Post-tenure Review Criteria and Procedures, Department of Religious Studies
To articulate the criteria and procedures for post-tenure review for faculty within the Department of Religious Studies.
Tenured faculty in the Department of Religious Studies
General Principles: In accordance with Board of Regents requirements (II.C.8), Article 7 Section 4 of the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, and the University Policy on Post-tenure Review, the Department of Religious Studies, hereafter referred to as the Department, has adopted these expectations and procedures for conducting post-tenure review. Post-tenure review is a process for periodic peer evaluation of faculty performance that provides an opportunity for a long-term assessment of a faculty member’s accomplishments and future directions in the areas of teaching/advising, scholarship, and service.
Post-tenure review must be conducted in a manner that respects the rights of faculty members involved, including academic freedom, tenure, and due process. In addition, all those involved in the evaluation process must recognize that it is a confidential personnel matter and take appropriate steps to protect confidentiality.
Period for Review: Faculty members will be reviewed once every seven years following the receipt of tenure with the review occurring in the unit(s) that conducts their annual evaluation. Post-tenure review covers the seven-year period leading up to the review, including the six prior annual evaluation letters and activities since the last annual evaluation. The cycle is restarted if a faculty member is evaluated for promotion or is awarded a distinguished professorship. The time period when a faculty member is on medical or familial leave or that would otherwise be excluded when computing time in rank does not count toward this period. In addition, time serving as department chair, program director, dean or associate dean, or other administrative position subject to administrative review is excluded. The review may be postponed if it falls in a year when the faculty member is on leave. Faculty members on phased retirement or whose retirement date has been approved by the university will be exempt from review under this policy. The dean of the College will notify faculty members scheduled for post-tenure review no later than March 15th in the spring semester preceding the academic year of review.
Unit Expectations: All tenured faculty members must meet academic responsibilities in the areas of teaching/advising, scholarship, and service. Unless otherwise specified by the job description or differential allocation of effort, the ordinary allocation of effort is 40% teaching/advising, 40% scholarship, and 20% service.
The Department of Religious Studies has defined its standards and expectations for teaching/advising, scholarship, and service in its annual evaluation procedures. The expectations for post-tenure review are consistent with these standards, with overall productivity commensurate to the seven-year period under review. The following specific criteria shall apply for purposes of post-tenure review.
Criteria for Meeting Expectations in Teaching/Advising:
Faculty members normally teach 2 courses per semester and 4 courses per year. Every faculty member with a 40% teaching load is expected to teach principal courses, upper-level undergraduate courses, and graduate courses as part of his or her 4-course annual assignment. Faculty members are expected to meet all class sessions except in case of illness, observation of major religious holidays, previously approved participation in professional conferences, or emergencies (Departmental Handbook, Sec. 5, “Policy Regarding Faculty Absence from Classes”).
As a component of the teaching responsibilities of all faculty members, advising of students is a requirement of all full-time faculty members. Faculty members are also expected to hold regularly scheduled office hours during the academic year when school is in session. All faculty members are expected to advise at the freshman/sophomore, junior/senior, and graduate levels.
Effectiveness in teaching is demonstrated both by student evaluations and peer reviews of teaching that include a review of syllabi, examinations, and classroom lectures. Faculty members are also expected to participate in independent studies at both the graduate and undergraduate levels and to supervise honors and master theses. Faculty demonstrate their participation in advising through semester advising report forms, copies of signed Degree Progress Report forms, the semiannual report on graduate students (made by the Director of Graduate Studies in December and May), and the annual assessment of undergraduate majors, as well as other avenues.
In the Department of Religious Studies, for tenured faculty at the rank of associate professor and above, the following expectations apply for meeting University teaching standards: The candidate’s record must demonstrate continued effectiveness and creative growth as a teacher across the full range of underclass principal courses, courses for junior/senior students (including honors theses), graduate courses (including tutorials, seminars), thesis work, as reflected in such factors as command of the subject matter, the ability to communicate effectively in the classroom, new course preparations and a refreshing of existing courses with input that reflects new directions in the discipline and/or one’s research, strong classroom skills, an ongoing commitment to student learning, and active involvement in providing advice and support for students outside the classroom.
Criteria for Meeting Expectations in Research and Creative Activity:
Faculty members are expected to maintain active programs of research and publication. The department’s statement on “Discipline Characteristics and Expectations,” provided in the section of the Department of Religious Studies Faculty Evaluation Plan (see section on Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation) indicates the range of research styles and the types and quality of publications that are found within the area of religious studies and are acceptable as measures of research progress
Over the successive seven years designated for evaluation, there must be evidence of scholarly activity such as 1) publication of journal articles, book chapters, books or reviews; 2) presentations at professional conferences; 3) invited workshops demonstrating innovative information or methods; 4) submission of grant applications or 5) submission of manuscripts for professional review. Any of these activities would constitute acceptable minimum research performance. Progress in a research project may be demonstrated also through annual reports to the Committee on Faculty Development.
Furthermore, each scholar in religious studies is expected to keep current on the research tools, languages, methods of investigation, and scholarship in his or her field. This knowledge is to be reflected in the publications appropriate to the area of specialization. The summarizing of previous studies or offering of concise reviews of such studies can be useful teaching aids but are not scholarship. Genuine scholarship must offer new insight, provide new information, challenge older preconceptions, or introduce new critical methods into the field. The availability of critical editions of important texts is essential in many areas of religious studies, but especially in textual studies and history of religions. The publication of a critical edition of a text, when accompanied by annotations and a clear explication of its importance, constitutes genuine scholarship of a high order. In relatively new fields, the collection of basic data is an important ongoing part of the scholarly enterprise. Here a comprehensive bibliography, when accompanied, by a critical introduction to the field and annotations, is considered creative scholarship. The Department of Religious Studies is committed to communicating the results of the research of its faculty both to the scholarly community and to the general public. Thus a faculty member's vita may reflect both publication in recognized scholarly journals and with appropriate scholarly presses, and publication geared to a general audience. However, the former should not be neglected for the latter.
The Department of Religious Studies recognizes the need for sound scholarship to be the basis for general presentations as encyclopedia articles and other reference works; while these are not generally recognized as original research, the Department believes they should be acknowledged as a measure of the faculty member's status in her or his field. Exceptions are to be made in the case of articles of substantial length and argument combined with original research; these should be considered the equivalent of journal articles. Expectations on amount of publication vary with each area of specialization; in most cases, however, scholars are expected to demonstrate an ongoing program of research through the publication on the average of one article annually in an academic journal or a collection of edited papers for an acceptable press, and one book every five to six years.
Criteria for Meeting Expectations in Service:
All faculty members are expected to perform their fair share of service responsibilities as 20% of the appointment unless special assignments have been authorized to increase that percentage. All faculty are expected to contribute by serving on one Department committee or in one Department office and to participate regularly in service to cooperating units within the University (e.g., Center for East Asian Studies, American Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, African and African-American Studies), the College, Graduate Studies, the University, and the profession, and to be available to the people of Kansas via the Department’s outreach program, as well as other avenues of service. Service to the profession includes organizational memberships and positions held; journal editorships and academic journal, manuscript, and grant reviewing.
Faculty members annually report to the Committee on Faculty Development the content and level (heavy/medium/light) of current service activity on their CVs. Service activity may also be demonstrated by letters received in response to such service, nominations for awards and positions, etc.
The Department of Religious Studies uses the following three criteria for post-tenure review: Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Fails to Meet Expectations.
Relation to the Annual Evaluation. Post-tenure reviews will be performed by the Post-Tenure Review Committee, which will comprise tenured members of the department’s Faculty Development Committee, the committee responsible for annual faculty evaluations. (On the composition of the Post-Tenure Committee, see below.) The post-tenure review will be conducted separately from the annual evaluation. However, the post-tenure review file will be incorporated into the documentation for the annual evaluation.
The committee report will be considered as part of the annual evaluation process and the Department Chair will discuss the review with the faculty member in conjunction with that process. This discussion should concentrate on the future professional development of the faculty member with an aim toward enhancing meritorious work and improving less satisfactory performance, including adoption of a performance improvement plan, if necessary. Any action on the review that is within the scope of the Faculty Evaluation Policy must be taken under that policy.
The faculty member will provide both units with copies of the Faculty Member’s Statement section of the Post-Tenure Review File (reflecting the representative effort in each unit) and a current curriculum vitae. The review goes forward with each unit preparing a separate committee evaluation summary and considerations by each chair and/or director to the dean. Each unit will submit their review materials directly to the College Dean’s Office. In the case of a jointly appointed faculty and unclassified academic staff member outside of the College, the primary unit is responsible for the administrative protocols of engaging the secondary unit in the solicitation and collection of feedback relative to the evaluation of performance expectations in the secondary unit.
Review Committee: Post-tenure review is conducted by the Post-Tenure Review Committee, which shall consist of three tenured faculty members from the department’s Faculty Development Committee, selected in accordance with the unit’s by-laws. Since only tenured faculty can be involved in post-tenure reviews, only the tenured faculty serving on the Faculty Development Committee would do double service as members of the Post-Tenure Review Committee. If and when the number of tenured faculty on the standing Faculty Development Committee falls short of the three required for post-tenure review, the department chair will appoint additional members, as needed, from the department faculty at large, in consultation with the members of the Faculty Development Committee. Persons from outside the department will be appointed, in consultation with the Associate Dean, only if and when there are not sufficient tenured faculty in the department to do post-tenure review.
No person may serve on the committee if his or her spouse or partner is scheduled for review. If the chair/director is the spouse or partner of the faculty member under review, the “Chair or Director Evaluation Summary” shall be conducted by the Divisional Associate Dean. A committee member who believes that there may be a conflict of interest should withdraw from the committee. If a faculty member who is undergoing review believes that there is a conflict of interest, he or she may object to the inclusion of a member. If the member declines to withdraw, the remaining committee members shall consider the basis for the alleged conflict and decide the matter. If a committee member withdraws or is removed based on a conflict of interest, the Department Chair will name a replacement.
Preparation of the File: Review will be conducted on the basis of a file that summarizes a faculty member’s teaching/advising, scholarship, and service. In contrast to evaluation for promotion and tenure, copies of publications and original student evaluations are not required. Also, outside reviews of scholarship should not be submitted.
Using the Faculty Member Statement, the faculty member under review shall provide a brief narrative statement of his or her accomplishments in teaching/advising, scholarship, and service during the review period as they relate to his or her long-term career path and goals. In addition, the faculty member shall submit a current curriculum vitae and a list of additional activities not covered on the curriculum vitae. The Department Chair will furnish copies of the faculty member’s annual evaluation letters for the six years during the review period.
Evaluation and Report: The committee will review the file and evaluate the faculty member’s overall performance and his or her contributions in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. Applying the expectations defined above, the committee will determine whether the faculty member’s performance in each area, as well as whether his or her overall performance meets expectations, exceeds expectations, or fails to meet expectations. In making its evaluations, the committee must bear in mind that (1) faculty members have differing responsibilities and make different kinds of contributions to the mission of the Department of Religious Studies, the College, and the University; (2) a faculty member’s activities vary over time according to his or her strengths, interests, and career path; and (3) innovative work may take time to reach fruition and may sometimes fail.
Using the Unit Committee Report, the committee will prepare a written report summarizing its evaluation. The report should provide a narrative description of the faculty member’s activities, an explanation of the committee’s ratings, and recommendations or suggestions for acknowledgement of contributions and future development of the faculty member. The committee will provide a copy of the report to the faculty member, who may submit a written response for inclusion in the post-tenure review file before it is forwarded to the Department Chair.
Consideration by the Chair/Director: The committee’s report (along with any faculty response) will be provided to the Department Chair. Using the Chair/Director Evaluation Summary, if the Chair agrees with the report, he or she will indicate that agreement in writing to the faculty member and place a copy in the post-tenure review file. If the chair or director disagrees with the committee’s evaluation, he or she shall explain the reasons for any disagreement in writing, with a copy to the faculty member and the committee. The Chair may ask the committee to provide additional information or reconsider the review. If the Chair disagrees with a positive evaluation by the committee, the faculty member may submit a written response. The Chair will forward the file to the dean of the College. Post-tenure review files are due in the College Dean’s Office by no later than noon, on the second Friday of March.
Consideration by the Dean: The faculty member’s post-tenure review file, including the unit committee’s report (along with any faculty response) and the Chair’s agreement or disagreement, is forwarded to the dean. Post-tenure review files are due in the College Dean’s Office by no later than noon, on the second Friday in March. The dean will consider the report and using the Dean’s Evaluation Summary, express his or her agreement or disagreement in the same manner as the Chair. Following the completion of review by the dean, if the dean agrees with the report, he or she will indicate that agreement in writing to the faculty member and place a copy in the file. If dean disagrees with the committee’s evaluation, he or she shall explain the reasons for any disagreement in writing, with a copy to the faculty member and the unit committee. The dean may ask the committee to provide additional information or reconsider the review. If the dean disagrees with a positive evaluation by the unit committee, the faculty member may submit a written response. The dean will forward a summary of post-tenure review outcomes and copies of the post-tenure review files to the Provost, to ultimately be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file.
Appeals: Following the completion of the review by the dean, if a disagreement between the committee and the Department Chair or dean cannot be resolved or if the faculty member wishes to appeal an evaluation of “fails to meet expectations” in the overall evaluation or any category of responsibility, the matter will be handled as an appeal under the Department of Religious Studies’ annual Faculty Evaluation Policy.
Report to the Provost: The dean will provide a summary of the results in the College and copies of the post-tenure review file to the Provost. The post-tenure review file will be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file.
Department of Religious Studies
University of Kansas
Smith Hall, Rm 109
1300 Oread Avenue
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045-7615
10/12/2015: Per the Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the following was added to the template under Committee Review: If the chair/director is the spouse or partner of the faculty member under review, the “Chair or Director Evaluation Summary” shall be conducted by the Divisional Associate Dean. Also added Dean’s review/acceptance under “Rank/Status/Change/History.”
08/28/2015: Added new template language to “Period for Review.”
08/18/2015: Updated links to CLAS PtR Forms
04/24/2015: Updated CLAS PtR forms and added links to each form within the policy statement.
04/02/2015: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
02/18/2015: Updated joint appointment section to include new boilerplate language.
12/18/2014: Updated to provide the current link to the Board of Regents Policy Manual.
11/21/2014: Updated to provide the current link to the Board of Regents Policy Manual.
05/28/2014: Reviewed and accepted by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office
05/05/2014: Approved by vote of the Department of Religious Studies faculty.