To describe the process for post-tenure review of tenured faculty
Tenured faculty members, University of Kansas, Lawrence
- Review Period
- Development of Unit Expectations and Procedures
- Review by Deans in the College and Schools with Departments
- Report to the Provost
In recognition that an outstanding faculty is essential to the accomplishment of its teaching, scholarship, and service mission, and in accordance with Kansas Board of Regents policy, the University of Kansas has adopted this post-tenure review policy. Post-tenure review must be conducted in accordance with fundamental principles and policies recognized by the University, including academic freedom, tenure, due process, and confidentiality of personnel matters. Post-tenure review supplements annual evaluations by providing a long-term peer assessment of a faculty member’s past accomplishments and future directions. It is a formative and developmental review that facilitates and encourages professional vitality through collaborative discourse concerning the faculty member’s role in the unit, the college or school, and the university, as well as in the discipline or field. Post-tenure review promotes faculty development and achievement by recognizing and rewarding contributions and accomplishments, identifying the support needed to facilitate faculty success, and addressing areas of performance that need improvement.
Faculty members will be reviewed once every seven years following the receipt of tenure with the review occurring in the unit that conducts their annual evaluation. The period is restarted if a faculty member is considered for promotion or awarded a distinguished professorship. The time period when a faculty member is on medical or familial leave or that would otherwise be excluded when computing time in rank does not count toward this period. In addition, time serving as department chair, program director, dean or associate dean, or other administrative position subject to administrative review is excluded. The review may be postponed if it falls in a year when the faculty member is on leave. Faculty members on phased retirement or whose retirement date has been approved by the university will be exempt from review under this policy. The dean of the college or school will notify faculty members scheduled for post-tenure review no later than March 15 in the spring semester preceding the academic year of review.
Each unit will adopt post-tenure review expectations and procedures following the procedures in its bylaws. The College and schools with departments or programs that conduct reviews may establish general procedural provisions to ensure consistency across units. As with other policies for faculty performance, deans shall approve unit procedures and expectations for performance and submit them for posting in the University Policy Library.
A unit’s post-tenure review policy relates to the faculty evaluation policy and annual evaluations in one of two ways. If the unit’s faculty evaluation policy provides for evaluation by a faculty committee, the unit may elect to have that committee conduct post-tenure review pursuant to the faculty evaluation policy, in which case the post-tenure review and annual evaluation are combined into a single process. In other cases, the post-tenure review will be conducted separately from the annual evaluation, but the post-tenure review file is incorporated into the documentation for the annual evaluation.
Each unit will define its expectations in the areas of teaching, scholarship, service, and (where appropriate) professional performance. These expectations will reflect the customs and practices of the unit, the professional norms of the discipline, and the overall mission of the unit as part of an international research university. Expectations should be consistent with established criteria for faculty performance, with an overall level of productivity commensurate with the period of review. In view of the many different kinds of contributions made by faculty members during the course of their careers, unit expectations must be sufficiently flexible to take into account the variability of faculty interests, activities, and strengths.
Each unit will adopt procedures that provide for a committee of tenured faculty to conduct the post-tenure review. The College and schools with departments or programs may establish a committee for smaller departments or programs to use when conducting review or a department or program may elect to form committees with members from other units. To prevent conflict of interest, no faculty member scheduled for post-tenure review in a given academic year or whose spouse or partner is scheduled for post-tenure review shall serve as a member of a post-tenure review committee during that year. The unit procedures should also include a means of addressing other conflicts of interest.
The unit’s procedures should provide for the preparation of a confidential file as the basis for review. The faculty member should submit a short narrative statement, a current curriculum vitae, and a list of additional activities not covered by the CV. The narrative statement should briefly outline the faculty member’s goals for professional development and describe past accomplishments and future objectives specific to those goals. The faculty member may also identify barriers to or necessary resources for the accomplishment of these objectives. In addition, the unit should provide annual evaluations for the relevant six-year period preceding the review.
The committee shall consider the faculty member’s accomplishments and objectives as reflected in the post-tenure review file in light of the unit’s expectations and assess whether the faculty member’s performance in each area during the review period exceeds expectations, meets expectations, or fails to meet expectations. In conducting the post-tenure review, the committee must account for an individual faculty member’s responsibilities and, when applicable, differential allocation of effort. The review should recognize that faculty members make many different kinds of essential contributions to the University’s mission, that a faculty member’s activities and contributions are likely to vary over time, and that innovative work may take time to reach fruition and may sometimes fail. Although a significant goal of post-tenure review is to provide feedback that will assist associate professors in advancing to promotion to full professor, faculty members may meet or exceed expectations without qualifying for promotion to full professor or equivalent rank due to the variety of faculty contributions over time.
The post-tenure review committee will prepare a report for inclusion in the post-tenure review file. The committee’s report should summarize its findings and assessment (exceeds expectations, meets expectations, fails to meet expectations) regarding the faculty member’s productivity and contributions in each area of responsibility during the review period; and include recommendations for acknowledgement of contributions and suggestions for future development of the faculty member. A faculty member shall be given a copy of the report and may submit a written response for inclusion in the post-tenure review file before it is forwarded to the chair, director, or dean (in schools without departments).
The post-tenure review file will be forwarded to the chair, director, or dean (in schools without departments). If the chair, director, or dean (in schools without departments) agrees with the report, the chair, director, or dean will indicate that agreement in writing to the faculty member and place a copy in the post-tenure review file. If the chair, director, or dean disagrees with the committee’s evaluation, the chair, director, or dean may request that the committee provide additional information or reconsider the review. The chair, director, or dean will explain the reasons for any disagreement in writing, with a copy to the faculty member and the committee, and the faculty member may submit a written response for inclusion in the file.
The chair, director, or dean (in schools without departments) will discuss the review with the faculty member as part of or in conjunction with the annual evaluation process. This discussion should concentrate on the future professional development of the faculty member with an aim toward enhancing meritorious work and improving less satisfactory performance, including adoption of a performance improvement plan, if necessary. Any action on the review that is within the scope of the Faculty Evaluation Policy must be taken pursuant to that policy. Accordingly, unless the review indicates the failure to satisfy a performance improvement plan that was previously in place and performance that constitutes sustained failure to meet academic responsibilities, a recommendation for dismissal cannot follow from post-tenure review.
In the college and schools with departments, chairs and directors will forward to the dean copies of the post-tenure review file for each faculty member undergoing post-tenure review. If the dean agrees with the committee’s evaluations, the dean will so indicate in writing to each faculty member with a copy to the department chair or director for placement in the faculty member’s post-tenure review file. If the dean disagrees with the committee’s evaluation of a faculty member, the dean may request that the committee and chair/director provide additional information or reconsider the review and may also ask the faculty member to provide additional information. The dean will explain the reasons for any disagreement in writing, with a copy to the faculty member and the committee, and the faculty member may submit a written response for inclusion in the file.
Following the completion of review by the dean, if a disagreement between the committee and the unit administrator or dean (in schools with departments or programs) cannot be resolved or if the faculty member wishes to appeal an evaluation of “fails to meet expectations” in any category, the matter will be handled as an appeal under the Faculty Evaluation Policy.
Deans will provide a summary of the results in the college or school and copies of the post-tenure review file to the Provost. The post-tenure review file will be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file.
02/06/2024: Updated contact section.
11/08/2016: Updated to correct policy names and links, add University Governance contact information. Policy formatting cleanup (e.g. bolding, spacing).
07/08/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
04/02/2015: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
12/18/2014: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
11/24/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
10/30/2014: Fixed broken link.
03/2014: Revised to require the dean, director, or chairperson to put in writing their reasons for disagreement with the recommendations of the post-tenure review committee.
12/05/2013: Faculty Senate approved this policy on December 5, 2013, prior to final endorsement by the Provost and approval by the Chancellor.
2012: The Kansas Board of Regents revised its policy on faculty evaluation to mandate that state universities develop and implement a process for regular post-tenure review. The KU Lawrence policy was drafted by a Post-tenure Review Committee composed of faculty selected by the Office of the Provost and leaders of Faculty Senate.
The University conducts annual evaluations and periodic post-tenure review pursuant to policies developed cooperatively and approved by the Provost’s Office and the Faculty Senate. Changes to these policies will require approval of both the Provost’s Office and the Faculty Senate.