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Tenure Track Appointment

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When the College of Visual and Performing Arts hires a tenure-track faculty member, it is with the expectation that the individual will become tenured and serve the university in a long and productive career. The tenured faculty in the department/school should encourage tenure-track faculty and assist them toward success in their careers. The tenured faculty will assist in determining whether or not the criteria for tenure are met prior to its award. It is to the advantage of both the candidate and the department/school to see that timely evaluations are made of the candidate's performance, and that deficiencies identified be made known to the candidate in time for correction prior to the expiration of the probationary term.

Communication between individual units and the college commences early in the search process. When a search committee has identified a small pool of candidates likely to be invited to visit the Texas Tech campus, these candidates’ curricula vitae are sent to the dean. The pool is scrutinized at the college level with the primary objective of maintaining a reasonable diversity balance, i.e., in relation to norms for the specific discipline and degree, to diversity within unit and college, and to other local populations. The search process continues when a suitable pool meets the approval of the dean.

The department/school chairperson/director recommends to the dean the initial employment of a tenure-track faculty member. In making such recommendations, the chairperson/director should consider the advice of the faculty. Careful attention should be given to the candidates for a position on the faculty to ensure that potential for effective teaching, research/creative activity, and service warrants appointment to the faculty. Likewise meriting consideration is prospective faculty members’ potential to support and to advance the mission, vision, and goals of the unit. Faculty members are responsible for maintaining the proper attitude of objectivity, industry, and cooperation with their associates within the university in addition to maintaining standards of competence, particularly those relating to scholarship and teaching ability.

During the final stages of negotiating appointment with a single candidate, the department/school chairperson/director may request start up funding from the Dean and/or from Vice President for Research. A promise of specific funds can be extended only when the request and approval process is complete.

Before the new faculty member begins his or her duties, he or she should be counseled by the chairperson/director or a designated representative as to the responsibilities of his or her position. These responsibilities must be consistent with the job description and must be summarized in written form for the new faculty member, with a copy placed in the faculty member's departmental file and a copy forwarded to the dean's office for inclusion in the file maintained there. Each new faculty member should be informed that he or she is expected to teach and advise students effectively and to keep abreast of his or her discipline through research/creative activity and attendance at scholarly meetings. As the person's tenure-track period as a faculty member proceeds,* membership on committees at various levels, together with other types of service, will be expected. All responsibilities must be consistent with the job description.

The candidate should be informed of the format used for the curriculum vitae during the Tenure and Promotion process. The format corresponds closely to that used for the Annual Faculty Report.

The chairperson/director issues a letter of agreement to hire a new faculty member in accordance with the following provisions. Responsibilities, start up funding (if any), and other such expectations must be summarized in written form within the letter. The letter bearing the chairperson’s/director’s signature is sent to the dean for his/her co-signature of approval, and then is sent to the faculty candidate for a signature of agreement and returned to the chairperson/director, who co-signs the letter as a record of receiving the completed agreement. Copies of this agreement are placed in the faculty member's departmental file, forwarded to the dean's office for inclusion in the file maintained there, and forwarded with paperwork required for establishing the new faculty member in university personnel records. Likewise, the original position announcement and any subsequent changes in assignment must be documented with copies placed in both unit and college files.

Any deviations from these procedures must be documented in writing, with copies retained in both college and departmental/school personnel files.

*The College of Visual and Performing Arts recommends that each unit, should faculty numbers and resources permit, implement a system of mentoring new faculty members that is separated from the evaluation of progress toward tenure and promotion.

This revision of the policy shall become effective immediately (March 2005). See also OP32.16, Faculty Recruitment Procedure; OP32.17, Faculty Appointments and Titles; and OP32.27, Review of Vitae of Prospective Faculty.