Promotion and Tenure Procedures, Department of Philosophy
To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the Department of Philosophy.
Faculty within the Department of Philosophy.
Guidelines for tenure and promotion must be compatible with (1) the department’s own view as to what constitutes philosophic excellence, (2) the general criteria for promotion and/or tenure set forth in the formal policy statements of the College and University; and (3) the current and recent interpretation of the general criteria as manifested in the standards deemed sufficient for tenure and/or promotion by the College and the University committees in actual cases over recent years.
With respect to (1), it may seem obvious that from the department’s point of view, the central consideration for such evaluations is that a candidate show demonstrable quality as a philosopher. This indeed is the underlying presupposition throughout all our decisions concerning tenure and/or promotion. But College and University policies require that such qualitative judgments be objectified and quantified as much as possible. Also, candidates need and deserve to know, in more specific terms, what criteria are being employed and what counts as evidence that the criteria are satisfied.
Consequently, it is imperative that qualitative judgments be supported by demonstrable evidence as expressed in the academic performance of candidates and presented in a way which is understandable to non-philosophers. With respect to (2), the criteria for tenure and/or promotion are stated in terms of the traditional categories of teaching/advising, scholarship and service. Our experience has confirmed that recommendations which are weak or insufficiently supported in terms of College and University expectations are not only unsuccessful, but also adversely affect the credibility of the department’s subsequent recommendations. Consequently, it is important to the department as a whole that recommendations sent forward are well-supported and stand more than a merely marginal chance of success. To do otherwise is unrealistic. Consequently, with respect to (3), the following guidelines attempt to specify the minimal conditions sufficient for tenure and/or promotion based on (a) conformity with the general guidelines of the College and University, and (b) conformity with the standards applied to successful recommendations in the context of recent and current practice. A candidate who believes that he or she satisfies these criteria is eligible to be considered for tenure and/or promotion by the appropriate departmental promotion and tenure committee. A candidate who is supported by the relevant committee will be recommended to the College committee.
Accordingly, all persons who are interested in or are being recommended for tenure and/or promotion should review (in addition to these guidelines) the following documents:
- Article VI of the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations
- “Statement on Promotion and Tenure for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences”
- The Provost’s Office’s “Promotion and Tenure Guidelines”
A.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.
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.
C.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.
3.Promotion and Tenure Standards
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 scholarship, teaching, and service, except when weight is differentiated for unclassified academic staff members pursuant to their job description.
- General Principles
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.
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.
- Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
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.
The following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor. More particularly, the Department of Philosophy considers the candidate’s overall record as a teacher: underclass courses (small, big, honors), courses for junior/senior students (including honors essays), graduate courses (including tutorials, seminars), thesis and dissertation work. The department looks for teaching competence at a number of places along this broad spectrum. Both peer and student evaluations will be used. The department puts a high premium on conscientious, concerned, and skillful teaching. Considerations of quality, quantity, significance, and impact are taken into account.
Candidates for promotion to associate professor should think in terms of building a teaching profile for evaluation by the department, College, and University promotion and tenure committees. This profile should include a variety of evaluative elements from the entire scope of teaching activities, including teaching at all levels, teaching of large and small classes, thesis and dissertation work, advising activities at all levels, team teaching, guest lecturing, and mentoring of graduate student teaching. The following is a guide to building the teaching profile, though it is not meant to exclude anything that the candidate feels appropriate to the evaluation of her or his teaching.
The teaching profile must include the following:
- Confidential letters solicited by the department chair from students at the request of the candidate or the department.
- Confidential student teaching evaluations from every course taught.
The teaching profile should include some of the following:
- Examples of syllabi and other teaching materials.
- Letters from colleagues who have seen the candidate teach or lecture to a largely student audience in some format (confidential evaluations by colleagues who have visited the candidate’s classes for the purpose of evaluation, guest lectures in their classes, auditors from the classes, lectures to Western Civilization instructors, and/or team taught classes). It is better if at least one of these letters is confidential, solicited at the candidate’s request by the department chair.
- Letters from colleagues outside the department who have special information about the candidate’s extra-departmental advising activities (e.g., Honors Program advising, University Scholars advising, and/or advising for interdisciplinary units such as Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), where available.
Other elements that could be helpful to the committees but are optional include:
- Confidential evaluations by colleagues of videotapes of the candidate’s classes.
- Confidential evaluations by colleagues of the candidate’s teaching profile generally, or some specific aspect of it that they are familiar with.
- A teaching diary, which is a self-evaluation of and reflection on each course the candidate has taught at the end of the semester in which it is taught.
- Examples of written comments on papers.
- Evidence of participation in teaching workshops, symposia, etc.
- Copies of articles by the candidate specifically about teaching philosophy.
Candidates for promotion and/or tenure should consult with knowledgeable members of the department for advice on what to include in the teaching profile, especially regarding items in the third category above.
- Promotion to Professor
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.
The following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor. More particularly, the Department of Philosophy has established the following criteria for merit in teaching, and a candidate for promotion to professor should normally satisfy several of them.
- The candidate has been in demand and has served effectively as a supervisor of Ph.D. dissertations, M.A. theses, honors theses, etc.
- The candidate has engaged in regular and competent service on thesis, dissertation, and comprehensive examination committees. Account is also taken of service on the final examination committees for theses and dissertations.
- The candidate’s non-required undergraduate courses have been well regarded by students as evidenced by such matters as student reports, enrollment, etc.
- The candidate has taught courses well in a variety of subject matters at many levels.
- The candidate has spent more than ordinary time in teaching both in and out of the classroom at all levels of instruction.
- The candidate has provided very good service as an academic advisor.
- The candidate has frequently participated in teaching in interdisciplinary programs or in other departments and programs at the University.
- The candidate has consistently been evaluated as exceptional by students and faculty using objective data where available or by such recognition as teaching awards, nominations, etc.
- The candidate has provided high quality participation in the honors program.
- The candidate has been willing to respond to the department’s teaching needs and has done so successfully (e.g., in basic courses, service courses, outreach courses, course organization and coordination, supervision of Teaching Assistants, etc.).
- The candidate has been successful in creating and teaching innovative courses, interdisciplinary courses, etc., which have been well regarded.
- General Principles
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 Philosophy, scholarship is defined as the production of philosophical articles, book chapters, and books; the presentation of philosophical papers or lectures; and participation in philosophical symposia at conferences, meetings of philosophical and other academic societies, and in other academic fora.
- Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
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.
The following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor. More particularly, the Department of Philosophy interprets this as involving the completion of at least one substantial, philosophical article (or the equivalent, e.g., a book chapter of high quality) each year, on average, over the period of years prior to a recommendation for tenure and/or promotion. A candidate for the promotion to the rank of associate professor, therefore, should typically have at least six published (or forthcoming) substantial, refereed, philosophical articles of high quality (or the equivalent of this, as judged by Promotion and Tenure Committee B, in terms of a combination of a high quality book and fewer articles, etc.). Candidates should focus on publication in high quality, refereed, well regarded sources that are generally recognized as such by the philosophical community. Although all legitimate research activity and publication count towards tenure and/or promotion, a majority of a candidate’s publications should be in the aforementioned, well regarded sources. Candidates for tenure and/or promotion should also plan on presenting one departmental colloquium paper each year. It should also be understood that the above constitutes a minimum standard for consideration for tenure and/or promotion by Promotion and Tenure Committee B, and does not constitute a guarantee that a promotion recommendation will be subsequently endorsed by the College or University committee.
- Promotion to Professor
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.
More particularly, the Department of Philosophy has established the following criteria, and requires that a candidate satisfy (i), (ii), and at least two of the criteria from (iii) through (vii).
- Total publication: Over the complete career of the candidate up to the time of promotion, the candidate must have established himself or herself as a recognized scholar in the field of philosophy. This can be established either by a total of at least 12 substantial philosophical articles in professional, refereed journals (refereed monographs in well regarded monograph series are also considered in this class) or the equivalent of this total of articles (as judged by Promotion and Tenure Committee A) as evidenced by a combination of book(s) and articles, etc. The majority of the articles should be of high quality and published in highly regarded, refereed journals, journals generally recognized as such by the philosophical community. Books must be (a) refereed, (b) published with an acceptable press, (c) in the professional field (philosophy), (d) of high philosophical quality, (e) not merely an introductory text of little philosophical import, (f) not merely edited, and (g) not an “in house” publication. (It should be understood that articles, books and other publications that do not meet the above criteria shall also count toward one’s overall publication record, but that the above criteria constitute the minimum for consideration for promotion to the professorial rank, regardless of other publication.) Promotion and Tenure Committee A, may, on occasion, make an exception to these criteria where such an exception is warranted by considerations of philosophical merit and quality.
- Publication since promotion to associate professor: Since promotion to the rank of associate professor, the candidate must have published at least 6 articles that meet the criteria in (i) above or an equivalent combination (as judged by Promotion and Tenure Committee A) of a book and articles that meets the criteria in (i) above. It is understood that any of the articles or books that satisfy this requirement will also count toward the satisfaction of the overall requirement of (i) above.
- Since promotion to associate professor, publication of edited works, introductory texts, “in house” publications, unrefereed publications workbooks, etc.
- Since promotion to associate professor, publication of book reviews, discussion notes, abstracts, articles in minor journals, unrefereed articles in anthologies, etc.
- Since promotion to associate professor, success in receiving research grants especially from external agencies but also including university research grants.
- Since promotion to associate professor, papers read at professional meetings, societies, other universities (departmental colloquia, etc., are also taken into account).
- Since promotion to associate professor, national and/or international recognition through citations, awards, reviews, commentaries or other kinds of recognition of a candidate’s work, papers delivered, service as a chair or commentator at professional meetings, and other professional activities of a research nature.
- General Principles
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.
- Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor
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.
The following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor. More particularly, among the types of service that the Department of Philosophy considers in the context of promotion to associate professor are: professional service (journal refereeing, editorial work, appointments on professional boards or committees, professional consultation, etc.) and University, College and department service (committees, administrative appointments, boards, etc.).
Candidates should exhibit a reasonable amount of professional, University, College, and department service corresponding to the 40/40/20 weighting. This would typically require that the candidate have at least a modest record of professional service, e.g., some journal reviewing or equivalent service, or perhaps some experience as an officer or member of an organizing committee of a local, regional or national conference, etc.; some significant departmental service on one of its standing or ad hoc committees, or perhaps a departmental administrative appointment; and some committee service beyond the department.
- Promotion to Professor
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.
The following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor. More particularly, the Department of Philosophy judges merit in service, for the purposes of promotion or appointment to the rank of professor, by such evidence as the following:
- Holding an administrative office in the department, College, or University.
- Serving on major College and University committees especially as chairperson.
- Serving as an officer of professional societies or as a member of various professional executive committees, special committees, program committees, professional organizations, etc.
- Frequent presentation of invited lectures to University and community groups, both formally and informally.
- Serving in an editorial capacity for professional journals, etc.; also serving as a referee for journals, publishers, etc.
- High quality departmental service over and above what is usually expected.
- High quality service as a representative of the University to various agencies or organizations.
- Various kinds of community or national service which has value for the department, College, or University.
E.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:
- “Excellent” means that the candidate substantially exceeds expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.
- “Very Good” means the candidate exceeds expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.
- “Good” means the candidate meets expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.
- “Marginal” means the candidate falls below expectations for tenure and/or promotion to this rank.
- “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. In order for a candidate to be eligible for a departmental recommendation for promotion, a certain standard of quality must be met. Specifically, the departmental committee (Promotion and Tenure Committee B or Promotion and Tenure Committee A) requires (1) a rating of at least “Very Good” in each of the three areas (teaching, scholarship, service), or (2) a rating of “Excellent” in teaching or scholarship, in which case the service requirement could be satisfied by a rating of at least “Good.” The relevant committee may sometimes make an exception to these requirements when, in its judgment, there is a sound extenuating reason to do so. When such an exception has been made, this fact will be explicitly spelled out in the appropriate supporting documentation sent to the College and University committees and the reason(s) for the exception given. Furthermore, in the particular case of promotion to professor, Promotion and Tenure Committee A is still free to refrain from making such a recommendation if it judges the case to be marginal or otherwise unlikely to succeed.
4.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.
B.Promotion and Tenure Committee
For the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor, the candidate’s teaching, scholarship, and service shall be evaluated by Promotion and Tenure Committee B, consisting of all tenured members of the department and chaired by the chair of the department. For promotion to the rank of professor, the candidate’s teaching, scholarship, and service shall be evaluated by Promotion and Tenure Committee A, consisting of all tenured full professors. If the department chair is a member of Promotion and Tenure Committee A, he or she is the chair of that committee. If he or she is not a member of that committee, he or she shall appoint the chair of that committee from among its members.
No students or untenured faculty members, except unclassified academic staff with the rank equivalent to or higher than associate professor, shall serve on either committee or vote on any recommendation concerning promotion and/or tenure.
C.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.
D.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.
Promotion and Tenure Committee A or Promotion and Tenure Committee B, as appropriate, 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 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 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.”
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.
Voting is conducted in a meeting of the committee and by secret ballot. Committee members may cast affirmative votes, negative votes, or abstentions. A majority of non-abstention votes (i.e., more affirmative votes than negative votes) is necessary and sufficient for an affirmative committee recommendation.
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 department chair, who shall indicate separately, in writing, whether he or she concurs or disagrees with the recommendations of the committee. 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, scholarship, 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 Promotion and Tenure Committee B or Promotion and Tenure Committee A, as appropriate. The department 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 Philosophy
University of Kansas
Wescoe Hall 3090
1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
02/04/2022: Converted from PDF to live text page.
06/16/2017: Converted 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 and broken links.
02/29/2012: Approved by the Department of Philosophy.
02/23/2012: Approved by The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure.