faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost. The Full Performance Review concludes with the College’s level of review and determination.  The period of performance to be reviewed is the three (3) full academic years of consecutive appointments including that portion of the third appointment which is subject to evaluation and assessment at the time of the review.  Each FTNTT faculty member who must complete a Full Performance Review will submit a dossier as described in the CBA.  The file should contain at least an updated curriculum vita, self-evaluation of performance, and supporting documents.  Additional information about the dossier for a Full Performance Review is included in the CBA. 

      “Simplified” Performance Reviews

      FTNTT faculty members who are in their ninth year of consecutive employment and any subsequent third year of consecutive employment thereafter (e.g., 12th, 15th, 18th, et. seq.) must successfully complete a “simplified” performance review as described in the applicable CBAEach academic year, guidelines for the “simplified” performance reviews for FTNTT faculty are distributed by the Office of the Provost. The “simplified” performance review concludes with the College’s level of review and determination.  The period of performance to be reviewed is the three (3) full academic years of consecutive appointments including that portion of the third appointment which is subject to evaluation and assessment at the time of the review.  FTNTT faculty who must complete a “simplified” performance review will submit documentation as described in the CBA.

    3. Performance Review Criteria for FTNTT Faculty

      Performance reviews will follow the procedures and time-table established by the University.  Because most full-time temporary faculty are employed primarily to teach 15 hours per term rather than to conduct research and provide service, the quality of teaching is the most important consideration in reappointing non-tenure track faculty.

      The faculty member being reviewed must provide the department Chair with a current vita, a summary of student evaluations from all courses that have been taught during the review period, and other representative course materials such as syllabi and examinations.  A reflective memo on the faculty member's teaching, which should include a self-evaluation, should also be provided.  The review criteria for instructional FTNTT faculty are:

      1.  Responsible performance of assigned duties

      2.  Effective classroom instruction

      • As  evidenced by peer reviews and student evaluations

      3.  Quality of course content

      • Includes demonstrating currency in course content and in pedagogical techniques

      For the 3-year and 6-year Full Performance reviews, the  Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee will evaluate the candidate and vote on renewal of the FTNTT faculty member’s appointment.  The discussion and vote provides the chair with a Faculty perspective on the appointment.  The Chair shall independently assess the teaching record of the candidate and reach a separate recommendation regarding renewal of the appointment, which would usually be consistent with the vote of the Ad Hoc Promotion and Tenure Committee.  The Chair will provide the faculty member being reviewed with a written summary of the review and an indication of whether or not an additional appointment may be anticipated and, if so, under what programmatic, budgetary and/or anticipated staffing or projected enrollment circumstances. 

      If the faculty member being reviewed is appointed in the Regional Campus System, the Chair's summary of the review and the renewal of appointment recommendation will be forwarded to the Campus Dean, who has the final budgetary and staffing authority for renewing the appointment. 

    4. Promotion

      Beginning in academic year 2011-12, FTNTT faculty members who have completed at least six (6) consecutive years of service and at least two (2) successful Full Performance Reviews may apply for promotion at the time of their second Full Performance Review or with any scheduled performance review thereafter.  The criteria, guidelines and procedures for FTNTT promotions are included in the CBA.  As required by the CBA, evidence of significant accomplishments in performance and professional development is required.  Accomplishments and/or contributions in the area of University citizenship, when they exist, will contribute to the FTNTT faculty member’s overall record of accomplishment.  The College’s Non-Tenure Track Promotion Advisory Board (NPAB) will review the applications for promotion and make a recommendation to the Dean.