It is the responsibility of both the chairperson/director and the tenure-track faculty member to meet each year to discuss the faculty member's progress in his or her probationary period. (Preliminary information is found in the section Tenure-track Appointment.) The chairperson/director's assessment of the faculty member's progress also must be provided in writing each year, including comments both positive and negative, as appropriate. In preparing the annual assessment, the chairperson/director may consider the views of tenured faculty members. This may be done through consultation with the executive committee of the department or through other means. The annual evaluations and the report of the midterm review committee indicated below will be retained as a part of the tenure-track faculty member's file. The Visual and Performing Arts Tenure and Promotion Committee (a sub-committee of the Personnel Actions Committee) and the Provost's Committee will receive copies of these reports to aid in its deliberations.
During any year of a tenure-acquiring appointment, the faculty member may be judged to be making unsatisfactory progress toward tenure on the basis of the annual reports or other sources of information. A terminal contract or notice of non-reappointment may be issued by the department/school chairperson/director in conformity with deadlines stated in the Tenure Policy.
A comprehensive evaluation of the tenure-track faculty member's performance will be undertaken in a formal Midterm Review, which ordinarily occurs in his or her sixth long semester (for this reason it is often termed a Third Year Review). This evaluation is to be considered an opportunity to advise the tenure-track faculty member whether it is felt that satisfactory progress is or is not being made toward tenure. If progress is deemed to be satisfactory at this time, there is, nevertheless, no guarantee of ultimate tenure. If progress is deemed to be unsatisfactory in the Midterm Review, first, the tenure-track faculty member must be given an opportunity to respond to the unsatisfactory performance rating. Thereupon, two alternatives are available to the department/school: (1) a determination will be made to issue the tenure-track faculty member a terminal contract, or (2) the department/school chairperson/director will provide, in writing, specific requirements setting forth the conditions for continued employment within appropriate deadlines (see specific procedure which follows).
The following procedure applies to the Midterm Review process:
- In rare instances, the dean and the unit administrator may determine, in consultation, that an accelerated schedule for the midterm review is warranted. For example, the decision might be based on the likelihood of the faculty member seeking early tenure or promotion. The rationale and decision must be documented with copies in the faculty member’s files. Should some change occur in the circumstances that served as the basis for the decision (e.g., early tenure is denied, or the candidate decides to observe the usual timetable), the faculty member must consult with the administrator to determine whether and, if so, when an additional midterm review is required. The decisions must be documented in writing with copies retained in both departmental and college personnel files.
- The Midterm Review committee will be appointed by the chairperson/director or department/school executive committee and will consist of at least three tenured members. In departments/schools with fewer than three tenured faculty members, external members will be appointed by the dean in consultation with the chairperson/director. Departmental procedures should be consulted for such provisions as a faculty member’s involvement in the selection of committee members.
- The Midterm Committee will review carefully the tenure-track faculty member's teaching, research/creative activity, and service to evaluate whether satisfactory progress is being made toward meeting the department/school's, college's, and university's expectations for tenure.
- The Midterm Committee's report will be made available to both the tenure-track faculty member and to the tenured members of the faculty. The faculty member will be given the opportunity to respond to the report, and this response also will be made available to the tenured faculty.
- The procedures for the Midterm Review mirror those used by the department /school in evaluating an application for Tenure and Promotion. If consistent with the procedure followed by the department/school in reviewing an application for tenure, the tenured members of the department/school and any appointed members will meet as a committee to discuss the midterm report and to make themselves aware of the tenure-track faculty member's progress at the time of the Midterm Review. If, at the time of consideration of tenure, a different procedure is followed by a given department/school, then that procedure must be followed at the Midterm Review. For example, if, at the time of consideration for tenure, a department/school does not engage in a group discussion but simply makes credentials available for review, then that department/school must not engage in group discussion at the Midterm Review.
The candidate should prepare her/his dossier in accordance with CVPA standards.
Regardless of the procedures by which tenured faculty examine the tenure-track faculty member’s progress, this examination constitutes the first phase of the Midterm Review. The tenured faculty then will vote by written ballot as to whether or not the tenure-track faculty member is making satisfactory progress toward tenure. The vote at the Midterm Review should not, of course, be construed as promise of final approval or rejection at the time of consideration of tenure.
- Should the candidate receive a vote indicating satisfactory progress toward tenure, the candidate should be informed of that fact by the chairperson/director and should be encouraged to continue his or her satisfactory performance. The chairperson/ director recommends continuation of the appointment to the dean by means of a memorandum that records the midterm review’s outcome.
- Should the candidate receive a vote indicating that, in the opinion of the tenured faculty, the candidate is not progressing satisfactorily toward a favorable tenure decision, then a decision must be made whether to terminate the appointment. In reaching a decision to recommend to the dean to terminate a tenure-track appointment, the chairperson/director will first consult with tenured members of the department. The chairperson/director should make certain that each member voting has adequate information on which to make a decision and render a judgment. The faculty member involved should be invited to submit any written evidence or statement desired and to appear before a meeting of the tenured faculty if he or she so wishes.
- A recommendation to the dean to terminate an appointment on the basis of the Midterm Review should be made with the approval of a majority of the tenured members of the department/school faculty. Any disagreement with the decision, whether on the part of tenured faculty or the faculty member under review, must be documented in accordance with departmental/school procedures and be summarized in written form for use by the Dean.
- Alternatively, if progress is deemed unsatisfactory but a decision to terminate employment is not made, then the faculty member will receive specific, written requirements setting forth the conditions for continued employment and the deadlines for completing the conditions. The conditions will specify whether and, if so, when an additional midterm review is to be conducted. Any disagreement with these terms, whether on the part of tenured faculty or the faculty member under review, must be documented in accordance with departmental/school procedures and be summarized in written form for use by the Dean.
- Notices of non-reappointment will be made in conformity with deadlines stated in the tenure policy. Thus, the department/school's schedule for the Midterm Review must provide adequate time for the tenure-track faculty member to respond to a faculty vote on unsatisfactory progress and before non-reappointment.
- Any exceptions to these procedures shall be documented in writing, with copies retained in both departmental/school and college personnel files.
This revision of the policy shall become effective immediately. (May 2013)