Promotion and Tenure
- Eligibility for Promotion:
Promotions will be awarded by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the President with the advice of the Provost and the Faculty Development Committee.
The promotion guidelines given below are simple guides for education and years of service that do not automatically prevent or guarantee appointments to a certain rank. Promotion will be a matter of individual consideration on a case-by-case basis. Promotion will be based on classroom performance or effective librarianship and experience, professional growth, and service to the University and the surrounding community.
- Assistant Professor: A faculty member, hired at the instructor level, who completes the earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree may apply for promotion to the rank of assistant professor.
- Associate Professor: A faculty member hired at Limestone as an assistant professor or promoted from the rank of instructor to assistant professor must serve five (5) years at Limestone University at the rank of assistant professor before he/she will be eligible to apply for promotion to the rank of associate professor. Promotion to the rank of associate professor requires holding the terminal degree.
- Professor: A faculty member hired at Limestone as an associate professor or promoted from the rank of assistant professor to associate professor must serve four (4) years at the University at the rank of associate professor before he/she will be eligible to apply for promotion to the rank of professor. In addition, to be eligible for promotion to professor, the faculty member must be tenured (except in exceptional cases such as a declared state of financial exigency). For promotion to the rank of professor, the faculty member should show high distinction in teaching or effective librarianship and leadership. As a model for junior colleagues, he/she should demonstrate outstanding commitment and responsibility to the stated goals of the University and to the achievements which are the marks of professional merit.
- Additional Criteria: Teaching effectiveness (for library faculty, this will be Effective Librarianship as defined in the Evaluation of Faculty Section) will be considered a necessary condition for promotion, pay raises, and tenure. Thus, no faculty member who is not strong in teaching or effective librarianship, regardless of how well he/she rates in other criteria, will be considered for promotion, pay raises, or tenure.
In decisions involving advancement to the upper ranks (associate professor and professor), the evaluation will include in particular the following criteria, in addition to teaching effectiveness or effective librarianship:
- outstanding service to the University (outside departmental duties) which significantly contributes to the general academic welfare or which reflects prestige upon the University (special assignments, representation of the University, initiative in special projects or events, grants, recruitment and retention of students); and,
- demonstrated record of publication; sustained research; professional recognition or awards; holding of offices or committee assignments in professional organizations are factors which may be considered. Consideration for promotion and tenure will be given to teacher education faculty and other appropriate faculty providing in-service training and workshops for public school personnel and for time spent in collaboration and consultation with public school teachers.
- These criteria are to underline the professional integrity of the faculty. Although Limestone is a teaching institution, not a research institution, it is in the best interest of the University to recognize for the advanced ranks only those who are in the fullest possible way seeking professional growth and fulfilling professional responsibilities.
- Eligibility for Tenure
- At the beginning of the sixth year of full-time, university teaching (up to two years may be at other universities), full-time, tenure-track members of the faculty must seek tenure. (Teaching below the post-secondary level or teaching as a graduate student will not be considered applicable toward tenure.) If extenuating circumstances exist, a faculty member may request to delay the application for tenure for a maximum of three (3) years. If granted by the Provost, the extension of one to three years will not affect the faculty member’s tenure process. Any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Provost.
- Tenure may be granted to a full-time, tenure-track faculty member who has a terminal degree in the assigned teaching area or area of discipline, who has a record of quality performance while at Limestone University, and who meets all other requirements. A professor who demonstrates quality is one who, among other positive qualities, demonstrates integrity and respect for students, colleagues, their professional discipline, and the institution. Faculty seeking tenure must recognize students as unique individuals with the potential for growth.
- If the faculty member fails to apply for tenure during this period or before (if allowed years of service at another institution of higher education), the faculty member may request to move to a process of annual appointment. Under such circumstances or through the formal denial of tenure, the University has the right either to deny the issuance of further contracts or elect to issue annual contracts.
- The granting of tenure is not automatic. Tenure is granted by the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation from the department chair, the dean, the Committee on Faculty Development, the Provost, and the President. The recipient will be notified of the decision in writing with a written explanation supporting the decision. Even though University policy does not automatically grant tenure after a period of seven (6) years, it reserves the right to award one-year contracts.
- Following the granting of tenure, the faculty member is expected to maintain high standards of professional conduct and to demonstrate exceptional proficiency in teaching and in the performance of other faculty responsibilities.
- Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure Portfolios: The order and content of portfolios are standardized to allow complete evaluation of a faculty member’s application for tenure and/or promotion. The material and information needed in a portfolio are listed below. The faculty member applying for promotion and/or tenure is responsible for ensuring that the application and supporting materials address the below-mentioned documents. Faculty portfolios must be complete in order for a faculty member to be considered for promotion and/or tenure.
- The faculty member’s portfolio must include:
- letter of application for promotion and/or tenure
- current vita
- student evaluation summaries for the last three years or library instruction assessment, where applicable (any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Provost)
- three letters of recommendation from colleagues who are familiar with the applicant’s professional work with one of the three letters from a colleague external to Limestone University
- self-evaluations for the last three years (any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Provost)
- the promotion and tenure portfolio should contain three years of supervisory evaluations of the candidate (any exceptions to these requirements must be approved by the Provost)
- evidence of current professional work since the faculty member’s last promotion and/or tenure award
- The Faculty Development Committee will consider the following items in its assessment. Provide documentation, if appropriate.
- Recommendation of department chair and/or dean (must include appraisal of the applicant’s teaching).
- Supporting recommendations:
faculty self-evaluations (last three years).
other faculty recommendations (which may include appraisal of teaching).
Student evaluation summaries (last three years). For library faculty, where applicable, effective library instruction assessment – last three years
Courses, teaching methods, and new programs. For library faculty, evidence of effective librarianship as defined in the criteria in the Evaluation of Faculty section.
Independent and directed studies.
Supervision of student teachers, practica students, and interns.
- Professional Activity:
- publications, exhibits, performances.
- Grant proposals.
- Presentations and/or attendance at conferences/meetings.
- Activities and offices held in professional organizations.
- Activities associated with professional publications.
- Community workshops/seminars.
- Service to public schools, collaboration, and consultation with public school teachers and providing in-service workshops.
- Additional education.
- Committee assignments (include leadership roles).
- Participation in University activities and events.
- Judging community competitions.
- Offices held in professional societies outside one’s field (civic, cultural, educational, religious).
- Volunteer work outside one’s field (civic, cultural, educational, religious).
- Presentations outside one’s field.
- The faculty member’s portfolio must include:
- Procedures for Promotion and Tenure
- At the beginning of the fall semester, the chairperson of the Faculty Development Committee will notify all faculty that the process for consideration of eligible faculty members for promotion/tenure is commencing. Faculty who wish to be considered for promotion and/or tenure will upload supporting materials to their electronic portfolio found on Canvas. Details for this process will communicated by the committee chairperson.
- The department chairperson and Dean upload their letters of recommendation to the applicant's portfolio after it has been closed to the applicant. This process must be completed by October 8th.
- Deans who wish to be considered for promotion and/or tenure should also submit recommendations from members of their school and from other deans. Should the Faculty Development Committee require additional material for their deliberation, the Committee Chairperson will request the needed material from the appropriate individual.
- The Provost and the committee chairperson will complete their initial review by October 15. The committee chair will notify, in writing, the individual faculty of receipt of that material
- The committee shall complete its deliberations prior to December 10.
- The Provost, or other non-committee members may be invited to present information deemed pertinent to the committee but shall not be present while the committee deliberates about any personnel decision.
- A committee member may not participate in deliberation involving himself/herself or a member of his/her immediate family or a member of his/her department. In such cases, the alternate appointed to the faculty Development Committee will serve. In such cases where the alternate may not serve, the Coordinating Committee will select an alternate.
- All Committee members must vote for or against each application for promotion/tenure submitted. They may recuse themselves, but they may not abstain from the vote. In such cases, the alternate appointed to the Faculty Development Committee will serve. In such cases where the alternate may not serve, the Coordinating Committee will select an alternate. Each committee member may approve the candidate’s requests for promotion and/or tenure or deny the candidate’s request for promotion and/or tenure and outline the reasons.
- A concise but specific record shall be kept of the proceedings, including all pertinent circumstances and the tally of the votes (which will be by secret ballot) on each candidate, on file in the Provost’s office.
- The written decision(s) of the committee shall be transmitted to the Provost within one working day. The written statement must include a concise explanation as to why the Committee supported or did not support the request. This statement, provided by the committee, will be given to the candidate by the Provost.
If the Faculty Development Committee does not support the candidate’s request for promotion and/or tenure, the candidate’s request for promotion and/or tenure is deemed denied without any further action and the Provost shall so inform the candidate. The candidate may appeal following the “Appeals Process: Promotion and Tenure”.
If the Faculty Development Committee supports the candidates’ request for promotion and/or tenure, the Provost will independently submit his/her recommendation, either positive or negative, for promotion and tenure to the President with a copy of the recommendation from the chairperson of the Faculty Development Committee.
The President will then prepare a final recommendation for consideration by the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Instruction and Academic Policies which will forward its recommendation to the full Board for action at its spring meeting. The decision of the Board of Trustees to grant or deny promotion and/or tenure is final. Promotions and grants of tenure are effective at the beginning of the following academic year.
- Appeals Process: Promotion and Tenure:
When a Faculty member receives notification that promotion and/or tenure was not supported by the Faculty Development Committee, the member has the right to appeal as follows:
- Within 10 working days from the date of notification by the Provost the negative decision by the Faculty Development Committee, the member may appeal the decision to the President by written notice of appeal. The notice of appeal must be in writing and the member must set forth in detail the grounds for the appeal. Only those grounds set forth in the notice of appeal will be considered.
- Within thirty (30) days after receipt of notice of appeal, the President may uphold the decision of the faculty development committee and deny the member’s appeal, or the President may uphold the member’s appeal. If the President upholds the appeal, the President will set forth his/her reasons in writing and the member’s request for tenure and/or promotion will be reinstituted and continue through the process as if the faculty development committee had supported the candidate’s request for promotion and/or tenure. Provided, however, both the faculty development committee’s original decision and the President’s reasons for upholding the appeal are forwarded to the Provost for the continuation of the promotion and tenure process.
- The member shall have no appellate rights except as set forth herein. The decision of the Board of Trustees concerning promotion and/or tenure is final.