Review, Tenure & Promotion Guidelines: Tenure-Track Faculty

Date Approved: 
March 5, 2013
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Introduction 

Context 

The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) Guidelines for Review, Tenure and Promotion describe college policies and procedures for conducting reviews and making recommendations for tenure and promotion for tenure-track faculty. The guidelines align with policies and procedures established by the Texas A&M University System and are supplemented by additional policies and procedures adopted by academic departments. 

Current University Policy 

University level policies and procedures for promotion and tenure are set forth in the Texas A&M University Statement on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, Tenure and Promotion (University Rule 12.01.99.M2, Approved June 20, 1997, Revised July 27, 2001), which supplements System Policy 12.01. The university has also established guidelines for annual and mid-term reviews. These rules and policies are available electronically: 

University Statement on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, Tenure and Promotion 

University Guidelines for Annual and Mid-Term Review 

System Policy 12.01 

Instructions and timelines for implementing these policies are distributed annually by the Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost and are available at: http://dof.tamu.edu/dof/media/PITO-DOF/Documents/Guidelines/hiring/2017-...

CEHD Criteria for Review, Tenure, and Promotion

General criteria for retention and advancement within faculty ranks are stated in the System and University policies, rules, and guidelines referenced above. 

Persons promoted to the rank of Associate Professor should exhibit clear evidence of accomplishment measured against the contributions of beginning associate professors in her or his discipline; a focused area of research/creative activity; competence in the area of teaching; and willing citizenship, as demonstrated by participation in departmental, college and university service activities. 

Persons promoted to the rank of Professor should exhibit an exemplary level of accomplishment as measured against beginning full professors in her or his discipline; evidence of a national or international impact in the level of research/creative activity; proficiency in the area of teaching; and evidence of valuable service activities. In most cases, promotion to Professor is based primarily on excellence in research/creative activities; however, in very rare cases, one can be promoted based on evidence of her or his teaching or service having a national or international impact on the field. In this case, the faculty member should still demonstrate clear evidence of research/creative activity accomplishments. 

Faculty members should consult the specific expectations outlined by each department within the College. 

CEHD Procedures for Review, Tenure, and Promotion 

Updated instructions for implementation of CEHD policies and procedures will be distributed annually by the Dean. 

Timelines 

  1. Probationary Period. The probationary period for non-tenured tenure-track faculty shall be specified in their letter of offer and may cover any number of years up to the University maximum of seven. The semester of hire does not determine the “Tenure Clock;” the calendar year does. The start of a tenure-track faculty member’s mandatory consideration year (academic year) can be calculated as follows: Calendar year hired+probationary period – 2 years = Fall semester of Tenure consideration year (e.g., regardless of the month, if contract start date is 2007 + 7 years of probation – 2 years = 2012. The mandatory review will start in 2012). Sometimes, under extenuating circumstances, a faculty may initiate a request with the department head to extend the probationary period. The “Agreement Concerning the Extension of Probationary Service and Waiver” is used when a department wishes to extend the probationary service of a faculty member. This form is usually accompanied by a memo explaining why the probationary period needs to be extended. Alterations to the probationary period must be approved by the Department Head, CEHD Dean, and the Dean of Faculties.
  2. Annual Reviews. Each non-tenured tenure-track faculty member not undergoing a Tenure and Promotion or Mid-Term Review shall receive written feedback regarding their progress toward tenure and promotion based on a review of their current A-1 and vita from both their Department Head and DepartmentReview Committee. The department will use the A-2 to provide feedback in a face to face meeting with the faculty.
  3. Mid-Term Reviews. Formal mid-term reviews for non-tenured tenure-track faculty members shall occur during the spring of their third year. CEHD mid-term reviews follow the same procedures as promotion and tenure reviews up through the level of the Dean. In the case that a mid-term review does not have a positive outcome, the Dean may recommend an additional review be conducted the following year. Otherwise, the faculty member will be given a one-year notice of termination of employment.
  4. Review for Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor Prior to Mandatory Year. Non-tenured tenure- track faculty members may request consideration for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor prior to the end of their probationary period. Such requests should be made to the Department Head, and careful consideration should be given to the strength of the faculty member’s record in relation to departmental, college, and university performance criteria in the areas of teaching, research, and service. (If an early review does not result in a favorable decision for tenure, a review is conducted again at the mandatory time) 
  5. Promotion to Professor. Faculty members holding the rank of Associate Professor may request consideration for promotion to Professor at any time. Such request should be made to the Department Head, and careful consideration should be given to the faculty member’s record in relation to departmental, college, and university performance criteria in the areas of teaching, research, and service. The case for excellence in one or more of these areas must be made very clear as well as evidence of leadership and national/international impact. 

College Review, Promotion, and Tenure Structure 

The CEHD review, tenure, and promotion process has four levels: 1) Department Committee, 2) Department Head, 3) College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee, and 4) Dean. 

  1. Department Committee. Composition and operation of the Department Committee shall be determined by each department, consistent with University policies and rules, and shall be specified in departmental policies and procedures. The Department Committee is responsible for preparing the Department Evaluations of Teaching, Research, and Other Activities (these evaluations should not be prepared by the candidate or the Department Head) and the Department Committee Report and Recommendation. Authorship of these statements must be identified and individuals who have a close relationship with the candidate should not prepare the evaluation statements. For example, to void conflict of interest, the candidate’s former graduate advisor or a co-author/ collaborator should not write the evaluation statements.

    If committee members differ in terms of their evaluation that should be noted in the statement to the evaluation statement, and the Department Statement should clearly communicate the areas of difference and explain their rationale. Negative comments from external reviewers should be addressed by the departmental committee. Members of the Department Review Committee should have the opportunity to review the candidate’s Evaluations of Teaching, Research, Service, and Other Activities prior to submission to the Department Head. The Department Committee Report and Recommendation should contain a record of the vote and should address the reasons for any negative votes or abstentions among committee members.

    The departmental representative to the College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee may attend the department committee meeting but is not eligible to vote at the department level. The report should reflect that the faculty member abstained due to his/her service on the college-level committee.

  2. Department Head. The Department Head is responsible for preparing the Department Head’s Recommendation. The Department Head’s Recommendation should provide a composite evaluation of the candidate’s record and include sufficient information to support judgments regarding teaching, research, and service. Negative comments from reviewers and/or the Department Committee and negative votes or abstentions from the Department Committee should be addressed in the Department Head’s recommendation, even if these comments are factually wrong or misguided.
  3. College Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. The committee has five members. Each department elects one tenured, full professor representative to the committee for a 3-year term. All tenure track faculty members are eligible to vote for their departmental representative and for the College at-large member. Individuals who hold administrative positions as Department Heads or who serve on the dean’s staff are not eligible to serve on the committee.

    The fifth member is an associate professor representative elected as a college at-large representative who serves a 2-year term. The at-large representative cannot be from the same department for two consecutive terms. The at-large representative participates in discussions and votes in cases involving third year reviews and tenure and promotion to associate professor. In order to capitalize on the developmental opportunities for associate professors, the at-large representative may be present during discussions involving promotion to full professor but does not vote on promotion to full professor. In the event the associate professor representative is reviewed for promotion to Full Professor during this two-year term, the individual will not complete his/her term, and an election for a new 2-year position will be held.

    This committee is responsible for preparing the College Committee’s Report and Recommendation. All members of the committee are expected to represent the College rather than to serve as advocates for their departments. The Report and Recommendation of this committee should include sufficient information to support its judgments on teaching, research, and service and should address the reasons for negative votes or abstentions among its members.

  4. The Dean is responsible for preparing the Dean’s Recommendation and Summary. 

External Letters

  1. Number. The department must aim to receive 5 to 7 letters from external reviewers although the minimum number required is 3.All letters that have been requested and received must be included.
  2. Authors. Review letters should include at least one nominated by the candidate and one nominated by the department (Department Committee or program faculty). Letters should not be sought from individuals “tainted” by close personal ties to the candidate (e.g., mentors, former students, close personal friends, frequent co-authors). Letters should not be sought from among the names on the “do not contact” list provided by the candidates.
  3. Institutions. Letters should come from “peer institutions or better” (i.e., top-tier, Research Extensive universities) but letters from notable leaders in the field who are not within a peer institution are also acceptable. In such a case, a rationale must be provided as to why the letter was solicited in the Description of the Qualifications of the External Reviewers. Letter writers should hold at least the rank for which the candidate is being considered.
  4. Letter Samples. A sample of the letters or emails used to solicit external reviews should be included in the candidate’s file. It is not recommended that the solicitation letter ask if the candidate would be granted tenure and/or promotion at their institution. Instead the reviewer should be asked to evaluate the candidate’s work and its current and potential national and/or international prominence (or progress toward them in the case of mid-term reviews). The solicitation must contain the following statement: “Your review will be kept confidential; however, Texas is an open records state and your review could be requested and relinquished.”  Examples of letters are available from the office of the Executive Associate Dean.
  5. Letter Availability to Candidates. Under Texas law, external letters are available to the candidate upon request to their department head in writing. 

Preparation of Dossier 

  1. Vita. The candidate’s vita should distinguish between peer-reviewed (refereed) publications and non peer-reviewed publications. The candidate’s role in grant and contract activity should be clearly specified. It is advisable for the vita to make clear the candidate’s role in multiple authorships. It is strongly encouraged that if any coauthors are the candidate’s graduate students (past or present), they are delineated in a manner so that this relationship is discernible.

    The curriculum vita should be accurate, concise, and padding should be avoided.

  2. Candidate’s Statement on Teaching, Research, and Service. These statements should be concise and more than a summary of the vita. Rather, they should help a reviewer make sense of the candidate’s vita and clarify why the individual has chosen specific scholarship areas and how these areas will be developed in the future. Candidates should clearly state the impact of their work or potential for impact in the case of assistant to associate professors. 

CEHD Promotion and Tenure Estimated Calendar Dates

 January of each year 

Dean Notifies Department Heads of schedule and procedures for tenure track reviews to occur in the next academic year. 

February of year prior to review 

In consultation with Department Head (DH), candidate begins preparing dossier. 

March 

Through the Dean of Faculties, the Provost requests Deans to initiate tenure and promotion proceedings. 

March-September 

Department solicits external letters and completes departmental review process. 

September 

Departmental Review Committee (DRC) meets to discuss candidate(s) materials and vote on its recommendation(s). DRC recommendation(s) is forwarded to Department Head. 

October 

DH reviews candidate(s) material and DRC recommendation. DH recommendation is forwarded to College Review Committee. 

November 

College Review Committee (CRC) reviews candidate(s) material, DRC and DH recommendations. CRC recommendation is forwarded to Dean. 

December 

Dean reviews candidate(s) material, DRC, DH and CRC recommendations. Dean’s 

January of year reviewed 

Deans meet and review recommendations with the Provost and Dean of Faculties. 

February 

Provost forwards recommendations to President. President forwards recommendations to the Board of Regents through the Chancellor of the TAMU System. 

March 

Board of Regents reviews recommendations and makes final decisions 

September following the successful P&T review 

Tenure and Promotion decisions become effective. 

CEHD 3rd Year Review Estimated Calendar Dates 

January of each year 

Dean Notifies Department Heads of schedule and procedures for tenure track mid-year reviews to occur in the next academic year. 

September of 3rd year probation 

In consultation with Department Head (DH), candidate begins preparing dossier. 

September-February 

Department solicits external letters and completes departmental review process. 

February 

Department Review Committee (DRC) meets to discuss candidate(s) materials and vote on its recommendation(s). DRC recommendation(s) is forwarded to Department Head. 

March 

DH reviews candidate(s) material and DRC recommendation. DH recommendation is forwarded to College Review Committee. 

April 

College Review Committee (CRC) reviews candidate(s) material, DRC and DH recommendations. CRC recommendation is forwarded to Dean. 

May 

Dean reviews candidate(s) material, DRC, DH and CRC recommendations. Dean’s feedback provided to candidate. 

 

Faculty