Promotion and Tenure Procedures, Department of Psychology
To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the Department of Psychology.
Faculty within the Department of Psychology.
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 of Psychology 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 of Psychology’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/program]’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.
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 Psychology the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:
- Effective teaching of two courses per semester for a faculty member with a 1.0 FTE in the Department of Psychology, with adjustments made for joint appointments, approved leaves, or other approved reduced teaching loads (such as course buyouts from external funding);
- Demonstrated effectiveness in teaching courses at undergraduate or graduate levels;
- Effective undergraduate mentorship and advising as judged by the faculty member’s participation in general undergraduate advising, mentorship of Independent Study students, or direction of Undergraduate Honors theses; or
- Effective graduate advising as assessed through the direction of theses and dissertations, or service on thesis and dissertation committees.
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 Psychology, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:
- Evidence of strong teaching skills in two courses per semester for a faculty member with a 1.0 FTE in the Department of Psychology, with adjustments made for joint appointments, approved leaves, or other approved reduced teaching loads (such as course buyouts from external funding);
- Participation in teaching innovations (participation in CTE activities, development of new courses, internationalizing a course, etc.);
- Demonstrated continuing commitment to advising undergraduate and graduate students both in and outside the classroom; or
- Service as chair and member of undergraduate honor’s theses, master’s and PhD committees.
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 Psychology faculty members are expected to conduct, report, and publish empirical research. No single mechanism can be used to evaluate the quality of research produced by a faculty member. Research performance is assessed in the following ways: (1) Publication of articles in peer-reviewed journals, chapters and books, papers presented at professional meetings, and presentations to national or international audiences. Although peer-reviewed books and articles are weighted most heavily, impactful research contributions often appear in other outlets. In such cases, an explanation of the nature and value of the contribution should be submitted. (2) Attempts to secure extramural funds to support the research program, and especially success in obtaining such funds, are weighed in the evaluation as well. (3) Contribution of research to the University, profession, and larger community, such as national recognition from professional societies, financial support for students, invited lectures, press coverage, or consulting in areas of research expertise are among the example of ways this research contribution is determined.
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 Department of Psychology, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:
- Research engagement and the transmission of his or her findings and conclusions to colleagues or to the public at large;
- Pursuit of extramural research support from public or private funding organizations;
- Dissemination of research results in peer-reviewed publications, books, and book chapters; and
- Presentation of research to professional audiences through scholarly presentations, reviews, and workshops, which are typical means to disseminate scholarly work.
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 Psychology the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:
- Evidence of active research engagement in the laboratory, field, and clinical setting as appropriate;
- Record of successful grant writing;
- Peer review and publication of research results in significant venues that may include, but is not limited to, articles, self-authored books, edited volumes, and chapters; and
- Evidence of research impact including leadership in professional organizations, invited presentation of research to professional audiences, awards related to research activities, press coverage, and consulting in areas of research expertise.
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 Psychology 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 Department of Psychology the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor:
- Regular service to the department through attendance of department meetings;
- Evidence of professional service through journal or grant reviewing;
- Participation in department committees (standing or ad hoc committees, faculty search committees, etc.); and
- Record of service to the College or University (for example, through membership on College or University committees, consultation with University faculty from outside the department, or service as an outside member on student academic committees) or service to the community (local, state, national, international).
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 Psychology the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor:
- Participation and leadership in department committees (standing or ad hoc committees, program-level committees, faculty search committees, etc.);
- Evidence of national service through journal reviewing, editorial activities (as member of an editorial board or serving as an editor or associate editor of a journal), and participation in grant reviewing;
- Record of service to the University through membership on College or University committees or through University Governance; and
- Evidence of service to the community (university, local, state, national, international).
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.
Promotion and Tenure Procedures
The Department of Psychology 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 of Psychology.
Promotion and Tenure Committee. The Department of Psychology review committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service. In the Department of Psychology the initial review committee is the department Promotion and Tenure Committee. The department’s Promotion and Tenure Committee consists of nine members (eight faculty members and the Department Chair who serves as an ex officio, non- voting member) holding the rank of associate professor or above. Representation of the several PhD programs and substantive areas in the Department guides the selection for service on the Promotion and Tenure Committee. The committee is appointed by the Chair in consultation with the heads of each of the PhD programs in the Department. The members of the Promotion and Tenure committee serve a two-year term.
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 promotion and tenure committee or vote on any recommendation concerning promotion and 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 of Psychology.
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 Department of Psychology 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 candidate submits a list of six possible external reviewers, from which the Department Chair selects three. The faculty member’s PhD program head, in consultation with other researchers in the faculty member’s area of expertise, compiles his/her own list of six reviewers (not overlapping with the candidate’s list), from which the Department Chair selects three. If the candidate and department lists do not yield three reviewers each, more names may be solicited from both the candidate and the PhD program head; the final list includes no more than three external reviewers suggested by the candidate. 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.
After the full Promotion and Tenure Committee has discussed all aspects of the promotion and/or tenure case, each member of the Promotion and Tenure Committee is asked to provide, by secret ballot, a rating for teaching, research, and service, as well as a vote to recommend or not recommend promotion and/or tenure. These votes are counted and tallied by the Department Chair in order to arrive at the final recommendation. A simple majority of votes is required for a favorable recommendation.
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 Department Chair, who shall indicate separately, in writing, whether he or she concurs or disagrees with the recommendations of the Promotion and Tenure Committee. The Department of Psychology 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 of Psychology Chair who shall immediately provide a copy to the candidate and inform the Promotion and Tenure 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 Psychology
University of Kansas
Fraser Hall 426
1415 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
01/31/2022: Converted from PDF to live text page.
06/16/2017: 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 and broken link.
04/08/2013: Approved by the Department of Psychology.
03/08/2013: Approved by the Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion & Tenure.