Library Retention & Tenure Policy

Reference Number: S82-95
Senate Approval Date: Friday, January 01, 1982


Academic Senate Policy Recommendation #S82-95

The following policy statement on retention and tenure for Library faculty is based on:

1. California State University and Colleges, Librarian Personnel Plan, August 30, 1978 (FSA 78-64).

2. San Francisco State University Retention and Tenure policy.


All Library faculty members are academic employees in the academic job-related category. Retention and tenure shall be recommended on the basis of merit. Candidates shall be judged upon substantive and demonstrable evidence of achievement in the categories described under Criteria for Retention and Tenure.

R&T decisions are made by the University President. The main responsibility for evaluating and interpreting the significance of a candidate’s endeavors and performance reside with the Library R&T Committee, the immediate supervisor*, and the Library Director.

Within the retention and tenure process, all accompanying materials and recommendations made at each level must be transmitted through all succeeding levels. The accompanying flow diagram clarifies the report sequence:


Timelines for independent reports and recommendations from the Library R&T Ccw,nittee to the Library Director will be the same as that used for teaching faculty, the dates of which appear annually in the Executive Calendar. The Library Director shall forward his/her recommendation along with the R&T dossier for each candidate according to the timelines prescribed for the School Deans in the Executive Calendar.


1. Membership. The Library R&T Committee shall consist of five persons, elected by the tenure-track/tenured members of the Library faculty. Minimum eligibility for membership shall be tenure and rank of Senior Assistant. Service on the R&T Committee is assumed to be part of a librarian’s professional duties during his! her tenure at the University. No member of the Library Administration may serve on the Committee.

In cases in which the Library does not possess the required number of eligible faculty members, faculty from outside the Library faculty shall be added according to procedures determined by the Library faculty in consultation with the Provost and the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate.

Members of the Committee on the 10-month year appointment shall make the necessary adjustments to fulfill their responsibilities during their term of membership.

In the event that an elected member of the Committee is the immediate supervisor of a candidate for R&T, that member must resign from the Committee.  The vacancy on the Committee shall be filled by the person with the next highest number of votes in the last R&T Committee election.

2. Term of office. Each Library faculty member of the Library R&T Committee serves a term of three years and may be re-elected only after an interval of one year. In the first year of the Committee’s operation, two groups of these members, chosen by lot, will serve terms of one and two years respectively in order to provide for staggered terms. Thereafter, annual elections shall be held each spring to fill vacancies for the following academic year.

In the event that a member resigns or is unable to fulfill his/her term of membership, the person with the next highest number of votes in the last R&T Committee election shall fill the unfinished term. If there is no available elected alternate, the R&T Committee shall notify the Nominating Committee of the vacancy and the Nominating Committee shall conduct a special election within two weeks.

3. Operation. The members of the Library R&T Committee shall elect one of their number to serve as Chair. The Chair’s term is one year. A quorum of three shall be present for any meeting of the Committee.

At the beginning of the fall semester, the Library Director shall notify in writing those faculty under review for retention and tenure, the Library Retention and Tenure Committee, and the immediate supervisor of those librarians. The Library Retention and Tenure Committee shall then communicate in writing with the faculty whose names are on the list as to the deadlines for review.

The Library R&T Committee may receive signed, written reports or hear testimony from: students, staff, faculty and administrators who have knowledge of library service provided by the candidate or of the candidate’s effectiveness in his/ her library assignment; professional colleagues who have knowledge of the candidate’s effectiveness in committee work, in team activities, in specific independent or cooperative projects; colleagues who have had an opportunity to assess the candidate’s professional activities, publications, scholarly achievements and contributions to the profession as they contribute to the candidate’s effectiveness in library assignment and his/her professional growth; others as deemed appropriate. The Committee’s recommendation should provide explanations and evidence of how the candidate’s abilities and achievements are demonstrated in and show potential for higher rank professional activities.

Oral statements, if any, shall be taken in the presence of the Committee alone in order to ensure confidentiality. The Committee members should understand that, in the case of a grievance, for example, they may be called upon to substantiate or defend their positions which were based on confidential material. In this situation, responsibility for substantiating the confidential information shifts from the source to the Committee which used the material.

The Library R&T Committee prepares a report and recommendation for each candidate considered for R&T and presents it to the Library Director. Recommendations shall be made on the basis of a majority vote. An abstention is counted as a no vote. In cases of dispute, individual or collective reports may be filed as well.

At the time the candidate’s R&T recommendation is forwarded to the Library Director, two copies shall be given to the immediate supervisor (one for the candidate and one for the immediate supervisor). The immediate supervisor shall give the candidate one copy of the report within one week of receipt. Supplemental materials bearing upon the retention and tenure evaluation that amplify or substantively change the character of previously submitted material may be submitted by a candidate at any time in advance of the Library Director’s referral of his/her recommendation to the President.

4. R&T deliberations are personnel matters and the usual and legal proscriptions with respect to the confidentiality obtain.


The individual being evaluated shall be an active partner in the R&T process and shall contribute whatever material he/she believes will be useful in arriving at a sound and just decision. The candidate and persons authorized to participate in the evaluation process shall have access to all data collected. The Library R&T Committee and the candidate should act in a reciprocal manner to disclose and present the candidate’s achievements and attributes fully and fairly to prepare materials which will be employed in support of the Committee’s recommendation. It is expected that information supplied to the Committee will reflect primarily the accomplishments of the candidate during the previous year.

It is the responsibility of each candidate to update his/her personnel file in the Office of Faculty Records. This file should include a statement of job responsibilities approved by the Library administration, a current resume, and a description of special achievements that may include participation in professional associations; publications; scholarly work; local, regional and national recognition by professional colleagues; campus committee work; etc. The candidate shall be responsible for including the necessary information to support his/her retention and tenure. All candidates, including those on a 10-month appointment, shall make the necessary arrangements to be available to assist the Committee as needed during the evaluation process.

It is the responsibility of the candidate and the candidate’s immediate supervisor to provide the bulk of information required for the R&T decision. It is the responsibility of the Library R&T Committee and the Library Director to seek additional information when appropriate to the evaluative process.


The immediate supervisor shall prepare a separate and independent report and recommendation for each candidate under his/her immediate supervision.  The immediate supervisor shall discuss with the candidate the contents of the report and explain the bases and reasons for the recommendation.  Subsequently, the immediate supervisor shall forward his/her report to the Retention and Tenure Committee prior to the Committee’s deliberations.  The immediate supervisor shall share all pertinent knowledge of a candidate with the members of the Committee by making an oral presentation on the candidate’s responsibilities and performance.  The written report and the oral presentation, at a minimum shall be based on and conform to the eight established criteria.  The immediate supervisor may add other categories or comments.

The immediate supervisor and the candidate should act in a reciprocal manner to disclose and present the candidate’s achievements and attributes fully and fairly. It is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor and the Library Director to assist conscientiously the individual faculty member to correct any prominent weaknesses in his/her professional performance.


The Library Director receives and reviews all reports and recommendations by the Library R&T Committee. The Library Director shall prepare a separate recommendation concerning each candidate and review these with the appropriate candidate and then shall forward copies of all reports and recommendations to the University President or his/her designee. The Library Director shall present a copy of his/ her recommendation to the candidate before the R&T dossier is forwarded to the President.


Evaluative criteria for retention and tenure enumerated below are based on the criteria and descriptive factors listed in the Guidelines, CSUC Personnel Plan for Librarians (FSA 78-64, pages 12-16). In the evaluative process, primary consideration shall be given to the professional competence required by the individual’s assignment and rank as detailed in his or her statement of responsibility. Emphasis shall be placed upon the candidate’s activities during the preceding year; however, activities performed during previous years shall be considered as relevant when they form part of a process which occurs while the candidate is under review. The Committee report must include, as a minimum, information and evaluation dealing with the following eight areas with specific headings and entries indicating that these areas of evaluation have been considered. The Committee is free to arrange these categories as it chooses. The Committee may add categories and commentary, and shall state its recommendations regarding the appointment action under consideration.

I. Effectiveness in Library Assignment

A. Knowledge

Depending upon the candidate’s specific area of assignment, categories to be evaluated may include:

1. Reference and Advisory Service. Knowledge and degree of mastery of the reference function, its techniques, materials and methodology including teaching effectiveness in a formal classroom situation and/or in daily informal instruction in the use and location of library materials; knowledge of reference works; understanding of, and ability in, the selection process in the development of collections in support of the instructional program and of reference services. Knowledge and degree of mastery of reference and information on-line data services.

2. Cataloging\and Technical Services. Knowledge and degree of mastery of cataloging\and effective bibliographic control of the library’s collections, knowledge of principles of bibliographic organization through cataloging ‘and classification; knowledge and degree of mastery of information sources to provide for effective access and retrieval.

3. Selection and Acquisition. Knowledge and degree of mastery of principles and practices of materials selection; degree to which the materials selected support the curricular needs of the University. Skill in management of book funds.

4. Circulation Services. Knowledge and degree of mastery of the Circulation Services function; maintaining an effective lending and return of materials operation; developing and maintaining accurate records; and effectively managing the work units responsible for the Loan, Reserve Book, Stack Maintenance and Interlibrary Loan programs to the end that positive public relations be generated with the Library users. Knowledge and degree of mastery of, or demonstrated ability to master, automated circulation processes and procedures.

5. Special Programs and Support Services. Degree of effectiveness in working with students, faculty and staff, in providing access to, and order of, Library collections; in interpreting and enforcing Library regulations, in resolving difficult problems associated with internal operations; in gathering and analyzing data to design or implement new projects or procedures; or plans for physical organization of materials and personnel.

6. Administration. Knowledge and degree of mastery of administrative theory, management practices, and evaluation techniques.

B. Skills

Depending upon the candidate’s specific area of assignment, categories to be evaluated may include:

1. Productivity. Ability to work independently within established guidelines; ability to define, plan and execute assignments and projects; ability to master new information and concepts; ability to be analytical, creative and constructive in resolving problems and improving Library procedures and policies; ability to communicate both orally and in writing.

2. Flexibility. Ability to work effectively in a range of library functions and subject areas, as required to meet changing library goals and needs.

3. Leadership. Ability to accept responsibility and to see projects or plans to completion; ability to work in concert with and through others.

4. Supervision and Management.

a. Ability to develop and/or improve work methods and procedures.

b. Ability to coordinate and integrate the work of other or organizational components.

c. Ability to motivate, train, develop and guide employees of varying backgrounds and skills.

d. Ability to establish and maintain standards of quality and quantity of work produced.

e. Ability to provide fair and objective evaluation of employee performance.

II. Personal Collegial Relationships as a Member of the Faculty Professional ethics and principles, judgment and tact, cooperativeness, resourcefulness and responsibility as demonstrated in the ability to work cooperatively with colleagues, students, faculty, and administrators.

III. Professional Growth as Reflected by Publishing and Other Creative Work. Professional achievement as exhibited in the following: research, publications, creative work, unpublished manuscripts, work in progress, or continuous study which results in improved Library skills or service.

Publications and Research. Descriptions of publications, research, projects or unpublished manuscripts, or copies of said works shall be submitted to the Library Retention and Tenure Committee. If scholarly evaluations of the works are available, these shall be included.

Creative Works. Creative works shall be submitted to the Library Retention and Tenure Committee in whatever form or forms typically are employed for purposes of evaluation in the relevant field. In addition, a statement of how this achievement contributes to the professional growth of the candidate must accompany the submission of the creative work.

IV. Non-Teaching Activities at the University.

These include administrative assignments - committee work at system wide, University or Library levels (but not necessarily at all these levels); special Library assignments, advising, sponsoring student organizations and projects, activities in developing the curriculum and structuring courses.

The Library Retention and Tenure Committee should include in its report assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work in these activities. After consultation with the candidate, the Library Retention and Tenure Committee Is authorized to request assessments of the quality of the candidate’s service from others knowledgeable of such service.

V. Representation of the University in the Community.

Individuals may serve the Library and the University by using their professional expertise or their status within the University to provide non-compensated service at the community, city, state or national level. Such service may involve participation in public forums or lectures or significant contributions to community services or projects. Such service is recognized as exhibiting merit if it can be shown to enhance relations between the University and the Community or the professional skills of the candidate.

VI. Participation in Professional Activities, Societies,, etc. and Continuing Professional Growth and Development.

Participation includes active membership and office held in professional societies, committee activities, participation on editorial boards or in refereeing, addresses made, papers given, and service provided as a consultant. Such participation should represent service or expertise to the Library assignment or the profession and/or status in the profession or respect of professional colleagues. Professional growth and development must be evaluated on those activities that result in improved subject knowledge, Library service or Library skills. Such activities may include keeping current with trends and developments in the profession; participating in workshops, seminars and similar training activities, such as computer technology; administration, human relations, foreign languages; pursuing course-work in academic subject areas; travel with educational objectives; or involvement in other relevant educational activities.

VII. Professional Education and/or Equivalency and Experience.

Consider evidence of progress toward an advanced degree, course work pertinent to present assignment, attendance at professional workshops and institutes, additional information and skills acquired, self-instructional reading programs, and travel with educational objective.

VIII. How This Faculty Member Fits the Future Plans and Needs of the Library. 

Ability to accommodate existing and anticipated long-term program needs of the Library and of the Department in the context of their role in the University and the CSUC System.

Approved by President Romberg May 26, 1982