• Home
  • Promotion and Tenure Procedure, Computational Biology

Promotion and Tenure Procedure, Computational Biology

Procedure
Purpose: 

To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for Computational Biology.

Applies to: 

Faculty and Unclassified Academic Staff within Computational Biology

Campus: 
Lawrence
Contents: 

General Provisions

Promotion and Tenure Standards

                Teaching

                Scholarship

                Service

                Unclassified Academic Staff

                Ratings for Performance

Promotion and Tenure Procedures

                Promotion and Tenure Committee

                Initiation of Review

                Preparation of the Promotion and/or Tenure File

                Recommendations

                Intermediate Review

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 Computational Biology 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 Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations Article VI: Promotion and Tenure.  

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 Computational Biology Program expectations for meeting University standards in terms of disciplinary practices; (b) providing procedures for the initial evaluation of teaching, scholarship, service, and (in the case of unclassified academic staff) professional performance; (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 Computational Biology Program’s expectations of performance in the areas of teaching/advising, scholarship, service, and (in the case of unclassified academic staff) professional performance 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 Computational Biology Program, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:

Candidates for promotion to associate professor should think in terms of building a teaching profile for evaluation by the department, College, and University promotion and tenure committees.  This profile should include a variety of evaluative elements from the entire scope of teaching activities, including teaching at all levels, teaching of large and small classes, thesis and dissertation work, advising activities at all levels, team teaching, guest lecturing, and mentoring of graduate student teaching.

As indicated by multiple sources of evaluation (outlined above), the record must demonstrate that a candidate’s teaching, to an adequate or greater extent, reflects knowledge of his/her field and the recent developments therein, and that the candidate is effective in encouraging students' interest, helping them to think critically and to apply their knowledge, pointing them toward the broader implications of their study, and generally encouraging their development as life science professionals.  The record must also give indication of responsible fulfillment of all duties associated with teaching, including prompt and regular holding of class sessions and office hours, timely and sufficient grading and comments on assignments, acceptable and fair expectations and criteria for student work (as judged by disciplinary standards), adequate class preparation, and effective use of class time.                                 

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 Computational Biology Program, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:

o    Effective service as a supervisor of Ph.D. dissertations.

o    Regular and competent service on dissertation and comprehensive examination committees.

o    Participation in teaching in interdisciplinary programs or in other departments and programs at the University.

o    Consistent strong evaluation by students and faculty using objective data where available.

o    Willingness to respond to the department’s teaching needs.

o    Success in creating and teaching innovative courses, interdisciplinary courses, etc., which have been well regarded.

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 Computational Biology Program, scholarship is defined as the production of computational biology articles, book chapters, and books; the presentation of computational biology papers or lectures; participation in computational biology symposia at conferences, meetings of computational biology and other academic societies, and in other academic forums; and writing grant proposals to fund research programs.

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 Computational Biology Program, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:  Candidates must present clear evidence of an established and funded research program that goes well beyond the research completed for the Ph.D. and postdoctoral training, and that exhibits promise of continuing productivity.  It is expected that the faculty has secured a major research grant (typically NIH R01) as the principal investigator and has substantial publication record as a principal author in leading journals since her/his appointment to a tenure-track position.

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 Computational Biology Program, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:  The record since promotion to associate professor must show a well-funded research program, supported by major research grants, including those where the candidate serves as the principal investigator, and extensive publication record as a principal author in leading journals.

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 Computational Biology 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.

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 Computational Biology Program, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:  The record should indicate regular and meaningful participation in activities necessary to the successful functioning of the unit, College, and/or University, including (at a minimum) significant service on two committees per year and participation at departmental meetings.  A record of substantial contributions to the larger university community, the profession, or the discipline at the local, regional, national, or international level (e.g., memberships on committees or task forces, memberships on editorial or advisory boards, student recruitment, administration, reviewing grant applications, judging academic awards competitions, offices in professional organizations, conducting ad hoc workshops, fund raising, organizing conferences, lectures, or readings, etc.) indicates meritorious service beyond minimum expectations.

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 Computational Biology Program, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:  The Computational Biology Program judges merit in service, for the purposes of promotion or appointment to the rank of professor, by such evidence as the following:

o    Holding an administrative office in the unit, College, or University.

o    Serving on major College and University committees especially as chairperson.

o    Serving as an officer of professional societies or as a member of various professional executive committees, special committees, program committees, professional organizations, etc.

o    Presentation of invited lectures to University and community groups, both formally and informally.

o    Serving in an editorial capacity for professional journals, etc.; also serving as a referee for journals, publishers, etc.

o    High quality unit service over and above what is usually expected.

o    High quality service as a representative of the University to various agencies or organizations.

o    Various kinds of community or national service, which has value for the unit, College, or University.

Unclassified Academic Staff.  In the case of unclassified academic staff, comparable professional responsibilities, as defined by the Computational Biology Program and the standards of our discipline, will be evaluated.  Under the University standards for unclassified academic staff, those standards must be commensurate with the standards for faculty members.  These responsibilities include: research, service, professional performance, and/or teaching in units that support the academic mission.  The Computational Biology Program accepts service within the University, and public service at the local, state, national, or international level.  Promotion emphasizes research and service.

In the Computational Biology Program, research is defined as:  the production of computational biology articles, book chapters, and books; the presentation of computational biology papers or lectures; and participation in computational biology symposia at conferences, meetings of computational biology and other academic societies, and in other academic forums.

Service includes:  activities necessary to the successful functioning of the unit, College, and/or University, contributions to the larger university community, the profession, or the discipline at the local, regional, national, or international level (e.g., memberships on committees or task forces, memberships on editorial or advisory boards, student recruitment, administration, reviewing grant applications, judging academic awards competitions, offices in professional organizations, conducting ad hoc workshops, fund raising, organizing conferences, lectures, or readings, etc.).

Professional performance comprises:  Supervision and instruction for students and staff carrying out research, monitoring progress in achieving research objectives, communicating progress to collaborating investigators, and working with principal investigators to prepare required reports to federal agencies.

Teaching is defined as:  course instruction and advising of graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research assistants.

In the Computational Biology Program, the following expectations to meet University standards apply for promotion to the associate rank:  Candidates must present clear evidence of an established research program that goes well beyond the research completed for the Ph.D. and postdoctoral training, and that exhibits promise of continuing productivity.  It is expected that the candidate has a substantial publication record in leading journals since her/his appointment to the current rank.  The professional performance record must indicate successful supervision and instruction for students and staff carrying out research.  The service record should indicate regular and meaningful participation in activities necessary to the successful functioning of the unit, College, and/or University.  A record of substantial contributions to the larger university community, the profession, or the discipline at the local, regional, national, or international level indicates meritorious service beyond minimum expectations.

In the Computational Biology Program, the following expectations to meet University standards apply for promotion to the senior rank:  The research record since promotion to the current rank must show an extensive publication record in leading journals, along with professional performance indicating continuous successful supervision and instruction for students and staff carrying out research.  The merit in service will be judged by such evidence as the following:

o    Serving as an officer of professional societies or as a member of various professional executive committees, special committees, program committees, professional organizations, etc.

o    Presentation of invited lectures to University and community groups, both formally and informally.

o    Serving in an editorial capacity for professional journals, etc.; also serving as a referee for journals, publishers, etc.

o    High quality service as a representative of the University to various agencies or organizations.

o    Various kinds of community or national service, which has value for the department, College, or University.

Rating for Performance.  Using the criteria described above, the candidate’s performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship, service, and (in the case of unclassified academic staff) professional performance 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.                         

Promotion and Tenure Procedures

The Computational Biology 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 Computational Biology Program.

Promotion and Tenure Committee.  The Computational Biology Program review committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service.  In the Computational Biology Program, the review committee is Promotion and Tenure 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.

Core Faculty are persons with tenured or tenure-track appointments in the Computational Biology Program.  All tenured Core Faculty are members of the Committee.  If fewer than three Core Faculty members are tenured, one or two tenured Courtesy Faculty members are asked to serve on the Promotion and Tenure Committee. Promotions to the rank of professor are evaluated only by the members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee who are professors.  If fewer than three Promotion and Tenure Committee members are professors, one or two professor courtesy faculty members are asked to participate in the evaluation.

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 Computational Biology 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 Computational Biology 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 Computational Biology 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 Computational Biology Program.

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/advising, scholarship, service , and (in the case of unclassified academic staff) professional performance in accordance with the Provost’s guidelines.

The Promotion and Tenure Committee 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 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 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.

In the Computational Biology Program, voting procedures are as follows:  All members of Promotion and Tenure Committee have full voting rights in the committee.  A quorum consisting of more than 50% of the committee members must be present for any votes to be binding.  The voting procedures are by open ballot; each member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee is asked to recommend or not recommend promotion and/or tenure.  These votes are counted and tallied by the chair in order to arrive at the final recommendation.  A simple majority of votes is required for a favorable recommendation.  The Committee follows the same voting procedure for rating of the candidate’s performance.

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 review committee.  The Computational Biology 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 Computational Biology 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 Computational Biology 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 Computational Biology Program’s response in accordance with the initial review procedures.

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

Contact: 

Responsible Office
Computational Biology Program
University of Kansas
2030 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-1057
compbio@ku.edu

Contact
Computational Biology Director
(785) 864-4213

Approved by: 
Bioinformatics Program, The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure
Approved on: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Effective on: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
Promotion, Tenure, Procedures for, Initial Review, Bioinformatics Program, Computational Biology
Review, Approval & Change History: 

09/02/2015: Made updates to boiler plate text and corrected date unit approved the procedures (was listed as 02/28/12 instead of 03/28/12)

02/15/2015: Updated the academic unit name to Computational Biology Program throughout document

04/10/2012: Approved by The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure

03/28/2012: Approved by the Bioinformatics Program Faculty

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