Part II. Department Policies and Procedures
Participation in the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee is an important duty
of every tenured faculty member. It is expected that all eligible Department Tenure
and Promotion Committee members will carefully review candidate files and participate
in departmental deliberations and votes.
It is further expected that all faculty members who have attained the rank of either
associate or full professor will participate in the mentoring of faculty who have
not yet attained that rank.
Part I | Part III | Part IV
- The tenured associate and full professors of the Department, in consultation with
the faculty, shall be responsible for establishing departmental policies and procedures
for tenure and promotion. The policies and procedures must be approved by a simple
majority of all tenured associate and full professors.
- The Department shall develop specific criteria and guidelines which it expects a candidate
to meet for tenure and promotion purposes. The Department, College, and University
guidelines shall be given to the candidate in writing upon initial employment. The
Department Chair shall provide updated departmental guidelines as they become available
to tenure and promotion candidates. It is, however, the responsibility of the candidate
to keep current on changes in the guidelines.
- The Chair shall consult with tenure-track non-tenured faculty members each spring
to evaluate performance during the current academic year, to plan for the following
year, and to review the requirements for and progress towards tenure and promotion.
The Chair's comments and recommendations shall be recorded in the faculty member's
planning document, which shall be provided to the faculty member and filed in the
office of the Chair.
- A mid-term evaluation during either the spring term of the third academic year or
the beginning of the fall term of the fourth academic year for each tenure-track faculty
member with a six-year tenure probation period will be made by the Department's Tenure
and Promotion Committee and the Department Chair. For faculty members with a five-year
tenure probation period, the mid-term evaluation should be conducted during either
the spring term of the third academic year or the beginning of the fall term of the
fourth academic year. For faculty members with a four-year tenure probation period,
the mid-term evaluation should be conducted during either the spring term of the second
academic year or the beginning of the fall term of the third academic year. This evaluation,
based on requirements for tenure and promotion, should provide information to the
candidate on his/her progress. This evaluation should mirror the process used by Department
and College Tenure Committees, including use of material as described in Section I-A
of this document. A written report of the evaluation shall be provided to the candidate
and include any concerns, and what must be done to address those concerns. The Committee's
report, as well as one by the Department Chair, shall be forwarded to the Dean, who
shall offer the candidate, if he/she so chooses, the opportunity to provide any additional
information, either in writing and/or in a personal meeting. Faculty with tenure probation
periods of three years or less will not undergo a mid-tenure review. Annual evaluations
by the department chair should contain statements regarding progress toward tenure
- A selection procedure for the department representative to the College Tenure & Promotion
Committee, within the College guidelines, should be adopted and filed in the Office
of the Dean.
- For tenure and promotion to Associate Professors, the Department Tenure and Promotion
Committee shall consist of all tenured associate and full professors. For promotion
to full professor, the Committee shall consist of only tenured full professors. Spouses
and other relatives of a candidate may not participate in deliberations or voting
on that candidate. Only eligible Committee members who have reviewed a candidate's
files and are present for deliberations may vote.
- Each department shall set a minimum number for committee membership and procedures
for expanding the committee with faculty from other departments if the number of eligible
members within the department is insufficient.
- Each department shall devise specific criteria for solicitation of a minimum of four
external peer reviewers of candidates for tenure and promotion. Every effort should
be made to minimize biases for or against the candidate when selecting qualified peers.
The reviewers are to be chosen in accordance with departmental guidelines. No more
than one of the reviewers may have been a major advisor of or a collaborator with
the candidate. A summary of the reviewers’ credentials will be included in the dossier.
Candidates will not have access to the external review letters at the departmental
- The recommendation and supporting statement of the Departmental Tenure and Promotion
Committee shall be forwarded to the Department Chair along with the vote count. The
supporting statements should accurately reflect the deliberations of the Committee,
including a discussion of concerns expressed by those who did not support the candidate's
- The Department Chair shall have the responsibility for providing in the dossier a
written discussion of the quality of the candidate's productivity, including the nature
and scope of the outlets where the candidate's productions have appeared (refereed
or non-refereed; invited or submitted for review, local, regional, national, international;
disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and/or public, etc.). The Department Chair's recommendation
is completely separate from the Committee’s recommendation. The Department Chair may
not be present during the Committee's deliberations or votes.
- The Chair shall forward the Committee's report as well as his/her own recommendation
and supporting statement to the Office of the Dean.
- Requests for a tenure probation reduction are due to the Dean no later than March
1st of calendar year in which the tenure application will be made unless negotiated
at the time of hire. Requests not agreed to at the time of hire require an approval
letter to be included in the candidate's dossier with signatures of the Chair, Dean,
Provost, and President.
- Early promotion to associate professor requires a memo from the Department Chair in
the dossier, unless an early promotion application was stipulated in the offer letter.
Tenure and Promotion Listing
Faculty Information and Links
Maura Black Sullivan, (BA '89, MA '97)
Maura Black Sullivan is the Assistant Superintendent, Planning and Student Services for Shelby County Schools