P3: Faculty Probationary, Tenure, and Promotion Requirements for Academic Unit Bylaws

Effective Date: March 23, 1987

Revised Date: July 1, 2011

Academic unit and college bylaws and/or personnel policies must include specific information regarding probationary, tenure, and promotion reviews, which must be included as part of the candidate’s package submitted for review.

Written policies and procedures recommended by the academic unit faculty and approved by the dean and executive vice president and provost of the university are recommended to include:

  1. academic unit mission statement and objectives, i.e., the context within which individual faculty contributions can be measured
  2. definition of the categories of faculty work to be evaluated, i.e., teaching and instruction, research, scholarship, and/or creative activities, and service to the profession, university, and community, which may include the unit’s/university’s affirmative action goals and student diversity recruitment and retention efforts. Specifically, it is recommended to include:
    1. quality of teaching and instruction assessed through multiple indicators, including at least the following: a summary of student evaluations collected and reported in accord with university and academic unit procedures and the mean scores for evaluation for the academic unit in which to contextualize an assessment, and a peer or supervisory review of instructional materials (such as syllabi, assignments, and Web-based courses). The evaluation of instructional materials must take into account relevant factors such as student learning, the appropriateness of course content, curriculum development, program development, and the contribution of the course to the unit’s curriculum, pedagogy, and the scholarship of instruction. It may involve peer observation of teaching. The academic unit may require that two products demonstrating quality of teaching and instruction be submitted for review by higher levels
    2. quality of research and creative activities measured by indicators such as the scholarly standards reflected in the work; its impact on intended audiences; the importance, innovativeness, and relevance of the work as suggested by external peer reviewers or other appropriate authorities; the quality of the journals, publishers, conferences, or other communicative outlets; citations of the work; its longevity of influence; and other similar indicators appropriate to the discipline and academic unit. The scholarly aspects of all professional responsibilities undertaken on behalf of the academic unit, including instructional activities and service, may be assessed within this category if provided for in academic unit policy. Academic unit policy must require up to four products provided by the faculty member for review by higher levels
    3. quality of service to the academic profession should be assessed in terms of the significance of the recognition brought to the individual and the university, the impact on the field, and the extent to which the service promotes the national distinction of the academic unit in the profession. Service to the university should include assessment of contributions to: faculty governance; the work of the academic unit, college, and university; collegial working environments; and professional behavior toward peers and academic unit chairs/directors. The evaluation of public/community service must be based on the quality and relevance to the academic unit's mission as well as the value of that service from the perspective of the community organization or partner.

      Academic unit policy must specify the types of information about service that are needed for each type of review. Academic units for whom public and community service is an important part of their mission may require faculty to provide not more than four products reflecting the quality of their public service. These products must be provided for higher level reviews.

  1. criteria for the evaluation of work, including attention to interdisciplinary work as appropriate
  2. an explanation of how cases of joint and/or affiliated appointments will be evaluated; in particular, inclusion of evaluative comments from affiliated units, input from the other unit in selection of external reviewers. This may be part of the individual’s joint appointment agreement (Joint Appointment Memorandum of Understanding) in lieu of unit bylaws
  3. indicators by which quality of contributions may be measured
  4. identification process for external evaluators, including:
    1. a statement that the chair/director must consult with the dean in determining his/her list of possible external reviewers unless delegated by the dean
    2. a requirement for a list of objective external reviewers from aspirational peers or other highly respected institutions. While a specific number of completed reviews is not required, typically, 10 external reviews are solicited to ensure that the candidate’s file is thoroughly reviewed. Typically there should be a minimum of five completed external evaluations from professors who are at highly respected colleges/universities (e.g., peer or aspirational peer institutions). These reviewers may not have a close professional or personal connection with the candidate (e.g., co-author, co-PI, or member of the candidate’s dissertation committee). Both the candidate and the academic unit must provide names from which the final selection will be made. The selection by the chair/director will include half from the candidate’s list of suggested reviewers and half from the chair/director’s list of suggested reviewers
  1. types of evidence/file contents to be submitted by candidates under review (see P2, “Probationary or Conditional Review for Tenure-Eligible Faculty Process Guide” and/or P5, “Tenure and/or Promotion Process Guide”)


  2. compliance with university and Board of Regents policies and procedures.

See ACD 506-04, "Tenure" or ACD 506-05, "Faculty Promotion" for more information.