Chapter 5: Personnel05:05:11 Faculty Promotion Process
Related Policies and Guidelines
TBR Policy 5:02:02:30 Faculty Promotion at Community Colleges
Promotion in rank is recognition of past achievement of the individual being considered for promotion. In addition, the advancement in rank is recognition of future potential and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of even greater accomplishments and of assuming greater responsibilities. It is the policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and Northeast State Community College that promotions in rank be strictly based on consideration of merit tempered by College and fiscal considerations. The following guidelines help ensure that faculty promotions are made objectively, equitably, impartially, and recognition of merit.
The President of Northeast State is responsible for the master-staffing plan of the College. In developing such a plan, the President will consider the fiscal impact of each promotion recommended to the Board.
For the purposes of this policy, teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research will be defined as follows:
- Teaching: Teaching applies to any manner in which information is imparted so that others may learn, and may include, but is not limited to, a variety of techniques including instruction, development of course materials and courseware, and development of innovative approaches to teaching.
- Service/Outreach: Service applies to service within the community as defined by the College’s role and mission; service to the College, as in student advising and/or mentoring; and service within the bounds of the applicant’s academic discipline and budgeted assignment.
- Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research: Research applies to the studious inquiry, examination, or discovery that contributes to disciplinary and interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge. Scholarship/creative activities/research may include, but is not limited to, typical professional growth and development activities, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities that focus on the boundaries of knowledge, community-based scholarship, creative activities (e.g., performances or other artistic creations), and the development of cutting-edge teaching approaches.
Note: A more detailed description of these activities and the criteria to be applied in assessing performance in these three areas may be found in Section IV of the TBR policy on Academic Tenure at Tennessee Board of Regents Community Colleges.”
- Minimum Rank Criteria
The following define minimum criteria that distinguish between academic ranks. Faculty must demonstrate minimum criteria to be eligible for promotion in rank. Promotion must be sequential in each rank. Any exception to or waiver of the stated minimum rank criteria as the result of extraordinary qualifications of the candidate must be approved by the President.
- Potential ability in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
- As determined to be appropriate for the instructional discipline, either an associate or baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the discipline or related area.
- Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
- Assistant Professor
- Documented evidence of ability in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
- As determined to be appropriate for the instructional discipline, either a Baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned Master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area.
- At least two years in rank.
- Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
- Associate Professor
- Documented evidence of high quality professional productivity in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
- As determined to be appropriate for the instructional discipline, either a Baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned Master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area plus at least three years in rank.
- Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
- Documented evidence of sustained high quality professional productivity in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
- Earned doctorate or TBR-recognized terminal degree from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area plus five years in rank.
- Documented evidence of teaching excellence and superior contribution to student development or superior scholarly or creative activity. The absence of such evidence may prevent advancement to the rank of professor. Since there is no higher rank, promotion to professor is taken with great care and requires a substantial level of achievement. This rank is not a reward for long service; rather it is recognition of superior achievement within the discipline with every expectation of continuing contribution to the College and the larger academic community.
- Evidence of good character, mature attitude, professional integrity, and a high degree of academic excellence and responsibility.
- Exceptions to Minimum Rank Qualifications
The minimum rank qualifications should be met in every recommendation regarding appointment to academic rank and for promotion in academic rank. However, minimum criteria may be waived if approved by the College President when a candidate offers extraordinary qualifications in lieu of the stated minimum rank criteria. Such approval must be supported by evidence for the extraordinary nature of the qualifications. For example, a candidate with recognized, national prominence and expertise might qualify for such a waiver. An exception to the minimum rank criteria must be recommended by the President to the Chancellor or designee. Upon approval of such an exception by the Chancellor, the faculty member’s recommendation for promotion will go forward to the Board as meeting the minimum rank criteria.(Retrieved from Section IV, Minimum Rank Criteria, from TBR Policy 5:02:02:30).
- Terminal Degree Designation
The Board will use national discipline standards to determine which degrees are considered to be terminal” within each discipline. Any exception to the TBR- recognized terminal degrees must be requested by the President to the Board. Under certain circumstances the President may also petition the Board for equivalent work experience credit” when a candidate has not obtained a terminal degree but has a record of extraordinary achievement in a given field. The equivalent work experience credit may include relevant teaching experience or other experiences such as experience gained as an administrator, counselor, librarian, journeyman, or the like.
- Promotion Criteria
Each candidate for promotion must provide documented evidence of the candidate’s teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research for the previous three years or during the years since the last promotion. The portfolio of evidence must include the faculty member’s supervisory evaluations, student evaluations, in addition to other appropriate documentation that supports the candidate’s application. Faculty members will have access to all policies and procedures related to promotion and evaluation and will be made aware of policy and procedure revisions.
Documentation for evaluating teaching must include, but may not be limited to:
- Student evaluations of instruction,
- Curriculum and/or program development,
- Development and application of current instructional techniques (including development of online and computer-assisted courses, etc.),
- Documentation of teaching methodologies,
- Documentation of staying current in their field of discipline.
Evaluation of the service/outreach component is based on performance in three areas: service to the College; public service to the community as defined by the College’s role and mission; and service within the bounds of the faculty member’s academic discipline and budgeted assignment. Evaluation should be based on all three areas although it is realized that differences in emphases may exist. The faculty member is responsible for providing documentation of service and/or outreach activities including college committee and administrative responsibilities as described in duties of faculty, community service programs, public service consultation, and active contributions to professional associations.
The following guidelines should be considered in evaluating service and/or outreach activities:
- Performance in relation to assigned and budgeted duties (as described in the candidate’s position description which includes a statement of the mission or purpose of the position and of the objective(s) of the nominee’s service unit, as well as the specific assigned tasks and responsibilities of the nominee).
- The candidate’s effectiveness, as judged by their impact on the institution, individuals, groups, or organizations served. This should include documentation of the success of their internal and external service, in terms of improvement of communities, programs, operating agencies, production processes, or management practices. It should also include indications of satisfaction with the service provided by the nominee, and of the magnitude and complexity of their work (as opposed to perfunctory activity that does not lead to useful results).
- Service/outreach work is sometimes not publishable. The results may be in the form of direct consultations, planning reports, or instructional time directed largely to the recipients of College service programs. However, certain aspects of service work are suitable for publication in professional journals. For example, unique techniques developed to motivate students or others or new approaches to the transfer and application of knowledge, would be of interest to peers in other public service programs.
- Performance in the advisement and mentoring of students.
- Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research
The faculty member will provide documentation of contributions in scholarship, creative activities, and/or research as part of the annual supervisory evaluation. The following are examples of, but not limited to, appropriate activities for this criterion:
- Scholarly pursuits in support of the discipline or the teaching profession, which should include typical professional development activities such as taking classes, etc.
- Implementation and use of cutting-edge teaching approaches, such as instructional technologies and learning theories, etc.
- Performances, compositions, and other artistic creations that are evaluated by written reviews and by qualified peers, either in person or aided by other forms of reports, or both.
- Professional or scholarly papers presented at international, national, or regional/state meetings.
- Publication of research or scholarly works such as books, journal articles, and other scholarly papers.
- Evaluation of Full-Time Faculty
Evaluation of full-time faculty is an integral part of the institution’s continuous improvement process, and, as such, evaluations by supervisors, students, and peers will be designed with an emphasis on improving teaching and learning.
- Supervisory Evaluation of Faculty
The annual performance review conducted by the faculty member’s supervisor shall include assessment of teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research. The categories shall be weighted using the following ranges: Teaching 60 – 70 %; Service/Outreach 15 – 25%; and Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research 10 – 20%. The supervisory evaluation of faculty is summative and will include a provision for faculty members to designate the weight of each criterion and these weights will be considered by the supervisor in the evaluation process. Supervisors will base their evaluations on documented evidence in all three categories, student evaluations, and peer evaluations, if appropriate. Faculty members who do not perform at the expected level must submit an improvement plan to address the noted deficiencies and the plan must be reviewed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- Student Evaluation of Teaching Instruction
A minimum of two classes each semester for each faculty member will be evaluated by students attending these classes. The faculty member will choose one class to be evaluated each semester, and the faculty member’s supervisor will select the second class. If the combined number of students completing the evaluation in these two classes is less than 40, the supervisor will select a third class for evaluation. The sections to be evaluated will be selected during weeks five through seven of the semester. Student evaluations should not be scheduled during the class meeting immediately before or after an examination.
The faculty evaluation instrument to be completed by the students will be distributed to the students by the academic dean or their designee during a regularly scheduled class period. Electronic evaluation instruments may be used in online or computerized classes. The completed forms will be collected and returned to the academic dean. Student responses on the student opinion of teaching and classroom effectiveness evaluation forms will be compiled and reported by the IDEA Center of Kansas State University. Reports will be provided to the academic dean, who will share the results with the appropriate faculty member. The academic dean will prepare a summary of written comments made by the students, and the dean will have the authority to edit specific comments where the student’s identity may be revealed. One copy of the student evaluation report will go to the faculty member and one copy shall be maintained in the division office. The academic dean will include a copy of all appropriate student evaluations in the candidate’s promotion portfolio.
- General Process Guidelines at the College Level
Candidates for promotion must prepare a portfolio documenting achievement in teaching performance, service/outreach contributions, and scholarship/creative activities/research. The candidate’s documentation will be reviewed by the academic dean, the Promotion Review Committee, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President. Recommendation for or against promotion must be recorded at each level of review. Any exception to the general policy for promotion must be clearly and adequately documented by the appropriate supervisor and include the facts that justify the individual’s promotion. Additional procedures may be used by each college with approval of TBR Academic Affairs.
The following provides a description of the Promotion Review Committee and the Faculty Promotion Process.
- Promotion Review Committee
The Promotion Review Committee (PRC) will be made up of tenured faculty members elected by the faculty members representing each academic division. The committee consists of one member from each academic division: Behavioral and Social Sciences, Health-Related Professions, Humanities, Mathematics, Science and Technologies. There will also be one Member-At-Large elected by the Faculty Senate. The term of service is two years. No one can serve on this committee who also serves as an evaluator of full-time faculty or who is a candidate for promotion. The PRC will meet with the Vice President for Academic Affairs to review the faculty promotion plan and to elect a chair. The chair of the PRC will then develop a faculty promotion review calendar. The office of Academic Affairs will inform faculty of the procedures, materials required, and the deadlines for submission of those materials. The PRC’s primary responsibility will be to evaluate the candidates for promotion on the basis of the documentation in the candidate’s portfolio and a personal interview if the committee chooses.
- Faculty Promotion Process
The following outlines the process for the review of faculty who meet eligibility requirements for and plan to request consideration for promotion:
- Step 1
The faculty promotion process begins during the first week of September each year for faculty members who have met Tennessee Board of Regents and institutional promotion eligibility guidelines. The process shall be activated by the Vice President for Academic Affairs who shall determine eligibility by verifying data included in a report submitted by the office of Human Resources about faculty eligible for promotion.
- Step 2
The Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the faculty member and appropriate academic dean by the first Wednesday in September of the faculty member’s eligibility for promotion.
- Step 3
Faculty eligible for consideration will notify their academic dean by written memorandum no later than the second Wednesday of September of their intent to apply for promotion consideration.
- Step 4
Faculty members who notified their academic dean of their intent to apply for promotion consideration must then submit to their academic dean by the fourth Wednesday in September a portfolio of documentation for the three criteria and a designation of weight for each of the criteria. The academic dean will place other materials in the portfolio to include the length of time in rank, educational qualifications/degrees earned, supervisor’s rating, and student evaluations of classroom teaching effectiveness.
- Step 5
The academic dean will by the first Wednesday in November provide the faculty member the opportunity to review all information contained in the promotion review portfolio, inform the faculty member of the dean’s recommendation, and forward the portfolio to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- Step 6
The Vice President for Academic Affairs will by the second Wednesday in November call a meeting of the Promotion Review Committee and provide to the committee chair the portfolios of all faculty desiring promotional consideration by the committee. The chair will work with committee members in developing a faculty evaluation calendar.
- Step 7
The Promotion Review Committee will review the portfolios of each faculty member being considered for promotion and provide to the Vice President for Academic Affairs by the second Wednesday in January the committee’s recommendation.
- Step 8
The Vice President for Academic Affairs by the fourth Wednesday in January will review the recommendations of the Promotion Review Committee and notify each faculty member under consideration for promotion of the committee’s recommendation and of the faculty member’s right to appeal the recommendation of the Promotion Review Committee. In the same communication, the Vice President will also inform the faculty member of their recommendation to the President.
- Step 9
Faculty members desiring to appeal the recommendation of the Promotion Review Committee must notify the President in writing by the first Wednesday in February. The President will forward the appeal to the chair of the Promotion Appeals Committee (see Chapter 7 of the Faculty/Staff Policies and Procedures Manual) who will schedule an appeal hearing and inform the President of the Promotion Appeal Committee’s recommendation.
- Step 10
The President will inform the appellant in writing by the first Wednesday in March of the committee’s recommendation and of their decision regarding the appeal.
- Step 11
The President will forward their recommendation for promotion to the chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents for consideration by the Board.
- Step 12
The President will notify each faculty member being considered for promotion of the Board’s decision regarding their promotion.
- General Process Guidelines at Board Level
A list of promotional recommendations should be forwarded by the President of Northeast State to the chancellor for their review. The chancellor’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Committee on Personnel and their recommendation forwarded to the Board.
Note: Upon adoption of this policy at the December 13, 1974 meeting, implementation of the Board-approved college criteria began on September 1, 1975, and no faculty experienced demotion in rank due to the new policies. Upon extending the policy to the technical institutes at the September 30, 1983, meeting, no technical institute faculty shall be demoted in rank as a result of the new provisions.
Source: April 2, 2004
This policy is a result of a comprehensive revision of former TBR Policy 5:02:02:00, Faculty Promotion. The former policy contained provisions related to faculty promotion for both universities and community colleges. The revision, approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents on April 2, 2004, created separate policies relative to faculty promotion for universities and community colleges. Faculty members appointed prior to July 1, 2004, may elect to be considered for promotion under the provisions of Policy 5:02:02:00 or under the revised policy for a four-year phase-in period. The revised policy will be applicable to all promotion actions taken on or subsequent to July 1, 2008, for faculty whose employment began prior to July 1, 2004; TBR Board Meeting September 25, 2009.
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Revision History: March 2003; Aug. 2005; Feb. 2007; March 2008; Sept. 2008; Dec. 2009; May 2012; Edited Jan. 2020; Edited Feb. 2020