Texas Tech University

Faculty Evaluation

Promotion and Tenure

Standards and Procedures


May 2014


Ensure an understanding of both TTU and College of Human Sciences standards and procedures concerning promotion and tenure. Related OPs: 32.01, 32.02, 32.17.


College of Human Sciences Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure will be formally reviewed by the faculty and administration every five years unless significant change is made to the university policy. The next formal review will be scheduled for 2019.


The policies and procedures of the College of Human Sciences function within the context of the larger institution and are designed to advance the overall mission of the university. Should conflict occur between the policies of the college and those of the institution, the operating policies and procedures of the university (OP 32.01 and OP 32.02) shall take precedent.

University Overview

As noted in OP 32.01, Texas Tech University is a community of scholars whose members are engaged in the discovery, evaluation, transmission, and extension of knowledge. As such, they must be free to search for and express the truth as they find it, whether in the classroom, research/creative activity, or service as members of the community, and regardless of their tenure status. They must also be free from undue constraints, whether imposed from inside or outside the university.

Faculty members' privileges imply correlative responsibilities. In addition to maintaining standards of competence, particularly those relating to scholarship and teaching ability, faculty members are responsible for maintaining the proper attitude of objectivity, industry, and cooperation with their associates within the university. It is a faculty member's professional responsibility to contribute productively throughout his or her academic career.

Academic promotion and tenure are awarded to faculty members making continuing contributions in these areas or other areas as stipulated in the letter of hire. While promotion and tenure determinations are separate and distinct, similar standards and procedures apply to both. The preservation of quality requires that all persons recommended clearly satisfy the general criteria presented herein. Fairness requires that these criteria be applied as uniformly as possible.

The process of considering a faculty member for tenure must commence no later than the beginning of the sixth year of tenure-eligible employment and be completed before the end of the six-year probationary period. Determination of the maximum probationary period begins upon a faculty member's initial appointment to a tenure-eligible rank, calculated from September of the calendar year in which the appointment was made. If an appointment is made between September and December, the tenure probationary period begins the following September.

  1. General Criteria
    1. Teaching
      The first step is an evaluation of teaching effectiveness. Only after an affirmative judgment as to teaching effectiveness has been made can serious consideration be given to an evaluation of scholarship and service/professional community outreach and engagement. Unless determination is made that the candidate is an effective teacher – whether at the departmental or interdisciplinary level – promotion and tenure will not be granted. Please see this site for additional information regarding teaching.
    2. Research and Creative Activity
      Scholarship is a function that serves to advance the discipline or the state of the art. Scholarship productivity is measured by the scope, depth, relevance, and overall contribution of the individual's scholarship program. The candidate may provide evidence of scholarly activities in a variety of mechanisms appropriate to the discipline and based on the initial appointment letter. Scholarship may take the form of traditional research or creative activity. Please follow the links for more information.
    3. Professional Service and Community Engagement
      Faculty members are expected to make professional contributions through service to the department, college, university, the discipline at large, and the community. Additional information regarding professional service and community engagement is provided at this site.
    4. Other
      Based on the individual letter of hire, some faculty members have alternate duties in lieu of one or more of the typical teaching, research, and service activities. When that is the case, the faculty member will be evaluated only on the areas stipulated in the letter of hire.
    5. Collegiality
      Consistent with TTU OP 32.01, collegiality is an important characteristic of a successful tenure candidate:

      "In addition to maintaining standards of competence, particularly those relating to scholarship and teaching ability, faculty members are responsible for maintaining the proper attitude of objectivity, industry, and cooperation with their associates within the university. It is a faculty member’s professional responsibility to contribute productively throughout his or her academic career.

      As persons of learning, faculty members should remember that the public may judge their profession and institution by their utterances and other actions. They should, thus, at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and exercise every effort to make clear that, as individuals, they do not speak for the institution."
  2. Standards for Academic Ranks
    Each basic academic unit and college may have requirements defined for each rank that exceed those of the University. The minimum University requirements for each academic rank (OP 32.17) are as follows.
    1. Assistant Professor
      Appointment as assistant professor requires an ability to teach effectively and the terminal academic degree (or its equivalent) defined by the academic unit as appropriate for the position to be held by the candidate as well as promise of growth in teaching and scholarship, research, and external funding that provides engagement of research with undergraduate and graduate students.
    2. Associate Professor
      Promotion to the rank of associate professor requires a demonstrated record of effectiveness as a teacher; a record of peer-reviewed publication and/or peer-reviewed creative activity which has contributed to the discipline or field of study, to the candidate's intellectual and artistic development, and to the quality of the academic unit; a record of professional service/community engagement appropriate to the discipline, the academic unit and, where possible, the department, college, and/or university; and promise of growth in teaching and scholarship.
    3. Professor
      Promotion to the highest academic rank, the candidate's academic achievement and professional reputation should be superior and should have resulted in national recognition. This rank can be earned only by the faculty member who has demonstrated sustained growth in, and has a cumulative record of, teaching effectiveness, substantial peer-reviewed publication and/or peer-reviewed creative activity, and professional contributions, service, and engagement.
    4. Appointment with tenure.
      The initial appointment of a professor or an associate professor with tenure must receive the recommendation of the Provost, received through designated university procedures for consideration of a faculty member for tenure. The president reviews the recommendation and, if he/she agrees, recommends the appointment with tenure to the Board of Regents. Only the Board of Regents may grant tenure.
    5. Special Appointments
      1. Faculty Members with Joint Appointments
        Faculty members holding a joint appointment in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University are entitled to the privileges and responsibilities as specified in their letter of hire or other formal agreement between the faculty member and institution that details the nature of their appointment. Faculty members shall fall under the policies and procedures of the institution or department in which the majority appointment is maintained.

        At Texas Tech University it is not possible to hold different academic ranks in different units. Therefore, for faculty members who hold budgeted equal joint appointments in two academic units the recommendation for promotion and/or tenure must be a joint submission of both units concerned, and the promotion and tenure recommendation shall be considered to be positive only if both units make positive recommendations. Recommendations must be processed according to the regular procedures of both units. It is incumbent upon the department chairpersons of both academic units to ensure initiations of the review process.

        If a faculty member holds less than a half-time appointment in one academic unit and more than a half in another academic unit or an appointment at two different institutions, the recommendation will be made by the academic unit where the major responsibility lies. It is the primary academic unit's responsibility to originate consideration and to inform the secondary unit of its intent. For these unequal joint appointments, recommendations must be processed according to the regular procedures of both academic units. However, while the secondary area must process the candidate according to its normal procedures, the outcome of its deliberation will be provided to the primary academic unit for information only. The primary unit shall take into consideration the secondary unit's opinion and shall include it as part of the dossier. These specifications apply to all joint appointments whether or not the salary is divided by source.
      2. Department Chairperson
        If the applicant is a department chairperson, the Dean, or the Dean's designee, will assume the responsibilities normally assigned to the chairperson.
      3. Faculty in Non-Tenure Lines
        Faculty members holding full-time appointments which do not acquire tenure are:
        • professor of practice
        • instructor
        • visiting faculty of all ranks
        • adjunct faculty of all ranks; and
        • research faculty of all ranks.
        Although these special full‐time appointments do not acquire tenure, persons holding these appointments do have academic freedom and for some after six years of full-time employment can only be dismissed for adequate cause. Please consult the Dean's Office for more information.

Decision-Making Procedure

The promotion and tenure process proceeds from the department level to the college level, then to the Provost, President, and Board of Regents. Only the Board of Regents can grant promotion and/or tenure. This process is presented in a flowchart and is detailed in the remainder of this document.

    1. Review by the Basic Academic Unit
      Recommendations for promotion and tenure originate with the department. Each department will develop written procedures to be utilized in promotion and tenure considerations. Each department will also develop specific written standards for promotion to each professorial rank which reflect its mission and at the same time meet college and university criteria. These procedures and standards must have the approval of the Dean and the Provost. Subsequent changes in approved standards or procedures must similarly be approved. After written standards have been ratified by the department and appropriate others, the primary responsibility for evaluating individual promotion and tenure requests in terms of those standards will be assigned to the faculty members in the academic unit in which the request is made. Department promotion and tenure policies can be viewed at the following sites:
    2. Promotion and Tenure Overview
      Basic Format

      A basic format to be followed in the development of promotion and tenure dossiers is available at OP 32.01 Attachment B. This common format for presenting the supporting information will help assure fairness in the decision-making process. As promotion and tenure require that a person's entire professional record and contributions be reviewed, the format calls for information on educational background, previous academic and professional experience, teaching and advising responsibilities, scholarly contributions, and service activities. Some academic units may wish to add other categories.
    3. Review Schedule

      Upon request, a faculty member will be evaluated for promotion and tenure at any time, but no later than the beginning of the sixth year of tenure-track appointment, unless an extension has been granted. Also, all faculty members submit their professional records for review by the basic academic unit on an annual basis.
    4. Voting Qualifications

      The procedures used to determine promotions follow closely the outline used for the granting or denial of tenure, with the only significant difference being the qualifications of department faculty members voting. For tenure, only those faculty members holding tenure may vote, regardless of rank. For promotions, only those faculty members with rank equal to or higher than that of the contemplated promotion may vote, regardless of their tenure status.
    5. Dossier

      The faculty member has primary responsibility for preparation of their dossier with major assistance to be provided by the department chairperson. Material submitted shall be limited to the format listed at OP 32.01 Attachment B and should consist of no more than 20 pages, exclusive of all letters, annual reports, and cumulative vita. Faculty members will provide at the time of dossier submission the material for each section except the Dean's letter, Chairperson's letter and Solicited Letters. Those items will be inserted by either the Department Chairperson or the Dean.

      The faculty member may submit in an appendix file consisting of whatever is considered relevant in addition to any information or material required by University, collegiate, or departmental policies. Note: Appendices are not forwarded to the provost’s office unless requested.

      Examples of completed dossiers have been provided by faculty members. Seeing a completed dossier often makes it easier to understand how to proceed. Dossiers include examples of promotion and tenure, tenure only, promotion only, faculty coming with tenure. There are also examples of creative activity submissions. These documents illustrate different styles of presentation. As long as the dossier follows university instructions, the mechanism for formatting displaying the content is up to the faculty member. The dossier is submitted electronically in one PDF file.
    6. The Promotion and Tenure review process is detailed below:
      1. Overview

        Within the promotion and/or tenure process, the faculty member, the department chairperson, and the dean have independent but complementary responsibilities. Detailed information regarding these responsibilities is provided at the links above. A timeline summarizing the three roles is also available.

      2. Submission and Approval Process
        1. Dossier Submission

          The candidate shall, in cooperation with the Department Chairperson, prepare the formal promotion and tenure dossier using the format in OP 32.01 Attachment B. Included in the dossier should be a statement signed by the candidate that the contents of the dossier have been reviewed and a statement, which is included in the dossier format in Attachment B, selecting which tenure policy the faculty members wants to use. Once electronic copy of the dossier and appendices have been submitted for consideration in the academic unit, no further information should be added to the dossier other than that required by department and collegiate procedures with regard to recommendations by review committees, department chairperson, and dean. As an exception, if the results of pending grant or paper submissions are received prior to sending the dossiers to the provost's office, the acceptance can be noted in the dossier.

          Upon receipt of the dossier, the Chairperson will complete the section at the end of Basic Information regarding teaching load. In addition, the Chairperson will evaluate the level of each journal article published during the time in consideration based on university criteria. Rankings should be entered on the vita in the left margin by each article evaluated. The chairperson will also insert into the appropriate section solicited letters from outside reviewers along with a listing of the reviewers and their qualifications to be reviewers (usually a brief biography).

        2. Review by the Department

          It is the responsibility of the Department Chairperson to recommend either positively or negatively on all promotion and tenure recommendations submitted by department faculty members.
          1. Evaluation by department committee

            In each department, the Promotion and Tenure Committee will provide input in the review of all faculty members for tenure and/or promotion. No members of the departmental committee may serve on the college committee. In addition to eligible department faculty members, two tenured graduate faculty members from outside the college shall be included on the department committee. They should hold appropriate credentials, tenured and at least associate rank. Appointments of non-departmental members will be made by the department chairperson with suggestions from department members. Members of the department Promotion and Tenure Committee will examine the submitted dossiers and cast individual ballots (separate votes for promotion and for tenure).

            An academic unit may be so constituted as to provide insufficient faculty for member review. In such cases, the department chairperson, in consultation with the Dean, may appoint an appropriate advisory committee for review of a specific case. If this is done, the composition of the committee and its recommendations must be reported in the Dean's recommendation to the Provost.

          2. Evaluation by the department chairperson

            The Department Chairperson (or designee) and a witness will count the ballots submitted by the department promotion and tenure committee. The certified count of the ballots will be recorded on the Statement of Ballot Count and the applicant's Ballot Summary Form by the department chairperson who then adds his/her recommendation to the form. The Chairperson also develops a letter of recommendation, adds it to the dossier, and forwards the completed electronic dossier to the Dean. The recommendation of the Department Chairperson will be provided to the candidate at the time the dossier is forwarded to the Dean.

          3. Submission to the Dean

            In transmitting a recommendation to the Dean, a Department Chairperson must, for each candidate, include the Ballot Summary Form that includes the vote of the appropriate faculty promotion/tenure committee and the chairperson's recommendation, the Statement of Ballot Count, the unsigned committee ballot/evaluation forms and, separately, committee comments. If not on file in the Dean's Office, one (only) copy of the academic unit's promotion and tenure policy will also be forwarded to the Dean.

            At this point, faculty members may request in writing that their dossiers be withdrawn from further consideration, in which case the dossiers will not be forwarded.

        3. Review by the College

          It is the responsibility of the Dean to recommend either positively or negatively on all promotion and tenure recommendations forwarded by department chairpersons.

          1. Evaluation by college committee

            In the College of Human Sciences, the College Promotion and Tenure Committee (CP&T Committee) will provide input in the review of all faculty members for tenure and/or promotion. In addition to appointed committee members from each department, two tenured graduate faculty members from outside the college shall be included on the college committee. They should hold appropriate credentials, tenured and at least associate rank. Appointments of non-college members will be made by the college dean (or designee) with suggestions from department chairpersons.

            Upon being notified that the Dean has received all the dossiers to be considered for promotion and/or tenure, the CP&T Committee will convened by the Dean or designee to begin the review process. During an agreed upon time period, each CP&T Committee member will assess the submitted dossiers according to the College of Human Sciences and University Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure. Following review and final deliberation of each dossier, each CP&T Committee members will submit their votes to the Dean or designee. The vote will be in favor of promotion and/or tenure, against promotion and/or tenure, or abstention. As a reminder, members of the CP&T Committee are to vote only at this level, not at the department level, hence voting only one time.

            Each CP&T Committee member must indicate his/her vote on a ballot/evaluation form on which he/she explains in writing the reasons for his/her vote. The ballots are submitted to the Dean or designee. Faculty votes are unsigned. Voting faculty should be made aware that the ballots and written ballot comments may be discoverable if requested.

          2. Evaluation by the Dean

            The Dean or designee along with a witness tally the ballots for each candidate, and certify in writing as to the vote on the Statement of Ballot Count, recording the count on each candidate’s Ballot Summary Form. The Dean then adds his/her recommendation to the form and also develops a letter of recommendation, adds it to the Dean's Letter section of the dossier, and forwards the dossier (not the appendices) to the Provost. In all cases, information regarding the Dean's recommendation will be provided to the Department Chairperson and the candidate at the time it is forwarded to the provost.

          3. Submission to the Provost

            In transmitting a recommendation to the Provost, the Dean submits a summary of collegiate procedures and an updated version of the Ballot Summary Form that reflects the vote of the CP&T Committee and the Dean's approval/disapproval.

            At this point, the faculty member may request in writing that the dossier be withdrawn from further consideration, in which case the dossier will not be forwarded.

          4. Review by the Provost

            The responsibility of the Provost is to receive dossiers and recommendations regarding promotion and tenure; to review them with respect to the academic unit, college or school, and University standards; and to approve or disapprove all recommendations received. A review by the Dean of the Graduate School and other administrators as deemed appropriate by the Provost will be included at this stage in the decision making process. The Provost will confer with each collegiate dean and discuss that dean's recommendations. The Provost will subsequently transmit dossiers and recommendations to the President.

          5. Review by the President

            The responsibility of the President is to receive all recommendations regarding promotion and tenure from the Provost, to review them, and to approve or disapprove the recommendations. After the review, the President will meet with the Provost and discuss the recommendations. The approved recommendations will thereafter be transmitted to the Board of Regents for final consideration. Only the Board of Regents can convey promotion and/or tenure.


TTU OP 32.01 Promotion and Tenure, Standards and Procedures

TTU OP 32.17 Faculty Appointments and Titles

TTU OP 32.02 Faculty Non-reappointment, Dismissal, and Tenure Revocation

Departmental Policies


Candidate Statement (promotion and tenure)

Individual Ballot/Evaluation Form (promotion and tenure)

Statement of Ballot Count (promotion and tenure)

Ballot Summary Form (promotion and tenure)

CoHS Promotion and Tenure Committee

Faculty Member’s Responsibilities (promotion and tenure)

Department Chairperson’s Responsibilities (promotion and tenure)

Dean’s Responsibilities (promotion and tenure)

Timeline for Promotion and Tenure

Journal Article Evaluation Scale

Dossier Preparation/Examples

Eligible Faculty

Evaluating Faculty Members with Unique and/or Administrative Assignments Chairperson and Peer Committee Guidelines


College of Human Sciences