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Tenure and Promotion

The College Tenure and Promotion Committee shall review the written standards from the candidate's department and make a judgment regarding the candidate's achievement of those standards. The College Committee also shall examine the candidate's credentials relative to the College guidelines in order to ensure that the professional expectations of the College have been achieved.

Finally, this Committee shall review the candidate's potential for future growth and development based on the evidence presented in the candidate's materials as well as the evaluative comments of the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee and Department Chair.

Another role of the College Tenure and Promotion Committee member is to facilitate discussions each year in his or her home department about the criteria met by successful candidates. This role is particularly important in keeping departments aware of the criteria for promotion to professor.

  1. The membership requirements for the College Tenure and Promotion Committee shall be as follows.
    1. Each member must be a tenured associate or full professor and meet the professional requirements expected of candidates for tenure and promotion from the member's respective department.
    2. The Committee shall consist of representatives from departments and schools within the College. Each member will serve a two-year term. The Dean will appoint one-third of the new Committee members for each term. The remaining members of the Committee will be elected by tenured faculty members within each department and school. A specific faculty member cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
    3. A list of current committee membership and a schedule for elections and appointments will be maintained on the College website.
  2. The College Tenure and Promotion Committee operating procedures shall be as follows:
    1. The Dean shall assemble the Committee for its initial meeting in October of each year.  The first order of business, to be conducted by the Dean or his/her designee, shall be the election of a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary through a process of open nominations and secret ballot, using a simple majority vote. Each of these officers shall serve for one academic year and have full voting privileges.
    2. The Vice-Chair shall conduct meetings in the absence of the Chair or in cases in which the Chair must excuse him/herself.
    3. The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining the agenda, completing and filing the minutes in the office of the dean, and ensuring that all vote counts are certified and ballots properly stored. The Vice-Chair shall substitute in the absence of the Secretary.
    4. The Committee must have a quorum of two-thirds (2/3) members present to conduct business.
    5. The Committee Chair shall be provided with the candidate's materials, including the recommendation documents of both the Departmental Tenure & Promotion Committee and the Department Chair. The transmittal of this material will be from the Department Chair via the Dean to the Chair of the College Tenure & Promotion Committee.
    6. Each Committee member shall be expected to review the files of all applicants.
    7. Candidates from a single department shall be considered individually. Voting on each candidate shall remain secret until voting on all candidates for that given department is completed. The Secretary, Vice-Chair and Chair shall independently count the vote in the presence of the committee and the Chair shall report the results. The vote on all candidates will be reported to the Dean after all voting is completed. The ballots must be retained for three years.
    8. Committee members must excuse themselves when candidates from their departments are discussed and voted upon. They may, however, be requested to appear before the Committee to respond only to specific informational questions approved by the Committee. Discussion of responses to these questions and other matters pertaining to the candidate would continue subsequent to dismissal of the member in question.
    9. The Committee, through its Chair, may request that the Chair of the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee respond in writing to specific questions from the Committee.
    10. All members, with the exception of those who have excused themselves, will be eligible to vote on candidates for tenure and promotion. Each member shall vote yes, no, or abstain. Voting will be by secret ballot. Each member will vote yes, no, or abstain. Abstentions will not be considered in determining the majority. Tie votes will be reported simply as such, not as positive or negative recommendations.
    11. Because promotion to associate professor accompanies tenure in all cases, unless that rank has already been attained, the vote for tenure shall also be the vote for associate professor, where applicable.
    12. In all decisions on tenure and/or promotion, the Committee shall include a written rationale for its vote reflecting the Committee's discussion. This rationale shall be prepared by the Secretary, subject to final approval by the committee, prior to being made a part of the committee's final report.
    13. Committee members shall maintain complete confidentiality regarding deliberations of the Committee.
  3. The Committee Chair and the Secretary shall complete and sign the recommendation reports and forward them to the Dean.
  4. The Dean shall prepare a recommendation and report based on available material.  Subsequently, the Dean shall forward all appropriate forms and his/her report/recommendation as well as those of the Department Chair and both the College and Department Tenure and Promotion Committees to the Office of the Provost.
  5. When a senior faculty member is hired with the expectation of tenure, the Committee will convene a special meeting to examine the faculty member's credentials.  The Committee's recommendation will then be sent forward through the Dean, Provost, and President in time for consideration at the Tennessee Board of Regents' first meeting of the next academic year.
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Last Updated: 1/14/13