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Procedures for Reappointment,Promotion, and Tenure Review

Introduction

This document describes the procedures to be used in the reappointment, promotion, and tenure review process (or RPT) in the College of Education at Michigan State University. It is intended to provide guidance to individual faculty members and their department chairs who are preparing for reappointment, promotion and tenure reviews, and also to describe procedures for conducting department-level and college-level reviews. All procedures conform to current university personnel policies. In cases where the guidelines are at odds with established unit and department practices such divergences should be identified and discussed with the dean of the college and members of the College’s Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee.

The process of reappointment, promotion, and tenure review should be fair and consistent with established procedures. The procedures and criteria that are applied in the process of RPT should be consistent with procedures and criteria applied in the process of annual review. The candidate’s record of annual merit evaluations will be considered in evaluating the case for or against reappointment, promotion, and tenure. A distinguishing feature of promotion and tenure review is the use of external peer review in forming judgments regarding the accomplishments of faculty seeking promotion and/or tenure.

1.0 Eligibility

Faculty in the tenure stream are subject to mandatory review in a schedule specified in the letter of appointment. For example, faculty initially appointed as assistant professors in the tenure system are usually subject to mandatory reappointment review in their third year of service, and for mandatory promotion and tenure review in their sixth year of service. The chair of a candidate's department (or "lead" department in the case of joint appointments) will be responsible for initiating mandatory RPT reviews.

Tenure system faculty without tenure may apply to be considered for tenure prior to the date of a mandatory tenure review.

Tenured faculty below the rank of professor may apply to be considered for promotion in any year. It shall be the responsibility of faculty, not subject to mandatory review, to notify the department chair that they wish to be considered for promotion and/or tenure.

2.0 Schedule

Mandatory and nonmandatory reappointment, promotion and/or tenure reviews should commence with a meeting between the candidate and the chair of the candidate's department during the spring semester of the year prior to the academic year in which the review shall take place.

During the spring, the candidate and department chair shall compile the candidate's dossier. The components of the dossier are described in the following section.

A precise schedule is established each year when the provost sets a date for college recommendations, generally in the second half of the spring semester. Candidates will be notified of the schedule as soon as possible in the spring or the fall semester. Typically, external reviews are solicited in September, reviews are completed during the fall semester, and departmental recommendations are made to the dean in January of the following year.

3.0 The Dossier Submitted to the Departmental Review Committee

The candidate and the chair of the candidate's department share responsibility for compiling a dossier of materials documenting the candidate's accomplishments. The purpose of the dossier is to present a complete and persuasive case for reappointment, or for promotion and/or tenure. The responsibility for preparing the form "Recommendation for Reappointment, Promotion, or Tenure Action" is shared by the candidate and the department chair. The candidate shall prepare those portions of the form that request nonevaluative data such as lists of publications, service activities, etc. The department chair shall provide evaluative commentary and contextual information where indicated on the form, taking into account evaluative judgments provided by departmental advisory committees. The chair may also consult with the candidate and departmental faculty on this evaluative commentary at his/her discretion.

3.1 Materials Provided by the Candidate

The candidate shall provide materials in these categories:

A. General

  • A narrative statement describing his or her scholarly accomplishments and plans in teaching, research, and service (this statement should be no more than 5 single-spaced pages)
  • A complete and up-to-date curriculum vitae

B. Teaching and Advising

  • Course syllabi and related materials
  • SIRS reports and/or other teaching evaluation forms
  • Evidence of leadership in course and/or program development
  • Creative products--videotapes, computer software, etc.
  • Teaching/training grant proposals written and/or funded
  • Honors, awards for teaching and/or advising
  • Service as chair or member of guidance, dissertation, and other pertinent committees
  • Evidence of participation in advising
  • Honors, awards, publications, etc. of advisees

C. Research

  • Evidence of an established and continuing line of research (including plans for the future) recognized by peers
  • Published and unpublished scholarly and creative work as appropriate including articles, chapters, books, reviews, reports, and conference presentations
  • Research grant proposals written and/or funded
  • Evidence of leadership/support provided to students and/or peers in research
  • Honors, awards, and other recognition received for research

D. Service and Outreach

  • Products of university and/or public service and outreach
  • Evidence of leadership in or contributions to professional organizations (e.g., conference planning, proposal review, editorial work, etc.)
  • Evidence of leadership or contributions to outreach programs or activities at local, state, regional, national, and international levels
  • Evidence of consultant service to schools, school systems, and/or educational agencies at local, state, regional, national, and international levels
  • Service/outreach grant proposals written and/or funded
  • Leadership and contributions to university, college, and/or department ad hoc or standing committees
  • Honors, awards and other recognition for service

3.2 Materials Provided by the Department Chair

The department chair shall provide:

  • Annual review letters (from both departments in the case of joint appointments)
  • Reviews of prior continuing appointments
  • External review letters
  • A statement of load expectations.

3.3 External Reviews

For reviews involving the granting of tenure or promotion to full professor, the candidate will provide the chair of his/her department with a list of at least three individuals outside of the university who the candidate believes to be qualified to judge his/her accomplishments. The chair shall form a list of external referees, selecting at least three names from the list provided by the candidate and adding additional names as the chair deems appropriate, to total at least six names. The chair shall solicit confidential letters of evaluation from the external referees. The chair shall ensure that the department adheres to university policies regarding the confidentiality of such materials.

The materials sent to external referees should consist of the following: (a) a cover letter from the chair briefly describing the nature of the review and the desired scope of the external referee's evaluation, (b) the candidate's curriculum vitae, (c) the candidate's narrative statement, and (d) appropriate supporting materials (e.g., scholarly work).

The chair will maintain a record of the names of the external referees from whom letters of evaluation have been solicited, along with their titles and qualifications to review the candidate. If an external referee declines to submit a letter of evaluation, the reason stated shall be recorded. These data shall become part of the candidate's dossier. In addition, a copy of the letter(s) sent by the chair to external referees should also become part of the dossier, to clarify the charge given to them.

4.0 The Review Process

4.1 Review by the Department

The Departmental Review Committee will review the candidate's dossier. It is the responsibility of the chair to ensure that the department follows university policy as stated in the Faculty Handbook (on Internet through the World Wide Web at http://www.msu.edu/dig/FACULTY/) with regard to the inclusion of women and minorities in peer review.

The chair of the Departmental Review Committee shall conduct a vote, via written ballot, on whether to support the candidate's application.

The chair of the Departmental Review Committee shall prepare a memorandum summarizing the deliberations and indicating the outcome of the vote, including the number of ayes, nays and abstentions. This memorandum, which is advisory to the department chair, will become part of the candidate's dossier. The dossier will be forwarded by the chair of the department Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee to the department chair.

4.2 Review by the Department Chair and Action Recommendation Form

The department chair is responsible for recommending a personnel action and forwarding that recommendation form to the dean of the college.

A separate letter or memorandum prepared by the department chair summarizing this recommendation shall include the outcome of the vote by the Departmental Review Committee and of other department committees that have voted on the application.

The department chair should notify the candidate of his/her recommendation, and the reasons for that recommendation, in writing within 15 working days of the date the recommendation is forwarded to the dean.

The department chair will forward the candidate's dossier, including memoranda prepared by the Departmental Review Committee (and where applicable the unit-level review committee), the personnel action form, and the chair’s memorandum or letter, to the dean.

4.3 Review of Candidates Holding Joint Appointments

Candidates holding appointments in two departments will be reviewed by both departments. The chair of the "lead" department will guide the candidate in the preparation of the dossier. Chairs of both departments will provide annual review letters and statements of load expectations. The chair of the second department will be consulted in the selection of external reviewers.

The Departmental Review Committees in both departments review the candidate’s application and make independent recommendations. The letters deriving from the review should be included in the record.

The chair of the "lead" department, using recommendations from the two review committees, prepares the cover page "Recommendation for Reappointment, Promotion or Tenure Action" form which has a place for the signature of the chair of the second department. Letters accompanying the form--the chairs’ letters and the review committees’ letters--are provided by both departments.

4.4 Review by the College Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee

The College Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee is advisory to the dean of the college. The RPT Committee will review the candidate's dossier. The chair of the committee will conduct a vote, via written ballot, on whether to support the candidate's application. The chair of the College Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee shall prepare a memorandum summarizing the deliberations and indicating the outcome of the vote, including the number of ayes, nays and abstentions. This memorandum, which is advisory to the dean, will become part of the candidate's dossier.

4.5 Review by the Dean

It is the dean’s responsibility to review the dossier, including the memoranda from both the Departmental Review Committee and the College Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee. The result of this review will be a recommendation to the provost. The dean should notify the candidate of his or her recommendation, and the reasons for that recommendation, in writing within 15 working days of the date the recommendation is forwarded to the provost.

A Note on Sub-Department Review

In some departments, the initial review of the dossier of materials of candidates for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure may be conducted by the departmental unit or program area with which the candidate has a primary affiliation. Units within departments may establish their own eligibility criteria for voting on personnel matters, but eligibility to participate in the review of candidates for reappointment or promotion to associate professor is ordinarily limited to faculty who hold the rank of associate professor or professor, and review of candidates for promotion to professor is ordinarily limited to regular faculty with an appointment in the relevant unit who hold the rank of professor. Candidates for review, promotion, and/or tenure may, at their discretion, elect to make a presentation at the meeting of the departmental unit convened to discuss their application. Departments may, at their discretion, choose to allow the department chair to participate in such reviews if eligible by virtue of membership in the unit.

The unit coordinator will make the candidate's materials available in a timely manner to faculty eligible to participate in the review. The unit coordinator will convene a meeting of the eligible faculty to discuss the candidate's materials. The unit coordinator should conduct a vote, via a written ballot, on whether to support the candidate's application for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure. The unit coordinator shall prepare a memorandum summarizing the deliberations and indicating the outcome of the vote, including the number of ayes, nays, and abstentions. This memorandum, which is advisory to the department chair and to the Departmental Review Committee, will become part of the candidate's dossier. The dossier will be forwarded to the Departmental Review Committee.