Promotion and Tenure

POLICY INFORMATION
Major Functional Area (MFA): Office of Academic Affairs
Policy Title: Promotion and Tenure
Responsible Executive (RE): Provost and Vice President
Sponsoring Organization (SO): Office of Academic Affairs
Dates: Effective Date: May 5, 2011
Revised: July 20, 2011
Annual Review: July 20, 2012

 

I. POLICY STATEMENT

Each unit (division, college, school, library, etc.) shall establish guidelines for tenure and promotion that are consistent with the Governing Policies and Procedures of the Idaho State Board of Education with the policy set forth in this document. These guidelines should clearly outline the requirements for gaining tenure and promotion, and the process by which Tenure and Promotion Committees should be established and operated.

The procedures outlined here are intended to assure fair and equitable treatment of faculty members throughout Idaho State University during their promotion and tenure reviews, and to ensure confidence that tenure and promotion recommendations will be fairly and equitably applied. This process provides each unit the opportunity to apply and evaluate discipline-specific tenure and promotion criteria in accordance with this University policy.

II. AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The Office of Academic Affairs has the authority and responsibility to update and review this policy as necessary in consultation with the faculty.

III. PROCEDURES TO IMPLEMENT

Requests for changes to this policy should be forwarded to the Office of Academic Affairs and presented to the Council of Deans. Proposed changes will be posted for review by the faculty. The President has the final approval.

  • Faculty Roles and Responsibilities:
    • Essential responsibilities of faculty include the following:
      • Teaching - Faculty members are expected to demonstrate a high level of instructional proficiency in their area of expertise. Effective teaching is an expectation that must be met for tenure and promotion to be granted regardless of the faculty member's performance in other areas.
      • Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activities - Tenured and tenure-track faculty are expected to maintain a sustained record of scholarship that is consistent with the national standards of their discipline(s) and that meets or exceeds their unit/department or program requirements. The use of the term "scholarship" in this document hereafter refers to all scholarship, research, and creative activities.
      • Service - Service to the institution (university, division/college/school, department) and to the discipline is expected of all tenured and tenure track faculty members. Service to the discipline (manuscript reviewing, journal editing, conference planning, serving as an officer for a national organization, etc.) will be considered the highest level of service. Applicable community/public service includes only those activities that relate directly to one's academic discipline and/or areas of specific expertise.
      • The primary workload expectation for research faculty is to conduct externally-funded research, with teaching and service as secondary expectations.
      • Faculty members who have assigned clinical responsibilities are expected to demonstrate consistent clinical competence, maintain appropriate state licensure and/or certificates required for practice, and mentor and serve as a role model for students.
      • The primary workload expectation for lecturers and professional-technical education (PTE) faculty is teaching and related instructional activities.
      • Faculty members who have been assigned part-time administrative responsibilities (assistant dean, chair, assistant chair, program director, etc.) are expected to maintain a balance among the relevant areas of faculty responsibility-teaching, scholarship, and service-as part of their total workload and as negotiated at the time of appointment and documented in the previous year's Annual Faculty Evaluation-Summary of Accomplishments or appointment letter.
    • The review process for promotion and/or tenure should adhere to the following progression. Reviewers at each level should have access to the recommendations made at previous levels. At each stage of the review process, the candidate will have five working days (following the receipt of the recommendations) to respond to the written recommendation. The candidate's response will accompany all documents forwarded to the next level of review. All of the reviewers' recommendations and responses from the candidate will be forwarded to the Provost. At each level, either a vote of the group or a recommendation from the administrator must be made. All votes and recommendations must be accompanied with a written rationale.
      • Department committee
      • Department chair
      • College/school committee
      • Dean of the college or division
      • Provost
  • Process and Procedures
    • Tenure
      • The Idaho State Board of Education Governing Policies and Procedures (II.G) states: "A faculty member is eligible to be evaluated for the acquisition of tenure after having completed four (4) full years of academic employment at the institution, although tenure may be awarded prior to completion of this initial eligibility period in certain exceptional cases as provided in Board Policy II.G.6.d.4.a. In addition, an academic faculty member must be evaluated for the acquisition of tenure not later than the faculty member's sixth (6th) full academic year of employment at the institution. In certain exceptional cases a faculty member may petition for extension of the timeline for tenure due to extenuating circumstances" (as provided in Board Policy II.G.6.d.4.b). Idaho State Board of Education Policy defines "exceptional cases" in the following manner: "Tenure may be awarded prior to completion of the usual eligibility period in certain exceptional cases. In such cases, the burden of proof rests with the individual" (as provided in Board Policy II.G.6.d.4.a). There are no time requirements for promotion in the SBOE policies.
      • The granting of tenure will be linked to promotion to associate professor for those faculty members at the assistant professor rank whose entire time in service for the consideration of tenure was spent at Idaho State University. For these faculty members, tenure will not be awarded without promotion to the associate professor rank.
      • As an exception, faculty members who come to Idaho State University where time-in-rank credit toward tenure is specifically granted in the letter of offer may be eligible to be evaluated for the acquisition of tenure earlier than the standard four-year timeline. Individuals hired following a national search for some academic administrative positions may be appointed in rank, with tenure, by the President at the time of hire (e.g., an academic vice president, a dean, and in some cases a department chair). In addition, on rare occasions, a senior faculty member may be brought in with tenure at the discretion of the president.
      • Department and College Tenure Committees: It is expected that the Provost, in recommending tenure, will have sought and considered evaluations of each candidate by one or more committee(s) appointed for the purpose of tenure review. The membership of such committee(s) must include student representation and one (1) or more representatives from outside the college/division/unit/department, with the remainder made up of tenured and continuing non-tenured faculty at the assistant professor or higher rank. Each member of the committee has an equal vote on all matters. The committee(s) must give proper credence and weight to collective student evaluations of faculty members. The recommendation(s) of the committee(s) will be forwarded in writing through appropriate channels, along with written recommendations of the unit/department chairperson or unit head, dean, and chief academic officer to the chief executive officer (i.e., President), who is responsible for making the final decision.
    • The review process for tenure will include the following:
      • Faculty of the unit/department eligible for tenure and/or promotion and the unit/department chair will jointly establish the performance expectations for faculty members within the unit, in accordance with national disciplinary and institutional standards, and will evaluate faculty accomplishments with regard to individual workload assignments.
      • The tenure and promotion application will include a minimum of three letters (but no more than six) from reviewers who are expert in the individual's field or a related scholarly field. External reviewers should have no significant relationship to the candidate (e.g., major professor, relative, former student). Reviewers should be highly regarded and recognized scholars in the candidate's discipline and able to evaluate the quality, productivity, and significance of her or his scholarship within the candidate's assigned workload. External reviewers must be selected from individuals outside of ISU.
      • The candidate must submit a list of at least (7) recommended external reviewers to the department chair early during the summer preceding the academic year in which the candidate is applying for tenure and/or promotion. These recommendations should be accompanied by brief biographical information supporting the choices as well as certification that there is no significant relationship with the recommended reviewers. The chair of the department may also consider other professionals in the candidate's specific area of expertise as external reviewers. The chair will select at least two reviewers from the candidate's recommended list and solicit external review from an additional (1) to (4) professionals in the candidate's area of expertise. The candidate will refrain from contacting potential external reviewers.
      • The candidate will provide copies of a current vita and other materials chosen by the candidate as appropriate for external review of the candidate's scholarship. When inviting a potential reviewer to review a candidate's scholarship, the chair will forward these materials along with copies of the department and college tenure policies and Mission Statements of the Department, College, and University, as well as a written description of the candidate's assignment of efforts and activities for the entire time span being evaluated.
      • All solicited letters received will be included with the documentation for the tenure case. In communicating with an external reviewer, the department chair must use a version of the sample letter provided in the tenure and promotion application form.
    • The tenure decision will be based on the significance and quality of the candidate's scholarship, teaching, and service to date and will take into account an assessment of the likelihood of sustained productivity.
    • Faculty members being evaluated for tenure should include the following in the portfolio:
      • The Idaho State University Tenure and Promotion Application Form.
      • A current curriculum vitae. It is expected that the curriculum vitae will include the entire professional background of the candidate.
      • Annual performance reviews for reappointment, including a more intensive third-year review (see II.D. below).
      • Evidence of effective teaching and/or clinical practice by providing the following:
        • History of student evaluations - may be summarized by the unit/department
        • Thesis and/or dissertation committee service
        • Peer review of teaching and/or clinical practice
        • Any other evidence of quality teaching and/or clinical practice activities
      • Evidence of relevant scholarship/research/creative activities should be provided in the curriculum vitae and in the candidate's portfolio.
      • Evidence of relevant service should be provided in the curriculum vitae and in the candidate's portfolio.
  • Change from tenure-track to non-tenure track appointments
  • In certain rare cases, faculty members may request to convert their tenured or tenure-track appointment to a non-tenure track research, clinical, or lecturer appointment. This change must be approved by the chair, dean, and Provost, and should occur only when it is in the best interest of the program and University. Faculty who elect to move to a non-tenure track appointment may not change back to tenure track in the future; therefore, the request must be clearly justified, and the revision in workload expectations fully delineated and documented. Faculty members may also change from a non-tenure track to a tenure track position, with the approval of the chair, dean, and Provost, and should occur only when it is in the best interest of the program and the University. All faculty appointments are subject to approvals as required by Idaho State Board of Education policies.

  • Promotion
    • Promotion of non-tenure track faculty (e.g., clinical, research, and lecturer). A continuing non-tenure track faculty member is eligible to be evaluated for promotion according to the guidelines set by the unit/department and college/school/division. Subsequent reviews for promotion to each higher rank associated with a faculty member's appointment classification require completion of a minimum of three (3) full years of service to Idaho State University at the current rank, as well as meeting all the requirements for appointment to the higher rank, as outlined in the relevant unit/department/college promotion document. Review for promotion may occur no earlier than during the person's fourth academic year in the current rank.
      • Evaluation for promotion will be based on the faculty member's accomplishments throughout his/her entire career, with special attention to the accomplishments since the last successful promotion decision.
      • The promotion portfolio requirements, and the process and relevant guidelines outlined above in Section III.B.2 for a tenure review will be followed, including letters of external review for those individuals engaged in scholarship.
      • For non-tenure track research faculty, a strong national and/or international presence in research and continued productivity are expected for promotion. The promotion decision will be based upon the specific type of faculty appointment (e.g. some positions require no teaching). In general, it will be based upon the significance and quality of the candidate's research, teaching, if required, and service and will take into account an assessment of the likelihood of sustained research.
      • For non-tenure track clinical faculty, didactic teaching and clinical instruction, and professional service are the primary requirements. Additional requirements regarding clinical practice and scholarly activity are described in the unit/department and college/school promotion policies.
      • For lecturers, quality teaching is the primary requirement, with additional requirements described in the unit/department and college/school promotion policies.
      • Unit/Department & College/School Guidelines. Each unit/department and college/school may establish its own time-in-rank requirements subject to approval by the dean and the provost.
    • For non-tenure track Professional Technical Faculty:
    • For Professional Technical faculty in the College of Technology, quality teaching is the primary requirement. A faculty member is eligible to be evaluated for promotion according to the guidelines set by the college.

    • For tenure track faculty whose time in rank is at Idaho State University:
      • Service in Instructor Rank. As per the State Board of Education Policy (SBOE II.G.6.d.3), a maximum of two (2) years satisfactory service in the academic rank of instructor at the institution will be allowed in partial fulfillment of the time requirement in the professorial ranks.
      • Promotion to Associate Professor. As indicated above in Section II.A.2, the granting of tenure will be linked to promotion for those faculty members at the assistant professor rank whose entire time in service has been at Idaho State University. For these faculty members, promotion to associate professor will not be awarded without tenure.
      • Promotion to Full Professor. Evaluation for promotion will be based on the faculty member's accomplishments throughout his/her entire career, with special attention to the accomplishments since the last successful promotion decision. The same process and guidelines as used for tenure will be followed, including three or more required letters of external review (from individuals outside ISU). Quality teaching remains a requirement. A strong national and/or international presence in scholarship and continued productivity are expectations for promotion.
    • In some cases, faculty may be hired at the associate or full professor rank.
  • Mandatory third-year review for all tenure track continuing faculty:
  • All tenure track faculty must undergo a mandatory third-year review. The third-year review offers the opportunity to qualitatively assess a faculty member's progress, and may result in an early tenure bid and/or remediation of problems that are identified. The third-year review will be conducted during the third year of full-time service with input from the unit/department faculty, unit/department chair, college/school/division review committee and dean. Candidates undergoing the third-year review will use the Idaho State University Tenure and Promotion Application Form. External reviews should not be part of the third-year review process.

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