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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
Reviewed:
Responsible Department: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Applies To: All Tenured and Tenure Track Faculty

F. Structure and Function of the University Tenure and Promotions Committee

  1. Standing Committee of the University. The University Tenure and Promotions Committee (UTPC) is a standing committee of the University.  The rules of the University standing committees (per Appendix G) will apply unless superseded herein.
  2. Composition and Chair
    1. Voting membership includes:
      1. Nine (9) tenured faculty members appointed by the President; there shall be no more than two (2) members at the Associate Professor rank and no faculty at the Assistant Professor rank or below. There will be no Department Chairs on the Committee.
      2. A diversity of members representing the breadth of departments and faculty with at least one (1) from each department with tenure track faculty, and with at least two (2) from each College which grants tenure.
    2. Officers
      1. The Chair shall be a tenured professor elected by a majority vote of the UTPC.  The Chair is a voting member of the Committee who will abstain from voting unless the votes of the other committee members are tied.
      2. A Vice Chair shall be a tenured professor elected by a majority vote of the UTPC. The Vice Chair plays the same role as any other member of the Committee if the Chair of the Committee is chairing the meeting. If the chair is absent at a meeting, the Vice Chair assumes the responsibilities of the Chair, including not voting unless the votes of the other committee members are tied.
    3. Conflict of Interest – Criteria. Any member of the UTPC must disclose all real and/or perceived conflict of interest of any of its members to the Committee.  A Committee member has a conflict of interest if he/she:
      1. Is related to the person who is evaluated or has a close comparable relationship.
      2. Has a substantial financial interest in any evaluated activities by the person who is evaluated, both personal and professional.
      3. Within the past three (3) years, has collaborated with or has been in a close mentoring relationship with the person who is evaluated, or is dependent in some way on the candidate’s services.
      4. Within the past three (3) years, has played a major professional role as part of a funded research project with the person who is evaluated.
      5. Is preparing to enter into a relationship that would be defined as a conflict in accordance with the above guidelines.
    4. Conflict of Interest – Tenure Advisory Committee
      1. No conflict of interest is presumed to exist if the UTPC member is currently part of the TAC for the candidate, however, if the UTCP member is 1) the Chair of the TAC and, 2) the single author of a final TAC report, he/she will recuse themself from a formal vote on the candidate in the UTPC.
      2. No conflict of interest is presumed to exist if the UTPC member is currently part of the TAC for the candidate, however, if the UTCP member is 1) the Chair of the TAC and, 2) the single author of a final TAC report, he/she will recuse themself from a formal vote on the candidate in the UTPC.
    5. Conflict of Interest – Evaluation Procedure. The UTPC shall evaluate a member’s declared or perceived conflict of interest to determine if the conflict is substantial enough to exclude him/her from discussion and/or voting on a pending tenure case.  This evaluation shall include:
      1. Examination of the factors that surround the potential conflict;
      2. In the presence of the affected member and with their participation, discussion of these factors;
      3. In the absence of the affected member, discussion of these factors and related circumstances and a vote on whether the affected member can:
        1. Contribute to the discussion of the pending tenure case; and
        2. Vote on the pending tenure case.
    6. Criteria for Candidate Review and Voting
      1. Each candidate for tenure and/or promotion will be reviewed by no fewer than five (5) voting members.
      2. The Chair, with the concurrence of the Committee, may appoint an ad hoc member or members who meet(s) the criteria for voting membership to review and vote on candidates in order to meet the minimum number of members.
      3. When the Committee is considering a candidate for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, Associate Professors who are committee members will discuss and vote.
      4. When the Committee is considering a candidate for promotion to Professor, Associate Professors on the Committee may participate in the discussion but will not vote.
    7. Confidentiality
      1. In order to assure that Candidates for Promotion and Tenure receive a thorough and fair review of their qualifications and accomplishments, Tenure and Promotion Committee materials and deliberations must be accorded the highest degree of confidentiality.
      2. Committee members agree:
        1. To accept the responsibility to protect the integrity of the Tenure and Promotion process for all Candidates.
        2. That Tenure and Promotion materials are crucial to the consideration of Candidate’s Tenure and that it is necessary to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality for these materials.  Specifically, members agree to:
          1. Not discuss any information about Candidates except in Tenure and Promotion meetings.
          2. Be fair; accurate and honest in the management of information germane to the review process.
          3. Guard against inaccuracies, carelessness, bias, and distortion made by either emphasis or omission of information.
          4. Strive to treat issues impartially and handle controversial subjects dispassionately.
          5. If requested, provide accurate and complete reports on Candidates to the respective College Dean, President or University Counsel.
      3. A breach of this confidentiality will be considered a serious violation of the Faculty Code of Conduct.
    8. Responsibilities
      1. The Tenure and Promotions Committee reviews and evaluates the credentials of applicants for Tenure or Promotion.
      2. Evaluation. The Tenure and Promotions Committee may:
        1. Interview appropriate individuals and/or;
        2. Request additional information from further outside references; and/or
        3. Request any additional information pertinent to its evaluation.
    9. Recommendations. The Tenure and Promotions Committee recommendation shall be one supported by the majority of members.  The Chair of the Committee will generally abstain from voting except in the case of a tie.
      1. The Tenure and Promotions Committee, after its evaluation, may recommend to award or deny Tenure and Promotion to an Assistant Professor; recommend to award or deny Tenure and/or Promotion to an Associate Professor; and recommend to award or deny Tenure to a full Professor and will forward its recommendation to the respective College Dean.
      2. The Dean will review the Candidate’s Dossier and the recommendation of the Tenure and Promotions Committee and formulate his/her own recommendation.  The Dean will forward the Tenure and Promotion Committee’s recommendation along with his/her own recommendation to the President, the Candidate and the Candidate’s Department Chair.
      3. In the case of a negative recommendation by the Dean, the Dean will notify the Candidate of the right to appeal as set forth herein.
    10. Appeal by the Candidate
      1. By December 1, the Candidate must notify the Dean and the President in writing of his/her intent to appeal or the right is waived. The appeal will be scheduled in December.
      2. The President may hear the appeal him/herself or may appoint a three- member Appeal Committee of Tenured Faculty from the Ad Hoc Appeal Pool (see Section K of this Appendix) to consider the matter. If appointed, the Committee will elect its own Chair and will decide by majority vote to recommend upholding of the recommendation of the University Tenure and Promotions Committee and/or the Dean.
      3. The Appeal Committee review should be concluded within thirty (30) days from the date the Committee is charged by the President.
      4. Recommendation by the President
        1. The President shall review the recommendation from the Tenure and Promotions Committee, the Department Chair, the Dean and the Appeal Committee, if appropriate.
        2. By February 1, the President will notify the Candidate and the Department Chair and Dean in writing of his/her recommendation.
        3. By February 1, the President if he/she concurs will transmit all positive recommendations for the award of Tenure and/or Promotion to the Board of Trustees for consideration at their next scheduled meeting.
        4. Following Board of Trustee approval, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Candidate, Department Chair and Dean will be notified.
        5. The Department Chair is responsible for notifying Human Resources and Accounting of any changes in status.

[1] The Bylaws Committee is recommending for the Academic Year 2015-2016 which will encompass Tenure determinations for Candidates who must declare intent to stand for Tenure by June 1, 2015, that the current composition and chair of the respective College Tenure and Promotion Committees be maintained. The composition and structure will be set forth in Appendix G of the Faculty Bylaws. The Committee is currently recommending that the VPAA will solicit four nominations from each College Dean where Tenure Track Faculty hold their primary appointments (College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy). The VPAA will select and appoint members from the nominations received and will identify and appoint the chair of the Committee in consultation with the Deans of the Colleges. The Bylaws Committee anticipates finalizing Appendix G by Dec. 31, 2015.

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