Departmental Policies for Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure
Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Colorado, Boulder
Ammended March 2009
The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures explains by means of this policy statement the procedures and standards that it will use in evaluating tenure-track personnel for reappointment, tenure, and promotion. This statement complies with policies of the Board of Regents as described in its Standards, Processes, and Procedures (SPP) document, and is consistent with the University of Colorado Administrative Policy Statement entitled, “Procedures for Written Standards and Criteria for Pre-Tenure Faculty.”
- Rules of the Regents. Rules of the Regents, as given in the C.U. Faculty Handbook, define the basic requirements for reappointment, tenure, and promotion. These basic requirements cannot be overridden or superseded by departmental rules or interpretations.
The University requires comprehensive review at the end of the last appointment prior to a mandatory tenure decision. According to the Rules of the Regents, the comprehensive review involves full consideration of all credentials (see the Faculty Handbook) and can, if negative, result in the rejection of a faculty member for renewal of appointment. The question to be considered by the Department and by administrative review committees for the comprehensive review is whether or not the candidate is making satisfactory progress toward tenure.
According to the Faculty Handbook, the award of tenure, which is typically concurrent with promotion to associate professor, requires that a faculty member be able to demonstrate “excellence” in either teaching or research and “meritorious” achievement in the other category, plus meritorious service. Promotion to the rank of full professor requires, according to the resolution adopted at the February 17, 1994 Board of Regents meeting that Professors should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent and (a) a record that, taken as a whole, is judged to be excellent; (b) a record of significant contribution to both graduate and undergraduate education, unless individual or departmental circumstances can be shown to require a stronger emphasis, or singular focus, on one or the other; and (c) a record, since receiving tenure and promotion to associate professor, that indicates substantial, significant, and continued growth, development, and accomplishment in teaching, research, scholarship or creative work and service.
The purpose of the departmental evaluation is to apply the general standards of performance in teaching, research, and service to the disciplines that are represented within the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures.
- Allocation of Effort. Each faculty member has a specific allocation of effort to teaching, research, and service. The standard allocation for the Department is 40% teaching, 40% research, and 20% service. This allocation will be assumed to apply unless specific, formal agreements are made to the contrary; any such agreements must be reported to the Dean and must be in accord with the Department’s Differentiated Workload Policy Statement. The allocation of effort will be considered to apply as an average over the months of any given academic year.
- Evaluation of Teaching. In the first year after being appointed to a tenure-track position, faculty should create a teaching portfolio that will contain all written records pertaining to teaching. The portfolio will be used as evidence in the evaluation of teaching. The Department may obtain evidence from other sources to the extent that the information contained in the portfolio is incomplete with respect to any of the criteria identified below.
- Undergraduate teaching. Undergraduate instruction is important in the evaluation of teaching credentials. However, no single measure of effectiveness in undergraduate teaching will be the sole basis of judgment by the Department. Criteria to be used in the evaluation of achievement in undergraduate teaching include:
- statements of teaching philosophy or self-evaluation of teaching;
- faculty course questionnaire scores from all classes;
- peer evaluation (by class visitation or other mechanisms);
- examples of course outlines, syllabuses, examinations, and other items that indicate the nature of instruction;
- descriptions of the development or improvement of course work;
- written statements that may have come from the Chair or others concerning willingness to teach, rapport with students, important contributions to curriculum development, or other related matters. Beyond formal classroom instruction, the following criteria will be included by the Department in its evaluation of teaching: advising services to undergraduate students, independent study or independent research projects involving undergraduate students, and activities promoting faculty-student interaction. In addition, a faculty member may submit, or the Department may consider at its own initiative, other evidence of teaching performance that seem appropriate for a particular individual.
Faculty members can request that the Chair arrange a peer evaluation that will assist them in making improvements in teaching prior to evaluation. Other mechanisms for consultation on teaching include the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program and the Presidential Teaching Scholars consultation program. Faculty members are not required to use these mechanisms of self-improvement, but are encouraged to do so.
- Graduate instruction. Graduate instruction is an important component of teaching evaluation. All faculty members are expected to develop a graduate program that includes, at a minimum, sponsorship of graduate students, service on committees of students sponsored by other faculty members, active annual participation in the screening of new students, and formal instruction of graduate students through regular courses or seminars. Faculty members should maintain, as part of the teaching portfolio, records on their graduate student programs, including strategies for development of a graduate program, dates of admission for individual students, dates of completion and placement of individual students, and other contributions to the graduate program. These records are considered part of the evidence pertaining to achievement in teaching.
The question to be considered by the Department in its evaluation of teaching is as follows: Is the faculty member’s demonstrated performance in teaching consistent with the general standard for reappointment, promotion, or tenure as described by the Rules of the Regents?
- Evaluation of Research. Achievement in research is an important component of the Department’s evaluation of faculty members who are under review for reappointment, promotion, or tenure. As a means of facilitating the evaluation, faculty members should maintain a record of their research activity.
Publication is an important criterion for the departmental evaluation of research. Continuous, regular publication in peer-reviewed journals will be considered especially significant, as well as single-author books or monographs published in peer-reviewed presses. To a lesser extent, conference and symposium papers, reviews, translations, and editing work, will also be considered. Invited expert contributions to symposia, journals, and special edited collections, as well as, extramural support for research, will have added significance. Published work should show evidence of originality and importance.
A second important criterion for evaluation of research is the candidate’s national or international reputation for achievement in research. The Department will gather evidence of reputation from authoritative reviewers external to the University; these will include some individuals from a list provided by the candidate for evaluation and some individuals who are selected independently by the departmental evaluation committee rather than by candidate. Members of the Department Personnel Committee, as well as peers from whom external letters of reference are solicited, shall be selected with regard to their competence in the candidate’s particular area of expertise.
In addition to the foregoing, a candidate may submit, or the Department may consider, other evidence of achievement in research that seems appropriate to a particular individual’s case for promotion, reappointment, or tenure.
The question to be considered by the Department in its evaluation of research is as follows: Is the faculty member’s performance in research consistent with the general standard for reappointment, promotion, or tenure as described by the Rules of the Regents?
- Evaluation of Service. A candidate’s record of support of academic programs in the Department is an important criterion for evaluation of service. However, evaluation of service can also extend well beyond the Department to include the candidate’s work on campus committees, college committees, or in professional societies. Criteria related to service also include the extent of editorial and reviewing for professional journals or professional societies, or professional services to the nation, the state, or the public. All service is evaluated with regard to its importance and its success, as well as the faculty member’s dedication to it.
Evidence related to service will consist of a description of the service and of its duration and significance. This information should be compiled on a continuous basis by candidates for promotion, reappointment, or tenure. At the time of evaluation, evidence of service may be obtained from the candidate, from the Department, or from external sources.
The question to be considered by the Department in its evaluation of service is as follows: Is the faculty member’s performance in service consistent with the general standard for reappointment, promotion, or tenure as described by the Rules of the Regents?
If the Faculty Handbook gives no explicit expectation for service, no separate evaluation of service is necessary; achievement in service will be considered as contributory to achievement in teaching and research.
Approved by the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, May 23, 1997:
Approved by Peter Spear, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences , 1997:
Approved by Philip Distefano, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs , 1997:
MILESTONES FOR EVALUATION
Timetable for Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure.
Individuals who are hired as beginning assistant professors will have at least one evaluation for reappointment prior to a mandatory tenure decision. The last reappointment prior to tenure decision must be based upon comprehensive evaluation. A standard pattern would be for an assistant professor to receive a three- or four- year appointment initially and, upon positive comprehensive review at the end of this first appointment, to receive a second appointment that would extend to the mandatory tenure decision.
Tenure is required by the end of the seventh year. Faculty members are typically evaluated for tenure in the seventh year; the seven-year probationary period will include any years of credit toward tenure that are specified in writing at the time of hiring. In unusual cases, tenure can be awarded a year early. However, because it is customary for review committees to apply standards strictly and without discounted expectations based on shorter time in rank, it is inadvisable for faculty members to seek early promotion unless there are compelling reasons to do so.
Typically, promotion to associate professor is considered simultaneously with the consideration of tenure, although formally the two are separate decisions. Under unusual circumstances, individuals may be hired as associate professors without tenure (mainly because the University is reluctant to hire individuals without a probationary period prior to tenure), and in this case the issue of tenure is separated fully from the issue of promotion to associate professor.
There is no mandatory point of decision for promotion to full professor. A customary waiting interval is approximately equal to the interval between the ranks of assistant professor and associate professor, because significant incremental achievement is expected between ranks. In unusual cases, an individual can be considered for promotion to full professor after only a few years in rank as an associate professor, but this is not advisable on a routine basis because review committees can be expected to apply criteria strictly and not in such cases take into account shorter time in rank. Individuals who have doubts about the timing of promotion should seek advice from their Chair, who may appoint an ad hoc personnel committee to evaluate the situation.
Any individual can ask to be considered for promotion or tenure at any time, and the request will be considered by the Department unless it is contrary to the rules of the University. Individuals who believe that they are promotable or tenurable should not hesitate to ask their chair for an evaluation.
The Departmental Review Process. Recommendations for promotion and continuous tenure, and reappointment, will begin with the Chair, who appoints a personnel committee consisting of Department faculty senior in rank to the candidate. In some circumstances it may be desirable for the Chair to appoint members of the personnel committee who are outside the Department. The personnel committee should first determine whether the candidate’s case is strong enough to go forward, or whether the candidate should be advised to withhold the case until a stronger case can be presented. These considerations should include a careful scrutiny of the candidate’s annual evaluations. It is in the interest of both the candidate and the Department that the strongest possible case be made, though candidates are not bound to the advice of the personnel committee.
The timetable for promotion and tenure, and promotion to the next rank, shall be in accordance with the Faculty Handbook (III 15-37). Nominations in cases where no mandatory review is specified may be made by senior tenured faculty only (by full professors in the case of associate candidates). The Chair will work with the committee to prepare a candidate’s file. Acting according to instructions and check lists provided by the College, the committee will ensure that all documents are submitted. The candidate has the responsibility for assembling the bulk of the personnel file, and will be instructed and assisted by the committee throughout the process. The candidate should arrange the file so that confidential documents collected by the personnel committee may be inserted. These confidential documents will include external letters of evaluation solicited by the personnel committee, report and vote of the personnel committee, and vote of the faculty. The Department Chair votes with the personnel committee and the faculty.
In order to ensure that each candidate is able to create the strongest possible case, the following procedures and timetables should be observed. An individual whose case will be considered in the fall semester, for personnel action beginning in the fall semester of the following year, should declare his/her intentions in the spring. Before the faculty departs for the summer, names of external references will already be in the Chair’s possession, ensuring that referees will have several months to accomplish their work. Candidates must submit all materials to be evaluated by external referees before the conclusion of the spring semester. Any additional materials such as articles or books that may appear during the summer months will also be sent to the referees.
Following the assembly of all materials, the personnel committee will write a detailed letter of evaluation addressed to the Dean giving its own view of the case and reporting its vote. The letter will be included in the candidate’s file. The personnel committee will make the entire file available on a confidential basis to those members of the Department faculty who will participate in the discussion, namely those colleagues senior in rank to the candidate. The file will be available for a period of two weeks before the Department faculty discussion and vote.
The candidate will be absent from the meeting of the Department faculty. At this meeting the personnel committee will present the candidate’s case. When the Chair is satisfied that the discussion is complete, there will be a vote by closed or secret ballot. The Chair votes with the tenured faculty. Following the Department’s vote, the Chair will write a letter summarizing the faculty discussion and vote and presenting his/her own view of the case. This letter will be included in the candidate’s file.
Review above the Level of the Department.* At this point, the candidate’s file is sent from the Department to the Dean. The Dean refers the case to a standing College committee (Dean’s Personnel Committee), which discusses the case and votes on it. The Dean then writes a letter to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. This letter gives the Dean’s personal evaluation of the case and the recommendation for action, as well as reporting the vote and, if appropriate, the opinions of the Dean’s Personnel Committee. The Dean is not bound to agree with the Dean’s Personnel Committee, with the Department, or with the Chair.
Beyond the Dean’s office, the personnel file passes to the office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Vice Chancellor’s office receives files on all personnel decisions from all colleges on the Campus. The Vice Chancellor relies heavily on the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee (VCAC), which considers all cases for comprehensive reappointment, promotion, and tenure. The VCAC discusses each case in detail and votes on the disposition of the case. The vote is considered a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor, who may or may not accept the recommendation. The Vice Chancellor’s decision is relayed to the Chancellor.
Beyond the Vice Chancellor’s level, review occurs by the Chancellor, the President, and the Regents. However, review above the Vice Chancellor’s level at present (1992/93) is typically pro forma. Difficult cases may be scrutinized by all levels, but the typical case is not usually examined closely at higher levels.
*Information in this section is common to all departments and is not subject to departmental modification.
A negative decision by any level of review can be overruled by a positive decision at a higher level. For example, a negative decision by the Department could be overruled by the Dean or by the Vice Chancellor. Similarly, a positive decision at any level can be overruled by a negative decision at a higher level. When any decision is overruled, the case is sent back to the lower level with advice from the upper level and request for clarification, reconsideration, or additional information. The case is then reconsidered by the lower level and forwarded again to the upper level for final review. The rights appeal for rejected candidates are outlined in the Faculty Handbook.
Return of cases from an upper level to a lower level cannot always be taken as a sign of weakness in the case. Sometimes, review committees find critical pieces of information missing from the file and ask for additional information, even though they fully expect to approve the case. Individuals under review should not be unduly concerned by a request for additional information, unless the request is accompanied by a negative note from a review committee.
The candidate is directly advised through the Chair by the Dean’s office of all review committee decisions. In addition, the candidate will receive a copy of the letter that passes from the Dean to the Vice Chancellor and will be notified of the reasons for any negative action or concern on the part of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee about degree of documentation.
Personnel cases are prepared in the fall semester of the year before they take effect. The order of preparation is typically by increasing rank: comprehensive review, promotion to associate professor with tenure, promotion to full professor. Under the current scheduling system, the comprehensive reappointment cases will leave the Department in October and the full professor cases may leave the Department as late as January in the year of the proposal personnel action.