*Operating Policy and Procedure Manual, OP 32.01.
Texas Tech University is a comprehensive University with academic programs at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. Therefore, it is essential that its faculty be dedicated to achieving excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and professional service in order to preserve and strengthen the vitality of the University. Academic promotion and tenure are awarded to faculty making continuing contributions in these areas. 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.
A basic format to be followed in the development of promotion and tenure dossiers is available from deans and department chairpersons. 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 backgrounds, previous academic and professional experience, teaching and advising responsibilities, research and scholarly contributions, and service activities. Some academic units may wish to add other special categories.
Upon request, a faculty member will be evaluated for promotion and tenure in any year in which timing requirements are met. Faculty members, including ranks not accruing tenure, should have their professional records submitted for review by the basic academic unit on an annual basis.
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 promotions, only those faculty members with rank equal to or higher than that of the contemplated promotion may vote. For tenure, only those faculty members holding tenure may vote.
The faculty member has primary responsibility for preparation of the dossier with major assistance to be provided by the department chairperson. The faculty member should be encouraged to submit whatever is considered relevant in addition to any information or material required by University, collegiate, or departmental policies. However, material submitted to the Provost shall be limited to the format listed in Attachment A and should consist of no more than 20 pages, exclusive of all letters, annual reports, and cumulative vita. Department and college guidelines should be submitted by the dean of the college and are not included in the individual dossier.
A. 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 professional service. Unless determination is made that the candidate is an effective teacherwhether at the departmental or interdisciplinary levelpromotion and tenure will not be granted. Teaching includes an up-to-date knowledge of one's discipline. In some instances teaching may be indirect, primarily in support of student learning activities. Faculty members also influence teaching by designing courses and curricula. Textbooks and innovative instructional material may be considered contributions to teaching. In addition, faculty members influence teaching in less tangible, but no less decisive, ways through such activities as counseling students and interacting with colleagues.
Detailed and specific evidence of effective teaching should be included in the dossiers of faculty members being recommended for promotion and tenure. Evidence should be limited to a one page summary per year of peer evaluations and student evaluations for each year of service since appointment or previous promotion. The division head, in consultation with the candidate, shall provide the summary of teaching effectiveness. Faculty colleagues should be asked to evaluate the objectives, methods, and materials of courses designed and/or taught by the individual. Wherever possible, evaluation should also include evidence concerning the continuing performance of students taught by the candidate. These data are available to the candidate and the public upon request. Charts, graphs, portfolios, and other data may be included in appendices and subsequently removed before submission to the Provost.
B. Research and Creative Activity. Research and creative activity are functions that serve to advance the discipline or the state of the art. Evidence of research and creative activity includes written publications, nonprint presentations, funded grant applications and reports, exhibits, and artistic performances. Textbooks and innovative instructional materials having significant value beyond this campus may be considered contributions to research and creative activity. The dossier of an individual should provide substantiating evidence of quality submitted by appropriate observers within or outside the University, such as reviews of the candidate's books or artistic performances. These appraisals should be kept in a confidential file which is not available to the candidate or the general public during the tenure and promotion process but is discoverable in case of litigation. Outside reviewers shall be selected by the chair in consultation with the faculty member. These shall be included at all stages of the evaluation process.
C. Professional Service. Faculty members are expected to make professional contributions through service to the department, college, University, and discipline at large. These include service as advisors, committee members, task force members, and actively participating members of the University. Discipline-related service to the immediate community, to the state and region, and to the larger society represents important contributions. Participation in the activities of professional societies and organizations, especially through service in leadership roles, is a strong indication of professional commitment. Contributions through presentations and consultative services are regarded as further evidence of professional reputation. All such service and activities may include paid (compensated) as well as unpaid work on behalf of the profession. It is desirable that an evaluation by qualified individuals, indicating the quality and extent of the service rendered, be submitted with the promotion and tenure dossier. These appraisals should be kept in a confidential file which is not available to the candidate or the general public during the tenure and promotion process but is discoverable in case of litigation.
II.Standards for Academic Ranks
Each basic academic unit and college or school may have requirements defined for each rank which exceed those of the University. The minimum University requirements for each academic rank are given below.
A. Assistant Professor. Promotion from the rank of instructor to 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. Promise of growth in teaching, research and creative activity, and service is also necessary.
B. Associate Professor. Promotion from the rank of assistant professor to associate professor, and a tenure decision at this level, requires (1) a demonstrated record of effectiveness as a teacher; (2) 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; (3) a record of professional service appropriate to the discipline, the academic unit, and where possible, the department, college, and/or University; and (4) promise of growth in teaching and research or artistic and creative activity.
C. Professor. For promotion to the highest academic rank, or a tenure decision at this level, 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 continued growth in, and has a cumulative record of, teaching effectiveness, substantial peer-reviewed publication and/or peer-reviewed creative activity, and professional contributions and service.
A. Review by the Basic Academic Unit. Recommendations for promotion and tenure originate with the basic academic unit. Each unit will develop written procedures to be utilized in promotion and tenure considerations. Each basic academic unit shall also develop specific written standards for promotion to each professorial rank, which reflect its mission and at the same time meet 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 academic unit, the dean, and the Provost, the primary responsibility for evaluating individual promotion and tenure requests in terms of those standards will be assigned to the faculty in the academic unit in which the request is made.
Basic academic unit procedures should identify the nature and composition of promotion and tenure committees. Procedures must allow for a formal vote of appropriate faculty members for the committee's consideration in a given promotion and/or tenure decision. Procedures shall be developed whereby faculty votes are unsigned and confidential; however, this information is discoverable in case of litigation. The chairperson and one other individual shall count the ballots and certify in writing as to the vote. Each academic unit shall determine in advance its voting criteria, subject to adhering to University guidelines, and these criteria must be approved by the higher units of which this unit is a part. In the absence of compelling reasons otherwise, people holding ranks equal to or higher than that to which the person desiring to be promoted aspires shall constitute the eligible voters, whether or not these individuals are tenured.
The candidate shall, in cooperation with the department chairperson, prepare the formal promotion and tenure dossier. Included in the dossier should be a statement signed by the candidate that the contents of the dossier, except for the confidential section, have been reviewed. Once the dossier has been submitted for consideration in the academic unit, no further information should be added to the dossier other than that required by the department and collegiate procedures with regard to recommendations by review committees, department chairperson, and dean.
In transmitting a recommendation to the dean, a department chairperson must indicate who has been consulted, the form of the consultation, the vote of the appropriate faculty member group, and the vote of any departmental committee charged with the recommendation. The recommendation of the department chairperson will be provided to the candidate at the time it is forwarded to the dean. Faculty members may request in writing that their dossiers be withdrawn from further consideration, in which case the dossiers will not be forwarded.
At Texas Tech University it is not possible to hold different academic ranks in different units. Therefore, for faculty members who hold budgeted joint appointments in two academic units, the recommendation for promotion and 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 initiation 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, 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 shall be provided to the primary academic unit. 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.
An academic unit may be so constituted as to provide insufficient review. In such cases, the department chairperson, in consultation with the dean, should seek the advice of an executive committee or other college-wide body or 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.
In addition to the required consultation with faculty members of senior rank within the academic unit and the joint consideration of joint appointments, originating academic units are urged to consult with others who may have special knowledge of the performance of candidates and to solicit letters from such persons for the confidential section of the dossier, which is discoverable in case of litigation. Examples of such persons include faculty members from other academic units if candidates under consideration have taught a number of students from those units, served on committees in those units, or engaged in interdisciplinary teaching or research with members of those units. It is also appropriate to solicit letters from administrative officers in various parts of the University concerning service by the candidate.
Comments from qualified persons outside Texas Tech University shall be solicited and become a part of the candidate's dossier. Letters from reviewers shall be solicited by the unit chair and selected in consultation with the candidate. Such persons should be asked to comment on the quality of published research or creative activity of a candidate, on service to professional or other organizations, on the candidate's teaching in a visiting capacity in another university, or on relevant matters within their competence to judge. They should not be asked simply "Does this individual merit promotion?" since the definition and application of standards at Texas Tech University are the responsibilities of this University. All solicited letters from within or without the University should be included in the confidential section of the dossier so that review bodies may have access to all relevant information. Respondents should be informed that the letters become a component of the dossier which will be confidential and not disclosed to the candidate during the tenure and promotion approval process, but this information is discoverable in case of litigation.
B. Review by the College or School. It is the responsibility of the dean to recommend either positively or negatively on all promotion and tenure recommendations forwarded by department chairpersons. The dean shall forward to the Provost all dossiers and recommendations, together with a statement indicating the reasons for each recommendation. In all cases, information regarding the dean's recommendation will be provided to the department chairperson and the candidate. A faculty member may request in writing that the dossier be withdrawn from further consideration, in which case the dossier will not be forwarded.
In the process of reviewing the recommendation, the dean will seek formal advice of an executive committee or other appropriate college-wide committee. In making a recommendation to the Provost, the dean will specify the nature of the report and the vote of the committee.
C. Review by the Provost. It is the responsibility of the Provost 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 will be included at this stage in the decision-making process. The Provost will then meet with each collegiate dean and discuss that dean's recommendations. The Provost will subsequently transmit dossiers and recommendations to the President.
D. Review by the President. It is the responsibility of the President 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.
A. Materials to Be Provided by the Candidate to the Academic Unit:
1. Appropriate supporting materials that cannot be provided from academic unit files.
2. All materials required by the academic unit's procedural guidelines.
3. Summaries of teaching effectiveness, research and creative activity, and professional service.
B. Materials to Be Provided by the Department Chairperson to the Dean:
1. A separate letter concerning each candidate, giving the following information:
a. Chairperson's evaluation of the candidate's teaching effectiveness, research and creative activity, and professional service.
b. The summary vote of appropriate faculty members.
c. The summary vote of any departmental committee making recommendations to the chairperson.
2. Another section that includes the unsigned ballot comments, separated from the ballots.
3. A confidential file concerning the candidate containing letters of memoranda of advice, opinion, evaluation, or recommendation which may not be disclosed to the candidate, except in case of litigation. These letters shall be solicited by the unit chair and selected in consultation with the candidate. Departmental procedures for soliciting letters shall be included in the written procedures for promotion and tenure developed by the unit.
4. Complete dossier of the candidate organized in an appropriate format. Copies of publications, works of arts, etc., should be included only if specifically requested by the dean. Copies of these materials will not be forwarded to the Provost unless requested.
5. It is the responsibility of the department to clarify, when appropriate, why the candidate is uniquely qualified for promotion or tenure, i.e., to reflect any extenuating circumstances which are not readily apparent.
C. Materials to Be Supplied by the Dean to the Provost:
1. A cover letter summarizing collegiate procedures;
2. A letter of recommendation by the department chairperson for each candidate;
3. A letter of recommendation by the dean for each candidate, including the department vote; and/or
4. Recommendations of any college-wide review committee, including the summary vote of each such committee; and
5. The dossier of each candidate, excluding appendices, but including letters solicited by the unit chair.
Page Administrator: Gale Richardson
LAST UPDATE: 8-1-98