Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Policy
Policy #: F16–241
Senate Approval: 12/06/2016
Presidential Approval: 01/05/2017
Last Review: Fall/2016
Next Review: Fall/2026
RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION POLICY
The retention, tenure and promotion policy describes the process, procedures and rules for evaluation of faculty members who are under review in the RTP process.
Key Words: retention, tenure, promotion, faculty, review
Office responsible for inquiries, implementation, and evaluation
Most recent revision
Table of Contents (List policy headings, as defined below)
1.1: COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
1.2 GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES FOR RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION (RTP)
1.3 OPERATIONAL CALENDAR FOR RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION RECOMMENDATIONS
1.4 DEPARTMENT AND COLLEGE LEVEL REVIEW PROCEDURES
1.5 THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL REVIEW PROCEDURES
1.6 RETENTION AND TENURE RECOMMENDATIONS
1.7 PROMOTION RECOMMENDATIONS
1.8 RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION CRITERIA
1.9 APPEAL OF DECISIONS
2.0 INTERIM PROVISIONS FOR RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION POLICY
1.0 RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION POLICY
This Retention, Tenure and Promotion Policy (henceforth “University RTP policy”) is a revision of the Retention, Tenure and Promotion Policy approved by the Academic Senate on May 12, 2015, and approved by the President on June 24, 2015. (S15-241).
This University RTP policy complies with Articles 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, and 22 from the Collective Bargaining Agreement Between the California Faculty Association and the Board of Trustees of the California State University, Unit 3: Faculty (henceforth “CBA”), ratified on November 12, 2014.
“Tenure” means the right of a faculty member to continue at San Francisco State University subject to the conditions in the CBA.
Advancement in rank is based on merit as demonstrated by teaching effectiveness, professional achievement and growth, and contributions to campus and community (service).
This University RTP policy shall be reviewed, and revised if necessary, at least once every 6 years.
1.1 COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
Department peer review committee structure
Department peer review committees, also identified in this policy as “RTP committees,” shall be elected by secret ballot by probationary and tenured faculty in the department from among the tenured full-time faculty. Faculty being considered for promotion and/or tenure are ineligible to serve on department peer review committees. Faculty on leave are eligible to serve only if they are willing to serve throughout an academic year. At the request of the department, the President may agree that faculty participating in the Faculty Early Retirement Program may be eligible to serve on a department peer review committee. Department peer review committee members must have a higher rank than those faculty being considered for promotion.
Departments shall have RTP committees that consist of at least three members. Department peer review committee members shall serve a three-year term of office and may be elected for subsequent terms. Provision shall be made to ensure continuity of membership so that in any year there will be carryover of at least one person on a three-member committee and at least two persons on a five-or-more-member committee. In the event a committee member cannot fulfill the term of office, a substitute shall be selected through the standard election procedures to fill out the remainder of the unfulfilled term.
Departments may elect one department peer review committee for retention, tenure, and promotion decisions or elect separate department peer review committees (e.g., one retention and tenure committee and one promotion committee).
When there are too few eligible faculty to serve on the department peer review committee within the department, the department shall elect members from among the tenured full time faculty in related academic disciplines.
Faculty holding joint appointments shall be reviewed by tenured faculty from each department in which the individual holds an appointment. The review may be conducted by each department separately or by one committee with representation from each department.
The department chair is ineligible to serve as a member of the committee, or to participate in department peer review committee deliberations. They shall make a separate and independent recommendation on each retention, tenure, or promotion case under consideration. However, when a department chair is under review for retention, promotion and/or tenure, or when they are not currently at a higher rank than the faculty under review, they may not make separate and independent chair level recommendations for faculty under review in their department.
The University Tenure and Promotions Committee (UTPC)
The University Tenure and Promotions Committee (henceforth “UTPC”) shall consist of five members, elected according to the following procedures. UTPC members must be tenured Professors. The chair shall receive one course release for two semesters, and the remaining members shall receive one course release for one semester. During the spring semester, one tenured Professor from each unit (College or Library) that does not have a member continuing on UTPC shall be nominated according to the procedures for electing College representatives to the Academic Senate. An all-university election shall be held by the end of April to elect the members of UTPC from the pool of nominees. Each faculty person may vote for as many persons as there are vacant seats in this election. Those receiving the highest vote tally shall be elected to the committee. In case of a tie vote for the last seat, a run-off election between the tied candidates shall be conducted.
The promotion and tenure committees should be independent across levels; that is, no individual should actively participate simultaneously on promotion and tenure committees at two different levels (department, college, and campus). Active participation might include advocating for or against a candidate, voting for or against a recommendation on tenure or promotion, or serving on tenure and promotion committees at different levels of review. The composition of the promotion and tenure committees should exclude anyone with a conflict of roles or a conflict of interest involving the candidate.
The chair of the UTPC shall ask members to report any potential conflicts of roles or conflicts of interest when participating in the review of applications for tenure and/or promotion. For purposes of UTPC functions, conflict of roles will be defined as circumstances in which there is a risk that a current or past relationship compromises, or could have the appearance of compromising, a faculty member’s judgment with regard to the candidate. For purposes of UTPC functions, conflict of interest, will be defined as circumstances in which there is a financial connection between a UTPC member and a faculty member under review. If a disagreement arises as to whether a conflict of role or a conflict of interest exists, the arbitrator will be the Dean of Equity Initiatives and University Ombudsperson. In cases of conflicts of roles or interests, the UTPC member in conflict shall recuse themselves from the UTPC committee for that year of review and an alternate shall be selected as per Academic Senate policy.
College deans, University and College administrators, department chairs, program directors who have responsibility for RTP review, and members of department peer review committees, members of the Academic Senate and Academic Freedom Committee are not eligible to serve on UTPC.
In the event a College or the Library does not have at least two eligible tenured Professors or Librarians, the unit shall have the option of recommending its nominee to the University election from the pool of eligible tenured Professors University-wide. The College or Library shall decide upon its nominee through a unit election process.
If a vacancy occurs on UTPC after the University election, the person with the next highest number of votes in the University election shall be appointed. If there is not an available candidate with the next highest number of votes, then the Academic Senate will hold a special election to fill the vacancy.
Each member of UTPC serves a term of two years. Members may succeed themselves in office but cannot serve for more than four consecutive years.
The members of UTPC shall elect one of their members to serve as chair. The chair's term is one year.
UTPC may participate in meetings having to do with general promotions policies and processes where such meetings or communication sessions do not involve discussion of individual cases.
University Tenure and Promotion Committee (UTPC) Charge
The UTPC has the following responsibilities:
1. The UTPC will consider recommendations from the department RTP committee, from the department Chair, and from the Dean concurrent with the Provost’s review of those recommendations.
2. The Committee will pay special attention to cases where there is disagreement between the Dean, the Chair and/or the department RTP committee. Such cases will be carefully and completely reviewed.
3. The recommendations from prior levels will be examined to be certain that procedures and criteria have been correctly followed.
4. The Committee will have the authority to consider all material in the Working Personnel Action File (henceforth “WPAF”) and compare it with departmental RTP criteria.
5. The Committee will be aware that departmental criteria for tenure and for promotion may differ and will pay attention to both.
6. All UTPC considerations must correspond with department RTP criteria (Department RTP policy).
7. The UTPC and the Provost will confer before making their recommendations to the President.
1.2 GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES FOR RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION (RTP)
These principles and procedures apply to all eligible faculty unit employees, who are referred to as “faculty members” in this document. In this document, the term “dean” includes all College deans and the University Librarian.
It is the responsibility of the department to establish clearly the department’s expectations for retention, tenure, and promotion (department RTP criteria) consistent with this University RTP policy. Department RTP criteria will be approved by the tenured and probationary faculty in the department and will be developed in consultation with the Dean of the college and the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, and must be approved by the Dean of their college and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, via the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. Departments may develop criteria for demonstrating professional ethics and principles, and accepting responsibility for working effectively with colleagues to achieve department, college and university goals.
The department is also responsible for making clear in its departmental criteria, the requirements for documenting the quality and relevance of the work accomplished, including an articulation of forms of peer review relevant to its discipline.
If external reviews for tenure and promotion are included within departmental criteria, those criteria should establish guidelines and a process for soliciting such reviews for tenure, promotion to Associate Professor and Professor. Faculty candidates may request external reviews to be solicited by their departmental RTP committee and included prior to the closing of their WPAF file.
It is further the responsibility of the department to review, and revise if necessary, its expectations and criteria for retention, tenure and promotion at least once every 6 years. Revisions of departmental RTP criteria must be approved by the tenured and probationary faculty in the department, the Dean of the college and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, via the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. When revisions made to the departmental criteria are substantial, departments shall include provisions, within the revised departmental criteria, for faculty who are probationary at the time of revision, e.g. choice between existing criteria and new criteria.
All eligible faculty shall be evaluated solely according to the criteria and procedures contained in this University RTP policy, the departmental RTP criteria, and the CBA. This University RTP policy as well as the departmental RTP criteria shall be provided in printed form by the department chair to eligible faculty no later than 14 days after the first day of instruction of the academic term. Each year, prior to commencement of the annual evaluation, the department RTP committee shall meet with eligible faculty to provide assistance with the departmental RTP criteria under which they will be evaluated. Department RTP policies and the membership of the current year’s retention, tenure, and promotions committees shall be forwarded to the Academic Senate, the University Tenure and Promotions Committee, the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development and the College dean according to the deadline on the Executive Calendar.
All committee deliberations are confidential.
Recommendations regarding retention, tenure, and promotion are confidential except that the affected faculty member, department peer review committee, department chair, dean/university librarian, UTPC, and the Provost shall have access to the written reviews and recommendations for all levels of review.
The faculty member being reviewed is responsible for the preparation and submission of an up-to-date curriculum vitae and all materials they wishes to have considered prior to the date the file is closed.
It is the obligation of every person involved in the evaluation process to make a diligent effort to obtain factual evidence, to verify the accuracy of data offered, and to evaluate the performance of the faculty member under consideration. Department peer review committees, department chairs, and administrators are responsible for identifying materials related to the evaluation not provided by the faculty member and for placing these materials in the WPAF prior to the date the file is closed. Reviews and recommendations for the purpose of decisions relating to retention, tenure, and promotion shall be based solely on material contained in the WPAF and the Personnel Action File (henceforth “PAF”). Faculty members shall have access to all materials to be placed in the WPAF at least five days prior to such placement.
The WPAF shall be defined as that portion of the PAF specifically generated for use in an evaluation cycle. Guidelines for preparing WPAFs are provided by the Office of Faculty Affairs in the handbook titled Preparing for Tenure and Promotion. Revisions to the handbook will be made in consultation with the Academic Senate and be in compliance with the CBA and this University RTP policy. The WPAF contains the faculty member's materials and index, student evaluations of teaching effectiveness, and all other information provided by faculty, students, academic administrators, and others who must be identified by name. When submitted, the WPAF should contain the following:
- Cover sheet
- Curriculum vitae (candidates are encouraged to use the curriculum vitae format provided by the Office of Faculty Affairs in its handbook Preparing for Tenure and Promotion)
- Department/Program RTP criteria
- Reports and rebuttals, if any, from all prior substantive reviews at San Francisco State of candidates applying for tenure and promotion (for promotion, only reports and rebuttals from previous promotion reviews)
- Candidate rebuttal to dean’s recommendation (if any)
- Dean’s recommendation
- Candidate rebuttal to chair’s recommendation (if any)
- Department chair’s recommendation
- Candidate rebuttal to department peer review committee recommendation (if any)
- Department peer review committee recommendation and report
- Candidates are encouraged to provide a self-statement of teaching effectiveness, professional achievement and growth, and contributions to campus and community that provides an introduction to the candidate’s accomplishments. The goal of the self-statement is to provide an introduction of the candidate’s materials within each area for subsequent levels of review. It should provide a context for understanding the candidate’s accomplishments within each area. It is recommended that the statement for each area (effectiveness in teaching or area of primary assignment, professional achievement and growth, and contributions to campus and community) not exceed 750 words.
- A set of materials representing evidence of the candidate’s accomplishments in teaching effectiveness or area of primary assignment, professional achievement and growth, and contributions to campus and community.
All information provided by faculty, students, academic administrators and others must be identified by the name of the source. Routine student evaluations, however, remain anonymous and are identified only by their course, section, and semester. Any student communications other than these routine evaluations must be identified by name.
The chair of the department peer review committee is responsible for the generation and maintenance of the WPAF until the file is forwarded to the department chair. The chair of the department peer review committee shall complete the appropriate sections of the RTP Cover Sheet and insert it in the WPAF prior to forwarding the file to the next level of review. At each level of review, the RTP Cover Sheet shall be completed for that level of review.
The WPAF shall be considered complete with respect to documentation of performance for the current cycle of review on the date published in the Executive Calendar. After this date, the insertion of new material into the WPAF shall be limited to those items that became accessible only after this deadline and have been approved for inclusion by the College Leave with Pay Committee. Any material inserted after the deadline shall be returned to all earlier levels of review for evaluation and comment beginning with the department peer review committee.
The candidate is responsible for the identification of materials they wishes to be considered and for the submission of such materials as may be accessible to them. Department peer review committees and administrators are responsible for identifying and providing materials relating to evaluation that are not provided by the candidate. When an absence of required evaluation documents is discovered by the department chair, the dean, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or UTPC, the WPAF must be returned to the level at which the requisite documentation should have been provided. Such material shall be provided in a timely manner.
After the closing of the WPAF, a request for an external review of materials submitted by a faculty member may be initiated at any level of review by any party to the review. External review is defined as off-campus impartial evaluation of materials in the WPAF. Such a request shall document the special circumstances that necessitate an outside reviewer and the nature of the materials needing the evaluation of an external reviewer. The request must be approved by the President or designee with the concurrence of the candidate.
In the event the President makes a decision regarding retention, tenure, or promotion for reasons other than the professional qualifications, work performance, or personal attributes of the faculty member as documented in the WPAF, then these written reasons must be given to the faculty member immediately and inserted in the PAF.
1.3 OPERATIONAL CALENDAR FOR RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION RECOMMENDATIONS
Dates for the closing of the WPAF and the submission of reviews and recommendations to the next level of review shall be determined annually and published in the Executive Calendar. There shall be a minimum of two weeks for review at successive levels. All cases involving tenure and promotion must allow a minimum of one month total for consideration by both the Provost and the President. All evaluations shall be conducted and completed within the period of time specified by the Executive Calendar. The WPAF shall be forwarded in a timely manner to the next level of review. If any level of a retention, tenure, or promotion review has not been completed within the specified period of time the review shall be automatically transferred to the next level of review or appropriate administrator and the faculty member shall be so notified.
Notification of Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Decisions:
Faculty in their first and second year of probation shall be notified of the final decision on retention by February 15. The decision shall be for retention or termination.
Faculty in their third, fourth, fifth, and sixth years of probation shall be notified of retention, appointment with tenure, or terminal year appointment by June 1. If tenure is awarded, the letter shall indicate the effective date, which is the beginning of the academic year following the year in which tenure is awarded.
Terminal year appointments are limited to probationary faculty who have served a minimum of three (3) years of probation.
Faculty being considered for promotion shall be notified no later than June 15. If promotion is awarded, the letter shall indicate the effective date, which is the beginning of the academic year following the year in which promotion is granted.
1.4 DEPARTMENT AND COLLEGE LEVEL REVIEW PROCEDURES
The main responsibility for evaluating and interpreting the significance of a candidate’s endeavors and performance must reside with the department peer review committee, department chair, and College dean. These three parties to the retention, tenure, and promotions processes must meet this responsibility in order for the processes to function at an acceptable professional level.
At the beginning of the fall semester, the college office shall access the online report for faculty eligible for retention, tenure and promotion. For promotion decisions, the College deans shall notify in writing eligible faculty, department peer review committees, and department chairs. Faculty members who are eligible for review for promotion but decline to be considered must notify the department chair, department peer review committee, College dean, UTPC and Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development in writing that they do not wish to be considered. Candidates for promotion may withdraw without prejudice from consideration at any level of review.
The department peer review committee shall notify all eligible faculty of the evaluation criteria and procedures (including due dates) prior to the beginning of each annual evaluation process. These criteria and procedures must be adhered to throughout the process.
The department peer review committee shall assemble all information relevant to the evaluation by the closing date published in the Executive Calendar, as described in Section 1.2, General Principles and Procedures for Retention, Tenure, and Promotion. All information considered by the department peer review committee, except routine student evaluations, must be identified by the name of the source.
For all faculty members with teaching assignments, Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness (SETEs) for all classes taught shall be placed in the WPAF.
Evaluation reports and recommendations shall be approved by a simple majority of the membership of the department peer review committee. Abstentions shall be counted as a no vote.
Upon completion of its deliberations, the department peer review committee shall prepare a written report summarizing the data sources used, the nature of its evidence, its evaluation of the evidence, and its concluding recommendations. The department peer review committee shall sign and give its report and recommendations to the faculty member prior to forwarding it to the next level of review. Whenever a candidate is not recommended for retention, tenure, or promotion by the department peer review committee, the committee must provide the candidate, in writing, with its reasons for recommending against retention, tenure or promotion. If the decision is against promotion, then the committee must specify ways in which the candidate must improve in order to merit promotion. The faculty member shall sign and date receipt of their copy.
The department chair shall prepare a separate recommendation. It shall be their duty to give a copy of this recommendation to the faculty member before forwarding it and the WPAF to the dean.
Differences of opinion and problems of communication should be resolved to the extent possible at the level of origin before being forwarded to the next level of review. In the event of disagreement between the department peer review committee and the department chair’s recommendation or between the dean and the department peer review committee or the chair, the dean shall attempt to secure resolution through consultation with department peer review committee and the department chair.
The dean shall prepare a separate recommendation, and shall give a copy of the recommendation to the faculty member prior to forwarding the WPAF and recommendation to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and UTPC.
At each level of review, the faculty member shall be given a copy of the recommendation prior to forwarding to the next level of review. At all levels of review, the faculty member shall have the right to respond or submit a rebuttal statement in writing no later than ten (10) calendar days following receipt of the recommendation. A copy of the response or rebuttal statement shall become part of the WPAF prior to being forwarded to the next level, and shall be sent to any previous levels of review. Upon request, the faculty member may be provided an opportunity to discuss the recommendation with the recommending party. The right to rebut or to request a meeting shall not require alteration of the timelines.
1.5 THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL REVIEW PROCEDURES:
FOR RETENTION DECISIONS:
The decision for retention of candidates rests with the President, or designee. As the President's designee, the Provost may authorize reappointments in consultation with the college dean and others as required in each instance.
FOR TENURE AND PROMOTION DECISIONS:
Each level of review will have access to the WPAF according to the RTP calendar.
Tenure and promotion decisions are made by the University President. At the University level, the WPAF is reviewed by UTPC and by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. UTPC and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall each review the recommendations from previous levels and the WPAF and prepare the recommendations for the President. Copies of their separate recommendations and reasons therefore shall be sent to the candidate ten days prior to forwarding the WPAF to the President, according to deadlines published in the Executive Calendar. Recommendations shall be made as early in the year as possible and shall be forwarded to the President no later than May 15.
UTPC and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs shall meet to discuss their recommendations prior to forwarding their final recommendations to the candidate and the President. The President shall meet together with UTPC and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to discuss their recommendations prior to making their final decision.
All proceedings of UTPC are conducted in strict confidence. No member of UTPC is authorized to divulge any information with regard to Committee deliberations or meetings with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or the President to any person outside the Committee. Although abstentions are not votes, and they have no effect on the determination of a majority of the votes cast, promotion evaluation reports and recommendations shall be approved by a simple majority (3 out of 5) of the committee membership.
The President shall state their reasons for approval or denial in their letter of decision.
At the end of the tenure and promotions process, after tenure and promotions decisions have been announced, a copy of the WPAF and copies of the President’s letter informing faculty of his/her their decision shall be sent to the official PAF in the Faculty Records Office.
Following the final promotions announcement by the President, the University Tenure and Promotions Committee shall report to the Senate the number of its positive and negative recommendations. This report may also call attention to ways in which the promotions operations may be improved. The report must be signed by all Committee members.
1.6 RETENTION AND TENURE RECOMMENDATIONS
There will be an annual review of each probationary faculty member by the department peer review committee, the department chair, and the dean for the purpose of recommending retention, termination, terminal year appointment, or tenure to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The purpose of retention and tenure review is to assess the probationer’s performance against this University RTP policy and departmental RTP criteria in order to make personnel recommendations and to provide helpful information to the candidate about performance expectations. The quality of the review is dependent upon the department peer review committee and chair taking full responsibility for conducting the review at the departmental level and upon the candidate’s understanding that they are an integral part of the evaluation process and must provide requested information on time and in the format specified.
a) The first year review will, of necessity, occur during the first semester of probation. This review shall be limited to a recommendation for retention or termination. The purpose of this review is to discuss with the faculty member the department’s criteria for retention, tenure, and promotion, the content and organization of the WPAF, and this University RTP policy.
b) The second year review will be based upon performance during the first year of probation. It shall contain an evaluation of teaching effectiveness and any other descriptive material or commentary relevant to the other retention criteria. The recommendation shall be for retention or termination.
c) The third year review shall be an update of the second year review. The recommendation shall be for retention or reappointment for a terminal year.
d) The fourth year review shall be a comprehensive evaluation of the first three years of probation addressing all criteria for retention. The recommendation shall be for retention or reappointment for a terminal year.
e) The fifth year review shall be an update of the fourth year review. This review will identify any recurring problems that must be resolved prior to a tenure decision. The recommendation shall be for retention or a terminal year appointment.
f) The sixth year review shall be a comprehensive summative evaluation of the preceding five years of probation according to all criteria for tenure. The recommendation shall be for tenure or a terminal year appointment.
g) The department reserves the right to perform a comprehensive evaluation in years when a comprehensive review is not required by this policy. The probationary faculty member may request a comprehensive evaluation in any year.
The President in special circumstances may award tenure earlier than the normal six-year probationary period. A recommendation for the award of early tenure shall be accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation of the entire probationary period according to all the criteria for tenure.
A probationary faculty member may request review for tenure in any probationary year.
Departments should include, in their departmental RTP criteria, clear guidelines as to what might constitute the special circumstances for a candidate to be recommended for early tenure.
A faculty member on a professional leave with pay shall, when otherwise eligible, accrue a maximum of one (1) year service credit as part of the probationary period. The granting of full or partial leaves without pay to probationary faculty is at the discretion of the department and dean.
If the maximum allowable time credited towards the probationary period has not been reached, probationary faculty on partial professional leave without pay shall be evaluated for retention and tenure according to the same procedures, criteria and time frames in effect for all probationary faculty. The time spent on a professional leave of absence without pay counts as part of the probationary period.
Tenure at Time of Appointment
The President in special circumstances may award tenure at the time of appointment. Appointments with tenure shall be made only after an evaluation and recommendation by the appropriate department and shall be based upon an assessment of performance prior to the time of appointment. The criteria to be used are the same as those for regular tenure and promotion and they are described below.
1.7 PROMOTION RECOMMENDATIONS
All faculty must have achieved the appropriate level of academic training for promotion.
A faculty member shall not normally be promoted during probation. A probationary faculty member shall normally be considered for promotion at the same time they are considered for tenure.
Promotion of a tenured faculty member shall normally be effective at the beginning of the sixth (6th) year after appointment to their current academic rank/classification. The performance review for promotion shall take place during the year preceding the effective date of promotion. This provision shall not apply if the faculty member has requested in writing that they not be considered for promotion.
In some circumstances, a faculty member may, upon application and with a positive recommendation from their department or equivalent unit, be considered for promotion to Professor or Librarian equivalent prior to having satisfied the service requirements as described above.
Promotions may be granted to faculty who have been engaged in administrative activities outside the department. Such promotions must be made according to the procedures in this policy.
Activities while in current rank are of primary relevance to promotion considerations. Verifiable accomplishments while in the same rank at other institutions or equivalent accomplishments in a non-academic setting may be included in the WPAF. When former lecturers have performed academic work comparable to that of faculty at the rank to which they have been appointed, that work may be used toward promotion. Activities engaged in while in their former rank are relevant when they form part of a process that occurs, in part, while the candidate is in current rank.
1.8 RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION CRITERIA
The following criteria are to be employed at all levels of decision-making in respect to retention, tenure, and promotion.
The criteria for retention, tenure, and promotion are divided into three areas (a) teaching effectiveness, (b) professional achievement and growth, and (c) contributions to campus and community. Candidates for retention, tenure, and promotion shall be evaluated on all criteria. For teaching faculty, excellence in teaching is required. For faculty whose primary assignment is other than teaching, excellence in the primary assignment is required. To merit tenure and/or promotion all candidates must meet the standard of excellence normally expected of faculty and required by the University.
Effective teaching is exhibited in the classroom, research laboratory, or in the community. It is demonstrated when faculty join with students to develop knowledge and skills through classroom experiences, scholarly research, creative activities, and community service. Departments should decide the priority of non-teaching criteria.
Achievements in current rank should demonstrate promise of meritorious activities comparable to the achievements and services expected of faculty who serve at the rank to which the individual is to be promoted. The intensity of the evaluation process will vary in accordance with the academic position of the faculty member; thus, promotion to Professor requires more rigorous standards than promotion to Associate Professor, as determined by the department RTP criteria. Department RTP criteria should clearly define the expectations for promotion to Professor as distinct from the expectations for promotion to Associate Professor.
An assessment of teaching effectiveness is required for every year of probation. A faculty member should maintain a scholarly level of instruction, show commitment to high academic and pedagogical standards, be effective in instructing and advising students, guide and motivate students, and apply evaluative standards fairly and appropriately with respect to all students.
Assessment of teaching effectiveness must be based on evidence obtained systematically from students and colleagues as well as from the candidate. This evidence may be provided in a variety of ways:
- A scholarly level of instruction may be demonstrated by evidence such as continuing study, attendance at professional conferences and workshops, currency of course materials, and course and curriculum development, whether disciplinary or interdisciplinary.
- Commitment to high academic standards may be demonstrated by evidence such as written course requirements, evaluation procedures, and student performance.
- Commitment to high pedagogical standards may be demonstrated by evidence such as continued critical examination of one’s teaching behavior, participation in instructional development seminars and workshops, innovations in teaching techniques, and currency in instructional theory and research.
- Effectiveness in instructing students may be demonstrated by evidence such as student evaluations, comments, and letters; and peer review and observations of teaching.
- Effectiveness in advising may be demonstrated by evidence such as descriptions of the nature and extent of advising activities, student letters and interviews, and descriptions of thesis and special project advising.
- Effectiveness in guiding and motivating students may be demonstrated by evidence such as student evaluations, comments, and letters; examples of feedback given to students; and examples of willingness to confer with students.
- Fair and appropriate application of evaluative standards may be demonstrated by evidence such as student evaluations, comments, and letters.
The department, in making its evaluation of teaching effectiveness, must indicate the qualitative bases on which that judgment was made. A list of all courses taught, and those courses evaluated, should be included. If the data used to evaluate teaching effectiveness include student comments, a representative sample of this material shall be included. Data that have been summarized statistically (e.g., overall mean ratings) should be accompanied by the more detailed data (e.g., time means, course means, etc.) on which they were based. Comparative data may also be used, but should indicate the basis for comparison (e.g., department as a whole, faculty at the same rank, faculty teaching same or similar courses, candidate’s ratings over time, etc.) This evaluation should also reflect the department’s need for instruction at different levels, individualized and specialized instruction, and student advising.
Departmental criteria shall define how teaching effectiveness is evaluated. The documentation shall include classroom materials, syllabi, and student evaluations, and may include a range of peer evaluations, such as yearly classroom visits for probationary faculty and tenured faculty. Faculty members may request that additional peer evaluations be included in their WPAF.
For faculty whose primary assignment is other than teaching (e.g., audio-visual, department chairs, Library) and who do not have a separate retention, tenure, and promotion policy approved by the Academic Senate, primary emphasis shall be on effectiveness in assignment. Evidence of effectiveness in assignment must be based on systematically gathered data. The candidate’s assignment must be clearly explained and documentation provided on the quality of performance. In addition, teaching effectiveness shall be evaluated in courses taught by the candidate.
Professional Achievement and Growth
Professional achievement and growth, disciplinary or interdisciplinary, may be exhibited in a variety of ways, including research, publications, clinics, and workshops, being the editor of a refereed professional journal, presentations to professional societies, development of new areas of expertise, attainment of new professional licenses or certification, creative work, curricular and/or programmatic innovation, unpublished manuscripts, or similar work in progress. Although in general, no single category of professional achievement and growth is viewed as more important than others, individual departments may emphasize one category as more important than another within the framework of the department's needs and service to the students, and this emphasis shall be considered in the evaluations.
Research and Publication
Descriptions of publications, presentations to professional societies, research projects or unpublished manuscripts, or copies of said works, shall be included in the WPAF. Scholarly evaluations of such works may also be included. If external reviews of such works are included within departmental RTP criteria, the department peer review committee may obtain such reviews and evaluations after reaching agreement with the candidate about the appropriateness of the reviewers. (See also Section 1.2 regarding external review of materials in the WPAF.) The department peer review committee should include in its report assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work.
Creative works, such as musical compositions, choreography, art works, films, electronic media productions, literary or dramatic works, designs or inventions, exhibitions or performances shall be submitted to the department peer review committee in whatever form or forms typically employed for evaluation in the relevant field. Such forms may include presenting the creative work itself, a reproduction or replica of the work, or a description of the work, together with whatever critical reviews may be available. The department peer review committee should include in its report assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work. Procedures for securing external reviewers and evaluations are those specified under Research and Publication and Section 1.2.
Curricular and/or programmatic innovations in the discipline, across disciplines, or for the benefit of General Education may qualify as professional achievement and growth. Such activities may include the development of original academic programs, new courses or course content, disciplinary and/or pedagogical approaches, applications of technology, etc. Development of new areas of instructional expertise may also be considered in this category. Procedures for securing external reviewers and evaluations are those specified under Research and Publication and Section 1.2.
Research in the discipline, across disciplines, or for the benefit of general education may result in significant curricular developments. Such results should become part of the evidence supporting a candidate’s retention, tenure, and promotion.
Contributions to Campus and Community (Service)
Each department shall clearly outline and specify in their department RTP policy what types of contributions to campus and community are needed to meet the department criteria for service. These criteria may be more specific and rigorous for promotion to Professor than for promotion to Associate Professor.
Contributions to Campus
These may include, but are not limited to, the following: administrative assignments (other than primary assignment), faculty governance, committee work, special advising assignments (e.g., General Education advising, Liberal Studies advising, Special Major advising, etc.), program development, sponsorship of student organizations, and direction of non-instructional activities and projects. Evidence supporting contributions to campus may include descriptions of the nature and extent of work accomplished, committee documents, letters from students and/or colleagues, project reports, etc. The department peer review committee should include in its report assessment of the nature and quality of the candidate’s work in these activities.
Contributions to Community
Individuals may serve the University using their professional expertise to provide service at the community or city, state, or national levels. Such service must involve participation at a level that makes a contribution to community activities or projects, and that enhances relations between the University and the community. Emphasis should be placed on those community activities in which the academic expertise of the faculty member is directly applied. Descriptions of community service shall be submitted to the department peer review committee.
Participation in professional societies or other professional activities may include offices held in professional societies, committee activities, participation on editorial boards or in refereeing, and services provided as a consultant. Emphasis should be placed on those community activities in which the academic expertise of the faculty member is directly applied.
Descriptions of contributions to community shall be submitted to the department peer review committee. If external reviews of such activities are included within departmental RTP criteria, the department peer review committee shall follow procedures for securing external reviewers and evaluations as specified under Research and Publication and Section 1.2.
1.9 APPEAL OF DECISIONS
A faculty member who has not been retained, tenured, or promoted may request reconsideration of their case. The faculty member requests reconsideration by filing a notice of dispute according to the provisions of Article 10 of the CBA. The faculty member or their representative must file the notice of dispute within forty-two (42) days of receiving the Provost and Vice President’s decision not to retain or the President’s decision not to tenure or promote.
2.0 INTERIM PROVISIONS FOR RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION POLICY
The revised Retention, Tenure and Promotion Policy adopted by the SF State Academic Senate on November 28, 2006 (F06-241) introduced significant changes in the criteria for retention, tenure and promotion. These changes have been retained in this revised University RTP policy (S16-241). Faculty members who are currently working toward retention, tenure and promotion based on the criteria delineated in the former policies (S88-120/S94-120 for retention and tenure decisions and F04-28 for promotions decisions) may be disadvantaged by the changes in criteria. Therefore, faculty members with an academic appointment that began prior to Fall 2007 may make a one time, non-reversible choice to be evaluated according to the criteria as delineated in either the former policies (S88-120/S94-120 for retention and tenure decisions or F04-28 for promotions decisions) or this policy (S16-241). Faculty whose appointment begins Fall 2007 and later shall be evaluated according to this policy (S16-241) – Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Policy.
The Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development shall provide this information to all such faculty members.
Approved by the Academic Senate at its meeting on December 6, 2016.
Approved by SF State President Leslie Wong on January 5, 2017.