Promotion and Tenure Procedures, Department of History of Art
To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the History of Art Department.
Faculty within the History of Art Department.
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 of Art History’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.
Art History faculty normally teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels the equivalent of 40% of their departmental appointment. Effective teaching involves dissemination of knowledge to students; the enhancement of students’ intellectual growth; and, where appropriate, the mentoring of students.
The successful teacher arouses the students’ interest by demonstrating enthusiasm for the subject, and takes responsibility for trying to motivate his/her students. Motivation is expected to take positive forms; punitive measures are not to be used, and students must never be insulted, humiliated, or harassed. The teacher closely supervises graduate teaching assistants when they are assigned to his/her class.
More specific expectations are as follows:
Each full-time faculty member will normally teach four courses each academic year. Those with less than full- time appointments in the department -- e.g., curators with joint museum appointments or holders of named or distinguished chairs -- will normally teach a course load based on their fractional introductory courses, basic courses for undergraduate and graduate majors, and advanced specialty courses. This balance may be adjusted to meet the needs of the department.
Graduate faculty in the department may be called upon to supervise advanced students in the preparation of their post-MA curriculum and eventual doctoral dissertation. Given the longer and closer association of the professor and student over the course of the dissertation’s preparation, the match of interests and the advisor’s evaluation of a candidate’s prospects assume even greater importance.
Academic advising is a vital part of the teaching responsibilities of all faculty members. Academic advisors should show a genuine concern for students and be accurately informed about departmental and college curricular requirements. Effective advising also includes being available to students and assisting them in planning their academic or professional careers. At the graduate level effective advising also involves individual mentoring. Each faculty member is expected to participate in the semester advising of students scheduled each fall and spring.
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.
To evaluate teaching, the department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee examines both the numerical scores as well as written comments on student evaluations. Scores are considered in the context of course level, and department means, and how many times the candidate has taught a particular course. The department expects courses to rank near average departmental levels or above. If scores are initially low, the department looks for improvement with time.
The department solicits peer-teaching evaluations from all faculty at the relevant rank(s) during the Progress Toward Tenure Review and during the semester before and/or during the semester that the candidate comes up for promotion and/or tenure review. Notification of the review requests is also sent to the faculty member being evaluated. The peer reviews take the form of classroom visit(s), examination of materials used in the class, discussion of teaching methodology, and/or other observation as appropriate.
To evaluate undergraduate and graduate advising, the department looks at the number of students advised at each level. There is no strict numerical expectation for the number of students receiving academic advisement. The department expects the candidate to participate in the normal advising rotation of the department. For graduate advising, the department examines the number of students supervised as well as the number of graduate committees on which the candidate serves. Again, there is no strict numerical expectation.
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 of Art History, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:
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 perceptive readers and articulate writers. 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, and reflection about pedagogy.
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 of Art History, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:
The record must continue to demonstrate fulfillment of all expectations outlined above (under expectations for promotion to Associate Professor). In addition, it is expected that candidates have continued to develop and improve their teaching and advising skills. The teaching record should reflect continued success in the classroom, effective efforts to address potential weaknesses, reflection about pedagogy, and engagement with current developments in the field, new teaching areas, or new pedagogical methods. Candidates should also demonstrate a record of committed and responsible advising.
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 Art History, a high level of research and publication is expected. This may appear in a variety of formats. Scholarship is defined as the following: “Major” work finds issue in refereed publications, such as scholarly journals, books, and exhibition catalogues. Full-time art history professors need not, but may curate exhibitions, which entails scholarly research demanded for the project’s conception, organization, selection of art objects, and interpretation of those objects individually and in the larger context of the exhibition’s focus. A scholarly catalogue often accompanies exhibitions; in such cases, it is not uncommon to enlist a team of cooperating curators/authors to publish collaboratively in a volume of collected essays.
“Minor work” is considered to be that which is published as short reviews, articles in non-refereed journals, in the popular press, and in encyclopedias with a relatively general readership. There are limited sources for financial support for research in art history, and such grants are extremely competitive.
All faculty are expected to remain active in research and to keep abreast of current developments in their field. Research activity normally should occupy 40% of a faculty member’s appointment in the department.
Research is defined as the continuing endeavor to contribute to that extension of the frontiers of knowledge, which is one of the functions of the University. An effective research program includes engaging in discourse in Art History and affiliated disciplines through the presentation of papers at seminars, meetings and other public forums; the publication of refereed scholarship, such as articles, books and exhibition catalogues; the organization and presentation of exhibitions, and related curatorial endeavors; editorial work; and the publication of reviews or commentaries on the profession. No single mechanism can be used to evaluate the quality of research produced by a faculty member.
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 of Art History, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:
A candidate for promotion to associate professor demonstrates clear evidence of a scholarly program that goes well beyond research completed for the terminal degree and that exhibits promise of continuing productivity. Articles should appear in well regarded journals or collections; books should be published from reputable presses. A candidate may have demonstrated pursuit of research support from public or private funding organizations, presentation of research to professional audiences, and the integration of his/her research with teaching. A candidate for promotion to associate professor is expected to have developed budding national recognition for his/her work, with some awareness of the work by the international community.
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 of Art History, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:
In terms of scholarly output, scholarship that merits promotion to full professor is defined as continued significant scholarly production well beyond the record prior to tenure, which may include a researched monograph (not included in the tenure record) and/or a combination of post-tenure peer-reviewed and/or invited scholarly published articles, chapters, and edited books. Other information about the quality and types of scholarship that merit consideration is consistent with the expectations for tenure described above.
Continued integration of research with teaching is expected. Typically, a candidate for promotion to full professor will have a clearly definable, nationally or internationally recognized research program as judged by peers from outside the University. A candidate for promotion to full professor is expected to have developed national and international recognition for his/her work.
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 of Art History 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 Department of Art History, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:
Service represents both participation in the self-governing collegial structure of the University and contributions to our institution, profession, and society.Normally, a faculty member’s service is weighted 20% of his/her departmental appointment. All faculty are expected to contribute to the successful functioning of the department, College, and University, through service on committees and/or formal administrative duties. Faculty at the assistant professor rank are expected to participate in one or two significant service areas each year in order to be considered for promotion. Service to the community at large -- whether in the city, state, or region, nationally or even internationally -- is also a valuable component of service. Documentation of service activities is provided by the individual faculty members.
The record should indicate regular and meaningful participation in activities necessary to the successful functioning of the department, College, and/or University, including (at a minimum) significant service on committees 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.
At the assistant professor level, University service need not include a significant component outside the department. External service, especially to the profession or nation, is highly desirable and the opportunity to participate in such is accepted as an independent assessment of academic stature. Other factors affect the opportunity for external service, and expectations of individual faculty members differ depending upon other responsibilities and duties.
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 of Art History, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:
A broader range of service opportunities is commonly available to faculty with increasing experience and time in rank. Associate and full professors are expected to make more substantial contributions in this area. The record should indicate significant participation in activities necessary to the successful functioning of the department, College, and/or University, including participation at departmental meetings. In addition, 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.) is expected for the award of promotion to the rank of professor. A record demonstrating leadership at the department, College, University, or professional level indicates meritorious service beyond minimum expectations.
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.
Promotion and Tenure Procedures
The Department of Art History 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 Committee. The Department of Art History Promotion and Tenure Committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service. Responsibility for the initial review lies with the department in which the candidate has his or her principal appointment. In the department, the initial review committee is the Promotion and Tenure Committee. The committee consists of all faculty holding equal or higher rank to the rank for which the candidate is being considered. Those members of the department who hold joint positions in another unit (e.g., Spencer Museum of Art, another KU department) participate fully—that is, one person/one vote—in the review and voting process in accordance with their faculty rank. The departmental chairperson oversees and coordinates the organization of the promotion and tenure review process, and assures that the promotion and tenure form is accurate and complete.
No students or untenured faculty members, except unclassified academic staff with the rank equivalent to or higher than associate professor, shall serve on the department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee or vote on any recommendation concerning promotion and/or tenure.
Initiation of Review. Prior to the beginning of the spring semester, the Provost shall notify all faculty whose mandatory review year will be the following academic year, with copies provided to unit administrators and the dean. Upon receipt of this notice or if a faculty member requests it prior to the mandatory review year, the unit shall initiate procedures for evaluating the candidate for the award of tenure or tenure and promotion in rank.
At or before the beginning of the spring semester, the unit shall consider the qualifications of all 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 unit determines that those qualifications may warrant promotion in rank, or if the faculty member requests it, the unit shall initiate procedures for reviewing the faculty member for promotion to 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 department’s 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 review 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. For College specific requirements and guidelines, please refer to “Section B. Process for Obtaining Evaluation Letters for External Reviewers” within the College’s posted policy for promotion and tenure.
When soliciting external reviews of a candidate’s scholarship, the department’s 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."
In the spring semester preceding the review year, the chair of the department in consultation with the candidate chooses one eligible faculty member to oversee the review of the candidate’s research, one to oversee the review of teaching, and one to oversee review of service. The chairperson may veto a candidate’s choice of reviewing faculty member, just as a designated faculty member may decline to serve as overseer of any of the three reviewed areas. If the pool of potential overseers among the departmental faculty is prohibitively small, the chairperson may serve as any one (or more) of these three overseers.
Upon completion of the promotion and tenure form by the candidate, all eligible faculty members review the materials that s/he has submitted, the outside evaluations of the candidate’s research, the peer-reviews of teaching, student evaluations, and other teaching-related materials, and any other relevant information that has been added to the dossier. The completed, confidential promotion and/or tenure file will be left in the department chair’s office for at least seven working days before a discussion and vote by the department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee is to take place. All faculty members of appropriate rank should consult the file.
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. All discussions and deliberations in the promotion and/or tenure review process are strictly confidential.
Each faculty member in charge of the review of the candidate’s research, or teaching, or service writes a draft of the appropriate evaluation for the promotion and tenure form prescribed by the accompanying instructions. Those draft evaluations are discussed, edited, if necessary, and approved by the department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee at their meeting, which the department chair oversees, to evaluate the candidate’s promotion and/or tenure dossier.
In the Department of Art History, voting procedures are as follows:
Following discussion at the meeting of the department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee, each committee member, including the department chair, is asked to provide, by secret ballot, a rating (excellent, very good, good, marginal, or poor) for teaching, research, and service. These votes are counted and tallied at the meeting by the department chair and one other committee member in order to arrive at the final evaluation in each category, which requires a simple majority of votes. Finally, each committee member provides, by secret ballot, a vote to recommend or not recommend promotion and/or tenure, which also requires a simple majority of votes for a favorable recommendation.
The department Promotion and Tenure Committee shall prepare the evaluation and summary evaluation sections of the promotion and tenure form. The form and recommendations shall be forwarded to the department chair, who shall indicate separately, in writing, whether he or she concurs or disagrees with the majority recommendations of department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee. The department chair shall communicate the recommendations of the initial review, and his/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 department chair shall inform the candidate that he/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 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 department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee. The department chair and/or the department’s Promotion and Tenure 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.
Department of Art History
University of Kansas
Spencer Museum of Art
1301 Mississippi Street
Lawrence, KS 66045
02/11/2019: Converted to live text page.
06/15/2017: Converted to policy PDF page.
06/12/2017: Approved by Dean of CLAS. Updated FSRR 6.5.1.
09/04/2015: Made updates to boiler plate text.
03/13/2012: Approved by the Department of History of Art.
03/06/2012: Approved by The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure.