[Minor revision–posted 12/6/23 (replaces 2/12/21 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 32.38: Third-Year Review of Tenure-Track Faculty
DATE: December 6, 2023
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 intended to be primarily a department-level (or basic academic unit) mentoring process to help guide tenure-track faculty to successful tenure and promotion at Texas Tech University. This requires an honest and constructive review of each faculty member's strengths and weaknesses, which will yield both formative and summative assessments of the faculty member's progress toward tenure and promotion.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in May of even-numbered years by the Vice Provost for Faculty Success 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 4 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. (Note: Colleges and schools may be organized by departments or divisions or function as a single unit. In this OP, “department” and “chairperson” will be used to refer to the basic academic unit of a college and that unit's administrative head.)
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 faculty member under review 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 faculty member under review will submit the third-year dossier by January 20 of the sixth long semester of service. The dossier should include, at a minimum, the faculty member's original offer letter, a current CV, annual reports (including chairperson's evaluations for all three years), and teaching evaluations by peers and students. The faculty member under review may submit additional materials as part of their dossier. Reviews of the dossier will be completed and a formal notification from the dean of the college delivered to the faculty member under review by April 15 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 third-year review committee. The chairperson or area coordinator, in consultation with the departmental faculty, will organize a third-year review committee. The committee should consist of a minimum of three tenured faculty members from the department. If three tenured faculty members are not available in the department, the chairperson or area coordinator should, in consultation with the faculty member under review, appoint faculty members from other departments within the college. The third-year review committee will objectively evaluate the dossier and issue a written assessment of the faculty member's progress toward tenure with recommendations. The review of this complete dossier should be concluded by the last day of February of the sixth long semester. The committee will provide its written report to the faculty member under review, tenured faculty of the department, and the chairperson.
e. Tenured faculty should have the opportunity to review the committee's report and give additional feedback to the faculty member under review by a procedure set by the department or unit.
f. The chairperson of the department will approve the committee's report or, in the case of a disagreement with the report, make an independent assessment of the faculty member under review, which will be shared with the faculty member under review, included in the dossier, and forwarded to the college by March 15 of the sixth long semester.
2. College-Level Process
a. The dean's office will check to ensure that the process at the departmental
level has been followed and that all documents (the dossier, the committee report,
and the chairperson's assessment) are present and will share its finding with the
dean and the chairperson no later than April 1 of the sixth long semester.
b. The dean will review the dossier and, taking into account the committee report and the chairperson's assessment, will prepare a written statement of the outcome of the third-year review. The dean's letter, which may contain general observations and suggestions for helping the faculty member achieve a positive outcome in the promotion and tenure process, will be shared with the faculty member under review and the department chairperson by April 15 of the sixth long semester of service.
(1) In the event of a disagreement between the third-year review committee and the chairperson, the dean will provide a manner of resolution of the disagreement.
(2) When the review committee and the chairperson find that the faculty member under review is not making satisfactory progress toward tenure, the dean, in consultation with the chairperson, may recommend remediation or non-reappointment. In the case of a decision of non-reappointment, the faculty member under review will be eligible for a terminal year of employment in the following academic year.
3. Appeal Procedure
a. If the decision is made to issue a letter of non-reappointment, the faculty member under review will be provided an opportunity to appeal the outcome directly to the Office of the PSVP. The faculty member under review 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 appeal of the faculty member under review 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.
4. 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 Vice Provost for Faculty Success 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.
5. 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, Continuing Appointment and Promotion of Faculty in Lecturer, Professor of Practice, and Research Professor Titles
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