Utah Valley University
Policies and Procedures
|Title||Tenure and Appeals||Number||637|
|Section||Academics||Approval Date||Jun 08,2006|
|Subsection||Faculty||Effective Date||Jun 08,2006|
"Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition." American Association of University Professors' 1940 statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. To quote:
"Tenure is a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society."
The following document is based in part on the AAUP's "Good Practice in Tenure Evaluation", "Institutional Recommendations on Academic Freedom and Tenure" and "Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Non-renewal of Faculty Appointments".
The excellence of the institution and the rights of individuals require that, in matters of appointment, mid-term review, and tenure, members and prospective members of the faculty be judged solely on the basis of recognized academic criteria and standards that pertain to professional qualifications and conduct, and be judged by peers using fair and established procedures created by individual Departments and/or Schools. (Throughout this document, the term "Department" also refers to equivalent academic units, such as programs.)
These tenure policies and procedures define the reciprocal responsibilities between Utah Valley University and a tenure-track faculty member and detail the criteria by which midterm review may be passed or failed or tenure may be earned or denied as required by the Utah State Board of Regents' Policy and Procedures.
Midterm and tenure decisions must:
- Not violate the legal and institutional rights of faculty members, nor the exercise of those rights;
- Not violate the academic freedom of faculty members;
- Be based on criteria listed in this document as well as Department Retention, Tenure and Promotion (RTP) Committee (see section V.B.) standards; and
- Be based on criteria established by Departments and Schools consistent with reasonable expectations commensurate with time, infrastructure, and resources provided by the institution for tenurable activities. Department tenure plans should be approved by the Department RTP committee, Department Chair, and Dean; reviewed by the Faculty Senate Tenure Committee; and approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).
A general statement of the terms and conditions of tenure-track faculty appointments shall be provided to each faculty member at the time of hire.
Tenure is awarded by the Board of Trustees based upon the recommendations of the President of the institution, VPAA, Deans, and Department Chairs. Faculty are typically awarded tenure to a specific academic Department.
Granting of tenure implies a substantial commitment by the institution. Faculty members granted tenure make an equally strong commitment to serve students, colleagues, the Department, and the institution in a professional manner. Granting tenure also documents that tenured faculty members are competent in their disciplines and capable of continued teaching, service, and scholarly contributions. It is, therefore, imperative that a responsible screening process be followed before such commitments are made.
Tenure is awarded to faculty who show competence in each of three areas: 1) teaching, 2) service, and 3) scholarship, research and/or creative activity and who, in addition, demonstrate excellence in at least one of these three areas as defined by the Department RTP committee.
Faculty members who have successfully completed their probationary period, and met Department and School criteria, are eligible for tenure. Faculty members whose appointment the college has chosen not to renew are not eligible for tenure. The decision to grant or deny tenure shall not be based on projected student enrollments.
- Assignments while in Tenure Track
Tenure-track faculty members continue on tenure track while holding administrative positions or while on sabbatical or other leave. Faculty members need not teach a minimum course load to be on tenure track.
- Effective Date
Tenure-track faculty members hired after the effective date of this policy are covered by this policy. Tenure-track faculty hired prior to the effective date of this policy must inform the Chair of the Department RTP committee, Department Chair, Dean and the VPAA in writing within one academic year of the effective date of this policy if they elect to be covered under this policy. Otherwise, they are bound by terms of the previous policy. Tenured status, when approved, will become effective July 1 of the next academic year.
- Probationary Period
The probationary period shall be six (6) years of full-time, tenure-track service. Upon approval of the Department RTP Committee, Department Chair and Dean, the probationary period may be extended one additional year. The probationary period shall not exceed seven years
- In rare cases, extraordinary scholarship or professional achievement may qualify a faculty member for accelerated tenure consideration by the Department RTP Committee with the approval of the Department Chair and Dean.
- Credit toward tenure may be awarded for previous equivalent experience as negotiated at the time of hire. If years toward tenure were not negotiated at time of hire, years may be granted by the VPAA following appeal through designated tenure channels.
- In circumstances deemed extraordinary, the Department RTP Committee, Department Chair and Dean may recommend to the VPAA that tenure be granted at the time of hire.
- Under appropriate circumstances, the tenure probationary period may be paused prior to formal review to allow for a continuation of appointment without mandating a decision at the third and/or sixth year regarding tenure. An example of such circumstance would be maternity leave or military duty. During such periods, it may not be possible to maintain those activities needed to qualify for tenure review. Pausing the tenure probationary period allows the faculty member to return to the institution without penalty regarding tenure. The candidate makes a formal request for such action to the VPAA with approval of the Department Chair and Dean.
- Lateral Transfer
Probationary years may be fulfilled in more than one Department should lateral transfer occur during the probationary period. Tenured faculty who transfer Departments shall retain tenure.
- Administrative Appointments
- A Vice President, Associate Vice President, Assistant Vice President, Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean or Department Chair may be awarded tenure at time of hire. Tenure, awarded to an individual at the time of hire to one of these administrative positions, must be to a specific Department and must be approved by the VPAA, and a majority vote of the tenure-track and tenured faculty in that Department.
- A faculty member shall not lose tenure-track status or tenure upon accepting an administrative position within the institution. Deans or other administrators who have previously been awarded tenure shall have the option to return to a full-time teaching position within the Department to which tenure has been awarded.
Tenure is considered permanent. Tenured faculty members may not be terminated except for cause, due to a bona fide program or unit discontinuance, or under circumstances of financial exigency all as defined by UVU policy C-5.5 and policy C-7.5, and Board of Regents policy R481 and policy R482
- Tenure Review
- Tenure File
Primary responsibility for developing and maintaining tenure files lies with the individual tenure-track faculty member and the Department Chair (or Dean in those cases where the candidate is a Department Chair). The tenure file must contain student, peer and supervisor evaluations and other documentation of teaching competency, evidence of scholarly and/or creative activities, and documentation of service to the Department, institution, profession and the larger community.
In addition, the file contains documents desired by the candidate or as solicited by the Department Chair, Department RTP Committee or Dean. Letters of commendation or reprimand must be added to the tenure file during the probationary period. The candidate maintains his or her own file during the tenure process and items may be added to the file at any point prior to the delivery of the file to the RTP committee for evaluation. Any additions to the file after that point must submitted to the Chair of the Department RTP committee.
A file relating to tenure is also be maintained by the Department Chair to contain supervisor and peer evaluations and other documentation normally collected as a function of the duties of the Chair.
- The RTP Committee
A Department RTP Committee shall consist of at least five (5) tenured or tenure-track faculty members elected by the faculty of that Department. Neither Deans nor Department Chairs shall serve on a Department RTP committee, but may vote as a faculty member for the election of the membership of the committee in the Department to which they are tenured. A "Department" RTP committee may, in some instances, incorporate multiple Departments, programs, or even all Departments within one School. This concept shall be understood in all places wherein "Department RTP committee" is used in this document. One member of the committee from the Department wherein tenure is to be granted will be elected Chair of the committee by the members of the committee. The Chair of the RTP committee will have the responsibility of ensuring that due process is afforded tenure candidates during the tenure review process.
The Department Chair or a designee shall orient a new tenure-track faculty member within the first semester of hire. A written copy of all relevant tenure policies and procedures shall be provided to each tenure track faculty member by the Department Chair or the Chair's designee. Within the first year of hire, the new tenure-track faculty member shall meet with the Department RTP committee to outline and agree to the specific terms and conditions to be met during the tenure process. The Chair of the committee must also conduct at least yearly meetings between the candidate and the committee to evaluate progress towards tenure and make any necessary adjustments to the tenure plan. These meetings should be documented by the Chair of the committee and such documentation included in the tenure file.
- Evaluation of teaching by students shall take place each semester according to UVU policy, and as determined necessary by the Department Chair or Dean. Results shall be provided to the faculty member in a timely manner.
- Written peer evaluations of the candidate will be solicited each year by the candidate and Department Chair. Peers will be asked to evaluate the candidate for teaching, scholarship and service. Additional peer reviews may be solicited from non-UVU colleagues.
- Using the information gained from the student and peer evaluations, the Department Chair shall conduct an annual evaluation meeting with each tenure-track faculty member to address strengths and deficiencies and review goals for achieving tenure. A written summary of the annual evaluation meeting shall be provided to the faculty member in a timely manner. The Dean shall evaluate non-tenured tenure-track Chairs.
- The candidate faculty member, Chair of the RTP committee, Department Chair or Dean may request other evaluations as necessary for inclusion in the tenure file.
- Midterm and Final Evaluation
- To initiate the process for midterm review or tenure consideration, the candidate submits a formal request by December 15 to the Chair of the Department RTP committee.
- Upon receipt of the formal request, the Chair of the RTP committee solicits tenure files from the candidate and Department Chair. Copies of all materials in each file are made available to each member of the RTP committee for review. The Department RTP Committee shall review the tenure file according to assessment criteria developed by the Department relative to College guidelines for effective teaching, scholarship, and service as outlined in Section IV of this document. The Chair of the RTP Committee then conducts a meeting between the candidate and the RTP Committee to discuss the candidate's qualifications and to address any questions concerning the materials contained in the tenure files. The Department RTP Committee or the candidate may request additional material be added to the files at this time. The Chair of the RTP Committee will then forward the committee's written recommendation to the Department Chair (or Dean, if the candidate is a Department Chair) and to the candidate by January 15. If necessary, the candidate shall have one calendar week to respond, in writing, to the Department Chair (or Dean if the candidate is a Department Chair) regarding any concerns with the Committee's recommendation.
- The Department Chair (or Dean if the candidate is a Chair) shall add his or her comments to the Committee's recommendation and forward written results of the evaluation to the Dean and to the candidate no later than February 1. If necessary, the candidate shall have one calendar week to respond, in writing, to the Department Chair and Dean regarding any concerns with the Department Chair's recommendation.
- No later than February 15, the Dean shall forward a written recommendation to the VPAA as to whether the faculty member should remain in tenure track after midterm review or be granted tenure at the final review. A copy of the Dean's recommendation will be provided to the candidate at the same time. If necessary, the candidate shall have one calendar week to respond, in writing, to the Dean and VPAA regarding any concerns with the Dean's recommendation.
- In cases of midterm review, the VPAA shall review the decision of the Dean and render a decision by letter to the candidate, Dean, Department Chair and Chair of the Department RTP Committee no later than March 15. If the midterm candidate is not recommended to remain on tenure track, he or she will lose tenure-track status and shall 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. (For appeals, see Section VI.)
- In cases of final tenure review, the VPAA shall forward a written recommendation to the President of the institution, to the appropriate supervisors, and to the candidate by March 15.
- The President's written recommendation shall be forwarded to the Board of Trustees no later than April 1.
- The Board of Trustees shall consider the recommendation of the President, confirm or deny tenure, and return its decision to the President. The President shall then convey the decision of the Board of Trustees by letter to the faculty member in a timely fashion. Copies of the letter will be sent to all administrators and the RTP Committee Chair involved in the tenure review. Tenure candidates 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.
- If the candidate intends to appeal, such appeal of the midterm or tenure decision must be made within ten working days of the candidate's receipt of notification of denial of continuance in tenure track or denial of tenure. (See Section VI.)
- Should an appeal become necessary, no person involved in the original process may serve as a member of the Faculty Senate Tenure Committee or Appeal Committee. Summary of Dates in the Midterm and Tenure Review Process
December 15 Candidate requests tenure review. RTP Committee Chair solicits tenure file materials from Department Chair and Candidate. December 15 - January 15 Department RTP Committee reviews file and forwards recommendation to Department Chair. January 15 - February 1 Department Chair reviews file and forwards recommendation to Dean. February 1 - February 15 Dean reviews file and forwards recommendation to VPAA February 15 - March 15 VPAA reviews file and renders midterm decision or reviews file and forwards final tenure recommendation to President March 15 - April 1 President reviews file and forwards recommendation to Board of Trustees April Board of Trustees confers or denies tenure at its April meeting; President reports that decision to faculty member by letter Appeals must be filed within 10 working days after candidate's receipt of the letter
- Tenure File
- Faculty Senate Tenure Committee
The Faculty Senate Tenure Committee is established by Faculty Senate by-laws. This board serves to ensure equity in tenure policies, adherence to requirements of the State Board of Regents, and to advise on matters of tenure policy.
Faculty members who are denied tenure or continuation on tenure track as a result of their midterm or final tenure reviews may appeal that decision to the Faculty Senate Tenure Committee.
- Reasons for Appeals
The faculty member may appeal a negative decision to the Faculty Senate Tenure Committee on any of the following grounds:
- The decision was arbitrary or capricious;
- The decision was based upon something other than professional qualifications and professional conduct;
- The decision resulted from discriminatory or prejudicial treatment during the tenure review process in violation of specific constitutional or statutory rights;
- Vital information was not considered in rendering the decision or additional information has become available during the review process which may affect the decision;
- The decision was not made in accordance with established due process procedures; or
- The decision was a response to the candidate's legitimate exercise of academic freedom.
The recommendations of the RTP committee and administrators need not be unanimous. If reasonable care is evidenced, failure to follow the guidelines exactly shall not be construed as sufficient grounds for appeal.
- Appeal Committee
Five members of the Faculty Senate Tenure Committee will be selected to constitute an Appeal Committee. The appellant will choose two members, the Chair of the Faculty Senate Tenure Committee will choose two members and a fifth member will be chosen by the VPAA. The Appeal Committee shall consider only the issues set forth in B-1-6 above
- Formal Hearing
To initiate an appeal, the appellant shall file a formal request with the Chair of the Faculty Senate Tenure Committee. Within ten (10) working days following receipt of the request and, after reviewing such appeal and information provided by the candidate's supervisors, the Appeal Committee may at its discretion decide not to hold a formal hearing if the appeal does not meet at least one of the reasons for appeal defined in section VI.B. The decision to dismiss the appeal, together with reasons therefore, shall be submitted in writing to both the appellant and the VPAA. If a decision is made to dismiss the formal appeal, that concludes the process. If the appeal is accepted, a formal hearing will proceed as outlined below.
The appellant shall have the burden of proof, by introducing sufficient evidence, to establish one or more of the grounds for appeal set forth above in section VI.B.- Reasons for Appeal. The standard of proof in these cases shall be by a preponderance of the evidence. Once the appellant sets forth all of the appellant's evidence, the Vice President of Academic Affairs or his or her designee shall produce sufficient evidence to rebut the allegations. The ultimate burden of proof shall remain with the appellant.
- Appeal Committee Recommendation
The Appeal Committee shall recommend one of the following to the Vice President of Academic Affairs in the case of mid-term tenure review or to the President of the institution in the case of final tenure review.
If the Appeal Committee determines that the appellant's case does not have merit, then the appeal should be dismissed on the grounds that the procedures were fair and reasonable, and afforded academic due process to the faculty.
- Mid-term Appeal Dismissal
If the recommendation is for dismissal of the midterm appeal, the VPAA shall be guided but not bound by this recommendation. The VPAA shall make a decision within twenty (20) working days following the date of recommendation of the Appeal Committee and communicate his or her decision in writing to the candidate, and to all administrators and committee Chairs involved in the process.
- Final Tenure Appeal Dismissal
If the recommendation is for dismissal of the tenure appeal, the President of the institution shall be guided but not bound by this recommendation. The President shall make a decision within twenty (20) working days following the date of recommendation of the Appeal Committee. A recommendation by the President shall be forwarded to the Board of Trustees who shall award or deny tenure at its next meeting. There shall be no appeal or review of the Appeal Committee's recommendation beyond the President and the Board of Trustees, except as provided for in Utah statutes or civil courts.
- Mid-term Appeal Dismissal
If the Appeal Committee determines the appellant's case has merit, the appropriate Department RTP Committee and administrators shall reevaluate the candidate. The Appeal Committee shall also recommend any corrections necessary to the process, including addition or removal of specific individuals in the hearing process and the precise point at which rehearing must begin. Such reevaluation shall be completed in a timely manner, no later than March 31of the calendar year in which the recommendation for failure of midterm evaluation or denial of tenure was made.
- Mid-term appeal Reevaluation
If the recommendation of the Appeal Committee is in favor of the appellant, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall be bound by the recommendation that the case be reevaluated.
If the recommendation is for dismissal of the midterm appeal, the VPAA shall be guided but not bound by this recommendation.
- Final Tenure Appeal Reevaluation
If the recommendation of the Appeal Committee is in favor of the appellant, the President of the institution shall be bound by the recommendation that the case be reevaluated.
If the recommendation is for dismissal of the tenure appeal, the President of the institution shall be guided but not bound by this recommendation.
The President shall make a decision in not more than twenty (20) working days following the date of recommendation of the Appeal Committee, or following the reevaluation process. A recommendation by the President shall be forwarded to the Board of Trustees who shall award or deny tenure at its next meeting. There shall be no appeal or review of the Appeal Committee's recommendation beyond the President and Board of Trustees, except as provided in Utah statutes or civil courts
- Mid-term appeal Reevaluation
- Recommendation for Tenure
The Appeal Committee may also recommend to the President that the candidate be granted tenure based upon the review conducted by the Appeal Committee. The President shall be guided but not bound by this recommendation. A recommendation by the President shall be forwarded to the Board of Trustees who shall award or deny tenure at its next meeting. There shall be no appeal or review of the Appeal Committee's recommendation beyond the President and Board of Trustees, except as provided in Utah statutes or civil courts.
- Appeal Committee