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Appendix B – University Faculty Appointment, Promotion & Tenure Bylaws

Policy Number: 3349-03-195
Effective Date: 06/05/2015
Updated: 09/25/2018
Responsible Department: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Applies To: All Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty

D. Body of the Bylaws

  1. Appointments
    1. Appointment to the Faculty is a privilege not a right. An Appointment is the designation of a Candidate for a given Academic Rank, that is based upon the Candidate’s competence in his/her field and the expectation that the Candidate will maintain and increase mastery and creativity in this field.   The Letter of Offer will state the kind of Appointment the Candidate will hold, the conditions under which the Appointment is made and held, and any special considerations that may affect the Appointment.
    2. Appointments to the Tenure Track will be made upon the positive recommendation of a duly constituted Search Committee, the respective College Dean, the University President and final action by the Board of Trustees.
    3. Considerations include, but are not limited to:
      1. Possession of an appropriate terminal academic or professional degree;
      2. Expertise in an appropriate academic field and evidence of dedication to continuing advancement of this field of knowledge;
      3. Ability and dedication as an effective teacher;
      4. Creativity and competence in an appropriate field of research and scholarship; and
      5. Ability to assume responsibility for service to the College, University or profession.
    4. “Appointments with Tenure” are Appointments for senior level faculty (Associate or Full Professor) from comparable institutions where they have had Tenure and a commensurate faculty rank. For these faculty, the Probationary Period is waived and Tenure commences at the time of initial Appointment.   Appointments with Tenure are made only after positive recommendations by the Department Chair, respective College Dean, and consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall forward positive recommendations to the University President for review and approval. The University President shall forward positive recommendations to the Board of Trustees for ratification or approval.
    5. While prior Tenure status and faculty rank at another institution will be considered at the time of initial Appointment, the College Dean in consultation with the University Vice President for Academic Affairs will determine the appropriate faculty rank and the length of any Probationary Period for a faculty member within the guidelines established herein.  The length of the Probationary Period if any, will be set forth in the Letter of Offer.
    6. An Appointment is made with the expectation that it will continue until notice is given and that it may be terminated either upon the retirement or resignation of the faculty member or by the College or University in accordance with the University Bylaws and/or the Faculty Bylaws.
  2. Tenure
    1. Basic Principles of Tenure
      1. The conferral of Tenure is a commitment of the resources of a given College within the University. Tenure assists the University and its respective Colleges in attracting and retaining a high quality, and diverse faculty.  The conferral of Tenure necessitates an assessment of University and College needs and resources.  The University will consider documented evidence by the Candidate of his/her professional excellence in teaching, research and scholarly activities, and academic/public/professional/clinical service; and demonstrated professional dedication and outstanding ability necessary to substantiate the potential for future contributions justifying the degree of permanence afforded by the award of Tenure.
      2. Tenure may be awarded only to a full-time, salaried Candidate with a Tenure Track Appointment. Tenure may be awarded at the time of initial appointment or after the successful completion of the Probationary Period.  Except under extraordinary circumstances, any time accrued under Non-Tenure Track Appointments at the University or elsewhere will not count toward the established Probationary Period.  Any exceptions must be approved by the respective Department Chair and Dean and must be noted in the Letter of Offer or an amendment thereto.
      3. Tenure is a privilege not a right.
      4. Tenure shall not be awarded unless, after rigorous review, the Candidate has been found to meet the standards described herein. Attainment of Tenure may not result from inaction, inadvertence or any procedural error on the part of the College or University.
      5. A Candidate for Promotion must first have been awarded Tenure or must seek Tenure at the time he/she seeks Promotion.
      6. If Tenure is not awarded, a Candidate shall be given a Notice of Non-reappointment as defined herein.
    2. Tenure Track. Only faculty appointed to the Tenure Track are eligible to apply for Tenure.  Tenure Track status will be identified in the faculty member’s Letter of Offer.
    3. Terminal Degree. The Candidate must hold an appropriate terminal degree.  Exceptions can be made in particular cases, provided that such exceptions are justified by the Candidate’s Department Chair and approved by the respective College Dean and University President.
    4. Award Must Result from Positive Action. The conferral of Tenure is a positive act by the College and the University.  A faculty member shall not be awarded Tenure by default.  Any failure in procedural matters shall not be sufficient cause for the conferral of Tenure.  If the University or the College makes a procedural error, the error will be corrected, and the procedure will continue without prejudice to the Candidate.
    5. Probationary Period
      1. Typically, the Probationary Period begins at the time an appointment commences and ends on the date of the award of Tenure by the Board of Trustees. In determining eligibility for Tenure and Promotion, initial Appointments commencing on or before October 1 will be counted as a full year. Partial years of appointment will not be used unless so requested in writing by the faculty member.  The Probationary Period will be identified in the Letter of Offer or the amendments thereto.
      2. Upon written request of a faculty member and approval by the Department Chair and the Dean, a faculty member may be allowed to apply for Tenure before the maximum number of years of the Probationary Period. If the faculty member is not awarded Tenure when he/she is reviewed before the maximum number of years provided herein, he/she may re-apply for Tenure once more.  However, he/she may only re-apply in the year when he/she has completed the maximum number of years of the Probationary Period.
      3. Leaves of absence and other reasons approved by the Chair and the Dean for which the Probationary Period has been tolled will not be counted as part of the Probationary Period.
      4. In extenuating circumstances, at the written request of the faculty member and with the concurrence of the respective Department Chair and Dean, extensions of up to no more than three (3) years in total may be given to those probationary faculty who demonstrate a high probability of being awarded Tenure at the end of the extension. The request must be made before May 15 of the Evaluation Year.  Requests for extension and the approval of such extension must be in writing.  Approval of an extension will be considered an amendment of the Letter of Offer.
      5. Faculty who have received an extension of the probationary period can apply for promotion only once during the period of their extension, either during or at the end of the probationary period.  The recommendation of the University Tenure and Promotions Committee, dean, and president has the same standing as recommendations in which the probationary period was not extended.
  3. Promotion of Tenure Track Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with Tenure and Promotion of Tenure Track Associate Professor to Full Professor
    1. Candidates will be simultaneously reviewed for Promotion and Tenure.
    2. If Tenure is awarded, then Promotion to the next higher Academic Rank is also granted.
    3. The Probationary Period is generally no more than seven years for Assistant Professors and no more than five years for Associate Professors. A faculty member must submit a written notification of intent to stand for Promotion with Tenure to the respective Department Chair by May 15 of the year specified in the Letter of Offer or amendments thereto.
    4. If notification of intent to stand is not given by the faculty member as required, Notice of Non-reappointment will be issued as specified herein.
    5. Each Candidate for Promotion with Tenure is evaluated individually based upon the achievements described in the Dossier according to the criteria and standards appropriate to the Candidate’s field and any appropriate terms and conditions cited in the Candidate’s Letter of Offer.
    6. In evaluating the Candidate’s performance, the weighting of the evaluation areas may vary. Consideration in weighing will be given to the mission of the University and College, the Department and the demands of the appropriate discipline. Both quality and quantity of the individual’s contribution will be taken into consideration.
    7. In order to achieve Promotion with Tenure, the Candidate must exhibit sustained excellence and distinction in at least one of the two areas of faculty activity; research or teaching. Proficiency is required in all other areas of faculty activity.  Convincing evidence for these must be exhibited in the Candidate’s Tenure and Promotion Dossier and must reflect the weighting of the effort distribution.  See Section (I)(1), “Tenure/Promotion Dossier for Tenure Track Faculty”.
    8. Following an Assistant Professor’s Promotion to Associate Professor and the award of Tenure, there is no requirement for a faculty member to be promoted to a higher rank.
  4. Promotion of Tenured Associate Professors to Full Professor
    1. Faculty must be Tenured prior to seeking Promotion to Professor.
    2. Five years in rank is generally the minimum time in rank before which a faculty member may be considered for Promotion to Professor. The Dean may, after consultation with the Department Chair, reduce the time in rank requirement for a faculty member whose outstanding performance would justify the reduction in time prior to consideration for Promotion.
    3. Each Candidate for Promotion is evaluated individually based upon the achievements described in the Dossier (refer to Section (I)(1), “Tenure/Promotion Dossier for Tenure Track Faculty”) according to the criteria and standards appropriate to the Candidate’s field.
    4. Promotions are made after contributions commensurate with the higher rank have been achieved. The Tenure and Promotions Committee will consider any specific exceptions or requirements set forth in the faculty member’s Letter of Offer or any amendments thereto, and the annual written reviews.
    5. A successful Candidate for Promotion to full Professor should be recognized as an authority in their field and be regarded as a national or international expert and leader. Promotion from Associate Professor to full Professor is based upon recognition of the Candidate’s academic maturity; sustained and Distinguished accomplishments in education, scholarship and service; strong University commitment; and distinction in leadership roles in education, scholarship and service at the University.
  5. Standards and Documentation for Tenure and Promotion. Standards and documentation for Tenure and Promotion include, but are not limited to:
    1. Research and Scholarly Accomplishments
      1. The Standard
        1. Research and scholarly activities are central to the mission of the University.  Given the complexity of the University and its component Colleges and the great diversity of talent within them, it is imperative that various kinds of academic work be recognized through a broad vision of scholarship.  Scholarship includes, but is not limited to, the scholarship of discovery, integration, application and teaching.   Scholarship and research may also include participation in clinical trials and commercialization, patent and technology transfer activities.  Participation in clinical trials, commercialization, patent and technology transfer activities are primarily supportive for Promotion decisions and, while they weigh importantly in Tenure decisions, are not solely sufficient for the granting of Tenure. Clinical improvement and innovation activities done in a scholarly manner and acknowledged to be of regional, national or international importance are important indicators of distinction and merit consideration.   Regardless of the type of scholarship, it should possess the quality of excellence, be peer-reviewed and be disseminated in the public domain.
        2. Creative scholarly activity includes both original research resulting from investigative work or other peer reviewed contributions to the professional and scientific literature.  Faculty shall conduct original research and other scholarly activity.  The hallmark of creative scholarly activity lies in the peer reviewed “written” word.  Written work which is not peer reviewed may support a faculty member’s Dossier, but by itself is insufficient evidence of excellence in scholarly activity.  Similarly, oral or poster presentations may support a faculty member’s Dossier but are insufficient evidence of proficiency or excellence in scholarly activity.
        3. Original research is studious inquiry or examination.
        4. Faculty shall conduct research and other creative scholarly activity that clearly demonstrates high quality and conforms to the highest ethical and legal standards.  Quality is stressed over quantity.
        5. Standards and expectations for scholarship may differ from one field to another.  The standards and expectations should be clearly identified for faculty by the Department Chair and during the Advisory Committee consultations and for the Tenure and Promotion Committee in the Advisory Committee’s summative letter.
        6. Clinical innovation and improvement performed in a scholarly fashion and acknowledged to be of regional, national and international importance are additional evidence of readiness for Promotion.
      2. Documentation. There must be evidence that the Candidate is engaged in creative scholarly activity in areas appropriate to their appointment.  Such activities include, but are not limited to:
        1. Scholarly publications.  These include publications in journals, books, chapters, monographs, case reports, literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, abstracts and technical reports.  Publications will be assessed in terms of quality and quantity and the Candidate’s role in the work.  The quality of the publications will be evaluated by criteria such as:  whether the publication was refereed; whether the publication was invited; the metrics that evaluate excellence in a field of science, reputation and circulation of the journal or book or monograph; the scope of the periodical’s audience; the number of citations; originality, creativity and impact on the field; unsolicited independent reviews; or solicited outside professional reviews.
        2. Research support.  This includes financial support generated through grants, contracts and other peer reviewed awards.
        3. Scholarly presentations.  These include, but are not limited to:  lectures, poster presentations or educational displays at professional meetings, colloquia, workshops, seminars and conference presentations.
        4. Research collaborations.  These include, but are not limited to collaborations between departments, Colleges and universities regionally, nationally or internationally.
        5. Research consultations.  These include, but are not limited to, providing consultation in:  study design, data analysis, measurement and evaluation.
        6. Intellectual property development and activities in support of technology transfer and commercialization.   Documentation of the development of new intellectual property including patents, conduct of clinical trials, and commercialization of University intellectual property provide additional positive evidence for Promotion and Tenure decisions.
        7. Documentation of innovative clinical activities supported by scholarly publications, presentations and grant and contract activity; commercialization efforts; clinical trial excellence, and recognition by peers such as fellowship in professional organizations or recognition of clinical acumen, leadership in quality improvement efforts on a large scale and regional, national and international reputation are also important elements for consideration.
    2. Educational Accomplishments
      1. The Standard. Teaching is central to the mission of the University and its component Colleges. A faculty member’s teaching is reflected in part by students’ achievements.  Furthermore, teaching quality is documented by recognition and feedback from students, alumni and peer evaluation. Positive contributions to the learning environment and curriculum may support a faculty member’s record of teaching.  Service on and recognition by national educational bodies are also important aspects of teaching excellence.
      2. Documentation. There must be evidence that the Candidate is engaged in educational activities that are appropriate to their appointment.  Such activities include, but are not limited to:
        1. Course or clerkship director;
        2. Presentation of lectures, seminars and tutorials;
        3. Preparation of syllabi, course and examination materials; remediation;
        4. Academic advising and career guidance;
        5. Obtaining external funding for educational activities.
        6. The faculty member should demonstrate substantial ability: in presenting concepts and information; in teaching problem solving, research and laboratory techniques; developing professional attitudes; evaluating students and conducting remediation, innovative curriculum and teaching initiatives, nationally or internationally prominent educational activities.
        7. The extent and effectiveness of educational accomplishments will be evaluated through review of relevant evidence.  Evidence may include:  student performance on examinations; recognition of excellence in teaching; service on nationally prominent task forces, committees, or study sections; supervisor, peer and student evaluations.
      3. Service Accomplishments
        1. The Standard. Service oriented to the needs of the University, College and the respective Departments, are expected for faculty, regardless of rank and academic appointment.
        2. Documentation
          1. Service activities. Faculty members are expected to be active participants in service activities. Service activities include, but are not limited to:
            1. Membership on committees, boards, councils, etc.;
            2. Professional service activities such as service on research review committees, ad hoc research reviews, editorial board membership, editorship, editorial reviews, etc.;
            3. Service to the community;
            4. Service to governmental bodies on biomedical, public health, and community health topics.
          2. Planning, organizing and implementing service projects.
          3. Service support.  This includes support for service activities generated through grants, contracts and other sources.

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