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Tenure-track and Tenured Faculty: Reappointment, Tenure, Promotion, Post-tenure Review, and Emeritus Status

Human Resources


Contents


Introduction 

Authority: C.R.S. § 23-54-102 et seq. authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The Trustees retain authority to approve, interpret, and administer policies pertaining to University governance. The Trustees grant authority to the President of MSU Denver to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to University operations.

Purpose: This policy states the principles and criteria by which faculty are reappointed, granted tenure, promoted, and reviewed after being granted tenure at the University.

Applies to: Tenure-track and Tenured Faculty


Roles and Responsibilities

Responsible Executive: Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Responsible Administrator: Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs

Responsible Office: Provost's Office

Policy Contact: Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs, 303-615-1900


Policy Statement

A. Overview of Faculty Performance Reviews

In accordance with AAUP Guidelines, Chapter V outlines institutional performance expectations for tenure-track faculty seeking reappointment, tenure, promotion, successful post-tenure review, and/or emeritus status. Beyond meeting faculty performance expectations delineated in Chapter 1, the duties of higher education professionals are complex and diverse. No one source can adequately reflect an individual’s performance or carry the burden associated with important personnel decisions. Therefore, the review process requires multiple sources of information that encompass the complex and diverse work of faculty; collectively these data should present a holistic picture of individual faculty as each seeks tenure and/or promotion.

B. Purpose of Faculty Performance Review

Performance review is critical to individual and institutional accountability and renewal. Only after reviewing the performance of faculty will the University be able to recognize outstanding contributions and be able to support, guide, and foster the development of individual talents and knowledge.

  1. Tenure-Track Faculty: Shall undergo annual performance reviews for the following reasons. 
    1. Reappointment and Awarding of Tenure.

(1) All performance reviews of a tenure-track faculty member will be part of the documentation for reappointment and for the awarding of tenure.

(2) The reviews shall be cumulative in nature as tenure-track faculty progress through the probationary period, normally a six-year time period.

(3) An award of tenure requires:

(a) Adherence to all contractual requirements;

(b) A record of conduct consistent with professional standards;

(c) Faculty holding the appropriate terminal degree for the discipline; the Provost may make an exception after consultation with the affected Department Chair and Dean; and

(d) Demonstration of performance that meets the standards defined by departmental guidelines, which:

(i) Should recognize contributions to teaching as the most significant factors in evaluating faculty for tenure, but acknowledge that outstanding teaching will not be sufficient to justify tenure; and

(ii) May allow for faculty to demonstrate a holistic performance record, where extraordinary accomplishments in one area might compensate for less robust accomplishments in another.

b. Promotion: Tenure-track faculty seeking promotion to Associate Professor may use the same portfolio they submit for tenure.

c. Termination for Cause: All performance reviews will be part of all discussions and records concerning the termination of a faculty member, if the termination is performance-related. See Chapter XV for reasons tenure-track faculty may be terminated for cause.

2. Tenured Faculty: Shall undergo periodic reviews as defined below (depending on the performance review) for the following reasons.

a. Promotion: Performance reviews conducted since the last promotion, if any, or since the time of the first tenure-track contract will be part of the documentation for promotion submitted by faculty applying for advancement in academic rank.

b. Post Tenure Review: Affords faculty members and their supervisors with periodic opportunities to assess the faculty member’s performance and shall be conducted for two primary reasons:

(1) To offer tangible recognition to those faculty members who have demonstrated high or improved performance; and

(2) To assist tenured faculty members to improve performance if necessary by providing formative feedback.

c. Termination for Cause: All performance reviews will be part of all discussions and records concerning the termination of a faculty member, if the termination is performance-related. See Chapter XV for reasons tenured faculty may be terminated for cause.

C. Definitions

1. Portfolios

a. Constitute a cumulative record of a faculty member’s performance.

b. Shall include the following:

(1) Cover Sheet

(a) Published by the Office of the Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs (hereinafter Provost); and

(b) Used to enter recommendations for/against reappointment, tenure, or promotion and Committee vote tallies.

(2) Narrative Statement:

(a) Presents a reflective self-assessment, highlights accomplishments, and indicates plans for the future;

(b) Should present one’s best case to disciplinary colleagues and to colleagues across the University community;

(c) Shows that the faculty member has read, reflected upon and addressed student comments contained in his or her SRI evaluations in a relevant narrative; and

(d) Is expected to be cumulative and to grow in length from one iteration to the next. Accordingly, length expectations for narratives are as follows:

(i) 2nd year: 1-3 pages

(ii) 3rd year: 2-5 pages

(iii) 6th year: 3-8 pages

(iv) For promotion to Professor: 3-8 pages

(v) For Post Tenure Review: 1-3 pages

(3) Curriculum Vitae

(a) Annual annotated Curriculum Vitae (CV) shall include a comprehensive and detailed listing of faculty work in the Areas of Performance. (An example of an annotated CV can be found in the Guidebook for Portfolio Preparation, published by the Office of the Provost.)

(b) Annotations should provide brief explication of scholarly work completed or in progress or of service contributions.

(c) When possible, listings should include World Wide Web citations.

(4) Student Ratings of Instruction:

(a) All performance reviews shall include student ratings of instruction for all classes assigned using the approved “Student Ratings of Instruction” (SRIs) form. Exceptions include:

(i) Field experiences and internships as determined by the Department; and

(ii) Classes with fewer than five students must be evaluated according to Department Guidelines.

(5) Letters of Review and Faculty Responses:

(a) Letters of Review:

(i) Are required at each level of review; and

(ii) Must:

a) Be based on the evidence and the criteria established by departmental evaluation guidelines;

b) Contain substantive comments useful to subsequent reviewers and to the faculty candidate;

c) Include recommended conditions for subsequent reappointment when relevant;

d) Include a rationale noting, if appropriate, commendable performance; and

e) Address any changes made to the Portfolio during the review and the reasons for those changes.

(iii) As Letters of Review are added to the portfolio, the Committee Chair, Department Chair, or Administrator at each level of review shall promptly provide to the faculty member a copy of the Letter of Review.

(iv) Upon receipt of the Letter of Review and a copy of any Provost-approved information added to the Portfolio pursuant to Chapter V. C.1.b.(10)(b) below, the faculty member has the option of providing a written response within five work days. The written response will become part of the Portfolio.

(b) Reappointment or tenure/promotion portfolios for faculty in years two through six shall include:

(i) All previous Letters of Review for reappointment; and

(ii) Any responses by the faculty member.

(c) Portfolios for promotion to Professor shall include:

(i) All Letters of Review from the previous tenure/promotion review; and

(ii) All Letters of Review from post-tenure reviews; and

(iii) Any responses to the above from the faculty member.

(d) Portfolios for Post Tenure Review shall include Letters of Review from the most recent comprehensive evaluation, e.g., tenure, promotion, or post tenure review.

(6) Reassigned Time Reports and Evaluations: If faculty has received reassigned time to conduct work beyond normal duties—e.g., to engage in grant-funded activities, to work on projects for the University such as program review or assessment, to administer a program—the faculty member must provide:

(a) Reports of their accomplishments; and

(b) The evaluations of this work.

(7) Additional Materials for Review Required:

(a) For Years Three and Six:

(i) Faculty must include additional materials to document the work they have done;

(ii) Faculty members can choose to include as many as nine items or as few as four items; and

(iii) At least two must be from the Teaching category and one each from the Scholarly Activities and Service categories.

(b) For promotion to Professor:

(i) Faculty must include additional materials to document the work they have done;

(ii) Faculty members can choose to include as many as nine items or as few as four items;

(iii) At least two must be from the Teaching category and one each from the Scholarly Activities and Service categories; and

(iv) For Post Tenure Review: None beyond what is required in Department Guidelines.

(8) Peer Observation:

(a) There are no promotional or Post Tenure Review Peer Observation requirements beyond those required in Department Guidelines.

(b) The use of Formative Peer Evaluation represents effective instructional practice that encourages critical teaching reflection and may be placed in a Promotion Portfolio to demonstrate improved instructional developments.

(9) Materials Addressing Previous Years’ Reviews:

(a) For years Four and Five: If the review letters from the previous year indicated specific areas of concern that may prevent a successful tenure application, the faculty member must include documentation addressing progress in such areas.

(10) Supplementary Documentation and Other Official and Relevant Information:

(a)  Documents should be available for review to supplement, substantiate, or explain materials referred to in the faculty member’s Portfolio.

(b) Any level of review may request relevant and official information not present in the faculty Portfolio to assist the evaluation process.

(i) Only Provost-approved requests constitute official and relevant information.

(ii) Any additional Provost-approved materials must be addressed in the Letters of Review and supporting documents included as an appendix thereto.

(iii) The faculty member will be provided copies of the correspondence to and from the Provost and have the opportunity to respond according to Chapter V.C.1.b.(5).(a).(iv).

2. Review Committees for Reappointment, Tenure, Promotion, and Post Tenure Review

a. Eligibility

(1) Committee members must be tenured.

(2) Any person on a full-time administrative contract is not eligible to serve or vote on faculty review committees, regardless of faculty rank and tenure.

(3) Faculty members serving on review committees and simultaneously being considered for promotion cannot participate in the discussion and vote on promotion decisions for the rank they are seeking.

(4) No faculty member may serve as a voting member of more than one review Committee (Department/Peer Review, College/School, or Senate).

b. Department/Peer Review Committees

(1) Shall consist of at least a majority of the eligible tenured faculty members in the department.

(2) If a Department cannot constitute a three-member Department/Peer Review Committee, a Department/Peer Review Committee will be established by the Department, which may include members from cognate departments.

c. College/School Review Committees

(1) Must be representative of the range of disciplines in a College/School. Half of the members of the College/School Committee shall be elected by the College/School faculty and half appointed by the Dean.

(2) Size will be determined by the tenured faculty of the College/School and a vote of the tenured faculty will be required to change the number of members of the Committee.

(3) NOTE: Post Tenure Review does not require a College/School Review Committee.

d. Faculty Senate Committee: Membership of the Faculty Senate Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee is established by the Senate Bylaws.

e. University Post Tenure Review Committee: Shall consist of:

(1) Four tenured faculty elected from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences;

(2) Two tenured faculty elected from the College of Business;

(3) Two tenured faculty elected from the College of Professional Studies;

(4) Two tenured faculty elected from the School of Education; and

(5) One at-large tenured faculty elected from the Faculty Senate.

f. Appeals Committee: Shall consist of:

(1) Two tenured faculty elected from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences;

(2) One tenured faculty elected from the College of Business;

(3) One tenured faculty elected from the College of Professional Studies;

(4) One tenured faculty elected from the School of Education; and

(5) One at-large tenured faculty elected from the Faculty Senate.

3. Areas of Performance: University faculty are reviewed on their performance in three areas: teaching, scholarly activities, and service.

a. Teaching: Teaching is a complex and reflective human activity that, in the higher education context, is offered in a forum that is advanced, semi-public, and essentially critical in nature. No single definition can possibly suffice to cover the range of talents that go into excellent teaching or that could be found across the board in the varied departments and disciplines of an entire college or university. Good teachers are scholars, researchers, inventors, scientists, creators, artists, professionals, investigators, practitioners or those with advanced expertise or experience who share knowledge, using appropriate methodologies and who demonstrate and encourage enthusiasm about the subject matter in such a way as to leave the student with a lasting and vivid conviction of having benefited from that interaction.

Effective teachers typically maintain high academic standards, prepare students for professional work and development, facilitate student achievement, and provide audiences for student work. Some might add that the best teaching transmits specific skills or enhances talents that students possess, while others would note that good teaching develops habits of mind or provides models of scholarly, scientific, artistic or professional behavior and inquiry much more important than particular information. Faculty typically aspire to a number of other civic purposes in the classroom that may also include encouraging their students to long for the truth, to aspire to achievement, to emulate heroes, to become just, or to do good, for example: At the instructional level, the most important responsibilities of a teacher to his/her students are the following:

(1) Content Expertise: To demonstrate knowledge and/or relevant experience: Effective teachers display knowledge of their subject matters in the relevant learning environment (classroom, on-line, hybrid, field work, etc.), which typically includes the skills, competencies, and knowledge in a specific subject area in which the faculty member has received advanced experience, training, or education.

(2) Instructional Design: To re-order and re-organize this knowledge/experience for student learning: Effective teachers design course objectives, syllabi, materials, activities, and experiences that are conductive to learning.

(3) Instructional Delivery: To communicate and “translate” this knowledge/ experience into a format accessible to students: Effective teachers communicate information clearly, create environments, conducive to learning, and use an appropriate variety of teaching methods.

(4) Instructional Assessment: To evaluate the mastery and other accomplishments of students: Effective teachers design assessment procedures appropriate to course objectives, ensure fairness in student evaluation and grading, and provide constructive feedback on student work.

(5) Advising In and Beyond the Classroom: To provide guidance for students as they pursue undergraduate and post-baccalaureate education and/or employment: Effective advisors interact with students to provide career guidance and information, degree program guidance and information (e.g., advice on an appropriate schedule to facilitate graduation), and answers to questions relating to a discipline.

(6) NOTE: Teaching performance will be evaluated based on the teaching done by a faculty member; faculty who teach less than 12 credit hours each semester will not be penalized for performing other critical duties needed by the Department, College/School, or University. Normally, these responsibilities will be delineated in and accounted for through reassigned time awards and evaluations.

b. Scholarly Activities: Scholarly and creative activities are disciplinary or interdisciplinary expressions or interpretations that develop ideas, frame questions, create new forms of representation, solve problems, or explore enduring puzzles.

Purposes include, but are not limited to, the following: advancing knowledge or culture through original research or creative activities; interpreting knowledge within or across disciplines; synthesizing information across disciplines, across topics, or across time; aiding society or disciplines in addressing problems; or enhancing knowledge of student learning and effective teaching.

Typically, to be considered scholarship, findings should be disseminated to either peer review by disciplinary scholars or professional or governmental organizations; or critical reflection by a wider community, including corporations or nonprofit organizations, for example.

In addition to these scholarly activities, and depending on the specific Department Guidelines, this category may also include activities in which the faculty member shares other knowledge with members of the learned and professional communities; continued education and professional development activities appropriate to professional status or assignments; and other activities specific to the faculty member’s discipline or assigned responsibilities.

c. Service: Faculty engage in service when they participate in the inclusive leadership and good functioning of the institution; service to the institution can be at the program, department, school, or college or university level. Beyond the institution, faculty engage in service when they use their disciplinary and/or professional expertise and talents to contribute to the betterment of their multiple environments, such as regional communities, professional and disciplinary associations, non-profit organizations, or government agencies. Examples of service might include:

(1) Committee participation

(2) Committee leadership

(3) Program or department contributions

(4) Board participation

(5) Unpaid public service to community and/or professional organizations

(6) Contributions to disciplinary associations

d. Other: Projects and tasks completed or undertaken on reassigned time will be evaluated in accordance with the three areas of performance delineated above as appropriate.

4. Departmental Guidelines

a. In accordance with AAUP Guidelines, this section delineates requirements for discipline-specific guidelines that clearly describe performance expectations for tenure-line faculty seeking reappointment, tenure, promotion, a successful post-tenure review, and/or emeritus status.

b. Differences in disciplines and faculty activities among departments will be reflected in the departmental guidelines for teaching, scholarly activities, and service.

c. Departmental guidelines may include a mission statement that is aligned with the College/School and University mission statement.

d. Departmental guidelines shall include criteria for performance in each area of teaching, scholarly activities, and service.

e. All guidelines shall establish rigorous performance standards consistent with the goal of academic excellence. Departments should clearly delineate among expectations for successful reviews at each level, including reappointment, tenure, promotion, successful post tenure review, and emeritus status.

(1) Guidelines must include qualitative and, if appropriate, quantitative standards of achievement and examples of activities for achieving each review status.

(2) Guidelines shall also be the basis for the narrative used for tenure and promotion evaluation.

(3) Departments may use guidelines to establish expectations for additional review activities, such as peer observations.

f. Each Department Chair, with the input and advice of departmental faculty, shall write guidelines specific to the needs of the Department pertaining to the performance areas of teaching, scholarly activities, and service, which are consistent with the College/School and University’s mission statements.

g. Departmental Guidelines must be approved before they take effect.

(1) To ensure school-level equity in Departmental Guideline performance standards, the School Dean will convene a Committee of All Department Chairs in the fall semester to review all Departmental Guidelines and recommend changes or forward to the Dean and Provost for approval.

(2) In the event there is disagreement concerning Departmental Guideline content, the Provost will make the final decision.

h. Guidelines should be reviewed annually, but only updated if deemed necessary. If Department Guidelines are changed, the Chair must submit the current Department Guidelines and revised Department Guidelines, highlighting and explaining the rationale for any changes, to the College/School Committee of Department Chairs, the College/School Dean, and Provost for approval no later than March 1 of each year. The Provost may make revisions to such guidelines. The revised guidelines will be effective immediately for faculty hired in the next academic year. For probationary faculty members the revised guidelines will be effective upon completion of their tenure review. For tenured faculty members the revised guidelines will be effective upon completion of their next significant evaluation (i.e., promotion or post-tenure review) or immediately, if the next significant evaluation is more than three years away. Under extremely rare circumstances, changes can be made effective immediately (triggered, for example, by discipline-specific accreditation standards) if a majority of tenure-line faculty in an academic department and the relevant College/School Dean agree such changes are needed and reasonable. 

D. Roles and Responsibilities 

Persons at all levels are responsible for ensuring that all policies, procedures, and criteria involved in the review procedure are as follows:

1. Responsibilities common to each level of review: Each level of review

a. Must maintain the strictest confidentiality: Except as may be allowed by the open records law (C.R.S. §24-72-201, et seq.) or if granted permission by the faculty member, access to faculty Portfolios is limited to the candidate, the members of all recommending bodies, the President, the appropriate University staff, the Trustees, and the Appeals Committee as required;

b. Must show sensitivity when evaluating both the numerical SRIs and the subjective student comments (to the extent that they may be reviewed by individual reviewers) that may be related, explicitly or implicitly, to personal characteristics of faculty members. Any overt or subtle statements or other signs of racism, sexism, ageism, heterosexism, cisgenderism, or xenophobia must be completely ignored. In reviewing numerical SRIs, reviewers must ignore patterns that may emerge regarding scores for ‘Faculty Contribution to the Course’ which may reflect personal bias. Examples include SRI scores that appear lower (or higher) than other criteria of faculty evaluation might suggest (e.g., peer observations, faculty narrative, or supplemental materials supplied by students such as letters of appreciation). In reviewing subjective student comments, appropriate sensitivity must be maintained when observing even the slightest hint of bias about any personal characteristics of faculty members, as opposed to substantive comments that relate directly to the “Course as a Whole” and “Faculty Contribution to the Course;

c. Must adhere to the requirements of Section V.D.1.b above, and also the provisions of the Academic and Student Affairs’ “Instructions for Portfolio Reviewers;

d. May ask for information not presented in the Portfolio by submitting a written request to the Provost with a copy sent to the faculty member at the same time. The faculty member will be provided copies of the correspondence to and from the Provost and have the opportunity to respond according to Chapter V.C.1.b.(10).(b). Such Provost-approved additional information shall become part of the faculty member’s Portfolio;

e. Shall review the Portfolio using departmental guidelines to determine the recommendations to be included in the Letter of Review;

f. Shall write a Letter of Review as defined in Chapter V.C.1.b.(5).(a)., and submit the Letter of Review to the candidate’s Portfolio no later than the first day of the next review level so that all previous review levels, the Faculty Candidate, and subsequent reviewers have access to it;

g. Shall retain a record of procedures, actions, votes (in the case of review committees), recommendations, and comments until time limits for appeals have expired; and

h. Shall forward the complete Portfolio to the subsequent level of review according to the published Procedural Calendar.

2. Level-Specific Review Responsibilities

a. Faculty Candidates for Reappointment, Tenure, Promotion, Post-Tenure, or Emeritus Status:

(1) Must maintain a Portfolio that contains information sufficient to permit evaluation of their performance for purposes of reappointment, tenure, promotion, post-tenure review, and/or emeritus status;

(2) Must update Portfolios as required by Academic Calendar deadlines;

(3) Shall submit the Portfolio to the first level of review, either the department chair or the Department/Peer Review Committee chair;

(4) May respond to any Letter of Review within five working days; and

(5) Faculty hired on joint appointments will select one Department at time of hire for retention, tenure, promotion, and post-tenure review.

 b. Department/Peer Review Committee

(1) Shall comply with all responsibilities delineated in Chapter V.D.1.

(2) Shall determine all decisions based on a simple majority vote of Committee Members;

(3) Shall elect a Chair from among members, who will:

(a) Record the Committee vote on the Portfolio cover sheet; and

(b) Prepare a Letter of Review reflecting the Committee’s recommendation; any Committee member may provide additional signed comments.

c. Department Chair

(1) Must review each faculty member’s Portfolio for accuracy and for compliance with the Guidebook for Portfolio Preparation;

(2) Should suggest to the faculty member the addition of missing material and/or request clarification of material before the Portfolio leaves the department. NOTE: Any alterations made to this point to the Portfolio do not require approval by the Provost; and

(3) Shall meet annually with probationary faculty to help clarify any issues and answer any questions raised by the candidate’s performance review.

d. College/School Review Committee

(1) Shall comply with all responsibilities delineated in Chapter V.D.1.;

(2) Shall determine all decisions based on a simple majority vote of Committee Members;

(3) Shall elect a Chair from among members, who will:

(a) Record the Committee vote on the Portfolio cover sheet; and

(b) Prepare a Letter of Review reflecting the Committee’s recommendation; any Committee member may provide additional signed comments. 

(4) Shall interview applicants for tenure and/or promotion.

e. College/School Dean

(1) Shall comply with all responsibilities delineated in Chapter V.D.1.;

f. Faculty Senate Retention. Tenure, and Promotion Committee (FSRTPC)

(1) Shall comply with all responsibilities delineated in Chapter V.D.1.;

(2) Shall determine all decisions based on a simple majority vote of Committee Members.

(3) Shall elect a Chair from among members, who will:

(a) Record the Committee vote on the Portfolio cover sheet; and

(b) Prepare a Letter of Review reflecting the Committee’s recommendation; any Committee member may provide additional signed comments.

g. University Post Tenure Review Committee

(1) Shall comply with all responsibilities delineated in Chapter V.D.1.;

(2) Shall determine all decisions based on a simple majority vote of Committee Members.

(3) Shall elect a Chair from among members, who will:

(a) Record the committee vote on the Portfolio cover sheet; and

(b) Prepare a Letter of Review reflecting the Committee’s recommendation; any Committee member may provide additional signed comments.

h. Office of the Provost

(1) Shall provide written suggestions for the preparation of Portfolios in the Guidebook for Portfolio Preparation;

(2) Shall publish procedural timetables for reappointment, promotion, tenure review, post-tenure review, and emeritus status and distribute to faculty and academic administrators;

(3) Shall publish any forms and documents used in the reappointment, tenure review, promotion, post-tenure review, and emeritus status;

(4) Shall notify affected faculty of approved changes to Department Guidelines by the last day of classes each spring semester;

(5) Shall, in the sixth probationary year, indicate in writing to eligible faculty that the tenure process should be initiated; 

(6) Shall archive each tenure Portfolio as part of the faculty member’s official records. NOTE: Reappointment, promotion, and post-tenure review Portfolios are the property of the faculty member, will not become part of the faculty member’s official records, and may be archived for the sole purpose of providing a copy to said faculty member in future years upon request; and

(7) Shall, in the event of an appeal of any tenure, or post-tenure review decision, make available to relevant parties any relevant Portfolios until the appeal process is completed.

i. Appeals Committee

(1) Shall comply with all responsibilities delineated in Chapter V.D.1.

(2) Shall determine all decisions based on a simple majority vote of Committee Members.

(3) Shall elect a Chair from among members, who will present the Committee recommendation in the form of a letter, to the appropriate level of review/decision.

(a) For tenure appeals, the Appeals Committee recommendation will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees.

(b) For Post-tenure Review appeals, the Appeals Committee recommendation will be forwarded to the President.

E. Review Process Steps

Depending upon whether the review is for reappointment, tenure, promotion, or post-tenure, the review process will involve up to nine steps. 

1. Portfolio Submission

2. The Department/Peer Review Committee

3. The Department Chair—NOTE: In the case of a Department Chair being a candidate for tenure and/or promotion, the Portfolios will go directly from the Department/Peer Review Committee to the College/School Committee for review.

4. The College/School Committee

5. The College/School Dean

6. The Faculty Senate Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Committee (FSRTPC)

7. The Provost

a. Reconciliation Meeting: In the event that there is disagreement in the recommendations for tenure or promotion at any previous level of review, the Provost shall convene a reconciliation meeting. Participants shall include individual reviewers—e.g., Department Chair and College/School Dean—and the Chairs of the Department, College/School, and Faculty Senate RTP Committees.

(1) This meeting shall take place within seven days after the designated deadline for the candidate to respond to the Faculty Senate RTP Committee.

(2) The candidate shall not be a part of this meeting.

(3) The purposes of the meeting will be twofold:

(a) To understand the reasoning behind the differing evaluations; and

(b) To attempt to resolve differences before the Portfolio for reappointment, tenure and/or promotion is forwarded to the President. 

8. The President

a. The President shall make a recommendation or decision based on a review of the Portfolio

b. The final responsibility for reappointment or promotion rests with the President.

c. The final responsibility for recommending that the Trustees award or deny tenure rests with the President.

9. The Board of Trustees retains the final decision-making authority with respect to the granting or denial of tenure. To make its decision, the Board of Trustees will consider the recommendations of the President regarding tenure and may consider any relevant information in making its decision.

10. The recommendations made by reviewing persons and review committees are not binding on the President or the Trustees.

F. Reappointment of Tenure-Track Faculty

1. General Policies

a. Reappointment policies and procedures are intended to support faculty in meeting the University criteria for tenure.

b. Tenure-track faculty will be reviewed annually.

c. It is the responsibility of the faculty candidate to seek advice and assistance in efforts to achieve reappointment and prepare for the tenure evaluation.

d. A Portfolio is required for all reviews. Portfolios will be due at a time set by the academic calendar.

e. There is no appeal of a decision not to reappoint.

2. Criteria for Reappointment

a. Candidates for reappointment will be evaluated in the performance areas of teaching, scholarly activities, and service as outlined in l. above, and as further delineated in Departmental Evaluation Guidelines in l. above.

b. The faculty member must meet the contractual responsibilities defined in this Handbook and adhere to all policies and procedures set forth in this Handbook as a prerequisite to reappointment consideration.

3. Procedures for Reappointment

a. Recommendations for reappointment by each level of review shall be provided to subsequent levels and to the President, who shall make the decision whether to reappoint the tenure-track faculty member.

b. Recommendations are not binding on any subsequent levels.

c. Review procedures for reappointment will differ as stated below.

(1) First Year: During the Spring Semester of year one, as defined in the Academic Calendar:

(a) Each tenure-track faculty member will submit an annotated Curriculum Vitae for review by the Department Chair and College/School Dean for purposes of reappointment.

(b) In cases of a recommendation of non-retention, the Provost and the President will review such recommendations, and the President will make a final determination.

(2) Second Year: In the Fall Semester of year two:

(a) Each tenure-track faculty member will, for review by the Department Chair, College/School Dean, and Provost, for purposes of reappointment, submit a:

(i) Curriculum Vitae;

(ii) All Student Ratings of Instruction;

(iii) A Narrative Statement (1-3 pages in length);

(iv) Previous review letters by the levels of review from year one and any relevant responses by the faculty member; and

(v) All reassigned time evaluations and reports, if relevant.

(b) In cases of a recommendation of non-retention, the President will review such recommendations and make a final determination.

(c) If the tenure-track faculty member is a Chair, the recommendation of the Department/Peer Review Committee substitutes for the recommendation of the Chair.

(3) Third Year: In the Fall Semester of year three:

(a) Each tenure-track faculty member will submit a Portfolio, consisting of the following materials for review:

(i) Annotated Curriculum Vitae;

(ii) All Student Ratings of Instruction;

(iii) A Narrative Statement, two-to-five pages in length;

(iv) All previous review letters by the levels of review for reappointment and any relevant responses by the faculty member;

(v) All reassigned time evaluations and reports, if relevant; and

(vi) Selected additional materials for review (a minimum of four items and a maximum of nine items).

(b) These items will be reviewed by the Department/Peer Review Committee; Department Chair; College/School Review Committee; College/School Dean; Faculty Senate Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Committee; and Provost for purposes of reappointment.

(c) The President will review these recommendations and determine whether or not said tenure-track faculty member will be retained and will inform the faculty member of reappointment status.

(4) Fourth Year: In the Fall Semester of year four: 

(a) Each tenure-track faculty member will, for review by the Department Chair and College/School Dean for purposes of reappointment, submit a:

(i) Curriculum Vitae;

(ii) All Student Ratings of Instruction;

(iii) All previous review letters by the levels of review for reappointment and any relevant responses by the faculty member;

(iv) All reassigned time evaluations and reports, if relevant; and

(v) If the review letters for year three indicate specific areas of concern that may prevent a successful tenure application, relevant documentation addressing progress on such areas should be included in the faculty member’s Portfolio for year four.

(b) In cases of a recommendation of non-retention, the Provost and the President will review such recommendations, and the President will make a final determination.

(c) If the tenure-track faculty member is a Chair, the recommendation of the Department/Peer Review Committee substitutes for the recommendation of the Chair.

(5) Fifth Year: In the Fall Semester of year five:

(a) Each tenure-track faculty member will, for review by the Department Chair, College/School Dean, and Provost, for purposes of reappointment submit:

(i) Curriculum Vitae;

(ii) All Student Ratings of Instruction;

(iii) All previous review letters by the levels of review for reappointment and any relevant responses by the faculty member;

(iv) All reassigned time evaluations and reports, if relevant; and

(v) If the review letters for year four indicate specific areas of concern that may prevent a successful tenure application, relevant documentation addressing progress on such areas should be included in the faculty member’s Portfolio for year five.

(b) In cases of a recommendation of non-retention, the President will review such recommendations and make a final determination.

(c) If the tenure-track faculty member is a Chair, the recommendation of the Department/Peer Review Committee is a Chair, the recommendation of the Department/Peer Review Committee substitutes for the recommendation of the Chair.

(d) A majority of members voting at each of the department, College/School or University committees must vote in favor of reappointment for a recommendation in favor of reappointment at that level. Review committee members are obliged to vote for or against recommending approval of each application before the committee. Failure to recommend reappointment shall not preclude the faculty member’s application from proceeding to the next level of the review process.

G. Tenure

1. General Policies

a. An award of tenure is not a right, but a privilege, which must be earned on the basis of performance during a probationary period, as evaluated by peers, appropriate administrators (as defined herein, e.g., Academic Dean, Provost, etc.), the President and the Trustees.

(1) Tenure is not acquired automatically by length of service.

(2) The decision to award tenure is committed to the Trustees’ sole discretion.

b. When awarded tenure shall begin with the first day of the subsequent academic year contract.

c. Eligible faculty may submit an application for tenure during their fourth, fifth, or sixth probationary year.  

(1) Time on leave for one or more semesters, with or without pay, may not be counted in the probationary period.

(2) Temporary contracts and contracts for less than a full academic year shall not be counted in determining eligibility for consideration for tenure.

d. In all cases, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to apply for tenure. Failure to apply for tenure by the sixth year deadline will result in an offer of a terminal seventh year contract for the next academic year, followed by automatic non-renewal at the end of that terminal contract.

e. An application by an Assistant Professor for tenure also may constitute an application for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. The Portfolio must be submitted to the Department/Peer Review Committee Chair to begin the review process for promotion.

f. Faculty who are denied tenure during their sixth year review will be offered a seventh year terminal contract for the following academic year. The President may, at his or her discretion, offer additional one-year contracts to any such faculty member.

g. Special Cases

(1) Leaves of absence (medical, without pay):

(a)  Faculty granted a leave of absence for no more than a semester will submit a Portfolio to evaluate their activity only during that part of the year in which they were fulfilling their responsibilities as a faculty member.

(b) Faculty on leave for more than a semester will have no evaluation conducted during that time.

(2) The President may extend a faculty member’s probationary period toward tenure for an additional year if there are extenuating circumstances.

2. Eligibility for Tenure

a. Only full-time faculty members on probationary contracts, who hold the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Professor, may acquire tenure.

(1) Candidates for who apply for tenure in their fourth or fifth probationary may withdraw their applications without prejudice at any time prior to review by the President.

(2) Candidates for applying for tenure in their sixth probationary year who withdraw their applications for tenure will receive a one-year terminal contract followed by an automatic non-renewal at the end of the terminal contract.

b. Except as provided herein, administrators, non-instructional personnel, athletic coaches, and faculty on temporary contracts (whether full- or part-time) are not eligible for tenure.

3. Criteria for Tenure

a. Candidates for tenure will be evaluated in the areas of teaching, scholarly activities, and service as defined in V.C.3 as further delineated by Department Guidelines.

4. Procedures for Tenure

a. Recommendations for tenure by each level of review shall be provided to subsequent levels and to the Board of Trustees, who shall make the decision whether to confer tenure upon faculty candidates.

b. Steps 1 through 9 as listed in Chapter V. E. shall be followed.

c. In the Fall Semester of year four, five, or six, candidates for tenure must submit a Portfolio, consisting of the following materials for review:

(1) Annotated Curriculum Vitae;

(2) All Student Ratings of Instruction;

(3) A Narrative Statement, three-to-eight (3-8) pages in length;

(4) All previous review letters by the levels of review for reappointment and any relevant responses by the faculty member;

(5) All reassigned time evaluations and reports, if relevant; and

(6) Selected additional materials for review (a minimum of four items and a maximum of nine items).

d. These items will be reviewed by the Department/Peer Review Committee; Department Chair; College/School Review Committee; College/School Dean; Faculty Senate Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Committee; and Provost. The President and Board of Trustees will review these recommendations and determine whether or not said tenure-track faculty member will be awarded tenure and will inform the faculty member of tenure status. 

e. In addition, if said tenure-track faculty member has applied for promotion at the same time as candidacy for tenure, the President will inform the faculty member of promotion status at the same time as notification of tenure status.

f. A majority of members eligible to vote at each of the Department/Peer Review, College/School or University Committees must vote in favor of awarding tenure in order for tenure to be recommended at that level. Review Committee members are obliged to vote for or against recommending approval of each application before the Committee. Failure to recommend tenure shall not preclude a faculty member’s application for tenure from proceeding to the next level of the review process.

5. Appeal of Tenure Denial: A candidate who receives notice of a negative tenure recommendation by the President and who believes there has been a procedural or substantive error during the Tenure review process may request reconsideration through the following appeals process.

a. The candidate must appeal to the President and to the Chair of the Appeals Committee in writing within ten working days of the notification of the negative tenure recommendation.

b.The Appeals Committee will review the faculty member’s Portfolio, any relevant documentation of the review procedures followed up to that point, and information, including Portfolios, relating to other faculty members in order to reach an informed appeals recommendation.

c. The candidate will have the right to make a presentation to the Appeals Committee.

d. The Appeals Committee must submit a written recommendation and rationale to either uphold or reconsider the President’s negative tenure recommendation. The Appeals Committee recommendation shall be shared with the President and the appellant and forwarded along with the President’s recommendation to the Board of Trustees for consideration and final decision.

6. Tenure applications submitted during the fourth or fifth probationary years shall be considered in accordance with the same Handbook and institutional criteria, policies, procedures, and timetables applicable to other tenure applications submitted during the sixth probationary year.

a. Specifically, candidates submitting application for tenure during the fourth or fifth probationary years shall be evaluated according to the same criteria, articulated in this Handbook and Departmental Guidelines, as candidates submitting application for tenure during the sixth probationary year.

b. Denial of tenure applications submitted during the fourth or fifth probationary years shall be final and un-appealable.

c. Unsuccessful candidates for tenure during the fourth or fifth probationary years may be reappointed according to the normal policies and procedures articulated in this Handbook.

7. Granting Year(s) of Credit toward Earning Tenure

a. Year(s) of credit toward earning tenure must be offered in writing at the time of initial appointment toward probationary status. The candidate must accept or reject the service credit offer no later than December 15 of the appointment year for a fall appointment or no later than May 15 of the appointment year for a spring appointment.

b. Years of credit may be awarded for tenure track faculty service at a four-year accredited institution of higher education, or comparable experience (e.g., faculty who served in full-time positions at institutions of higher education which do not offer tenure).

c. A year of service for faculty in an academic year position is two consecutive semesters, or the equivalent. A year of service for faculty in a 12-month position is 12 months of full-time employment. A maximum of two years credit may be offered.

d. Any faculty awarded years of credit must apply for tenure no later than the number of credit years granted subtracted from the normal six years of probation. For example, a faculty member who was granted two years of service credit would have to apply for tenure in the fourth year of service at MSU Denver. If denied tenure, the faculty would receive a terminal one-year contract as with any other faculty denied tenure.

e. Expectations for tenure when a faculty member is offered and accepts service credit for work completed are the same as for any tenure-track faculty member applying for tenure at the “normal” six-year mark.

f. When applying for reappointment or tenure/promotion to Associate Professor, faculty members granted years of credit toward tenure for prior service must document their accomplishments in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service during the time for which they are receiving credit. This will include information regarding courses taught, advising activities, student ratings of instruction, service and scholarship activities, and any other relevant materials.

8. Tenure Upon Appointment/Immediate Tenure: Tenure may be granted to a faculty member upon appointment subject to the following:

a. Upon a request of a Chair or a Department Search Committee that a faculty candidate be awarded tenure upon appointment, a majority of the tenured faculty of the affected Department must recommend to support such a request. Any such candidate must meet the following criteria:

(1) The appointee was previously tenured at a regionally accredited, baccalaureate-granting institution of higher education; or

(2) The appointee has achieved recognized, outstanding distinction in public service or the private sector.

b. If the tenured faculty members of the Department recommend that tenure upon appointment be awarded, that recommendation shall be reviewed by the Chair, the Dean, and the Provost, who shall each make a recommendation to the President.

c. After review of the prior recommendations, the President may recommend to the Trustees that a candidate be appointed with tenure.

d. Per Chapter V.E.9 above, the Board of Trustees retains the final decision-making authority regarding the conferring of tenure.

9. Faculty Tenure for Academic Administrators

a. The President may recommend to the Trustees that an academic administrator be awarded tenure upon appointment as an academic administrator if:

(1) The administrator has been previously tenured at a regionally accredited, baccalaureate-granting institution of higher education; and

(2) The immediate supervisor of the academic administrator, as well as the chair and tenured faculty in the affected department, are consulted and are provided an opportunity to vote and make a written recommendation.

b. Normally, individuals appointed to an academic administrative position should negotiate for tenure rights at the time of hire; the President may make an exception based on consultation with the relevant Department Tenured Faculty and Chair, College/School Dean, and the Provost.

c. Rights of an Academic Administrator with Tenure

(1) An academic administrator awarded tenure will have the rights of a tenured faculty member upon returning to faculty status.

(2) Up to one year of service as an interim administrator may count toward seniority as a faculty member.

(3) Tenure is a relevant, but not a dispositive, factor if there is a reduction in force within a program.

(4) Academic administrators may not use the appeal process available to terminated faculty to appeal termination of their administrative positions.

d. Tenure for the President will be governed by procedures established by the Board of Trustees.

H. Promotion

1. General Policies

a. Promotion can only be granted based on a comprehensive evaluation.

b. Judgments on the merit of candidates will be based on performance already demonstrated

c. Faculty applying for tenure may use their tenure Portfolio—or, where relevant, their Post-Tenure Review Portfolio—to apply for promotion if both reviews occur in the same academic year and if time in rank warrants it.

2. Performance Areas

a. Candidates for promotion will be evaluated in the areas of teaching, scholarly activities, and service as indicated above and as further delineated in Departmental Evaluation Guidelines.

b. In addition, candidates for promotion must

(1) Meet the performance expectations defined in this Handbook;

(2) Adhere to all applicable policies set forth in this Handbook as a prerequisite to promotion; and

(3) Have met the following minimum time-in-rank to be eligible for promotion to a higher rank, regardless of discipline.

(a) Instructors—no requirement

(b) Assistant Professor—no requirement

(c) Associate Professor—a minimum of six years total in rank as Assistant Professor at a regionally accredited baccalaureate-granting institution of higher education, two of which must have been at MSU Denver; the six-year minimum may be relaxed for faculty seeking the award seeking the award of tenure and simultaneous appointment to the rank of Associate Professor during the fourth or fifth probationary year.

(d) Professor—a minimum of four years in rank as Associate Professor at a regionally accredited baccalaureate-granting institution of higher education, two of which must have been at MSU Denver.

(e) In determining years in rank, the current year (year in progress) during which application for promotion is made is counted as a year of service toward the requirement for time in rank.

c. For promotion to Professor, there is an expectation for a record of significant accomplishment in all three areas.

3. Procedures for Promotion

a. Reviews for Promotion will include the same Steps 1 through 8 as listed in V.E.1.-8. for a third or sixth year Portfolio.

b. Specific circumstances in the promotion process are addressed under the appropriate steps.

c. Portfolios for Promotion shall include the following:

(1) Promotion to Associate Professor

(a) Faculty seeking the award of tenure may submit the same Portfolio for simultaneous promotion to Associate Professor.

(b) Faculty seeking promotion to Associate Professor without application for tenure shall include the same documentation items as delineated below for Portfolios for promotion to Professor.

(2) Promotion to Professor

(a) Cover Sheet

(b) Narrative Statement—3-8 pages in length

(c) Annotated Curriculum Vitae

(d) Student Ratings of Instruction since last major review-for the award of tenure, post tenure review, or promotion to Associate Professor, whichever came most recently

(e) Letters of review and faculty responses (if any) since the tenure Portfolio (inclusive of those letters) and including also all letters/responses from post-tenure reviews.

(f) Reassigned time reports and evaluations, when relevant, since most recent major review

(g) Selected additional materials for review—a minimum of four and a maximum of nine

(h) Supplementary documentation and other official and relevant information as determined by the Provost.

d. There is no appeal for a denial of promotion.

e. A faculty member who is denied promotion may apply for promotion in any subsequent year.

f. A majority of members voting at each of the Department, College/School or University Committees must vote in favor of awarding promotion in order for a promotion to be recommended at that level. Review committee members are obliged to vote for or against recommending approval of each application before the committee. Failure to recommend promotion shall not preclude a faculty member’s application for promotion from proceeding to the next level of the review process.

I. Post-Tenure Review

1. General Policies

a. Post-tenure review is a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of tenured faculty, conducted on a five-year cycle.

b. As noted in c. above, where appropriate, faculty may submit a Portfolio for promotion in lieu of a Post Tenure Review if both reviews occur in the same academic year and if time in rank warrants it.

c. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to submit a Post-Tenure Review Portfolio according to the appropriate five-year cycle.

d. Failure to submit a Post-Tenure Review Portfolio constitutes a violation of contractual obligations.

2. Criteria for Post-Tenure Review

a. Faculty undergoing Post-Tenure Review will be evaluated in the performance areas of teaching, scholarly activities, and service as outlined in V.C.3 above, and as further delineated in Departmental Evaluation Guidelines defined in V.C.4.

b. All faculty must meet the contractual responsibilities defined in this Handbook and adhere to all policies and procedures set forth in this Handbook as a prerequisite to successful Post-Tenure Review.

3. Procedures for Post-Tenure Review

a. No later than the second Monday in February and every fifth year after the last comprehensive evaluation, the tenured faculty member shall prepare and submit a Post-Tenure Review Portfolio (see V.I.3.c below).

b. Following faculty submission of a Portfolio Post-Tenure Review, reviews shall be conducted by the following:

(1) The Department/Peer Review Committee

(2) The Department Chair—NOTE: In the case of a Department Chair being evaluated for Post-Tenure Review, the Portfolios will go directly from the Department/Peer Review Committee to the College/School Dean for review.

(3) The College/School Dean

(4) The University-level Post—Tenure Review Committee: In the event that any level of review recommends that a faculty member needs improvement, this University-level Post Tenure Review Committee will review the Portfolio.

(5) The Provost

c. Post-Tenure Review Portfolio shall include the following:

(1) Cover Sheet

(2) Narrative Statement—1-3 pages in length

(3) Annotated Curriculum Vitae

(4) All Student Ratings of Instruction since the last comprehensive evaluation

(5) All Reassigned Time Evaluations since the last comprehensive evaluation

4. Post-Tenure Performance Improvement Plan: If it is determined that a faculty member needs improvement in any performance area, a post-tenure performance improvement plan (the “Plan”) will be developed designed to raise the faculty member’s performance to a satisfactory level using the following process:

a. The Chair, in consultation with the faculty member and the department review committee, will develop a proposed Plan within 90 days of the final recommendation from the Provost.

b. The Plan must address the following:

(1) Establish specific goals and requirements, based upon post-tenure review criteria and Department Guidelines, designed to assist the faculty member to achieve satisfactory performance;

(2) Describe specific actions to be taken by the faculty member that are designed to help the faculty member achieve the goals; and,

(3) Specify that the Plan’s goals be met by a specific evaluation date, not to exceed three years from the date the Plan is approved by the Dean (or the Provost, in the event of an appeal).

c. The Chair will review the proposed Plan with the faculty member and submit it to the Dean with the faculty member’s comments.

d. The Dean, after consultation with the Chair and the faculty member, will approve the Plan as presented, or modify the Plan and provide copies of the final Plan to the Chair and the faculty member.

e. A faculty member who is dissatisfied with the Plan as approved or modified by the Dean may appeal to the Provost by submitting written objections to the Plan within five working days of receiving the Dean’s decision. The Provost may modify the Plan, after consultation with the Dean and the Chair.

f. Any continuous service requirement of the Plan will be adjusted to the extent necessary to accommodate exceptional circumstances that are inconsistent with such a requirement, including cases in which the faculty member qualifies for forms of extended leave such as sick leave, family leave, or disability leave.

g. Performance Under the Improvement Plan

(1) The Dean, in consultation with the chair of the Department Review Committee, will review the faculty member’s performance under the Plan, and the Dean will make a final determination whether the faculty member has satisfied the terms and conditions of the Plan.

(2) A faculty member who meets the terms and conditions of the Plan by the evaluation date specified in the Plan will have met the post tenure requirements satisfactorily.

(3) The faculty member shall begin a new five-year cycle of periodic comprehensive evaluations.

(4) A faculty member who fails to satisfy the terms and conditions of the Plan with respect to any performance area will be subject to sanctions as specified in Chapters XV and XVII of this Handbook. Sanctions or termination shall be appealable and must follow the due process procedures in Chapters XV and XVII of this Handbook.

(5) A faculty member who is under a Performance Improvement Plan remains subject to generally applicable criteria, guidelines, and expectations of performance.

5. Appeal:  If the Provost determines that a faculty member needs improvement in any performance area, the faculty member may appeal the determination using the following procedure:

a. Within ten working days of the Provost’s final determination, the faculty member must deliver a written notice of appeal to the President, which specifies the errors in the Provost’s analysis and identifies the criteria, guidelines, and evidence from the Post Tenure Review Portfolio that the faculty member relied upon to support a successful post tenure evaluation in the particular performance area(s).

b.The faculty member may also submit a maximum of five written statements from other tenured faculty members who wish to support a successful post tenure evaluation for the faculty member, based on the Portfolio, the criteria and the guidelines.

c. The Provost will review the notice of appeal and supporting documentation.

(1) If the Provost finds them persuasive, the determination will be changed; in which case, the appeal process shall terminate.

(2) If the Provost does not find the materials persuasive:

(a) The Provost will respond in writing to the faculty member’s notice and supporting statements no later than ten working days after they are submitted to the President.

(b) The Appeals Committee will convene within three working days of the President’s receipt of the Provost’s response to the notice of appeal.

(c) The Appeals Committee shall review the written record and submit a written report and recommendations to the President within 15 working days thereafter.

(d) The President will meet with the Appeals Committee and review its recommendation.

(e) The President will issue a written decision to the faculty member and the Provost within five working days after meeting with the appeal committee.

(f) The President’s decision shall be final.

(g) The ten-day time for filing a notice of appeal may be extended to the beginning of the Fall Semester by the President for good cause, including, but not limited to, the unavailability of other faculty members who would otherwise be willing to submit written statements. The faculty member must submit a written request for an extension demonstrating good cause, within the above ten-day time limit.

J. Emeritus Status of Faculty

1. Eligibility

a. All faculty who have completed ten years or more of full-time service at the University shall be eligible at the time of their retirement for an emeritus title equivalent to their highest professional rank.

b. Faculty who participate in the transitional retirement program or who continue to teach full-time at the University after retirement are considered to be members of the faculty and therefore are not yet eligible for emeritus status.

2. Selection

a. A department chair or any faculty member of the department may nominate faculty for emeritus status. The nomination should be substantiated in terms of length of service, excellence in teaching, and other contributions to the University.

b. The nomination must be endorsed by a majority of the tenured members of the department and by the dean, who then will forward the recommendation to the Provost.

c. If the Provost concurs with the nomination, the Provost shall forward the nomination to the President.

d. If the President concurs with the nomination, the President will transmit it to the Board of Trustees for final determination and approval.

3. Benefits: Faculty awarded emeritus status will have the following benefits:

a. Be a non-voting member of the department;

b. Have an opportunity to teach up to nine credit hours per semester as a part-time faculty member, if requested by the department;

c. Be listed in the University Catalog following retirement for life;

d. Be recognized at an appropriate campus function;

e. Be given support staff materials as available and deemed appropriate by the chair;

f. Be entitled to retain a University e-mail account;

g. Retain library privileges; and,

h. Be entitled to all other benefits of retired faculty.

K. Department Chairs: Roles, Responsibilities, and Area of Performance; Selection and Appointment; and Evaluation

1. Overview of Department Chair Roles, Responsibilities, and Areas of Performance; Selection and Appointment; and Evaluation: This Chapter delineates

a. Its purpose,

b. Definitions,

c. Roles, Responsibilities, Areas of Performance,

d. Selection, Appointment, and

e. Evaluation.

2. Purpose of Chapter: Academic Department Chairs play essential roles in the governance and operations of an institution of higher education. It is critical that each has clear guidance regarding performance expectations.

3. Definitions

a. Department refers to Academic Departments.

b. Chairs are faculty who receive some reassigned time to serve as Chair; Department Chair and Chair are used interchangeably to refer to Chairs of Academic Departments.

c. Interim Chair is a temporary replacement until a vacant chair position is filled, which would normally begin July 1 of the new fiscal year.

d. Acting Chair substitutes for a sitting chair who is temporarily not available such as due to illness, professional travel or a sabbatical leave.

4. Roles, Responsibilities, and Areas of Performance: Academic Departments develop governance and operations cultures suitable to their disciplines and size. Not every Department operates in exactly the same manner. Nevertheless, the Chair is ultimately responsible for ensuring that departmental and institutional work is completed in an equitable, efficient, effective, and timely manner. The duties and responsibilities described below are to be interpreted in terms of the governance needs of different Departments. The roles, responsibilities, and areas of performance for Department Chairs include, but are not limited to the following:

a. Serves as the chief representative of the department.

b. Provides leadership in assigning teaching duties within the Department, consistent with:

(1) The concept that the appropriate mix of teaching, scholarly activities, and service may differ from person-to-person and from time-to-time in the career of an individual faculty colleague, and

(2) Enrollment management needs of the Department and University.

c. Department Governance: In consultation with the Department faculty and appropriate Dean:

(1) Establishes and oversees an effective governance structure within the Department, including the creation and use of committees, processes, and procedures where appropriate;

(2) Develops and implements the Department’s long- and short-term goals and plans;

(3) Manages departmental resources—financial, physical, and human—in accordance with allocations and University rules and procedures to meet Department goals, objectives, and needs;

(4) Oversees custody and authorized use of University property charged to the Department and the assignment of Department space and facilities to authorized activities in accordance with University policy and regulations; and

(5) Evaluates departmental faculty and staff performance in meeting its responsibilities to the University.

d. Promotes academic standards relevant to:

(1) Faculty, through their oversight of:

(a) Faculty performance, such as recruitment, mentoring, development, evaluation, and retention of faculty in accordance to University policies; this includes:

(i) Teaching,

(ii) Scholarly Activities, and

(iii)   Service.

(b) Departmental Guidelines (Chapter V.C.4.f.&h.), Department Chairs are responsible for:

(i) Departmental Guidelines for achieving tenure, promotion, and successful post-tenure review, which are consistent with the College/School’s and University’s mission statements, and

(ii) Changes should they be necessary upon annual review.

(c) Providing recommendations that contain a supporting rationale to the Dean on hiring; retention, tenure, promotion, and post-tenure review; reassigned timework; sabbatical leaves; and other leaves of absence per the Handbook detailed in Chapter XI.

(2) Students, through their

(a)  Supervision of student recruitment, advising, learning, development, retention, and timely graduation of students;

(b) Application of academic policies and procedures that affect students, as consistent with University discipline-specific, and Departmental policies and procedures; and

(c)  Response to student concerns and works with students, faculty, staff, and other University offices to resolve concerns, conflicts, and disputes.

(3) Curriculum, through their leadership of activities related to the development, implementation, and assessment of academic curriculum and programs.

(4) Teaching and Learning, through their oversight of

(a) Quality curriculum delivery and use of appropriate pedagogy in courses;

(b) Assessment, including Student Learning Outcomes, and Program Review of departmental and General Studies curricula;

(c) Accreditation, by supporting and maintaining department, College/School and/or University accreditation requirements, as appropriate; and

(d) The delivery of quality and relevant curricula, in alignment with federal and state law (e.g., Americans with Disability Act).

e. Provides effective management and direction to Affiliate and Category II faculty, graduate students, support staff, and student workers.

f. Establishes effective external relations and programs with constituencies such as alumni, advisory committees, and industry, as appropriate.

g. Advocates for the Department professionally with peers, Deans, Provost, and others.

h. As faculty, Department Chairs:

(1) Teach at least three credits per year (July 1 through June 30); and determine their summer assignments with the Dean.

(2) Engage in scholarly and service activities appropriate to their faculty status. These activities are evaluated during faculty performance review, exclusive of the evaluation process stated in Chapter V.K.6.

(3) Have responsibilities and time constraints inherent to their Chair duties. These constraints and duties must be given appropriate consideration by all reviewers involved in making decisions on Chairs’ Retention, Tenure, Promotion and Post-Tenure Review portfolios.

5. Appointment and Reappointment of Department Chairs

a. Eligibility/Criteria for Appointment/Reappointment: Candidates for Chair:

(1) Will preferably be tenured;

(2) Must hold a tenure-line rank within the discipline or cognate discipline, e.g., Assistant, Associate, or Professor; and 

(3) For reappointment must have met expectations in the performance of V.K.4.a.-g.

b. Procedures for Appointment/Reappointment

(1) Candidates may be internal or external to the University.

(a) If hired through an external search, the policies and procedures governing any faculty hire will apply;

(b) If internal, the following policies and procedures apply:

(i) At the completion of a Chair’s term, the Department faculty will participate in a preference poll to determine whom to recommend;

(ii) The Dean is in charge of the preference poll and consults with the Department on the conduct and results of the poll.

(iii) If a chair is unable or unwilling to complete his or her term, the Dean, in consultation with the faculty, will recommend an Interim Chair to the Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs (hereinafter Provost).

(c) Candidates:

(i) May be nominated by any tenure-line faculty member within the Department; and

(ii) Must be willing to serve in the position of Chair to be listed on the preference poll.

(2) Department Chair appointments are recommended by the Dean to the Provost, who makes a recommendation to the President.

(3) The President

(a)  Makes the appointment;

(b) May consider other candidates than the one recommended; and

(c) May appoint an Interim Chair for a period not to exceed one year from inside or outside the Department or University.

(4) Department Chairs

(a) Retain all rights applicable to tenure-line faculty including earned tenure where applicable;

(b) Are asked to commit to a three-year term (time served as interim Chair will count toward a three-year term if served consecutively); and

(c) Serve at the will of the President.

(5) There is no limit on the number of terms a Chair can serve.

(6) At any time, a Department’s tenure line faculty, by a two-thirds vote, may conduct a preference poll for a new Chair following the process described above, the results of which shall then be forwarded to the Dean for consideration.

(7) New chairs will participate in workshops or other professional development activities related to chair duties sponsored by the University.

6. Department Chair Evaluation

a. Goals: At the beginning of the Chair’s term, the Department Chair and the Dean will develop goals extending to the end of the Chair’s term (usually three years), which will address the Chair’s duties as specified in Chapter V.K.4.a.-g. The goals may be modified by mutual agreement between the Chair and the Dean at the time of the annual evaluation.

(1) If the Chair and Dean cannot agree on the goals, the Provost will make the final decision after consulting both the Dean and the Chair.

b. Chairs will be evaluated in writing by their Dean annually. This evaluation will assess progress on meeting established goals. Deans and Chairs will review the written evaluation to determine how to modify goals (if necessary) and/or how to continue progress toward meeting mutually agreed-upon goals.

(1) If at any time, the Dean identifies serious problems in the Chair’s performance, the Dean may refer the issues to the Provost for resolution; this could lead to a recommendation to the President that the Chair be removed from that position.

(2) Chairs are evaluated as faculty for purposes of Tenure, Promotion, and Post Tenure Review. The “Needs Improvement” rating for a Chair as Chair is to be used exclusively as an aid to the administration in determining whether or not to reappoint a Chair.

c. In a Chair’s “Expiration Year” (usually the third year of a term), the evaluation will include the following:

(1) Chair’s self-evaluation based on the Expiration Year goals (as modified, if applicable);

(2) Other evidence and/or information provided by the Chair and the Dean;

(3) A comprehensive feedback survey, to include department faculty and staff, other chairs from the same school or college and the Dean;

(4) Consideration of the preference poll for chair of the department; and

(5) The Expiration Year evaluation will result in a Needs Improvement or Meets Standards rating.

d. Appeal of Evaluation

(1) If the Chair and the Dean disagree on the evaluation, the Chair will have 14 days to provide the Dean with a written statement justifying a different evaluation rating.

(2) The Dean will review the case presented by the Chair and meet with the Chair within 14 days following the reception of the statement of disagreement to attempt to reach an agreement.

(3) If agreement is not reached, the Dean must, within 14 days of the meeting, write a response to the justification presented by the Chair explaining why the rating was not changed.

e. The Chair’s justification and the Dean’s response, along with the evaluation documentation, shall be forwarded to the Provost. The Provost shall review the documentation and make a determination of a rating within 14 days of receiving said documentation. The decision of the Provost shall be final.


Policy History

Effective: 2005

Revised: July 1, 2014

Source: Handbook for Professional Personnel


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