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EVALUATION AND PROMOTION OF FACULTY

 

Annual Review

            By a majority vote of its faculty, and with the approval of the Provost and the Faculty Senate, each college[3] will establish procedures and criteria for evaluating faculty performance and development on a yearly basis.  Each college will establish the forms, documents, and other materials to be used in the evaluation process.  These materials will be consistent with the five major areas of Academic Preparation, Experience, Teaching, Service, and Scholarship, and they should all further the goals of recognizing and rewarding excellence and of identifying opportunities for professional growth.  Documents on procedures, criteria, and forms to be used in the evaluation process will be filed with the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost.  As a result of the annual evaluation, the non-tenured faculty member should have an understanding of his or her progress toward tenure.

            Formal evaluation is the responsibility of department chairs and will be conducted by them.  Each year the department chair will provide a written evaluation and hold an evaluative conference with each faculty member of the department prior to the beginning of final exams for the Spring Semester.  The criteria for promotion (as listed in the section concerning academic rank) will be used as the basis of evaluation.  The written evaluation should identify faculty strengths, recognize areas of excellence, and note opportunities for future professional growth.  If a faculty member's performance is "seriously deficient" in some area, the department chair or director will outline corrective measures (e.g. updating or modifying course syllabi or reviewing techniques of presentation or revising scholarly or service activities).

 

College Evaluation Procedure

            The College Evaluation Procedure document must include the following:

 

            1.         A provision for the faculty member to receive a written evaluation, to review

                        the evaluation, and to respond to it in writing.  This response will be placed in the

                        faculty member's personnel file in the college.  The faculty member must receive

                        the written evaluation and have an opportunity to meet with the evaluating chair

                        or director prior to the beginning of final examinations for the Spring Semester.

             2.        A provision for a review of the evaluation by the Dean of the College (if the Dean

                       was not involved in the initial evaluation procedure) and by the Provost.

            3.        A provision for the Dean of the College and the initial evaluator(s) to meet with

                       the faculty member if the faculty member or the chair or director deems that

                       further discussion of the evaluation is necessary after the initial evaluation

                       conference.

 



[3] Wherever the term "college" appears in the Evaluation section of this document, it also applies to the Library and to schools.

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College Evaluation Criteria

            The college's statement of criteria to be used in evaluating faculty performance must:

 

            1.        Specify the criteria to be used in evaluating Academic Preparation, Experience,

                       Teaching, Service, and Scholarship.

            2.        Include a provision for a faculty member to identify, with the chair or Dean's

                       approval, an area of primary academic development or activity for the coming

                       year.  This area is to be selected in the light of requirements for promotion, tenure,

                       and professional development and mentioned in the written evaluation.

            3.       Describe the kinds of evidence to be considered in the evaluation.  Indicate,

                      wherever applicable, the priority given to items of evidence within an area.

            4.       Assure that the criteria and the evidence are consistent with those widely accepted

                      for the development of faculty in the given discipline.

 

Evaluation of Teaching

            In addition to above-listed requirements, college evaluations of teaching performance must be based on a teaching portfolio created by individual faculty members.  Teaching portfolios must include student evaluations and may include other documents such as peer review of teaching, a statement of teaching philosophy, grade distributions, course syllabi, examples of graded course work, recommendation letters from students, documentation of teaching development activities (such as conferences or workshops), publications about teaching, and evidence of honors for teaching.  Each college will establish clear guidelines for its faculty in regards to the materials to be included in teaching portfolios. Faculty should receive their Deans’ and the Provost’s comments no later than May 15th.

 

Midpoint Review of Faculty

                        At the midpoint of the probationary period of a faculty member on the tenure track, the faculty member will receive a more thorough midpoint review addressing progress toward tenure based on established performance expectations.  This normally occurs at the end of the third year of a six-year probationary period.  The promotion and tenure committee of the department (or school or division or Library) will meet, review the performance record of the faculty member, and make a recommendation to the chair or director.  Based on this recommendation and his or her own observations, the chair or director will write a midpoint evaluation report and submit it to the dean and Provost (with a copy to the faculty member), indicating one of the following possibilities:

 

 

            1.        The faculty member's performance is strong in all areas.  Areas of particular

                     strength may be enumerated and detailed.  Progress toward tenure requires

                     that present performance levels be maintained.

            2.       The faculty member's performance is strong overall, but includes areas of

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                     weakness, which must be enumerated and detailed.  Progress toward tenure requires

                     that these weaknesses be addressed.  Specific suggestions for improvement should be

                     included as appropriate.

            3.       The faculty member's performance is not sufficient to indicate any realistic

                     possibility of tenure.  The faculty member should be offered a terminal contract.

 

            The exact wording of the midpoint report would be appropriate to the situation, as determined by the chair or director.  The three options above indicate the information that must be presented to the faculty member and are not required text.

            Should the faculty member at the time of hiring receive, because of experience or seniority, time toward tenure, the formal review will come at the midpoint between beginning work and reaching the sixth year of employment.

            These reviews are intended to indicate to the individual the general degree of successful development which the faculty member has attained.  In addition, these reviews are intended to strengthen the accomplishments of all non-tenured faculty members and to provide them with a preliminary view of the possible results of a tenure decision.

 

Post-Tenure Review

 

Introduction

 

            In the Western academic tradition, universities have fostered excellence in teaching and in research by creating an intellectual environment in which faculty members and students are able to discover new knowledge and reexamine and contest old truths through the free exploration and exchange of ideas.  Essential to creating and maintaining this spirit of free inquiry are the protections offered by academic tenure.  Faculty members who earn tenure have proven over an extended period of time to both their peers and the University's academic administration that they perform at admirably high levels as both teachers and scholars.  By granting faculty members tenure, the University expresses its faith in their ability to continue to teach, conduct research, and serve the University and the community at sufficiently high levels of proficiency.  Granting tenure to the best faculty benefits the University by greatly increasing the likelihood of retaining their professional services, a considerable benefit in an often competitive job market.  With tenure, faculty members benefit from the protections of academic freedom and job security to exercise their professional expertise in the pursuit and expression of new and occasionally unpopular or simply misunderstood knowledge.

            The post-tenure process that follows is intended to promote the continued professional development of tenured faculty by reaffirming their continued excellence in Teaching, Research, and Service, or by providing a process by which tenured faculty who have fallen below acceptable norms of performance in one or more areas are able to receive the benefit of a peer-coordinated plan for returning to their former productivity. A definition of post-tenure review and a list of general criteria may be found in TAMUS Policy 12.06.

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Post-Tenure Review

            The process for post-tenure review at Texas A&M International University will consist of annual performance reviews by department chairs and Deans of the Teaching, Research, and Service of tenured faculty members.  These evaluations will be used to determine eligibility for merit pay increases as well as reaffirming the tenured faculty member’s continued satisfactory performance.  Should tenured faculty members receive unsatisfactory performance evaluations, they will pursue a professional development plan as delineated below when and if they meet the conditions also delineated below.

 

Evaluation Criteria

            In each college or school, the faculty, with the approval of the Dean of the College or the Director (in the case of Killam Library) will develop specific criteria for determining the evaluation weight given to Teaching, Scholarship, and Service for tenured faculty pursuing different professional paths.  Evaluation of tenured professional librarians will be based on their specific job duties.  Thus, those tenured faculty members receiving release time for research and a reduced teaching load would be expected to have a higher percentage of their performance evaluation dedicated to an evaluation of their research than would be the case with a tenured faculty member teaching a full load of classes and having no release time for research.  The faculty of each college or school, with the approval of the Dean or director, will develop a general standard for determining whether a tenured faculty member’s overall performance is deemed seriously deficient.  These general standards may be refined, as needed, by the faculty within individual departments and approved by the chair of the department and the Dean or director.

 

General Evaluation Process

            Faculty members will be given a written evaluation of their performance in the previous calendar year before the commencement of final examinations for the Spring Semester.  All evaluations should identify documented strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member.  The written evaluation will be given to the faculty member by the department or division chair at a conference in which both will discuss the evaluation and the faculty member’s professional plans and expectations for the future year.  The intent of this provision is to celebrate continued excellence and also to identify areas in which faculty members may further develop professionally.

 

Evaluation Process for Faculty with “Serious Deficiencies”

            For those faculty members whose annual performance reviews indicate serious deficiencies in one or more areas, as determined by the department or division chair and documented on the evaluation form, the chair must meet with the faculty member within two weeks of the written evaluation to develop written plans for improvement within the next year.  Both the evaluation and the written plan for improvement will be submitted to the Dean of the College or the director of the Library.  It is the intent of this provision to provide tenured faculty members with immediate identification and means of remedying any professional shortcoming.

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            In those rare cases in which a faculty member’s deficiencies are deemed egregious, the chair must immediately notify the faculty member in writing during the course of the year and work with the faculty member to remediate those deficiencies as quickly and as reasonably as possible.  Should those “egregious deficiencies” not be remedied by the time of annual evaluation, the chair, with the approval of the Dean or director, may require that the faculty member immediately engage in the Professional Development Plan process outlined below.  For purposes of this process, “egregious deficiencies” shall be defined as behavior that compromises the learning environment for our students and/or faculty.

 

Professional Development Plan

           If tenured faculty members receive two consecutive annual performance reviews that indicate serious deficiencies in one or more areas, or if on a single evaluation they have been found to have “egregious deficiencies” requiring immediate remediation in one or more areas, they must undergo a professional review.  When serious and mitigating circumstances exist for faculty members who would otherwise be required to undergo professional review, department or division chairs may request in writing from their Deans or directors approval of an exemption from the professional review process, with final approval of the Provost and notification of the President.  The purposes of performance reviews will be to identify and acknowledge patterns of seriously deficient performance, to create plans of action to eliminate these deficiencies, and to monitor the progress of faculty members as they implement their Professional Development Plans.

 

The professional review process must follow this procedure:

 

                   First, department or division chairs will notify affected faculty in writing that they

                      are subject to professional review.  They will also explain in writing the details of

                      the process.

 

                  Second, an ad hoc professional review committee of three faculty members will

                     be created by the Dean with the consultation and agreement of the chair and the

                     affected faculty member.  If the Dean, chair, and faculty member cannot come to

                     an agreement on the composition of the committee, then the following guidelines

                     must be followed by the Dean in appointing a committee: two of the members

                     must be selected from the college’s promotion and tenure committee, one selected

                     by the Dean and one selected by the faculty member; and the final member of

                     the committee will be selected by the Faculty Senate President (or by the Faculty

                     Senate Vice-President if the Faculty Senate President has a conflict of interest).

 

                  Third, within one month of being notified of the need for professional review,

                     the faculty member will prepare a dossier to present to the committee. 

                     The dossier should contain all documents and supporting material that the

                     faculty member wishes the professional review committee to consider.  While it

                     may contain much more, at the very least the dossier will include a current

                     curriculum vitae, a teaching portfolio (with the exception of librarians), a description

                     of recent

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                    university and community service, and a description of recent scholarly or

                    creative work.

 

                 Fourth, the chair will add to the dossier any additional material that the chair

                    considers relevant to the development of the Professional Development Plan for

                    the faculty member under review.  The faculty member under review may

                    examine these materials and respond in writing prior to their submission to the ad

                    hoc professional review committee; the faculty member may also add additional

                    materials to the dossier at any time during the review process.

 

                 Fifth, within one month of receiving the complete dossier, the ad hoc professional

                    review committee will review it, meet with both the faculty member under review

                    and the department chair, and issue a report.  The report must be submitted in

                    writing to the faculty member, the department chair, the Dean or director, and the

                    Provost.  The report may reach one of three possible conclusions:

 

                        No Deficiencies.  The committee reports that it identified no deficiencies of any

                        consequence.  The committee’s report negates and supersedes the “unsatisfactory”

                        prior annual review of the faculty member originally submitted by the department

                        chair.

 

                        Some Deficiencies.  The committee reports that it did identify some deficiencies

                        of consequence but that these deficiencies were not substantial or chronic, much

                        less egregious, and thus no Professional Development Plan is required.  The

                        committee report, however, must describe these deficiencies, and it is expected

                        that the faculty member and the chair will work together to ensure that these

                        minor deficiencies do not become serious and do not result in “unsatisfactory”

                        evaluations in the future.

 

                        Serious Deficiencies.  The committee reports that chronic or substantial

                        deficiencies do indeed exist and must be addressed by a Professional

                        Development Plan.  The report must elaborate on the nature of these

                        deficiencies.

 

                 Sixth, within two weeks of receiving the committee’s recommendation, the

                    Provost must accept, reject, or modify the findings of the committee and submit

                    back to the committee, the chair, and the faculty member a written report that

                    announces and justifies his or her ruling.

 

                Seventh, within two weeks of the Provost’s issuing of a ruling that “serious

                   deficiencies” exist, the ad hoc professional review committee must meet with

                   the faculty member and the department chair to begin working to create a

                   Professional Development Plan to submit to the Dean and the Provost for

                   approval.

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           The Professional Development Plan describes in detail how the faculty member will remedy the specific deficiencies identified by the ad hoc professional review committee.  The written plan must be created with the collaboration of the ad hoc professional review committee, the faculty member, the department chair, and the Dean or director, and it should meet the needs of the faculty member, the department, and the college or school.  It is the responsibility of the faculty member to cooperate fully in the development of this plan and to make a good faith effort to implement it.  It is the responsibility of the committee, the chair, and the Dean to insure that the plan is designed to be a meaningful and effective means of returning the tenured faculty member to full professional productivity.

           Plans must be tailored to the specific circumstances of the faculty members for whom they are developed, but all plans must: (1) describe specifically the deficiencies to be addressed by the plan; (2) identify specific goals that must be met to remedy the deficiencies; (3) describe what the faculty member will do to meet these goals; (4) establish intermediate and final time lines for the completion of the activities necessary to meet the goals of the plan; (5) identify the specific criteria to be used in assessing the faculty member’s annual progress toward meeting the goals of the plan; and (6) identify the resources that the University will devote to the support of the faculty member’s efforts to complete the plan.

           In general, Professional Development Plans may allow up to three years for the faculty member to return to full productivity.  However, in those cases in which the faculty member’s deficiencies are deemed “egregious,” the plan may require reasonable improvement within as short a time as one year.  The faculty member and the chair will meet at the end of each semester to discuss the faculty member’s progress toward fulfilling the Professional Development Plan.  At the end of the academic year, the chair will submit a written progress report to the ad hoc professional review committee, to the Dean, and to the Provost.  A copy of the chair’s written report must be sent to the faculty member.  The chair’s regular annual evaluation of the faculty member in question should draw upon the findings of the progress report.

            As soon as the faculty member has completed the Professional Development Plan, or by the deadline established by the plan, the department chair must write a final report to the faculty member, the ad hoc professional review committee, the Dean, and the Provost.  Because it is the commitment of the faculty and administrators involved in the process to support faculty members fully in their efforts to return to full productivity and thus benefit not only the faculty member but the entire university, it is expected that in all but a very small minority of cases the final report will be positive.  These findings become final upon certification by the Provost.

           On those rare occasions when a faculty member has not been successful in completing the Professional Development Plan, the chair will consult with the ad hoc professional review committee, the Dean or the director, and the Provost prior to writing a negative report.  If the committee, the chair, the Dean, and the Provost agree that the faculty member’s failure to meet the goals of the plan are minor and likely temporary, then they may grant the faculty member an additional year to remedy the remaining deficiencies.  If they deem the faculty member’s failure of such seriousness that they constitute separately good cause for dismissal under all current policies regarding tenure, academic responsibility, and academic freedom, then the Provost may initiate dismissal proceedings.  These findings become final upon certification by the Provost.

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Appeals

            If a faculty member disagrees with the finding of “serious deficiencies” by the ad hoc professional review committee, the faculty member may appeal the decision to the Dean or the director first and then the Provost.

            When a faculty member, department chair, and the Dean or director cannot agree on a Professional Development Plan, then the University Promotion, Tenure and Retention Committee will intercede, mediate the dispute, and issue a draft of the plan for the review and approval of the Provost.

            If at any stage in the post-tenure review process a faculty member believes that the provisions of the process are being applied unfairly, the faculty member may file a grievance as outlined in GRIEVANCES section of the Faculty Handbook (below).

 

Voluntary Post-Tenure Review

            Faculty members have the right to request that an ad hoc professional review committee review their work and counsel them on their career.  To initiate this process, faculty members must make a request in writing to their department chairs.

 

Tenure and Promotion

 

Promotion of Faculty

            Appointment or promotion to an academic rank is based on past and anticipated success in performance, accomplishments and leadership in the following five areas: Academic Preparation, Experience, Teaching, Service, Scholarship (Discovery, Integration and Teaching, and Application).

            As they progress in rank, faculty members are expected to achieve increasing success both by progressively mastering all five areas and by improving in individual areas.  The consistently sustained performance of faculty responsibilities is a requisite for all faculty promotions (see Major Faculty Responsibilities, above, p. 17).

            Requirements for promotion from one faculty rank to another are outlined above under Definition of Faculty Status, beginning on page 18.  Faculty members who believe that they have met the minimum appropriate Education, Experience, Teaching, Service, and Scholarship requirements for promotion to all faculty ranks but Full Professor must send a letter to their Dean by August 1 preceding the academic year in which they intend to apply for promotion.  Associate Professors / Librarians wishing to apply for promotion to Full Professor must send their letters to the Provost by August 1.  The Dean must certify in writing within two weeks that the appropriate Education and Experience standards have been met.  Should the Dean fail to certify that appropriate Education and Experience standards have been met, the faculty member has the right to appeal the case to the Provost, who shall make a final decision and respond to the faculty member in writing within two weeks.  The Provost will follow the same procedure for certifying

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 that Associate Professors / Librarians have met the appropriate Education and Experience standards to apply for promotion to Full Professor / Librarian, with the President the person to whom faculty may appeal the Provost’s decision.

            Administrators holding faculty appointments who apply for promotion and tenure must meet the same criteria for promotion and tenure as required of other faculty members.  Thus, the merits of their applications will be based on their overall work as faculty members, not as administrators.

 

Tenure

            Tenure means the entitlement of faculty members to continue in their academic positions unless dismissed for good cause (TAMUS Policy 12.01 Section 4).  The benefits of tenure and basic rules and requirements for tenure are outlined in TAMUS Policy 12.01 Section 4.

            To be eligible to apply for tenure, a faculty member must be a full-time employee of Texas A&M International University and must hold the academic rank of Assistant Professor or above.  Faculty members who hold joint appointments with other state, federal, or private agencies or with two or more parts of The Texas A&M University System may be entitled to tenured status as faculty members, if they meet the aggregate requirements for tenure and meet the minimum time in rank at Texas A&M International University.  Administrative positions per se are not subject to tenure.

            Beginning with appointment to the rank of full-time Assistant Professor / Librarian or above, the probationary period for a faculty member will not exceed seven years of full-time service at Texas A&M International University.  Up to three years of appropriate full-time service at other institutions may be included as a portion of the probationary period if agreed on in writing at the time of initial employment.  Acceptance of credit toward promotion and tenure obligates the faculty member to apply for promotion and tenure on the accelerated schedule agreed to in the letter of employment.

            All tenure track faculty members must come under tenure consideration no later than the sixth year of their service at Texas A&M International University.  A faculty member who believes his/her Teaching, Scholarship, and Service record merits early tenure may apply during the fifth year of service toward tenure.

            For a tenure track faculty member to be considered for tenure, the college Dean must notify the faculty member of his or her eligibility by May 1 of the academic year preceding the year in which the faculty member is eligible for tenure.  Should the Dean fail to notify the faculty member of his or her eligibility by May 1, the faculty member should seek written confirmation of eligibility from the Dean.  If the Dean does not certify eligibility, for whatever reason, the faculty member has the right to appeal the case to the Provost, who shall respond to the faculty member in writing within two weeks.  Once certified as eligible to apply for tenure, the faculty member must send a letter to the Dean by August 1 preceding the beginning of the academic year in which the faculty member desires consideration.

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            Prior to the beginning of the last year (the seventh year) of the probationary period, the faculty member who has not received notice of a decision granting tenure should make a written request for such a decision from the Provost, and the Provost must respond within 30 days.  If the decision is not to award tenure or if the candidate withdraws his or her application, the faculty member is entitled to serve for one additional year following the term or semester in which the notice is received.  Faculty members who do not apply for tenure at the required time will have their positions revert immediately to non-tenure-track status.

 

 

Promotion and Tenure Deadlines

 

May 1 Deans notify prospective applicants for tenure of eligibility
August 1 Faculty eligible for Full Professor submit a letter of intent to the Provost. All other letters of intent should be submitted to their respective Deans.
September 1 Documentation (dossier) submitted to department office for all tenure and all promotions except to Professor; applicants for promotion to Professor submit documentation to the Provost.
September 15[4] Deadline for departmental committee to vote on candidates
October 1 Department chair’s recommendation to college committee and Dean
October 15 Deadline for college committee to vote on candidates
November 1 Dean’s recommendation to University Promotion, Tenure and Retention Committee and Provost
November 15

Deadline for University Promotion, Tenure and Retention Committee to vote on candidates; deadline for Committee of Professors to make a recommendation to the Provost on applications for promotion to Professor

December 1 Provost’s recommendation to President
January 2 President’s recommendation regarding award of tenure to Board of Regents.


Promotion, Tenure, and Retention Committees

           See description of University Promotion, Tenure, and Retention Committee on p. 9 of the Faculty Handbook.

           College committees consist of departmentally elected representatives who serve on the college committee primarily as representatives of their departments’ views on the merits of candidates’ qualifications.  They are not, however, bound to vote as the majority in their departments voted.  Department and college committees should consist of at least five tenured faculty members.  If a department does not have a sufficient number of tenured faculty to constitute a committee, then the Provost, in consultation with all tenured and tenure-track faculty of the department and the Dean, must appoint to the committee one or more tenured faculty members from related disciplines.  Members appointed from other academic units must not exceed 50% of any college, department, or unit promotion and tenure committee, even if this



[4]  Unless circumstances prohibit it, all Promotion and Tenure committees will meet on the Friday afternoon preceding the deadlines stated above.

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reduces the number of committee members to fewer than five.  All members of promotion and tenure committees are required to vote positively or negatively on each candidate (no abstentions), with the exception of members who have a familial relation to the candidate.  In such cases, the committee member cannot participate in either the deliberations or the vote.

 

Replacement of Faculty on Promotion, Tenure, and Retention Committees 

           Members of promotion and tenure committees are expected to give first priority to scheduled committee meetings (see dates above) and to attend scheduled meetings unless exceptional circumstances arise.  Should such an unavoidable circumstance arise for a department or division committee member, he or she must notify the department chair immediately, and the chair will reschedule the meeting to allow all members to attend and the committee to meet its deadline.  The chairs, Deans, and the Provost will announce the specific meeting time for their committees as far in advance as possible.  If, for some reason, an inalterable scheduling conflict arises or for another reason an elected representative cannot attend a meeting, the representative must immediately resign his or her committee by notifying the department chair in writing.  If the chair determines that sufficient time remains for a nomination and election process and for the new representative to study application materials, then the vacancy must be filled through a departmental election.  If the vacancy is for the college committee, then the chair will conduct the election; if for the University committee, the Faculty Senate will conduct it.

            If the chair determines that there is not sufficient time for an election, then the Faculty Senate President, in consultation with the department chair, would name an eligible replacement.  If no faculty member in the department remains eligible for service, then the Faculty Senate President, in consultation with the department chair, would name an eligible replacement from a related discipline.

 

Chairs of Promotion, Tenure, and Retention Committees

           Department chairs serve as the chair of their department committees; Deans serve as the chairs of their college committees; and the Provost serves as the chair of the University Promotion, Tenure and Retention Committee.  In all cases, the role of the chair is to ensure that applicants’ dossiers are available to committee members, to call the meeting, to review the role of the committee, to ensure that the committee considers the merits of each application for promotion and tenure, to conduct secret balloting to determine the committee’s recommendation for each applicant, and to oversee the count and announcement of ballot results.  Because the committee’s purpose is to form a recommendation to make to the administrator chairing the committee, the chair is to observe but not participate in the deliberations.

 

Confidentiality 

           The recommendation of a promotion and tenure committee regarding an applicant for promotion and tenure is to be determined by secret ballot.  Committee members are to keep the deliberations regarding the merits of an application confidential.

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            At each stage of this process, all previous reviews and recommendations will be forwarded to the next level of review.  On tenure issues, the President of the University presents his or her recommendations to the Board of Regents, which makes the final decision.  At each level of review, candidates will be informed in writing within one week by the committee chair of recommendations concerning their applications.  If there is a negative vote, candidates may withdraw their applications.

 

Documentation and Presentations in Support of Applications

            Candidates for promotion and tenure must submit supporting documentation following the schedule specified above.  Dossiers can comprise no more than 25 pages.  Ancillary materials will be included under separate cover.  Dossiers will include an extended vita with an overview of materials that make reference to the supplementary documents.  Examples of supplementary documentation are copies of articles, conference presentations, letters of reference, course syllabi, final examinations, grant proposals, and bulk student evaluations.

            Prior to the application for promotion and tenure, candidates shall, together with their department chair, develop a list of 3-5 objective external references from aspirational universities to review the research of the candidate.  The department chair shall send a letter inviting the reference to review the CV and research of the candidate and reply with a letter of reference, addressed to the department chair, which will be included in the application dossier.  It should not be viewed negatively if less than three letters from external referees are included in the application dossier.

           Candidates may request the chair of the presiding committee add supporting materials which could be relevant after the deadline for submission to their dossier. Such materials may include letters from external reviewers, notification of acceptance of a publication of research or the actual article if it appears during the deliberations, a contract for publication, etc.  External peer review letters will be added as received by department chairs.  No other person may introduce material to the dossier or during discussion that could potentially affect the outcome of deliberations.

            The candidates for promotion and tenure shall be allowed to address the promotion and tenure committees or to make presentations at the department, college, or University level for up to five minutes at each level of consideration, and be available to answer any questions or clarify any of the written documentation.  The committee at each level may at its discretion extend the time for presentation, provided that all candidates receive equitable consideration.

 

Final Promotion and Tenure Decisions

            The President makes the final decision regarding faculty promotions and will communicate his or her decision in a timely manner after receiving the recommendation of the Provost.

            The Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System makes the final decision regarding applications for tenure.  The official decision by the Board of Regents to grant tenure

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will be conveyed in writing by the President to the individual faculty member as soon as possible after the Regents have voted to confer tenure.  In the same manner, a decision of non-reappointment will be provided to the faculty member as soon as the decision has been reached.  This communication will be provided by the department chair and may bear also the signature of other appropriate administrators.  The formal notification of non-reappointment will be a simple statement to that effect and will not include any of the reasons for that decision.

 

Procedure for Appeal of Promotion and Tenure Decisions

            At the conclusion of the promotion and/or tenure process, a faculty member who is not granted a promotion and/or not granted tenure may file an appeal with the Provost.  The intention to appeal must be stated in writing and delivered to the Office of the Provost within twenty calendar days of receiving written notice of the decision not to grant a promotion and/or tenure.  Appeals must be based on one or more of the following three claims: that the decision was made in violation of the individual’s academic freedom, that the decision was made for illegal reasons, or that the decision was made without adequate consideration of the individual’s record of professional achievement.  For purposes of this section, an illegal reason is defined as a decision based on race, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, religion, creed, color, or disability unrelated to the performance of duties; or made in retaliation for the faculty member’s exercise of protected First Amendment rights.

            An appeals committee will consist of a total of seven faculty members: four members of the University Grievance Pool (two selected by the faculty member and two by the Provost) and three Faculty Senators appointed by the Faculty Senate President.  No member of the appeals committee can have participated at any level in making the decision being appealed, nor can any member have any other relevant conflict of interest.  The committee shall meet within fifteen calendar days of the faculty member’s written notice of appeal and determine if the faculty member has established a prima facie case that the decision was made in violation of the faculty member’s academic freedom, for an illegal reason, or without adequate consideration of the faculty member’s record of professional achievement.  If the committee determines that the faculty member has not alleged a prima facie case, the allegations shall be dismissed and the decision not to recommend promotion and/or tenure shall stand.  If the committee determines that the allegations do establish a prima facie case, the matter shall be referred for an evidentiary hearing by the same appeals committee.  A prima facie case for purposes of this subsection means that the faculty member’s evidence, alone and unrebutted, would establish that a violation as defined above may have occurred.

            In any evidentiary hearing, the burden of proving that the decision was made in violation of academic freedom or for an illegal reason or without adequate consideration of the faculty member’s record of professional achievement shall rest with the faculty member.  The burden of proof must be met by a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., that which is more convincing, more credible, and of greater weight than contrary evidence.  Both the faculty member and the administration have the right of representation at this hearing.  The committee shall complete its report to the Provost within fifteen calendar days of the completion of the hearing.  If the faculty member appealing the decision names the Provost as a party to the appeal, namely, charging the

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Provost with having violated his or her academic freedom, with having based the decision on an illegal reason, or with not having adequately considered his or her professional achievements in making the decision, then the committee’s report would go to the President.  If the President is a party to the appeal for any of the reasons cited above, then the committee would submit its report to the Chancellor.

 

 

FACULTY WORKLOAD

 

Teaching

            The full-time teaching assignment for TAMIU is twelve Semester Credit Hour Equivalents (SCH) per semester.  A commitment to excellence in Teaching is the first requirement for all faculty at TAMIU.  Faculty should be expected to provide evidence of intellectual contributions to their discipline, the University, and the community at a level that ensures that they remain current in their fields.  Because of the unique and extensive growth at this moment in the University’s history, expectations for Service are high for all.  The administration, in conjunction with the Faculty Senate and faculty, will establish for all faculty a peer review process, including a portfolio, to evaluate and improve Teaching.  Classes must be scheduled at times suited to the demonstrated needs of our students.  At the same time, chairs are expected to try, insofar as possible, to schedule classes so as to reduce the number of preparations.  Expectations, outcomes, and rationale must be clear for any faculty member who teaches fewer than twelve SCH.

 

Release Time for Research

            Tenure-track faculty are eligible for release time in order to establish their research agenda and to demonstrate scholarly productivity during their probationary period.  The amount and terms of their release time will be negotiated with the Dean or director of their school or college at the time of their initial appointment.  This process is separate from release time for research for tenured faculty.

            Tenured faculty are eligible to apply for a two course release time per year to pursue research.  Expectations for excellence in Teaching remain the same for faculty awarded release time for research as they do for all faculty.  For faculty receiving release time for research, scholarly efforts should continue with the same scope and intensity as during probationary period (see Baseline Expectations below).  An application (submitted by filling out a common form) will outline the research plan.  Research plans will be renewed every year.

           

            1.         A College Research Committee, represented proportionately by all departments

                        and whose members are elected by tenured faculty, will determine the acceptable

                        level of research and review research plans.

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            2.        The College Research Committee will make recommendations to the Dean or

                       director of its college or school.

            3.        Recommendations will be forwarded to the Provost, who will make the final

                       decision.

 

Baseline Expectations for Faculty Awarded Release Time for Research

 

            1.        Documentation of scholarly effort each year.

            2.        Normally, a publication or equivalent in the second year.

            3.       Normally, faculty should plan to make at least one scholarly presentation or

                       equivalent every year.

 

            If faculty do not meet Baseline Requirements, they must submit a written explanation justifying continuance for release time to the College Research Committee, who will forward their recommendations to the Dean.  Recommendations will be forwarded to the Provost, who will make the final decision on whether release time will be awarded in the following year.

 

Additional Release Time for Intensive Research

            Faculty whose scholarly achievements are characterized by consistently high levels of productivity over a sustained period of time are eligible to apply for one additional course release time per academic year, or a total of three courses release time per academic year, to support their research efforts.  Faculty receiving three courses release time under the terms of this policy are expected to produce one refereed article per year or to make substantial progress toward completion of a book or the equivalent.  Expectations for excellence in Teaching remain the same for all faculty.  Faculty members with three courses of release time for research should pursue all appropriate avenues for securing sponsored research through grants.  The review process for faculty seeking three courses release time for research is the same as for faculty seeking two courses release time for research, with the following additional requirement: faculty requesting three courses release time for intensive research must submit their application for external review.

 

General Considerations

            Considerations other than the merit of proposals or the performance of faculty may, from time to time, be a factor in the number of tenured faculty who teach full-time or who have research release time.  Such considerations may include changes in college or department missions or programs, college commitments to equitable support for disciplines within the college or for faculty careers, and budgetary considerations.  In the event that University resources are insufficient to fund all qualifying applications, the President in consultation with the Provost will determine the amount of release time that will be made in a given year.

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            Faculty teaching a doctoral seminar will receive one course release time during the semester in which the seminar is delivered, and may receive one course release time in the semester prior to the semester in which the seminar is delivered.  Faculty teaching a doctoral seminar are expected to engage in a level of scholarly activity consistent with that of faculty receiving release time for research.  Faculty teaching exclusively graduate level courses may receive appropriate release time in recognition of the need for extensive research and course preparation.  It is expected that faculty will follow the application and review process for release time and will meet or exceed the Baseline Expectations for research.

            Faculty may submit proposals of a more limited scope, requesting a one-course release for one semester.  An outcome clearly achievable in a short time should accompany the proposal.

            Additional release time may be granted for research projects of exceptional merit that require an extensive commitment of time.

            The minimum teaching load for full-time faculty who do not have administrative assignments and who are not on development leave is six semester credit hours or equivalent per semester.  Exceptions must be approved by the President upon the recommendation of the chair, Dean, and Provost.

 

Summer Teaching

            Unless specifically stated otherwise, some faculty members are employed for nine months and are thus not guaranteed employment during the summer session.  Nonetheless, a significant number of faculty have the opportunity to teach during the summer based on student enrollments, department and/or college needs, and budgetary considerations.  When possible, all faculty will be offered the opportunity to teach one session (i.e., class) in the summer.  Any additional classes would be offered to faculty based upon rank / seniority within the department.[5]

 

 




[5]  Texas A&M International University offers two sessions each summer.  As of September 1996, a “full-time teaching load” is defined as six semester credit hours, or the equivalent, per summer session.