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FH 2.8.1 Tenure Policies and Procedures


Effective Date Mar 13, 2019

Tenure safeguards academic freedom in teaching and research, and ensures continuous appointments at Florida Tech for tenured full-time faculty. Tenure is granted after extensive peer and institutional review following an intensive probationary period when work expectations and college criteria must be met. Robust annual evaluation processes monitor performance after tenure appointment and, if necessary, a post-tenure review process. Review processes are governed in part by two university-level, faculty-led committees, which are listed and defined below:

  1. Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee (AFTC): a committee with representatives from each college overseeing and maintaining the  integrity of academic freedom and the tenure system and handles pre-tenure, tenure, and post-tenure appeals
  2. University Committee on Faculty Promotion and Tenure (UCFPT): a committee with representatives from each college overseeing  the procedure and making recommendations for the promotion and tenure of Florida Tech faculty.

2.8.1.1. Eligibility for Tenure

2.8.1.1.1 Eligibility
To be eligible for the granting of tenure, a faculty member must be a full-time employee of Florida Tech on a tenure-track appointment. The faculty member will have completed the number of requisite probationary period years of service to the university mandated in his/her initial contract letter. The faculty member will either hold a minimum academic rank of Associate Professor or will be applying for promotion to Associate Professor concurrent with seeking tenure. 

2.8.1.1.2 Tenure on Appointment
New faculty hired at or above the rank of associate professor may be conferred tenure on employment only at the approval of the chief academic officer and the president. See Section 2.8.1.2.1.3 Hiring with Tenure and Section 2.8.1.4.7 Expedited Tenure Review Process.

2.8.1.1.3 Administrative Personnel with Academic Rank
New administrative personnel with academic rank of associate professor or higher may be conferred tenure on employment only at the approval of the chief academic officer and the president. See Section 2.8.1.2.1.3 Hiring with Tenure and Section 2.8.1.4.7 Expedited Tenure Review Process. 

2.8.1.1.4 Tenure Location
Faculty members will be granted tenure in one of the colleges of the university.

2.8.1.1.4.1 Joint Appointments
Faculty with joint appointments (i.e., two or more colleges) can only be appointed tenure to one college at any given time. The college to which the faculty member will pursue tenure appointment is at his/her discretion. 

2.8.1.1.4.2 Transfer of Tenure-Track Faculty
Tenure-track faculty members who are assigned or transferred to a different college will be given the following considerations, as applicable:
a. Adequate time and resources to prepare for new responsibilities.
b. In consultation with academic unit heads and/or deans, modifications to Statement of Expectations (Section 2.8.1.2.1.1) during the pre-tenure period in order to ensure fair treatment in all processes associated with appointment of tenure.

2.8.1.1.4.3 Transfer of Tenured Faculty
Tenured faculty members who are assigned or transferred to a different college will be given the following considerations, as applicable:
a. Adequate time and resources to prepare for new responsibilities.
b. In consultation with academic unit heads and/or deans, modifications to annual reviews after tenure is appointed in order to ensure fair evaluation of meeting post-tenure expectations.

2.8.1.2. Conditions of Tenure-Track Appointments

2.8.1.2.1 Appointment
The chief academic officer will confer all appointments to tenure-track faculty candidates through a written contract at the time of hire. The original, one-year contract will confirm tenure-track status, the college in which the faculty will reside, and any joint appointments. It will also include a Statement of Expectations describing published, college-specific criteria, additional expectations specific to the candidate, annual plans of work, university policies, and the length of probationary period before tenure review.

2.8.1.2.1.1. The Statement of Expectations
The pre-tenured faculty member and the dean of the college, with input from the academic unit head, base the Statement of Expectations (herein called “Statement”) on college-level criteria, additional expectations, and annual plans of work that are agreed on. The chief academic officer and the president must approve the Statement before it is signed as verification that both parties understand tenure expectations, policy and procedures.

Modifications to candidate-specific expectations can be made to the Statement with mutual consent of the pre-tenured faculty, academic unit head and dean, as evidenced by signature of all three on the modified document. Requests to modify the Statement in the period before pre-tenure evaluation can be initiated by the pre-tenured faculty, the academic unit head or the dean. Requests to modify the Statement after the pre-tenure evaluation can only be initiated by the pre-tenured faculty. Both the original Statement and the modified document(s) must be kept on file in the office of the dean of the respective college for purposes of tenure consideration.

2.8.1.2.1.2 Pre-Tenure Contract
Pre-tenure contracts will be issued to tenure-track faculty for appointed terms of employment until such a time that either tenure is appointed or employment is terminated. Tenure-track faculty who are not granted tenure can be considered for teaching and research faculty tracks based on need and availability of funds for salary.

2.8.1.2.1.2.1 Probationary Period
The probationary period before granting of tenure is usually six (6) contract years for newly hired faculty with no prior appointments as faculty at other institutions. Pre-tenure contracts typically include the original one-year contract at time of hire, followed by two (2) successive three (3)-year contractual appointments. Thus, tenure appointment is expected to occur in the second year of the second 3-year contractual appointment. If granted, tenure is effective at the beginning of the last contract year. If not granted, faculty can remain employed during their last year of contract in order to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.

2.8.1.2.1.2.2 Equivalency Credit and Reduction of Probationary Period
Credit toward tenure can be granted to pre-tenured faculty hired with prior full-time teaching and scholarship experience. If requested, the academic unit head and dean will perform evaluation of credit and make recommendations to the chief academic officer for final approval. 

The probationary period can be reduced by a maximum of two (2) years, except by action of the president under special circumstances or in accordance with the Expedited Tenure Review Process described in Section 2.8.1.4.7. 

2.8.1.2.1.2.3 Extension of Probationary Period
Extensions to the probationary period for a pre-tenured faculty member, as described within this section, will not increase the tenure expectations for the faculty member. Documentation associated with extensions of the probationary period will be maintained in the dean’s office of the pre-tenured faculty member’s college. 

2.8.1.2.1.2.3.1 Changes in Family Status
Changes in family status are defined as the birth or adoption of a child. Pre-tenured faculty who become parents before their tenure documentation is due will automatically be granted a one-year extension to the pre-tenure probationary period. Prior written notice of birth or adoption is required, which must be submitted before tenure documentation is due.

2.8.1.2.1.2.3.2 Leave of Absence
Pre-tenured faculty who are granted a leave of absence as defined in HR Policy 2.6 and FH Policy 2.13 in the Faculty Handbook will be granted up to a one-year extension of probationary period.

2.8.1.2.1.2.3.3 Temporary Assignment to Research Faculty Line
Pre-tenured faculty who wish to focus solely on research activities and who secure external funding to support those activities (including full salary and benefits) may request temporary assignment to a non-tenure track research faculty position for one year. Furthermore, they may also request a one-year tenure-clock extension during that period. Any scholarship completed in this period will be considered toward tenure and promotion once the faculty member return to his/her tenure-track position.

2.8.1.2.1.2.3.4 Extenuating Circumstances
In cases of extraordinary and extenuating circumstances (for example, illness and care or death of extended family members), pre-tenured faculty may request an extension of the probationary period. Requests will be considered up to September 1 of the year of the faculty member’s tenure review. The pre-tenured faculty member must submit a detailed, written request for the extension to his/her academic unit head. The academic unit head may request additional information, if deemed necessary. The academic unit head will forward the written request, along with his/her written recommendation, to the college dean. The college dean forwards the written request, the academic unit head’s recommendation and his/her written recommendation to the chief academic officer. The chief academic officer will review the request and recommendations and make a determination. The faculty member, academic unit head and college dean will be notified in writing of the extension decision and in the case of a positive decision, the projected tenure review date. All information associated with this process will remain confidential.

2.8.1.2.1.2.3.5 Reversal of Extension
A previously granted extension can be reversed on the pre-tenured faculty member’s request. The request must be made in writing to the dean before the first day of the spring term preceding the requested tenure consideration date. Once such a reversal is requested in writing, the extension is automatically reversed.

2.8.1.2.1.2.4 Non-reappointment During Probationary Period (before Pre-Tenure Evaluation)
Except in situations of financial exigency or program discontinuance, pre-tenured faculty facing non-reappointment to the tenure-track before pre-tenure evaluation, will be notified in writing by the college dean, as follows:

a. In the first year of a tenure-track appointment, notice of non-reappointment must be given:

i. Before the start of classes in the spring semester. In this case, the pre-tenured faculty member’s contract ends at the end of the current contract period.

ii. If notice is not given by the start of classes for spring semester, notice of non-reappointment must be given before April 1. In this case, the faculty member will be offered a contract for the following fall semester only.

b. In the second or third year of a tenure-track appointment, notice of non-reappointment to the tenure track must be given by April 1. The faculty member’s contract ends at the end of his/her current contract period.

2.8.1.2.1.3 Hiring with Tenure
A faculty member can only be hired with tenure under the provisions expressed in Section 2.8.1.4.7 Expedited Tenure Review Process.

2.8.1.3. Criteria for Granting Tenure

2.8.1.3.1 University-Level Criteria
Tenure-track faculty are required to maintain thresholds of performances in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service as defined by college-level criteria. While effective teaching is of paramount importance to student success, scholarship is fundamental to the mission of the university. Service to the university is also recognized as a key contributor to the academic enterprise. Appropriate levels of engagement in each will be planned and agreed on in advance in order to ensure for appropriate professional development and work/life balance.

2.8.1.3.1.1 Teaching
Effective teaching, among other things, consists of clearly communicating special knowledge and expertise based on an understanding of curricular objectives and the learner’s needs and abilities. Further, effective teaching entails advising and mentoring related to areas such as research projects, capstone projects, and thesis advising, selecting and using appropriate instructional methods and materials, which lead to learning, and providing fair and useful evaluations of the quality of the learner’s work.

2.8.1.3.1.2 Scholarship
Faculty are expected to engage in disciplinary, interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary scholarship as measured by professional standards of documentation, peer review and dissemination. Colleges will choose areas of scholarship that are applicable to their mission and the mission of the university. Each college is responsible for defining what constitutes documentation, peer review and dissemination for its faculty. Categories of scholarship at the university include:
Scholarship of discovery: defined by the use of professional expertise to discover knowledge, invent or create original material.
Scholarship of teaching/pedagogy: defined by the engagement in the scholarship of teaching practice through peer-reviewed activities to improve pedagogy.
Scholarship of integration: defined by the use of professional expertise to connect, integrate and synthesize knowledge.
Scholarship of application: defined by the use of professional expertise to engage in applied research, consultation, technical assistance, policy analysis, program evaluation, or similar activities to solve problems.
Scholarship of engagement: defined as the engagement in scholarship that combines rigorous academic standards in any of the four other dimensions of scholarship and developed in the context of reciprocal and collaborative community partnerships. Community is broadly defined to include audiences external to the campus that are part of an active collaborative process that leads to new understanding and knowledge that contributes to the public good.

2.8.1.3.1.3 Service
Faculty members are expected to provide some forms of service to the university, their college, their academic unit, their profession, and in some instances, the community at large.   

2.8.1.3.2 College-Level Criteria
Each college will develop and publish its own specific teaching, scholarship and service criteria for tenure appointment and promotion in a tenure-track position. Criteria will be developed and/or revised, and expectations defined, with input from tenure-track faculty and be endorsed by the Faculty Senate. The chief academic officer and the president of the university will have final approval of all college-level criteria for promotion and tenure appointment.

2.8.1.4. Tenure Process

2.8.1.4.1 Records Storage
All records associated with annual faculty reviews, pre-tenure evaluation, tenure appointment and post-tenure review will be kept on file in the office of the college dean of the respective college.  

2.8.1.4.1.1 Confidentiality
To ensure candidness and accuracy, all letters and recommendations for or against awarding of tenure will remain confidential. Accessibility to specific documents associated with pre-tenure evaluation and tenure appointment are specified in tables found in Section 2.8.1.4.2.2.6 and Section 2.8.1.4.3.6.

2.8.1.4.1.2 Summary of Letters and Recommendations
At the request of the faculty member, the chief academic officer will summarize the content of all letters of review and recommendations while maintaining confidentiality.

2.8.1.4.2 Annual Faculty Reviews and Pre-Tenure Evaluation

2.8.1.4.2.1 Annual Faculty Reviews (Pre-Tenure)
Progress on tenure, based on criteria and annual work plans in the faculty member’s Statement of Expectations, will be monitored and reviewed annually up to the time that a decision to grant or deny tenure is made. Annual faculty reviews will be conducted by the pre-tenured faculty member’s academic unit head and must conclude with a statement that addresses whether the pre-tenured faculty member is making satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress toward tenure. The pre-tenured faculty member, the academic unit head and the college dean must sign annual review documents. By signing the form, the faculty member is not expressing agreement with the views that it represents but rather confirming that he/she received the document.

2.8.1.4.2.1.1 Rating Categories
Rating categories defined in this section apply to annual reviews conducted during both pre-tenure and post-tenure periods. Specific criteria for each rating category will be determined by academic program, unit and/or college and must be established and approved by faculty, academic unit heads and deans, as described in Post-Tenure Review process in Section 2.8.1.5 of this document.

2.8.1.4.2.1.1.1 Exceeds Expectations
This category is awarded to faculty members whose performance reflects a level of accomplishment that exceeds the expected level. 

2.8.1.4.2.1.1.2 Satisfactory
This category is awarded to faculty members whose performance reflects the expected level of accomplishment.

2.8.1.4.2.1.1.3 Needs Improvement
This category is awarded to faculty members whose performance reflects a level of accomplishment that need improvement. Faculty receiving ratings in this category must be issued work plans for improvement throughout the next academic year.

2.8.1.4.2.1.1.4 Unsatisfactory
This category is awarded to faculty members whose performance reflects a level of accomplishment well below the expected level. This is the sole category that constitutes unsatisfactory progress. Faculty receiving ratings in this category must be issued work plans for improvement during the following academic year.

2.8.1.4.2.1.2 Unsatisfactory Progress on Annual Reviews before Pre-Tenure Evaluation
Unsatisfactory progress reported on annual reviews prior to the period of pre-tenure evaluation must be documented and may result in non-reappointment to the tenure-track (see Section 2.8.1.2.1.2.4). If reappointed, developmental modifications to annual work plans in the Statement of Expectations must address any deficiencies. Modifications are initiated in accordance with Section 2.8.1.2.1.1 at the time of annual reviews.  

2.8.1.4.2.1.3 Unsatisfactory Progress on Annual Reviews after Pre-Tenure Evaluation
Unsatisfactory progress reported on annual reviews after pre-tenure evaluation must be documented. If initiated by the pre-tenured faculty member, modifications of Statement of Expectations can be made in accordance with Section 2.8.1.2.1.1 at the time of annual reviews. Except in situations of financial exigency or program discontinuance, pre-tenured faculty will remain in tenure-track appointment if they receive unsatisfactory progress on annual reviews after successful pre-tenure evaluation. Unsatisfactory annual progress will be taken into account during consideration of tenure appointment.

2.8.1.4.2.2 Pre-Tenure Evaluation
Pre-tenure evaluation will typically occur during the third year of employment as a tenure-track faculty candidate. Tenure-track faculty granted credit toward tenure may undergo evaluation earlier. Tenure-track faculty with extended probationary periods will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

2.8.1.4.2.2.1 Dossier and Schedule
Pre-tenured faculty will submit a completed dossier with all documentation specified in guidelines provided by their college of residence. Colleges will establish timelines and processes for receiving documentation and are responsible for communicating them in a timely fashion. Initial communication to the pre-tenured faculty for documentation marks the official start of the pre-tenure evaluation process.

2.8.1.4.2.2.2 Input from Academic Unit Head
The academic unit head will provide a written assessment of the candidate’s progress toward tenure. It is expected that input from program chairs will be solicited. The written assessment will be submitted at the time of submission of the candidate’s dossier.

2.8.1.4.2.2.3 College Promotion and Tenure Committee (CPTC)
A college promotion and tenure committee (CPTC) will conduct the pre-tenure evaluation. Membership numbers and participants on CPTCs will be determined by college but must consist only of tenured faculty within the college.

2.8.1.4.2.2.4 Input from Tenured Faculty in Academic Program
The CPTC will seek letters from tenured faculty in the same program as the pre-tenured faculty member attesting to the candidate’s satisfactory or unsatisfactory progress toward tenure. Information provided about the candidate’s progress must be verifiable. 

2.8.1.4.2.2.5 Pre-Tenure Evaluation Process
The CPTC will prepare a letter that provides an analysis of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses based on review of input by tenured faculty in the same discipline. The CPTC’s letter will state whether current performance would normally lead to a recommendation for tenure under current guidelines and will offer guidance for continuous improvement. The letter will include a summary of faculty letters without containing any information that could identify an individual faculty member as this letter will be made accessible to the candidate at the end of the pre-tenure evaluation process. Furthermore, if the candidate received an extension of probationary period as allowed in Section 2.8.1.2.1.2.3, the reasons behind this extension will not be disclosed within the CPTC’s letter. The CPTC will forward its letter of review and all documentation to the dean.

After review of the candidate’s complete file, the college dean will forward the CPTC’s letter, the candidate’s documentation, the academic unit head’s letter, and the dean’s recommendation letter to the chief academic officer. After review of the candidate’s complete file, the chief academic officer’s comments on the candidate’s progress toward tenure will be sent in letter form to the dean. The dean and the candidate’s academic unit head will discuss the pre-tenure evaluation with the candidate.

The pre-tenure evaluation process and receipt of official notification by the candidate must be completed within a two-week period.

Pre-tenure evaluation is a measure of a candidate’s progress toward tenure and an opportunity to provide guidance for continued growth. However, it cannot predict the eventual tenure decision, whether positive or negative.

2.8.1.4.2.2.6 Allowable Access to Pre-Tenure Evaluation Documents

ALLOWABLE ACCESS
Documentation Candidate Academic Unit Tenured Faculty Academic Unit Head CTC Dean Chief Academic Officer
Candidate's Dossier - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Candidate's Annual Reviews Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Academic Unit Tenured Faculty Letters Summary provided by CTC No Yes (at conclusion of review process) Yes Yes Yes
Academic Unit Head Recommendation Yes No - Yes Yes Yes
College Tenure Committee (CTC) Recommendation Yes No Yes - Yes Yes
College Dean Recommendation Yes No Yes No - Yes
Chief Academic Officer Evaluation Yes No Yes No Yes -

 

2.8.1.4.2.2.7 Appeal Process for Negative Pre-Tenure Evaluation
The Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee (AFTC), as an impartial entity, will hear appeal cases related to negative pre-tenure evaluations. A faculty member with a negative pre-tenure evaluation must appeal the decision within five (5) business days of meeting with the college dean and academic unit head to discuss the pre-tenure evaluation results.

2.8.1.4.2.2.7.1 Length of Time
The faculty member’s request for an appeal initiates the committee’s review period that will conclude within ten (10) business days during the academic year.

2.8.1.4.2.2.7.2 Process
On request, the college dean will forward the following to the AFTC within three (3) business days: the CPTC’s letter, the candidate’s documentation, the academic unit head’s letter, the dean’s recommendation letter, and the chief academic officer’s comments on the candidate’s progress toward tenure. The AFTC will share documents with the faculty member under review as appropriate while maintaining confidentiality.

The AFTC can request supporting documentation from the college dean and the faculty member under review to be received within three (3) business days of the request. The AFTC will review the faculty member’s performance and consider all relevant evidence, which includes individual discussions with the dean and the faculty member under review. The faculty member may choose an advocate to be present when meeting with the AFTC. The AFTC may consult with additional faculty or administrators as necessary. Written summaries of all discussions will be recorded and stored in the respective office of the college dean.

2.8.1.4.2.2.7.2.1 Appeal Outcomes
The AFTC will vote to choose one of the following outcomes:
(1) Negative outcome to pre-tenure evaluation is upheld.
(2) Negative outcome to pre-tenure evaluation is not upheld.

The AFTC will prepare a written summary of its recommendation while maintaining confidentiality of individual members and forward it to the faculty member, academic unit head, college dean, and chief academic officer.

2.8.1.4.2.2.7.3 Final Decision on Appeal
On receiving a recommendation from the AFTC, the chief academic officer and president will make a final decision about the appeal. The chief academic officer and president may consult with faculty and/or administrators in order to make a final decision on the case.

2.8.1.4.3 Tenure and Promotion Review and Recommendation
An assistant professor in a tenure-track position must simultaneously be evaluated for promotion to rank as associate professor along with evaluation for awarding tenure. Academic unit heads, college-level promotion and tenure committees, deans, and the University Committee on Faculty Promotion and Tenure (UCFPT) will evaluate pre-tenured faculty. After reviewing all required documentation, the UCFPT will provide recommendations to the chief academic officer on candidates for promotion and tenure. The chief academic officer and president will review the UCFPT’s recommendations and make the final decision on promotion and tenure.

2.8.1.4.3.1 Documentation
Guidelines for the contents of the promotion and tenure dossier are given in the faculty guideline “Promotion and Tenure Dossier Format” (FH Appendix 1).  All candidates will follow these guidelines regardless of their college.

2.8.1.4.3.2 Beginning the Process
The academic unit heads and pre-tenured faculty members (herein, called candidates) will be advised of the beginning of the tenure and promotion review process one year before candidates are to be considered for promotion and tenure. Academic unit heads provide initial recommendations to candidates before the candidates submit their letters of intent to enter the promotion and tenure process and curricula vitae to the college promotion committees.

2.8.1.4.3.3 College-Level Review and Committee
College promotion and tenure committees (CPTCs) are responsible for communicating deadlines and points of contact with their colleges’ candidates, providing preliminary feedback to candidates after reviewing their letters of intent and curricula vitae, providing feedback to candidates regarding suggested dossier revisions, requesting and receiving letters of recommendation from outside reviewers, and providing recommendations to academic unit heads and deans.

2.8.1.4.3.3.1 Membership
Membership numbers and participants on CPTCs will be determined by college but must consist only of tenured faculty within the college.

2.8.1.4.3.3.2 Input from Tenured Faculty in Academic Program
It is the responsibility of tenured Florida Tech faculty to participate in the tenure process. The CPTCs will solicit confidential letters from tenured Florida Tech faculty members in the candidate’s program. Letters should express clear recommendations for or against tenure accompanied with supporting explanations. If letters are not received in a timely manner, the CPTC will attempt to obtain input from tenured faculty who did not respond.

2.8.1.4.3.3.3 Letters of Recommendation from Outside Reviewers
Letters of recommendation are also required from reviewers outside of Florida Tech (see definition of outside reviewers in FH Appendix 1). Candidates and academic unit heads should suggest potential reviewers to the CPTCs. The CPTCs are responsible for writing all requests for evaluations and receiving the external letters; the committee chair may write the requests or distribute the responsibility among committee members. If the required number of recommendation letters (as stated in FH Appendix 1) has not been received, the CPTC is responsible for informing the candidate and requesting letters from additional outside reviewers.

Candidates’ dossiers cannot be forwarded to academic unit heads or deans until all letters from outside reviewers are included.

2.8.1.4.3.4 Review Letters from Academic Unit Heads and Deans
The academic unit head will have monitored a candidate’s performance during the probationary period via annual performance evaluations and the pre-tenure evaluation process (described in Section 2.8.1.4.2.2.5) and will provide a written assessment of the candidate’s progress toward tenure based on those evaluations performed throughout the probationary period. The written assessment will be submitted to the CPTC and included in the dossier before submission to the UCFPT. If a candidate for tenure received an extension to his/her tenure probationary period, the reasons behind this extension will not be disclosed with the academic unit head’s letter.

Written reviews by deans will be included in dossiers before submission to the chief academic officer and review by the UCFPT. Deans will submit completed dossiers of all candidates to the chief academic officer by the second Monday in January for the UCFPT’s review in the spring.

2.8.1.4.3.5 University Committee for Faculty Promotion and Tenure (UCFPT)

2.8.1.4.3.5.1 Membership
The UCFPT is composed as described in the faculty policy “Standing Committees of the Academic Faculty” (FH 1.5).

2.8.1.4.3.5.2 Process
There will be four meetings of the UCFPT during the spring semester: (1) an organizational meeting, (2) a review meeting after dossiers have been initially evaluated, (3) a voting meeting and (4) a post-review meeting. All voting members of the UCFPT are required to evaluate all complete dossiers with the appropriate colleges’ promotion and tenure guidelines during a three-week review period.

2.8.1.4.3.5.2.1 Voting Meeting
In addition to the members of the UCFPT, attendance at the voting meeting will normally include the chief academic officer and/or his/her representative. The committee will engage in a thorough discussion of the candidates’ qualifications as they relate to the colleges’ promotion and tenure guidelines. Ballots consisting of a list of the candidates’ names and boxes for yes, no and abstain votes will be prepared and provided by the chief academic officer. Negative votes must have written justification included in the allotted space on the ballot. The chief academic officer will collect the ballots after all candidates have been considered. The chair of the UCFPT will call out the votes to the committee members and at least two members will record the votes. Results will be tabulated at the meeting and made known to the members of the UCFPT. The results and all UCFPT deliberations are to be treated with complete confidentiality.

Compilations of the committee’s anonymous comments will be sent to the deans of candidates who were not recommended for promotion and tenure.

2.8.1.4.3.6 Timeline for Promotion and  Tenure Process

DATE ACTION
January (of preceding academic year) Candidates discuss their intent to enter the promotion and tenure process with academic unit heads. Academic unit heads provide initial recommendations to the candidates.
April (of preceding academic year) Candidates submit letters of intent to enter the promotion and tenure process and curricula vitae to the CPTCs. Academic unit heads share written assessments with CPTCs.
May CPTCs provide preliminary feedback to candidates.
August Candidates electronically submit preliminary dossiers in PDF format and lists of potential outside reviewers to CPTCs. Academic unit heads submit lists of additional potential outside reviewers to CPTCs.
September-October
  • CPTCs request letters from tenured faculty in the candidate’s academic unit with a November deadline.
  • CPTCs request letters from outside reviewers (including some of those suggested by both candidates and academic unit heads) with a November deadline. CPTCs submit feedback to candidates for revising dossiers.
November Candidates electronically submit final dossiers in PDF format to CPTCs. CPTCs add letters from outside reviewers and the written assessment from academic unit heads to the dossiers. CPTCs meet and formulate recommendations.
December CPTCs submit their recommendations and dossiers to the deans. Written reviews by deans will be added to the dossiers.
Early January
  • The chief academic officer calls an organizational meeting of the University Committee for Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee (UCFPT). The UCFPT chooses a chair to officiate the process. 
  • Deans will submit completed dossiers of all candidates to the chief academic officer by the second Monday in January for the UCFPT’s review in the spring.
Late January to mid-February The UCFPT reviews dossiers and holds a second meeting for an initial review of candidates.
Mid-February to early March The UCFPT meets to discuss candidates, vote and submit recommendations to the chief academic officer. The chief academic officer and president review recommendations and make the final decision on promotion, which are communicated to the deans.
By March 15 Candidates are sent official written notifications from the chief academic officer, and the deans of candidates who were not recommended for promotion are sent compilations of the committee’s anonymous comments.
April The UCFPT holds a post-review meeting. The chief academic officer notifies all members of the UCFPT of the final decision either by letter or at the post-review meeting.

 

2.8.1.4.3.7 Allowable Access to Documentation for Tenure Review

ALLOWABLE ACCESS
Documentation Candidate Academic Unit Tenured Faculty Academic Unit Head CPTC Dean UCFPT Chief Academic Officer
Candidate's Dossier - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Candidate's Annual Reviews Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Academic Unit Tenured Faculty Letters No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Academic Unit Head Recommendation No No - Yes Yes Yes Yes
College Promotion and Tenure Committee (CPTC) No No Yes - Yes Yes Yes
Letters from Outside Reviewers No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
College Dean Recommendation No No No No - Yes Yes
University Promotion and Tenure Committee (UCFPT)Recommendation No No No No Yes - Yes
Chief Academic Officer Evaluation Yes No No No Yes Yes -

 

2.8.1.4.4 Disputes Between Voting Entities
If disputes about a candidate’s viability arise between the dean and the UCFPT, the chief academic officer will convene a meeting of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee (AFTC). The AFTC will review all available documentation along with college-specific promotion and tenure criteria and advise the chief academic officer on a final decision. The AFTC will relate its full findings in writing to the chief academic officer.

2.8.1.4.5 Granting or Denial of Tenure
Candidates will be sent official written notifications from the chief academic officer of the final promotion decision by March 15. If promotion and tenure are denied, the written notification will provide specific reasons, the UCFPT vote, the AFTC vote, if involved, and the recommendations from the academic unit head and dean.

If promotion and tenure are granted, they become effective on the first day of the following appointment year. If denied, the candidate will remain employed by the university on a one-year contract, during which time the candidate may apply for non-tenure-track or staff positions, if available.

2.8.1.4.6 Appeal of Denial of Tenure
The Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee (AFTC), as an impartial entity, will hear appeal cases related to denial of tenure. A faculty member denied tenure must appeal the decision within five (5) business days of receiving written notification from the chief academic officer.

2.8.1.4.6.1 Length of Time
The faculty member’s request for an appeal initiates the committee’s review period that will conclude within ten (10) business days during the academic year.

2.8.1.4.6.2 Process
On request, the UCFPT will forward all information about its review to the AFTC within three (3) business days. The AFTC will share documents with the faculty member under review as appropriate while maintaining confidentiality.

The AFTC can request supporting documentation from the college dean and the faculty member under review to be received within three (3) business days of the request. The AFTC will review the faculty member’s performance and consider all relevant evidence, which includes individual discussions with the dean and the faculty member under review. The faculty member may choose an advocate to be present when meeting with the AFTC. The AFTC may consult with additional faculty or administrators as necessary. Written summaries of all discussions will be recorded and stored in the respective office of the college dean.

2.8.1.4.6.2.1 Appeal Outcomes
The AFTC will vote to choose one of the following outcomes:
(1) The decision for denial of tenure is upheld.
(2) The decision for denial of tenure is not upheld.
The AFTC will prepare a written summary of its recommendation while maintaining confidentiality of individual members and forward it to the faculty member, academic unit head, college dean and chief academic officer.

2.8.1.4.6.3 Final Decision on Appeal
On receiving a recommendation from the AFTC, the chief academic officer and president will make a final decision about the appeal. The chief academic officer and president may consult with faculty and/or administrators in order to make a final decision on the case.  

2.8.1.4.7 Expedited Tenure Review Process
An expedited tenure review process may be requested in the occasional case of hiring a faculty member with tenure. The expedited process is normally considered for hiring of faculty currently appointed tenure at a regionally-accredited institution of higher education. In rare circumstances, an expedited process can also be considered for the hiring of faculty who do not currently hold a tenure appointment at a regionally-accredited institution of higher education.

The request for an expedited review process will be initiated by the academic unit head and must be approved by the college dean, chief academic officer and president. If approved, depending on the faculty candidate’s status, the processes outlined below will be followed. For either process, the academic unit head will request and compile application materials, including, at a minimum, the candidate’s curriculum vitae, list of scholarly work, reference letters and teaching evaluations.

a. If the faculty member to be hired is tenured from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education, the academic unit head and college dean will evaluate all application materials and make a recommendation to the chief academic officer. Based on their recommendations, the chief academic officer will recommend the candidate to the president. The president makes the final decision on either granting tenure or granting a reduced probationary period in accordance with Section 2.8.1.2.1.2.2. This process should be completed within five (5) business days after receiving all minimum requirements for application materials.

b. If the faculty member to be hired does not hold a tenure appointment at a regionally-accredited institution of higher education, the chief academic officer will call a special meeting of the UCFPT to review all application materials. Due to the accelerated timeframe, electronic inputs from faculty members on the UCFPT are sufficient if they are not available to meet. Within ten (10) business days after receiving all minimum requirements for application materials as well as recommendations from the academic unit head and college dean, the UCFPT will evaluate the candidate and make a recommendation to the chief academic officer. Based on the UCFPT’s recommendation, the chief academic officer will recommend the candidate to the president. The president makes the final decision on either granting tenure or granting a reduced probationary period in accordance with Section 2.8.1.2.1.2.2. The final decision should be made no later than three (3) days after the UCFPT’s recommendation is made known to the president.

2.8.1.5. Post-Tenure Review Process

2.8.1.5.1 Purpose
The purpose of the post-tenure review (PTR) process is to ensure scholarship productivity and teaching effectiveness and promote continued professional development after faculty have been granted tenure. PTR will be conducted in a manner that respects faculty members’ rights, including academic freedom and due process.

This policy is not intended to be a substitute for ongoing evaluation, mentoring and professional development provided at the academic unit or program level. Professional development is a responsibility of all faculty members from their hire to their retirement.

2.8.1.5.2 Annual Faculty Reviews (Post-Tenure)
Academic unit heads will continue the process of annual faculty reviews after tenure is appointed. The written portion assesses contributions in scholarship, teaching and service as well as the performance of responsibilities associated with the position. Items on the review forms will represent standard categories used across colleges and others will be program-specific. Each faculty member will meet with his/her academic unit head to discuss the annual review and goals for the following year. The faculty member, academic unit head and college dean will sign annual review forms. By signing the form, the faculty member is not expressing agreement with the views that it represents but rather confirming that he/she received the document.

2.8.1.5.2.1 Academic Unit Minimum Standards
Each academic program will develop its own set of criteria that defines the minimum performance standards expected for its tenured faculty. Faculty in a specific discipline will prepare the minimum standards in consultation with the academic unit head and college dean. Minimum standards are approved by a majority vote of the program’s tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Minimum standards should include criteria for teaching, scholarship and service that are appropriate for tenured faculty in the program and will recognize the principles of academic freedom. The faculty member’s overall rating for his/her annual performance evaluation should reflect all three of these areas. As tenured faculty are encouraged to continue existing lines of research and/or develop new ones, minimum standards in research must be distinct from tenure criteria for research. For example, after receiving tenure, faculty members may begin new long-term projects and the minimum standards should account for these activities. Minimum standards should reflect faculty members’ effort and activity as well as effectiveness and accomplishments. Standards should be flexible in order to recognize that faculty assignments may differ within a program and provide faculty the ability to pursue innovative scholarship and teaching.

2.8.1.5.2.1.1 Influencing Factors
Annual faculty reviews should take into account factors that are outside of the faculty member’s control, such as the availability of research funding in the faculty member’s field of research and the types of classes assigned to the faculty member.

2.8.1.5.2.1.2 Rating Categories
Annual faculty reviews will use the same ratings as those for annual faculty reviews during the pre-tenure period. Refer to Section 2.8.1.4.2.1.1.

2.8.1.5.2.2 Unsatisfactory Progress on Annual Reviews after Tenure Appointment
Failure to meet academic unit minimum standards warrants a rating of “Unsatisfactory.” This rating is equivalent to a level of incompetence or neglect of duty as defined in the Faculty Handbook (FH 2.9.1). For an evaluation of scholarship, a rating of “Unsatisfactory” means that the faculty member is not maintaining an active scholarship program.

2.8.1.5.2.3 Performance Development Plan (PDP)
The academic unit head will create a Performance Development Plan (PDP) for a faculty member who has received a single overall rating of unsatisfactory performance in an annual evaluation.

2.8.1.5.2.3.1 Preparation of PDP
The PDP will be prepared by an ad hoc committee (see Section 2.8.1.5.2.3.2 below) using the standard university form. The academic unit head will review its terms with the faculty member. The faculty member, academic unit head and college dean will sign the PDP. By signing, the faculty member is not expressing agreement with the views that it represents but rather confirming that he/she received the document.

The PDP will identify specific areas of teaching, scholarship and/or service for the faculty member to address, goals to achieve, and resources needed to achieve these goals. PDP tasks may be actionable, meaning that the faculty member is entirely responsible for the task’s completion, or conditional, in which the completion of the task depends on both the faculty member and a third party. For conditional tasks, the PDP must include specific, additional resources that the university will provide to the faculty member in order to accomplish these tasks. For actionable tasks, the PDP may or may not include university-provided resources. The PDP will span one or more years. During the time that the PDP is in effect, the faculty member must attend mandatory, periodic meetings with a mentor chosen by the academic unit head.

2.8.1.5.2.3.2 Ad Hoc Committee
The academic unit head will consult with his/her college dean as well as at least two senior faculty (one selected by the academic unit head and one selected by the faculty member under review) in the faculty member’s area(s) of scholarship and/or teaching in the creation of the PDP. The academic unit head and senior faculty comprise an ad hoc committee. The academic unit head acts as the chair and all decisions are determined by vote among its three members.

The ad hoc committee will meet each year during the time that a PDP is in place in order to assess the faculty member’s progress. The committee may conclude at any time during the PDP period that the faculty member has made adequate progress toward achieving the goals identified in the PDP. In that case, the ad hoc committee disbands and no further action is necessary. A second consecutive annual evaluation rating of overall unsatisfactory performance causes the initiation of the PTR process.

2.8.1.5.3 Post-Tenure Review

2.8.1.5.3.1 Length of Time
The entire PTR process should take no more than fifty (50) business days to complete. Allowances for unavoidable delays by the faculty member, administration or committees should be accommodated.

2.8.1.5.3.2 Triggering Event for PTR
The PTR process is triggered when the academic unit head assigns an overall rating of unsatisfactory performance to a tenured faculty member in two consecutive annual reviews. The academic unit head or college dean may recommend a postponement or waiver of the PTR due to extenuating circumstances, such as those that lead to an extension to pre-tenure probationary period (see Section 2.8.1.2.1.2.3).

2.8.1.5.3.3 Post-Tenure Review Committee (PTRC)
A Post-Tenure Review Committee (PTRC) consisting of at least three tenured faculty from the appropriate academic program, conducts the PTR. If the academic discipline lacks sufficient numbers to form such a committee, then tenured faculty from the academic unit or college will be added. The PTRC will evaluate the faculty member’s professional competence, effectiveness and contributions to the program, college, university and profession in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. The committee will complete its review within twenty (20) business days during the academic year.

The PTRC will keep a written record of all meetings, which will be stored within the faculty member’s file in the office of the dean of the respective college. It considers the effort and contributions made by the faculty member to the program, school, college, university and profession in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. The burden of proof that the faculty member should receive sanctions rest with the academic unit head.

2.8.1.5.3.4 Documentation
The faculty member and academic unit head are responsible for providing all requested information. At a minimum, the faculty member should provide a current curriculum vitae, a statement describing current teaching, scholarship and service activities, the PDP, and the PDP committee’s annual progress assessment. The committee may request other information from the past two years, such as annual evaluations (including the faculty member’s responses to them), teaching assignments, teaching evaluations and reviews of any proposals or publications. The committee may request to meet separately with the academic unit head and faculty member as necessary. If meetings occur, they must be requested of both parties. The academic unit head and faculty member may provide additional information he or she deems appropriate.

The faculty member has ten (10) business days to provide all information. The academic unit head will provide information related to the faculty member’s annual evaluations to the committee also within ten (10) business days.

2.8.1.5.3.5 PTR Outcomes
The PTRC will vote to choose one the following outcomes to a tenured faculty member’s PTR:
a. The faculty member’s performance meets the academic program minimum standards. In this case, the review is complete and any subsequent annual evaluation resulting in an overall rating of unsatisfactory performance counts as the first of the two-year sequence for triggering PTR.
b. The faculty member’s performance does not meet the academic program minimum standards and the faculty member requires further remediation. The PTRC can recommend that the faculty member continue to follow an existing PDP or it can recommend that a new ad hoc committee create another PDP, following the procedure outlined above in 2.8.1.5.2.3.2. The PDP committee may conclude at any time during the extended PDP period that the faculty member has made adequate progress toward achieving the goals identified in the PDP. In that case, no further action is necessary and any subsequent annual evaluation resulting in an overall rating of unsatisfactory performance counts as the first of the two-year sequence for triggering PTR. A third consecutive annual evaluation rating of overall unsatisfactory performance returns the case to the PTRC for its review.
c.   The faculty member’s performance does not meet the academic discipline’s minimum standards and warrants sanctions. These may include the following sanctions: reassignment of duties, loss of tenure or dismissal for cause. If the faculty member is not dismissed from the university and remains tenured but with reassigned duties, any subsequent annual evaluation resulting in an overall rating of unsatisfactory performance counts as the first of the two-year sequence that triggers PTR.

The PTRC will prepare a written summary of its decision, including any dissenting opinions, while maintaining confidentiality of individual members. The summary will be forwarded to the faculty member, academic unit head, college dean and chief academic officer.

2.8.1.5.3.6 Appeal of PTR Sanctions
A tenured faculty member may appeal the PTRC’s decision to the AFTC within five (5) business days of receiving the written recommendation of sanctions.

2.8.1.5.3.6.1 Length of Time
The tenured faculty member’s request for an appeal initiates the committee’s review period that will conclude within ten (10) business days during the academic year.

2.8.1.5.3.6.2 Process
On request, the PTRC will forward all information about its review to the AFTC within three (3) business days. The AFTC will share documents with the faculty member under review as appropriate while maintaining confidentiality.

The AFTC can request supporting documentation from the college dean and tenured faculty member under review to be received within three (3) business days of the request. The AFTC will review the faculty member’s performance and consider all relevant evidence, which includes individual discussions with the dean and the faculty member under review. The faculty member may choose an advocate to be present when meeting with the AFTC. The AFTC may consult with additional faculty or administrators as necessary. Written summaries of all discussions will be recorded and stored in the respective office of the college dean.

2.8.1.5.3.6.3 PTR Appeal Outcomes
The AFTC will vote to choose one of the following outcomes:
(1) The faculty member’s performance meets the academic program’s minimum standards. In this case, the review is complete. All documentation created by the AFTC is sealed and no further action is taken. Any subsequent annual evaluation resulting in an overall rating of unacceptable performance counts as the first of the two-year sequence for triggering PTR.
(2) The tenured faculty member’s performance does not meet the minimum academic program standards and warrants sanctions. These may include the following sanctions: reassignment of duties, loss of tenure or dismissal for cause. If the faculty member is not dismissed from the university and remains tenured but with reassigned duties, any subsequent annual evaluation resulting in an overall rating of unsatisfactory performance counts as the first of the two-year sequence that triggers PTR.

The AFTC will prepare a written summary of its decision while maintaining confidentiality of individual members and forward it to the faculty member, academic unit head, college dean and chief academic officer.

2.8.1.5.3.7 Final Decision for Sanctions
On receiving a recommendation of sanctions from the PTRC and following any appeals of that decision by the faculty member, the chief academic officer and president will make a final decision to apply sanctions. The chief academic officer and president may consult with faculty and/or administrators in order to make a final decision on the case.

If the faculty member is not dismissed from the university and remains tenured, any subsequent annual evaluation resulting in an overall rating of unsatisfactory performance counts as the first of the two-year sequence that triggers PTR.

A faculty member receives one academic year of employment following a decision of dismissal for cause.