Promotion and Tenure Procedures, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
To articulate the standards and procedures for promotion and/or tenure for the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Faculty within the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
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.
These standards have been adopted by vote of all eligible faculty members.
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.
Progress Towards Tenure
Mentorship. Upon appointment, tenure-track faculty will be assigned a faculty mentor by the chair in consultation with Core Faculty. The faculty mentor shall be a tenured member of the WGSS Core Faculty. The faculty mentor will consult regularly with their mentee and serve as a resource to guide the mentee in the development of a successful career of teaching and scholarship, and to assist the mentee in the documentation of their accomplishments for the purposes of the tenure process.
Transparency. Before the end of the first semester following appointment, tenure-track faculty will be provided with information concerning the standards and procedures for award of tenure and promotion in rank, including copies of this document and of the Provost’s guidelines and forms.
Progress Towards Tenure Review (PTTR). Approximately midway between a nontenured faculty member’s appointment and the mandatory review year (typically in the 3rd year), the WGSS Department will conduct a formal review of the faculty member’s progress towards tenure. The purpose of this review is to provide faculty members with a meaningful appraisal of their progress towards tenure and orient them towards basic aspects of the tenure process. The Progress Towards Tenure Review will be conducted according to the guidelines issued by the Provost. Neither the record of the review nor its results shall be included in a faculty member’s promotion and tenure record and recommendations for or against promotion and tenure should not be influenced by favorable or unfavorable results of the PTTR.
Non-reappointment. Any non-reappointment prior to the mandatory review year must comply with requirements described in FSRR 6.4.3.
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/or creative activity, 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; teaching honors and awards; participation in curriculum development for the department; and innovations in teaching; 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, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor. As indicated by multiple sources of evaluation (outlined below), the record must demonstrate that a candidate’s teaching reflects knowledge of her/his field and the recent developments therein, and that the candidate is effective in encouraging students' interest, pointing them toward the broader implications of their study, generally encouraging their development as perceptive readers, articulate writers, and critical thinkers. The record must also give indication of responsible fulfillment of all duties associated with teaching, including prompt and regular holding of class sessions and office hours, timely and sufficient grading and comments on assignments, acceptable and fair expectations and criteria for student work (as judged by disciplinary standards), adequate class preparation, and effective use of class time.
More particularly, the department considers the candidate’s overall record as a teacher: courses at all levels and class sizes (including honors and seminars), and dissertation work. The department looks for teaching competence at a number of places along this broad spectrum. The department puts a high premium on conscientious, concerned, and skillful teaching as well as its quality, quantity, significance, and impact. Both peer and student evaluations will be used.
Candidates for promotion to associate professor should think in terms of building a teaching portfolio for evaluation by the department, College, and University promotion and tenure committees. This portfolio should include a variety of evaluative elements from the entire scope of teaching activities, including teaching at all levels and classes, 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 portfolio, though it is not meant to exclude anything that the candidate feels appropriate to the evaluation of her or his teaching.
The teaching portfolio should include the following:
- Confidential student teaching evaluations from every course taught.
- 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.
- Letters from colleagues outside the department who have special information about the candidate’s extra-departmental advising activities (e.g., Honors Program advising, and/or advising for other units), where available.
Other elements that could be helpful to the committees but are optional include:
- 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 graded exams and written comments on course 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.
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, the following teaching expectations to meet University standards apply for the promotion to the rank of professor: In addition to the expectations described above for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor, the record must demonstrate some of the following (listed here in unranked order):
- The candidate has been in demand and has served effectively as a supervisor of Ph.D. dissertations within the department and of M.A. theses, honors theses, Ph.D. dissertations outside the department.
- 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 on teaching both in and out of the classroom at all levels of instruction.
- The candidate has provided excellent 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.
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 Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, scholarship is defined as engaging in scholarly research and/or creative activity and contributing to the intellectual discourse in WGSS and affiliated disciplines. As an interdisciplinary program that draws faculty members from multiple disciplines, as well as those with interdisciplinary backgrounds, WGSS recognizes that both the qualitative and quantitative expectations of research are highly contingent on the faculty member’s disciplinary or interdisciplinary standards.
Under the University standards for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor, the record must demonstrate a successfully developing scholarly career, as reflected in such factors as the quality and quantity of publications or creative activities, external reviews of the candidate’s work by respected scholars or practitioners in the field, the candidate’s regional, national, or international reputation, and other evidence of an active and productive scholarly agenda.
In the department, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: scholarship that merits tenure and/or promotion would include evidence of a scholarly or creative program that goes well beyond research or creative activity completed for the terminal degree and that exhibits promise of continuing productivity. In order to be granted tenure in the department, the successful candidate will have at least a monograph under contract and accepted by the press for publication; or five peer-reviewed articles; or the equivalent. The Department also considers evidence of continued scholarly engagement, which could include external grants and fellowships, peer-reviewed conference presentation, edited volumes and journal forums, curatorial work, creative works, publicly engaged scholarship, digital scholarship, expert witness testimony, or citations in the works of other scholars.
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, or other evidence of an active and productive scholarly career.
In the department, the following scholarship expectations to meet University standards also apply for the promotion to the rank of professor: an established scholarly career as manifested by a substantial and ongoing pattern of publication or creative activity beyond what was achieved for promotion to associate professor. In order to be granted promotion to full professor in the department, the successful candidate will have at least a monograph under contract and accepted by the press for publication; or five peer-reviewed articles; or the equivalent. The Department also considers evidence of continued scholarly engagement, which could include external grants and fellowships, peer-reviewed conference presentations, edited volumes and journal forums, curatorial work, creative works, publicly engaged scholarship, digital scholarship, expert witness testimony, or citations in the works of other scholars.
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 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.
Faculty members should contribute appropriate service at the level of the department, the College and University, the wider community, and their profession. In joint appointments, WGSS also recognizes their contributions to their home departments. Because WGSS is a highly visible program, faculty members are often called upon both within the university setting as well as outside to speak both on general issues about women as well as their own specific research on women, gender, or sexuality. In addition, the department acts as a clearinghouse for information for the university community on women's issues both nationally and internationally, and faculty members contribute to this informational service. This outreach component of the WGSS Department, combined with the joint appointment status of our faculty, often requires extensive program/departmental-level service.
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, the following service expectations to meet University standards apply for the award of tenure and/or promotion to the rank of associate professor: medium or "good" level of expectation for the department would include the satisfactory fulfillment of departmental assignments; and a reasonable amount of professional service commensurate with stage of career and number of years in the profession.
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: an ongoing pattern of service reflecting substantial contributions to the University at one or more levels, to the discipline or profession, and/or to local, state, national, or international communities.
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 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. At any point the candidate may ask for feedback from the initial or intermediate review committees. The department does not conduct an intermediate review.
Promotion and Tenure Committee. The department review committee shall evaluate the candidate’s teaching, research, and service. In the department the initial review committee will be the candidate's personnel committee consisting of at least three faculty members appointed by the chair from the department, who are at or above the rank for which the candidate is being evaluated. The candidate may petition for the recusal of a committee member; if the committee member does not recuse themself, a decision about whether that person has a conflict of interest shall be made by the majority of the other committee members.
The recommendation shall be forwarded for consideration to a committee of the whole consisting of all faculty members holding the appropriate academic rank in the department.
No students or untenured faculty members, except unclassified academic staff with the rank equivalent to or higher than associate professor, shall serve on the candidate's personnel committee or the committee of the whole, or vote on any recommendation concerning promotion and/or tenure. Members of the committee of the whole must be equal to or higher in rank than the rank for which the candidate is being considered.
No person shall serve simultaneously on more than one committee evaluating the dossier—department, college, or school—except when serving on committee of the whole, or when they recuse themself from evaluating a particular dossier, as per CCAPT and UCPT rules. The same standard applies for department chairs, who are ineligible to serve on CCAPT and UCPT in the first place.
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 Promotion and Tenure Procedures for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 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 candidate's personnel committee shall receive the form and accompanying materials from the candidate and finish compiling the record of the candidate’s teaching, scholarship, and service in accordance with the Provost’s guidelines.
The department review committee shall provide for the solicitation of outside reviewers to assist in the evaluation of a faculty member’s scholarship and in accordance with College procedures. Emphasis shall be placed on selecting independent reviewers in the same or related discipline who hold academic rank or a professional position equal to or greater than the rank for which the candidate is being considered. The committee shall give the candidate the opportunity to suggest individuals to be included or excluded from the list of reviewers. The committee, however, is responsible for using its judgment in the final selection of reviewers. For College specific requirements and guidelines, please refer to “Section B. Process for Obtaining Evaluation Letters from External Reviewers" within the College’s posted policy for promotion and tenure.
When soliciting external reviews of a candidate’s scholarship, the candidate's personnel committee shall inform prospective reviewers of the extent to which the candidate will have access to the review. The College's confidentiality policy regarding soliciting external reviewers for the promotion and tenure review process is as follows:
"As a part of the promotion and/or tenure review process, we are soliciting assessments of Professor
’s research contributions from academic colleagues and distinguished professionals. These letters will become part of the candidate's promotion and tenure dossier and are treated as confidential by the University to the extent we are permitted to do so by law."
Recommendations. Upon completion of the record, the committee conducting the initial review shall evaluate the candidate’s record of teaching, scholarship, and service in light of the applicable standards and criteria and make recommendations in accordance with the voting procedures detailed below. The committee makes a recommendation to the committee of the whole consisting of all tenured faculty members at or above the rank for which the candidate is being evaluated. The committee of the whole determines a rating of performance (i.e., excellent, very good, good, marginal, or poor) in each area of responsibility (teaching, scholarship, and service) based upon the candidate's conformity to the sets of criteria described above (e.g., for teaching: based on peer reviews, course evaluations, documented attempts to improve teaching; for scholarship: based on the external letters, publication record, work in progress, participation in conferences; and for service: based on service rendered to the department; College; University; and regional, national, and international organizations). By a two-thirds vote by secret ballot, the committee of the whole determines the performance rating in each area and also determines a final 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 chair, who shall indicate separately, in writing, whether he or she concurs or disagrees with the final recommendations. The department chair shall communicate the recommendations of the initial review, and his or her concurrence or disagreement with the recommendation, to the candidate and provide the candidate with a copy of the summary evaluation section of the promotion and tenure form. Negative recommendations shall be communicated in writing and, if the review will not be forwarded automatically, the chair shall inform the candidate that he or she may request that the record be forwarded for further review.
Favorable recommendations, together with the record of the initial review, shall be forwarded to the College Committee on Appointments Promotion, and Tenure conducting the intermediate review. Negative recommendations resulting from an initial review shall go forward for intermediate review only if it is the candidate’s mandatory review year or if the candidate requests it.
The candidate may submit a written response to a negative recommendation by the department, or to a final rating of teaching, research, or service below the level of “good” included in the evaluation section of the recommendation. The written response is sent separately by the candidate to CCAPT.
If the CCAPT and/or UCPT request further information from the department chair (a "check-back"), the chair shall immediately provide a copy to the candidate and inform the candidate's personnel 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 Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
University of Kansas
Blake Hall 318
1541 Lilac Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045
03/01/2022: Policy reviewed and developed.
11/04/2021: 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.
09/04/2015: Made updates to boiler plate text and broken link.
05/09/2012: Approved by The Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure.
04/25/2012: Approved by the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies