Texas Tech University


[New OP–posted 8/17/18]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 32.38: Third-Year Review of Tenure-Track Faculty

DATE: August 17, 2018

PURPOSE: This Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) outlines the requirements and procedure for the third-year review of tenure-track faculty. The third-year review process is aimed at assisting tenure-track faculty toward successful tenure and promotion at Texas Tech University.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in May of even-numbered years by the Senior Vice Provost with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP) by June 30. Any change in this OP must be conducted in accordance with section 5 herein.


1.  Departmental Level Evaluation

a.    Guidelines for reviewing the performance of tenure-track faculty in their third year are set by the departments. Departments are expected to develop their own specific criteria for faculty evaluation within the guidelines of the respective colleges and the university. While framing such criteria, faculty input needs to be requested, and tenured and tenure-track faculty will vote on guiding policies. Requirements may be changed based on the majority vote of tenured and tenure-track faculty in the respective departments. The guidelines approved by faculty will be reviewed by the deans of the colleges in October of even-numbered years and forwarded to the Office of the PSVP.

b.    Faculty under third-year review may choose to undergo evaluation based on newly changed requirements or based on the requirements in place at the time of hire.

c.    The timeframe for conducting the third-year review will be during the sixth long semester (spring term). If the candidate is hired at mid-year (November through May), the next fall semester will commence their first semester for purposes of the third-year review. The candidate will submit the third-year dossier by January 20th of the sixth long semester of service. The format of the dossier should generally follow that of the tenure and promotion dossier for the college, excluding external letters of evaluation. Reviews of the dossier will be completed and a formal recommendation from the dean of the college delivered to the candidate by April 15th of the spring term of the third year.

d.    The review begins during the first week in February of the sixth long semester of the faculty member's service at the departmental level with the help of a tenure and promotion committee. In the case of departments that do not have a structured tenure and promotion committee, the chair or area coordinator may organize a third-year review committee. The committee should consist of a minimum of three tenured faculty members from the department. In situations where three tenured faculty members are not available in the department, the chair or area coordinator may, in consultation with the candidate and dean, appoint faculty members from other departments within the college. The regular tenure and promotion committee or the specially appointed committee will objectively evaluate the candidate's dossier, which will include annual evaluation materials and the chair's annual performance evaluations. To that end, as soon as it is available, but no later than the first week in February of the sixth long semester, the third annual performance review of the faculty member should be provided to the review committee to be considered as part of the third-year review dossier. The review of this complete dossier should be concluded by the last day of February of the sixth long semester. The committee will provide a written recommendation, which becomes part of the dossier to be forwarded to the candidate, tenured faculty of the department, and the chairperson.

e.    All tenured faculty in the department, excepting the chairperson, will cast secret ballots. Voting faculty are encouraged to provide feedback to the candidate towards career growth as expected by the respective departments and colleges and concerns, if any, as to the continuation of the faculty member in the department.

f.    The ballot question will be:

(1)    Is the candidate making satisfactory progress towards tenure and promotion?

g.    A tenured faculty member at the departmental level will cast only one ballot during the entire third-year review process.

h.    The ballots will be tallied by the departmental tenure and promotion committee chairperson in the presence of another tenured faculty member. The outcome of the ballot along with written comments from the tenured faculty will be forwarded to the candidate and the chairperson of the department.

i.    The chairperson of the department will make an independent assessment of the candidate, which will be shared with the candidate, included in the dossier, and forwarded to the college for further evaluation. Departmental components of the process should be completed by March 15th of the sixth long semester.

2.  College-Level Evaluation

a.    College-level peer evaluation of the third-year dossier will be conducted by the tenure and promotion committee of the candidate's college. This effort will be undertaken to ensure thorough evaluation of the candidate's contributions in the areas of teaching, research/creative activity, and service. As in cases of voting on tenure and promotion, a faculty member serving on a college-level tenure and promotion committee may have only one vote in consideration of a third-year review candidate from that committee member's home department. That vote will have been made at the department or faculty level, and the faculty member will be recused from the discussions and voting at the college level.

b.    For colleges without departmental structure, the Office of the PSVP will form a peer committee similar to the college-level peer evaluation committee. The PSVP will form the committee of faculty peers with a maximum of five members considering the suggestions made by the candidate and the chairperson. The candidate and the chairperson can each suggest up to a maximum of four faculty peers in allied disciplines outside their college, which will be considered and not limited by the PSVP in forming the committee.

c.    The college-level committee will consider all the materials provided by the candidate, the tenured faculty votes, the tenured faculty comments, and the chairperson's independent evaluation and recommendation. This evaluation will be based on the criteria set by the respective departments and colleges and elected to be used by the candidate.

d.    The college-level committee will provide a written recommendation, which will be shared with the dean, the chairperson, and the candidate. The recommendation by the college committee will be part of candidate's overall dossier and should be completed by no later than April 1st of the sixth long semester.

3.  Evaluation by the Dean

a.    The dean of the college will make an independent evaluation and provide a recommendation based on inputs received. A written recommendation from the dean informing about the outcome of the third-year review should be shared with the candidate and the department chairperson by no later than April 15th of the sixth long semester of service.

b.    The dean may recommend continuation, a program of remediation, or non-reappointment. In the case of a decision of non-reappointment, the candidate will be eligible for a terminal year of employment in the following academic year.

4.  Appeal Procedure

a.    If the decision is made to issue a letter of non-reappointment, the candidate will be provided an opportunity to appeal the outcome directly to the Office of the PSVP. The candidate is expected to submit a written statement, which includes a clear reasoning for the appeal, by the last day of their sixth long semester of service. The appeal process will be governed by procedures set in OP 32.02, Faculty Non-reappointment, Dismissal, and Tenure Revocation.

b.    The Office of the PSVP will evaluate the candidate's appeal in consultation with the parties involved in the review and any other advisors deemed appropriate. The Office of the PSVP will provide a written response to the appeal by no later than the end of the next fall semester.

5.  Policy Revision and Implementation

Revisions to this OP may be submitted by any member of the faculty or administration at any time and will include review by the Faculty Senate pursuant to OP 10.01, Operating Policy and Procedure Manual for Texas Tech University, as well as the Senior Vice Provost and the PSVP. When only minor revisions are made (e.g., changes in format, administrative titles, or numbers of other referenced OPs), the OP Office will notify the Faculty Senate of the revisions before the OP is published. Notification entails presenting wording of the revisions themselves to the Faculty Senate with enough time for their consideration and deliberation. The Faculty Senate, or a group representing the Faculty Senate, will respond to the revision with an acceptance, a rejection, or suggestions for changes in the revisions before they are finalized and implemented. Final approval will be made by the PSVP.

6.  Other Related Policies

•  OP 32.02, Faculty Non-reappointment, Dismissal, and Tenure Revocation
•  OP 32.20, Notice of Non Renewal for Non Tenured Tenure-Track Faculty and Non Tenure-Track Faculty
•  OP 32.26, Faculty Departure Notification Procedure
•  OP 32.31, Comprehensive Performance Evaluations of Tenured Faculty Members and Faculty Members Who Receive an Academic Promotion
•  OP 32.32, Performance Evaluations of Faculty
•  OP 32.34, Approval of Faculty in Non Tenure-acquiring Ranks

Operating Policies & Procedures