• Home
  • Promotion and Tenure Procedure, Environmental Studies

Promotion and Tenure Procedure, Environmental Studies

Procedure
Purpose: 

To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the Environmental Studies Program.

Applies to: 

Faculty within the Environmental Studies Program.

Campus: 
Lawrence
Policy Statement: 

General Provisions

Scope and Purpose.  The award of tenure and/or promotion in rank are among the most important and far-reaching decisions made by the Program because an excellent faculty is an essential component of any outstanding institution of higher learning.  Promotion and tenure decisions also have a profound effect on the lives and careers of faculty.  Recommendations concerning promotion and tenure must be made carefully, based upon a thorough examination of the candidate’s record and the impartial application of these criteria and procedures, established in compliance with the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR) Article VI.   

It is the purpose of this document to promote the rigorous and fair evaluation of faculty performance during the promotion and tenure process by (a) establishing criteria that express the Program’s expectations for meeting University standards in terms of disciplinary practices; (b) providing procedures for the initial evaluation of teaching, scholarship, and service; (c) preserving and enhancing the participatory rights of candidates, including the basic right to be informed about critical stages of the process and to have an opportunity to respond to negative evaluations; and (d) clarifying the responsibilities, roles, and relationships of the participants in the promotion and tenure review process.

Each level of review, including the initial review, the intermediate review, and the University level review, conducts an independent evaluation of a candidate’s record of performance and makes independent recommendations to the next review level.  Later stages of review neither affirm nor reverse earlier recommendations, which remain part of the record for consideration by the Chancellor.  It is the responsibility of each person involved in the review process to exercise his/her own judgment to evaluate a faculty member’s teaching, scholarship, and service based upon the entirety of the data and information in the record.  No single source of information, such as peer review letters, shall be considered a conclusive indicator of quality.

Academic Freedom.  All faculty members, regardless of rank, are entitled to academic freedom in relation to teaching and scholarship, and the right as citizens to speak on matters of public concern.  Likewise, all faculty members, regardless of rank, bear the obligation to exercise their academic freedom responsibly and in accordance with the accepted standards of their academic disciplines.

Confidentiality and Conflicts of Interest.  Consideration and evaluation of a faculty member’s record is a confidential personnel matter.  Only those persons eligible to vote on promotion and tenure may participate in or observe deliberations or have access to the personnel file (except that clerical staff may assist in the preparation of documents under conditions that assure confidentiality).

No person shall participate in any aspect of the promotion and tenure process concerning a candidate when participation would create a clear conflict of interest or compromise the impartiality of an evaluation or recommendation.

If a candidate believes that there is a conflict of interest, the candidate may petition to have that person recuse him/herself.  If a committee member does not recuse him/herself, a decision about whether that person has a conflict of interest shall be made by a majority of the other committee members.

Promotion and Tenure Standards

General Principles.  The University strives for a consistent standard of quality against which the performance of all faculty members is measured.  Nonetheless, the nature of faculty activities varies across the University and a faculty member’s record must be evaluated in light of his/her particular responsibilities and the expectations of the discipline.  These criteria state the Environmental Studies Program’s expectations of performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service necessary to satisfy the University standards for promotion for the award of tenure and/or promotion to associate professor and for promotion to full professor, or equivalent ranks.

Teaching and scholarship should normally be given primary consideration, but the particular weight to be accorded to each component of a faculty member’s activities depends upon the responsibilities of the faculty member.  The College has traditionally recognized the 40-40-20 formula for weighting research, teaching, and service, except when weight is differentiated for unclassified academic staff members pursuant to their job description. 

Teaching.  Teaching is a primary function of the University, which strives to provide an outstanding education for its students.  The evaluation of teaching includes consideration of syllabi, course materials, and other information related to a faculty member’s courses; peer and student evaluations; a candidate’s own statement of teaching philosophy and goals; public representations of teaching; and other accepted methods of evaluation, which may include external evaluations.

High quality teaching is serious intellectual work grounded in a deep knowledge and understanding of the field and includes the ability to convey that understanding in clear and engaging ways.

The conduct of classes is the central feature of teaching responsibilities at KU, but teaching also includes supervising student research and clinical activities, mentoring and advising students, and other teaching-related activities outside of the classroom.

Under the University standards for the award of tenure and/or promotion to associate professor, the record must demonstrate effective teaching, as reflected in such factors as command of the subject matter, the ability to communicate effectively in the classroom, a demonstrated commitment to student learning, and involvement in providing advice and support for students outside the classroom. 

In the Environmental Studies Program, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: 

  •  Effective teaching of at least one course per semester (considering the standard .50 FTE appointment in the Program), with exceptions for approved leaves or reduced teaching loads.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in teaching courses at the undergraduate and/or graduate level, evidenced by, though not exclusively, student and peer teaching evaluations and participation in activities that serve to enhance and improve their pedagogical abilities, as needed.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in advising evidenced by, though not exclusively, successfully chairing or mentoring undergraduate research and/or honors theses, and graduate student research.

                                  

Under the University standards for promotion to the rank of professor, the record must demonstrate continued effectiveness and growth as a teacher, as reflected in such factors as mastery of the subject matter, strong classroom teaching skills, an ongoing commitment to student learning, and active involvement in providing advice and support for students outside the classroom.   

In the Environmental Studies Program, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor: 

  • Continued effectiveness and growth as a teacher of at least one course per semester (considering the standard .50 FTE appointment in the Program), with exceptions for approved leaves or reduced teaching loads.
  • Continued effectiveness and growth as a teacher at the undergraduate and/or graduate level, evidenced by, though not exclusively, student and peer teaching evaluations and participation in activities that serve to enhance and improve their pedagogical abilities, as needed.
  • Continued effectiveness in and commitment to advising, evidenced by, though not exclusively, successfully chairing or mentoring undergraduate research and/or honors theses, and graduate student research.

Scholarship.  The concept of “scholarship” encompasses not only traditional academic research and publication, but also the creation of artistic works or performances and any other products or activities accepted by the academic discipline as reflecting scholarly effort and achievement for purposes of promotion and tenure. While the nature of scholarship varies among disciplines, the University adheres to a consistently high standard of quality in its scholarly activities to which all faculty members, regardless of discipline, are held.  

In the Environmental Studies Program, scholarship is defined as the study of cultural, social, and natural/physical phenomena (and any combination thereof) that comprise our environment.  The Program expects faculty to make the study of environmental issues a focus of their research.  Faculty members are expected to use methodologies standard to particular disciplines in addition to demonstrating an effort to use frameworks and methods that transcend disciplinary boundaries.  Such research may include critical evaluations and artistic creations as appropriate to the faculty member’s disciplinary training, and is expected to culminate in some combination of books, refereed journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings papers, grants, and other similar works.  Faculty members are expected to show leadership in research.  Leadership is often demonstrated through, but not limited to, PI and co-I status on grants and primary and/or senior authorship on publications, participation on grant proposal review panels and other review boards, reviewing book proposals and journal manuscripts, serving as external members for tenure/promotion review committees, and editorial positions.

Under the University standards for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor, the record must demonstrate a successfully developing scholarly career, as reflected in such factors as the quality and quantity of publications or creative activities, external reviews of the candidate’s work by respected scholars or practitioners in the field, the candidate’s regional, national, or international reputation, and other evidence of an active and productive scholarly agenda.

In the Environmental Studies Program, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:

  • The study of environmental issues as a focus of the faculty member’s research.
  • Publication of research results. While there is no strictly enforced number of publications, obtaining the rank of associate professor with tenure is evidenced typically by publication of, on average, the equivalent of one or more journal publications per year in peer-reviewed outlets appropriate to the faculty member’s research area. The Environmental Studies Program recognizes that faculty member publications may take a wide variety of forms, including but not limited to, monographs, edited volumes, chapters, articles, reports, databases, exhibits, and other creative products; The quality of publications may be judged by, though not limited to, external review letters, citation records, journal impact factors, stature of presses.  
  • Presentation of research to professional audiences.
  • Pursuit of research support from internal or external public or private funding organizations, as appropriate to the candidate’s area of research.

Under the University standards for promotion to the rank of professor, the record must demonstrate an established scholarly career, as reflected in such factors as a substantial and ongoing pattern of publication or creative activity, external reviews of the candidate’s work by eminent scholars or practitioners in the field, the candidate’s national or international reputation, and other evidence of an active and productive scholarly career.

In the Environmental Studies Program, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the promotion to the rank of professor: 

  • Continued publication of research results. While there is no strictly enforced number of publications, obtaining the rank of professor is evidenced typically by publication of, on average, the equivalent of one or more journal publications per year in peer-reviewed outlets appropriate to the faculty member’s research area since the promotion to associate professor. The Environmental Studies Program recognizes that faculty member publications may take a wide variety of forms, including but not limited to, monographs, edited volumes, chapters, articles, reports, databases, exhibits, and other creative products.  Candidate’s records should demonstrate achievement of high quality and impactful work, judged by, though not limited to, external review letters, citation records, journal impact factors, stature of presses. 
  • Evidence of national and/or international recognition of the candidate’s research, as appropriate to the candidate’s area of work.
  • Invited presentation of research to professional audiences.
  • A record of successful grant writing to internal or external public or private funding organizations, as appropriate to the researcher’s area of research.

Service.  Service is an important responsibility of all faculty members that contributes to the University’s performance of its larger mission.  Although the nature of service activities will depend on a candidate’s particular interests and abilities, service contributions are an essential part of being a good citizen of the University.  The Program accepts and values scholarly service to the discipline or profession, service within the University, and public service at the local, state, national, or international level.

In the Environmental Studies Program, faculty are expected to perform service for the Program, the College, University, the professional and scholarly community, and the general community at local, state, national, or international levels. Service activities of particular importance for the Program include Program committees, both standing and ad-hoc. Possibilities for fulfilling service obligations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Serving on Program, department, College, University or other campus committees;
  • Serving in special appointments or administrative positions (e.g., Director/Chair);
  • Giving public lectures;
  • Serving as advisor or sponsor for student activities or organizations;
  • Serving on local, regional, or state boards;
  • Reviewing papers, proposals, or other manuscripts;
  • Holding office or committee responsibilities in professional societies;
  • Serving as editor of professional journals or serving on editorial boards;
  • Serving on grant review panels;
  • Serving on advisory boards and evaluation reams;
  • Participating in university outreach programs;
  • Organizing/conducting workshops, symposia or lecture series.

Under the University standards for the award of tenure and/or promotion to associate professor, the record must demonstrate a pattern of service to the University at one or more levels, to the discipline or profession, and/or to the local, state, national, or international communities.

In the Environmental Studies Program, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: 

  • Regular service to the Program through attendance and participation in Program meetings and on Program committees;
  • Service to the University through participation on committees or initiatives outside the Program;
  • Service to the profession;
  • Service to the community:  local, state, national, or international.

Under the University standards for promotion to the rank of professor, the record must demonstrate an ongoing pattern of service reflecting substantial contributions to the University at one or more levels, to the discipline or profession, and/or to the local, state, national, or international communities.

In the Program, the following service expectations to meet University standards, after promotion to associate professor, apply for the promotion to the rank of professor: 

  • Regular and substantial service to the Program through attendance and participation in Program meetings and leadership of Program committees;
  • Substantial service to the University through membership on committees in the College and University;
  • Substantial service to the profession;
  • Substantial service to the community:  local, state, national, or international.

Ratings for Performance.  Using the criteria described above, the candidate’s performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service will be rated using the terms “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” “marginal,” or “poor,” defined as follows:

(a) “Excellent” means that the candidate substantially exceeds expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.

(b) “Very Good” means the candidate exceeds expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.

(c) “Good” means the candidate meets expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.

(d) “Marginal” means the candidate falls below expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.

(e) “Poor” means the candidate falls significantly below expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.

Absent exceptional circumstances, no candidate may be recommended for promotion or tenure without meeting standards in all applicable areas of performance.  A strong candidate is likely to exceed expectations in one or more areas.

Promotion and Tenure Procedures

The Program conducts the initial review of the candidate pursuant to the procedures and requirements of section 5 of Article VI of the FSRR in connection with the candidate’s responsibility in the Program.

Promotion and Tenure Committee.  The Promotion and Tenure committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service. Before proceeding, however, it is important to be clear about the structure of faculty affiliations in our interdisciplinary program, and thus, how the unit’s Executive Committee is composed. Rank-appropriate members of the unit’s Executive Committee form the “Committee of the Whole” that will vote on all promotion and tenure cases:

1.         Faculty Appointments in Environmental Studies

There are two main types of faculty affiliations with the Environmental Studies Program: A) Courtesy Faculty; and B) Governance Faculty. A subset of the Governance Faculty will serve as the Executive Committee.

A.        Courtesy Faculty:

Courtesy Faculty are those who wish to have an official affiliation with EVRN by virtue of their teaching and research interests. Such an affiliation does not include governance rights, nor does it assume an ongoing Program commitment. Courtesy Faculty may (and are welcomed and encouraged to) attend EVRN meetings and serve on Program committees, but are not expected to do so. Courtesy Faculty who serve on Program committees would have voting rights only within those committees.

EVRN lecturers with non-base budgeted, year-to-year appointments are considered Courtesy Faculty for any academic year in which they are teaching a course or courses for the Program. Other potential Courtesy Faculty should send a short letter of interest and a copy of their CV to the Environmental Studies Program Director. These materials should be received by the start of the second week of Fall or Spring semester classes. Following an affirmative simple majority vote by the Executive Committee, Courtesy Faculty would serve renewable three-year terms.

B.        Governance Faculty:

Governance Faculty are those who take a more active role in the Environmental Studies Program, by virtue of their official appointments within the Program and/or by their service on one or more Program committees (standing and/or ad-hoc) and their attendance at Governance Faculty meetings. Governance Faculty are able to vote on all issues of program governance except hiring and promotion and tenure issues.

Governance Faculty automatically include any person (including the Director, Associate Director, and faculty with joint appointments in EVRN) who has an ongoing and/or base-budget appointment within the Environmental Studies Program. Other KU faculty members who do not have an appointment within the Program may request to join the Governance Faculty by sending a short letter of interest and a copy of their CV to the Environmental Studies Director. These materials should be received by the start of the second week of Fall or Spring semester classes. Following an affirmative simple majority vote by the Executive Committee, Governance Faculty would serve renewable three-year terms. A quorum of 50% of the Governance Faculty membership is required for any votes held by this body.

B.1.     Executive Committee: 

The Executive Committee is a subset of the Governance Faculty and includes all faculty who hold base-budgeted appointments within EVRN: tenured and tenure-stream faculty members and those with faculty equivalent positions eligible for formal review and promotion at the University. The Executive Committee shall also include four outside members. The Executive Committee shall strive for balanced University representation by reserving each of these four seats for one member from the following areas:  natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools. These outside faculty members must hold associate or full professor positions and must teach as a regular and permanent part of their job duties.

As part of the Governance Faculty, Executive Committee members take an active role in the Program, attending faculty meetings as well as serving typically as chairpersons for the Program’s standing and ad-hoc committees. The Executive Committee approves Courtesy and additional Governance Faculty nominations. This Committee also votes on hiring decisions and any other decisions the Governance Faculty votes to pass on for an Executive-level vote. Further, rank-appropriate members of the Executive Committee vote on promotion and tenure decisions, in accordance with rules established by the Office of the Provost.

Governance Faculty will nominate, solicit, and vote on membership to the Executive Committee. Following an affirmative simple majority vote by the Governance Faculty, outside Executive Committee members will serve renewable three-year terms.  A quorum of 50% of the Executive Committee membership is required for any votes held by this body. Should a vote result in a tie, the Director will cast the deciding vote.

In consultation with the Director, an applicant for promotion and tenure forms a promotion and tenure committee of three rank-appropriate faculty members from the Program’s Executive Committee, with collective responsibility for overseeing development of the applicant’s dossier in teaching, research, and service, and fulfillment of College and University requirements for review.

The recommendations of the promotion and tenure committee shall be forwarded for consideration to a Committee of the Whole:  all rank-appropriate members of the Program’s Executive Committee. 

No students or untenured faculty members, except unclassified academic staff with the rank equivalent to or higher than associate professor, shall serve on the promotion and tenure committee or vote on any recommendation concerning promotion and/or tenure. Members of the Committee of the Whole who may review the completed dossier and vote on an applicant’s promotion to associate or full professor and/or tenure must be of the rank of associate professor or professor.

Initiation of Review.  Prior to the beginning of the spring semester, the Provost notifies all faculty whose mandatory review year will be the following academic year, with copies provided to the unit administrators.  Upon receipt of this notice or if a faculty member requests it prior to the mandatory review year, the Program shall initiate procedures for evaluating the candidate for the award of promotion and/or tenure.

As part of the annual faculty evaluation process, the Program shall consider the qualifications of all tenured faculty members below the rank of full professor, with a view toward possible promotion in rank during the following academic year.  After considering a faculty member’s qualifications, if the Program determines that those qualifications may warrant promotion in rank, it shall initiate procedures for reviewing the faculty member for promotion.  After seven years in the rank of associate professor, a faculty member who believes he or she has the qualifications for promotion may initiate the promotion review process him/herself. In such cases the unit will treat the candidate in the same way that it treats other candidates for promotion to the rank of full professor.

Preparation of the Promotion and/or Tenure File. NOTE: Candidates who hold joint appointments prepare only one set of promotion and tenure materials for review by both units in which they hold an appointment. The initial review units (i.e., departments, centers, etc.) shall consult with each other on their evaluations and the evaluation process, but each initial review unit must provide a separate evaluation of the candidate’s performance in the unit. Please refer to the College’s Promotion and Tenure Statement for detailed instructions. It is the responsibility of the candidate to complete the appropriate portions of the form and provide necessary documents and information in accordance with the Provost’s guidelines, with assistance from the Environmental Studies Program staff and members of the promotion and tenure committee.

The promotion and tenure committee shall receive the form and accompanying materials from the candidate and finish compiling the record of the candidate’s teaching, scholarship, and service in accordance with the Provost’s guidelines. 

The promotion and tenure committee shall work with the candidate’s primary unit of their appointment to provide for the solicitation of outside reviewers to assist in the evaluation of a faculty member’s scholarship and in accordance with College procedures.  Emphasis shall be placed on selecting independent reviewers in the same or related discipline who hold academic rank or a professional position equal to or greater than the rank for which the candidate is being considered.The committee shall give the candidate the opportunity to suggest individuals to be included or excluded from the list of reviewers. The committee, however, is responsible for using its judgment in the final selection of reviewers. 

When soliciting external reviews of a candidate’s scholarship, the promotion and tenure committee shall inform prospective reviewers of the extent to which the candidate will have access to the review.  The College's confidentiality policy regarding soliciting external reviewers for the promotion and tenure review process is as follows:

"As a part of the promotion and/or tenure review process, we are soliciting assessments of Professor ____’s research contributions from academic colleagues and distinguished professionals.  These letters will become part of the candidate's promotion and tenure dossier and are treated as confidential by the University to the extent we are permitted to do so by law."

Recommendations. Upon completion of the record, the Promotion and Tenure Committee shall evaluate the candidate’s record of teaching, scholarship, and service in light of the applicable standards and criteria and make recommendations in accordance with the voting procedures detailed below.

In the Environmental Studies Program voting procedures are as follows: The promotion and tenure committee’s recommendation shall be forwarded for consideration and a vote to the members of the Committee of the Whole:  all rank-appropriate Executive Committee members.

In the Program, voting procedures are as follows:  The completed Promotion and Tenure file will be made available to the Committee of the Whole for at least 10 working days before a vote is to take place. At a meeting specifically scheduled to consider promotion and tenure cases, the promotion and tenure committee presents to the Committee of the Whole its evaluation and rating recommendations for the applicant’s teaching, research, and service records.  All discussions and deliberations in the tenure and/or promotion process are strictly confidential. After discussions are complete, all members of the Committee of the Whole will complete a secret ballot that asks each individual to mark their judgment of the candidate’s record as excellent, very good, good, marginal, or poor for each area of research, teaching, and service, and another mark will be required for whether the candidate should be promoted with tenure (for the cases of assistant professors being considered for promotion to associate professor with tenure) or whether the candidate should be promoted to full professor (for the cases of associate professors being considered for promotion). These votes are counted and tallied by at least two members of the promotion and tenure committee in order to arrive at the final recommendation.  A simple majority of votes is required.

The promotion and tenure committee shall prepare the evaluation and summary evaluation sections of the promotion and/or tenure forms.  The forms and recommendations shall be forwarded to the Director, who shall indicate separately, in writing, whether he or she concurs or disagrees with the recommendations of the committee of the whole.  The Program Director shall communicate the recommendations of the initial review, and his or her concurrence or disagreement with the recommendation, to the candidate and provide the candidate with a copy of the summary evaluation section of the promotion and tenure form.  Negative recommendations shall be communicated in writing and, if the review will not be forwarded automatically, the Director shall inform the candidate that he or she may request that the record be forwarded for further review. 

Favorable recommendations, together with the record of the initial review, shall be forwarded to the College Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure conducting the intermediate review.  Negative recommendations resulting from an initial review shall go forward for intermediate review only if it is the candidate’s mandatory review year or if the candidate requests it.

Intermediate Review. 

The candidate may submit a written response to a negative recommendation by the Program, or to a final rating of teaching, research, or service below the level of “good” included in the evaluation section of the recommendation.  The written response is sent separately by the candidate to CCAPT.

A request for information by CCAPT and/or UCPT shall be sent to the Program Director who shall immediately provide a copy to the candidate and inform the promotion and tenure committee.  The Director and/or committee shall prepare the Program’s response in accordance with the initial review procedures.

The candidate shall be afforded an opportunity to participate in the preparation of the Program’s response and/or to submit his/her own documentation or comment to the CCAPT and/or UCPT as applicable.

Contact: 

Responsible Office:
Environmental Studies Program
University of Kansas
Snow Hall 252
1460 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
envstudies@ku.edu

Contact:
ENVS Director
785-864-8902

Approved by: 
Environmental Studies Program \ Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Promotions
Approved on: 
Friday, May 3, 2013
Effective on: 
Friday, May 3, 2013
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
Promotion, Tenure, Procedures for, Initial Review, Environmental Studies Program
Review, Approval & Change History: 

09/03/2015: Made updates to boiler plate text and corrected SPPT approval date from 4/1 to 4/26

05/03/2013: Approved by the Environmental Studies Program

04/26/2013: Approved by The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure

 

Academic Categories: 
Promotion & Tenure
Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Promotion & Tenure
School/College Policy Categories: 
Promotion & Tenure

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
Policy Library Search
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times