Criteria for Reappointment, Promotion, and Award of Tenure
Approved by the Faculty Senate, March 30, 1982.
It is essential that the university faculty be composed of individuals with superior personal and professional qualifications. The educational quality of the institution depends primarily on its faculty and, therefore, is uniquely dependent upon a policy for promotion and tenure. A sound promotion and tenure policy should consistently define, recognize, and impartially reward excellence for professional contributions of the faculty. A university expresses its institutional goals most directly in the act of promoting and tenuring its faculty, and such a policy should be explicitly stated and made available to all faculty.
A public university has a responsibility to extend knowledge, and its application, beyond the traditional classroom and usual boundaries of the campus and “engage” aspects of the public and private sectors to enhance cultural, economic, and social development. Engagement describes the “collaboration between higher education institutions and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” However, engagement of whatever form must be knowledge based, meet the standards established at department levels, and be consistent with the represented academic disciplines at UNCW. The expectation for the level of involvement of engagement activities may vary across departments or hiring units depending on the subject matter and mission of departments and academic disciplines represented therein. Therefore, faculty whose work does not include engaged activities will not be penalized or denied tenure or promotion on those grounds unless such activities are part of the clearly articulated mission of the hiring unit or clearly stipulated as part of the terms of appointment. Although engagement as part of a comprehensive evaluation of faculty should be acknowledged and rewarded, such activity does not diminish, in any way, the importance and value of the university’s teaching and research missions. Therefore, engagement is not to be considered a substitute for faculty expectations in these other areas.
It is essential also that the university faculty be composed of individuals with a variety of strengths. Heterogeneity among faculty in contributions to the university is crucial. Guidelines for reappointment, tenure, and promotion should be seen in part as a means for fostering and rewarding individual strengths and competencies among faculty. Thus in the following guidelines the examples of the ways in which contributions to teaching, scholarship, research, faculty engagement, professional development, and service may be shown should be taken as indicating the variety of ways in which excellence may be demonstrated rather than as a fixed and exclusive set of common desired activities. Fixed weightings to be used in determining the relative importance of these different areas should be avoided in making reappointment, tenure, and promotion decisions.
Objective evaluation in these areas is difficult; however, it is imperative that means for evaluation be operationally defined. Evidence for evaluation will, where appropriate, include peer evaluation, chairperson's evaluation, student evaluations, self-evaluation and public documentation as well as other supporting material deemed relevant by the faculty member under evaluation. The information used in the evaluation of an individual will be shared with the individual in an open and constructive way. These evaluations should be used to determine the answer to what may be the overriding question, "In what way is this individual of importance to the university?" An important, if elusive, quality that should be spoken to in arriving at promotion, reappointment and tenure decisions is the extent and manner of the faculty member's commitment to furthering the goals of the university.
The following guidelines have been formulated to aid in the development of recommendations for promotion and tenure. These guidelines emphasize that promotions are made only on the grounds of merit. Section 602 (4) of the Code of The University of North Carolina states that "these considerations shall include an assessment of at least the following: the faculty member's demonstrated professional competence, his potential for future contribution and institutional needs and resources."
Department chairpersons and senior faculty members must consider the long-range plans of the institution and, more especially, the continuing and projected departmental programs together with the faculty member's promise of future professional achievement.
The primary concern of the university is teaching its students. Thus teaching effectiveness is the primary criterion for reappointment, promotion, and tenure. Faculty must be well-trained, knowledgeable, skillful, and enthusiastic presenters of knowledge. In addition, they should embody for their students the life of scholarship. Teaching involves not only the transmission of knowledge, but the development of the students' desire for knowledge, of the skills for acquiring knowledge and for critical evaluation, and of the factors that enable the student to assume a responsible position in society. Teaching, then, involves all aspects of the educative process including distance learning and outreach programs that extend teaching beyond the classroom. In addition to teaching courses, these aspects include revising old courses and developing new ones; developing teaching methods; and assisting, advising, and counseling students in academic matters. Commitments to learning, to fostering the intellectual development of students, and to improving educational programs mark the dedicated teacher. The nature of the university demands such commitment and performance from all its faculty members.
Evaluation should be made of as many aspects of teaching as possible. Formal evaluation of teaching shall include peer evaluation, student evaluations, and documentation of innovative teaching, curriculum development, grant-supported outreach, and other teaching-related activities.
Scholarship is expected of every faculty member. Besides a mastery of the fundamentals of a discipline it involves a thorough familiarity with its various areas, problems, and continuing investigations; it necessitates staying abreast of the relevant literature and includes the ability and insight to organize, synthesize, and evaluate effectively the work of others. It is a large component in the makeup of a good teacher and a necessary ingredient in the conduct of meaningful research and the presentation of research results. Thus it is a prime responsibility within the academic profession.
As a part of the comprehensive evaluation of faculty for RTP the faculty member’s interactions and engagement with communities outside the traditional scholarly community should be included when such interactions and engagement are deemed relevant, i.e. they are scholarly, creative, or pedagogical activities for the public good, directed towards persons and groups outside UNCW. For faculty engagement to qualify as scholarly work, the activity must meet critical standards of excellence stipulated at departmental levels. Evidence of faculty engagement may take many forms such as external grants supporting community work, publications, technology transfer, funded outreach to public schools and other artistic and humanistic activities publically recognized as significantly improving the lives of people in the community.
The university encourages faculty members to continue their education throughout their professional lives. Faculty members should seek appropriate advanced study which will (1) enhance their teaching effectiveness, (2) apprize them of developments in their academic fields, or (3) add new areas of expertise to the existing programs of the university. Examples of appropriate professional development include participation in formal coursework, interdisciplinary collaboration, seminars, workshops, and other specialized training programs.
Artistic achievement is an appropriate responsibility of some faculty members. Depending on the medium and specialization involved, continuing efforts toward the creation, production, interpretation or criticism of works of art are expected in some disciplines. Such activity may take many forms: exhibits, concerts, performances, productions, readings, and writings. The academic artist has a responsibility to enlighten and enrich society at large with her/his artistic endeavors.
Besides artistic achievement, research understood as original investigation is also an important function of higher education. By continuously adding to the store of human knowledge, research enriches society at large while contributing greatly to vitality and depth in teaching. The university therefore encourages faculty members to engage in scholarly research.
Since the communication of knowledge is a central function of an educational institution, public rendition of a faculty member's research is highly desirable and may assume a variety of forms, which may be addressed to her/his professional colleagues or to society at large. Such renditions may include books, reviews, articles, reports, lectures, seminars, and papers presented at meetings.
In evaluating a faculty member's artistic achievement or research, attention will be directed to its vitality, integrity, originality, and overall quality, as judged by professional colleagues on and off campus.
The university encourages and expects its faculty members to apply their talents and abilities in service to the university, to organizations and to the community at large.
Service within the university is expected of all faculty members. Such service normally includes participation on departmental, school or college, and university-wide committees, and willing assistance in supporting the functions and purposes of the university.
The university shall also recognize and encourage faculty service to professional and scholarly organizations. Examples of such service include leadership in professional and learned societies, evaluations of manuscripts and research proposals, editorial board work, and other professionally related activities with or without compensation.
It is also appropriate for faculty members to serve in an educational advisory or informational capacity at the local, regional, state, national, and international levels. This service should ordinarily be an outgrowth of professional training and/or one's affiliation with the university. Examples of such activities include conducting workshops, consulting, and serving on advisory boards with or without compensation.
The hiring of each faculty member is an investment in the university's future. The university hires promising faculty in the hope and expectation that they will successfully complete a probationary period, achieve tenure, and provide the university with years of estimable service. Accordingly, it is in the university's interest that each academic department provide continuous mentoring of its untenured assistant professors (junior faculty) from the time of hiring until a tenure decision is made. Departments are encouraged to assign one or more senior faculty mentors to each member of the junior faculty to advise them and guide their professional development in teaching and research.
The outcome of a reappointment or tenure decision should not be a surprise to either the department or the candidate. Department chairpersons are obligated to provide junior faculty, at the time of hiring, with clear indications of the criteria necessary for achieving tenure and promotion. As part of the annual evaluation process, the chairperson or other immediate supervisor must give each junior faculty member a candid written assessment of that person's progress toward meeting the requirements for tenure and promotion, as well as practical guidelines for meeting those requirements. The department's senior faculty play a central role in the mentoring of junior faculty, and the chairperson is required annually to provide the senior faculty with a summary of the assessments that the chairperson has given to junior faculty of their progress toward tenure and promotion. When the faculty member is subsequently considered for tenure and promotion, the chairperson's recommendation should normally be consistent with the assessments the faculty member has received in annual evaluations. When the chairperson's recommendation differs from those prior assessments, the chairperson shall explain what circumstances have arisen to cause the discrepancy.
A faculty member hired as an assistant or associate professor must complete at least two years of probationary service before being considered for tenure. No other minimum time requirement for service at any level has been established. The decision shall be based entirely on the cumulative achievement of the faculty member.
It is to be emphasized that employment for a given time period at a particular level does not in and of itself imply automatic promotion and tenure. In fact, every consideration for advancement or tenure must involve analysis of the individual's complete record of achievement.
Records and reports are to be kept on file to serve as objective evidence in support of recommendations for reappointment, promotion, and tenure (and also salary increments). Each department will provide means for faculty members to report their achievements on an annual basis. Faculty members are urged to keep their own records of all activities which might support their advancement. Faculty members have the right to discuss their status with the department chairperson or the appropriate dean at any time. (See Policies of Academic Freedom and Tenure, Sec. IV D.)
Annual written evaluations shall be made of each faculty member by the departmental chairperson. The evaluation shall be provided to the faculty member, who shall have the opportunity to reply in writing to the evaluation. Copies of the evaluation and reply shall be forwarded to the appropriate dean and maintained in the faculty member's departmental file.
The overall goal of Guidelines is to ensure continued professional growth of the faculty. Guidelines should emphasize excellence in teaching and professional activity in order both to reward individual faculty and to further the university's goal of excellence.
Because of their long-term consequences for the university and its faculty, tenure decisions are more important than promotion decisions. To be granted tenure, a faculty member must have evidenced proficiency and a pattern of growth in areas of teaching; scholarship and research/artistic achievement; and service. Of these, teaching effectiveness is the primary criterion for the granting of tenure. When a faculty member who has served two years or longer at the rank of assistant professor is recommended for permanent tenure, he/she will also be recommended for promotion.
For appointment to the rank of assistant professor a candidate shall show promise as a teacher and evidence of progress in the area of research or artistic achievement.
For appointment to the rank of associate professor a candidate shall show evidence of having developed into an effective teacher, of a continuing pattern of research or artistic achievement, of regular professional service, and of scholarship and professional development.
For appointment to the rank of professor a candidate shall have exhibited during her/his career distinguished accomplishment in teaching, a tangible record of research or artistic achievement, and a significant record of service. An individual with the rank of professor should have a reputation as an excellent teacher and be recognized as a scholar within her/his professional field.
Appointment to the positions of lecturer, visiting faculty, adjunct faculty, and writer- or artist-in-residence will require, at a minimum, a master's degree or equivalent. This requirement may be relaxed in exceptional cases.
Appointment at the level of assistant professor or higher will require a terminal degree; however, this requirement may be waived in exceptional cases.
Recommendation for promotion beyond the assistant professor level, for an individual without the terminal degree, will be made only in clearly exceptional cases.