University of Memphis (14K)

2011 Faculty Handbook

Chapter 4 - Tenure and Promotion


Contents

Tenure and Promotion

Tenure and Promotion


Tenure and Promotion Overview

The quality of the faculty of any university is maintained primarily through the appraisal, by competent faculty and administrative officers, of each candidate for tenure and promotion. Tenure at the University of Memphis provides certain full-time faculty with the assurance of continued employment during the academic year until retirement, or dismissal for adequate cause, financial exigency, or curricular reasons. Tenure does not confer the right to teach during the summer sessions, nor a guarantee of any specific salary. Tenure and/or promotion to a higher academic rank can be awarded only by the Tennessee Board of Regents upon the recommendation of the president of the university. No other individual or entity may confer tenure or promotion to a higher academic rank at the University.

The tenure and promotion process begins at the department level and requires an understanding of the objectives and aims, not only of the department or appropriate academic unit, but also of the college and university. Criteria to aid in making these appraisals have been formulated by the individual departments and academic units, the individual colleges, the university, and the Tennessee Board of Regents. Departmental and college criteria are consistent with the policies of the University and the Tennessee Board of Regents, but are tailored to the demands of the specific discipline and are designed to allow each department to maintain the degree of specialization in its faculty that the profession requires. Departmental criteria are approved by the dean, provost, and president. College criteria are approved by the provost and president. 

Written guidelines should be available on-line and on file in each departmental office and should be distributed to faculty when they join the department, when they come up for pre-tenure review, and when they apply for tenure and promotion. Guidelines should be redistributed to all affected faculty members whenever they are revised or should be available on the Web.

In addition to departmental criteria, administrative criteria such as enrollment patterns and trends, curricular changes, program development, financial consideration and rank distribution, are considered in tenure and promotion decisions. Therefore, a decision to deny tenure or deny promotion does not necessarily mean that a faculty member's work or conduct has been unsatisfactory.

        

Definitions of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service

Each faculty member is expected to demonstrate a commitment to and competence in teaching, scholarship, and service activities. In a university community, teaching, scholarship, and service are communal responsibilities. However, variation naturally occurs among departments and among faculty members within departments as to the balance among these activities. It is important to emphasize that teaching, scholarship, and service are interrelated, and that some activities may span more than one area. For example, journal editorship might be considered scholarship, or service, or both; dissertation supervision might be considered teaching, or scholarship, or both. Teaching, scholarship, and service should be evaluated individually and collectively during annual review and at the time of tenure and promotion decisions.

Teaching

Teaching is central to the purposes and objectives of the University of Memphis. It encom­passes classroom instruction, course development, mentoring students in academic projects including dissertations, testing, grading, and the professional development of the faculty member as a teacher. Mentoring students at all levels is an important aspect of teaching; creative and effective use of innovative teaching methods and curricular innovations is encouraged.

The evaluation of teaching should be adaptable to differences among disciplines. Since such evaluation is a qualitative process, multiple sources of evidence, including student evalua­tions for all classes, should be employed. The evaluation should be formative (to improve teaching skills) as well as summative (to judge teaching skills).

Scholarship

Scholarship is a discipline-based, multidisciplinary activity that advances knowledge and learning by producing new ideas and understanding. Scholarly contributions include peer-evaluated, discipline-appropriate works such as books, articles, chapters, films, paintings, performances, and choreographic or theatrical design. Scholarship can be divided into five sub-categories: application, creative activity, inquiry, integration, and the scholarship of teaching. Each department, considering its relevant discipline or disciplines, may emphasize contributions in some subcategories more than others, as described in its mission statement and other relevant departmental documents. Individual faculty are not expected to contribute in all five subcategories of scholarship. Some overlap in the meaning of the five subcategories is inevitable, and a particular scholarly contribution may fall under more than one subcategory. These subcategories are:

  • Creative activity should be fully accepted as scholarship in departments where such work is appropriate to both professional specialization and teaching. It includes, but is not limited to, choreography and dance performance; creative writing; direction and design of plays; exhibitions of visual arts such as paintings, sculpture, and photography; direction of film and video; and musical composition and performance.
  • Inquiry involves rigorous investigation aimed at the discovery of new knowledge within one's own discipline or area of study; it often serves as the basis for other forms of scholar­ship and may result in scholarly publications, funded research, and presentations at profes­sional meetings.
  • Integration makes meaningful connections between previously unrelated topics, facts, or observations, such as cross-disciplinary synthesis or an integrative framework within a discipline that results in a publication or presentation in a suitable forum.
  • The scholarship of teaching focuses on transforming and extending knowledge about pedagogy, including appropriate textbooks or educational articles in one's own discipline. Innovative contributions to teaching, if published or presented in a peer-reviewed forum, also constitute scholarship of teaching. The "scholarship of teaching" is not equivalent to teaching. Class­room teaching and staying current in one's field are not relevant criteria for evaluating faculty on the "scholarship of teaching."
  • Engaged scholarship now subsumes the scholarship of application.  It adds to existing knowledge in the process of applying intellectual expertise to collaborative problem-solving with urban, regional, state, national and/or global communities and results in a written work shared with others in the discipline or field of study.  Engaged scholarship conceptualizes "community groups" as all those outside of academe and requires shared authority at all stages of the research process from defining the research problem, choosing theoretical and methodological approaches, conducting the research, developing the final product(s), to participating in peer evaluation.  Departments should refine the definition as appropriate for their disciplines and incorporate evaluation guidelines in departmental tenure and promotion criteria.

Service 

Service includes service to the university, service to the profession, and outreach to the community. These functions may overlap in some instances.

All faculty members will perform basic citizenship service within the university. This includes, but is not limited to, serving on departmental committees, advising students, and participating in college and university committees. Academic advising of students is an important aspect of the university citizenship of many faculty and will be taken into account in faculty evaluations.

Some faculty members may accept more extensive citizenship functions, such as a leadership role in the Faculty Senate, membership on a specially appointed task force, advisor to a university-wide student organization, and membership on a university search committee.

Service to the profession includes association leadership, journal editorships, article and grant proposal review, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities.

Outreach, or service to the community, primarily involves sharing professional expertise with the wider community and should directly support the goals and mission of the university. Under very rare circumstances, outreach may include non-professionally related activities outside the University. Some departments and disciplines, given the nature of their profes­sional work, will be more involved in outreach than will other departments and disciplines. Community outreach is particularly valuable for an urban university such as the University of Memphis.   

 

Evaluation of Effective Teaching, Scholarship, and Service

University criteria relate to the institution's three traditional missions: teaching, scholarship, and service. These three activities are interrelated and may span more than one mission. Effective teaching is an essential qualification for tenure and promotion, neither of which will be granted in the absence of clear evidence of a candidate's teaching ability and potential for continued development. Excellence in teaching is a strong recommendation for both tenure and promotion, though it cannot be considered in isolation from scholarship and service.

Although it is difficult to establish evidence of teaching excellence, each department must develop a procedure to ensure that all factual information relative to the candidate's teaching is available at the time they are considered for tenure and promotion. Evidence of teaching excellence should include, but is not limited to, the following: command of subject matter, ability to organize and present subject matter in a logical and meaningful way, ability to motivate and  stimulate creativity in the student population.

Documentation of teaching should routinely include: statement of teaching philosophy; course materials; systematic student evaluations for each course each semester, including the summer and the previous spring semester; grade distributions, plus any comments the faculty member chooses to make about the relation between the grade distribution and the nature of the course; and evidence of supervision of student projects and other forms of student mentorships. Departments should choose additional types of documentation such as: open-­ended or other student input; student products; teaching recognition; teaching scholarship; peer input; evidence of professional development in teaching; evidence of disciplinary or interdisciplinary program or curricular development; alumni surveys and student exit interviews; and other evidence of excellence in teaching or mentoring, or both.

Candidates for tenure and promotion must present evidence of their research and scholarly activities. Such evidence should cite books, journal articles, monographs, creative activity, performances, or exhibitions and must accompany the application for promotion and tenure. The scholarship of teaching goes beyond doing a good job in the classroom; creative teachers should organize, record, and document their efforts in such a way that their colleagues may share their contributions to the art of teaching. Appropriate textbooks or educational articles in one's own discipline and innovative contributions to teaching, if published or presented in a peer reviewed forum, constitute scholarship of teaching. Likewise, the Scholarship of Engagement should cite peer-reviewed publications, collaborative reports, documentation of impact, and continuing external funding as evidence of research activity.  Please see the sections entitled "Definition of Teaching, Research, and Service" and "Documenting for Tenure and Promotion" for further details.

The publication of research in refereed journals or media of similar quality is considered a reliable indication of scholarly ability. In most disciplines, evidence of national recognition is considered the most important criterion in evaluating scholarship for promotion to professor. Evidence of potential for national recognition is considered the most important criterion in evaluating scholarship for promotion to associate professor. Professional scholarly papers presented at international, national, or regional meetings may be appropriate. Written reviews and evaluations by qualified peers, either in person or aided by other forms of reports, or both, are appropriate for performances, compositions, and other artistic creations. Books published by reputable firms and articles in refereed journals, reviewed by recognized scholars, are more significant than those that are not subjected to such rigorous examination. It should be emphasized that quality is more important than quantity. 

Service is a term encompassing a faculty member's activities in one of three areas: outreach or public service, institutional service, and professional service.  The outreach or public service function of The University of Memphis is the University's outreach to the community and society at large, with major emphasis on the application of knowledge for the solution of problems with which society is confronted. Outreach primarily involves sharing professional expertise and should directly support the goals and mission of the University. A vital component of the University's mission, public service must be performed at the same high levels of quality that characterize teaching and research.

Institutional service refers to work other than teaching and scholarship done at the department, college, or university level. A certain amount of such service is expected of every faculty member; indeed, the University could hardly function without conscientious faculty who perform committee work and other administrative responsibilities. Institutional service includes, but is not limited to, serving on departmental committees, advising students, and participating in college and university committees. Academic advising of students is an important aspect of the University citizenship and will be taken into account in faculty evaluations. Some faculty members may accept more extensive citizenship functions, such as a leadership role in the Faculty Senate, membership on a specially appointed task force, advisor to a university-wide student organization, and membership on a university search committee.

Professional service refers to the work done for organizations related to one's discipline or to the teaching profession generally. Service to the profession includes association leadership, journal editorships, article and grant proposal review, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities. While it is impossible to define the exact nature of significant professional service, clearly more is required than organizational membership and attendance; examples of significant service would be that done by an officer of a professional organization or a member of the editorial staff of a journal.

The collegiality of the faculty member should be considered in all tenure and promotion decisions.  It, however, should be not be considered as a separate evaluative criterion; rather, it should be considered in the context of the candidate's teaching, scholarship/research, and service/outreach. 

External Peer Review

Both tenure and promotion to associate professor or professor require external peer review of a candidate's record of scholarly activity by qualified peers who are not affiliated with the University of Memphis.  The purpose of external peer reviews is solely to provide an informed, objective evaluation of the quality of the scholarship, research or creative activity of the candidate. It is expected that the external reviewers will be selected from peer or comparable institutions with national reputations in the faculty member's discipline. Though not an absolute requirement, it is also expected that faculty of superior rank will review faculty of lower rank.  For example, full professors should review applicants for promotion to professor. 

Such reviews place a burden on the usually busy schedules of the evaluators. In order to obtain external reviews in a timely manner, the process of developing the lists of external reviewers, as described below, should be initiated during the spring semester preceding the fall tenure and promotion process.

The candidate shall develop a list, normally four to eight names, of recommended peer reviewers from outside the University. 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 the department tenure and promotion committee. In addition, the chairs of the department and the department tenure and promotion committee will develop a list of outside peer reviewers. The chairs must select at least one of the names suggested by the candidate. The department is solely responsible for supplementing the candidate's list with additional reviewers. The dossier should contain at least four external reviews. If it is not possible to obtain four reviews, the reasons must be documented at the departmental level. For each reviewer, there should be an accompanying brief paragraph identifying her/his credentials and a statement regarding the nature of the relationship to the candidate (if any). The external reviewers are expected to provide informed, objective evaluations rather than testimonials. Therefore, no more than one external reviewer can be a past mentor or collaborator of the candidate.  To the extent possible, the external reviewers for candidates seeking the rank of professor should be professors themselves.

All reviewers should receive the same materials for evaluation; if not, an explanation should be included. Peer reviewers who have agreed to write letters of evaluation should be sent the following: the candidate's curriculum vitae and a letter from the Department Chair to the reviewer, including a request for a written response to the question: "How do you assess the quality of the scholarly and/or creative activity of the candidate;" a deadline for the written response; and a statement that the State of Tennessee has an Open Records Law and that the candidate has access to the outside peer evaluation document.

Note: These are minimal requirements and should be interpreted to mean that additional materials related to scholarly activity may be necessary in some departments, colleges or schools.  The materials sent to a reviewer should enable her/him to fully assess the scholarship of the candidate in an objective fashion.

Evaluation by Chairs

The Tennessee Board of Regents requires that department chairs evaluate the faculty in their departments annually and that the results of these evaluations be used as a basis for decisions relating to tenure, promotion, recommendations for salary increases and other personnel actions, including decisions regarding renewal of tenure-track appointments. Each department develops, and revises when appropriate, criteria to be considered in the evaluation of its faculty members' activities and responsibilities. The departmental criteria and any departmental procedures for evaluation are approved by the dean of the college and the provost. This information is distributed to all new faculty and to all current faculty whenever a revision is approved. The University's standard faculty evaluation instrument and planning document are available in the Office of the Provost or may be accessed on-line at http://memphis.edu/facres/faceval.php. The annual review process is conducted in the spring semester and consists of two parts: (1) a review of the faculty member's accomplishments during the prior calendar year, using the previously agreed upon plan of activities for that year as the basis of the review, and (2) establishing a plan of activities for the next year, or for a longer period when appropriate. The review will consider the faculty member's performance in all areas that further the mission of the university, including teaching and advising, research and other scholarly or creative activity, public and university service.

Any review of a faculty member's professional performance should be conducted with the full knowledge of the faculty member, should allow the faculty member to be informed of the findings prior to the transmittal of the conclusions of the review, and should allow the faculty member to verify that the review has been based on full and complete information.

Faculty Planning

During the spring semester, all faculty members submit a current curriculum vitae, a narrative of their accomplishments during the past year (i.e., faculty activity report), and their plans for the upcoming year to their department chair (or other appropriate head of their academic unit if there is no department chair). The chair receives copies of student evaluations for each course that the faculty member has taught during the evaluation period and may also obtain peer input as discussed herein. Both the faculty member and the chair should obtain and include appropriate, similar information from any other relevant department(s) whenever the faculty member is involved in interdisciplinary activities. Generally, the faculty member's accomplishments over only the prior calendar year are considered in the annual review, although a two or three year period of activities may be considered when appropriate.

The department chair reviews the material and then prepares a narrative and an evaluation in a Faculty Evaluation and Planning Report. The chair provides an overall evaluation of the faculty member's performance by assigning one of the following five performance categories: (a) exceptional performance, (b) very good performance, (c) good performance, (d) improvement needed, and (e) failure to meet responsibilities. The chair must provide written specifics for ratings of "improvement needed" and "failure to meet responsibilities." The chair's overall rating should take into account a balance of all the faculty member's activities.

The department chair uses the annual review process as the primary mechanism for evaluating faculty, for giving specific feedback to faculty on their performance, and for making recommendations on how to improve performance consistent with the department's and/or academic unit's goals in areas of teaching, scholarship, outreach, and service. It is recommended that each department and school refer to the tenure and promotion guidelines as a guide to expectations for continued faculty performance. Faculty planning, both short and long term, begins in the spring during the annual review process. This is a joint endeavor carried out by the faculty member and chair, with results acceptable to both; the plan will take into account academic freedom and the departmental or academic unit's mission. Faculty planning, begun during the annual review process in the spring, is finalized in a formal planning report and submitted at the end of the spring semester. Faculty have the option of revising their plan throughout the year as the balance of their responsibilities dictate. Informal meetings between the chair and each faculty member may be necessary to finalize the planning report. The chair's signature on the planning report indicates the appropriateness of the faculty member's plan.

Curriculum Vitae

The University of Memphis uses an on-line data form for development of faculty curricula vitae [https://itweb2.memphis.edu/fcv/login.php]. Faculty members must submit updated vitae information each spring as part of their annual evaluation, and are encouraged to update these vitae throughout the year. Faculty and administrative staff may access CVs in "view only" mode.

Student Evaluations 

Student evaluations are required for every section of every course, including summer sessions taught by University of Memphis faculty members and includes full-time and part-time instructors and graduate teaching assistants. Faculty members must include student evalua­tion results with applications for promotion and tenure. The Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness rating system (SETE) is an electronic process.  Information about SETE forms, and monitoring capabilities can be found on the provost web site at [http://memphis.edu/sete/index.php] and on each faculty member's portal - SETE channel.

Peer Input

Department chairs are encouraged to seek peer input regarding faculty members as a part of the evaluation process. The form of such input may vary from discussions between the chair and the faculty to formal committees. Examples of successful peer input in various departments include: formal input from a representative group of faculty either appointed by the chair or selected by the faculty; formal input from a rotating group of tenured faculty; formal input from the departmental tenure and promotion committee; and discussions between the chair and each faculty member in the department. In all of these models, documentation should be reviewed by peers. When a formal committee is used, its makeup should reflect the department's diversity and be as widely inclusive as possible; its membership should rotate among faculty members through the use of staggered terms. Although the majority of the committee members should be tenured, untenured faculty may also serve as members. When part of the annual review process, internal peer review committees within departments may also participate in planning with individual faculty members, evaluate faculty's annual performance, and provide evaluations to department chairs.

Faculty Evaluation and Planning Report

Subject to the approval of the dean and the provost, each department may develop a set of procedures to be followed and criteria to be considered in the evaluation of a faculty member's activities and responsibilities. A sample instrument, which may be used or modified, is available in the Office of the Provost.

Department chairs and others with evaluative and developmental responsibilities will be provided institutional support upon request (through the Office of the Provost) in devising strategies for evaluating, collecting and interpreting data, and acquiring reference materials.

After the chair has completed and signed the annual Faculty Evaluation and Planning Report, he or she will transmit the form to the faculty member. The faculty member is given an opportunity to read, sign, and/or offer a written response to the document. The chair also may respond in writing to the written comments of the faculty member, and a copy of all such attachments will be included with the evaluation documents when forwarded to the dean of the college for review and when placed in the faculty members' personnel file maintained by the Office of Academic Personnel Services. A faculty member's signature or electronic acknowledgement of the annual Faculty Evaluation and Planning Report does not represent agreement with the evaluation but only that the evaluation was reviewed by the faculty member.  Although faculty members may submit comments and/or responses to the evaluation, failure to do so should not be construed as agreement with the results of the evaluation.

Each institution's evaluation system must be designed to ensure that both formative and summative information is provided to determine which individuals should participate in appropriate faculty development program(s). If it is determined that faculty development is needed, opportunities to address the need for improvement will be provided. Failure either to participate in a recommended program or to otherwise attain a required level of performance or credential may justify appropriate administrative action (Tennessee Board of Regents memorandum dated January 8, 1992).

Role of Evaluation in Renewal of Tenure-Track Appointments and Tenure and Promotion Decisions

Evaluations may be considered in determining whether to renew a faculty member's tenure track appointment. The department chair may use the annual evaluation and review process as an opportunity to counsel tenure-track faculty during their probationary period. The mid­-tenure review, discussed below, provides an additional opportunity for counseling tenure-­track faculty regarding any areas of concern and becomes a part of the faculty member's application for tenure.

Because a faculty member's annual evaluations and mid-tenure review are a core part of the materials considered for the faculty member's tenure and promotion review, copies of these evaluations and review should be included in the tenure and promotion file of all tenure-track faculty.

Evaluation of a faculty member's performance constitutes only one aspect of the final recommendation on tenure or promotion. In addition to evaluation, the administrative assessment of need, enrollment trends, financial resources, rank distribution, and other such matters will also be considered in the recommendation to promote or tenure.

Mid-Tenure (Third Year) Review of Probationary Faculty

Individual departments and academic units, with the involvement of their dean, will conduct a major evaluation of untenured faculty in tenure-track positions prior to their eligibility to apply for tenure. The purpose of the review is to provide the department tenure and promotion committee, the chair, the college tenure and promotion committee (if utilized), the dean and the faculty member with information about her/his progress toward promotion and tenure. This evaluation is typically near the end of the faculty member's third year and is conducted by the tenure and promotion committee and the chair. Each faculty member is responsible for presenting documentation (dossier) of contributions and accomplishments according to departmental or academic unit, college, and university guidelines. These materials are reviewed by the tenure committee of the department, by the chair and by the dean and are subsequently forwarded to the Office for Faculty Administrative Services for inclusion in the faculty member's permanent file. During this process, the chair and the dean should provide the candidate with information about his or her progress toward application for tenure.

Procedures

The procedure for the mid-tenure review should be the same as that used by the Department for tenure and promotion review. Deliberations and discussions of dossiers will take place in committee meetings. Each candidate's accomplishments should be evaluated with respect to quality as well as quantity within the context of the candidate's roles and responsibilities. The dossier for the mid-tenure review should be the same as the one for tenure and promotion, with the exception of letters from external peer reviewers. The format of the University of Memphis Tenure and Promotion dossier example should be used and contain information documenting evidence of quality in instruction, scholarship, and outreach/service. (The term scholarship will be used to encompass research and creative activity.) The inclusion of non-essential documents is discouraged.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation criteria for the quality of a faculty member's mid-tenure accomplishments should be the same as those used for promotion to associate professor with tenure. The University criteria relate to the institution's traditional missions: instruction, scholarship, and outreach/service. The candidate should have also demonstrated a willingness to work with colleagues in supporting the goals and missions of the department, college, and university. Each department should determine the level of instructional effectiveness, scholarship and outreach/service activities that are appropriate to support its particular goals and missions, consistent with College and University criteria.

Feedback

The committee chair will prepare a written report based on the recommendation of the tenure and promotion committee members that is submitted to the department chair or equivalent. The report should specify the department's criteria and, in particular, discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member's accomplishments in instruction, scholarship, and outreach/service. The report should provide meaningful feedback and direction to the faculty member to assist in planning and organizing subsequent work activities.

The department chair will prepare a written report that addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member's accomplishments in instruction, scholarship, and outreach/service.

A copy of the two reports will be presented to the faculty member. The tenure and promotion committee chair, the department chair or equivalent, will meet with the candidate to discuss the reports. The faculty member may write a brief statement in response to the discussions and reports obtained from the department tenure and promotion committee and the department chair. The purpose of this response is to allow the faculty member the opportunity to address any concerns or inaccuracies in the reports. The faculty member may also describe plans for addressing concerns raised during the mid-tenure review. In addition, the response ensures that all participants in the process understand the nature and context of the feedback, thereby minimizing miscommunication. The candidate's dossier, the recommendations made by the department tenure and promotion committee and the department chair, and the candidate's response (if any) constitute the candidate's file. The chair is responsible for forwarding the candidate's file to the dean.

Colleges may elect to include the college tenure and promotion committee in the third-year/mid-tenure review process.

The dean shall then prepare a written report and, as necessary, may meet with the candidate to discuss the results of the third-year/mid-tenure review.

                 

Eligibility for Tenure and Promotion

Tenure

Before beginning the sixth (or final) probationary year, a faculty member with the rank of assistant professor or higher must make application for tenure. Application and all supporting documentation for tenure should be submitted at the beginning of thefall semester of the sixth or fianl probationary year. Candidates for tenure must meet eligibility requirements for promotion to associate professor or have already attained that rank. Stated another way, anyone recommended for tenure must also be recommended for promotion. 

Tenure applications receive one of two responses: tenure may be granted; or tenure may be denied. Re-application for tenure is not possible and the seventh year, or other final year following application for tenure, will be terminal if tenure is denied.

Faculty holding temporary appointments are not eligible for tenure. Also, faculty may not be tenured in an administrative position. A faculty member will retain tenure in his/her former faculty position when appointed to an administrative position, and those otherwise eligible for tenure and who also hold an administrative position may earn tenure in the faculty position only.

Promotion

Faculty members may apply for promotion whenever they believe they meet the established criteria. The minimum criteria for promotion is stated herein; however, faculty members applying for promotion must also satisfy any applicable criteria for promotion required by their individual department, academic unit, and/or college. Faculty members are advised, but not required, to confer with their department chair before submitting applications for promotion.

     

Review Process for Tenure and Promotion

The tenure and promotion process begins at the departmental or other academic unit level with review of the candidate's application by the department's tenure and promotion committee. This committee forwards its recommendations to the department chair or other appropriate head of an academic unit, who then reviews the application and forwards both the committee's and his/her recommendation to the College. The application is then reviewed at the college level by the college tenure and promotion committee which makes a recommendation; the dean makes his/her recommendation subsequent to action by the college committee.  All four recommendations are subsequently forwarded to the Provost. In the event that a chair/head of an academic unit or a dean is not available to make a recommen­dation on a tenure or promotion application, the Provost may appoint a substitute from within the appropriate college or accept the application for consideration without such recommenda­tion.

Note: Throughout this section, the terms "academic unit" and "head of academic unit" should be substituted for "department" or "department chair," respectively, whenever applicable.

Department Committee

Candidates for tenure and/or promotion should submit their applications and supporting papers to their department chair, who will transmit the documents directly to the department's tenure and promotion committee. This committee will evaluate the candidate's accomplishments, applying to them all relevant criteria (Tennessee Board of Regents, university, college and department). The judgment and assessment of the candidate's application for tenure by the faculty at the department level is critical because of their familiarity with the candidates and their knowledge of the qualifications necessary for their particular discipline. Therefore, reviewers at every level will utilize dossier materials and professional observations in making their recommendations.  Professional observations may be included in the documentation that is prepared at each level of review.

The departmental committee will return the applications and supporting papers to the department chair/head of academic unit along with its recommendations and reasons for those recommendations.  These recommendations should reflect the full scope of discussions that took place in the committee meetings, and should also contain the rationale for the recommendation that is consistent with the vote of the committee.  If the decision of the Department Committee is not unanimous, the committee may also submit to the department chair a minority report with the rationale for dissenting opinions.

Department Committee Composition: The tenure and promotion committee of the department consists of all tenured associate professors and professors. For promotion to professor, the subcommittee of tenured professors will make the recommendations. Note: For small departments, some alternate process may be needed.

Department Chair  

The department chair will evaluate the candidate's file, make further recommendations, and then, in cases involving promotion only, meet with the candidate to transmit the recommendations which the committee and the chair have made and reasons for those recommendations. When the chair meets with the candidate being considered for tenure or tenure and promotion, he/she should restrict his/her conversation to the recommendations that have been made, but should not, at this time, address the reasons for the recommendations. In promotional situations, the chair is free to discuss his/her recommendations.  Application for promotion may be withdrawn at this point.

The major share of the responsibility for appraising a candidate is the responsibility of the department chair and the department committee, who must determine not only present qualifications for tenure and promotion, but also determine the potential for development, an important consideration if the vitality of the University is to be maintained. The appraisal must be more than a mere review of the candidate's activities in teaching, research, and service; it must be a thorough evaluation of these activities and other relevant criteria, supported by substantial evidence.

If a department chair is being considered for promotion or tenure, the recommendation of the department committee will be transmitted directly to the college dean.

College Committee

The dean will send the applications and the departmental and chair recommendations directly to the college's tenure and promotion committee. The college committee has responsibility for insuring that the dossiers are consistent with department, college, and university policies as well as for making recommendations concerning the applicant's qualifications for tenure and/or promotion. Its perspective will of necessity be broader than that of the department committee: it will consider such things as the college wide staffing plans, the department's enrollment trends, and the philosophy of the college. Its purpose is to ensure adherence to institutional procedures and criteria, to prevent departmental inbreeding and doctrinal conformity, to review the completeness of the information presented, and to question any omissions in criteria or variations in procedure. The college committee should consider the substance of a faculty member's qualifications to the extent necessary for the performance of its function. The college committee should evaluate the performance of a candidate for tenure and promotion in light of specific written standards from the candidate's department. After completing its evaluation the committee will return the application and supporting papers to the dean with its recommendations and reasons for those recommendations.  These recommendations should reflect the full scope of discussions that took place, and should contain the rationale that is consistent with the vote of the committee.  If the decision of the College Committee is not unanimous, the committee may also submit to the Dean a minority report with the rationale for dissenting opinions.

College Committee Composition

The membership requirements and selection procedures are to be determined by each college; however, only tenured associate professors and professors may serve on tenure and promotion committees. At least two thirds of the members of the college tenure and promotion committee should be elected by department faculties, with the remaining third appointed by the dean. Such a combination will ensure the full representation of faculty competence in teaching, scholarship, and service.

Single Participation: A member of the College Tenure and Promotion Committee may vote at the departmental level, but cannot vote at the College level on candidates from their department.   

Participation of Spouses:  Spouses may not participate in committee deliberations at any level. 

Dean

The dean will evaluate the candidate's file, make further recommendations and, in cases involving promotion only, meet with the candidate to transmit recommendations which the college committee and the dean have made, along with reasons for those recommendations. At this point the candidate has one last opportunity to withdraw the application for promotion.

If a dean is being considered for promotion or tenure, the recommendation of the college committee will go directly to the provost.

Provost

The provost will review the file from an even broader perspective than that used in the college. In addition to and exclusive of individual qualifications and performance, consideration must be given to such matters as department imbalance in rank distribution, potential for continued staff additions, prospective retirements and resignations, enrollment patterns, program changes, and other significant institutional considerations. The provost will notify the candidate of the recommendation that he or she will make to the president regarding the candidate's application no later than seven (7) days after the beginning of the spring academic term. 

If a candidate decides to appeal a negative decision for tenure and promotion, he/she must make application to the university tenure and promotion appeals committee within thirty (30) days of the beginning of the spring academic term. In the case of a negative recommendation, the provost will give written reason(s) for the decision.

Appeals of Negative Tenure or Promotion Decision

The responsibility of the appeals committee is to entertain appeals of negative recommendations concerning tenure and promotion by the provost and to be advisory to the president in such matters. If, after the provost's tenure and promotion recommendations are announced, a faculty member wishes to appeal a negative recommendation, the request must be submitted to the chair of the university committee within thirty (30) days of the beginning of the spring academic term. The committee may review information related to the appeal to whatever extent it wishes and then make its recommendations to the president.

University Tenure and Promotion Appeals Committee Composition

Each year, a pool of eighteen faculty members is formed to hear tenure and promotion appeals.  Ten of the members will be appointed by the Faculty Senate and eight will be appointed by the president.  The pool should reflect diversity in terms of race, gender, and college/school.  Membership is for three years with staggered terms to ensure conformity and continuity in the committee function.

Nine members of the pool will be assigned to hear each case, with the work being divided as evenly as possible.  To the extent practicable, the committees should maintain diversity in actual participation, especially if issues of diversity play a role in a particular case. 

Role of Committee in Advising Candidates of Process 

At any stage of the appeals process, an appellant has the opportunity to enlist the aid and advice of a Faculty Appeals Advocate.  There are three such Appeals Advocates who are appointed by the Faculty Senate for three-year terms. The Appeals Advocates are tenured faculty at the Professor rank who are well versed in the appeals process, not currently serving on either of the Appeals Committees, and able to serve as conflict-free advisors to an appellant during the appeals process.  An Appeals Advocate can provide information about appeals procedures and the grounds for appeals, assist appellants in developing their appeals, and advise appellants during an appeals hearing.

Grounds for Appeal

If there is an appeal of the recommendation for tenure or promotion, additions relevant to the appeal may be made to the appellant's file. The Appeals Committee will consider only the issues relating to the following grounds for appeal:

1.  Unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex, age, race, religion, national origin, veteran's status, disability, or other grounds protected by state or federal law;

2.  Violations of principles on academic freedom as outlined in the Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors.

3.  Substantive procedural errors (based upon the procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook, college tenure and promotion guidelines, or departmental guidelines) in the manner in which the application was reviewed; or

4.  Mistake in the review of a dossier such that a reviewing body is unaware of a credential that satisfies a requirement for tenure or promotion. 

5.  An arbitrary, capricious, or unsubstantiated recommendation.

If any of these grounds is found to have existed, the Appeals Committee will then consider whether the ground adversely affected the ultimate recommendation.  In addition, the Appeals Committee may hear an appeal in any instance where there is a negative decision by the provost despite positive recommendations at all four levels of review (department committee, department chair, college committee, college dean). The Appeals Committees will not substitute their judgment for that exercised at the levels of review and will restrict their assessment to the areas stipulated in the section entitled "Grounds for Appeal."

Appeals Committee Procedures

In the notice of appeal to the committee chair, the person seeking the appeal (complainant) must identify the grounds for the appeal sought.  The complainant should pursue only those grounds for which there is credible evidence supporting the appeal.  It is the complainant's responsibility to present the evidence to support each ground that serves as the basis for the appeal.  Such evidence could be documentary or could include testimony, but there must be proof, rather than just accusations, that the ground is satisfied.

If the Appeals Committee determines that a hearing on the appeal should be conducted, the following procedures shall apply:

The complainant (accompanied by an Appeals Advocate and/or other counsel if desired) and participants may be present throughout the duration of the hearing.  Witnesses must wait outside the hearing room until called and must leave upon completion of their testimony.  Although the hearings are informal, it has been found necessary to adopt a quasi-legal process to ensure that all participants have an opportunity to be heard.

Hearing Process:

  1. The provost will first address the committee to explain the process for reaching his decision and to present whatever documentation is deemed appropriate.  It is recommended that the provost limit her/his remarks to ten minutes; however, the time limit will not be absolute since he/she does not participate in all of the proceedings of the hearing.
  2. The complainant will make her/his opening statement, usually a declaration of how he/she feels he/she was wronged, citing the particular ground(s) upon which the appeal is based and how he/she intends to prove the case.  The opening statement should only be an overview of the appeal and shall be limited to ten (10) minutes.
  3. Each participant who desires to do so can make an opening statement, which again shall be only an overview of the participant's position.  These opening statements shall also be limited to ten (10) minutes per participant.
  4. The complainant calls her-/himself as a witness and states details of her/his case, specifying each ground upon which he/she has acomplaint and substantiating each one in turn with proof. If improper procedure related to the department criteria is to be used as a basis for appeal, the appellant is requested to provide a copy of her/his department's criteria to the committee.  Note:  The committee often finds it difficult to properly assess the quality of research work of the complainant.  Therefore, if the complainant intends to use the improper evaluation of her/his research efforts as a basis for appeal, the committee requests that he/she bring members of her/his field of expertise as witnesses to vouch for the quality of the complainant's research efforts.
  5. Participants may question the complainant; then committee members may question the complainant.
  6. The complainant calls her/his witnesses in the order he/she deems best.  The witnesses will be informed that the procedures are informal and that the witnesses may respond to questions as they see fit; e.g., they may refuse to answer, ask for clarification, answer portions of compound questions and omit portions, etc.  Witness testimony should not be repetitive and should focus on providing information regarding the particular ground for appeal sought by the complainant. 
  7. Complainant may question each witness, then participants may question each witness, then committee members may question each witness.
  8. Participants may call themselves as witnesses and present such data and opinion as they see fit.
  9. Complainant may question the participants, then committee members may question the participant.
  10. Participants may call and question such witnesses as they deem necessary in the order they wish.
  11. The complainant may question each witness after the participant is completed, then the committee members may question the witness.
  12. The Provost will return to answer any questions that the complainant, the participants, or the committee members may have. 
  13. Summary statement by the complainant shall be limited to a summary of the proof presented, or highlighting of the specific support for each ground upon which a hearing was granted.  Summary statements shall last no longer than ten (10) minutes.
  14. Summary statements by the participants shall last no longer than ten (10) minutes. 
  15. Participants and complainant are dismissed. If the case is completed, the committee may move to immediate discussion or postpone discussion to another time.
  16. The committee will discuss and vote on the ground(s) for appeal that is presented by the complainant  If, and only if, there is a positive vote on that identified ground, the committee will discuss and vote on whether the identified ground may have interfered with an appropriate vote on the candidate's record. 
  17. After discussion and a vote, the committee chairperson will phone the complainant as soon as practical and inform her/him of the decision.  A memorandum will be sent to the president, provost, complainant, and participants informing them of the decision and findings of the committee.

Appeals Committee Recommendations

By simple majority vote, the Appeals Committee will advise (with supporting rationale) the President in one of three ways: (1) that one or more of the grounds were found to be valid by the weight of the evidence, and the committee believes that this adversely affected the ultimate recommendation; 2) that one or more of the grounds were found to have occurred by the weight of the evidence, but the committee believes that this did not adversely affect the ultimate recommendation; or 3) that no grounds were found to exist. If the decision of the Appeals Committee is not unanimous, the committee may also submit to the president a minority report with the rationale for dissenting opinions.

Peer committees have qualified privilege of academic confidentiality against disclosure of individual tenure votes unless there is evidence that casts doubt upon the integrity of the committees.

Note: Tennessee Board of Regents Policy on Appeals (TBR Policy No.1:02:11:00) provides that absent an alleged violation of state or federal law or inconsistent application of University policy, decisions that are not appealable to the chancellor include (a) non-renewal of a tenure track faculty appointment during the first four years of the probationary period, and (b) denial of tenure unaccompanied by notice of termination in the sixth year of the probationary period.

President

After receiving recommendations from the provost and the university appeals committee, the president makes final recommendations to the Tennessee Board of Regents and notifies the candidate of this recommendation.  In the case of a negative recommendation, the president will give the candidate written reason(s) for the decision..

Tennessee Board of Regents

After considering the president's recommendations, the Tennessee Board of Regents will take final action on the applications and report their decision to the president, who will transmit official notification of the tenure decision to each candidate.    

            

Preparing for Tenure and Promotion

Documenting Performance: Teaching, Scholarship/Research, Service/Outreach

Applications for tenure and promotion are requested via a letter to the department chair. No form is specified for this letter, yet it should be as concise and complete as possible. The letter should be accompanied by one copy of each document described in the section below entitled "Dossier."  Great care should be taken in the preparation of the dossier. Nothing may be added to or removed from a candidate's dossier after it has been evaluated by the department's tenure and promotion committee. This requirement insures that each reviewing authority will examine exactly the same evidence in making decisions on tenure and/ or promotion application.  This rule notwithstanding, The Appeals Committee may request such information that it deems necessary to form its recommendations to the president. 

Candidates for tenure and/or promotion should work closely with their department chairs to define goals and to establish documented evidence of effectiveness to be sure that they are meeting the obligations and performing at the level of expectation of the department, college, and university. Physical evidence of effective performance should include items such as syllabi, student evaluations, and selected course materials to support teaching; copies of published articles or books, or written reviews and evaluations by qualified peers of the candidate's performances, compositions, and artistic creations to document scholarship; and documentation of service and outreach activities. All such evidence becomes part of the faculty member's ongoing and continuously updated file (dossier), the specific content of which will vary according to discipline.

Types of evidence for effectiveness in teaching and mentoring include the following.

  • Command of the subject
  • Ability to organize and present subject matter in a logical and meaningful way
  • Ability to motivate undergraduates
  • Ability to stimulate creativity in graduate students
  • Creative and effective use of innovative teaching methods and curricular innovations.

Examples of documentation for teaching and mentoring include the following:

  • Statement of teaching philosophy
  • Course materials
  • Systematic student evaluations for each course each semester (including summer and previous spring)
  • Grade distribution (and comments, if desired, about relationship of grades and nature of course)
  • Evidence of supervision of student projects and other forms of mentorships
  • Evaluation by department chairs
  • Comments of peers
  • Teaching awards

Types of evidence and documentation for effectiveness in research and scholarly/creative activities include the following:

  • Publications, e.g., appropriate textbooks, books or chapters in books, articles in refereed journals, monographs, refereed and non-refereed conference proceedings, book reviews and other related items, written reviews and evaluations by qualified peers.
  • Papers presented, e.g., papers presented at local, state, regional, national and international professional meetings (significance of the content and selection process should be considered in the process of reviewing such presentations).
  • Performances or exhibitions, e.g., performances or exhibitions that are invited or juried by nationally or regionally recognized members or groups within the discipline. Research in progress, e.g., verification of stages or development for research in progress is mandatory.
  • Contributions to the art of teaching, e.g., appropriate textbooks or education articles in peer review forum, development of computer software or audiovisual media, and so forth.
  • Contributions to engaged scholarship including collaborative reports, documentation of impact, external funding, and peer-reviewed journals. 

Types of evidence and documentation for professionally related services include the following:

  • Service to the University, e.g., participation and leadership roles in departmental, college or school and university committees; participation in university governance; administrative service; advising students; recruitment activities; service to student organizations; other related activities
  • Service to one's discipline, e.g., memberships and leadership roles in professional organizations at state, regional, or national levels.
  • Service to the larger society, e.g., presentations related to the discipline; professional advice and counsel to groups or individuals; other types of service, particularly in the university's service area.

Other factors to be considered include:

  • Evidence of Collegiality.  Collegiality is an intrinsic part of the review of any candidate.  It should not, however, be considered apart from teaching, scholarship/research and service.  Rather, it should be considered to be essential to the role that the faculty member plays in each of these areas.
  • Professional growth, e.g., courses taken for credit, courses audited, seminars attended and independent study activities (much of this evidence will be submitted on the section on teaching, service, research, and scholarly/creative activity).

The Dossier

Candidates who are not sure what to include in their dossiers or how to organize the material should seek help from their chairs and colleagues, particularly those who have served on tenure and promotion committees.  However, the following recommendations represent a general set of procedures designed to establish a minimal degree of uniformity across colleges and schools.  Variability may occur among colleges in the implementation of these recommendations due to differences in the structure and/or size of colleges and schools.  Candidates prepare dossiers for review in consultation with the Department Chair.  The materials specified in the University of Memphis dossier must be included. 

The candidate should assemble his/her materials in a three-ring notebook that is organized in the following manner:

(APPLICANT'S FULL NAME)

200_ - 200_

Tab I. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation Signature Page

Appointment History*

Tab II. COLLEGE/SCHOOL RECOMMENDATION

Statement from the Dean

Statement from the College/School Committee

Tab III. DEPARTMENT/AREA RECOMMENDATION (if applicable)

Statement from the from Department Chair/Area Head

Statement from the from Department/Area Committee

Tab IV. EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS

Copy of Solicitation Letter to External Evaluators*

Summary of Credentials of External Evaluators*

External Peer Evaluations

        (See section entitled "Faculty Evaluations," subheading "External Peer Reviews")

Tab V. INTERNAL EVALUATIONS

Initial Appointment Letter

Annual Evaluations

Mid-term Evaluation by Department and any candidate response

Mid-term Evaluation by College (if applicable)

Tab VI. INSTRUCTION

Summary of Teaching Responsibilities/Philosophy (normally two to three

pages)

Summary of Student Evaluations*

Peer Evaluation(s) of Teaching

Honors and Awards

Tab VII. Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity

Brief Summary of Accomplishments and Plans (normally two to three pages)

Internal Grants and Contracts

External Grants and Contracts

Peer Evaluation(s) of Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity

Honors and Awards

Tab VIII. SERVICE/OUTREACH/ADVISING/MENTORING/ADMINISTRATION

Brief Summary of Responsibilities and Accomplishments

Internal Grants and Contracts

External Grants and Contracts

Peer Evaluation(s) of Service/Advising/Mentoring/Administration

Honors and Awards

Tab IX. UNIVERSITY

Curriculum Vitae

Tab X. OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION

Sample forms as follows are contained on the Provost's Website at http://academics.memphis.edu/provost/:

  • tenure and promotion history
  • external evaluators letter
  • external evaluators' list
  • course evaluation summary

Supporting materials for tenure and promotion applications forwarded by the deans are to be assembled in notebooks with covers that are labeled with the name of the applicant, department and college. It is suggested that the dossiers be bound to prevent additions or deletions to the dossier. Examples of scholarly and/or creative activities are not to be forwarded for review, but should be retained in the department office to allow college and campus level reviews if requested. The materials that are forwarded to the provost do not have to be numbered by page; however, they should be assembled in the order as specified above.

 

College/School Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion

Each college and school within the University should develop written guidelines that articulate its standards for tenure and promotion.  These guidelines should reflect the breadth and diversity of its faculty while remaining consistent with the guidelines established in this Handbook.  While the departmental guidelines should be the candidate's primary source for tenure and/or promotion documentation, the college/school guidelines should establish standards for faculty performance and evaluation.  They should also provide information concerning the role of the college/school committee, the manner in which the committee is selected, and the manner in which the dean makes his/her recommendations. It would likewise be desirable to set a minimal standard for mentoring of untenured faculty. 

These guidelines should be made available to faculty members at the time they join the faculty, at the time of mid-tenure review, and at the time of application for tenure or promotion. 

For more information about the College/School Guidelines, please see Review Process for Tenure and Promotion

   

Departmental Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion

 At the heart of the tenure and promotion process is the need for all departments (a) to spell out specific requirements for tenure and promotion, (b) to inform faculty yearly as to their progress, and (c) to communicate these criteria to the college committee, deans, and the provost. Accountability for implementing this process begins at the departmental level with clearly defined standards for the evaluation of faculty for tenure and promotion. Specific written guidelines are developed at the departmental level and reviewed by a college-level faculty committee advisory to the dean, and are approved by the dean and the provost. These guidelines should be distributed to faculty members at the time they join the faculty, at the time of pre-tenure review, and at the time of application for tenure or promotion. These written guidelines are to be discipline-specific, although in harmony with general University guidelines. They should contain the specific criteria and procedures for faculty evaluations and should be updated as needed. Departmental standards are to be included in the tenure and promotion materials sent forward from the department to the college and University levels on behalf of the candidate. In addition to developing and distributing specific standards, it is of crucial importance to assist new untenured faculty through the use of a mentor system.

Recommendations for or against faculty eligible for tenure originate from the department or division in which the faculty member is assigned and include appropriate participation in the recommendation by the tenured faculty in that department or division. 

 

Fast-Track for Tenure

From time to time, the University will find it necessary to expedite tenure review in order to recruit high-quality faculty.  In those cases, the candidate's application file will take the place of the traditional dossier and will be submitted to the departmental committee, the department chair, the college committee, the Dean, the Provost and the President for review before being forwarded to the Tennessee Board of Regents.  Because recruitment is often time sensitive, the department and college committees are requested to devise methods for expedited review of the candidate's application regardless of the time of year in which the application is submitted. 

Letters of offer to these candidates should include language that suggests expedited tenure review, but should not promise positive outcomes.  The letters should, moreover, indicate that the file will be forwarded to the Tennessee Board of Regents for review at its first meeting in the new academic year. 

 

Probationary Period Prior to Application for Tenure

A faculty member on a tenure-track appointment must serve in a faculty position at the University during a probationary period prior to eligibility for application for tenure. The standard probationary period is six years, unless otherwise prescribed in writing and approved by the dean, provost and president. Absent an approved exception, application for tenure and all supporting documentation must be submitted at the beginning of the fall semester of the sixth or final probationary year. Exceptions that may affect the length of the probationary period are addressed in the sections entitled "Credit for Prior Service," "Credit for Administrative Position or Transfer," "Extension of the Probationary Period," "Stopping the Clock," and "Leaves of Absence."

From time to time, an untenured faculty member may receive permission to return to school to obtain a terminal degree in his/her discipline.  If the faculty member is in a tenure-track position while in school, commencement of the tenure clock will be delayed until he/she completes all degree requirements.  The tenure clock will commence at the beginning of the fall semester of the academic year that follows successful completion of the degree program. 

   

Credit for Prior Service

At the discretion of the president, credit toward completion of the probationary period may be permitted for previous full time service at other colleges, universities, or institutes, provided that the prior service is relevant to the needs and criteria of the University of Memphis. Any credit for prior service that is recognized and agreed to must be confirmed in writing at the time of the initial appointment. Also, at the discretion of the president, credit toward completion of the probationary period may be given for a maximum of three years of previous full-time service in a temporary faculty appointment at the University of Memphis or in an earlier tenure track appointment at the University of Memphis which has been followed by a break in service. Any credit for prior service must be included in the appointment letter to the candidate and must be approved by the chair, dean and provost before the offer is made.  In these cases, the faculty member is expected to submit a dossier that is consistent with the guidelines outlined in the Handbook "Preparing for Tenure and Promotion."  His/her application will be considered during the regular fall/spring tenure and promotion cycle.

From time to time, clinical and research faculty may become eligible for tenure-track positions.  In these cases, the faculty member may be given credit for time in rank as a clinical or research professor, or may be given credit for previous experience at other institutions. 

   

Credit for Administrative Position or Transfer

Time or a prorated portion of the time served in an administrative position may be credited toward the probationary period, provided that the faculty member maintains significant involvement in academic pursuits (i.e., teaching and scholarship). The faculty member must initiate the tenure action in his or her home department or academic unit, even if the faculty member is currently serving in a administrative position outside of the department or academic unit.

When a faculty member is serving a probationary period in an academic unit (e.g., a department or division) or program and is then transferred to another academic unit or program, they may, with the written approval of the president, elect to begin a new probationary period. Time spent in the first appointment will count toward establishing the probationary period unless a change is approved in writing by the President.

 

Extension of Probationary Period

A faculty member in a tenure-track appointment may request a one-year extension to the probationary period only when such probationary period was originally negotiated for less than six years. Such extensions are allowed when a faculty member requires additional time to develop a dossier that adequately reflects the candidate's potential long-term contributions to the department.  Extensions will not be granted if the total probationary period exceeds six years.

A faculty member seeking an extension of the probationary period must submit his/her request, in writing, addressing the considerations described above. The request is to be submitted to the department chair for consideration and recommendation. The chair's recommendation is forwarded to the dean of the faculty member's college for consideration and recommendation; thence to the provost for consideration and recommendation; and finally to the president for approval or denial. The president will notify the faculty member, in writing, of the decision to approve or deny the request for extension within one month of submission.

A faculty member may apply for a maximum of two (2) extensions in one-year increments so long as the total probationary period does not exceed six years. Requests for a second extension follow the same procedure and are subject to the same considerations as the original extension.  Requests for extension will not be granted retroactively. 

 

Stopping the Clock

A faculty member in a tenure-track position may request to "stop the clock" during his/her probationary period when circumstances exist that interrupt his/her normal progress toward building a case for tenure. In such cases, the faculty member may request to stop the clock for one year if he/she demonstrates that circumstances reasonably warrant extension. Reasons for stopping the clock will typically be related to a personal or family situation requiring attention and commitment that consumes the time and energy normally used to address faculty duties and professional development. Examples may include, but are not limited to, childbirth or adoption, care of dependents, medical conditions or obligations, physical disasters or disruptions, or similar circumstances that require a fundamental alteration of one's professional life. The intent of this policy is to serve the best interests of the University while providing neither preference to nor adverse effect on a faculty member's process of developing a case for tenure.

A faculty member seeking to "stop the clock" must submit his/her request, in writing, addressing the considerations described above. The request is to be submitted to the department chair for consideration and recommendation. The chair's recommendation is forwarded to the dean of the faculty member's college for consideration and recommendation; thence to the provost for consideration and recommendation; and finally to the president for approval or denial. The president will notify the faculty member, in writing, of the decision to approve or deny the request for extension within one month of submission.  Stop the clock requests based upon a faculty member's health or care for an immediate family member should be submitted to the Office of Legal Counsel for review. 

A faculty member may apply for a maximum of two (2) "stop the clock" periods. Requests for a second extension follow the same procedure and are subject to the same considerations as the original extension.  "Stop the clock" requests will not be granted retroactively.

 

Leaves of Absence

Only full time continuous service at the University is to be included in the probationary period, except for a period covered by an approved leave of absence. The period for an approved leave of absence will be excluded from the requisite probationary period unless the provost has specified in writing prior to approving the leave that it will be included. No more than one year of an approved leave may be included in the total probationary period.  Leaves of absence will not be granted retroactively.

 

Non-Renewal of Appointment Following Unsuccessful Application for Tenure

Faculty members on tenure track appointments who complete their sixth year of the probation­ary period will either be recommended for tenure and promotion to associate or full professor by the president, or they will be given notice of non-renewal of the appointment. The University's notice of non-renewal should be given no later than May 15 of the sixth academic year or within thirty (30) days of exhaustion of any appeals. Upon receipt of notice of such non-renewal, the faculty member will be eligible for a one-year non-renewable appointment at the University.

  

Non-Renewal of Tenure-Track Contracts

Tenure-track faculty are subject to non-renewal of their appointments during their probationary periods with appropriate notice. The non-renewal or non-reappointment of any faculty member on a tenure track appointment does not necessarily carry an implication of unsatisfactory work or conduct. A faculty member whose tenure track appointment is not renewed will be given an oral statement of the reason(s) and an opportunity for discussion with the president or the president's representative.

Faculty members on tenure track appointments will not be terminated during the term of their appointment except for reasons that would be sufficient for the termination of tenured faculty. The same procedures for the termination of a tenured faculty member are followed to dismiss for cause a non-tenured faculty member prior to the expiration of the one-year term of the appointment.

Tenure track faculty whose annual appointments will not be renewed will be given written notice of non-renewal of their appointment contracts in conformance with the following schedule:

  • Not later than April 1 of the first academic year of service if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment expires during an academic year, at least two months in advance of the expiration date.
  • Not later than January 1 of the second academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment expires during the academic year, at least five months in advance of the expiration date.
  • Not later than May 15 preceding the third or subsequent year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment expires during the academic year, at least twelve months in advance of the expiration date.

Notice of non-renewal becomes effective on personal delivery of the written notice to the faculty member, or on the date the notice is mailed to the faculty member's home address of record, whichever first occurs. Dates for notice of non-renewal are not affected by any credit for prior service. Failure to give timely notice of non-renewal of a contract will not result in a tenured appointment, but the faculty member will be eligible for an additional one year, non­renewable appointment.

Failure to submit an application for tenure in the academic year that precedes the end of the probationary period will result in non-renewal of the candidate's contract for the following year.  Unlike unsuccessful applications for tenure, the candidate will not be accorded an automatic one-year contract if he/she fails to apply for tenure at the specified time.

 

Non-Renewal of Clinical and Research Faculty Appointments

Clinical and research faculty are subject to non-renewal of their appointments with appropriate notice. The non-renewal or non-reappointment of any faculty member on a clinical or research appointment does not necessarily carry an implication of unsatisfactory work or conduct. A faculty member whose clinical or research appointment is not renewed will be given an oral statement of the reason(s) and an opportunity for discussion with the president or the president's representative.

Clinical or research faculty whose annual appointments will not be renewed will be given written notice of non-renewal of their appointment contracts in conformance with the following schedule:

  • Not later than April 1 of the first academic year of service if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment expires during an academic year, at least two months in advance of the expiration date.
  • Not later than January 1 of the second academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment expires during the academic year, at least five months in advance of the expiration date.
  • Not later than May 15 preceding the third or subsequent year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of that year; or, if the appointment expires during the academic year, at least twelve months in advance of the expiration date.

Notice of non-renewal becomes effective on personal delivery of the written notice to the faculty member, or on the date the notice is mailed to the faculty member's home address of record, whichever first occurs. Dates for notice of non-renewal are not affected by any credit for prior service. Failure to give timely notice of non-renewal of a contract will not result in a tenured appointment, but the faculty member will be eligible for an additional one year, non­renewable appointment.

Faculty members on clinical or research appointments will not be terminated during the term of their appointments except for reasons that would be sufficient for the termination of tenured faculty. The same procedures for the termination of a tenured faculty member are followed to dismiss a clinical or research faculty member for cause prior to the expiration of the one-year term of the appointment.

 

Post-Tenure Evaluation and Faculty Development

Academic Tenure

Tenure's importance derives from the significant benefits it confers not just on faculty but on colleges and universities themselves. Most critically, tenure safeguards the academic freedom so vital to open academic inquiry and discourse. It also enables faculty members to engage in long range and experimental projects that might not yield immediate results. It permits more open and candid faculty participation on committees dealing with controversial issues.

Tenure is earned after a probationary period of six years. At the end of that time the applicant's entire record, including evaluations from peers at other institutions, is carefully scrutinized by Departmental and College committees, by the appropriate Department Chair and College Dean, and by the University Provost. This process is intended to insure that a tenured faculty member is a highly competent and conscientious professional who not only deserves to be employed by the University, but who also contributes significantly to the education of its students.

Tenure is not a sinecure guaranteeing lifelong employment. The University of Memphis, like most other institutions of higher learning, has a well- developed policy allowing it to terminate tenured faculty for "adequate cause."

The standards for "termination for adequate cause" are defined by statute at Tennessee Code Annotated 49-8-302, in the Tennessee Board of Regents policy on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Tenure, No. 5:02:03:00 and in this Handbook in the subsection entitled Termination for Adequate Cause.

The University has the burden of proving, through a formal hearing, that the tenured faculty member in question should be terminated on this basis.

Faculty Development

Faculty development resources should be available to all faculty to help them meet their maximum potential and to acquire new skills, technologies, and bodies of knowledge in a society that is rapidly changing. In the area of teaching, sources of faculty development should provide information on course development, instructional techniques and technologies, pedagogical strategies that promote learning and effective methods of collaboration with student teaching assistants. In the area of scholarship, sources of faculty development should assist the faculty in enhancing the quantity and quality of written publications, conference presentations, proposals for external funding, performances, and creative products. In the area of outreach and service, sources of faculty development should be available to assist the faculty in contributing to departments, colleges, universities, communities, and professions.

The Department chair has the primary responsibility for counseling faculty members on how to improve their performances in areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. When a faculty member is in need of improvement, as defined in the annual evaluation, that individual may be assigned a mentor, either from the department or outside of the department, who provides suggestions on improving teaching, scholarly activities, outreach and service. Each department will devise mechanisms to fulfill these objectives, such as a peer faculty evaluation and development committee at the departmental level. The Advanced Learning Center may also be used at the university level. The chair, in consultation with mentors and faculty within the department, has the primary responsibility for making suggestions on how to improve teaching, scholarly productivity, outreach and service.

Faculty development is particularly critical for faculty who have persistent unsatisfactory performance. A more elaborate process of faculty evaluation and development is recommended for a faculty member who has a history of unsatisfactory performance.

The chair has the primary responsibility of dispensing resources to faculty based on the annual faculty evaluation. These incentives include research support, travel funds, assignment of duties, summer teaching, and merit increases in salary.  The dean, provost, and president may provide additional incentives to faculty members whose performance has been judged exceptional over a long period.  These incentives include salary increases, funds for scholarly activities, and endowed faculty titles.

Unsatisfactory Performance of Tenured Faculty

Unsatisfactory performance by a tenured faculty member requires additional scrutiny by the Chair, Department, and University.  Unsatisfactory performance in post tenure review will lead directly to constructive efforts for faculty development.  Unsatisfactory performance is distinct from "termination for cause," which has more stringent standards and a more stringent process, enabling assurance of academic responsibility and academic freedom.  Since professional practices vary according to discipline, each Department or Division will be required to develop guidelines, in consultation with the Dean, that define standards of performance in teaching, scholarship, outreach, and service.

The chair's overall evaluation of a faculty member determines whether the faculty member receives a rating of unsatisfactory performance. An evaluation of (d) improvement needed or (e) failure to meet responsibilities initiates a process of further evaluation and faculty development. It is the responsibility of the university to provide resources for faculty development and it is the responsibility of the faculty member to use the resources to make needed improvements.

If the faculty member is rated in the "improvement needed" category for two successive years, an ad hoc committee within the Department will review the Chair's evaluation and, if in agreement, will prepare a "faculty development program" which will outline the identified problems, suggest methods for improvement, and create a system for evaluating progress toward correcting the identified problems. An evaluation of "improvement needed" should never be considered sufficient cause for triggering procedures for termination.

A much more serious level of unsatisfactory performance exists when a faculty member fails to meet his or her responsibilities. Whenever a faculty member receives an evaluation of "failure to meet responsibilities" by the chair of his or her department or division in any given year, an ad hoc committee within the department will review the chair's evaluation and, if in agreement, will prepare a "faculty development report" in collaboration with the faculty member and the chair, which identifies specific problems, methods of improving performance, and systems of evaluating progress toward correcting the problems. In cases where the chair and the department review committee arrive at different conclusions, the dean will arbitrate and issue an evaluation of the faculty member for that year. If the faculty member or the chair contests the dean's decision, an ad hoc grievance committee will be constituted at the level of the University to review the decision. The composition of the ad hoc committee will be decided by the Provost in consultation with the dean, the chair, and the faculty member, in an effort to select an unbiased committee with adequate expertise to evaluate the faculty member.

If the faculty member receives an evaluation indicating "failure to meet responsibilities" for a second successive year and the faculty member requests an independent evaluation of his or her performance, the faculty member's personnel file will be reviewed by the dean and the college tenure and promotion committee, who will judge whether the chair's evaluation of "failure to meet responsibilities" is warranted under the specific department's guidelines. It is the right of the faculty member who receives an evaluation of unsatisfactory performance to examine any and all evaluation records and to offer rebuttals to any perceived inaccuracies in them. A final decision concerning whether the chair's evaluation of "failure to meet responsibilities" is warranted lies with the dean of the college after full consideration of the recommendation of the college tenure and promotion committee.

If a faculty member receives an evaluation of "failure to meet responsibilities" for a third successive year, the president's appeals committee, the provost, and the president review the faculty members personnel file in order to judge whether the chair's evaluation is warranted. If the president decides that the evaluation of "failure to meet responsibilities" is warranted, then the process of termination for adequate cause may be initiated. The mere fact of successive negative reviews shall not in itself constitute evidence of "adequate cause" for dismissal, however. Nor shall it in any way diminish the administration's obligation to bear the burden of proof and to demonstrate through an adversarial proceeding, not only that negative evaluations rest on fact, but that the facts rise to the level of adequate cause for dismissal.  

     

Expiration, Relinquishment, and Termination of Tenure

Expiration of Tenure

Tenure status expires when a faculty member retires. In addition, tenure will expire if a faculty member can no longer perform assigned duties or carry out the responsibilities of a faculty member due a physical or mental condition, as established by an appropriate medical authority.

Relinquishment of Tenure

Faculty relinquish or waive the right to tenure when they resign from the University of Memphis. The willful failure to report for service on the designated date that begins any academic term is considered to be a resignation unless, in the opinion of the president, the faculty member shows good cause for the failure. Tenured faculty maintain their tenure if transferred or reclassified by the university to another department or division. Tenure is not relinquished during periods of approved leaves of absences or during periods of service in administrative positions at the university.

Transfer of Tenure

Faculty who hold a tenured appointment in a department or other academic unit, and then are transferred to another department or academic unit retain their tenure status. A faculty member cannot be compelled to relinquish tenure as a condition of the transfer.

Termination of Tenure for Reasons of Financial Exigency

Tenured faculty may be terminated because of financial exigency at the University of Memphis if the Tennessee Board of Regents declares such a condition. Personnel decisions (including those related to tenured faculty) resulting from a declaration of financial exigency at the University must comply with TBR Policy No. 5:02:06:00.

Termination of Tenure for Curricular Reasons

Tenured faculty members may be terminated for curricular reasons if (a) a program is deleted from the curriculum, or (b) there is substantial and continued reduction of student enrollment in a field. Before declaring that curricular reasons exist for terminating tenure, the president will ensure substantive participation by the Faculty Senate, the affected unit(s), and appropriate administrative officers in identifying the specific curricular reasons, evaluating the long term effects on the university's curriculum and strategic planning goals, and the advisability of initiating further action. If significant reorganization within a college is warranted, all affected faculty will be systematically and formally consulted. At the very least, systematic and formal consultation will include a formal proposal circulated several days (preferably at least a month) prior to a meeting of all interested faculty. Those who feel this process has not allowed full expression of all points of view will have the right to be heard formally by the provost and later by the president. If significant changes are to be made despite strong opposition, they should, if possible and desirable, be phased in gradually. Prior to initiating the process described below, the president will present a description of curricular reasons that warrant the termination of tenured faculty member(s). Each of these reasons will denote shifts in staffing needs that warrant greater reductions than those which are accommodated annually in light of shifting positions from one department to another or among colleges to handle changing enrollment patterns.

The president, after determining that curricular reasons may warrant the termination of tenured faculty, will inform the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. At the earliest possible date after this notification, as agreed to by the president and the Executive Committee, the president or his or her designee will appear before the Senate for the purpose of presenting all relevant information. Senators and affected unit members will have an opportunity to pose questions and seek further information. The Faculty Senate will respond, in writing, within thirty days of this meeting.

After determining that termination of one or more tenured faculty members is required for curricular reasons cited above, the president will furnish each faculty member to be terminated a written statement of the reasons for the termination. Those reasons will address fully the curricular circumstances that warranted the termination and will indicate the manner and the information in and upon which the decision to terminate was reached. The president's written statement will also indicate that the faculty member has the opportunity to object in writing to the decision.

If a faculty member to be terminated indicates objections to the president's written statement and requests a review, the president will appoint a faculty committee consisting of a minimum of five tenured faculty members from a slate of ten tenured faculty members proposed by the Faculty Senate. That committee will conduct a hearing on the proposed termination and report its findings and recommendations to the president. The president, in writing and within a reasonable time, will inform the faculty member that the decision for termination stands or has been altered. The president's decision is subject to appeal to the chancellor and the Tennessee Board of Regents as provided in the TBR Policy on Appeals and Appearances Before the Board , No. 1:02:11:00.

When tenured faculty are terminated for curricular reasons, their positions will not be filled by others with the same areas of specialization for at least three years unless those terminated are offered written reappointment to their position at the previous rank and salary. Appropriate increases will be given which, in the opinion of the president, would constitute the raises that would have been awarded during the period not employed at The University of Memphis.

If termination of tenured faculty is necessary for curricular reasons, the president's decision as to which faculty should be terminated will be based on an assessment of what is least seriously compromising to the University's educational programs. Termination for curricular reasons presumes a staffing pattern that cannot be warranted either by comparison with general load practices within the institution or by comparison with faculty loads in comparable departments or divisions at similar institutions. In that light, the president will also, at his or her discretion, base a decision on a careful assessment of the impact of the curricular reason on staffing requirements in the division or department as compared to overall patterns in the institution and to comparable departments or divisions in institutions similar to The University of Memphis.

Unless the president demonstrates (preferably by means of past performance evaluations) that an exception should be made to protect the quality of an educational program, the following considerations should be used as a guide. These, however, are not considered to be mandatory in determining the order of faculty reductions in a department or division.

  • Tenured faculty should have priority over part-time faculty, temporary faculty, and tenure-track faculty in the probationary period.
  • Tenured faculty with higher rank should have priority over those with lower rank.
  • Tenured faculty with appropriate higher academic degree (s) should have priority over those with lower degrees.
  • Tenured faculty with greater seniority in rank should normally have priority over those with less seniority.

Definitions

Program is deleted from the curriculum means that the Tennessee Board of Regents has taken formal action to terminate a degree major, concentration, or other curricular component and, therefore, reduces or eliminates the need for faculty qualified in that area of specialization.

Substantive and continued reduction of student enrollment in a field means that, over a period of at least three years, student enrollment in a field has decreased at a rate considerably higher than that of the institution as a whole. In addition, the decrease has left faculty-student ratios that, in the opinion of the president, cannot be justified either by comparison with similar load practices at the University of Memphis, or in comparison with similar institutions chosen by the president.

When tenured faculty are to be terminated for curricular reasons, the president will make every possible effort to relocate them in existing vacant positions for which they are qualified. If, in the opinion of the president, relocation within the institution is a viable alternative, the University of Memphis has an obligation to provide significant effort to relocate the faculty member, including reasonable retraining costs. The final decision on relocation is within the discretion of the president. When relocation within the institution is not possible, or the faculty member involved desires to go elsewhere, the university will make every reasonable effort to assist in relocation.

Termination for Adequate Cause

Faculty with tenure, or faculty members on tenure-track appointments, may be terminated prior to the end of the term of appointment for adequate cause.

Adequate cause is defined as:

  1. Incompetence or dishonesty in teaching or research
  2. Willful failure to perform the duties and responsibilities for which the faculty member was employed; or refusal or continued failure to comply with the policies of the Tennessee Board Regents, the university, or department; or to carry out specific assignments, when these policies or assignments are reasonable and nondiscriminatory.
  3. Conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude
  4. Improper use of narcotics or intoxicants which substantially impairs fulfillment of departmental or institutional duties and responsibilities.
  5. Capricious disregard of accepted standards of professional conduct
  6. Falsification of information on an employment application, curriculum vitae, or other information concerning qualifications for a position.
  7. Failure to maintain the level of professional excellence and ability demonstrated by other members of the faculty in the department or division of the university.

NOTE: The above listed grounds for "termination for adequate cause" are defined by state law at Tennessee Code Annotated 49-8-302. The University is committed to fulfillment of the Post Tenure Evaluation and Faculty Development prior to invoking either Provision 1 (incompetence in teaching portion only) or Provision 7 as grounds for termination for cause.

Procedures for Termination for Adequate Cause

Termination of a faculty member who has tenure or is on tenure-track prior to the end of the annual specified term of the appointment is subject to the following procedures.

1. No termination shall be effective until steps 4 through 10 below have been completed.

2. Suspensions pending termination shall be governed by the following procedure.

a. A faculty member may not be suspended pending completion of steps 4 through 10 unless it is determined by the institution that the faculty member's presence poses a danger to persons or property or a threat of destruction to the academic or operational processes of the institution. Reassignment of responsibilities is not considered suspension; however, the faculty member must be reassigned responsibilities for which he/she is qualified.

b. In any case of suspension, the faculty member shall be given an opportunity at the time of the decision or immediately thereafter to contest the suspension; and, if there are disputed issues of fact or cause and effect, the faculty member shall be provided the opportunity for a hearing on the suspension as soon as possible at which time the faculty member may cross-examine his/her accuser, present witnesses on his/her behalf, and be represented by an attorney. Thereafter, whether the suspension is upheld or revoked, the matter shall proceed pursuant to these procedures.

3. Except for such simple announcements as may be required concerning the time of proceedings and similar matters, public statements and publicity about these proceedings by either the faculty member or administrative officers will be avoided so far as possible until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board.

4. Upon a recommendation by the provost to the president or upon a decision by the president that these procedures should be undertaken in consideration of the termination of a tenured faculty member, one or more appropriate administrators shall meet privately with the faculty member for purposes of attempting to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the problems giving rise to the proposed termination proceedings.

5. If a mutual resolution is not reached under step 4, the president shall appoint a faculty committee consisting of tenured faculty members, whose appointments should be, but are not required to be, agreed to by the faculty member. The faculty committee shall conduct an informal inquiry of the facts giving rise to the proposed termination and seek a mutually acceptable resolution. Should no such resolution be reached, the committee shall recommend to the president whether in its opinion further proceedings should be taken in pursuit of the termination. The recommendation shall be in writing and shall be accompanied by reasons for the recommendation. The committee's recommendation shall not be binding on the president.

6. If no mutually acceptable resolution is reached through step 5 and/or if after consideration of the faculty committee's recommendation the president determines that further proceedings are warranted to consider termination, the following steps shall be taken.

a. The faculty member shall be provided with a written statement of the specific charges alleged by the institution which constitute grounds for termination and a notice of hearing specifying the time, date, and place of the hearing. The statement and notice must be provided at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing. The faculty member shall respond to the charges in writing at least five (5) days prior to the hearing. The faculty member may waive the hearing by execution of a written waiver.

b. A committee consisting of members of faculty or faculty and administration shall be appointed to hear the case and to determine if adequate cause for termination exists according to the procedure hereinafter described. The committee shall be appointed by the president and the Faculty Senate, assembly or advisory committee, with each appointing the number of members designated by the policy of the institution. The committee may not include any member of the faculty committee referred to in 5 above. Members deeming themselves disqualified for bias or interest shall remove themselves from the case, either at the request of a party or on their own initiative. Members of the committee shall not discuss the case outside committee deliberations and shall report any ex-parte communication pertaining to the hearing to the president who shall notify all parties of the communication.

7. The hearing committee shall elect a chairperson who shall direct the proceedings and rule on procedural matters, including the granting of reasonable extensions of time at the request of any party and upon the showing of good cause for the extension.

8. The chairperson of the hearing committee may in his/her discretion require a joint pre­hearing conference with the parties which may be held in person or by a conference telephone call. The purpose of the pre-hearing conference should include but is not limited to one or more of the following:

a. Notification as to procedure for conducting the hearing.

b. Exchange of witness lists, documentary evidence, and affidavits.

c. Define and clarify issues.

d. Present stipulations of fact.

A written memorandum of the pre-hearing conference should be prepared and provided to each party.

9. A hearing shall be conducted by the hearing committee to determine whether adequate cause for termination of the faculty member exists. The hearing shall be conducted according to the procedures below.

a. During the hearing, the faculty member will be permitted to have an academic advisor present and may be represented by legal counsel of his/her choice.

b. A verbatim record of the hearing will be taken and a typewritten copy will be made available to the faculty member, upon request, at the faculty member's expense.

c. The burden of proof that adequate cause exists rests with the institution and shall be satisfied only by clear and convincing evidence in the record considered as a whole.

d. The faculty member will be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The administration will cooperate with the committee in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence that is under its control.

e. The faculty member and the administration will have the right to confront and cross­examine all witnesses. Where the witnesses cannot or will not appear, but the committee determines that the interests of justice require admission of their statements, the committee will identify the witnesses, disclose their statements, and, if possible, provide for interrogatories. An affidavit may be submitted in lieu of the personal appearance of a witness if the party offering the affidavit has provided a copy to the opposing party at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing and the opposing party has not objected to the admission of the affidavit in writing within (7) days after delivery of the affidavit or if the committee chairperson determines that the admission of the affidavit is necessary to ensure a just and fair decision.

f. In a hearing on charges of incompetence, the testimony shall include that of qualified faculty members from the institution or other institutions of higher education.

g. The hearing committee will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available.

h. The findings of fact and the report will be based solely on the hearing record.

i. The president and the faculty member will be provided a copy of the written committee report. The committee's written report shall specify findings of fact and shall state whether the committee has determined that adequate cause for termination exists and, if so, the specific grounds for termination found. In addition, the committee may recommend action less than dismissal. The report shall also specify any applicable policy the committee considered.

10. After consideration of the committee's report and the record, the president may in his/ her discretion consult with the faculty member prior to reaching a final decision regarding termination. Following his/her review, the president shall notify the faculty member of his/her decision, which, if contrary to the committee's recommendation shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons. If the faculty member is terminated or suspended as a result of the president's decision, the faculty member may appeal the president's action to the Chancellor pursuant to TBR Policy 1:02:11:00. Review of the appeal shall be based upon the record of hearing. If upon review of the record, the Chancellor notes objections regarding the termination and/or its proceedings, the matter will be returned to the president for reconsideration, taking into account the stated objections, and, at the discretion of the president, the case may be returned to the hearing committee for further proceedings.

   

Last Updated: 9/27/12