Saint Louis University

Rank and Tenure Procedures and Criteria: College Level

 

RANK AND TENURE PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA: COLLEGE LEVEL

1. INTRODUCTION

This document interprets The Faculty Manual of Saint Louis University and applies its contents to the College of Arts and Sciences. The document discusses criteria for promotion and tenure for tenure-track faculty, types of evidence needed to support a case for promotion and tenure, and the process to be followed in a promotion and tenure case. All faculty members seeking promotion and/or tenure in the College of Arts and Sciences are subject to these procedures. Promotion of non-tenure track faculty is discussed in section 6.


2. CRITERIA

Each department contributes uniquely to the mission of the College, and each faculty member contributes uniquely to the mission of the Department. Each department in the College will develop specific criteria for tenure and promotion. The College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee must approve these criteria.

2.1 Criteria for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

Ordinarily, in the College of Arts and Sciences, six years of service at the rank of assistant professor at the University or at another university of equal standing is required for tenure and promotion from assistant professor to associate professor. Thus, ordinarily, the candidate for promotion applies in the fall of the candidate's sixth year. In the College of Arts and Sciences early promotion is allowed for the exceptionally well-qualified candidate. The final decision to grant tenure must be made by the end of the candidate's sixth year. As noted in The Faculty Manual of Saint Louis University, previous service at institutions comparable to the University may be substituted for not more than three years of service, as negotiated at the time of the initial appointment or not later than the first calendar year of service to the University. A faculty member who enters the tenure track in January will ordinarily apply for promotion and tenure during the fall semester that marks completion of four and a half years of service (promotion and tenure becomes effective after five and one-half years of service).

2.1.1 Teaching

In evaluating the effectiveness of a candidate's teaching the following should be among the considerations: the candidate's command of the appropriate subject and evidence of activities that lead to continuous growth in the candidate's field; the ability to organize material and present it with logic and conviction; the capacity to awaken in students an awareness of the relationship of the subject to other fields of knowledge; objectivity; the creativity, spirit, and enthusiasm which vitalize learning and teaching; the candidate's ability to arouse curiosity in beginning students and to stimulate advanced students to creative work; the effectiveness of the candidate in exemplifying the mission of the University. Teaching methods can vary widely from discipline to discipline.

Primary evidence of teaching effectiveness includes the results of periodic and systematic peer evaluation based on class visitations; the review of course materials including syllabi and examinations; the results of the candidate's teaching in courses prerequisite to those of other members of the Department; and the results of periodic and systematic student evaluation, appropriately documented and explained. Supervision of research, theses, and dissertations is an important aspect of teaching.

Secondary evidence of teaching effectiveness includes, but is not restricted to the quality of presentations in public lectures, seminars, colloquia, or lectures before professional societies given by the candidate; evidence of development by the candidate of effective techniques of instruction and instructional materials; and publications by the candidate in respected journals devoted to pedagogy on the teaching of the candidate's discipline.

2.1.2 Advising

As a significant complement to teaching, advising is a major consideration in the evaluation of candidates for tenure and promotion. Evidence of advising effectiveness includes the following examples: participation in academic advising; number of students advised; number of letters of recommendation written; unsolicited letters of gratitude from students; and comments in the formal student letters of recommendation solicited at the time of rank and tenure review.

2.1.3 Scholarship, Research, and Creative Works

Scholarship and knowledge of their field is expected of all candidates. Although scholarship may differ significantly in type and amount among departments, all candidates are expected to be scholars as defined by the departmental criteria for tenure and promotion. Excellence in such endeavors is manifested in the creation, acquisition, and dissemination of new knowledge. There should be evidence that the candidate is effectively and actively engaged in research, scholarship, or creative work of high quality and significance.

Primary evidence of excellence in scholarship and research includes the following examples: publication of books; publication of articles in well-recognized journals and books in the field; funded research grants; and (in certain fields) display of creative works and performance of artistic works. Research publications should be evaluated with respect to content and significance and not just counted. The respectability of the journal or book in which the publication appears should be established. Instructional materials and pedagogical endeavors, normally considered evidence of teaching ability, may be considered only to the degree that they have national or international impact on the field.

Secondary evidence of scholarship and research include presentations at professional meetings, presentations in seminars or colloquia, reviews, and other professional service activities.

2.1.4 Professional Service

Candidates have service responsibilities to their profession, university, college, department, and community. Although there will be differences in expectations among departments, each candidate is expected to provide professional service as defined by the respective departmental criteria. Activities that do not benefit the profession or the University or are not related to a faculty member's professional role and expertise will not be considered as evidence of professional service.

Evidence of service includes but is not limited to the following: participation in the governance of the University at the departmental, college, or university levels; contributing to departmental projects and programs; mentoring student and faculty colleagues; serving in leadership roles in professional organizations; serving as journal editor or referee of scholarly papers or proposals; and applying professional expertise in public service activities.

2.1.5 Skill and Knowledge of the Field

Skill and knowledge of the field is expected of all candidates. This means that there must be recognition by colleagues in the same discipline, both inside and outside the University, that the candidate possesses the appropriate skill and knowledge of the field. Candidates may present evidence of knowledge of the field through such things as the following: external and internal evaluation of research; invitations to present papers at professional meetings; invitations to review or referee professional books or articles; and consulting.

2.1.6 Collegiality

Collegiality is expected of all candidates. That is, the candidate must be able to work constructively and professionally with colleagues in the candidate's department and the College. Evidence of collegiality is provided by the colleague letters which give a colleague's view of whether the teaching, research, and service of the candidate are done in a professional manner and also directly addresses collegiality.

2.2 Criteria for Promotion to Professor

Ordinarily, five years in rank at the University or another university of equal standing is required for promotion from associate professor to professor.  A candidate for promotion to professor may apply early for promotion in the fall of the fifth year in rank. In the College of Arts and Sciences, early promotion is allowed for exceptionally well-qualified candidates.

In addition, there must be evidence of such outstanding abilities in teaching, advising of students, service to the University and community, and collegiality as to merit recognition among faculty and students as an effective educator and faculty member. Finally, there must be evidence of such outstanding achievements in scholarship and research, particularly scholarly publication and other academically recognized, creative achievements, as to merit attention among recognized scholars. The opinions of graduates who have achieved notable professional success after leaving the University and the number as well as caliber of students who have been guided in research by the candidate should be considered.

3. DOSSIER

Dossiers should be concise and adhere to the following format in the order given.

3.1 Candidate's Part of the Dossier

The candidate should feel free to insert a sentence or two of interpretation where appropriate.

1. General Information

a. Name, present rank, and department affiliation(s).
b. Degrees earned, including institutions and dates.
c. Academic experience, including institution(s), rank, and dates.
d. Number of years of credit toward tenure negotiated at time of hire. See also Sec. 4.3.
e. Academic recognitions such as awards, fellowships, and scholarships.
f. Candidate's statement. This statement gives the candidate's assessment of the candidate's role in the missions of the University, College, and Department. The statement should not exceed two pages.

2. Teaching

a. List of courses taught at Saint Louis University during the last five years.
b. List of teaching awards, including information about the criteria and the method of selection.
c. New courses prepared.
d. Involvement in curricular development. Sample materials such as syllabi and exams are not a part of the dossier, but may be included in the Appendices.
e. Other pedagogical activities.
f. Other evidence of teaching effectiveness. The dossier should include a summary of student evaluations.*

g. Other evidence.

*Student evaluations should be periodic and systematic; that is, evaluations should be given for most courses taught. The summary should include at least the course name, the semester taught, the number of students in the section, the number of students responding, the questions being asked, and a report of the student responses.

3. Advising

Evidence of advising effectiveness may include information about undergraduate and graduate advising as well as involvement in student professional development, counseling, and extracurricular activities.

4. Research, Scholarship, and/or Creative Endeavor

a. Publications* critically evaluated by experts**.
b. Other publications.
c. Production, performance, exhibition of creative works.
d. Reviews of the candidate's publications or creative work.
e. Work in progress.
f. Grants (external/internal, proposed/funded).
g. Lectures, papers, speeches (contributed/invited) presented at professional meetings or educational institutions.
h. National or international recognition, including nature of recognition.
i. Other.

*If a publication is in press, include referees' reports as well as the contract from the press or letter from the editor stating a commitment to publish and expected date of publication.

** Indicate nature of critical evaluation; i.e., is it a refereed journal? Do the editors do the evaluation?

5. Service

a. Professional
b. University
c. College
d. Department
e. Community
f. Other

6. Appendices*

Please include appendices when appropriate (e.g., copies of books, reprints, preprints, student evaluations).

*This material should be kept in the departmental office and be available to the department, college, and university committees. It should be referred to in the appropriate part of the dossier.

3.2 Department's Part of the Dossier

The Department Chair* is responsible for assembling the departmental dossier. The various committees consider many candidates; therefore, it is important that the dossiers be assembled in a standard order. The following order is from the top down.

*In some departments, a departmental committee is responsible for assembling the departmental dossier

1. Cover sheet and vote of the Department.
2. Departmental criteria for promotion and tenure.
3. The candidate's part of the dossier.
4. Chairperson's form and recommendation. To the extent possible, letters from Deans and Chairs should address both positives and negatives in the candidate's dossier.  Especially important is to explain the reasons behind any dissenting votes in the committees at the school or department level.*

5. Recommendation of the departmental committee, if this is a part of the departmental process.
6. If requested by the candidate, an evaluation by the affiliated Program Director.*1
7. Two recommendations from colleagues. The candidate selects one colleague, and the Chair selects one colleague.*1
8. Two recommendations from students. The candidate provides a list of students from which one student is chosen. The Chair chooses the second student.*1
9. Three or more letters*2 from outside evaluators*3. The candidate should provide a list of potential evaluators. The Chair can add names to that list. The Chair chooses the evaluators (see below for selection process).

10. The selection process for choosing peer reviewers, colleague letters, and student evaluations should be explained, i.e., whether respondents were selected by the candidate, recommended by the candidate but chosen by the committee, or selected independently by the committee. The latter two methods lend credibility to the reference and are viewed as preferable practices. This can be done by a standard cover letter from dean or chair if the process is the same for all candidates or by separate cover letters if the process varies. Further, affiliations, including mentorships and co-authorships with a candidate, should be disclosed.

*1 Forms are available on the Office of Faculty Affairs Website.

*2 The candidate should not see the letters.
*3 The outside evaluators should be recognized scholars in the candidate's field. The outside evaluators primarily evaluate the candidate's research and professional reputation but may add any relevant information.

3.3 College's Part of the Dossier

The Dean adds the following to the dossier:

1. The vote of the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee. The Dean adds the result of the vote to the cover sheet.

2. Recommendation of the Dean. The Dean places this recommendation after the candidate's part of the dossier.

3. Recommendation of the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee. The Dean places this recommendation after the Dean's recommendation.


4. PROCESS

Each department should have a written "Departmental Process" detailing the specific procedures beyond those described in this document for how the tenure and promotion process is to be handled in the Department.

4.1 Role of the Candidate

It is the candidate's responsibility to inform the Department Chair of the candidate's intention to apply for promotion by April 1* in order to give the Chair enough time to solicit letters and to make the parts of the rank and tenure dossier considered by the Department (section 4.2) available to the Department by September 1. The candidate should be familiar with The Faculty Manual of Saint Louis University, particularly those sections pertaining to types of faculty, advancement, and norms for appointment and advancement.

*Some departments may want to require an earlier date.


4.2 Role of the Departmental Faculty

All faculty with the rank of professor with primary appointment in the Department (in the case of a candidate for promotion to the rank of professor) or all faculty with the rank of professor and associate professor (in the case of a candidate for promotion to the rank of associate professor), chaired by the Department Chair, should meet, discuss, and vote* for or against the promotion of the candidate. Participation in tenure and promotion discussion and vote is a serious obligation from which a faculty member is not lightly excused. If a faculty member is not able to attend the discussion, the Chair should obtain the faculty member's vote in absentia. In its deliberations the Department considers the following:

*The vote should be by secret ballot.

1. Departmental criteria
2. The candidate's part of the dossier
3. The two letters of recommendation from students
4. The letters from outside evaluators
5. The recommendation of the departmental committee (if made)*

*In some departments, a committee will examine the dossier before the departmental deliberations and give their recommendations to the department.

4.3 Role of the Department Chair

Normally the Department Chair is responsible for administering the promotion process at the departmental level (but see section 4.3.1). The Department Chair assembles the Department's part of the dossier (see section 3.2). The Department Chair chairs the meeting of the departmental faculty that evaluates the candidate (see section 4.2). After the departmental faculty votes, the Chair adds this vote to the dossier. The Chair communicates the recommendation of the Department to the candidate. If the application is marginal, the Chair should discuss the application with the candidate and, if the candidate wishes, provide a written summary of the discussion. In such a case it is crucial that the Department Chair make a reasonable effort to ascertain the perceived weaknesses of the candidate's application* and communicate those perceived weaknesses to the candidate in order that the candidate may work to overcome deficiencies. The candidate may withdraw the application at this time. If the dossier is to go forward, the Chair adds the Chair's recommendation. The Chair's recommendation should include detailed reasons for the recommendation. The complete dossier must be submitted to the Office of the Dean by October 1.

For candidates seeking early consideration of their applications, Deans and Chairs should provide documentation to "specifically address and substantiate a request for early recommendation" (Fac. Manual III E. 1) and specify dates of hiring, changes of status, and indicate any special arrangements made with the candidate. Where relevant, the evaluator should inform the committee that a candidate has begun service other than at the usual beginning of the fall semester and explain how candidates have been given to understand these partial calendar year arrangements.

*If these weaknesses did not become clear from the discussion in the departmental meeting, the Chair should either meet with individual faculty members or solicit comments from them. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

4.3.1 Alternate Forms of Administration

Some departments may delegate part of the Department Chair's administrative duties to a committee of senior faculty or to one faculty member with the rank of professor.


4.3.2 When the Chair is the Candidate

When the Department Chair is the candidate, the administration of the process is handled as in section 4.3.1. A senior faculty member is chosen to chair the departmental faculty committee to evaluate the candidate.

4.3.3 Joint Appointments

Since the nature of joint appointments varies, the exact method of evaluation should take into account the nature of the joint appointment. An agreement should be reached between the Provost, the Dean, the Department Chairs, and the candidate concerning the method of evaluation during the candidate's first year.

4.4 Role of the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee

The role of the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee is to make sure that the recommendations of the Department Chair and faculty are consistent with the documentation in the dossier. The College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee should meet, discuss, vote, write a recommendation for or against the promotion of the candidate, and submit this recommendation to the Dean. The recommendation should include detailed reasons for the recommendation.

4.5 Role of the Dean

The Dean is responsible for administering the promotion process at the college level. The Dean sees to it that the recommendations of the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee and the Department are consistent with the documentation. The Dean adds the vote and recommendation of the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee to the dossier as well as the Dean's own recommendation. The recommendation should include detailed reasons for the recommendation. The Dean communicates the recommendation of the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee to the candidate. If the application is marginal, the Dean should discuss
the application with the candidate and, if the candidate wishes, provide a written summary of the discussion. The candidate may withdraw the application at this time. Otherwise the dossier is submitted to the University Committee on Academic Rank and Tenure.

4.6 Role of the College Representation on the University Committee on Academic Rank and Tenure

The responsibility of the College's representative on the University Committee on Academic Rank and Tenure is to represent the views and interests of the College before the University Committee on Academic Rank and Tenure. The representative should attend the meetings of the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee to be familiar with the reasons for their recommendations and should consult with the Dean to be familiar with the reasons for the Dean's recommendations.

5. MENTORING AND EVALUATION OF UNTENURED TENURE-TRACK FACULTY

One of the most important duties of a Department Chair is to look after the best interests of the Department's untenured faculty. The Chair should make sure that the untenured faculty member is aware of what is expected of him or her as a member of the profession and as a faculty member at Saint Louis University. The Chair should in particular be sure that the untenured faculty member is familiar with the tenure requirements and process at Saint Louis University. The Chair should assist and encourage an untenured faculty member to overcome deficiencies. In some departments the Chair may delegate these mentoring duties to a departmental committee of tenured faculty.

5.1 Third-Year Review

A minimum requirement is that during the third year, the Chair and a departmental committee of tenured faculty will evaluate untenured faculty concerning progress towards tenure.* Written copies of this evaluation will be given to the candidate and forwarded to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences by February 15. Some departments may choose to evaluate untenured faculty for progress toward tenure on a yearly basis.

*Depending on departmental policy, the committee may consist of all tenured faculty in the Department, be elected, or be appointed by the Chair.


6. PROMOTION OF NON-TENURE-TRACK FACULTY

The process to be followed in the case of promotion of a non-tenure-track faculty member is the same as that for tenure-track faculty except that the criteria should be modified to fit the responsibilities of the candidate. Since the responsibilities can vary greatly within the College, criteria should be established for each case within the first year of service. The Dean and the College's Rank, Tenure, and Sabbatical Committee should approve such criteria.

Updated, 7 May 2015

 

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