9.35 – [Effective AY 18/19] Faculty Promotion and Tenure Reviews: Procedural Guidelines and Timeline

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 9 | HR - Performance Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure

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Last Updated: 05/10/2017

EFFECTIVE AUGUST 13, 2018

PART 1: PRE-TENURE PROBATIONARY PERIOD


Before being considered for tenure at NMSU, eligible faculty members with or without previous experience from other institutions of higher education serve five years of the pre-tenure probationary period prior to applying for tenure during the sixth year of the probationary period.  The six year probationary period may be reduced or extended, in accordance with the guidelines in Part 2, and with the proper approvals.  The probationary period begins with the first contract for a full academic year. See Also ARP 9.40 – Tenure Track Faculty – Pre-Tenure Period.

 

PART 2: FLEXIBILITY IN TENURE-TRACK


This Part describes the circumstances which may justify modification of the six year term of the pre-tenure probationary period.

A. Credit for Prior Service

Faculty members with previous teaching and advising, service, extension, outreach, scholarly, and/or administrative experience at another institution may have some or all of that experience taken into consideration on appointment at NMSU, provided that the department head, dean and executive vice-president and provost and faculty appointee agree at the time of the appointment.  The details of any agreed upon credit for prior service shall be documented unambiguously in the appointment letter, including but not limited to:  the years of prior service being credited, the resulting length of the probationary period, the timing for any Mid-Probationary Review, and the expectation relating to the timing for the tenure application process.  Dependent upon the nature of the prior experience or the qualifications of the faculty applicant, examples which would justify granting credit for prior service include and are not limited to:

  1. When tenure has been granted to a candidate at another institution, tenure may be accorded at the time of initial appointment to the university.
  2. Up to three years of prior probationary service at another institution may count towards the six-year probationary period at NMSU.

B. Extension of the Probationary Period

When requested in writing within one year of the qualifying event by the faculty member, leaves of absence can lead to postponement of the tenure decision date; however, modifications in that date require the recommendation of the department head and dean and the approval of the executive vice-president and provost.  Faculty responsibilities may be negotiated when the extension is requested.  An extension may be granted up to two times, so long as the total pre-tenure probationary period does not exceed eight years.  Exceptions to this limit can be made under extraordinary circumstances if approved by the executive vice-president and provost.  Candidates must be held to the same standards of performance when the probationary period has been extended as candidates whose probationary period was not extended.  The probationary period may be extended, upon written request, under the following circumstances:

  1. Leave of Absence without Pay: Probationary faculty members may request in writing a leave of absence without pay, usually not to exceed one academic or fiscal year.  Prior to initiating the leave, affected faculty may request in writing a probation extension of one year.
  2. Military Leave of Absence: Involuntary induction into the armed forces entitles the faculty member to a leave of absence to cover the term of military service.  Such leave constitutes valid grounds for requesting an extension of the tenure decision date.  Similarly, a faculty member’s voluntary participation in a military reserve program may lead to periodic or prolonged absence sufficient to affect the faculty member’s performance (e.g., annual active duty training, or active duty training or participation when a reserve unit is called to active duty) that constitutes valid grounds for extension of the tenure decision date.
  3. Medical Leave of Absence: Probationary faculty members with a serious personal illness or providing prolonged, substantive care for a chronically ill family member may request in writing an extension of the tenure decision date, usually for one year.
  4. Family Leave of Absence or Exceptional Family Responsibilities: Upon written request, probationary faculty members who become parents will receive a one-year automatic extension of the tenure decision date.  Such an extension does not require that the faculty member take a leave of absence.
  5. Catastrophic Events: Probationary faculty who have experienced a catastrophic event such as a fire or flood or who must aid family members in such situations may request in writing an extension of the tenure decision date.
  6. Jury Duty: Prolonged jury service, when significantly affecting a faculty member’s performance, constitutes a valid reason to petition for extension of the tenure decision date.
  7. Other, as Negotiated: Extensions for other reasons may be negotiated.

C. Faculty Request for Early Tenure Review

A Request for Early Tenure Review is initiated in writing by the faculty member, and requires positive recommendations from the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee (as determined in the review of progress toward promotion and/or tenure), department head, and dean; followed by approval by the Executive Vice President and Provost.  If an Early Tenure Review application is not successful, the candidate’s contract will not be renewed, consistent with the provisions of ARP 9.40 – Tenure Track Faculty – Pre-Tenure Period.

D. Changes Between Full and Part Time Employment

  1. Tenure track faculty members whose regular appointments are less than 0.50 FTE do not accumulate probationary time toward tenure.
  2. When a full-time, tenure-track position becomes part-time, the time in rank is prorated based on full-time equivalent (FTE). As with full-time faculty, the maximum probationary period for part-time faculty members is the equivalent of six FTE years, with the tenure decision to be made before the end of the six full-time years of service.  For example, a tenure-track candidate with a 0.50 FTE appointment must apply for tenure at the end of the 11th year. Part-time Tenure-Track Faculty must be held to the same standards of performance relative to FTE as full-time faculty. If denied tenure, a faculty member on part-time appointment has only one year of continued part-time employment beyond the denial.
  3. When recurring state funding is available, a tenure-track, part-time faculty member may apply for a full-time tenure track position and, if hired, apply earned tenure-track FTE from prior years toward tenure and promotion in the full-time position.
  4. Tenured, full-time faculty members approved to move to part-time status may retain tenure. Retention of tenure in such a case requires the written request of the faculty member, positive recommendations from the department head and dean; followed by approval of the executive vice-president and provost. While this rule encourages departments to accommodate reasonable requests for part-time appointment, part-time appointments are not an entitlement, and requests may be turned down.  Pending availability of funding and the approval of the department head, dean and executive vice-president and provost, the faculty member may return later to full-time tenured status.

 

PART 3: MID-PROBATIONARY REVIEW


Tenure-track faculty members may request, or individual units may require, a formal Mid-Probationary Review.  The Mid-Probationary Review is an opportunity for feedback on the Tenure-Track Faculty member/future candidate’s performance and is used to identify specific activities to enhance the candidate’s progress toward promotion and tenure.  The review is formative, intended to assist Tenure-Track Faculty in achieving promotion and tenure and should take into account the allocation of work effort during the three years reviewed and be based upon the Principle Unit’s criteria.  The outcome must not be used as a determinant for setting merit pay or for contract continuation decisions.  Principal units should refer to ARP 9.34, Part 3 for additional information

 

PART 4: JOINT APPOINTMENT (WITH DUAL PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES)


In appropriate circumstances, a faculty member may be appointed in two departments or in two colleges.  The faculty member seeking a joint appointment must obtain a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the department head and dean of each involved unit.  The MOU must state the agreement between the involved units in the following areas:

  1. The units involved and the intended tenure home. It must identify the Principle Unit where tenure resides or will reside if applicable.  In joint appointments with centers or institutes, the tenure home must reside in a Principle Unit.  In joint appointments with two or more academic units, one unit must be designated, by mutual agreement, as the tenure home.
  2. Expectations for workload and Allocation of Effort, including specific responsibilities distributed between the involved units.
  3. The term of appointment and any other conditions of employment.
  4. Provisions explaining the process for the annual performance evaluation and promotion and tenure reviews, renewal of the joint appointment, and salary increases. Each unit must provide recommendations in annual, probationary, tenure, and promotion reviews.

 

PART 5:  ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN PROMOTION OR TENURE REVIEWS 


A. Candidate

  1. Maintains a curriculum vitae and a cumulative personal record of the activities and accomplishments affecting the application for promotion and/or tenure.
  2. Reviews the personal Portfolio (organized per Part 12 of this Rule) in relation to the criteria for promotion and/or tenure and seeks guidance from senior faculty and the department head.
  3. In accordance with college procedures, requests and provides materials required in the mid-probationary periodic review.
  4. Applies for tenure by submitting to the department head in the spring of the candidate’s fifth year, or other time as previously negotiated, their Portfolio including both the Core Document and Documentation File in the format as specified in Part 6 of this rule.  If a faculty member/candidate does not apply for tenure in the fifth year, or extended year as appropriate, and does not submit a resignation letter as contemplated by this rule, the faculty member’s employment will terminate with the expiration of the current annual “Temporary Contract”.
  5. Provides the department head with a written list of potential External Reviewers from which letters of evaluation may be requested. The candidate may provide the department head with a list of people they wish not to be reviewers. This item only applies to tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty.
  6. Requests extensions of the probationary period in accordance with Part 2. B. above.
  7. Has, upon receipt of the recommendation of the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee and of the head, five working days to add to the Portfolio any correction of factual errors in either recommendation.
  8. Has, upon receipt of the recommendations of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee and of the dean, five working days to add to the Portfolio any correction of factual errors in either recommendation.
  9. In accordance with Part 7 below, requests that the review process be terminated at any time prior to review by the executive vice-president and provost.

B. Department Head

  1. Establishes and monitors a process for a tenured faculty to mentor the candidate in developing the best case for promotion and/or tenure.
  2. Provides leadership in the collaborative writing and maintenance of department promotion and tenure policy.
  3. Provides initial information, timelines, and copies of all written guidelines regarding promotion and tenure expectations and policies to all new and continuing faculty members on a regular basis.  Also informs Tenure-Track Faculty of the rights to due process, appeal and informal processes for conflict resolution in promotion and tenure.
  4. In the annual performance reviews of Tenure-Track Faculty, includes written details relating to assigned duties (i.e. the teaching and advising, scholarship and creative activity, service, extension and outreach and apportionment). The reviews also include separate statements addressing progress toward tenure and toward promotion including steps that should be taken to strengthen the faculty member’s case.
  5. Provides leadership in establishing agreed upon department guidelines for an annual review of Tenure-Track Faculty by the department’s promotion and tenure committee.  This review is separate from, and independent of, the department head’s annual review of each faculty member.
  6. Assists Tenure-Track Faculty who have completed five academic semesters or its part-time equivalent in preparing for an optional Mid-Probationary Review.
  7. In mitigating circumstances, explores with the candidate the need for a time extension. (See Part 2. B. above) With the approval of the candidate, seeks permission from the dean to extend the probationary period.
  8. Provides assistance and guidance to faculty who are applying for promotion and/or tenure.  Reviews the Portfolio of applicants to ensure its completeness and compliance with Part 6 of this rule, and, where needed, makes recommendations for improvement.
  9. The department head, in consultation with the Promotion and Tenure Committee, will select a list of potential External Reviewers and will contact them. The department head must contact at least one reviewer from the candidate’s list provided that they are qualified to be reviewers based on the unit’s policy. The department head must ensure those contacted to review the candidate’s Portfolio do not have a conflict of interest. If there is a perceived conflict of interest the department head needs to justify why the reviewer has no conflict. If the department head contacts somebody on the candidate’s list of people they wish not to be a reviewer, the head needs to justify the importance of selecting the reviewer.
  10. Sees that the department promotion and tenure committee submits recommendations for tenure and for promotion for all candidates.
  11. Writes an independent evaluation/recommendation concerning each candidate’s case for promotion and/or tenure in relation to the criteria for promotion and tenure. This recommendation may be in support of or against supporting either promotion or tenure, or both. It should address the strengths and weaknesses, and level and nature of accomplishments of the candidate.
  12. Provides candidates written or electronic copies of the recommendation of the department promotion and tenure committee and of the recommendation of the department head.  This notification must occur prior to passing the promotion and/or tenure application on to the dean and college promotion and tenure committee.
  13. Places the department head’s recommendation in the candidate’s Portfolio.

C. Department Promotion and Tenure Committee

  1. Examines and reads the Portfolio of each candidate.
  2. Evaluates the candidate according to department promotion and/or tenure standards.
  3. Considers the candidate’s department assignment and role apportionment as specified in the candidate’s position description and Allocation of Effort Forms.
  4. Performs an annual review of Tenure-Track Faculty following departmental guidelines and forwards results to department head and dean or equivalent administrator.  This review is separate from, and independent of, the department head’s annual review of each faculty member.
  5. Makes recommendations to the department head pertaining to faculty members who are seeking promotion and/or tenure based on the candidate’s Portfolio and departmental criteria.
  6. Records in each candidate’s Portfolio the committee’s vote totals.  (See ARP 9.34, Part 3 Q. and S.)
  7. Places the committee’s recommendation in the candidate’s Portfolio.
  8. Participates in the optional Mid-Probationary Review process, providing formative feedback to candidates.

D. College Promotion and Tenure Committee

  1. Examines and reads the Portfolio of each candidate, including the department head’s letter and the department’s promotion and tenure committee’s recommendation.
  2. Evaluates the candidate according to the department’s promotion and tenure standards, in conjunction with those of the college.
  3. Considers the candidate’s department assignment and role apportionment as specified in the candidate’s position description and Allocation of Effort forms.
  4. Makes recommendations to the dean pertaining to faculty members who are seeking promotion and/or tenure.
  5. Records in each candidate’s Portfolio the committee’s vote totals.  (See ARP 9.34, Part 3 Q. and S.)
  6. Places the committee’s recommendation in the candidate’s Portfolio.
  7. Participates in the optional Mid-Probationary Review process, providing formative feedback to candidates.

E. Dean, Community College President

  1. Ensures that a college-specific promotion and tenure policy is written and periodically revised and that the policy complies with university policy, rules, and procedures; and has been approved by the Executive Vice President and Provost.
  2. Assures that each department has:
    1. Current promotion and tenure guidelines that comply with college and university policies and include date of version.
    2. A mentoring process for Tenure-Track Faculty.
    3. A system of annual faculty performance evaluations.
  3. In consultation with college faculty establishes policy for the constitution of a College Faculty Promotion Committee.
  4. Recommends extensions of the probationary period.
  5. Provides oversight for the optional Mid-Probationary Review program.
  6. Makes independent recommendations pertaining to promotion and tenure.  To do this, considers:
    1. Candidate’s Core Document and the Documentation File
    2. Recommendations of the department promotion and tenure committees
    3. Recommendations of the department heads
    4. Recommendations of the college promotion and tenure committees.
  7. Notifies candidates, in writing and electronically, of the recommendations of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee and of the dean.  This notification must occur prior to passing the promotion and tenure applications and associated recommendations on to the executive vice-president and provost.
  8. Places the dean’s recommendation in the candidate’s Portfolio.
  9. Meets with the executive vice-president and provost regarding promotion and tenure cases.

F. Executive Vice-President and Provost

  1. Ensures that each college and each department has, and periodically updates, promotion and tenure policies that comply with university policy, rules and procedures.
  2. Approves requests to extend the probationary period.
  3. Meets with deans regarding promotion and tenure cases.
  4. Makes an independent decision pertaining to promotion and tenure.  To do this, consider:
    1. Candidate’s Core Document and, if requested, the Documentation File
    2. Recommendations of the department promotion and tenure committees
    3. Recommendations of the department heads
    4. Recommendations of the college promotion and tenure committees
    5. Recommendations of the dean.
  5. Passes promotion and tenure decisions on to the Chancellor.
  6. Notifies candidates in writing of the decision.
  7. Provides for annual training sessions for promotion and tenure committee members, department heads, and deans.

 

PART 6: PORTFOLIO PREPARATION BY CANDIDATE


In accordance with department and college guidelines, the candidate is responsible for submitting a promotion and tenure Portfolio. (See ARP 9.30, Part 2, Definition R.) When appropriate and agreed to by the candidate and all reviewing committees and officials, the Portfolio maybe submitted as an electronic pdf formatted file(s), provided a method for secure transmission of confidential documentation has been established.

A. Core Document

The college guidelines shall specify the inclusion of the following Core Document elements in this order.  The combination of items 4-6 shall not exceed 50 pages:

  1. A routing form developed by the college with spaces for the required signatures.
  2. A cover sheet indicating the candidate’s name, current rank, department and college.
  3. Any written documentation generated throughout the promotion and tenure process, including the numerical vote counts of the promotion and tenure committee(s).
  4. A table of contents.
  5. Candidate’s executive summary.
  6. A curriculum vitae.
  7. Annual performance evaluations for the period under review, including the Allocation of Effort statements, the goals and objectives forms, written statements submitted by the faculty member as a part of the annual performance evaluations, the supervisor’s written comments, and any response made by the candidate to the supervisor’s written comments. Numerical rankings, ratings, or vote counts should be removed. (See Also  ARP 9.31 – [Effective AY 18/19] Annual Performance Evaluation – Regular Faculty)
  8. Principal Units’ mission statements.
  9. Letters from External Reviewers.

B. Documentation File

Supplementary materials provided by the candidate related to the areas of faculty activity.  This material is not routed beyond the College Promotion and Tenure Committee, but is available for review.

If this is an application for tenure, the candidate is to include evidence of contributions since starting at NMSU, plus evidence from other institutions if credit for prior service is applicable.  If this is an application for promotion, then the candidate is to include evidence of contributions since the last promotion or tenure review.

 

PART 7: WITHDRAWAL OF PORTFOLIO BY CANDIDATE FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION


A. Voluntary Withdrawal from Consideration

A candidate may withdraw from consideration at any time prior to the final signature of the executive vice-president and provost.  A candidate shall prepare a letter requesting withdrawal from further consideration.  The letter shall be transmitted to the dean or comparable administrator. All documents shall be returned to the candidate and nothing relating to the application for promotion and/or tenure shall be placed in the candidate’s personnel file.

B. Withdrawal in Fifth Year of Service

If the candidate is in the fifth year of service, withdrawal from consideration for tenure must be accompanied by a letter of resignation submitted to the dean or comparable administrator no later than the end of the fifth-year contract period.  The resignation shall be effective no later than the end of the sixth-year contract period. If a faculty member does not apply for tenure in the fifth year, or extended year as appropriate, and does not submit a resignation letter as contemplated by this rule, the faculty member’s employment will terminate with the expiration of the current annual (“Temporary”) contract.

 

PART 8: OUTCOMES


A. For full-time tenure-track candidates:

  1. If the decision is to award tenure, the executive vice-president and provost will send a Contract of Employment (Continuous Appointment) Form through the dean or comparable administrator and the department head to the candidate.
  2. If the decision is to not award tenure, the department head will give a signed Contract Status Form to the candidate for signature acknowledging notification of non-renewal.

B. For part-time tenure-track candidates, in addition to the provisions for full-time tenure-track candidates:

  1. If the decision is to award tenure, it is for the FTE as stated in the initial contract or as negotiated.
  2. If the decision is to not award tenure, a faculty member has only one year of continued part-time employment beyond the denial.

C. For all candidates:

  1. If the decision is in favor of promotion, the effective date is at the beginning of the ensuing contract year.
  2. If the decision is in favor of promotion, it shall be the policy of the university that all promotions shall include a salary increase, irrespective of other salary increases.
  3. In the decision is not in favor of promotion, the executive vice-president and provost will inform the candidate in writing.
  4. The executive vice-president and provost is responsible for informing the Chancellor of the recommendations of the department head, college dean, or comparable administrator and the decision of the executive vice-president and provost.
  5. The executive vice-president and provost will prepare an official list of promotion and tenure decisions for distribution to relevant deans, comparable administrators, the vice-president for administration and finance, and the assistant director of human resource services.
  6. Tenure-track faculty members whose probationary contract is not renewed and who have another year before the termination of that contract do not submit a promotion and tenure Portfolio during their final year. If the non-renewal is being appealed on the basis of failure to follow procedure or discrimination, then the appellant may complete a packet and have it held in suspension until the grievance is resolved.  If the individual is successful in the appeal, the Portfolio will be considered by the parties involved in the promotion and tenure process.

 

PART 9: RIGHT TO SEEK REDRESS FOR VIOLATION OF EVALUATION, PROMOTION, OR TENURE RULES


  1. A faculty member who believes that the university, college or department’s promotion and tenure policy or procedures have been violated, adversely affecting the faculty member’s evaluation, promotion, or tenure may file a grievance pursuant to ARP 10.60 Faculty Grievance Review and Resolution.
  2. ARP 10.60 provides an opportunity for mediation, and in the event mediation is not successful, review by a panel of faculty peers which hears evidence presented and issues factual findings and recommendations on the issue of whether or not the rules governing evaluation, promotion or tenure were violated.
  3. A finding that there was not substantial compliance with the applicable Rules on Faculty Evaluation, Promotion, and Tenure (ARP 9.30 – 9.36), or a finding that any violation materially and adversely affected the outcome for a faculty member will be grounds for relief.
  4. If the grievance involves actions taken by the executive vice president and provost due to the provost’s role in the promotion and tenure process, the grievance decision will be issued by the NMSU system chancellor; otherwise, the executive vice president and provost issues the final decision in faculty grievance matters.

 

PART 10: TIMELINE OF PROCEDURAL STEPS FOR PROMOTION AND TENURE REVIEW PROCESSES


Each college shall determine a timeline for conducting promotion and tenure reviews compatible with due dates issued by the executive vice president and provost.  The dates indicated here are suggested guidelines; the provost may alter these by further directives; and/or 12-month appointments may require a different time schedule.

A. Spring

The department head notifies potential candidate of eligibility for promotion and/or tenure review and provides electronic copies of departmental, college, and university policies, rules and procedures related to promotion and tenure. Department promotion and tenure committee reviews the Portfolio of each faculty member and in accordance with college policies reports to the department head indicating the progress towards promotion and/or tenure as well as the strengths and weaknesses in each of the areas required for promotion and tenure.

Department head informs the candidate in writing of the department promotion and/or tenure committee recommendations.

B. June, July, August

The candidate with support from the department and college prepares the candidate’s Portfolio. (See  Part 6 of this rule)

The Portfolio must be completed by the end of July to allow for review by External Reviewers in August.

C. September

The department head makes the completed Portfolio, including letters from External Reviewers (or Letters of Support at the community colleges) available to the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee. The Portfolio can only be amended hereafter in accordance with department and college guidelines.

D. October

The Department Promotion and Tenure Committee considers the completed Portfolio of the candidate.

E. October – December

The college dean or comparable administrator transmits the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee and department head reports and numerical ballot results to the College Promotion and Tenure Committee.

The College Promotion and Tenure Committee reviews the department head’s and the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee’s recommendations.

The College Promotion and Tenure Committee informs the dean or comparable administrator if a department fails to follow department and/or college procedures.

The College Promotion and Tenure Committee reviews the Portfolios of all Tenure-Track Faculty members no later than their sixth year of service unless Part 2 (Flexibility in Tenure Track) of this Rule applies.

The College Promotion and Tenure Committee submits a written recommendation on the candidate to the department head, candidate, and dean or comparable administrator in accordance with the college’s promotion and tenure policy.

F. January – February

The college dean or comparable administrator reviews the candidate’s Portfolio, makes a recommendation, and informs the candidate in writing of the recommendations of the College Promotion and Tenure Committee and the dean or comparable administrator.

The college dean or comparable administrator transmits to the executive vice-president and provost all recommendations including numerical votes.

G. March – April

The college dean or comparable administrator meets with the executive vice-president and provost to review each candidate. The executive vice-president and provost’s decision is indicated in writing.

The executive vice-president and provost informs the Chancellor of the recommendations of the department head, college dean, or comparable administrator and the decision of the executive vice-president and provost.

H. April – May

Final notifications of decisions are sent through the executive vice-president and provost, dean or comparable administrator, and department head to the candidate.

The executive vice-president and provost prepares an official list of promotion and tenure decisions for distribution to relevant deans, comparable administrators, the vice-president for administration and finance, and the assistant vice president for human resource services.

The dean or comparable administrator notifies the department head, who in turn notifies the faculty member.

I. July

Promotion and tenure decisions become effective.