3.3.5 Promotion

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to specify the procedures for recommending faculty promotion.

B. Persons Affected

Faculty, Department chairs, Deans, Provost, President

C. Definitions

Not applicable.

D. Policy and Procedures

  1. Overview

    While promotion criteria should be viewed as guidelines for faculty development, more importantly, they are standards for a summative judgment about the individual's lifelong commitment to U.T. Tyler and to the academic life. The promotion process is a collegial one, and the judgment of faculty colleagues and responsible administrators is required. All recommendations on promotion shall begin at the lowest level of organization in which the candidate resides (department, school, or college), and pass sequentially through the recommending levels. However, in colleges that are organized without departments or schools, nothing in this document shall be construed as requiring a review at a level lower than the college. For purposes of this document, department chair is synonymous with school director.

  2. Department/School/College Policies

    Because the needs and goals of each program vary widely, the level of faculty involvement in teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service may also vary from program to program. To this end, each department/school and/or college shall develop written promotion policies of their own. The promotion policies developed by each department/school and/or college shall be consistent with the provisions described here and shall include:

    a.  Definitions and criteria of excellence in teaching, research/scholarship/creative endeavor, and service; 

    b.  Qualitative and/or quantitative standards by which such activities and achievements shall be judged; and 

    c.  A listing of activities and achievements properly associated with promotion to Associate Professor and promotion to Professor.

  3. In the development of the criteria and policies for promotion the tenured and tenure track faculty within that department/school and/or college shall be consulted. Such policies, both at the departmental and college level, should be reviewed at least once every five years to ensure that they are consistent with U.T. Tyler's and each respective college's expectations and reflect the variance in the responsibilities and assignments of individual faculty members. All promotion policies must be in compliance with University of Texas System and U.T. Tyler rules and be approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President.

  4. Appointment and Promotion

    The decision to appoint a faculty member to a rank or to promote a faculty member from one rank to the next is a recognition of the faculty member's accomplishments to date. The recommendation for the tenure of an assistant professor normally shall be concurrent with the recommendation for promotion to associate professor. However, a recommendation for promotion does not require a recommendation for tenure. Recommendation for promotion and tenure must be voted separately.

  5. Criteria for Promotion

    The same criteria that apply to promotion to a given rank will also apply for initial appointment to that rank. These criteria recognize three broad areas of academic activity: teaching, research/creative activity, and service.

    1. Assistant Professor

      Appointment to the rank of Assistant Professor normally requires that individuals hold the highest earned degree or its equivalent appropriate to their discipline. Appointment to this rank is made on the judgment that the individual has the potential for an award of tenure within the maximum six-year period. Evidence of potential for excellence in scholarship and teaching is required.

    2. Associate Professor

      Appointment or promotion to the rank of Associate Professor is recognition that the faculty member has a clearly defined record of strong teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity, a commitment to continued growth in both activities and a commitment to responsible and conscientious participation in service activities.

      A strong record of achievement in teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity requires evidence. Evidence of strong research/scholarship/creative activity is documented not only through peer-reviewed publications, professional presentations, exhibits, performances, etc. but also through input of colleagues in the department as well as peer recognition of the candidate’s reputation by independent scholars outside of the University.

      External letters of review from peers outside the University will be required for faculty members applying for Associate Professor and/or tenure who began their service at U. T. Tyler on or after August 1, 2007. All departmental/school and college tenure and promotion policies must adhere to this same implementation date.

    3. Professor

      Appointment or promotion to the rank of Professor is recognition of demonstrated achievement and distinction over the span of a faculty member's academic career in teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity. The faculty member must also have actively participated in professional service and been actively involved in department, college and university service.

      Evidence of strong research/scholarship/creative activity is documented not only through peer-reviewed publications, professional presentations, exhibits, performances, etc. but also through input of colleagues in the department as well as peer recognition of the candidate’s reputation by independent scholars outside of the University.

      External letters of review from peers outside the University will be required for faculty members applying for Professor who were hired as tenured Associate Professor or promoted to Associate Professor in Fall 2005 and thereafter.

  6. External Letters of Review

    A recommendation for tenure and/or promotion must include supporting evidence that the individual's contributions have had an impact on the discipline; that is, the research/scholarship/creative activity should have made a significant contribution to the candidate’s discipline and be recognized by professional colleagues. To that end, the dossier for tenure and/or promotion of all candidates after the implementation dates described in Section D.4. above must include a minimum of three (3) outside review letters, with a minimum of one (1) letter from the candidate’s list of external reviewers.

    Letters of review should be solicited from disinterested scholars of appropriate rank or stature not affiliated with U.T. Tyler who serve in the faculty member's field of training, specialty, or a closely related field. Individuals who may have a bias or perceived bias, such as dissertation committee members, co-authors, classmates, former students, research collaborators, departmental colleagues, and friends should not serve as external reviewers.

    Reviewers will be nominated by the department chair and the candidate. The candidate should provide the department chair with the names of at least five (5) potential reviewers as well as a statement of their credentials and clarifying the nature of any prior contact the candidate has had with any suggested reviewer. The department chair will likewise compile a list of at least five (5) additional qualified reviewers. Chairs will also disclose their relationships with potential reviewers to the dean of the college. The final selection will be made by the dean of the college. The dean will select three (3) potential reviewers from each list (candidate and chair), resulting in a total of six (6) potential reviewers. Understanding that not all reviewers will agree to participate or that reviews will not arrive in a timely manner, the final list will contain no fewer than five names. At least two (2) reviewers must be from the candidate’s list. The final list of names of external reviewers is to be kept confidential from the candidate.

    The department chair shall contact the external reviewers to request their willingness to participate in the external review process. If the reviewers agree to participate, the department chair shall prepare and mail letters requesting outside reviews. Letters shall follow the standard template approved by the University. In the case where an insufficient number of reviewers are unable to participate, alternate reviewers may be selected by the dean.

    Reviewers will be provided with the candidate’s c.v., appropriate reprints and other representations of the candidate’s scholarship, and a summary of the candidates teaching and service responsibilities since arriving at U.T. Tyler. The contents of all outside review letters will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law and University regulations.

    Candidates will be informed when reviews are received and may have access to them. The department chair will place all reviews into the candidate’s dossier before the departmental committee begins its review. Outside letters received after the departmental committee begins its deliberations will not be included in the review process without the approval of the dean.

    The department chair shall prepare a summary of the outside review process that will be included in the candidate’s dossier. This summary shall list the name, position, and organization of each person from whom evaluations were requested. For those whose letters are included in the dossier, the summary shall include relevant information about the reviewers' professional/academic qualifications for evaluating the candidate for tenure and/or promotion.

    If the candidate for promotion is a department chair, then the dean of the college will be substituted for department chair in the process above.

  7. Consideration of Promotion

    Because the promotion process is a collegial one, the judgment of both faculty colleagues and responsible administrators is required. Each department/school and/or college shall adopt procedures governing the consideration of faculty member seeking promotion. At minimum, such procedures shall include the following:

    1. All cases for promotion shall pass sequentially through the recommendation levels as described below.

    2. Faculty eligible to vote are those of higher rank than the faculty member being considered for promotion. Where there are fewer than three eligible faculty in a department, the dean, in consultation with the candidate, will select eligible faculty from similar or related departments.
    3. The eligible tenured faculty of the department shall vote by secret ballot on the promotion of the faculty member being considered. The outcome of the vote and the vote count shall be recorded.
    4. A college committee of eligible tenured faculty shall vote by secret ballot on the promotion of a faculty member being considered. The outcome of the vote and the vote count shall be recorded.
    5. The appropriate administrator at each level of review shall inform the faculty member in writing of the vote or recommendation before the file is sent forward to the next level.
    6. No person shall serve as a voting member of any promotion committee during an academic year in which he or she is under consideration for promotion, nor shall any individual make a vote or recommendation on his or her promotion nomination.
    7. Voting members shall leave the room during deliberations on a faculty member with whom they share a significant personal or professional relationship and shall abstain from voting or making a recommendation concerning that faculty member.
  8. Promotion Process

    The promotion decision-making process begins with the faculty member being considered and ends with the President. A faculty member should consult the dean regarding the timetable for the process.

    1. Faculty Responsibility

      It is the responsibility of all faculty to be aware of departmental, college, U. T. Tyler and U. T. System rules and regulations regarding promotion. The faculty member who is to be considered begins compiling his or her files in the summer. The documentation of professional accomplishments shall be submitted in accordance with the criteria, standards and guidelines established by the department and/or college.

      At no time after the deadline for submission of the materials may additional materials to be used in the review process be placed into or withdrawn from the file without the permission of the dean.

      A faculty member being reviewed may withdraw from further consideration for promotion at any point in the process by submitting to the dean a written request for withdrawal.

    2. Departmental Recommendation

      For all cases of promotion that are reviewed at the departmental level, there shall be a recommendation and a record of votes of faculty qualified to participate. That recommendation and vote shall be forwarded to the department chair.

    3. Department Chair

      The vote of the qualified faculty in the department is advisory to the department chair. After making an independent judgment on the promotion, the chair shall submit his or her recommendation and written summary to the chair of the college committee. The department chair will notify the affected faculty member if his or her recommendation differs from that of the department faculty. In cases where the chair's recommendation and that of a departmental faculty differ, the faculty may submit a dissenting report to the college committee.

    4. College Committee

      Committee members shall individually review the file of the faculty member being reviewed, taking into consideration the departmental criteria and guidelines for promotion. The recommendation of the members and a vote count are recorded and forwarded by the committee chair to the dean along with the file of the faculty member and the department chair's recommendation and summary. 

      Committee members shall leave the room during deliberations on a faculty member with whom they share a significant personal or professional relationship and shall abstain from voting on or making a recommendation concerning that faculty member.

    5. Dean

      The dean, after review of the faculty member’s file and, if appropriate, consultation with the department faculty, department chair, and college committee, prepares his or her recommendation. Before submitting the recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the dean will notify the affected faculty member of his or her recommendation and provide him or her a copy of the college committee's recommendations.

    6. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

      After review of all materials and consultation with the dean and any other appropriate individuals or groups, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will prepare his or her recommendation regarding promotion. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the candidate of his or her recommendation. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs’ recommendation, along with all previous recommendations, shall be forwarded to the President.

    7. President

      After review of all recommendations, the President will prepare his or her recommendation regarding promotion. The President will notify the affected faculty member of his or her recommendation and provide the candidate an opportunity, within two weeks of notice, to discuss the recommendation.

E. Responsibilities

Not applicable.

F. Review

The Divisional Head for this policy is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. This policy shall be reviewed every five years or sooner if necessary by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Faculty Senate President, the Council of Academic Deans, and a committee of faculty members designated by the Faculty Senate.

ORIGINALLY APPROVED: 12/01/2001
LAST AMENDED: 03/20/2009