1. Criteria

    1. Promotion by change in academic rank of a faculty member results from recognition by the University of superior professional achievement and the expectation that this level of attainment will be sustained or exceeded in the future. The primary consideration in evaluating the record of achievement shall always be the degree to which this achievement improves the academic quality of the University.
    2. The two most significant criteria for evaluating relevant achievement are teaching effectiveness, and scholarly or creative productivity.
      1. Good teaching assumes the teacher’s dedication to students and subject matter and includes (as applicable to a college and/or to a department) the following indications of teaching effectiveness:
        1. Clearly stated course objectives, along with explicit evidence that appropriate teaching/learning methods were employed to assist students in meeting course objectives;
        2. Quality presentation in the classroom or other learning environment, including effective communication and adjustment of teaching techniques to the particular subject area and to the students involved;
        3. Appropriateness of subject matter and approach and evaluation methods;
        4. Course or program counseling of students to make the learning experience a meaningful one;
        5. Evidence of superior teaching not included in the above; and
        6. Creative development and implementation of courses or programs in the standard academic program or in the area of cooperative and experiential education, when deemed appropriate by the unit, or creative application of technology to achieve improved educational outcome or to reach new audiences.
      2. Evidence of productive scholarship includes (as applicable):
        1. Original research or scholarly review, either published or otherwise disseminated;
        2. Creative productivity such as fiction, drama, poetry, painting, musical compositions, exhibitions, and/or performances;
        3. Recognition in the faculty member’s scholarly field, including, when appropriate, the receipt of prizes, grants, or contracts awarded through a peer review process2; and
        4. Technical, procedural, or practical innovations, made clinically or professionally.
    3. Supporting criteria, such as effective professional activities and University and community service which substantially contribute to educational and/or communal policies, and/or programs, and/or improve the professional standing of the individual or contribute to the stature of the University in the community shall be used in evaluating the individual faculty member’s record of achievement.
      1. Professional activities include (as applicable):
        1. Participation in professional organizations, seminars, and colloquia that are relevant to the educational process at the University and/or to the individual’s academic interests; and
        2. Leadership in recognized professional organizations (i.e., effectively holding office, including that of committee chairperson).
      2. University service includes (as applicable):
        1. Administrative duties (as part of the faculty member’s normal program);
        2. Committee work;
        3. Development and presentation of new ideas related to University functions; and
        4. Advising students and student organizations.
      3. Community service might include (as applicable):
        1. Service on boards and commissions, elected bodies, and/or charitable organizations; and
        2. Other contributions of the faculty member’s special competence.
    4. The University recognizes that every faculty member offers a unique combination of accomplishments relative to the criteria listed above, depending on academic field, specialized scholarly interests, varying professional opportunities, and contracted responsibilities for teaching, laboratory and field work, and research. Consequently, when a judgment is made of the total contribution of a faculty member, the criteria shall be weighted according to primary assignments during the period under consideration. Whenever possible, it is preferable that the specific criteria be established by mutual agreement.
  2. Procedures

  1. Specific applications and/or amplifications of the criteria and procedures for evaluation for promotion set forth in this section of the Faculty Handbook shall be formulated by each department or comparable unit. These criteria shall be subject to the approval of the Provost or the Provost’s designee. Recommendations for promotion based on those applications and/or amplifications shall be primarily the responsibility of the department or comparable unit.
  2. The Promotion Committee3 shall be composed of not less than three members of the candidate’s department or comparable unit. The membership may consist of anyone holding the rank of Associate Professor or above. Unless a department or comparable unit decides to have only full Professors on the Committee (especially in the case of promotion to full Professor), the majority shall be of a rank above that of the candidate.
    1. Committee size and membership shall be determined by periodic vote by the department members or comparable group. Membership can be for one or two years, as determined by the department or comparable unit. In the case of a department, the department Chair shall be a nonvoting ex officio member. A candidate for promotion may serve on the Committee, except during those particular sessions when his or her candidacy is being considered.
    2. If a department or comparable unit has fewer than three members of appropriate rank and chooses not to form a joint committee (see below), the Dean of the College shall, in consultation with the tenured members of the department or comparable unit, choose the necessary additional members from the faculty holding the appropriate ranks in allied disciplines. During this process the candidate’s suggestions shall be sought by the Dean; however, such suggestions shall not be binding on the Dean. The membership of such a Committee shall be subject to review by the Provost.
    3. It is understood that there may be some Colleges within the University where the division into departments may not be suited to the purposes of this Section or where a well-defined department structure may not exist. In the former case, departments may form a joint committee with the approval of a majority of the members of each department involved in the merger. In the latter case, upon an affirmative vote by a majority of the members within the College or comparable unit, the College or comparable unit may be considered a merged single department for the purposes of this Section.
  3. The Promotion Committee shall review the status of each faculty member in any year when the faculty member so requests with respect to promotion.
    1. The Promotion Committee shall evaluate all appropriate evidence, including an interview with each candidate concerning his or her qualifications and including a written evaluation by the departmental Chair, which will become part of the candidate’s dossier.
    2. The Committee shall prepare a written majority report, which shall be submitted first to the candidate and then, after the candidate has had a reasonable chance to reply, to the Advisory Committee 4 where one has been established and/or the Dean of the College together with minority reports. The recommendations of the Promotion Committee shall reflect the best professional judgment of the Committee as to the candidate’s merit in accordance with criteria already stated, regardless of financial or purely administrative factors.
    3. The candidate shall have the right to have his or her response appended to the documents sent to the Advisory Committee where one has been established and/or to the Dean.
    4. If the recommendation by the department or comparable unit is negative, it is incumbent upon that unit to propose developmental actions that would better suit the candidate for promotion at a future date.
  4. Where separate tenure and promotion committees exist and where the tenure and promotion of a candidate are to be decided concurrently, the tenure committee shall assume jurisdiction for both tenure and promotion, paying due attention to any differing criteria which may exist for each action.5
  5. The Promotion Committee’s recommendations, whether favorable or unfavorable to the candidate, shall be considered in turn by the department Chair, the Advisory Committee where one has been established, the Dean of the appropriate College, the Provost, and the President.
    1. The decision in each instance shall be communicated, in writing, to the individual candidate, giving the candidate a reasonable amount of time to respond before it is sent on to the next level; the last decision to be communicated by the Provost not later than March 31.
    2. If the Promotion Committee’s recommendation, whether positive or negative, is contradicted by the action of the Advisory Committee or by any administrator, that action shall be explained, in writing, to the Promotion Committee’s Chair, as well as to the candidate.
  6. The Promotion Committee, acting on a two-thirds vote from those faculty members eligible to serve on the Promotion Committee in the department or comparable unit, may appeal any promotion decision which goes against its recommendation.
    1. In such cases, the Provost must refer the decision to an ad hoc committee of scholars composed of members not affiliated with the University who are specialists in the candidate’s field.
    2. The committee shall be composed of not less than three nor more than seven scholars jointly agreed to by the Provost and the Promotion Committee. The ad hoc committee’s decision shall be accepted as binding on the Provost.
  7. Individual faculty members who feel that a procedural violation has occurred in connection with their consideration for promotion may initiate grievances in accordance with currently applicable faculty grievance procedures.

  1. Adopted by the Senate, June 13, 1977; amended March 13, 1978; accepted by the President, May 19, 1978. This policy applies only to members of the Teaching Faculty.
  2. Approved by the Faculty Senate, May 28, 1999. Approved by the Board of Trustees, June 9, 1999.
  3. “Promotion Committee” refers to the standing department committee, a joint committee of two or more departments, or a single college committee, whichever is applicable and appropriate under the particular circumstances.
  4. “Advisory Committee” refers to a standing College or intercollege committee whose function is to review the actions of the promotion committees and to make recommendations to the Dean and the Provost.
  5. The legislative intent of this paragraph is that in such cases, the steps, regulations, and due process rights enumerated in the Tenure Policy, rather than those set forth in this Section, shall be followed for the entire consideration.