Skip to Main Content
You are in the main content
Cover Photo Image


III. Faculty Employment Policies and Procedures

III.E. Evaluation, Promotion and Tenure

III.E.1. Evaluation Fundamentals III.E.2. Evaluation Bodies and Criteria
III.E.3. Initial Evaluation III.E.4. Annual Evaluation

III.E.5. Annual Evaluation of Academic
Unit Heads

III.E.6. Promotion in Academic Rank
III.E.7. Tenure III.E.8. Post-Tenure Review

All full-time instructional faculty members are subject to annual evaluation of their performance.

An academic unit should also evaluate part-time and other faculty members in order to determine whether they should continue to be employed by the academic unit. Evaluation of A&P faculty members is described in the Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1307, Performance Evaluation of Administrative & Professional Faculty.

The purpose of evaluation of faculty members at James Madison University is to promote professionalism, to encourage performance at the highest levels and to indicate areas in which improvement is needed. Evaluations are also used in making personnel decisions, including allocation of merit pay increases, continuation of employment and initiation of post-tenure review.

AUHs will conduct regular and systematic evaluations of instructional faculty members in the academic unit. For faculty members on joint appointments, the AUHs of each department shall conduct evaluations of the performance of the faculty member in that academic unit. A description of the evaluation responsibilities of each academic unit for a joint appointment shall be communicated in the faculty member's appointment letter and/or contract. Evaluations support a variety of decisions including those affecting tenure and promotion.

There are three types of evaluations:

  • The initial evaluation shall be conducted at the beginning of a new faculty member's second full semester at James Madison University. The initial evaluation becomes a matter of college record and is filed in the dean's office.
  • Annual evaluations of all faculty members shall be conducted after the conclusion of each academic year. Annual evaluations become a matter of the academic unit's record and are filed in the academic unit office.
  • Comprehensive evaluations are concerned with promotion and tenure decisions and are conducted in addition to the annual evaluation in the appropriate year. They become a matter of the college's record and are filed in the office of the dean.

Copies of all evaluations shall be maintained in a faculty member's personnel file. For more details see Faculty Handbook, Section III.G. A faculty member may examine his or her personnel files wherever they are kept.

III.E.1. Evaluation Fundamentals

Each academic unit shall establish written procedures and criteria for the three types of evaluations. The procedures and criteria shall be submitted for approval to the dean, appropriate vice provost and provost. The faculty member and the evaluator have dual responsibility to cooperate in all aspects of the evaluation.

III.E.1.a. Criteria
All evaluations shall consider a faculty member's performance as set out in Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.2.b. Additionally, any aspects of a faculty member's conduct that impacts performance, positive or negative, should be addressed in these evaluations.

III.E.1.b. Applicability
The procedures and criteria for a particular type of evaluation shall be applied equally to all similarly situated faculty members in the academic unit.

III.E.1.c. AUPAC Involvement
The AUPAC shall be involved in the evaluation, an appeal of the evaluation, or both. Academic units have the option of limiting AUPAC involvement in initial evaluations to reviewing just those faculty members for whom the AUH recommends nonrenewal of appointment.

III.E.1.d. Access to Records by AUPAC
In support of its role in evaluations, the AUPAC has the right to review all relevant material in the faculty member's personnel file in the academic unit's office or the dean's office. Before the personnel file is made available to the AUPAC, the AUH will divide the file into those documents that are relevant for consideration and those that are not. The AUH will provide the faculty member with the opportunity to object to the division of documents. The faculty member may ask the dean to resolve any such objection or may place a statement in the materials to be accessible to the AUPAC. For more details see Faculty Handbook, Section III.G.2.

III.E.1.e. Access to Records by Faculty Member
In the evaluation process, if documents are to be considered that were not submitted by the faculty member or contained in the faculty member's personnel files, the faculty member shall promptly be given access to the documents and given an opportunity to respond to them. A faculty member may elect to waive his or her right to access specific documents.

III.E.1.f. Approval
Academic unit evaluation procedures and criteria must be approved by the academic unit faculty members, AUH, dean and Provost. New or revised evaluation procedures and criteria may be proposed to the academic unit by an individual faculty member, the AUPAC or the unit head. New or revised procedures and criteria must be proposed and approved in a timely manner to allow their use by faculty completing evaluations.

III.E.1.g. Distribution
Academic unit procedures and criteria shall be distributed to the faculty and provided to a new faculty member upon joining the faculty.

III.E.1.h. Academic Freedom
The evaluation of a faculty member shall not infringe upon the exercise of academic freedom, as defined in Faculty Handbook, Section III.A.2.

III.E.2. Evaluation Bodies and Criteria

III.E.2.a. AUPAC
Each academic unit shall have a personnel advisory committee (AUPAC). The committee advises the AUH and makes recommendations on personnel matters within the academic unit. The AUPAC is responsible to the academic unit faculty and to the AUH for conducting its functions, and the dean shall provide oversight of the work of the AUPAC to determine if it has followed appropriate procedures.

The full-time faculty of the academic unit except the AUH shall be responsible for determining the composition and membership of the AUPAC. The rules for determining the membership of the AUPAC shall be approved by the academic unit faculty members, AUH, dean and provost, and they shall be available to all members of the academic unit. The rules should address the rights and obligations of a member of the AUPAC to participate in evaluations while the member is on leave or absent from the university, the recusal of a member from participation in evaluations of family members, and the conduct of the members in performing their duties. The AUPAC may consist of tenured and untenured faculty members other than the AUH, and may contain faculty members from other academic units. If untenured faculty members are on the AUPAC, the academic unit shall establish a subcommittee limited to tenured faculty members to make recommendations on tenure. Each academic unit is permitted (but not required) to allow all tenured faculty to serve on the AUPAC with regard to tenure and promotion applications.

The AUPAC may by majority vote of the committee as a whole remove a member of the committee for violation of AUPAC rules. Any such action is subject to review by the AUH and the dean.

All members of the AUPAC must respect and maintain strict confidentiality of deliberations on all matters under their consideration. Failure to maintain confidentiality may be grounds for removal from the AUPAC or for a misconduct charge under Faculty Handbook, Section III.A.25.

III.E.2.b. Criteria

The areas of performance that shall be considered in all performance evaluations are as follows:

  • teaching
  • scholarly achievement and professional qualifications
  • professional service

Additionally, any aspects of a faculty member's conduct that impacts performance, positive or negative, should be addressed in the evaluation of these performance areas.

The methods by which these areas are to be evaluated are as follows:

III.E.2.b.(1) Teaching
Consideration of teaching performance must include, but need not be limited to, the following: self-evaluation, evaluations by peers and/or AUHs, and student evaluations. Consideration should be given to a faculty member's commitment to student advising and innovations in teaching as evidenced by development of new course work and teaching methodology. In those academic units that do not use student evaluations in all classes taught by a faculty member, the policy determining which classes will be evaluated shall be stated in the academic unit's evaluation procedures. Any such policy shall apply equally to all similarly situated faculty members in the academic unit.

III.E.2.b.(2) Scholarly Achievement and Professional Qualifications
Evaluation criteria in this area may differ according to discipline. Criteria should include, but need not be limited to, publication of scholarly works, presentations at professional conferences, achievement through performance in the arts, engaging in recognized research, obtaining research grants, continuing professional development through formal course work, publication of educational materials and consulting activities.

III.E.2.b.(3) Professional Service
Evaluation of activity in this area shall include committee service and leadership at James Madison University or in professional or educational organizations, or service otherwise enhancing the profession, academic unit, college or university.

III.E.3. Initial Evaluation

The AUH shall provide a new faculty member with information concerning the academic unit evaluation procedures and criteria in the faculty member's first semester. The initial evaluation will be conducted at the beginning of the faculty member's second full semester of full-time employment at JMU. The following policies and procedures apply to the initial evaluation:

III.E.3.a. Conference
At the start of a new faculty member's second full semester, the AUH shall schedule an evaluation conference with the faculty member. The conference provides an opportunity to discuss the faculty member's first semester performance and professional needs as perceived by both the faculty member and AUH.

III.E.3.b. Documentation
Either prior to or following the conference, the AUH may request that the faculty member supply information for review and evaluation purposes.

III.E.3.c. Written Evaluation
The AUH shall provide to the faculty member a written initial evaluation within 14 days of the evaluation conference. The evaluation shall state whether the faculty member's overall performance has been acceptable or unacceptable.

III.E.3.d. Deadline
The initial evaluation process shall be completed by the end of the third week of the second full semester.

III.E.3.e. Dean's Review
A copy of the evaluation, signed by the faculty member and the AUH, shall be sent to the dean by the AUH. If the faculty member refuses to sign the evaluation, this refusal shall be noted on the evaluation when the AUH sends it forward to the dean.

III.E.3.f. Nonrenewal
Unacceptable performance as determined in the initial evaluation will normally result in nonrenewal of an appointment of an untenured first-year faculty member. AUPAC review of the faculty member's performance is required as specified in Faculty Handbook, Section III.F.3 if the AUH finds that the faculty member's performance is unacceptable. The AUPAC review must be completed and sent to the dean within seven days of receiving a recommendation for nonrenewal of a first-year faculty member from the AUH. See Faculty Handbook, Section III.F.3.c.

III.E.4. Annual Evaluation

The annual evaluation shall consider the performance of the faculty member both within and outside of the academic unit in the areas of teaching, scholarly achievement and professional qualifications, and professional service. Additionally, any aspects of a faculty member's conduct that impacts performance, positive or negative, should be addressed in these evaluations. The AUH will solicit input from appropriate individuals outside of the academic unit when the faculty member has assignments outside of the academic unit. The AUH may solicit information from the AUPAC according to academic unit procedures.

If an instructional faculty member's primary assignment is outside of an academic unit (e.g., in a center, institute, or administrative department), the person who performs the annual evaluation shall be the supervisor of the primary assignment, with input from any AUH where the faculty member teaches or has other responsibilities.

In each of the three performance areas, a faculty member shall be evaluated as excellent, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. An academic unit may employ a scale using more than three levels of performance evaluation ratings, but must do so in the framework of a rating scheme using excellent, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. In addition to an evaluation in each of the three areas of performance, the faculty member's overall performance must be evaluated as acceptable or unacceptable." A factor in determining overall annual performance must be the relative weight associated with each of the areas of performance.

The number of performance levels, the manner of determining these performance levels, the manner of determining overall performance and the annual evaluation appeal procedure shall be developed by the full-time faculty members of each academic unit, approved by the AUH, dean and the provost, and distributed to the faculty of the academic unit. Existing evaluation guidelines may be modified by the AUPAC with the agreement of a majority of the academic unit's full-time faculty members, if the AUH, dean and provost approve of the modifications.

The following policies and procedures apply to the annual evaluation in all academic units:

III.E.4.a. Faculty Anticipated Activity Plan
By the deadline established by the academic unit, each faculty member shall submit a description of anticipated activities for the coming year to the AUH. The relative weights of the three performance areas of teaching, scholarly achievement and professional qualifications, and professional service for an individual faculty member shall be determined by the faculty member and the AUH prior to the start of the academic year. The agreement should be shared with the AUPAC. An academic unit may have standard relative weights for the three performance areas, which will apply if individual negotiations are not agreed upon by the faculty member and the AUH. The agreement on weights may be renegotiated during the year under appropriate circumstances.

III.E.4.b. Summary of Activities
By the deadline established by the academic unit, each faculty member shall submit a summary of activities and accomplishments during the previous 12 months in the areas of teaching, scholarly achievement and professional qualifications, and professional service to the AUH for review and evaluation purposes. For the responsibilities of faculty members returning from educational leave, see Faculty Handbook, Section III.J.1.a.

III.E.4.c. Preliminary Evaluation
A preliminary written evaluation is to be given to each faculty member by the AUH prior to the regular annual evaluation conference. The preliminary evaluation shall be given to the faculty member at least one day prior to the scheduled conference.

III.E.4.d. Conference
The evaluation conference must provide an opportunity to discuss the faculty member's performance, professional contributions and needs as perceived by both the faculty member and AUH. The conference may be cancelled by mutual agreement of the faculty member and the AUH, if both agree on the terms of the preliminary evaluation.

III.E.4.e. Official Evaluation
The official written evaluation shall not be finalized until after the evaluation conference, unless the faculty member and AUH determine that no conference is required.

III.E.4.f. Deadline
The AUH shall provide the official written evaluation to the faculty member by October 1. Any failure to meet this deadline will extend the appeal process (see III.E.4.g.) by the number of days the written evaluation is late.

III.E.4.g. Appeal
Before the AUH submits the official written evaluation to the dean, there must be an opportunity for the faculty member to review and appeal the evaluation to the body designated by the academic unit. The faculty member has a maximum of seven days following receipt of the official written evaluation to make the appeal in writing. Failure to file a timely written appeal will result in the evaluation being sent forward to the dean, and no further appeal rights are available.

III.E.4.h. Review Criteria
IIn considering an appeal, the crucial questions for the reviewing body are whether all relevant information was objectively reviewed by the AUH, and whether the AUH evaluated similar achievements among similarly situated academic unit members using the same standard of judgment. The recommendations of the reviewing body will be given to the AUH, with a copy to the faculty member and the dean. The reviewing body may recommend that the AUH's evaluation be upheld or modified. If the AUH agrees with the recommendations of the reviewing body, he or she will take the appropriate action to confirm or modify his or her original evaluation, and will notify the reviewing body, the faculty member and the dean of his or her decision. The appeal process in the academic unit must be completed by October 21. The evaluation process is not final until any appeal has been completed.

III.E.4.i. Final Evaluation
The faculty member and the AUH shall sign the final evaluation and the AUH will send a copy of it to the dean by October 28. If the faculty member does not sign the final evaluation, the AUH will forward it to the dean with a notation that the faculty member declined or failed to sign.

If the AUH's evaluation is not modified as recommended by the reviewing body, the dean will review the AUH's evaluation and the reviewing body's recommendations to determine whether the AUH's evaluation will be upheld or modified. The dean is not bound by the reviewing body's recommendations, and may take any action on the evaluation he or she deems appropriate. The decision of the dean on the evaluation is final, and is not subject to appeal.

III.E.4.j. Salary Adjustments
Annual salary adjustments for faculty members are dependent on, but not guaranteed by the results of the annual evaluations. Determination of faculty salaries in the academic unit for the upcoming year shall not be made until the annual evaluation of each faculty member in the academic unit has been completed by the AUH. See Faculty Handbook, Section III.I.2. for further information on the process for determining annual salary adjustments for faculty members, including appeal and timetable information.

III.E.4.k. Unsatisfactory Evaluation of Tenured Faculty
In those cases in which a tenured faculty member's overall annual performance is evaluated as unacceptable, the faculty member may appeal the evaluation to the dean within five days, by providing a written document outlining the reasons for the overall evaluation to be modified. The dean may either uphold the overall evaluation, or modify it. The decision of the dean is final, and may not be appealed. If the faculty member does not appeal the overall unacceptable evaluation, or if the dean upholds the overall unacceptable evaluation, the AUH shall inform the AUPAC and, in consultation with the faculty member, shall immediately design a professional development plan. The university will provide funding for a focused program of activities designed to improve performance agreed upon by the AUH and the faculty member. However, if the faculty member does not agree to the program chosen by the AUH, he or she will receive no financial support from the university to improve his or her performance, but the faculty member will still have the responsibility to bring his or her performance up to acceptable levels in the next annual performance appraisal.

While scheduling flexibility is appropriate, the development plan will be initiated at the earliest opportunity to effect positive change in the next annual performance appraisal. For details on post-tenure review, see Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.8.

III.E.4.l. Retention of Documentation
In those cases in which a faculty member's overall annual performance is evaluated as unacceptablek, the academic unit will retain, for at least two years, copies of the materials considered in conducting the annual evaluation.

III.E.4.m. Variations
An academic unit's procedures for annual evaluation may specify that some annual evaluations (e.g., evaluations following the third year of employment of a tenure-track faculty member or following the second year of employment in the case of a significantly shortened probationary period) may use different procedures (e.g., more extensive AUPAC involvement) than others.

III.E.4.n. Confidentiality
All persons involved in the evaluation process shall respect and maintain the strict confidentiality of all relevant documents and deliberations.

III.E.5. Annual Evaluation of Academic Unit Heads

AUH's will be evaluated annually by their deans, according to procedures developed at the college level. For more information see Academic Affairs Policy #2: Academic Unit Heads.

III.E.6. Promotion in Academic Rank

The promotion of an instructional faculty member shall be determined by merit regardless of the distribution of faculty by academic rank within the academic unit. Normally, a faculty member should have completed five years in academic rank before being reviewed for promotion. Though length of service may be given consideration, it is not a sufficient basis for recommendation for promotion. If a faculty member applies for promotion before completing five years in academic rank, he or she must present a compelling case to be awarded promotion. A faculty member's pattern of prior annual evaluations should be carefully considered in the analysis of an application or nomination for promotion, but each administrator and committee should use judgment and discretion in making recommendations on promotion and should clearly indicate a positive or negative recommendation on the promotion. A&P faculty members and fixed term faculty members may also apply for or be nominated for promotion in academic rank, and the following policies and procedures shall apply.

The BOV is the only authority that can award promotions or make a commitment that promises promotion in academic rank. Regardless of the division in which a faculty member holds an appointment, the academic affairs division is the appropriate administrative division through which applications and nominations for promotion in academic rank will be processed.

III.E.6.a. Standards
Teaching, scholarly achievement and professional qualifications, and professional service are the bases for evaluating the performance of candidates for promotion in academic rank. In each of these areas, the faculty member shall be evaluated as excellent, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Problems with a faculty member's conduct may disqualify a candidate for promotion in academic rank. In the evaluation of faculty members being considered for promotion in academic rank, the following standards apply:

III.E.6.a.(1) Assistant Professor. At least satisfactory ratings in all areas are required for promotion to assistant professor.

III.E.6.a.(2) Associate Professor. An excellent rating in one area and at least satisfactory ratings in the others are required for promotion to associate professor.

III.E.6.a.(3) Professor Excellent ratings in two areas and at least a satisfactory rating in the third area are required for promotion to professor.

III.E.6.b. ProceduresThe following policies and procedures apply to applications for promotion in academic rank:

III.E.6.b.(1) The faculty member may apply for promotion, or the AUPAC or AUH may nominate a faculty member for promotion. Written nomination must be made by September 1. The faculty member shall be informed if the AUPAC or AUH has nominated the faculty member, and shall have the option to accept or decline the nomination without prejudice. The faculty member who wishes to be considered for promotion shall submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in the areas of teaching, scholarly achievement and professional qualifications, and professional service to the AUH and AUPAC by October 1. Failure by the faculty member to submit a summary of activities and accomplishments by the October 1 deadline shall constitute a refusal of a nomination or withdrawal of an application, and no consideration of promotion is required.

If an AUH applies for promotion in faculty rank, or is nominated for promotion in faculty rank, the AUH shall submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in all areas to the dean and the AUPAC. The AUPAC will evaluate the AUH's performance and make its recommendation to the dean.

If a dean applies for promotion in faculty rank, or is nominated for promotion in faculty rank, the dean shall submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in all areas to the provost and the AUPAC of the appropriate academic unit. The AUPAC will evaluate the dean's performance and make its recommendation to the provost.

If an A&P faculty member other than a dean applies or is nominated for promotion in academic rank, the A&P faculty member shall submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in all appropriate areas to his or her supervisor, and to the appropriate academic unit for assessment of eligibility for promotion in academic rank. The academic unit(s) and college(s) where an A&P faculty member teaches, or the most appropriate academic unit for the A&P faculty member's professional discipline, will make recommendations on the promotion, up through the provost.

III.E.6.b.(2) A candidate for promotion may decline the nomination or withdraw from consideration at any time prior to receiving official notification of the promotion decision and may apply for promotion at a later date.

III.E.6.b.(3) Although consultation among the AUPAC, AUH and dean is encouraged, the AUH and the AUPAC shall make independent evaluations of the facts and make independent recommendations.

III.E.6.b.(4) Recommendations on promotion in academic rank shall be justified using the academic unit criteria and based on the standards for promotion as set forth in Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.6.a. Specific academic unit criteria for promotion in academic rank shall be adopted by the AUPAC and approved by the academic unit's full-time faculty members, the AUH, dean and provost. New full-time faculty members who will be eligible for promotion in academic rank must be given information on the academic unit's promotion criteria during their first semester at the university. Existing promotion criteria may be modified by the AUPAC with the approval of a majority of the full-time faculty members in the academic unit, the AUH, dean and provost.

III.E.6.b.(5) The written recommendations of the AUPAC and AUH shall include a justification of their conclusions. The recommendations shall be submitted to the dean by November 15, and a copy of both recommendations shall concurrently be provided to the faculty member. After the dean has received both the AUPAC and AUH recommendations, a copy of the AUPAC recommendation shall be provided to the AUH, and a copy of the AUH recommendation shall be provided to the AUPAC.

III.E.6.b.(6) The dean may consult with his or her college personnel advisory body and shall make a recommendation after reviewing the recommendations of the AUH and the AUPAC (see Faculty Handbook, Section IV.A.3.). The written recommendation of the dean shall include a justification of his or her conclusions. The recommendations of the AUH, AUPAC and dean shall be submitted to the provost by December 15. After the recommendations have been received by the provost, a copy of the dean's recommendation shall be provided to the AUH, the AUPAC and the faculty member.

III.E.6.b.(7) The recommendations on promotion in academic rank from the AUH, AUPAC and dean shall be reviewed by the provost, who shall either deny the promotion or make a recommendation to grant the promotion. A decision by the provost to deny a promotion in academic rank terminates the consideration process; denial does not require action by the BOV.

In the absence of a timely written appeal, the decision by the provost to deny promotion becomes final and effective on the date of the notification. Official written notification shall be sent to the faculty member by February 1, with copies to the AUH and AUPAC concurrently. If the provost recommends granting promotion in academic rank, the recommendation shall be sent to the president by February 1, with copies to the dean, AUH, AUPAC and faculty member concurrently. The notification of denial or recommendation to grant promotion in academic rank shall include a justification of the provost's decision.

III.E.6.b.(8) If the provost recommends granting a promotion in academic rank, the president shall review the recommendation and either deny the promotion or make a recommendation to grant the promotion. A decision by the president to deny the promotion terminates the consideration process; denial does not require action by the BOV. Official written notification of denial shall be sent by the president to the faculty member by February 15, with concurrent copies to the provost, dean, AUH and AUPAC. If the president recommends granting the promotion, the recommendation shall be sent to the BOV. The BOV shall act on the recommendation, and notification of its decision shall be sent to the faculty member by the provost within 15 days after the BOV's meeting.

Official notification granting promotion shall only be conveyed to a faculty member after the formal action of the BOV. Promotions become effective at the beginning of the following academic year.

III.E.6.b.(9) The provost's decision to deny a faculty member's promotion is appealable only upon the university's second denial of promotion in rank. Following a denied appeal, two subsequent denials of promotion in rank must occur before further right to appeal arises. The decision of the president or the BOV to deny promotion is not appealable.

III.E.6.b.(10) In any appeal permitted by Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.6.b.(9), the faculty member shall submit a written notice of appeal to the Faculty Appeals Committee by March 1, setting forth the grounds for the appeal and a summary of the arguments and evidence he or she intends to present at a hearing. Upon receipt of an appeal, the chair of the Faculty Appeals Committee shall promptly send an acknowledgment of the receipt to the faculty member and shall notify the president, provost, appropriate vice provost, dean and AUH. If an appeal is filed, the provost shall appoint a person to serve as the respondent, representing the administration in the appeal process.

III.E.6.b.(11) The Faculty Appeals Committee shall determine if a hearing is warranted. See Faculty Handbook, Section III.L.2.b. Grounds for appealing a denial of promotion are limited to failure of the university to follow its procedures or unreasonable or improper bases for denial of promotion.

  • If the Faculty Appeals Committee determines that a hearing should be granted, the procedures in Faculty Handbook, Section III.L.2.c. shall apply. In the hearing, the faculty member shall have the burden of establishing that the procedures were not followed or that the university used unreasonable or improper bases for the denial of promotion.
  • If the Faculty Appeals Committee determines that a hearing shall not be granted, the faculty member, respondent, speaker, provost and president shall be notified that the appeal has been denied. If the appeal is denied by the Faculty Appeals Committee, the decision of the provost on the denial of promotion becomes final. If the appeal is denied by the Faculty Appeals Committee, the decision of the provost becomes final, effective on the date of the notice of denial by the Faculty Appeals Committee.

III.E.6.b.(12) All persons involved in the promotion process shall respect and maintain the confidentiality of all relevant documents and deliberations.

III.E.7. Tenure

Tenure does not apply to administrative or professional positions within the university, except for professional librarians. It is a concept with application only to the academic faculty of the university, including professional librarians. A&P faculty members other than professional librarians may apply for tenure in academic disciplines represented at the university, but not in an administrative or professional position held at the university. Tenure may only be awarded through the approval of the appropriate academic unit and the academic affairs administration of the university.

III.E.7.a. Purpose
Tenure is intended to protect academic freedom, provide a reasonable measure of employment security and enable the university to retain a permanent instructional faculty of distinction. The BOV is the only authority that can award tenure or make a commitment that promises tenure. If an application for tenure also includes an application for promotion, the procedures and standards to be used are the tenure procedures and standards. An applicant for both promotion and tenure may withdraw either application, and proceed with the remaining application, using the procedures for the remaining application from the point of withdrawal. A withdrawal of a tenure application in the penultimate year of a probationary period will be deemed a resignation effective at the end of the probationary period. See Section III.E.7.f.

III.E.7.b. Probationary Period
When an instructional faculty member is hired on tenure track, the agreed probationary period preceding consideration for tenure shall be stated in the initial employment contract. The maximum probationary period is seven years. Applications made prior to the penultimate year of the probationary period may be considered but will receive favorable review only upon presentation of compelling evidence of accomplishment by the faculty member.

III.E.7.c. Suspensions
The faculty member and the AUH may agree to suspend the running of the probationary period for a specific period of time under appropriate circumstances and with the approval of the dean and provost. Appropriate circumstances may include medical or family needs and other situations warranting a temporary suspension of the tenure clock. A faculty member has the right to suspend the tenure clock for a year if he or she takes one or more non-intermittent FMLA leaves totaling six weeks or more of leave during the pre-tenure period. See Section III.J.1.b.(2) Family and Medical Leave, and Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1308, Family and Medical Leave. FMLA qualifying events that occur during periods when the faculty member is not assigned any duties, but that would have warranted six weeks or more of FMLA leave during the period when the faculty member is assigned duties, also qualify for tenure-clock suspension. In any case, the faculty member must notify the AUH of his or her decision to exercise this option within 90 days of the qualifying event or circumstance. Failure to notify the AUH will waive the right to suspend the tenure clock. No faculty member may exercise this option more than twice during the probationary period.

III.E.7.d. Extensions
Faculty members on less than a seven-year probation may, by agreement with the AUH and with the approval of the dean, have the probationary period extended to a maximum of seven years.

III.E.7.e. Standards
The award of tenure is based on the qualifications, performance and conduct of individual faculty members and the long-term needs, objectives and missions of the academic unit, college and university. To be awarded tenure, the faculty member must meet performance and conduct standards required for promotion to associate professor and should enhance the academic environment of the academic unit and the university.

Length of service is not a sufficient basis for recommendation for tenure. Tenure may be denied on any legitimate grounds including the lack of need for a faculty member in the particular academic unit or academic specialization, program reduction or elimination, financial exigency, or conduct. Problems with a faculty member's conduct may disqualify a candidate for tenure. Teaching, scholarly achievement and professional qualifications, and professional service shall be used in evaluating the performance of a candidate for tenure. A faculty member's pattern of prior annual evaluations should be carefully considered in the analysis of an application for tenure, but each administrator and committee should use judgment and discretion in making recommendations on tenure.

III.E.7.f. Procedures The following policies and procedures apply to applications for tenure:

III.E.7.f.(1) A faculty member in the penultimate year of the probationary period must apply for tenure and submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in the areas of teaching, scholarly achievement and professional qualifications, and professional service to the AUH and AUPAC by October 1.

If an AUH applies for tenure, the AUH shall submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in all areas to the dean and the AUPAC. The AUPAC will evaluate the AUH's performance and make its recommendation to the dean.

If an A&P faculty member applies for tenure, the A&P faculty member shall submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in all appropriate areas to his or her supervisor. Only A&P faculty members who have academic credentials and can demonstrate eligibility for the award of tenure in an academic discipline represented at the university are eligible to apply for tenure. The A&P faculty member must apply for tenure through the academic unit(s) and college(s) where he or she teaches or holds appropriate credentials. The AUH, AUPAC and dean will make recommendations on the tenure application, up through the provost.

III.E.7.f.(2) In all cases, a candidate for tenure may withdraw from consideration prior to receiving official notification of the tenure decision. Withdrawal from tenure consideration in the penultimate year of the probationary period will be considered resignation effective at the end of the probationary period, and no further applications for tenure may be submitted in the AU. Withdrawal from an early tenure consideration (in any year earlier than the penultimate year) will not prohibit the faculty member from applying for tenure at a later date, as long as the application is submitted by the penultimate year of the probationary period.

III.E.7.f.(3) Although consultation among the AUPAC, AUH and dean is encouraged, the AUH and the AUPAC shall make independent evaluations of the facts and make independent recommendations, and should clearly indicate a positive or negative recommendation on tenure.

III.E.7.f.(4) Recommendations on tenure shall be justified using the academic unit criteria and based on the standards for promotion to associate professor as set forth in Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.6.a. Specific academic unit criteria for tenure shall be adopted by the AUPAC and approved by the academic unit's full time faculty members, the AUH, dean and provost. New full-time faculty members on tenure track must be provided information on the academic unit's tenure criteria during their first semester at the university.

Existing tenure criteria may be modified by the AUPAC with agreement of a majority of the full-time faculty members in an academic unit, with approval of the AUH, dean and provost.

III.E.7.f.(5) The written recommendations of the AUPAC and AUH shall include a justification of their conclusions. The recommendations shall be submitted to the dean by November 15, and a copy of both recommendations shall be provided to the faculty member. After the dean has received both the AUPAC and AUH recommendations, a copy of the AUPAC recommendation shall be provided to the AUH, and a copy of the AUH recommendation shall be provided to the AUPAC.

III.E.7.f.(6) The dean may consult with his or her college personnel body (see Faculty Handbook, Section IV.A.3.) and shall make a recommendation after reviewing the recommendations of the AUH and the AUPAC. The written recommendation of the dean shall include a justification of his or her conclusions. The recommendations of the AUH, AUPAC and dean shall be submitted to the provost by December 15. After the recommendations have been received by the provost, a copy of the dean's recommendation shall be provided to the AUH, AUPAC and faculty member.

III.E.7.f.(7) Recommendations on tenure from the AUH, AUPAC and dean shall be reviewed by the provost, who shall either deny tenure or make a recommendation to award tenure. A decision by the provost to deny tenure terminates the consideration process; denial does not require action by the president or the BOV. In the absence of a timely written appeal, the decision by the provost to deny tenure becomes final and effective on the date of the notification.

Official written notification of denial shall be sent to the faculty member by February 1, with concurrent copies to the dean, AUH and AUPAC. If the provost recommends awarding tenure, the recommendation shall be sent to the president by February 1, with concurrent copies to the dean, AUH, AUPAC and faculty member. The provost's notification of denial or recommendation to award tenure shall include a justification.

III.E.7.f.(8) If the provost recommends awarding tenure, the president shall review the recommendation and either deny tenure or make a recommendation to award tenure. A decision by the president to deny tenure terminates the consideration process; denial does not require action by the BOV. The decision of the president or the BOV to deny tenure is not appealable. Official written notification of denial shall be sent by the president to the faculty member by February 15, with concurrent copies to the provost, dean, AUH and AUPAC. If the president recommends awarding tenure, the recommendation shall be sent to the BOV. The BOV shall act on the recommendation, and notification of its decision shall be sent to the faculty member within fifteen days after the BOV's meeting.

Official notification awarding tenure may be conveyed to a faculty member only after the formal action of the BOV. The award of tenure becomes effective at the beginning of the following academic year.

III.E.7.f.(9) To appeal a tenure denial by the provost, the faculty member shall submit a written notice of appeal to the Faculty Appeals Committee by March 1 setting forth the grounds for the appeal and a summary of the arguments and documentation he or she intends to present at a hearing. Upon receipt of an appeal, the chair of the Faculty Appeals Committee shall promptly send an acknowledgement of the receipt of the appeal to the faculty member and shall notify the president, the provost, dean and AUH. If an appeal is filed, the provost shall appoint a person to serve as the respondent representing the administration in the appeal process.

III.E.7.f.(10) The Faculty Appeals Committee shall determine if a hearing is warranted. See Faculty Handbook, Section III.L.2.b. Grounds for appealing a denial of tenure are limited to failure of the university to follow its procedures or unreasonable or improper bases for denial of tenure.

  • If the Faculty Appeals Committee determines that a hearing should be granted, the procedures in Faculty Handbook, Section III.L.2.c. shall apply. In the hearing, the faculty member shall have the responsibility to establish that the procedures were not followed, or that the university used unreasonable or improper bases for the denial of tenure.
  • If the Faculty Appeals Committee determines that a hearing shall not be granted, the faculty member, respondent, speaker, provost and president shall be notified that the appeal has been denied. If the appeal is denied by the Faculty Appeals Committee, the decision of the provost on the denial of tenure becomes final and effective on the date of the denial of appeal.

III.E.7.f.(11) Faculty members on tenure track who are denied tenure at any point during the probationary period shall be given a one-year terminal contract, and may not apply for tenure again in the AU. Notice of non-reappointment shall be given not later than May 1 of the penultimate year of the probationary period.

Denial of tenure for an A&P faculty member does not necessarily preclude continuation of the A&P faculty member in that contract status, but the denial may be considered in the supervisor's determination of whether to continue the appointment.

III.E.7.f.(12) All persons involved in the tenure process shall respect and maintain the strict confidentiality of all relevant documents and deliberations.

III.E.8. Post-Tenure Review

The granting of tenure anticipates that a faculty member will retain his or her academic position, absent unusual circumstances. Post-tenure review should be used to encourage faculty development and productivity if a tenured faculty member fails to maintain a satisfactory level of performance.

III.E.8.a. Development Plan
If a tenured faculty member's overall annual performance is found to be unsatisfactory in the annual evaluation process (see Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.4.), a development plan shall be designed and executed as specified in Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.4.k.

III.E.8.b. Remediation Recommendation
If a tenured faculty member's overall annual performance has been found to be unsatisfactory in two of the three most recent annual evaluations, the AUH shall recommend that the faculty member undergo remediation. Notification shall be sent by the AUH to the faculty member by November 1, with a copy sent to the AUPAC and the dean.

III.E.8.c. AUPAC's Review of Remediation Recommendation
The AUPAC shall review the tenured faculty member's annual evaluations and make an independent appraisal of whether the faculty member's performance over the last three years has been satisfactory or unsatisfactory overall. The AUPAC shall submit its written evaluation to the dean by November 30, with copies to the AUH and faculty member concurrently. The evaluation shall include a justification of the AUPAC's conclusions, using the academic unit's criteria. A conclusion that performance has been unsatisfactory must be supported by substantial evidence.

III.E.8.d. Dean's Review of Remediation Recommendation
The dean shall review the tenured faculty member's annual evaluations and the AUPAC's evaluation of the faculty member's overall performance. The dean shall provide a separate written evaluation. The evaluation shall conclude whether the faculty member's overall performance has been satisfactory or unsatisfactory over the last three years. The evaluation shall include a justification of the dean's conclusions using the academic unit's criteria. A conclusion that performance has been unsatisfactory must be supported by substantial evidence.

III.E.8.e. Remediation
A plan of remediation will be required if the dean concludes that the overall performance of the tenured faculty member has been unsatisfactory. The dean shall send notification of whether or not remediation will be required to the faculty member by December 15, with concurrent copies to the AUH and AUPAC.

III.E.8.f. Appeal of Remediation Decision
A tenured faculty member may appeal a decision to require remediation to the provost. The appeal shall be in writing and must be submitted within seven days of receiving notification from the dean that a remediation plan is required. The provost shall send to the faculty member a written response to the appeal by February 1, with concurrent copies to the AUH, AUPAC and the dean, and shall include a justification of his or her conclusions. A conclusion that performance has been unsatisfactory must be supported by substantial evidence.

III.E.8.g. Remediation Plan
The AUH, in consultation with the AUPAC and the tenured faculty member, shall devise a remediation plan that respects academic freedom and professional self-direction.

The plan shall include specification of activities to be performed, the desired objectives covering all aspects of the faculty member's performance and the requirements for a plan report to be submitted by the faculty member at the conclusion of the remediation period. It should be flexible enough to allow for subsequent alteration. Development of the plan shall proceed during consideration of any appeal of the need for a plan. See Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.8.f. A copy of the plan shall be sent to the faculty member by February 1, with a concurrent copy to the dean.

III.E.8.h. Appeal of Plan Contents
A tenured faculty member may appeal the contents of the remediation plan to the provost. The appeal shall be in writing and must be submitted within seven days of receiving the plan. The provost shall send to the faculty member a written response to the appeal by March 1, with concurrent copies to the AUH and the dean.

III.E.8.i. Report of Faculty Member
The tenured faculty member will have the remainder of the academic year in which the plan was developed plus the next full academic year to accomplish the objectives of the plan. By October 1 following the next full academic year, the faculty member shall submit the remediation plan report to the AUH and the AUPAC.

III.E.8.j. Academic Unit's Review of Plan Completion
The AUH and the AUPAC shall prepare separate written evaluations of the tenured faculty member's accomplishment of the objectives of the plan. The evaluations shall include a justification of their conclusions and shall be submitted to the dean by November 15. After the evaluations have been received by the dean, copies shall be provided to the faculty member.

III.E.8.k. Dean's Review of Plan Completion
The dean shall review the evaluations of the AUH and AUPAC and prepare an independent evaluation. The dean's evaluation shall include a justification of its conclusions. The evaluations of the AUH, AUPAC and dean shall be submitted to the provost by December 15. After the evaluations have been received by the provost, a copy of the dean's evaluation shall be provided to the AUH, AUPAC and faculty member.

III.E.8.l. Provost's Determination
The provost shall review the evaluations of the AUH, AUPAC and dean and shall determine whether the faculty member has satisfactorily accomplished the objectives of the remediation plan. If the provost concludes that the faculty member has satisfactorily completed the objectives of the plan, the remediation phase of the post-tenure review process will be closed, although faculty development activities may continue as recommended by the AUH or dean. If the provost determines that the faculty member has not satisfactorily accomplished the objectives of the plan and that sanctions are appropriate, the provost shall confer with the AUPAC before deciding on the appropriate sanction.

III.E.8.m. Sanctions
Sanctions may include but are not limited to reduction in salary or dismissal.

III.E.8.n. Notice of Sanctions
Written notice of the provost's determination and sanctions shall be sent to the faculty member by February 1, with copies to the AUH, AUPAC and dean. The notification shall include a rationale for the provost's determination and any sanction. If the sanction is dismissal, it shall include the effective date of dismissal. In the absence of a timely written appeal by the faculty member, the decision of the provost is final, and the sanction is effective on the date specified by the provost.

III.E.8.o. Appeal of Sanctions
All appeals shall be in writing. A tenured faculty member has 30 days from the receipt of a written notice of sanctions to submit a written appeal to the Faculty Appeals Committee. The written appeal shall set forth the grounds for the appeal and summary of the arguments and documentation the faculty member intends to present at a hearing. Upon receipt of an appeal, the chair of the Faculty Appeals Committee shall promptly send an acknowledgement of the receipt of the appeal to the faculty member and shall notify the president, the provost, the dean and AUH. If an appeal is filed, the provost shall appoint the AUH or an administrative designee to serve as the respondent, representing the administration in the appeal process.

III.E.8.p. Faculty Appeals Committee
The Faculty Appeals Committee shall determine if a hearing is warranted. See Faculty Handbook, Section III.L.2.b. Grounds for appealing a sanction following a post-tenure review are limited to failure of the university to follow its procedures, lack of a legitimate basis for the sanction to be imposed, or the imposition of an unreasonable sanction.

  • If the Faculty Appeals Committee determines that a hearing should be granted, the procedures in Faculty Handbook, Section III.L.2.c. shall apply. In the hearing, the respondent shall have the responsibility to establish that the procedures were followed, that there were legitimate bases for the sanction to be imposed and that the sanction is reasonable.
  • If the Faculty Appeals Committee determines that a hearing shall not be granted, the faculty member, respondent, speaker, provost, and president shall be notified that the appeal has been denied. If the appeal is denied by the Faculty Appeals Committee, the decision of the provost becomes final, effective on the date of the notice of denial by the Faculty Appeals Committee.

III.E.8.q. Confidentiality All persons involved in the post-tenure review process shall respect and maintain the strict confidentiality of all relevant documents and deliberations.