Personnel Policies
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Employee Discounts

Policy: PAc-27

Subject:  Tenure and Reappointment Review

Approval Date: 08/06/88
Revision Date: 06/13/97; 06/08/01, 06/15/05, 8/21/12
Technical Change: 03/02/98

PURPOSE: To define the criteria, procedures, and conditions applicable to the review of University probationary faculty for reappointment and the awarding of tenure.

 

1. TENURE DEFINED

Tenure is a system by which competent, productive faculty members who meet specified criteria are informed that they have successfully completed their probationary period and are recognized as continuing members of the faculty free to pursue their academic interests and responsibilities with the confident knowledge that termination of their appointment can be only for cause as outlined in the appropriate Personnel Policies.

The review process for tenure is concerned with the academic and professional merits of tenure candidates as documented over their tenure-track service to the University and their long-term potential to sustain a high level of quality experiences in support of the institution’s educational mission.

2. ACADEMIC PRINCIPLES

Each department, school, or college will establish standards for evaluating its tenure-track faculty consistent with the guidelines established in PAc-35. These standards will appear in the tenure and reappointment sections within the applicable Faculty Evaluation Plan.

The tenure process will consist of review and judgment by the Department Tenure Committee, the Department Chair/Associate Dean, the College Tenure Committee, the College Dean, the University Tenure Committee and the Provost. At each level, the review process will be guided by the standards outlined in the candidate’s Faculty Evaluation Plan.

The assistant professor who obtains tenure will be automatically promoted to the rank of Associate Professor without further review. Therefore, tenure decisions must reflect satisfactory performance for promotion to Associate Professor. Associate professors who obtain tenure and desire promotion to Professor have to petition separately for promotion to Professor.

Only full-time standing faculty members of Morehead State University holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor in an academic program area can be granted tenure.

3. PROBATIONARY PERIOD FOR TENURE-TRACK FACULTY

The probationary period for tenure-track faculty is six years. However, equivalent service may be applied toward the six-year probationary period. A faculty member must apply for equivalent service no later than the end of the first semester following appointment to Morehead State University. The documents supporting this application may be provided as a paper copy. The number of years of equivalent service will be recommended to the Provost by the Department Tenure Committee, the Department Chair/Associate Dean, and the College Dean. A statement documenting the number of years of equivalent service granted will be included in the reappointment/tenure portfolio.

A faculty member granted a reduced probationary period upon appointment may request that part or all of the years of equivalent service be rescinded if he/she needs more time to develop credentials for tenure. However, such a request may not be made after the tenure review process has begun.

A tenure-track faculty member must be reviewed for the awarding of tenure no later than the sixth year of the probationary period. A candidate who is denied tenure will receive a fixed-term terminal contract for the year following tenure review.

4. COMPUTING YEARS OF CREDIT TOWARD TENURE

The University recognizes July 1 as the common tenure anniversary for all Standing-I faculty. This tenure anniversary date does not necessarily coincide with the faculty member’s date of initial appointment. A year of credit toward tenure is earned in any year in which the tenure-eligible faculty member has full-time active employment status of no less than half of the July 1 through June 30 year.

Since the purpose of the probationary period is to provide opportunity for observing the faculty member, time spent on a leave of absence will not be counted as active service, except as specified in PG-9 or PAc-28.

5. NOTICE OF REAPPOINTMENT OR NON-REAPPOINTMENT

The President will notify, in writing, each faculty member who will not be reappointed after consultation with the faculty member’s Department Chair or Associate Dean, Dean, and Provost. All faculty members have the right to appeal the non-reappointment notice within 30 calendar days to the Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee as provided by PAc-18.

Notification of reappointment or non-reappointment for tenure-eligible faculty shall be:

a. Not later than March 1 for faculty in their first academic year of service
b. Not later than December 15 for faculty in their second academic year of service
c. Not later than March 1 for faculty with two or more academic years of service. Faculty with two or more academic years of service who are not reappointed will receive a fixed-term terminal contract for the following academic year.

6. THE REAPPOINTMENT/TENURE PORTFOLIO

The reappointment/tenure portfolio will consist of the following items in order:

(1) a letter of intent, addressed to the Department Chair or Associate Dean, stating the desire to be considered for reappointment/tenure and containing a summary of activities during the probationary period that justifies the case for reappointment or tenure,

(2) the applicable department Faculty Evaluation Plan (s) and any Flexible Workload Agreements (see PAc-29) that apply to the candidate,

(3) the annual evaluations by the Department Tenure Committee, the Department Chair/Associate Dean, and the College Dean, as well as any responses by the candidate to those evaluations,

(4) if applicable, a statement documenting the number of years of equivalent service granted, and

(5) a copy of the report of activities from the approved faculty activity reporting system as per PAc-35.

Candidates for tenure and reappointment are strongly encouraged to maintain in their possession copies of the portfolio contents ( as described above) in an electronic or paper copy plus any supporting documents for reference until the tenure process has been completed and a decision for tenure or non-tenure has been made by the Board of Regents, as portfolios will not be returned by the university in the event of non-reappointment.

Faculty who are hired with five or more years of service may submit a paper portfolio for review, as an alternative to the approved faculty activity reporting system.

7. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

The candidate will submit to the Department Chair/Associate Dean a set of documents, or appropriately presented digital materials, supporting the request for reappointment/tenure. These supporting documents will remain with the Department Chair/Associate Dean and must be made available, upon request, to any person involved in the review of the reappointment/tenure portfolio.

Supporting documentation may include but are not limited to:

(1) items indicating the extent and quality of teaching, including summaries of all evaluations required by the department Faculty Evaluation Plan and other evidence of teaching effectiveness such as innovative teaching techniques, new courses or programs developed, and teaching awards or honors,

(2) items indicating the extent and quality of scholarship, such as publications, artistic/creative works, and grant activities, and/or

(3) items indicating the extent and quality of service to the institution, the profession, and/or the broader community, such as proposals to improve the university, service on institutional committees, editorships or reviews for professional journals, development of relations with outside professional or public groups, consulting, and awards or honors for service.

8. ANNUAL REVIEW OF TENURE-TRACK FACULTY (PRIOR TO TENURE REVIEW)

(1) The Department Tenure Committee will meet annually to evaluate the tenure-track candidate's reappointment portfolio and supporting documents.

(2) The Department Tenure Committee will produce a written evaluation of the portfolio using the department Faculty Evaluation Plan as the criteria for evaluation. As part of the evaluation, the Department Tenure Committee will recommend, in the form of a vote by secret ballot, reappointment or non-reappointment of the candidate. Abstentions are not allowed. Any sealed ballots submitted by absent faculty members shall be included in the tally with all ballots opened and counted at the same time during the Department Tenure Committee meeting. A faculty member on a leave of absence or sabbatical is not an active member of the tenure committee and shall not vote. The committee's report will show the vote tally and will be signed by all committee members. The report will also document the validity of the information contained in the portfolio. A copy of the report will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate.

The primary purpose of the evaluation is to certify the information contained in the portfolio, and to determine whether the performance level of the candidate is below, at, or above the performance level commensurate with that of a tenurable faculty member in the department, as based on the criteria in the department Faculty Evaluation Plan.

The Department Tenure Committee may request from the candidate, revisions, additional information, and documentation not provided in the portfolio. If so directed, the candidate will have the opportunity to realign the organization of contents of his/her portfolio.

(3) The Department Tenure Committee will forward the portfolio and supporting documents to the Department Chair/Associate Dean, who will add to the portfolio his/her written evaluation of the portfolio, with a copy of the evaluation delivered to the candidate. The written evaluation
will recommend reappointment or non-reappointment of the candidate.

It is also the responsibility of the Department Chair/Associate Dean to certify the information contained in the portfolio, and to determine whether the performance level of the candidate is below, at, or above the performance level commensurate with that of a tenurable faculty member in the department, as based on the criteria in the department Faculty Evaluation Plan.

(4) The Department Tenure Committee and the Department Chair/Associate Dean will conduct an annual reappointment review of all department tenure-track faculty during their first five years of probationary service at the University. If both department reappointment recommendations are positive for the 1st, 2nd, and 4th probationary reviews, the College Dean
will forward the department recommendations to the Provost with his/her approval and recommendation for reappointment. In the event that clarification of the department recommendations is warranted prior to submitting the reappointment recommendation to the Provost, the College Dean may request that the portfolio and/or support documents be forwarded for his/her review. For the 3rd and 5th reappointment reviews, in addition to the department review, the College Dean will conduct a complete reappointment review for all tenure-track candidates.

In all cases where the department reappointment recommendation is negative or there is disagreement for reappointment between the Department Tenure Committee and the Department Chair/Associate Dean, the College Dean will review the reappointment portfolio and offer a written evaluation of the portfolio with a recommendation for or against reappointment to the Provost, with a copy of this evaluation delivered to the candidate and the Department Chair/Associate Dean.

(5) The Provost will review all reappointment recommendations from the department and college levels, any responses provided by the candidate in rebuttal, the extended curriculum vita, letter of intent, and make a recommendation to the President regarding reappointment of the candidate. The Provost’s recommendation for reappointment or non-reappointment will be sent to the President with copies to the faculty member, College Dean, and Department Chair/Associate Dean. If the Provost recommends non-reappointment, the Provost will provide written justification for the recommendation.

(6) At every level of review, the candidate will receive a copy of his/her evaluation and will have five working days to respond, in writing, to the evaluation. The candidate's response, if any, will be submitted to the next level of review.

9. TENURE REVIEW

(1) The Department Tenure Committee will meet to evaluate the candidate's tenure portfolio and supporting documents. The committee will produce a written evaluation of the portfolio using
the department Faculty Evaluation Plan as the criteria for evaluation. As part of the evaluation, the Department Tenure Committee will recommend, in the form of a vote by secret ballot, tenure or non-tenure of the candidate. Abstentions are not allowed. Any sealed ballots submitted by absent faculty members shall be included in the tally with all ballots opened and counted at the same time during the Department Tenure Committee meeting. A faculty member on a leave of absence or sabbatical is not an active member of the tenure committee and shall not vote. The committee's report will show the vote tally and will be signed by all committee members. The report will also document the validity of the information contained in the portfolio. A copy of the report will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate.

The primary purpose of the evaluation is to certify the information contained in the portfolio, and to determine whether the performance level of the candidate is below, at, or above the performance level commensurate with that of a tenurable faculty member in the department, as based on the criteria in the department Faculty Evaluation Plan.

The Department Tenure Committee may request from the candidate, revisions, additional information, and documentation not provided in the portfolio. If so directed, the candidate will have the opportunity to realign the organization of contents of his/her portfolio.

(2) The Department Tenure Committee will forward the portfolio to the Department Chair/ Associate Dean, who will add to the portfolio his/her written evaluation of the portfolio, with a copy of the evaluation delivered to the candidate. The written evaluation will recommend tenure or non-tenure of the candidate.

It is also the responsibility of the Department Chair/Associate Dean to certify the information contained in the portfolio, and to determine whether the performance level of the candidate is below, at, or above the performance level commensurate with that of a tenurable faculty member in the department, as based on the criteria in the department Faculty Evaluation Plan.

(3) The Department Chair/Associate Dean will forward the portfolio to the College Tenure Committee. The College Tenure Committee will read the candidate's department Faculty Evaluation Plan and then produce a written evaluation of the portfolio using the department Faculty Evaluation Plan as the primary criteria for evaluation. As part of the evaluation, the College Tenure Committee will recommend, in the form of a vote by secret ballot, tenure or non- tenure of the candidate. Abstentions are not allowed. Any sealed ballots submitted by absent faculty members shall be included in the tally with all ballots opened and counted at the same time during the College Tenure Committee meeting. The committee's report will show the vote tally and will be signed by all committee members. A copy of the report will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate.

(4) The College Tenure Committee will forward the portfolio to the College Dean. The College Dean will produce a written evaluation of the portfolio. The written evaluation will recommend tenure or non-tenure of the candidate. A copy of the evaluation will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate. The College Dean will then forward the portfolio to the University Tenure Committee.

(5) The University Tenure Committee shall be convened to read the candidate's department Faculty Evaluation Plan, will review all tenure recommendations from the department, college and Dean levels, including any responses provided by the candidate in rebuttal and produce a written evaluation of the portfolio using the department Faculty Evaluation Plan as the criteria for evaluation. As part of the evaluation, the University Tenure Committee will recommend to the Provost, in the form of a vote by secret ballot, tenure or non-tenure of the candidate. Abstentions are not allowed. Any sealed ballots submitted by absent faculty members shall be included in the tally with all ballots opened and counted at the same time during the University Tenure Committee meeting. The committee's report will show the vote tally and will be signed by all committee members. A copy of the report will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate. Any member of the University Tenure Committee that previously participated in the review of the candidate’s portfolio at the department or college levels must recuse themselves from participating in this review. The University Tenure Committee will then forward the Portfolio to the Provost.

(6) The Provost will review all tenure recommendations from the department, college, and university levels, including any responses provided by the candidate in rebuttal and will produce a written evaluation of the portfolio. The written evaluation will recommend tenure or non-tenure of the candidate. A copy of the evaluation will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate. The Provost will then forward the President.

(7) The President will make the final recommendation regarding tenure to the Board of Regents. The President will inform the candidate in writing of the recommendation at least two weeks prior to the Board of Regents meeting with copies to the Chair/Associate Dean, Dean, and Provost. A candidate not recommended for tenure may request a meeting with the Provost prior to the Board of Regents meeting.

(8) At every level of review, the candidate will receive a copy of his/her evaluation and will have five working days to respond, in writing, to the evaluation. The candidate's response, if any, will be submitted to the next level of review.

10. THE DEPARTMENT, COLLEGE, AND UNIVERSITY TENURE COMMITTEES

(1) The Department Tenure Committee will consist of all tenured full-time standing faculty members in the department. In the event that there are fewer than five eligible members in the department, the department will invite enough tenured full-time standing faculty members from the same college to form a five-member committee.

(2) The College Tenure Committee will consist of tenured full-time standing faculty members from the college and will have equal representation from each department in the college. Committee membership will include both males and females. The term of service will be three years with one-third of the committee members replaced each year. A member may not hold successive terms. In the event there are fewer than five departments within a college, the Dean will select representatives of the tenured full-time standing faculty members from the college to constitute a College Tenure Committee of at least five members.

(3) The University Tenure Committee will consist of two tenured full-time standing faculty members from each college and one at large tenured full-time standing faculty member selected by the Faculty Senate. Committee membership will include both males and females. Two representatives from the same academic department will not serve on the University Tenure Committee at the same time. The term of service will be three years with one-third of the committee members replaced each year. A member may not hold successive terms. The function of the University Tenure Committee is to provide the Provost an additional assessment of the tenure candidate’s portfolio requested by the Provost.

(4) A candidate's relative (as defined by PG-22), Department Chair, Associate Dean, or College Dean will not serve on tenure committees.

(5) No faculty member may serve at the department level and either at the college or university level during an academic year. No faculty member may serve on both the college and university level during an academic year.

(6) A faculty member cannot serve on the University Tenure Committee and the University Faculty Promotion Committee or the Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee in the same year.

(7) The chairperson of each tenure committee will be elected by the committee membership.

(8) All voting on candidates will be by secret ballot. Recommendation for tenure, or for contract reappointment in the case of annual review, requires an affirmative vote by 50% or more of the committee membership. If the vote is split, minority opinions must be included in the written evaluation and the opinion(s) must address how the candidate’s performance does not meet the requirements of the department Faculty Evaluation Plan. If the vote is unanimous there is, by definition, no minority opinion.

(9) Tenure committees' deliberations must be treated confidentially and must not be discussed outside of tenure committees' meetings.

11. APPOINTMENT WITH TENURE FOR FACULTY

It may be in the best interest of the university to award tenure to a candidate with exceptional credentials, experience, and previously acquired tenure as a condition of employment.

When a potential new faculty member who has never been employed as a faculty member of Morehead State University requests the awarding of tenure as a condition of employment, the candidate will prepare a tenure portfolio and supporting documents that clearly demonstrate professional activities and accomplishments for the previous six (or more) years. The process will then follow that outlined in Section 9 (Tenure Review).

12. APPOINTMENT WITH TENURE FOR ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS

The appointment with tenure of academic administrators such as Provost, College Deans, Associate Deans, and Department Chairs may be made if the following procedure is followed:

(1) The position's search committee must recommend the candidate for tenure and forward the recommendation and the candidate's credentials to the hiring supervisor, who will solicit a recommendation from the appropriate department tenure committee.

(2) When considering an appointment with tenure for a College Dean, the Provost will solicit a recommendation from the appropriate department tenure committee.

(3) When considering an appointment with tenure for a Department Chair or Associate Dean, the Provost will solicit a recommendation from the appropriate department tenure committee and College Dean.

(4) The Provost will forward the recommendations for appointment with tenure to the President.

(5) The President will review the recommendations and present his or her recommendation to the Board of Regents for approval.

Successful attainment of tenure in these appointments will not result in automatic promotion to the next higher rank.

Appointment with tenure is not applicable for the chairperson of the Department of Military Science.

13. DATES FOR THE TENURE REVIEW PROCESS

Specific dates and deadlines for the tenure review process in each year will be set and distributed to the faculty by the Office of the Provost.

EFFECTIVE DATE

This document becomes effective on July 1, 2013.