Promotion and Tenure Procedure, Public Affairs and Administration
To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Faculty within the School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Scope and Purpose. The award of tenure and/or promotion in rank are among the most important and far-reaching decisions made by the school 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 school’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.
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 school’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.
The School of Public Affairs and Administration employs a cooperative process for the advising of undergraduate and master’s level students, including full-time advising staff, program coordinators, and faculty members. Faculty members are expected to participate in advising students in their courses and as requested by students or program coordinators. All faculty members are expected to participate in the advising and mentoring of doctoral students. Advising of doctoral students should include mentoring in the discipline expectations for excellence in scholarship and teaching as well as expectations for professional involvement in scholarly associations.
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 school, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor.
Faculty members are expected to provide for quality learning environments that encourage students to intellectually engage with the content of the course and their experience. There are four areas which relate to quality teaching: 1) Quality of Intellectual Content, 2) Quality of Teaching Practice, 3) Quality of Student Understanding, and 4) Evidence of Reflective Consideration and Development by the faculty member in relation to their teaching. Faculty members are expected to develop courses which comprise quality intellectual content relevant to the student’s program and defined program objectives (including the school’s MPA competency document where and when appropriate). Faculty members are expected to develop curriculum and teaching techniques which are effective for the level of the course and the course content as well as the diversity of students who enroll in our programs. Each faculty member is expected to conduct sufficient feedback mechanisms to judge the quality of student understanding in the course as well as utilize the University’s course evaluation system. Faculty members are expected to continuously improve their teaching through participation in on-campus or professional teaching effectiveness programs and reflectively consider feedback given by students, alumni, and other faculty and teaching development professionals. Respect for the integrity of the educational process and students are expected at all times.
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 school, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor.
Faculty members are expected to serve as expert role model in teaching effectiveness; providing mentoring in teaching techniques, student engagement, and assessment. In addition, professor are expected to consistently serve as chairs of dissertation committees. .
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 School of Public Affairs and Administration, faculty members are expected to contribute continuously to the systematic development of one or more cumulative and cohesive bodies of theoretical and empirical knowledge through publication of articles and books. The research expectations of the School of Public Affairs and Administration are based on discipline-wide criteria and are consistent with the criteria of the leading research institutions in the field.
Accepted modes of publication include books and journal articles; technical reports for applied professional audiences are acceptable, but not sufficient on their own for promotion and tenure. Customary and accepted patterns of authorship and co-authorship encompass the full range of approaches from exclusively single authorship to co-authorship with multiple authors. In all cases the evaluating committee will take into consideration the venue of publication or presentation; however it will also make judgments on the importance and strength of the research.
“Major publications” encompass those published by peer-reviewed journals, university presses, and commercial book publishers that require critical scholarly peer review for publication. “Minor publications” are those published by book publishers or journals that do not require critical peer review for publication.
Major publications are those that meet the above definition and work under submission that the evaluating committee judges to be of sufficient quality to be published in such venues. The evaluating committee considers multiple indicators to assess journal quality such as peer review indicators, acceptance rates, the journal’s status with citation ranking services, and information from reputational surveys of key informants like editorial board members. In addition, top-tier journals within particular specializations are also included if they sustain a similar quality rankings for the subfield, e.g., peer review indicators, acceptance rates, reputational surveys. Publications in journals with lower acceptance rates and/or citation ratings are considered on their own merit. Publication in non-university or trade presses written for a wider audience may be evaluated as major publications based on faculty evaluation of the work. See Appendix I for an illustrative listing of the journals which are considered to be at the major publication level.
As regards the acceptance of research conference papers, faculty members are expected to consistently participate in professional association meetings which provide outlets for the presentation and critique of research findings. Meetings of the major professional associations as well as meetings which comprise invited papers and hybrid practitioner-academic meetings are all potential outlets for faculty research. A list of such associations/meetings which are regularly tracked by the school is included in Appendix II.
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 school, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor.
As a condition for promotion to associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration, a faculty member must demonstrate clear evidence of a developing program of original research that goes well beyond research completed for the PhD degree. Such research should result in products of high quality, demonstrated in large part by publication in high visibility outlets that use critical standards of review and result in refereed publications:
Obtaining external funding is also desirable. Unlike many other fields and disciplines, public administration is not tightly associated with specific federal and philanthropic funding sources. Nevertheless, the School of Public Affairs and Administration regards securing research funding as a mark of particular distinction and encourages faculty members to be engaged in grant application processes.
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 school, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the promotion to the rank of professor.
As a condition for promotion to professor, a faculty member must demonstrate clear evidence of a research program resulting in a systematic development of one or more comprehensive bodies of theoretical and empirical knowledge. The program must include new theoretical frames and knowledge and provide synthesis of an important topic.
The writing and publication of books is an important measure of accomplishment in the public administration field and in the School of Public Affairs and Administration for faculty members at the advanced stage of their academic careers. The quality of book publication is based on the national and international standing of book publishers, standards usually placing publisher quality in this order: first, major university presses; second, major commercial publishers and secondary university presses; third, other commercial and academic book publishers. It is understood that acceptable book publishers maintain rigorous standards of manuscript review and acceptance.
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 school 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.
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 school, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor.
Faculty members are expected to share in the work of the school including collaborative decision making and administration of the academic and service programs. Contributions to the University and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the form of professional service are also expected. Faculty members are expected to contribute to the profession through service to professional associations, professional publications, and public organizations. Each faculty member’s profile of service is determined by the faculty member and the school director according to faculty expertise and need.
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 school, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor.
Faculty members at the senior level are expected to contribute to the profession through service in leadership positions to professional associations, professional publications, and public organizations. Each faculty member’s profile of service is determined by the faculty member and the school director according to faculty expertise and opportunities in the profession.
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.
The school 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 school.
Promotion and Tenure Committee. The school review committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service. In the School of Public Affairs and Administration faculty members function as a committee of the whole consisting of all faculty members holding the appropriate academic rank for the initial review.
No students or untenured faculty members, except unclassified academic staff with the rank equivalent to or higher than associate professor, shall participate in the committee of the whole or vote on any recommendation concerning promotion and/or tenure. Associate and Full professors will participate in discussions and vote on all promotion and tenure cases, including promotion to full.
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 school shall initiate procedures for evaluating the candidate for the award of tenure.
As part of the annual faculty evaluation process, the school 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 school 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 school.
The committee of the whole 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 committee of the whole shall 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 committee of the whole 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 committee conducting the initial review 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. Votes are taken in the meeting by secret ballot and a majority of those voting is required for a positive recommendation.
The 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 school 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.
The candidate may submit a written response to a negative recommendation by the school, 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 school director who shall immediately provide a copy to the candidate and inform the committee of the whole. The director and/or committee shall prepare the school’s response in accordance with the initial review procedures.
The candidate shall be afforded an opportunity to participate in the preparation of the school’s response and/or to submit his/her own documentation or comment to the CCAPT and/or UCPT as applicable.
Appendix I: an illustrative listing of the journals which are considered to be at the major publication level.
Appendix II: a list of such associations/meetings which are regularly tracked by the school is included in Appendix II.
Major Publication Outlets
Administration and Society
American Journal of Political Science
American Political Science Review
American Review of Public Administration
Journal of Politics
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Political Research Quarterly
Public Administration Review
Major Publication Specialization Outlets
Academy of Management Journal
Academy of Management Review
International Public Management Journal
Journal of Management
Journal of American Planning Association
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
Journal of Urban Affairs
Law & Social Inquiry
Law & Society Review
Local Government Studies
Municipal Finance Journal
National Tax Journal
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Nonprofit Management and Leadership
Policy Studies Journal
Public Budgeting and Finance
Public Finance Review
Public Management Review
Public Performance and Management Review
Public Personnel Management
Public Works Management & Policy
Review of Public Personnel Administration
State and Local Government Review
Transportation Research Record
Urban Affairs Review
Academy of Management
American Society for Public Administration (and its sections)
American Political Science Association
Association for Budgeting and Financial Management
Association for Policy Analysis and Management)
Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations
Governmental Accounting Standards Board
International Public Management Network
International Research Society for Public Management
Law and Society
Midwest Political Science Association
National Academy of Public Administration
National Tax Association
Public Management Research Association
Southern Political Science Association
Urban Affairs Association
Western Social Science Association
*This list is reviewed on a regular basis by the faculty.
School of Public Affairs and Administration
University of Kansas
4060 Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-3177
09/04/2015: Made updates to boiler plate text and fixed broken link
04/11/2012: Approved by the School of Public Affairs and Administration
03/01/2012: Approved by The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure