|Policy Title:||Standards, Processes and Procedures for Comprehensive Review, Tenure, and Promotion|
|Effective:||January 1, 2011 (Revised May 1, 2011)|
|Approved by:||President Bruce D. Benson|
|Responsible University Officer:||Associate Vice President and Academic Affairs Officer|
|Responsible Office:||Associate Vice President and Academic Affairs Officer|
|Policy Contact:||Associate Vice President and Academic Affairs Officer|
|Supersedes:||July 1, 2007|
|Last Reviewed/Updated:||May 1, 2011|
Brief Description: This policy outlines the standards, processes, and procedures for the comprehensive review, tenure, and promotion of tenure-track faculty members.
Reason for the Policy: Replaces Appendix A of the Laws of the Regents.
This Administrative Policy Statement (APS) outlines the process of evaluating a tenure-track faculty member for comprehensive review, tenure and promotion and suggests effective practices for faculty members preparing for these reviews. During the pre-tenure evaluation period candidates are expected to take advantage of available mentoring and advising programs and to seek advice from their primary unit, department chair, mentors and others regarding their progress toward promotion or tenure. The APS also describes additional responsibilities of the school, department, candidate and committee members, as well as policies governing tenure and promotion processes for librarians.
II. Policy Statement
Every primary unit (described below) and reviewing body or person making recommendations concerning comprehensive review, tenure and promotion shall strictly follow and apply the procedures and standards described herein. Failure to adhere to these procedures and standards may lead to the imposition of sanctions. Questions about proper processes and procedures should be directed to the dean, faculty affairs office, or provost.
III. Standards of Performance for Tenure
Tenure may be awarded only to faculty members with demonstrated meritorious performance in each of the three areas of teaching, research or creative work, and service to the University and the faculty member’s profession, and demonstrated excellence in either teaching or research/creative work. Candidates at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) may also be evaluated on professional practice, in which case they must also demonstrate meritorious performance in that area., Faculty members in health science fields may be required by their respective schools or colleges to demonstrate meritorious performance in clinical activity/clinical care, public health practice, or other professional areas as appropriate. Librarians must demonstrate meritorious performance in librarianship and curators in curatorial activities. In addition, faculty members in the School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health must meet the standards of the School that were approved by the Board of Regents. In the School of Medicine, tenure may be awarded only to faculty members with national and international reputations for academic excellence who are among the best in their field of academic endeavor and who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, as well as excellence in, and dedication to teaching (as further defined in the rules of the School of Medicine).Public Health may consider in its tenure recommendations public health practice/clinical activity and scholarly activity, as further defined by its bylaws. Professional/administrative service and/or clinical activities should be weighed into any decision regarding tenure, but such activities in the absence of significant accomplishments in both teaching and scholarship are not an adequate basis for tenure.
IV. The Tenure and Promotion Review
The primary unit is composed of professional colleagues most directly involved with the candidate and having authority to make recommendations concerning comprehensive review, tenure, and promotion. In schools and colleges with departmental organizations, each department will usually constitute a primary unit. In a school or college without such organization all tenured and tenure-track faculty members have the responsibility for developing the terms of the working structure whereby the primary unit is defined. The primary unit may be a division, or may be the school or college as a whole. In some instances the primary unit may involve faculty from cognate departments or institutes.
The tenure and promotion decisions are based on summary evaluations of a faculty member’s cumulative performance. These processes are separate and distinct from the annual merit performance evaluation that begins at the level of the primary unit. In making comprehensive review, tenure, and/or promotion recommendations, all primary units shall evaluate the candidate's performance in the required areas, and shall also take into account other factors that have a material bearing on a comprehensive review, tenure, or promotion recommendation in that unit.1 The program requirements of the unit shall be considered at the time of the comprehensive review, but they may not be considered in recommendations for the award of tenure.
Every candidate for comprehensive review, tenure, and promotion shall consult with and be advised by the chair of the primary unit (or her or his designee) regarding the areas of performance that will be examined, other factors that have a material bearing on the decision, the standards of performance that must be met, and the primary unit criteria that the unit uses in reaching a decision about the candidate's performance.
Joint or Split Appointments: When joint or split appointments are made, the affected faculty member must be informed in writing, prior to the appointment, of:
- The duties and expectations as agreed upon by all primary units involved.
- Which primary unit will be responsible for such personnel recommendations as tenure, reappointment, promotion, and salary?
V. The Dossier
Each candidate for comprehensive review, tenure or promotion, assisted by the head of the primary unit making the recommendation, shall prepare a comprehensive dossier for evaluation. Faculty members should include copies of their published materials, as well as supporting data and electronic communications documenting their professional activities. The School of Medicine has different standards for the dossier and campuses may have requirements in addition to the ones listed below. The primary unit or the dean should provide templates or models of good dossiers to guide candidates in dossier preparation. The dossier submitted by the candidate shall include the following materials:
- A current curriculum vitae.
- Evidence concerning the teaching ability of the candidate, including results of learner evaluations. (See the administrative policy statement “Multiple Means of Teaching Evaluation” for examples of the types of evaluative material that can be used). Each candidate should submit an organized teacher’s portfolio that highlights her/his accomplishments in teaching (for example, development of new instructional materials or methods, educational scholarship, receipt of teaching awards or other evidence of success as a teacher, course syllabi, and Faculty Course Questionnaires, which are required). This section may also include evaluations by the candidate's students, colleagues or other qualified individuals who may have observed the candidate's teaching in classroom, laboratory, clinical or other settings. A self-evaluative statement or narrative summary should be provided.
- Documents supporting the candidate’s research, scholarly or creative work, clinical activity and professional practice. This section may include articles, book reviews, research data and grants, receipt of awards, electronic communications, unsolicited letters and other evidence of success. A self-evaluative statement or narrative summary should be provided.
- Documents supporting the candidate’s service to the university, profession and community. A self-evaluative statement or narrative summary should be provided.
- Any other information the candidate believes will assure adequate consideration and evaluation during her/his comprehensive review, tenure review, or promotion review.
Documents to be added by the primary unit following receipt of the dossier from the candidate include:
- A copy of the primary unit criteria;
- Previous reappointment, tenure and/or promotion (RTP) letters if required by the campus, primary unit, school/college or library.
- Evaluation letters received from External Reviewers.
VI. Evaluations from External Reviewers
The primary unit requests evaluations in writing by scholars from outside the University and from various locations who are qualified to judge the candidate, using a solicitation letter following the college-approved format. Such outside evaluations are mandatory in cases of recommendations for tenure and promotion. Comprehensive reviews may also include external evaluations, as determined by the campus/college/school/library policy. Selection of external evaluators shall be undertaken by the primary unit; the candidate shall be given the opportunity to suggest possible evaluators and/or indicate specific scholars whom the candidate feels should be excluded from consideration. Primary unit bylaws will describe the process used in the primary unit for the selection of external evaluators. Care must be taken to exclude any evaluators whose evaluations may constitute a conflict of interest, such as a dissertation director. A minimum of three external letters shall be added to the file; however, campuses, schools/colleges/libraries may require a greater number of letters. All letters that are received must be included in the candidate’s promotion or tenure dossier. These letters must be treated as confidential; they shall not be shared with the candidate. The primary unit may offer external evaluators a modest stipend for their work. Primary unit letters should include summaries of key comments by evaluators, with all identifiers removed to preserve confidentiality.
VII. Evaluation Criteria
Primary Unit Criteria and Procedures: Each primary unit shall develop specific written criteria and procedures for measuring the performance of candidates in the primary unit that are consistent with the standards herein. These approved criteria, called the "primary unit criteria," shall be subject to periodic review and approval by the dean and provost. All primary unit criteria shall be in writing and shall be included in the candidate’s dossier or made available electronically to individuals and committees involved in higher levels of review. They must be used by the primary unit and by all other bodies or persons as part of their evaluation of the candidate. Regent Law 5-B, Regent Policy 5-M, this administrative policy statement, and the primary unit criteria and procedures shall be made available by the head of the primary unit to each faculty member at the time of initial hiring/appointment. The primary unit criteria shall include a description of the level of achievement that warrants the designations “meritorious” and “excellent” performance in teaching, research or creative work, and service as well as in other applicable evaluation areas. It will also provide a description of the types of evidence that will be used to evaluate the candidate against the performance standards. Examples of criteria to be considered in evaluating teaching, research or creative work, and service are included in Appendix A.
Early Tenure – The standards of performance that apply to faculty members on the seven-year tenure clock apply to faculty members who come up for early tenure. They must have a record of achievement in teaching, research or creative work, levels of reviewclinical activity, and service that is equal to the record expected of a faculty member coming up in the seventh year. Additional criteria or higher standards cannot be applied to candidates for early tenure. Department chairs and mentors have a responsibility to counsel tenure-track faculty on the wisdom of coming up for early promotion or tenure. An unsuccessful candidate for early tenure may reapply within the existing tenure clock.
VIII. Levels of Review
At each level, the committees will vote on the teaching, research/creative work, and service (and, where indicated in primary unit criteria, the clinical activity, public health practice or professional practice) of the candidate as “not meritorious,” “meritorious,” or “excellent.” The committee will then vote on whether to recommend promotion or tenure, and will forward the result of all votes, together with the dossier, to the next level.2 Committee members at every level shall maintain the confidentiality of the deliberations.
The First-Level Review is at the college, library, or school level; it includes review by the primary unit and the chair, the dean’s review committee and the dean.
The Primary Unit Evaluation Committee is the group within the primary unit responsible for initially reviewing the qualifications of candidates for comprehensive review, tenure, and/or promotion. In a small primary unit, all members of the unit may constitute such a committee. Only members of the primary unit holding tenure may vote on decisions relating to tenure. No individual may participate in more than one stage of the review process. Participation includes being present for any discussion of the review or providing information or opinions to any individuals who will be discussing the candidate’s application.
The Primary Unit Evaluation Committee’s recommendation includes:
- A description and evaluation of the candidate's scholarly and creative work, research, teaching, clinical activity, professional practice, public health practice and service to the University or the community, as required by primary unit criteria;
- A statement describing the procedures followed and actions taken by the unit making the recommendation, including the reasons for the recommendation and any dissenting statements from the recommendation (this statement must include the results of any vote taken);
- Salient points of the external reviewers’ analyses, with care taken to maintain confidentiality;
- If required by the individual school, college or library, the findings of the comprehensive review.
The Dean’s Advisory or Review Committee aids in the evaluation of recommendations forwarded by the Primary Unit Evaluation Committee. Where it is not possible for the review committee to consist of faculty members other than those in the primary unit, the dean will form a review committee that will include faculty from other schools or colleges. The dean shall determine whether the committee will be elected or appointed.
Should either the Review Committee or the dean disagree with the recommendation of the primary unit, the dean shall communicate the nature of this disagreement with the head of the primary unit. The primary unit shall then reconsider its original recommendation and return its reconsidered judgment to the dean for her/his consideration and that of the review committee. The recommendation of the dean, the results of the votes of the primary unit and the review committee, and the comprehensive dossier on the candidate shall be forwarded together to the provost. Where differences of opinion between the primary unit, the review committee, and/or the dean have occurred and have not been resolved, each party in the disagreement shall submit a brief statement outlining the areas of disagreement and the reasons for its recommendation in that context.
The Second-Level Review is at the campus level; it includes review by the vice chancellor for academic affairs’ advisory committee, the vice chancellor for academic affairs, hereafter referred to as the “provost,” and the chancellor. However, at the Anschutz Medical Campus, promotions without dissenting votes from the first-level review are not subject to a second-level review except for the approval of the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs and chancellor.
- The provost on each campus shall have an advisory committee of faculty members to assist her/him in the review of recommendations submitted by the dean. The provost shall determine whether the committee will be elected or appointed, and the committee will participate fully with the provost in the review of the recommendation from the first level. If the provost disagrees with the recommendation from the first-level review, he/she shall transmit to the dean of the school or college the nature of the disagreement. The dean and the review committee shall then reconsider their recommendation and return their reconsidered judgment(s) to the provost. At her/his discretion, the dean may seek additional input from the primary unit as part of this reconsideration. The provost shall make her/his final recommendation regarding tenure to the chancellor, who, if he/she agrees, forwards positive recommendations to the president of the University after the completion of this process. When the chancellor’s determination concerning reappointment or the award of tenure is negative, that decision is final unless the faculty member seeks a third-level review.
- If the provost finds significant procedural errors that may have affected the outcome of the case, he/she may return the case to the primary unit and other levels of the campus review to repeat the process. The provost may, at her/his discretion, appoint a responsible party to oversee the process to ensure procedural integrity and fairness to the candidate. If it is determined that the repetition of the process will carry forward into the next academic year, the provost may extend the contract of the candidate by one year. The re-evaluation process shall focus on the record as it existed at the time of the first review.
- A candidate for comprehensive review, promotion and/or tenure shall be informed of the final determination of the chancellor in writing as expeditiously as possible. All positive recommendations for tenure shall be forwarded to the president. Decisions not to recommend tenure are not forwarded from the campus.
The Third-Level Review is at the presidential level; it refers either (1) to the review by the president of a positive recommendation for tenure or (2) to an appeal of a negative decision for comprehensive review or tenure by a candidate. Promotion decisions are completed at the second level of review and are not eligible for third-level review. If flawed by procedural errors, promotion decisions may be appealed to the Faculty Senate Committee on Promotion and Tenure.
- All positive recommendations for tenure shall be forwarded to the president for review and approval prior to submission to the Board of Regents. The role of the President’s Office in faculty personnel decisions is to ensure that appropriate and established procedures are followed, and that University standards for tenure and promotion are upheld at each campus. The primary responsibility for making personnel decisions rests with the Chancellors.
- In the case of a negative decision on tenure by the chancellor, the faculty member, within ten working days of receipt of written notice of denial for tenure from the chancellor, may request review by the president. The president may review, at the initiation of a faculty member, a negative decision of the campus chancellor regarding tenure. This request for review shall be made only on the grounds that the review contained either (1) procedural errors of sufficient magnitude that they may have affected the outcome, (2) substantive errors (such as a biased summary of student comments) of sufficient magnitude that they may have affected the outcome, or (3) prima facie evidence of discrimination, or some combination of these grounds. The president reviews the request and determines whether there are grounds for a third-level review. If there are grounds, the president shall convene a system-wide advisory committee of tenured faculty members chosen in consultation with faculty council to review the case. The advisory committee shall be provided with a complete dossier on each candidate referred to it by the president. After completing its review, the advisory committee will make its recommendation to the president.
- After considering the advisory committee’s recommendation, and if he/she disagrees with a recommendation for tenure submitted by the chancellor, the president shall transmit to him or her the nature of the disagreement. The chancellor shall then reconsider her/his recommendation and return her/his reconsidered judgment to the president. The president shall make her/his final determination whether to deny tenure or to recommend tenure to the Board of Regents only upon completion of this process.
The Board of Regents makes the final decision on the award of tenure (including for outside hires with tenure). Only the Board has the power either to award tenure or to rescind a tenured appointment.
IX. Comprehensive Review
Each tenure-track faculty member below the rank of associate professor and faculty members in the Law School hired at the rank of associate professor shall be evaluated in a comprehensive manner, as outlined in the primary unit documents, at least once during the tenure probationary period (at the School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health, at least once during the promotion probationary period), apart from the review for promotion or the award of tenure. (Regent Laws Article 5.B.6.B.1.) The comprehensive review is a critical appraisal designed to identify a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in sufficient time to allow promising candidates to improve their records before the evaluation for tenure. The review may include evaluation by external reviewers, as determined by the campus/school/college/library policy. Candidates for reappointment may receive specific advice about aspects of their performance that need improvement, although non-reappointment is also a possible result of the comprehensive review. If a candidate is not reappointed, he or she may request a third-level review, as described above. If not reappointed because of the outcome of the comprehensive review, he/she will have a terminal year before her/his appointment ends.
All candidates for promotion to associate professor and professor must meet the University’s standards of performance as approved by the Board of Regents:
- Associate professors should have the terminal degree appropriate to their field or its equivalent, considerable successful teaching experience, and increasing accomplishment in research, scholarship/creative activity or clinical service/professional practice, as articulated in the primary unit criteria.
- 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 or promotion to associate professor, that indicates substantial, significant, and continued growth, development, and accomplishment in teaching, research, scholarship or creative work, service, and other applicable areas.
XI. The Candidates Prerogatives
A candidate shall be entitled to submit any material or information that he/she believes will be helpful in evaluating her/his comprehensive review, promotion and/or tenure at the first-, second-, and third-level review stages. Materials provided at a higher level of the review stage shall also be provided to all other bodies reviewing the candidate, and they may respond as they deem appropriate.
Each faculty member shall have access to all performance evaluation documents in her/his own files. These documents shall include statements prepared by primary unit evaluation committees, by department or division chairs, or by administrative officers, but shall not include letters of recommendation solicited from outside the primary unit, which are to be treated as confidential. Each faculty member shall be informed orally and in writing by the head of the primary unit of the results of evaluations of the faculty member's performance.
If a candidate so requests, in a confidential conversation, the provost or her/his representative shall advise the candidate of the reasons that contributed to a recommendation not to grant tenure or promote. After the final decision, a candidate for reappointment, promotion or tenure shall be entitled to file a grievance with the Faculty Senate’s Privilege and Tenure Committee within the allowable time frame (see Regent Policy 5-H) if the candidate believes that the procedures described herein have not been observed at any stage of the recommending or review process. While procedural errors per se may entitle the candidate to proper reconsideration as herein provided, such errors may not be used as the justification for personnel recommendations not otherwise justified on the basis of performance. Nor shall the Privilege and Tenure Committee substitute its judgment about an individual's merit for that of other committees and administrators. The committee shall promptly report any procedural deficiencies to the provost of the campus where the faculty member works.
A candidate who is denied tenure will have a terminal year before his/her appointment ends.
XII. Tenure and Promotion Policies Specific to Library Faculty Members
Librarians play a unique role in advancing the University’s educational mission. This APS reaffirms the status of all librarians as members of the faculty, while recognizing the diverse nature of faculty appointments for librarians throughout the University of Colorado system, where library faculty members may be tenured or tenure track, non-tenure-track promotion eligible, or non-tenure track.
Librarians on University of Colorado campuses where library faculty are eligible for tenure-track appointments and who are appointed or promoted to the rank of assistant professor will be on the tenure track, and the tenure probationary period will begin when they achieve that rank. Evaluation procedures and standards of performance for reappointment, tenure, and promotion for library faculty members are the same as those for other faculty members. The criteria for librarians will include activities in the teaching and/or practice of librarianship. Primary unit criteria, as described above, articulate the requirements for tenure and promotion.
XIII. Related Policies, Procedures, Forms, Guidelines and Other Resources
- Administrative Policy Statements (APS) and Other Policies
- Regent Policy 5 M
- University APS: Justification for Appointment with Tenure Outside Hire with Tenure
- University APS: Mentoring and Faculty Development
- University APS: Multiple Means of Teaching Evaluation
- Original policy effective July 1, 2007
- Revised January 1, 2011
- Non-substantive revision on May 1, 2011
XV. Key Words
Appendix A: Examples of Appropriate Criteria for Faculty Evaluation
- Evaluations of teaching effectiveness by students, graduate trainees or other learners
- Teaching awards and other outstanding accomplishments in instruction
- Peer evaluation of teaching
- Alumni evaluation
- Quality of Doctoral dissertation and Master's thesis supervision
- Student advising and mentoring
- Innovations in teaching
- Clinical supervision
- Participation in teaching
- Performance of students, graduate trainees or other learners in higher-level courses or levels of training
- Performance of learners on Standard Professional Examinations
- Preparation of course materials
- Teaching scholarship (for example, external grant funding or published research related to teaching).
B. RESEARCH/CREATIVE WORK
- Publications, including peer-reviewed manuscripts, books, book chapters, monographs and electronic publications
- Other products of scholarship as broadly defined, including the scholarship of discovery, education, application or integration in which the candidate is a lead investigator.
- Recognition by other scholars of research and publications
- Creative work (performance, poetry, drama, competitions, paintings)
- Grants and contracts (sponsored research)
- Unsponsored research
- Professional reputation (both inside and outside the University)
- Evidence of capacity for future achievements
- University committees and administrative Service
- Service to profession and discipline (state, national, international level)
- Consultation and public service
- Skill and devotion in the care of patients
- 1. Information with “material bearing,” such as formal disciplinary action, should only be included if it affects whether or not the candidate meets the primary unit criteria for teaching, research/creative work, clinical activity or service.
- 2. The School of Medicine’s (SOM) procedures differ in many respects from those described in this APS. Faculty members in that School should consult the School’s policy on tenure and promotion, available at http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/facultyAffairs/... This is also true for the Colorado School of Public Health: that School’s Bylaws, Polices, Procedures, and Guidelines provide such information.