Faculty Resources
University of Memphis Photo

Tenure and Promotion Guidelines
Mathematical Sciences Department
March 2011


a) All candidates for tenure and/or promotion must satisfy departmental, college, and university eligibility criteria that are in effect at the time of application.

b) Recommendations for tenure and promotion will be made to advance the quality of teaching, research and professional service to the Department, the University, the community, and the nation.

c) Each candidate for tenure and /or promotion will be judged on his/her total contribution to and impact on the Department and the University. The Department expects high quality performance in all areas of academic endeavor -teaching, research, and service - and requires outstanding accomplishment in at least one of these areas.

d) Teaching Effectiveness

Each candidate for tenure or promotion is expected to be an effective teacher. Evidence of effective teaching may consist in part of written statements by faculty colleagues, by students who are enrolled in the University at the time the candidate is being considered, and by recent graduates (within the previous three years) who have been students of the candidate.

Evaluations of the candidate's teaching effectiveness should consider the following:

i) Command of Subject Matter

The candidate's overall command of the subject matter in mathematics, statistics or mathematics education.-- This can be documented by a record of continued growth and development in the candidate's area of specialization; the development and improvement of courses in his/her subject field; and innovative use of teaching techniques.

ii) Peer evaluations

Teaching effectiveness can also be documented by peer evaluations from colleagues in the Department based on their personal experience. Any evaluations of the candidate's teaching must come from tenured members of the Department who are of the same or higher rank as the candidate.

iii) Interaction with students

The candidate's ability to organize subject matter and present it to students in a logical, meaningful and motivating way is a very important part of teaching effectiveness. The candidate must submit for consideration the results of the university standardized student evaluation in each of his/her courses that were taught. He or she may also submit, as supplementary material, copies of unsolicited letters from students. The candidate may also submit any recognition for distinguished teaching.

iv) Mentoring

The candidate's ability to motivate undergraduate and/or graduate students and stimulate creativity, thoughtfulness, and scholarship appropriate to the students' academic level, as evidenced by presentations, publications, theses, or dissertations. This ability is related to but distinct from advisory services described in section 1 (e) (iv).

v) Other

Other material that could demonstrate the quality of teaching and would be helpful in evaluating the candidate's teaching effectiveness may be included in the candidate's dossier.

e) Research And Scholarly Activity

A candidate for tenure or promotion should be a productive scholar. Evaluations of the candidate's scholarly and research ability should consider the following:

i) National and/or International Recognition

The candidate should include on the vita a list of scholarly and research activities that have resulted in national and/or international recognition. These might encompass

  • refereed publications by the candidate in journals, books and/or high quality proceedings
  • citations of the candidates research publications, available in well recognized and reputable citation indices such as the SCI-Science Citation Index, Google Scholar, MATHSCINET, etc.;
  • invitations from organizations to address professional meetings, or to give colloquium lectures at universities other than his/her own;
  • presentations at regional, national, and/or international conferences and meetings;
  • editorship of any professional journals and referee services for professional journals;
  • organization of special sessions, tracks, meetings, and conferences, indicating the level of the candidate's involvement in any leadership positions such as (co-) chair, member of the technical program committee, reviewer, session chair or other leadership roles;

The candidate should furnish the Committee with details of his/her past research and scholarly accomplishment as well as plans for future activity. This may include:

  • publications;
  • papers accepted but not yet published;
  • a brief statement of his or her research program (previous and in progress);
  • abstracts of formal lectures and informal talks

The Committee will solicit from outside the Department written opinions regarding any significant research production by the candidate in his/her field. These opinions should comment on the originality, depth, and importance of the candidate's research. Procedural details can be found in sections VI d) and e) below.

External support of research, teaching and scholarly activities
The candidate should furnish the Committee with details of his/her efforts to obtain external support for his research and scholarly activities, including both successful and unsuccessful, past and current, with government, state, non-profit and/or other corporate organizations.

iv) Potential for Growth and Development

The candidate's potential for continued growth and development will be judged on the record of scholarly activity presented in the candidate's dossier and the written opinions solicited by the Committee from experts in the candidate's field(s), or peer reviews added by the Tenure and Promotion committee.

Significant Books and Articles

The candidate may include in his/her dossier copies of reviews of his/her articles in professional journals and of his/her books.

vi)Engaged Scholarship

For faculty in the pertinent area, the concept of engaged scholarship is defined by the University as projects and activities that allow it "as an urban research institution, to serve its metropolitan state, and national communities." The candidate should provide in his/her vita a list of University activities, if any which relate to engaged scholarship. These activities may include a list of conferences directed by the candidate; courses that were taught or especially designed to meet specific community needs; published reports or papers on such scholarships; or any products or consulting services created, facilitated, or provided by the candidate for University-community projects and partnerships. Furthermore, letters from the various participant groups in the scholarship endeavor may be considered.

f) Service

A candidate for tenure or promotion should have a record of service to the Department, the University and the community- local and professional. Evaluations of the candidate's service ability should consider the following:

i) Service at the Departmental, College, or University Level

The Committee will rely for its evaluation principally on written and oral testimony of faculty and administrators who have the most complete information about the candidate's performance in these areas. This information may come from the chairs of the committees on which the candidate has served and fellow committee members from the Department, College or the University. Committee memberships for current and previous years should be listed by the candidate in his/her vita. This list should be arranged chronologically at the departmental, college, and university levels, with any chairmanships on committees indicated parenthetically. Other kinds of departmental, college, and university services should be mentioned.

ii) Activity and Leadership in Professional Organizations

As evidence of the candidate's activity and leadership in professional organizations related to his/her own discipline or to the profession of university teaching, the candidate should list in the vita memberships, and offices held, if any, in these organizations. He or she should mention any committee services, visiting lectureships, refereeing, editorship of any professional journals, and/or reviewing of professional literature that has been performed for professional organizations.

iii) Advisory Service to Students

The Department assumes that every faculty member will provide effective advisory service to its students, for example, on curriculum, rules and regulations, and career choices, as part of his or her assignment and obligation. The candidate may mention in the vita any special advisory services which were provided to students.

iv)Serving as proposal review panelist for funding organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, The National Security Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, The United States Department of Defense, etc., should be included in the vita. Major research laboratories (federal, state, industrial, non-profit and/or corporate) are also included in this list.


a) At the beginning of the Spring semester, all faculty prepare an annotated report of their activities during the previous calendar year (and Future plans). Reports and Plans are submitted to the Department Chair.

b) The Department Chair will prepare a written evaluation and meet individually with tenure-track faculty to discuss their progress, evaluation, and future plans.


For each tenure-track faculty, a mid-term evaluation in the probationary period will be made by the Department's Tenure and Promotion Committee and the Department Chair during the Spring term of the third academic year (or as dictated by the terms of the candidate's contract). This evaluation, based on requirements for tenure and promotion, will provide information to the candidate on his/her progress. This evaluation will be consistent with the process used by Department and College Tenure Committees, including use of materials as described elsewhere in this document. However, for this Mid-Tenure review, letters from external reviewers will not be required. A written report of the evaluation will be provided to the candidate and will include any concerns, and suggestions as to 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 will offer the candidate, if he/she so chooses, the opportunity to provide any additional information, either in writing and/or in a personal meeting.


a) Appropriate degree - doctorate in mathematics, statistics or mathematics education or an appropriately related discipline

b) Length of service - five years of appropriate professional experience in some area of mathematics, statistics or mathematics education after completion of his or her doctoral degree

c) Teaching - demonstrated effectiveness as a teacher

d) Research- a national or international reputation in candidate's sub-area of mathematics, statistics or mathematics education; sufficient research publication to have gained this national or international reputation and a strong indication of continuing scholarly productivity; ability to direct doctoral dissertations

e) Service - contribution to departmental decisions in the areas of program changes, policy changes, personnel selection, etc; show appropriate service as described in section 1e above.


a) Appropriate degree - doctorate in mathematics, statistics or mathematics education or an appropriately related disciplines

b) Length of service - ten (10) years of appropriate professional experience in some area of mathematics, statistics or mathematics education after completion of his or her doctoral degree.

c) Teaching –demonstrated effectiveness and leadership as a teacher

d) Research - an international reputation in his or her field with a substantial body of important research in mathematics, statistics or mathematics education or related fields of application; demonstrated ability or sufficient research experience to guide graduate students to the attainment of a doctorate in mathematics, statistics or mathematics education; active pursuit of external research funding and active scholarly activities nationally or internationally

e) Service - departmental leadership in his/her specialty or area of current interest

f) Other - Among the evidence of the candidate's performance in meeting these criteria would be the quality of students' research produced under his or her direction, the individual's own research activity and production, the guidance provided for other research activity and production, the guidance provided for other researchers in this area, and creative activities in the candidate's own area(s).

Because there is no rank above that of professor, promotion to this rank must be made on the basis of recognition of superior achievement and with every expectation of a continuing contribution to the University and to the candidate's professional discipline.


a) The department chair will be notified by March 15 by a faculty member who plans to submit an application for tenure and/or promotion in the forthcoming Fall semester.

b) At each stage of the Tenure and Promotion process, the Chair of the Department, in consultation with the Chair of the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee and the candidate, will appoint a tenured associate or full professor, to act as mentor for the candidate. The mentor will provide guidance to the candidate on the preparation of his/her dossier.

c) The dossier submitted must conform to University and College requirements, and must be submitted to the departmental Tenure and Promotion Committee no later than September 1st.

d) External review letters: The candidate shall provide a list, normally four to eight names, of recommended peer reviewers from outside the University, to the Chair of the Departmental Tenure and Promotion Committee in the Spring semester , (no later than April 15th) preceding the academic year of application. At most one collaborator from the candidates list will be solicited for evaluation letter.

e) The candidate may also submit a list (with justifications) of persons who may pose a conflict for consideration by the Chairs of the Department and of the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee. In addition, the Department Chair and the T & P committee chair will compile a list of outside peer reviewers. At least one of the names suggested by the candidate must be on the list of external reviewers. The department is solely responsible for supplementing the candidate's list with additional reviewers. The dossier should contain at least four external reviewers. Each reviewer will be required to accompany their evaluation with their brief biosketch or curriculum vita. The reviewer will also be required to state their relationship to the candidate (if any). The external reviewers are expected to provide informed, objective evaluations. Therefore, no more than one external reviewer can be a past mentor or collaborator of the candidate. (For this purpose, a collaborator is defined as someone with whom the candidate has coauthored publications or served as a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on an externally funded grant.) The external reviewers for candidates seeking the rank of professor should have attained the rank of professors themselves. These confidential outside recommendations will be requested by the Chair of the committee or his/her designee. Every effort should be made to minimize biases for or against the candidate when selecting reviewers. The Department Tenure and Promotion Committee, in its report, should provide the rationale for the choice of external reviewers. Vitae or biosketches of the reviewers may be included for this purpose.





a) For tenure and promotion to Associate Professors, the departmental Tenure and Promotion Committee shall consist of all tenured associate and full professors except the Chair of the Department. For promotion to full professor, the Committee shall consist of only tenured full professors except the Chair of the Department.

b) Committee members are not permitted to attend or participate in T&P deliberations or vote on candidates with whom they have an obvious conflict of interest (e.g. married faculty or relatives). When a committee member perceives that a conflict of interest may exist between a candidate and an individual committee member (e.g. intimate non-marital relationships), any committee member may request a vote on the candidate in question. The committee member in question may not vote to resolve his/her own conflict of interest issue, and majority approval is required by the committee for the member to be allowed to participate in the deliberation and vote.


c) The Chair of the Tenure and Promotion Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Department.

d) Quorum and minimum committee size – The committee shall consist of at least two-thirds of the eligible member of the T&P committee who are not on leave. Only eligible members of the T&P committee can attend the T&P committee meetings. The Chair of the Department and the candidate's spouse and relatives are not eligible to attend the T&P committee meeting.


The candidate must be discussed at one or more meetings of the T&PC prior to the meeting at which the vote is taken. After a final round of discussion, the vote will be conducted by secret ballot, tallied and recorded by the T&P committee Chair. A final report shall be approved in a meeting of the T&P committee. The T&P committee Chair will forward the report to the Department Chair, or to the Dean, if the candidate is the Department Chair. If one or more members of the T&P committee requests it, a minority report shall also be forwarded. In the case of a split decision the Department

Chair may also require a minority report.


e) Each member of the T&P committee must have reviewed each candidate's application thoroughly before voting. After each candidate's application has been reviewed and discussed, a vote will be taken by secret ballot. The committee will discuss and come to consensus on remarks to be appended to each candidate's application, and the committee Chair shall record, collate the remarks (including the minority report, if any), and complete the forms for each applicant.


f) A member of the committee who has reviewed the candidate's file and participated in at least one of the committee meetings on a candidate, may elect a proxy to register his/her vote if extenuating circumstances make it impossible for the committee member to vote personally.

g) The candidate may not add or delete anything from the dossier following the department committee's review.

h) The department chair's recommendation is independent of the Tenure and Promotion committee's recommendation

i) The candidate's application and the Tenure and Promotion Committee's recommendations and supporting statements will be forwarded to the department chair. If the Department Chair applies for tenure and/or promotion, the dossier goes directly to the Department College Committee.

j) After both the Department Committee and the Department Chair have acted, the Department Chair will notify the candidate of the Committee's and the Chair's vote and decision.




These guidelines should be reviewed by the Department at least once every three years. Proposed amendments must be introduced by tenured associate and full professors, and must be approved by the Tenure and Promotion Committee of the department. Proposed amendments to this document should be submitted to the Dean no later than the last Monday in February of the year in which they will go into effect.




Step Responsibility Action Due Date
1 Candidate Notify Department Chair of Intent to apply for Tenure and/or Promotion March 15
2 Department Chair Notify faculty to form Department T&P committee and appoint a chair; if insufficient in size, identify additional committee members April 1
3 Candidate: Departmental T&P Committee Independently develop a list of potential external reviewers April 15
4 T&P Committee Chair In consultation with the committee members, the Chair of T&P should finalize a list of reviewers and start to solicit their agreement to review the candidate's materials May 1
5 Candidate Develop a packet of research materials and vitae to submit to external reviewers May 1
6 T&P Committee Chair Send letter, candidate's materials and Department T&P Guidelines to reviewers (follow College Calendar for due date of the reviewers' recommendations) May 5
7 Candidate Complete Dossier (following University, College, and Department guidelines and calendar); submit to Chair of the T&P Committee September 1
8 T&P Committee Chair Schedule and lead Department T&P Committee review meetings; draft committee recommendation for member review; finalize; submit Committee Recommendation with all materials, including a rationale for selection of external reviewers to Department Chair September 15
9 Department Chair Independently review candidate's dossier and reviews, and submit this or her recommendation, including a rationale for the selection of outside members of the departmental T&P committee (if applicable) to Dean's office. September 30

Academic Affairs Administration
360 Administration Building
Memphis, Tn  38152-3370
(901) 678-2119
(901) 678 -3643 (fax)

Text Only | Print | Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2015 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 
Last Updated: 9/25/12