Promotion and Tenure Procedures, Department of Visual Art
To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the Department of Visual Art.
Faculty within the Department of Visual Art.
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.
The Department of Visual Art puts a high premium on conscientious, concerned, and skillful teaching. The committee considers the candidate's overall record as a teacher. The following are considered: (a) performance in undergraduate classes (spanning beginning to advanced level courses), the development of any special topics classes, and independent hours with advanced undergraduate students, (b) engagement with graduate students, including independent studio or directed readings hours, involvement with graduate seminar, chairing and/or membership on terminal Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) thesis committees, (c) advising and/or other mentoring in both the undergraduate and graduate arena, and (d) any additional meritorious activities or awards related to teaching activities. The department looks for teaching competence and improvement along this broad spectrum. Peer and student evaluations will be used. Evidence of other teaching activities inside and outside the University are considered. In all activities, considerations of quality and quantity are taken into account.
In addition to materials required by the Promotion and Tenure Form, candidates for promotion should build a teaching portfolio for evaluation by the department, College, and University promotion and tenure committees. This portfolio should include a variety of elements that represent the entire scope of teaching activities. Also important are advising activities at all levels, team teaching, guest lecturing, and mentoring of graduate student teaching. The following is a guide to building the teaching portfolio, though it is not meant to exclude anything that the candidate feels appropriate to the evaluation of her or his teaching. Candidates for promotion and tenure should consult with knowledgeable members of the department for advice on what to include in the teaching portfolio.
Possible inclusions in the candidate’s teaching portfolio:
- Examples of syllabi, full course descriptions, classroom assignments, and other teaching materials.
- Examples of student work from a variety of classes.
- Evidence of participation in teaching workshops, symposia, etc. (at the Center for Teaching Excellence and /or elsewhere).
- Evidence of activities related to public representations of teaching beyond the University of Kansas.
- Teaching related outcomes and special teaching initiatives (student travel, student exhibitions, etc.).
- Self-evaluation and reflections on courses the candidate has taught. (New teaching materials, restructuring of syllabi, teaching innovations, shifts in classroom priorities, etc.).
The Department review will also reflect:
- Confidential student teaching evaluation statistics from all courses taught (since previous promotion).
- Confidential letters from colleagues who have visited the candidate’s classes specifically for the purpose of evaluation. Arrangements for this purpose should be made prior to the mandatory year. It is strongly suggested that there are two faculty members present at any evaluation.
- Letters from departmental colleagues who have knowledge of the candidate’s teaching profile generally, or some specific aspect of it that they are familiar with in other contexts.
- Confidential letters solicited from former students at the request of the candidate or the Promotion and Tenure Committee.
- Confidential letters from colleagues outside the department who have information about the candidate’s extra-departmental activities when available.
- Confidential letters from colleagues at other institutions who have had the opportunity to observe the candidate in a teaching capacity.
- Copies of articles by the candidate, specifically about teaching matters.
- Student comments from teaching evaluations conducted each semester according to University policy, and maintained in the department office
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 and successful teaching, as reflected in such factors as command of the subject matter, the ability to communicate effectively in the classroom, a demonstrated strong commitment to student learning, and involvement in providing advice and support for students outside the classroom.
In the Department of Visual Art, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: Based on the specifics mentioned above for the award of tenure and/or promotion to associate professor the department expects evidence of a serious and ongoing commitment to the wide-ranging teaching mission of the department, evidence of the development of successful teaching strategies and outcomes, and strong indications of future development towards the eventual goal of excellence in teaching.
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 Visual Art, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for promotion to the rank of professor: Based on specifics mentioned above, for promotion to the rank of professor, the record must indicate a continued commitment, effectiveness and growth to the wide-ranging teaching mission of the department with evidence of fully engaged and highly skilled pedagogical strategies.
Creative Research and/or 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 Visual Art faculty members are engaged in a wide variety of activities that are defined as creative and scholarly research. While productivity is expected, quantity per se is not a singular measure. Each specific area within the department contains certain unique kinds of activity and evaluation is based on related standards; there is no hierarchy established between methodologies.
Faculty creative studio research is measured by productivity and regular engagement in studio work. Faculty members who write about art and curate exhibitions are also contributing to their research. Mastery of skills and mastery of materials and techniques are, of course, important. Each artist's work is also expected to reflect a conceptual awareness relevant to traditional and/or contemporary practices. The work is related to and influenced by other art and carries within its style and structure the history or ontology of related style and form. Work is subjected to evaluation based on criteria of local, regional, national, and international acceptance of the faculty member’s efforts. Recognition begins with various levels of public and private exhibition sites and the sources of support for such exhibitions. These exhibitions may be group or individual, competitive, invitational, or assembled by a curator. Alternative exhibition venues are often essential for presentation of atypical, non-traditional, and/or experimental creative research. In addition to gallery and museum spaces, other venues for time-based art may include film screenings or festivals. Community-based art productions may occur in particular public venues as dictated by the nature of the project. Adjudicated online venues and publication are also considered.
The quality of the venue is evaluated; the level of exposure is important. In the case of a museum, or a professional gallery, the reputation is considered; if at a non-profit or educational setting, the quality and status of the gallery is also significant. The importance of adjudicated exhibitions is evaluated based on both the reputation of the exhibition as well as the adjudicator. Public art commissions are subjected to a highly competitive process by a selection panel. Film screenings and festivals, are subjected to similar criteria. Solo exhibitions as well as high quality venues at international and national locations are looked upon favorably. Acquisitions, commissions, public art projects, screenings, festivals, and other outcomes are subjected to a similar evaluation. It is recognized that certain activities and resulting products have different prospects for exposure due to limited opportunities for a specific types of work. These include, but are not limited to: various impediments (size, weight, fragility) for shipping certain artworks (and conversely the potential of increased exposure because of the nature of products within a specific studio practice), limited exposure due to the controversial nature of certain work, and/or because work might be site specific, time based, or temporal in nature.
Other sources of evaluation for creative activity include, but are not limited to, the acquisition of artwork for both public and private collections, critical reviews, monographs, exhibition catalogs, inclusion in art books, bibliographies, grants and awards, etc. While productivity is expected, quantity per se is not a singular measure. In addition, visual artists are often engaging in related research that is considered a part of their productivity; critical writing, curatorial activities, manuscript and journal reviewing and editing, artist lectures, panel presentations, and adjudicating. All of which enrich the public reputation of the artist, as well as the studio experience.
Research that represents a primarily text based scholarly track is also considered important practice. In evaluation of traditional scholarly research within the department, primary consideration is placed on the quality and extension of knowledge through publication and presentation. Scholarly activities includes, but is not limited to, the following: publication of original research, commentary, and review of peer scholarship in authored books, scholarly journals, edited books, monographs, research reports; presentation of research at professional meetings; editing books and scholarly journals; consulting; and earning grants, awards, and/or fellowships from external sources. The quality of these activities is primarily determined by the prestige of the publisher, publication, professional meeting, or organization. Peer reviewed journals are more highly regarded than journals that are not moderated by an editorial board or do not involve peer reviews. Publications whose audiences are international or national are more highly regarded than publications with regional or local readership.
The exploration and development of a unique creative voice is a force that continues to alter and invigorate our culture. Faculty research reflects a variety of competing discourses and the constantly shifting ground of aesthetic judgment. The evaluation of creative and scholarly research in the Department of Visual Art requires the broad judgment by professionals and peers, which reflects the diversity of our practices.
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 research 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, focused, developing and productive scholarly agenda.
In the Department of Visual Art the following creative research and/or scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: The record must indicate an ambitious and focused research agenda that is resulting in successful outcomes at the regional and national level. Because the department embraces a wide variety of activities that are defined as creative and/or scholarly research, and there is no hierarchy established between methodologies and there is no exact formula that can be regarded as a pre-determined measurement of success. Rather, the specific faculty research engagement is measured based on accepted standards of excellence in their particular areas of expertise. The overall representations of the candidate’s research must indicate a consistent pattern that represents an effective and developing career. Meaningful evaluation of creative and scholarly research in the department requires the broad judgment by other professionals in the field who have knowledge of the candidate‘s arena of practice.
Under the University standards for promotion to the rank of professor, the record must demonstrate an established studio or scholarly career, as reflected in such factors as a substantial and ongoing pattern of publication or creative research 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 substantial, ongoing, active and productive scholarly career.
In the Department of Visual Art the following creative research and/or scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the promotion to the rank of professor: The record must demonstrate an established studio or scholarly career that reflects ongoing critical acceptance at the national and/or international level as measured by professionals knowledgeable about the standards of the particular candidate’s practice.
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 Visual Art 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.
Departmental service, as assigned by the department chair, is required of all faculty members, including, but not limited to, participation on department committees as well as attendance at faculty and department meetings. Especially important in evaluating faculty service are the following: (1) University service, including participation on departmental, College, School of the Arts, or University committees. (2) Professional service outside the University that is related to the mission of the department or University which includes but is not limited to service to the discipline or profession, professionally related public activities, and service at the local, state, national, or international level. Professional service encompasses activities such as review of external grant applications for funding agencies and/or promotion and tenure files for other institutions, and serving as an officer in a professional society.
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 Visual Art the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: the record must demonstrate appropriate contributions of service to the department, College or University, to the discipline or profession, and/or to the local, state, national, or international communities. Service contributions should be measured in context with the candidate’s development in the teaching and research arenas.
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: The record must indicate an ongoing and elevated commitment to service related activities within the various levels of the university community as well as service directly related to the department or candidate’s professional area’s mission at a local, regional, national and/or international level.
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 recommendation for promotion and/or tenure in the Department of Visual Art, a certain standard of quality must be met. Specifically, the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee will require a rating of ‘Good’ in each of the three areas (teaching, research, and service). Strong candidates are likely to exceed normal expectations in one or more categories.
Promotion and Tenure Procedures
The Department of Visual Art 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 Visual Art.
Promotion and Tenure Committee. The Department of Visual Art Promotion and Tenure Committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service.
The Department of Visual Art Promotion and Tenure Committee consists of 4 members, appointed by the department chair. Continuity of process will be maintained in the following way: three committee members will be appointed for staggered three-year commitments. The chair will appoint one additional ‘at large’ member each year (April 1 - March 31).
All candidates for promotion and/or tenure will make a presentation to the Promotion and Tenure Committee and to the faculty to familiarize colleagues with their recent teaching, scholarly and/or creative activity and service activities. Presentations will be scheduled early in the fall semester of the mandatory year (or year in which a faculty member is a candidate for promotion).
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 of Visual Art Promotion and Tenure committee or vote on any recommendation concerning promotion and/or tenure. All committee members must hold the appropriate academic rank of or above the rank for which the candidate being considered.
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 Promotion and Tenure 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."
For candidates who will be entering their mandatory tenure year: The mentor(s) the candidate designates in the year prior to the mandatory review year will be the candidate’s promotion and/or tenure mentor(s). The candidate and mentor(s) are expected to work together regarding any questions about the preparation of the dossier. It is also recommended that candidates for promotion to professor consider enlisting the advice of a senior colleague to provide suggestions and opinions regarding the process and materials to be used. If the candidate wishes to include student letters in the dossier, it will be the candidate’s responsibility to provide names and contact information (in a timely manner) to the department Promotion and Tenure Committee to solicit letters. The inclusion of student letters is the prerogative of the candidate, but must not include any students currently enrolled with the professor at the time they are invited to submit the letter.
Recommendations. Upon completion of the record, the Promotion and Tenure Committee shall evaluate the candidate’s record of teaching, scholarship, and service in light of the applicable standards and criteria and rate the candidate in each area of performance and make recommendations concerning the award of tenure and/or promotion in rank.
Along with statements and supplemental materials provided by the candidate, the P&T committee will provide a summary report available to the Faculty Committee of the Whole for review.
The P&T committee will call a special meeting of the Faculty Committee of the Whole. At this meeting, the P& T committee will present their summary of the submitted dossier and P&T committee ratings on teaching, research, and service, as well as the tenure and promotion recommendation. The final recommendation to tenure and/or promotion will be determined by a quorum of eligible faculty with a simple majority vote of the Faculty Committee of the Whole. The Faculty Committee of the Whole includes any/all faculty who are at or above the rank the candidate is seeking for consideration.
The Faculty Committee of the Whole will discuss and vote, via secret ballot, to recommend or not recommend tenure and/or promotion. The final recommendation for tenure and/or promotion will be determined by a majority vote of the Faculty Committee of the Whole.
Using the final vote and any pertinent comments provided at the meeting described above, the P&T committee shall prepare the final 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 initial review. 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 Promotion and Tenure Committee 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 Visual Art chair, who shall immediately provide a copy to the candidate and inform the Promotion and Tenure Committee. The department’s policy is that it is the Promotion and Tenure Committee’s responsibility to prepare the Department of Visual Art’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 Visual Art
University of Kansas
Chalmers Hall 300
1467 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
01/24/2022: Converted from PDF to live text page.
06/19/2017: Converted to policy PDF page.
06/12/2017: Approved by Dean of CLAS. Updated FSRR 6.5.1.
11/13/2015: SPPT reviewed and approved revised policy.
09/11/2015: Unit made changes to their internal procedures including changes to the Unit PT Committee section, Procedures sections, and Recommendations section.
09/04/2015: Made updates to boiler plate text and links.
12/07/2012: Approved by the Department of Visual Art (12/1/12); Amended (May 2, 2014).
10/25/2012: Approved by The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure