Procedures for Term, Interim, Tenure, and Promotion Reviews
- Preliminary Steps
- By no later than the third week of April the Vice-President for Academic Affairs will notify the chair of the Committee on Faculty of all candidates scheduled for term, interim and tenure reviews during the following academic year. In addition, for tenure reviews the Vice-President for Academic Affairs will indicate whether the candidate is eligible for timely promotion as defined in Article I.B.2e.
- In August the chair of the Committee on Faculty will call for nominations for promotion to be considered during the upcoming academic year. Any faculty member may nominate a colleague for promotion; self-nominations also are acceptable.
- The chair of the Committee on Faculty and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs shall meet with candidates preparing decision files to explain the process, to provide a schedule of deadlines and to answer questions. This meeting must occur no later than 20 in-session days before the close of the decision file, according to the schedule of deadlines provided to the candidate (see Article VIII.J.1 for an explanation of in-session days).
- Candidates for tenure may petition COF for a change in deadlines no later than the last day of the semester preceding the semester in which the review is originally scheduled. Exceptions may be made to the deadlines for such requests only in extraordinary circumstances.
- The chair of the Committee on Faculty shall make known to the University community the names of persons being considered for term, interim and tenure reviews and those who have accepted nomination for promotion and request that those with relevant information submit letters to the decision files.
- Preparation of Decision File
A decision file is constructed for each personnel case according to the stated procedures of the Committee of Faculty. These procedures shall be distributed to candidates and chairs of departmental or school Personnel Committees, in accordance with scheduled deadlines provided by the Chair of the Committee on Faculty and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs as explained in A.3 above. With the exception of materials generated during investigative mode (as defined in C.3 and D.3 below), materials submitted to the decision file after the established deadlines are placed in a buffer file which is not available to the Personnel Committee. The candidate will be afforded an opportunity to view all materials added to the buffer file and provide a response to them in a reasonable period of time. The following persons or committees may submit materials to the decision file subject to the published deadlines:
- The Vice-President for Academic Affairs may transfer to the decision file materials from the candidate’s personnel file deemed by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs to be relevant to the review as stipulated in Article IIIE. The Vice-President for Academic Affairs shall include in the decision file the following required materials for the review of faculty members not holding tenure as specified in Article II: the faculty member’s annual reports, the chair’s or dean’s responses to the annual reports, peer observations, and student opinion forms. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall include in the decision file the following required materials for the review of faculty members for promotion not linked to a tenure review: the student opinion forms from the last eighteen full credit courses (or equivalent), or all courses taught during the review period, if fewer than eighteen.
- Individuals with knowledge of the candidate’s performance in the areas under review may submit to the decision file information about and evaluation of the candidate’s performance. Faculty members who so desire may also request, in writing to the Chair of the Personnel Committee, an interview with the departmental or school Personnel Committee. The Personnel Committee will notify the Chair of the Committee on Faculty of the request and conduct the interview as described in Article III.F.3.
- The departmental or school Personnel Committee may solicit other relevant information to be included in the decision file from the following:
- a representative sample of students who have direct knowledge of the candidate’s teaching effectiveness,
- colleagues in the University whom Personnel Committee members consider qualified to judge the candidate’s teaching effectiveness, professional competence, or service, and
- persons outside the University whom Personnel Committee members consider qualified to judge an appropriate aspect of the decision file. The Personnel Committee must notify the candidate that it intends to seek letters from persons outside the University. The committee must limit its solicitation to external evaluators agreeable to both the candidate and the committee.
- The candidate should provide documentation to be placed in the decision file according to the criteria stipulated in Article IIIE.
- The Committee on Faculty or the Personnel Committee in investigative mode may add material to the decision file.
- Personnel Committee Procedure
The Personnel Committee shall follow a standard procedure approved by the Committee on Faculty, the administration, and the faculty. It shall include the following steps.
- All members of the Personnel Committee shall read the entire decision file before reaching a recommendation and preparing a report.
- The Personnel Committee shall meet as a group and discuss the evidence in the decision file prior to arriving at its recommendation.
- If the Personnel Committee finds that it cannot reach a recommendation based on the contents of the decision file it may request to enter investigative mode. Such requests must be addressed to the chair of the Committee on Faculty and must state the specific information needed to reach a recommendation, the anticipated source(s) of that information and why the Personnel Committee believes investigative mode is appropriate to obtain that information. The chair of the Committee on Faculty will determine if the request is appropriate within the context of the review and make a decision as to whether to authorize such an investigation. The Personnel Committee may appeal the chair’s decision to the Committee on Faculty, whose decision will then be final. If an investigative mode is approved, following procedures and a schedule provided by the Chair of the Committee on Faculty the Personnel Committee will
- suspend its evaluation of the decision file,
- gather the requested information and place the evidence or a summary of the evidence in the decision file,
- allow the candidate to respond to the material added to the decision file, and
- recommence its evaluation of the decision file.
- In preparing its report the Personnel Committee shall detail its procedures, including actions taken to place evidence in the decision file prior to its closure and any investigations completed during investigative mode. In addition, the Personnel Committee will:
- In the case of a term review, make an assessment about the evidenced strengths and concerns with regard to the candidate's job performance, clearly stating areas of desirable or necessary improvements and a recommendation regarding an extension of the term, subject to the needs of the department or school.
- In the case of an interim review, make an assessment about the evidenced strengths and concerns of the candidate, clearly stating areas of desirable or necessary improvement.
- In the case of tenure or promotion, make a recommendation, stating clearly the evidence and the reasons for the recommendation.
- The Personnel Committee may make a recommendation for early tenure or promotion even though the candidate has not been nominated in accordance with the procedure given in Article IV.A.2.
A consensus recommendation is strongly encouraged. However, if after prolonged discussion the Personnel Committee is unable to reach consensus, then the members will write and sign two or more separate reports, each stating the reason(s) for their recommendation. All members of the Personnel Committee shall have access to all reports, which together comprise the Personnel Committee’s report.
- The Personnel Committee’s report shall be sent to the Committee on Faculty and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs who will release it to the candidate.
- Committee on Faculty Procedure
The Committee on Faculty shall meet with the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and make a recommendation to the President for each candidate reviewed. In reaching its recommendation the Committee on Faculty shall follow a standard procedure that includes the following steps.
- The Committee on Faculty will interview any faculty member who has requested such an interview in a signed writing to the Chair of the Committee on Faculty according to the established schedule. The committee will complete the interview as described in Article III.F.3 and provide the candidate with a summary of the interview and an opportunity to respond.
- All members of the Committee on Faculty will read the report from the Personnel Committee and any response from the candidate. All members of the Committee on Faculty will read at least the core decision file before making recommendations. File guidelines established by COF clarify the core decision file includes everything except the scholarly and artistic work appendix.
- If the Committee on Faculty finds that it cannot make a recommendation it may proceed into investigative mode during which it can request information from the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, conduct interviews with any member of the university community whom the Committee on Faculty believes to have relevant information, request an evaluation by a person outside the university who is qualified to judge an appropriate aspect of the decision file (such individuals must be acceptable to both the candidate and the Committee on Faculty) or collect additional documentation from the candidate, other individuals or University offices. The Committee on Faculty will place the additional evidence or summary of the evidence into the decision file and provide the candidate with an opportunity to respond before resuming deliberations.
- The Committee on Faculty and the Vice-President for Academic Affairs will present their tentative conclusions to each other and discuss their respective reasons with openness to any opposing points of view.
- If the PC report is unanimous and positive, and if the evidence in the core decision file is sufficient for the Committee on Faculty to reach a positive recommendation, COF may proceed to examine the buffer file (see section IV.D.6 below) and finalize the recommendation. However, if even a minority of the Committee on Faculty reaches a negative conclusion based on the core file or if the PC report is not unanimously positive, all members of the Committee on Faculty must return to the decision file and read the appendices before COF examines the buffer file (see section IV.D.6 below) and finalizes the COF recommendation.
- Before reaching a final recommendation, the Committee on Faculty will examine the contents of the buffer file. Materials deemed relevant to the case will be transferred to the decision file.
- In preparing its report the following options are available to the Committee on Faculty.
- If the report of the Personnel Committee is judged inadequate, the Personnel Committee may be asked to reconsider and resubmit its report, at which time deliberation and decision recommence.
- If the consensus recommendation from a Personnel Committee is judged valid, the Committee on Faculty shall prepare a report endorsing the Personnel Committee’s recommendation.
- If the report from a Personnel Committee contains two or more separate recommendations, the Committee on Faculty shall determine which recommendation is valid (if either) and prepare a report endorsing that recommendation.
- If the Committee on Faculty does not concur with the Personnel Committee’s recommendation(s) it shall state its reasons and cite evidence in the decision file to support its own recommendation.
- The Committee on Faculty may make a recommendation for early tenure or promotion even though the candidate has not been nominated in accordance with the procedures described in Article IV.A.2.
- The chair of the Committee on Faculty shall communicate the action of the Committee on Faculty to the President, who may meet with the Committee on Faculty for further clarification.
- If the President is considering a decision against the recommendation of the Committee on Faculty, he or she shall communicate this fact and the underlying reasons to the Committee on Faculty. The Committee on Faculty shall respond to the President regarding the President’s tentative decision and reasoning.
- The President shall inform the candidate of the decision and reasoning in writing and share with the candidate the Committee on Faculty’s recommendation.