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PAc-27 Tenure and Reappointment Review

Policy: PAc-27
Subject: Tenure and Reappointment Review 
Approval Date: 08/06/88
Revision Date: 06/13/97; 06/08/01, 06/15/05, 8/21/12, 6/8/17, 3/28/19
Technical Change: 03/02/98

PURPOSE:
To define the criteria, procedures, and conditions applicable to the review of University probationary faculty for reappointment and the awarding of tenure.
 
1. TENURE DEFINED 
Tenure is a system by which competent, productive faculty members who meet specified criteria are informed that they have successfully completed their probationary period and are recognized as continuing members of the faculty free to pursue their academic interests and responsibilities with the confident knowledge that termination of their appointment can be only for cause as outlined in the appropriate Personnel Policies. 

2. ACADEMIC PRINCIPLES 
Each department, school, or college will establish standards for evaluating its tenure-track faculty consistent with the guidelines established in PAc-35. These standards will appear in the tenure and reappointment sections within the applicable Faculty Evaluation Plan (FEP). 

The tenure process will consist of review and judgment at each of the following levels: the Department Tenure Committee, the Department Chair/Associate Dean, the College Tenure Committee, the College Dean, the University Tenure Committee, and the Provost. At each level, the review process will be guided by the standards outlined in the candidate’s FEP. 

The assistant professor who obtains tenure will be automatically promoted to the rank of Associate Professor without further review. Therefore, tenure decisions must reflect satisfactory performance for promotion to Associate Professor. Associate professors who obtain tenure and desire promotion to Professor have to petition separately for promotion to Professor. 

Only full-time standing faculty members of Morehead State University holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor in an academic program area can be granted tenure. 

3. PROBATIONARY PERIOD FOR TENURE-TRACK FACULTY 
The probationary period for tenure-track faculty is six years. However, equivalent service may be applied toward the six-year probationary period. A faculty member must apply for equivalent service no later than the end of the first semester following appointment to Morehead State University. The number of years of equivalent service will be recommended to the Provost by the Department Tenure Committee, the Department Chair/Associate Dean, and the College Dean. 

A faculty member granted a reduced probationary period upon appointment may request that part or all of the years of equivalent service be rescinded if he/she needs more time to develop credentials for tenure. However, such a request must be communicated to the appropriate Department Chair/Associate Dean by August 1 of the academic year in which the tenure portfolio is due.

A tenure-track faculty member must be reviewed for the awarding of tenure no later than the sixth year of the probationary period. A candidate who is denied tenure will receive a fixed-term terminal contract for the year following tenure review. 

4. COMPUTING YEARS OF CREDIT TOWARD TENURE 
The University recognizes July 1 as the common tenure anniversary date. This tenure anniversary date does not necessarily coincide with the faculty member’s date of initial appointment. A year of credit toward tenure is earned in any academic year in which the tenure-eligible faculty member has full-time active employment status of no less than half of the July 1 through June 30 academic year.

Since the purpose of the probationary period is to provide opportunity for observing the faculty member, time spent on a leave of absence will not be counted as active service, except as specified in PG-9 or PAc-28

5. NOTICE OF REAPPOINTMENT OR NON-REAPPOINTMENT 
The President will notify, in writing, each faculty member who will not be reappointed after consultation with the faculty member’s Department Chair or Associate Dean, Dean, and Provost. All faculty members have the right to appeal the non-reappointment notice within 30 calendar days to the Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee as provided by PAc-18.

Notification of reappointment or non-reappointment for tenure-eligible faculty shall be: 

  • a. Not later than March 1 for faculty in their first academic year of service 
  • b. Not later than December 15 for faculty in their second academic year of service 
  • c. Not later than March 1 for faculty with two or more academic years of service. 

Faculty with two or more academic years of service who are not reappointed will receive a fixed-term terminal contract for the following academic year. 

6. THE REAPPOINTMENT/TENURE PORTFOLIO 
The reappointment/tenure portfolio will begin with the following items in order:

  1. a letter of intent, addressed to the Department Chair or Associate Dean, stating the desire to be considered for reappointment/tenure and containing a summary of activities during the probationary period that justifies the case for reappointment or tenure, 
  2. the applicable department FEP(s) and any Flexible Workload Agreements  (see PAc-29) that apply to the candidate, 
  3. the annual evaluations by the Department Tenure Committee and the Department Chair/Associate Dean, and evaluations or recommendations by the College Dean (as outlined in section 8.4), as well as any responses by the candidate to those evaluations,
  4. if applicable, a statement documenting the number of years of equivalent service granted, and
  5. a curriculum vitae of activities in the format of or from the university-approved faculty activity reporting system.  

Materials that support the request for reappointment/tenure should follow the initial contents of the portfolio. They may include but are not limited to the following: 

  • (a) items indicating the extent and quality of teaching, such as teaching evaluations, innovative teaching techniques, new courses or programs developed, and teaching awards or honors, 
  • (b) items indicating the extent and quality of scholarship, such as publications, artistic/creative works, and grant activities, and 
  • (c) items indicating the extent and quality of service to the institution, the profession, or the broader community, such as proposals to improve the university, service on institutional committees, editorships or reviews for professional journals, development of relations with outside professional or public groups, consulting, and awards or honors for service. 

Faculty hired with years of service must provide documentation showing that they fulfill all requirements for tenure as detailed in their applicable FEP. 

Candidates are strongly encouraged to maintain in their possession copies of the portfolio contents (as described above) in an electronic or paper format plus any supporting materials until the tenure process has been completed and a decision for tenure or non-tenure has been made by the Board of Regents, as portfolios will not be returned by the university in the event of non-reappointment. 

7. THE DEPARTMENT, COLLEGE, AND UNIVERSITY TENURE COMMITTEES 

  1. The Department Tenure Committee will consist of all tenured full-time standing faculty members in the department. If a faculty member is also on the College or University Tenure Committee, he or she must recuse him or herself from the Department Tenure Committee when a candidate is being considered for tenure. In the event that there are fewer than five eligible members in the department, the department will invite enough tenured full-time standing faculty members from the same college to form a five-member committee. 
  2. The College Tenure Committee will consist of at least five tenured full-time standing faculty members from the college elected by each department. If there are not at least five departments, then the College Dean will select sufficient at-large committee members to make a committee of five, from a pool of one or more candidates elected by the tenured faculty in each department. The committee should, if possible, include both males and females as well as members of diverse racial and ethnic groups. The term of service will be three years with one-third of the committee members replaced each year. A member may not hold successive terms. 
  3. The University Tenure Committee will consist of two tenured full-time standing faculty members from each college and one at large tenured full-time standing faculty member selected by the Faculty Senate. Committee membership will include both males and females and should, if possible, include members of diverse racial and ethnic groups. Two representatives from the same academic department will not serve on the University Tenure Committee at the same time. The term of service will be three years with one-third of the committee members replaced each year. A member may not hold successive terms. 
  4. Department Chairs, Associate Deans, and College Deans cannot serve on tenure committees. 
  5. A faculty member on a leave of absence or sabbatical cannot serve on a tenure committee while on leave or sabbatical. 
  6. A candidate's relative (as defined in PG-22) or domestic partner who is serving on a tenure committee shall neither engage in discussions about the candidate nor vote on the candidate. The relative or domestic partner will be replaced by an alternate only when the committee evaluates the candidate and only if the number of eligible voting members on the committee is less than five. 
  7. A faculty member may serve on the Department Tenure Committee and either the College or University Tenure Committee during an academic year. They may not serve on both the College and the University Tenure Committees in the same year. A faculty member serving on the College or University Tenure Committee shall neither engage in discussions about a candidate nor vote on the candidate at the department level if the candidate is being reviewed for the awarding of tenure. 
  8. A faculty member cannot serve on more than one of the following committees during an academic year—University Tenure Committee, University Promotion Committee, and Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Committee.
  9. The chairperson of each tenure committee will be elected annually by the committee membership.
  10. All voting on candidates will be by secret ballot. Abstentions are not allowed. Any sealed ballots submitted by absent faculty members shall be included in the tally with all ballots opened and counted at the same time during the tenure committee meeting. Recommendation for tenure, or for reappointment in the case of annual review, consists of an affirmative vote by 50% or more of the committee membership. If the vote not unanimous, the letter must reflect the balance and substance of the entirety of the vote. No separate minority report may be submitted. The letter must also address how the candidate’s performance does or does not meet the requirements of the department FEP.
  11. Tenure committees' deliberations are confidential and will not be discussed outside of tenure committees' meetings. 

8. ANNUAL REVIEW OF TENURE-TRACK FACULTY (PRIOR TO TENURE REVIEW)
(1) The Department Tenure Committee will meet annually to evaluate the tenure-track candidate's reappointment portfolio and supporting materials. 

(2) The Department Tenure Committee will produce a written evaluation of the portfolio using the department FEP as the basis for evaluation. As part of the evaluation, the Department Tenure Committee will vote by secret ballot on the reappointment or non-reappointment of the candidate. The committee's report will show the vote tally, will explicitly recommend reappointment or non-reappointment of the candidate, and will be signed by all committee members. The report will also document the validity of the information contained in the portfolio. A copy of the report will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate. 

The primary purpose of the evaluation is to verify the information contained in the portfolio, and to determine whether the performance level of the candidate is below, at, or above the performance level commensurate with that of a tenurable faculty member in the department, as based on the criteria in the department FEP. 

The Department Tenure Committee may request from the candidate revisions, additional information, and documentation not provided in the portfolio. If so directed, the candidate will have the opportunity to reorganize the portfolio. 

(3) The Department Tenure Committee will forward the portfolio and supporting materials to the Department Chair/Associate Dean, who will add to the portfolio his/her written evaluation of the portfolio, with a copy of the evaluation delivered to the candidate. The written evaluation will recommend reappointment or non-reappointment of the candidate. 

It is also the responsibility of the Department Chair/Associate Dean to verify the information contained in the portfolio, and to determine whether the performance level of the candidate is below, at, or above the performance level commensurate with that of a tenurable faculty member in the department, as based on the criteria in the department FEP. 

The Department Chair/Associate Dean will forward the portfolio to the College Dean. 

(4) The Department Tenure Committee and the Department Chair/Associate Dean will conduct an annual review of the tenure-track candidate during the candidate's first five years of probationary service. If both department-level reappointment recommendations are positive for the 1st, 2nd, and 4th annual reviews, the College Dean will return the portfolio (without review) to the candidate and forward his/her approval and recommendation for reappointment to the Provost. 

In the event that clarification of the department recommendations is warranted prior to submitting his/her reappointment recommendation to the Provost, the Dean may review the portfolio. If at least one of the department-level reappointment recommendations is negative for the 1st, 2nd, and 4th annual reviews, the Dean will conduct a complete review of the portfolio. The Dean will also conduct a complete review of the portfolio for a candidate's 3rd and 5th annual reviews. When conducting a complete review, the Dean will review the portfolio, produce a written evaluation of the portfolio, and recommend reappointment or non-reappointment of the candidate. A copy of the evaluation will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate. The portfolio will be returned to the candidate. 

(5) The Provost will review all reappointment recommendations from the department and college levels and any responses provided by the candidate in rebuttal, and make a recommendation to the President regarding reappointment of the candidate. The Provost’s recommendation for reappointment or non-reappointment will be sent to the President with copies to the candidate, College Dean, and Department Chair/Associate Dean. If the Provost recommends non-reappointment, the Provost will provide written justification for the recommendation. 

(6) At every level of review, the candidate will receive a copy of his/her evaluation and will have seven working days to respond, in writing, to the evaluation. The candidate's response, if any, will be placed in the portfolio and submitted to the next level of review. 

9. TENURE REVIEW 
(1) The Department Tenure Committee will meet to evaluate the candidate's tenure portfolio and supporting documents. The committee will produce a written evaluation of the portfolio using the department Faculty Evaluation Plan as the criteria for evaluation. As part of the evaluation, the Department Tenure Committee will recommend, in the form of a vote by secret ballot, tenure or non-tenure of the candidate. Abstentions are not allowed. Any sealed ballots submitted by absent faculty members shall be included in the tally with all ballots opened and counted at the same time during the Department Tenure Committee meeting. A faculty member on a leave of absence or sabbatical is not an active member of the tenure committee and shall not vote. The committee's report will show the vote tally and will be signed by all committee members. The report will also document the validity of the information contained in the portfolio. A copy of the report will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate.

The primary purpose of the evaluation is to certify the information contained in the portfolio, and to determine whether the performance level of the candidate is below, at, or above the performance level commensurate with that of a tenurable faculty member in the department, as based on the criteria in the department Faculty Evaluation Plan. 

The Department Tenure Committee may request from the candidate, revisions, additional information, and documentation not provided in the portfolio. If so directed, the candidate will have the opportunity to realign the organization of contents of his/her portfolio.

(2) The Department Tenure Committee will forward the portfolio to the Department Chair/ Associate Dean, who will add to the portfolio his/her written evaluation of the portfolio, with a copy of the evaluation delivered to the candidate. The written evaluation will recommend tenure or non-tenure of the candidate.

It is also the responsibility of the Department Chair/Associate Dean to certify the information contained in the portfolio, and to determine whether the performance level of the candidate is below, at, or above the performance level commensurate with that of a tenurable faculty member in the department, as based on the criteria in the department Faculty Evaluation Plan.

(3) The Department Chair/Associate Dean will forward the portfolio to the College Tenure Committee. The College Tenure Committee will read the candidate's department Faculty Evaluation Plan and then produce a written evaluation of the portfolio using the department Faculty Evaluation Plan as the primary criteria for evaluation. As part of the evaluation, the College Tenure Committee will recommend, in the form of a vote by secret ballot, tenure or non- tenure of the candidate. Abstentions are not allowed. Any sealed ballots submitted by absent faculty members shall be included in the tally with all ballots opened and counted at the same time during the College Tenure Committee meeting. The committee's report will show the vote tally and will be signed by all committee members. A copy of the report will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate.

(4) The College Tenure Committee will forward the portfolio to the College Dean. The Dean will produce a written evaluation of the portfolio. The written evaluation will recommend tenure or non-tenure of the candidate. A copy of the evaluation will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate. 

(5) The College Dean will forward the portfolio to the University Tenure Committee. The University Tenure Committee will read the candidate's department FEP and then produce a written evaluation of the portfolio using the department FEP as the basis for evaluation. As part of the evaluation, the University Tenure Committee will recommend, in the form of a vote by secret ballot, tenure or non-tenure of the candidate. The committee's report will show the vote tally and will be signed by all committee members. A copy of the report will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate.
 
(6) The University Tenure Committee will forward the portfolio to the Provost. The Provost will review all tenure recommendations from the department, college, and university levels, including any responses provided by the candidate in rebuttal and will produce a written evaluation of the portfolio. The written evaluation will recommend tenure or non-tenure of the candidate. A copy of the evaluation will be placed in the portfolio and also delivered to the candidate. The Provost will then forward the recommendation to the President.

(7) The President will make the final recommendation regarding tenure to the Board of Regents. The President will inform the candidate in writing of the recommendation at least two weeks prior to the Board of Regents meeting with copies to the Chair/Associate Dean, Dean, and Provost. A candidate not recommended for tenure may request a meeting with the President prior to the Board of Regents meeting. 

(8) At every level of review, the candidate will receive a copy of his/her evaluation and will have seven calendar days to respond, in writing, to the evaluation. The candidate's response, if any, will be placed in the portfolio and submitted to the next level of review.

10. APPOINTMENT WITH TENURE FOR FACULTY 
It may be in the best interest of the university to award tenure to a candidate with exceptional credentials, experience, and previously acquired tenure as a condition of employment. 

When a potential new faculty member who has never been employed as a faculty member of Morehead State University and meets these criteria requests the awarding of tenure as a condition of employment, the candidate will prepare documentation that clearly demonstrates professional activities and accomplishments, teaching, and service, for the previous six (or more) years. The materials will then be reviewed by the Department and College Tenure Committees in an expedited fashion.
 
11. APPOINTMENT WITH TENURE FOR ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS 
The appointment with tenure of academic administrators such as Provost, College Deans, Associate Deans, and Department Chairs may be made if the following procedure is followed: 

  1. The position's search committee must recommend the candidate for tenure and forward the recommendation and the candidate's credentials to the hiring supervisor, who will solicit a recommendation from the appropriate Department Tenure Committee. 
  2. When considering an appointment with tenure for a College Dean, the Provost will solicit a recommendation from the appropriate Department Tenure Committee. 
  3. When considering an appointment with tenure for a Department Chair or Associate Dean, the Provost will solicit a recommendation from the appropriate Department Tenure Committee and College Dean. 
  4. The Provost will forward the recommendations for appointment with tenure to the President. 
  5. The President will review the recommendations and present his or her recommendation to the Board of Regents for approval. 

Appointment with tenure is not applicable for the chairperson of the Department of Military Science. 

12. DATES FOR THE TENURE REVIEW PROCESS 
Specific dates and deadlines for the tenure review process in each year will be set and distributed to the faculty by the Office of the Provost.