Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Guidelines

Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Policies

HPC has adopted the policies regarding reappointment, promotion and tenure as stated in the Appalachian State University Faculty Handbook. Sections from the Faculty Handbook are restated here, however, the Faculty Handbook is the final authority.

The decision to reappoint, promote or tenure a faculty member may be based on any factor(s) considered relevant to the total institutional interests, but those responsible for making the decision must consider the faculty member's demonstrated professional competence, potential for future contribution, and institutional needs and resources. A decision not to reappoint, promote or tenure may not be based upon (1) the faculty member's exercise of rights guaranteed by either the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article I of the North Carolina Constitution; (2) unlawful discrimination based upon the faculty member's race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation; or (3) personal malice. For purposes of this section, the term "personal malice" means dislike, animosity, ill will, or hatred based on personal characteristics, traits or circumstances of an individual that are not relevant to valid University decision making.

Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee (PTC)

Each departmental unit with tenure lines shall have one Promotion and Tenure Committee consisting of all tenured faculty members, excluding the department chair and excluding those who must recuse themselves.

The PTC makes recommendations regarding contract renewal for tenure-track faculty, Emeritus status, graduate faculty status for tenure-track and tenured faculty, the granting of permanent tenure, and promotion to tenure-track or tenured ranks, either when a request for tenure is made by a faculty member, or at the automatic intervals specified in the Faculty Handbook. The committee shall make a recommendation to the departmental chair who in turn shall make a recommendation to the dean, who will send to Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor both her/his own recommendation and that of the committee and the department chair concerning the advisability of conferring contract renewal, promotion and/or tenure.

The departmental chair shall schedule all departmental PTC meetings. While the chair shall be responsible for knowing and sharing both information about procedural matters and information requested by the committee, the chair's role in the committee's deliberations and decision shall be minimal. The departmental chair shall not vote on the PTC.

While the PTC does not accept letters all HPC tenure-track faculty members who so desire, except those who must recuse themselves, may present their views before the PTC in regard to any item(s) on the agenda. An applicant for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure has a right to speak before the PTC about his/her application before the Committee begins its deliberation.

At its first meeting, the PTC will elect a committee chair from among its members. The committee chair's responsibilities include: compiling the votes of the committee members and forwarding the votes and the vote justification letters to both the departmental chair and dean.

Reappointment

An initial appointment to the rank of assistant professor is normally for a probationary term of four academic years. Before the end of the third year of the four-year probationary term, the assistant professor shall receive written notice whether, when the current term expires, she or he will be reappointed at that rank for a second probationary term of three years or not be reappointed.

Before the end of the second year of the three-year term as assistant professor, the assistant professor shall receive written notice whether she or he will be reappointed with permanent tenure at the associate professor rank or not be reappointed.

Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Dossier

Candidates for Reappointment use the same template as described for the P&T Dossier:

  1. Cover letter;
  2. Summary one-page vita (not for reappointment);
  3. Candidate's vita, including evidence related to teaching, research/creative endeavors, and service. The organization of these entries is up to the candidate, but the outline should include education and experience; awards and honors; peer-reviewed/juried products (grant/contract funding, publications, presentations, exhibits, etc.); course development and teaching responsibilities and innovations; outreach and/or service to the department, college, school, University, and discipline;
  4. Candidate's departmental reappointment, promotion and tenure policies
  5. Evidence of quality and effective teaching:
    1. A narrative statement describing the candidate's teaching philosophy and experience.
    2. A discussion of three particularly notable indicators.
  6. Evidence of quality research/creative activities:
    1. A narrative statement describing the candidate's plans for continuing research/creative activities and how these activities contribute to the discipline.
    2. A discussion of three particularly notable indicators.
  7. Evidence of contributions to the department/college/university and/or the profession through service or outreach:
    1. A narrative statement describing the candidate's commitment to service.
    2. A discussion of three particularly notable indicators.
  8. Copies of Annual Reviews by the department chair.

Submission of the Portfolio for Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure

The entire Portfolio (the Dossier and the collection of artifacts/documentation) shall be submitted to the department chair for consideration by the departmental promotion and tenure committee. The portfolio may be submitted electronically or in printed form (or a combination). The departmental promotion and tenure committee and department chair shall use both the dossier and the collection of artifacts when evaluating the candidate for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure. However, after departmental deliberations are completed, only the Dossier shall leave the department and go to the dean of the candidate's college. The collection of artifacts/documentation shall be stored in the department and be available upon request during the remainder of that faculty member's reappointment process.

Academic Tenure

Academic tenure refers to the conditions and guarantees that apply to a faculty member's employment. More specifically, it refers to the protection of a faculty member against discharge from employment except for reasons of (i) incompetence, (ii) neglect of duty, or (iii) misconduct of such a nature as to indicate that the individual is unfit to continue as a member of the faculty.

The purposes intended to be served by providing the protection of academic tenure to faculty members are to secure their academic freedom and to help the institution attract and retain faculty members of high quality. While academic tenure may be withheld on any grounds other than those specifically stated to be impermissible, its conferral requires the assessment that the candidate has met the criteria for the rank of associate professor.

The conferral of tenure requires:

  1. an assessment of the faculty member's demonstrated professional competence;
  2. potential for future contributions;
  3. commitment to effective teaching, research, and public service; and
  4. the needs and resources of the institution.

An Assistant Professor who has demonstrated exceptional performance by exceeding departmental criteria during their probationary period may request review for promotion to Associate Professor with tenure one year earlier than the mandatory year. An Assistant Professor must request review for promotion and tenure at the same time. If the Assistant Professor is granted promotion to Associate Professor and tenure, the action shall become effective at the beginning of the next fiscal year. If the Assistant Professor is unsuccessful in his/her review, he/she may request review in the following, mandatory year. An Assistant Professor must be considered for tenure during his or her sixth year if he or she has not been granted tenure earlier.

Associate Professor

Minimal criteria for consideration for promotion to the rank of associate professor are:

  1. the appropriate earned terminal degree from an accredited institution, and at least five (5) years of appropriate experience, unless there are exceptional circumstances;
  2. recognized skill in teaching;
  3. recognized accomplishment in research or other germane creative activity;
  4. recognized accomplishment in professional service to the University and/or to the public; and
  5. demonstrated willingness to participate in institutional affairs.

Professor

Minimal criteria for consideration for promotion to the rank of professor are:

  1. the appropriate earned terminal degree from an accredited institution, and at least ten (10) completed years of appropriate experience unless there is exceptional performance;
  2. recognized skill in teaching;
  3. evidence of at least one of the following:
    1. outstanding accomplishment in research or other germane creative activity with ongoing, recognized accomplishment in professional service to the University and/or public; or
    2. outstanding accomplishment in professional service to the University and/or to the public with ongoing, recognized accomplishment in research or other germane creative activity; and
  4. demonstrated ability and participation in institutional affairs.

Questions

Any questions related to reappointment, promotion and/or tenure should be directed to the HPC Chairperson.

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