|Policy Title:||637 - Faculty Tenure -- LIMITED SCOPE|
|Type of Policy:||Modification of an existing policy .|
|Draft Number and Date:|
|President's Council Sponsor:||Ian Wilson||Ext.||8239|
|Policy Steward:||Kathren Brown||Ext.|
|Title||Faculty Tenure -- LIMITED SCOPE||Number||637|
A. This policy establishes the requirements and procedures for achieving tenure at Utah Valley University.
A. "1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure”, AAUP Policy Documents & Reports, Tenth Edition, American Association of University Professors (AAUP), 2006.
B. Utah Board of Regents Policy R 312: Configuration of the Utah System of Higher Education
C. Utah Board of Regents Policy R 481: Academic Freedom, Professional Responsibility and Tenure
D. Utah Board of Regents Policy R 482: Bona Fide Financial Exigency and Personnel Reduction
E. UVU Policy 631: Instructor and Course Evaluations
F. UVU Policy 635: Faculty Rights and Professional Responsibilities
G. UVU Policy 641: Salaried Faculty Workload – Academic Year
H. UVU Policy 646: Faculty Appeals for Retention, Tenure and Promotion.
I. UVU Policy 648: Faculty Non-Renewal of Appointment, Disciplinary Action and Termination
A. Academic Year: The period beginning Fall semester and ending with the subsequent Spring semester.
B. Department: A group of salaried, benefits-eligible faculty members from the same or related disciplines that are authorized by the Vice President for Academic Affairs to act as an academic unit in evaluating faculty peers for retention, tenure and promotion.
C. Faculty Portfolio. A collection of documents prepared by a faculty member as evidence of his or her contributions in teaching, scholarly and creative works, and service to his or her profession and the University. Documents may be stored electronically. (See section V.E.1.)
D. Midterm Review: A comprehensive review of a faculty member’s Faculty Portfolio to evaluate progress on his or her tenure plan. This review typically takes place during the third year of the probationary period and considers the faculty member’s contributions throughout the previous two years of tenure-track service.
E. Probationary Year: A year in which a faculty member is in a tenure-track position, but is not yet tenured.
F. Retention, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Committee: A group of tenured faculty members that evaluates faculty peers for recommendations for or against retention, tenure, or promotion. RTP committees may serve a single academic department, a cluster of academic departments in the same school, or an entire school. (See V.B)
G. Service: For the purposes of this policy, “service” refers to service activities at the University, to one’s profession, and in the community that are clearly related to the faculty role.
H. Tenure: A condition of continuing employment awarded to qualified faculty members that promotes academic freedom, attracts professionals of ability, and enhances the quality of the University’s academic programs.
I. Tenure Plan: An outline of proposed goals and achievements to be completed by a faculty member during the probationary period related to teaching, scholarly and creative works, and service.
J. Tenure Review: A comprehensive review of a faculty member’s Faculty Portfolio to determine whether or not the faculty member should be awarded tenure. This review typically takes place during the sixth year of the probationary period and considers the faculty member’s contributions throughout the previous five years.
K. Tenure Review Portfolio. The collection of documents consisting of a faculty member’s Faculty Portfolio submitted for evaluation for tenure or midterm review, a copy of the relevant tenure criteria, copies of annual reviews, peer and other evaluations solicited by the RTP Committee during the review process, Students Ratings of Instructor (SRI) for the evaluation period, and all applicable recommendations from the RTP Committee, department chair, dean, Vice-President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), President, and Board of Trustees, as applicable, as well as any optional written responses of the faculty member submitted during the review process in response to letters of the various reviewers.
L. Termination for Cause: Dismissal of tenured faculty for professional incompetence, serious misconduct or unethical behavior, serious violation of institutional policies and procedures, or substantially impaired performance due to health reasons. (See Utah Board of Regents Policy R 481)
M. University Tenure Board of Review: A standing committee of the Faculty Senate that encourages equity and rigor in department tenure criteria, promotes adherence to the policies of the University, considers appeals of tenure decisions, and advises on matters of tenure policy.
A. Awarding of Tenure
1. Tenure is awarded by the Board of Trustees based upon the recommendations of the RTP Committee, Department Chair, Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), and the President of the University.
2. Recommendations of the reviewing bodies are to be based upon University policies and evaluations of the Tenure Review Portfolio with respect to approved departmental tenure criteria.
3. Tenure shall be awarded when a faculty member demonstrates sustained, expected levels of teaching effectiveness, scholarly and creative endeavors, and service to profession, institution and community as set forth in the approved departmental tenure criteria.
4. A faculty member’s tenure award is to a specific academic department. The tenure status of faculty members who transfer to another department during the probationary period or after tenure is awarded subject to approved procedures. (See section V.H.1)
5. Tenured status shall become effective on July 1 following the approval of the Board of Trustees.
B. Development and Review of Criteria for Awarding Tenure
1. Each department shall develop criteria for tenure that establishes the expected levels of faculty performance in teaching, scholarly and creative endeavors and service in accordance with the standards of their respective disciplines, consistent with the principles and practices specified in UVU Policy 635: Faculty Rights and Professional Responsibilities, and in accordance with the mission of the University.
2. Tenure criteria documents shall be sufficiently detailed that faculty members can develop a plan for achieving tenure by the end of the probationary period, and shall provide for variations in assigned workload.
3. Tenure criteria shall undergo multiple levels of review and approval at least every five years to assure clarity and consistency of expectations for tenure across the University. (See section V.A)
C. Eligibility and Probationary Period
1. Tenure is only awarded to a faculty member or administrator who has successfully completed a probationary period of tenure-track service at UVU or another regionally accredited or recognized institution.
2. The probationary period for tenure shall be six years of full-time, tenure-track service.
3. Probationary years may be fulfilled through previous employment in a tenure-track position at other regionally accredited or recognized international institutions as agreed upon at time of hire.
4. The probationary period and conditions for awarding tenure may be altered by circumstances which may include, but are not limited to, stoppage of the tenure clock, departmental transfer, administrative appointment during the probationary period, or agreements made at the time of hire.
5. Faculty members who have been notified before the commencement of the final year of the probationary period that their employment will not be continued are not eligible to apply for tenure.
D. Review Process for Tenure
1. The review process for tenure includes an annual review of the Tenure Plan and subsequent written feedback from the department chair to a probationary faculty member. Comprehensive reviews shall occur at mid-term in the probationary period and at the time of consideration for tenure in the final year of the probationary period.
2. Evaluations for midterm or tenure review shall be based only on the material in the Tenure Review Portfolio. (See V.E.2)
3. Recommendations regarding retention of a probationary faculty member at midterm shall be made by the RTP Committee, department chair, and dean, with final determination regarding retention made by the VPAA.
4. Recommendations regarding tenure for a probationary faculty member shall be made by the RTP Committee, department chair, dean, VPAA, and President with final determination regarding tenure made by the Board of Trustees.
E. Responsibilities of the Tenured Faculty Member and the University
A tenured faculty member shall make on-going contributions in teaching, scholarly and creative work, and service in support of the mission of the University. Tenure presupposes reciprocal responsibilities between the faculty member and the University. The University shall respect the rights of the faculty pertaining to academic freedom and may not dismiss a tenured faculty member without cause except in the case of a bona fide program or unit discontinuance, or under circumstances of financial exigency.
A. Development and Application of Tenure Criteria
1. Each department shall develop discipline-appropriate criteria for tenure, consistent with university policy, mission, and subject to review and approval by the departmental faculty, dean, VPAA and President.
2. The University Tenure Board of Review shall have responsibility for reviewing departmental criteria for tenure for compliance with this policy at least every five years, and may recommend changes in the criteria which shall be subject to review and approval by the departmental faculty, dean, VPAA and President.
3. Deans may also recommend changes to the department tenure criteria, subject to review and approval by the departmental faculty, VPAA and President. Any discrepancies between the recommendations of the departmental faculty and the Dean shall be resolved by the VPAA.
4. Faculty members are evaluated for tenure according to the tenure criteria in place at the time of hire. Candidates for tenure may, upon their request and if approved by the department chair, dean and VPAA, be evaluated according to more recent departmental tenure criteria, should the criteria be revised during their probationary period.
B. RTP Committee Composition
1. An RTP committee shall consist of an odd number of at least five tenured faculty members elected by a simple majority of the tenured and tenure-track faculty of the department.
2. When a sufficient number of tenured faculty members is not available and elected in a department, or other conditions exist that make clustering of departments desirable for evaluating faculty, the following options are available:
a. Under the direction of the dean, members may be elected by the department tenured and tenure-track faculty from among tenured faculty members in other departments of related disciplines.
b. Under the direction of the dean, departments of related disciplines may share the same RTP committee consisting of tenured faculty members elected by the tenured and tenure-track faculty of the affected departments.
c. In either case, the final composition of the RTP Committee must be approved by the dean.
3. Department chairs may vote as a faculty member for election of members to serve on RTP committees.
4. Faculty members in full-time administrative positions may not vote for election of members to serve on RTP Committees.
5. The RTP committee elects annually one of its members as a chair.
6. A department chair may not serve on the RTP committee of his or her own department.
7. RTP recommendations are decided by a simple majority vote.
8. RTP committee members serve a three-year term. Faculty members may serve an unlimited number of terms, but preferably no more than two terms in succession.
C. Tenure-Related Decisions at the Time of Hire
1. Faculty tenure status is determined at the time of initial hire. Faculty hired on the tenure-track typically enter the track in their first probationary year.
2. A candidate for hire into a tenure track position may be granted up to four years toward tenure for equivalent tenure-track experience at other institutions if approved by the dean and VPAA. A determination of the necessity and timing of a mid-term review of candidates for hire who are granted three or four years toward tenure at the time of hire is recommended by the department and approved by the dean and VPAA. Years awarded toward tenure shall not exceed the number of years actually served at previous institutions in tenure track.
3. If a newly hired faculty member or administrator has been awarded tenure previously at another regionally accredited institution or equivalent, he or she may be awarded tenure at hire, or after a specified period of full-time employment after hire as agreed upon at the time of hire, if approved by the Board of Trustees which will consider recommendation by the appropriate RTP Committee.
4. Years awarded toward tenure or the granting of tenure at the time of hire shall be communicated to the faculty candidate in the letter of appointment.
5. For faculty who begin their employment in a tenure-track position with UVU at some time other than the beginning of Fall semester of the regular academic year, the dean shall recommend and the VPAA approve the year in which the affected faculty member shall apply for midterm review and/or tenure. This determination shall be made in consultation with the prospective faculty member and documented at time of hire.
D. Orientation of New Faculty, Development and Annual Review of the Tenure Plan
1. The department chair shall provide a written copy of this tenure policy and the approved department-specific tenure criteria to each newly hired tenure-track faculty member within the first month after hire.
2. Within the first semester of hire in a tenure-track position, a new faculty member shall meet jointly with the department chair and the chair of the RTP committee to develop the expectations of the faculty member’s performance during the probationary period, consistent with established department tenure criteria. The expectations agreed upon constitute the candidate’s initial tenure plan. Such expectations should be clear and reasonable, yet not overly prescriptive, allowing for a broad range of faculty achievement. The tenure plan shall be written, signed by the faculty member, department chair and RTP Committee chair, and a copy shall be placed in the faculty member’s official personnel file.
3. Department chairs shall review and document the faculty member’s progress toward tenure in annual reviews. If the faculty member is serving as a department chair while on tenure track, the dean shall review and document the faculty member’s progress toward tenure in annual reviews during the faculty member’s tenure as department chair.
E. The Faculty Portfolio and the Tenure Review Portfolio
1. Candidates for tenure are responsible for maintaining a Faculty Portfolio that documents their contributions and accomplishments in teaching, scholarly and creative works, and professional service, consistent with departmental tenure criteria. The Faculty Portfolio shall contain at least the following:
a. A detailed Table of Contents listing every entry in the portfolio,
b. A brief statement wherein the faculty member describes the nature of his or her contribution to the profession and to the University, the extent to which departmental expectations were met, any circumstances that helped or hindered his or her progress, and any other information that will be beneficial to the reviewers in evaluating the material in the portfolio.
c. A current Curriculum Vitae.
d. A section containing evidence of achievements in teaching, including a self-assessment of the faculty member’s teaching performance and experiences,
a supervisor assessment, peer assessments, Students Ratings of Instructor (SRI) from all courses taught during the evaluation period, evidence of contributions to curriculum and course development, professional development related to teaching, and any other evidence related to teaching.
e. A section containing evidence of scholarly and/or creative works such as publications, presentations, performances, and discipline-related professional development.
f. A section containing evidence of discipline-related service to department, college or school, University, profession and community.
2. The Tenure Review Portfolio is created by the chair of the RTP Committee when the faculty member submits his or her faculty portfolio at the time of midterm or tenure review. The RTP Committee Chair creates the initial Tenure Review Portfolio by combining the following with the Faculty Portfolio: 1) copies of the faculty member’s annual reviews from the evaluation period, 2) the tenure criteria against which the faculty member shall be evaluated, and 3) all solicited peer evaluations. All reviews of the candidate by the RTP Committee, department chair, dean, VPAA, and President shall be added to the Tenure Review Portfolio as each respective review is completed.
3. During the evaluation process, the contents of the Tenure Review Portfolio shall be kept confidential and only made available to those with responsibility for reviewing the faculty member’s portfolio.
a. Evaluation of teaching by students shall take place each semester for each course assigned to the faculty member. Additional student evaluations may be conducted as determined by the department chair or dean. All student evaluation results shall be included by the faculty member in the Faculty Portfolio. (See UVU Policy 631: Instructor and Course Evaluations.)
b. In the year of midterm or tenure review, the RTP Committee, in consultation with the faculty member and the department chair, shall solicit peer evaluations of the teaching, scholarly or creative works, and service of the faculty member. Soliciting evaluations of scholarly and/or creative work from peers outside the university is encouraged. These evaluations shall be added to the Tenure Review Portfolio by the RTP Committee Chair. Identification of the external peer reviewers shall be known to the RTP Committee and others charged with reviewing the Tenure Review Portfolio, but shall not be disclosed to the tenure candidate unless identification becomes material during a tenure appeal.
c. In the case of midterm review, the RTP Committee shall recommend for or against retention of the faculty member in a detailed report. The report shall comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member relative to the department tenure criteria, and shall include the vote tally that led to the final decision. If the decision is to retain the probationary faculty member, the report shall provide comments and recommendations concerning the faculty member’s progress toward tenure.
d. In the case of tenure review, the RTP Committee shall recommend for or against tenure of the faculty member in a detailed report. The report shall comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member relative to the department tenure criteria, and shall include the vote tally that led to the final decision.
e. Candor is expected and is critical to both the institution and the candidate for tenure in all reviews.
5. During the midterm or tenure review process, recommendations by the RTP committee, department chair, dean and VPAA, addressed to the person at the next level of review become part of the Tenure Review Portfolio as it passes to each level of review. Recommendations that disagree with those made at a previous level of review shall be explained in the accompanying recommendation document.
6. The Tenure Review Portfolio shall be returned to the Faculty Member within 14 days after the final decision for midterm or tenure review. Copies of the peer reviews with the identifying information of the peer reviewer redacted shall be included in the candidate's Faculty Tenure Review Portfolio when it is returned to the candidate at the end of the review process. Peer reviews with the identifying information of the external peer reviewer intact shall be retained in a confidential file in the office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. In the case of a negative decision, a copy of the Tenure Portfolio will be kept in the Office of Academic Affairs until any associated appeal process has concluded.
7. Electronic portfolios and hard-copy portfolios shall be handled in the same way. Electronic files used in midterm and tenure reviews must reside in systems provided or approved by the University.
F. Midterm and Tenure Review Process
1. Unless the faculty member has been notified that his or her employment will not be continued, the chair of the RTP Committee shall notify the faculty member in writing by March 1 of the fifth probationary year that he or she must apply for tenure by September 15 of the next academic year. By March 15 the chair of the RTP committee shall have consulted with the faculty member for input in determining suitable candidates from whom to solicit peer evaluations. (See V.E.3.b)
2. Faculty members apply for midterm review or tenure in the Fall semester of the third or sixth year of the probationary year, respectively. By September 15, faculty members shall apply for midterm review or tenure by submitting a letter of application and their Faculty Portfolio to the chair of the RTP Committee. Portfolios and letters of application may be delivered electronically.
3. The RTP Committee creates the faculty member’s Tenure Review Portfolio, which consists initially of the Faculty Portfolio and the evaluations described in V.E. The RTP Committee may request any additional information from the faculty member and/or peers that it deems appropriate. The RTP Committee shall review the Tenure Review Portfolio according to approved institutional policy and departmental criteria for tenure. The RTP Committee adds its written review and recommendation for or against retention or tenure, as appropriate, to the Tenure Review Portfolio.
4. By October 7, the chair of the RTP committee shall forward the Tenure Review Portfolio along with the committee's written recommendation to the department chair (or dean, if the faculty member is a department chair.
5. No later than October 21, the department chair shall forward the Tenure Review Portfolio along with a written recommendation to the dean (unless the faculty member is a department chair, in which case the RTP committee forwards the Tenure Review Portfolio directly to the dean).
6. By November 7, the dean provides a copy of the solicited external peer evaluations (with the identifying information of the external peer reviewer redacted) and the recommendations of the RTP Committee, Department Chair, and Dean to the candidate. No later than November 14, the faculty member may deliver a written response to all recommendations up to that point to the dean for inclusion in the Tenure Review Portfolio.
7. No later than November 15, the dean shall forward the Tenure Review Portfolio along with all written recommendations and faculty response, if any, to the VPAA.
8. In cases of midterm review, the VPAA shall review the Tenure Review Portfolio and render a written decision to the faculty member, dean, department chair and chair of the RTP Committee no later than December 10. If the decision is that the midterm faculty member is not to be retained, the candidate will lose probationary status. The candidate shall be offered a one-year, terminal appointment for the next academic year.
9. In cases of tenure review, the VPAA reviews the Tenure Review Portfolio and forwards his or her written recommendation to the President no later than December 10.
10. The President forwards his or her recommendation to the Board of Trustees for consideration at its next meeting. The Board of Trustees decides whether to award or deny tenure. Within fourteen (14) days, the VPAA conveys the decision of the Board of Trustees to the faculty member by letter. Copies of the letter are sent to the dean and department chair. Faculty members who are denied tenure will be offered a one-year, terminal appointment for the next academic year, except in cases of termination for cause, due to a bona fide program or unit discontinuance, or financial exigency.
11. If a deadline specified in this policy does not fall on a business day, the deadline will be extended to the next business day. Reasonable exceptions to these dates due to extraordinary circumstances may be allowed if approved by the VPAA.
G. Summary of Dates in the Midterm and Tenure Review Process
Candidate is NOT a Department Chair
Candidate IS a Department Chair
RTP Chair informs candidate of pending Tenure application deadline and requests input in choosing peer evaluators.
RTP Chair receives input from faculty member concerning candidate peer evaluators. Requests for one-year extensions to the probationary period must be received by the department chair by this date (see V.H.3).
One-year extensions approved or denied by VPAA.
Candidate requests midterm review or tenure by submitting a letter of application and Faculty Portfolio to the RTP Committee Chair.
RTP Committee submits the Tenure Review Portfolio and recommendation to the Department Chair.
RTP Committee submits the Tenure Review Portfolio and recommendation to the Dean.
Department Chair submits Tenure Review Portfolio and recommendation to the Dean.
Dean delivers a copy of the solicited external peer evaluations (with the identifying information of the external peer reviewer redacted) and the recommendations of the RTP Committee, Department Chair, and Dean to the candidate. Candidate may respond in writing to the dean before November 14.
Dean submits Tenure Review Portfolio, which includes all recommendations and the faculty response, if any, to the VPAA.
VPAA midterm decision due, or
VPAA final tenure recommendation submitted to the President.
President presents recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
Decision delivered to candidate in writing.
Appeal Process, if candidate appeals.
At Conclusion of Process
Candidate retrieves Tenure Review Portfolio (with identifying information of external peer reviewers redacted) from the VPAA.
H. Adjustments to the Probationary Period
1. Departmental Transfer During the Probationary Period
a. Probationary years may be fulfilled in more than one department, subject to the recommendation of the respective department chairs, with input from the faculty involved, and if approved by the respective deans and the VPAA.
b. When possible, transfers during the probationary period should be avoided in the years of midterm or tenure review unless the disciplines are so closely related that the tenure plan of the transfer candidate is applicable to the discipline of the new department.
c. Any change to the length of the probationary period must be requested by the faculty member and approved by the chair of the new department, the dean of the new college or school, if applicable, and the VPAA.
2. Tenure Clock Stoppage
Upon request of a faculty member, the recommendations of the department chair and dean, and the approval of the VPAA, the probationary period may be interrupted for a specified time when circumstances would justifiably prevent the faculty member from making progress on the tenure plan. Examples of such circumstances that may receive consideration include, but are not limited to, childbirth or adoption, military duty, or other extenuating medical, professional or personal circumstances.
C. Request for Extension of the Probationary Period
One-year extensions to the probationary period for tenure, while rarely granted, are possible. If the faculty member requests a one-year extension, he or she shall submit a letter requesting and justifying the extension to the department chair by March 15 of the fifth year of the probationary period. Extensions to the probationary period shall be approved or denied by the RTP Committee, department chair, dean, and VPAA by April 15 of the faculty member’s fifth probationary year.
4. Request for Reduction of the Probationary Period
In rare cases, and when accompanied by extraordinary performance by the faculty member, the probationary period for tenure may be shortened if requested by the faculty member and approved by the applicant’s RTP Committee, department chair, dean, and VPAA.
5. Administrative Appointments During the Tenure-Track Period
A tenure-track faculty member shall normally retain probationary status while serving in an administrative position within the university. In unusual circumstances, the faculty member’s tenure clock may be stopped while serving in an administrative position, if approved by the dean and VPAA.
Faculty members may appeal decisions relating to a denial of tenure or a non-renewal of appointment resulting from a midterm review according to the provisions and timelines of UVU Policy 646, Faculty Appeals for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion.