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Promotion and Tenure Procedure, Political Science

Procedure
Purpose: 

To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the Department of Political Science.

Applies to: 

Faculty within the Department of Political Science.

Campus: 
Lawrence
Contents: 

General Provisions

Promotion and Tenure Standards

                Teaching

                Scholarship

                Service

                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 department 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 department’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 department’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.  A candidate’s contribution to the departmental teaching mission, including the developing new courses, teaching larger numbers of students, and mentoring and advising students, is considered beyond quantitative student evaluations.  Peer observation of a candidate’s teaching and teaching files are conducted by members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee.

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

  • Strong teaching skills in two courses per semester, at undergraduate and graduate levels, with exceptions for approved leaves or reduced teaching loads;
  • Evidence of innovative teaching;
  • Demonstrated commitment to advising undergraduate and graduate students both in and outside the classroom;
  • Service as chair and member of undergraduate honor’s theses, master’s and PhD committees; and
  • Participation in annual graduate student reviews.

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

  • Strong teaching skills in two courses per semester, at undergraduate and graduate levels, with exceptions for approved leaves or reduced teaching loads;
  • Evidence of innovative teaching;
  • Demonstrated commitment to advising undergraduate and graduate students both in and outside the classroom;
  • Service as chair and member of undergraduate honor’s theses, master’s and PhD committees; and,
  • Participation in annual graduate student reviews.

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 Department of Political Science, scholarship is defined as publications, including books and monographs, articles in professional journals, and chapters in books, book reviews, professional grant proposals, invited research presentations, and research presentations at professional conferences.  Other potential examples of scholarship in political science are considered on a case by case basis.  Both quality and quantity of scholarship are considered in promotion.  Quality and quantity of research can be accessed through a variety of quantitative and qualitative measures, including journal and publisher rankings, citations, awards, and funding success, among others.

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 department, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:  The candidate is expected to demonstrate a viable research program, publish solid research articles regularly in major peer-reviewed journals and/or publish books with highly-ranked presses, and to have developed budding national recognition for his/her work, with some awareness of his/her work by the international community.  Although there is no strictly enforced number of publications, it is typical that to obtain this level of recognition the candidate will produce, on average, one or more publications per year in high quality outlets.

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 department, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:  The candidate is expected to maintain a clearly definable, nationally or internationally recognized research program as judged by peers from outside the University.  To attain such recognition in the field, a candidate normally will have contributed articles regularly to the principal refereed journals for the previous several years, have published one or more books with highly-ranked presses, and/or will have received external funding. 

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 department 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.  Departmental standards for promotion are based on an assessment of quality and quantity of service, which can include external letters of support, awards and similar recognition, and specific documentation of service, among other things.

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 department, 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 department through attendance and participation in departmental meetings and on department committees;
  • Service to the University through membership on committees in the College or University;
  • 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 department, the following service expectations to meet University standards, after promotion to associate professor, apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:

  • Regular service to the department through attendance and participation in departmental meetings and leadership of department committees;
  • Service to the University through membership on committees in the College and University;
  • Service to the profession;
  • 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 department 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 department.

Promotion and Tenure CommitteeThe department review committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service.  In the department the initial review committee is The Promotion and Tenure Committee.  This committee is formed by three or four members who are elected by approval voting of all voting members of the department.  The committee consists of three members when the candidate is being considered for professor and four when the candidate is being considered for associate professor.  Members of the committee must be of equal or higher rank to the rank for which the candidate is being considered.

The recommendation shall be forwarded for consideration to a committee of the whole consisting of all faculty members of equal or higher rank to the rank for which the candidate is being considered in the department.

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 committee of the whole or vote on any recommendation concerning promotion and/or tenure.

Initiation of ReviewPrior 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 department shall initiate procedures for evaluating the candidate for the award of promotion and/or tenure.

As part of the annual faculty evaluation process, the department 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 department 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 department.

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 department 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.  In the department candidates are allowed to recommend up to six external reviewers as well as provide a list of unacceptable external reviewers.  The Promotion and Tenure Committee will develop its own list of potential external reviewers.  The Promotion and Tenure Committee will attempt to solicit reviews from at least three reviewers recommended by the candidate and avoid soliciting letters from listed unacceptable external reviewers. A file is not complete until it includes letters from six external 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.  The committee recommendation shall be forwarded for consideration to a committee of the whole consisting of all faculty members holding equal or higher academic rank.

In the department, voting procedures are as follows:  The Promotion and Tenure Committee votes on each major category listed in the recommendation form as well as on whether to recommend or not recommend promotion and/or tenure.  A simple majority of votes is required.  The committee recommendation shall be forwarded for consideration to a committee of the whole consisting of all faculty members holding the appropriate academic rank.  Each member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee has the right to make individual recommendations to the Committee of the Whole during that committee’s review of the candidate’s file.

The departmental chair will convene a faculty meeting of the whole to consider the recommendations of the Promotion and Tenure Committee.  The committee of the whole will cast votes to complete each section of the evaluation form for the candidate’s review as provided by the University.  Proposals to change the evaluation and summary evaluation sections of the promotion and/or tenure forms as drafted by the Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be subject to a formal motion, a seconding motion, and a subsequent majority vote, unless such changes are viewed as friendly by the Promotion and Tenure Committee.

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 chair, who shall indicate separately, in writing, whether he or she concurs or disagrees with the recommendations of the committee of the whole.  The department chair 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 chair 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 department, 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 department chair who shall immediately provide a copy to the candidate and inform the Promotion and Tenure Committee.  The chair and/or committee shall prepare the department’s response in accordance with the initial review procedures.

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

Contact: 

Responsible Office:
Department of Political Science
University of Kansas
504 Blake Hall
1541 Lilac Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045
kupols@ku.edu

Political Science Chairperson
(785) 864-3523

Approved by: 
Department of Political Science, The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure
Approved on: 
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Effective on: 
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
Promotion, Tenure, Procedures for, Initial Review, Political Science
Review, Approval & Change History: 

04/04/2016: The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences approved this deletion.

04/01/2016: Unit voted to remove the following incomplete sentence from the paragraph describing unit guidelines for promotion to the rank of full professor: "Although there is no strictly enforced number of publications, it is typical that to obtain this level of recognition the candidate will produce, on average, one or more publications per year in high quality"

09/04/2015: Made updates to boiler plate text and fixed broken links

05/01/2012: Approved by the Department of Political Science

03/27/2012: 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

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