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Promotion Guidelines for Unclassified Academic Staff Positions, Office of Research

Policy
Purpose: 

Establishes general guidelines for the promotion of unclassified academic staff employed within the Office of Research, and provides for the elaboration and adaptation of these guidelines by individual units within Research.

Applies to: 

Unclassified academic staff

Campus: 
Edwards
Lawrence
Policy Statement: 

Purpose

This policy establishes general guidelines for the promotion of unclassified academic staff employed within the Office of Research, and provides for the elaboration and adaptation of these guidelines by individual units within Research. For purposes of this document a unit constitutes any of the entities within the Office of Research that conducts an initial review of promotion files.

Individual units may establish promotion guidelines that reflect considerations specific to their unit, subject to approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research. All such unit-specific guidelines must be kept on file in the Office of Research. In cases where such unit-specific guidelines have not been established the following general expectations will apply.

General Considerations

The following information about unclassified academic staff is drawn from the University Handbook (Section II.C). Those seeking additional information should consult this publication, as well as the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, Article VI.

  • The academic staff supports the mission of the University through scholarship, public service, and teaching. Members of the academic staff have education, degrees and experience comparable to tenured and tenure-track faculty, are represented through the Faculty Senate, and subject to some policies and procedures that apply to tenured or tenure-track faculty.
  • Unclassified academic staff supported by State funds may hold the titles of junior, assistant, associate, or senior scientist, curator, or specialist. For unclassified academic staff funded from grants and contracts, the titles are assistant research professor, associate research professor, or research professor.
  • Normally, unclassified academic staff members will hold a rank that is equivalent to the rank of a faculty member with similar academic preparation or experience.
  • Promotion in rank for unclassified academic staff is made on the basis of meritorious performance and follows the same procedures as promotion of faculty members. (See FSRR Article VI.) The criteria for promotion include teaching, scholarship, service, and professional performance, depending upon the expectations for the specific position, and should be clearly articulated in the written position description provided at the time of the initial appointment.

Expectations

Scientists, research professors and curators are evaluated on the basis of professional performance, scholarship and service, with the relative weights of each component clearly articulated by unit policy and any expectations clearly articulated in writing at the time of appointment.

They should strive to develop a national and international reputation for their scholarship, one that enhances the recognition and reputation of their research center, survey, core lab or academic department.

Reputation is based primarily upon publications, service and external funding.

Candidates for promotion may be nominated by the administrative principal investigator of a major project, by the director of a unit or sub-unit, or by a unit promotion committee. In addition candidates may self-nominate. The number of years elapsed in rank before nomination is dependent upon the progress made by the individual and the specific center’s guidelines. Except in rare or unusual circumstances, the normal time in rank prior to a nomination is five years.

Assistant Scientists, Assistant Research Professors, Assistant Curators

Assistant Scientists, Assistant Research Professors or Curators are expected to provide exemplary professional performance or teaching, scholarship and service.

Criteria for Promotion to Associate Rank

Professional Performance: If the details of the individual’s appointment include expectations of professional performance not encompassed within research, service and teaching, expectations for the quantity and quality of professional performance requisite for promotion should be clearly articulated in the written position description to the candidate by the unit at the time that he or she receives the appointment.

Scholarship: The individual should have developed an independent research program that demonstrates a successfully developing scholarly career as reflected in such factors as the quality and quantity of publications, 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.

Service: The individual should have an established record of professional activities that demonstrates a strong commitment to high quality service in the Research Center, Department, or Survey, and in the University, the State (if applicable), and Profession.

External Funding: When appropriate to his or her duties, the individual is expected to successfully seek external funding to support his or her research program. The acquisition of competitive external funding is an important measure of the success and stature of the individual’s research program.

Associate Scientists, Associate Research Professors, Associate Curators

Associate Scientists, Associate Research Professors or Associate Curators are expected demonstrate continued effectiveness and growth in their professional performance or teaching, scholarship and service activities.

Criteria for Promotion to Senior Rank

Professional Performance: If the details of the individual’s appointment include expectations of professional performance not encompassed within research, service and teaching, expectations for the quantity and quality of professional performance requisite for promotion should be clearly articulated in the written position description to the candidate by the unit upon his or her appointment.

Scholarship: For promotion to the rank of Senior Scientist, Senior Research Professor or Senior Curator, the record must demonstrate an established scholarly career, as reflected in such factors as a substantial and ongoing pattern of publication, 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.

Service: The individual should have a record of substantial high quality service to the Research Center, Department, or Survey, to the University, the State (if applicable), and Profession.

External Funding: When appropriate to their duties, the individual should have established a continuous, successful record of competitive external funding that enhances their research program.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

This policy does not apply to non-academic unclassified professional staff or faculty at the university.

Contact: 

Office of Research
785-864-7237
ovcr@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Vice Chancellor for Research
Approved on: 
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Effective on: 
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
Promotion; Unclassified Academic Staff; Associate Rank; Senior Rank; Scientists; Research Professors; Curators
Change History: 

10/01/2018: Updated Contact section.
06/16/2018: Edits to implement change from 'Office of Research and Graduate Studies' to 'Office of Research'; minor formatting edits.
09/10/2012: Edited Contacts information.
05/18/2010: Minor changes approved.
11/2009: Original Reviewed. 

Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Promotion & Tenure

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