Promotion and Tenure Procedures, Department of Mathematics
To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the Department of Mathematics.
Faculty within the Department of Mathematics.
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.
Effective teaching in the Mathematics Department refers to the faculty member’s dissemination of knowledge to enhance students’ skills, create understanding, and foster intellectual growth. Teaching will be judged based on the entire teaching portfolio of the faculty member in relation to departmental norms relating to the level of coursework and the type of course taught.
Teaching excellence may be achieved in many ways including traditional classroom instruction and one on one teaching or coaching, and may be documented by several means, including the following:
- Student perceptions, with special emphasis on perceived strengths and weaknesses. Systematic student evaluations must be provided for each course taught by the candidate.
- Perceptions of advisees, recent alumni, peer reviews.
- Teaching awards and commendations.
- Service on M.A. and Ph.D. comprehensive examinations and advisory committees, and quality advising and mentoring of graduate students. Special significance is attached to supervising Ph.D. students.
- Course and curricular development to address the needs of the department and the University.
- Teaching related external funding.
All faculty members are expected to teach three courses (or the equivalent) of either undergraduate or graduate mathematics per academic year and to be active in advising. Direction of Ph.D. dissertations is not ordinarily expected of non-tenured faculty; however, such faculty members do occasionally advise M.A. students' work on their research components. All faculty members are expected to take their teaching and advising responsibilities seriously and to strive for excellence in the classroom.
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 of Mathematics, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: The record must substantiate effective teaching and advising, as demonstrated by the candidate’s teaching portfolio, student and peer evaluations, and mentoring of both graduate and undergraduate students.
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 Mathematics, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor: Substantial activity in the mentoring of students, such as chairing MA or PhD committees, offering reading courses, supervising undergraduate research, and effective course development,
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 Mathematics, peer-reviewed research publications constitute the primary evidence of scholarship. The expectation of the department is that the candidate will publish written work in appropriate journals and books. Published works are those that have appeared in a journal or a book that has been released. In press refers to work that has been written and accepted with no substantial revisions pending; a letter from the editor is needed to show that a work is in-press.
1. Publications must be sufficient in both quantity and quality to merit promotion. Criteria for evaluating publications include the following:
a. Refereed articles and books. Evidence of a developed, important research program in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles and/or books is needed. Anonymous peer review as a condition for publication shall be regarded as a sign of acceptance by colleagues in the candidate’s discipline when contribution to scholarship is the purpose of the journal and the criterion of the refereeing.
b. Invited articles in significant journals also can be important scholarly contributions. When the importance of an invited contribution is not established by the reputation of the editor who invites it or the publication in which it appears, other indices of peer acceptance may be cited.
c. External reviewers will be asked to comment on the quality of publications.
d The reputation of the journal(s) in which the candidate publishes will be taken into account..
e. Published reviews of a candidate’s book can be evidence of the importance of its contribution.
f. Acceptance of a candidate’s work may be measured to some extent by the frequency his or her work is cited by colleagues and the quality of the journal in which the work is cited. Sometimes evaluations accompanying citation provide qualitative evidence of the impact of an article, book, or a research agenda developed by the candidate. The reprinting of articles or excerpts in anthologies is a related form of acknowledgment.
g. It is expected that faculty members will present papers at meetings of scholarly associations. Generally, unpublished papers will not be accorded the weight of published papers.
h. Publishing reviews of scholarly articles and research monographs in review journals is also a form of scholarly contribution.
2. Research funding. The receipt of a research grant, especially from a funding source outside the University, is strong evidence of peer acceptability of the faculty member’s research and is highly commendable. Submission of research projects to funding agencies is a form of scholarly activity.
3. Record: The portfolio 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. The following variables are also taken into consideration when evaluating research:
a. Evidence of a developed, important research program in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles and/or books. The research must be sufficient both in terms of quantity and quality.
b. The favorable response of peers to the individual’s work as evidenced by 1) letters of recommendation, 2) awards, and 3) reviews.
c. Evidence that published expertise in a particular area has led to such professional activities as: guest lecturers; consultantships; post-doctoral fellowships; requests to contribute to professional meetings, symposia, and scholarly collections; and national and international recognition and honors.
d. The reprinting of portions of books and articles in the works of peers.
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 Mathematics, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: Non-tenured faculty are expected to develop and maintain an active research program which gains national recognition and is advanced substantially beyond the level of the Ph.D. thesis. It should provide solid evidence that the faculty member is a dedicated scholar whose research will continue to develop in depth and importance throughout his or her career.
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 Mathematics, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of professor: The research of the candidate should achieve a level of maturity and excellence that is manifested by a significant impact on the professor's field. It should be known and respected internationally by the best scholars in his/her field.
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 Mathematics 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.
Examples of service to the profession include reviewing funding proposals and journal articles, serving on editorial boards, organizing professional meetings or conferences, and service to professional organizations.
In the Mathematics Department, service can be provided to the Department, College, University, community, and discipline. It can be expressed through local, state, national, and international avenues. A faculty member must be able to document his/her activities in public and professional service. Such documentation can be provided by indicating the specific types of activities including:
1. Membership and effective participation on departmental committees.
2. Membership and effective participation on College or University committees.
3. Election to and effective work in offices at the College or University level.
4. Consultation activity at the local, state, national, and international levels.
5. Effective work in the community in relation to the mission of the department.
6. Effective participation in positions with regional, national and international professional societies.
7. Refereeing research articles for publication; reviewing proposals for external funding agencies.
8. Journal editorships and editorial board memberships.
9. Effective administrative work in Department, College, or University offices.
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 Mathematics, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: Service is expected at a level commensurate with rank. Non-tenured faculty are expected to participate in appropriate professional activities, such as attending department meetings, carrying out departmental committee assignments, attending national meetings or conferences, and refereeing or reviewing manuscripts for research journals. The service level for a non-tenured faculty establishes a record that demonstrates professional responsibility and develops capacity for the non-tenured faculty member to assume future departmental, College, University, and professional roles.
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 apply for the promotion to the rank of professor: Effective and substantial service to the department and University in the form of serving on and chairing committees at the departmental level and serving on College and University committees; service to the profession in the form of refereeing journal articles, writing reviews of journal articles, organizing conferences and workshops, serving on review panels for external funding agencies, serving in editorial positions for journals, and participation in mathematical outreach activities.
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, and strong candidates are likely to exceed normal expectations in one or more categories
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 Committee. The departmental review committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service. In the Department of Mathematics, the preliminary review of candidates takes place at a specially designated meeting of the associate and full professors during the spring semester. The date of this meeting is made known in advance to all tenured faculty so that potential candidates are aware and can ask the Executive Committee to be considered. During the first part of this meeting, the Executive Committee presents the names of candidates for promotion to the rank of associate professor with tenure.
After full discussion, the tenured faculty decides whether or not to begin the initial review of each candidate. The associate professors are then excused, and the Executive Committee presents the names of candidates for promotion (or promotion and tenure) to the rank of full professor. Again, after full discussion, the full professors decide whether or not to begin the initial review of each candidate.
After this meeting, an initial review committee (or promotion and tenure committee) is appointed for each approved candidate by the Chair of the department in consultation with the Executive Committee. Each such committee will consist of at least three tenured faculty members together with the Chair (who is not a voting member of the committee(s)). Associate professors may serve on the initial review committees of candidates for associate professor, but not on those of candidates for full professor.
In the Fall semester, the recommendation(s) of the promotion and tenure committee(s) shall be forwarded for consideration to a committee of the whole consisting of all faculty members holding the appropriate academic rank in the Department of Mathematics. Faculty members must be of equal or higher rank than the rank for which the candidate is being considered.
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.
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 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 departmental 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 from External Reviewers” within the College’s posted policy for promotion and tenure.
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, determined by consensus, consists of ratings in each of the three areas, supported by detailed write-ups of the candidate’s performance in all three areas, together with a recommendation for or against promotion and/or tenure. These recommendations, together with all other supporting evidence, are made available for consideration to a committee of the whole consisting of all faculty members holding the appropriate academic rank. In the Mathematics Department, this committee consists of either (a) all tenured associate and full professors (for promotion of assistant professors) or (b) all tenured full professors (for promotion of associate professors).
In the Department of Mathematics, voting procedures are as follows: The recommendation of the promotion and tenure committee is presented to the committee of the whole. After full discussion of the recommendation, including possible modification of the ratings by majority vote, the committee of the whole votes by secret ballot. A favorable departmental recommendation requires the approval of ¾ of the members who voted.
The Promotion and Tenure 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.
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 initial review 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.
Department of Mathematics
University of Kansas
Snow Hall 405
1460 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
06/16/2017: Converted to policy PDF page.