Promotions Policy

Reference Number: S82-28
Senate Approval Date: Friday, January 01, 1982


Academic Senate Policy Recommendation #S82-28

At its meeting of May 25, 1982 and December 8, 1981, the Academic Senate approved modifications to the Promotions Policy approved by the Academic Senate.

Preamble: Candidates for promotion must aspire to fulfill high standards of professional performance. Advancement in rank is based only on merit as demonstrated by substantial professional achievement and academic growth which provide service to the university. The promotions process is subject to the rules and regulations of the CSU system as published in the pertinent FSA documents and Title 5. These documents may be obtained from the Office of Faculty Affairs.

4.1 The Promotions Process:  Promotions are made by the university president.  The president is advised directly by the University Promotions Committee as well as by other university-wide officers whom the president wishes to consult.  Within the promotions process, all accompanying materials and recommendations made at each level must be transmitted through all succeeding levels.  The accompanying flow diagram clarifies the reporting sequence.  The University Promotions Committee and the provost’s office will independently prepare promotion lists.  Before a joint meeting with either the provost or the president, they will exchange their lists.  If there are disagreements between recommendations of UPC and the provost, these cases will be discussed.  The University Promotions Committee may reconvene without the provost to take a final vote.  Following this meetings, the University Promotions Committee and the provost will meet jointly with the president to submit their recommendations along with a report of those cases where disagreements still exist.  Confidentiality about individuals will be maintained throughout the process.  Following the final promotions announcement by the president, the University Promotions Committee will report to the faculty the number of its positive and negative recommendations.  Any candidate has the right to learn from the committee and from the provost whether he/she was recommended on their written communications to the president.

4.2 The University Promotions Committee

4.2.1 Membership

The University Promotions Committee shall consist of five members elected according to the following procedures.  During the spring semester, one tenured full professor from each school shall be nominated by the respective school faculty according to the procedures for electing school representatives to the Academic Senate.  An all-university election will be held by the end of April to elect the members of the University Promotions Committee 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.

School deans, university and school administrative officers, department chairs, members of department promotions committees, members of the Academic Senate and the Academic Freedom Committee are not eligible to serve. Members of the University Promotions Committee are not eligible to serve on a department promotions committee.

In the event a school does not have at least two eligible tenured full professors, the school shall have the option of recommending its nominee to the university election from the pool of eligible tenured full professors university-wide.  The school shall decide upon its nominee through a school election process.

If a vacancy occurs on the University Promotions Committee after the university election, the person with the next highest number of votes in the university election shall be appointed.

4.2.2 Term

Each member of the University Promotions Committee serves a term of two years. Members may succeed themselves in office, with the exception that no one may serve for more than four consecutive years.

In the first year of the committee’s operation, two members, chosen by lot, will serve terms of a single year, in order to provide for staggered terms. Thereafter, only those schools who would not have members continuing on the University Promotions Committee may submit nominees for the annual election to the committee.

4.2.3 Operation

The University Promotions Committee shall review all eligible individuals who choose to be considered for promotion. The University Promotions Committee recommends to the university president faculty members who merit promotion. Final authority on all promotions rests with the president.

The University Promotions Committee operates according to the decision procedure specified below.  Recommendations shall be made on the basis of a majority vote of the committee.  In cases of dispute, those voting with the minority may file individual or collective recommendations to the president.  Abstentions will be counted as a no vote.

The members of the University Promotions Committee shall elect one of their number to serve as chair. The chair’s term is one year.

After the candidate’s promotion dossier has been sent to the University Promotions Committee, supplemental materials may be submitted by a candidate on his/her own behalf. These materials are to be presented to both the department chair and the Department Promotions Committee and forwarded in an expeditious fashion to both the University Promotions Committee and the university provost through the school dean.

A complete and up-to-date curriculum vitae will be included as part of the candidate’s promotion package.

Recommendations of department promotions committees, department chairs and school deans will be examined by the University Promotions Committee. All such recommending individuals or bodies must present reasons in writing for their recommendations, whether favorable or unfavorable. The department chair and the school dean are required, respectively, to notify the University Promotions Committee in writing of each faculty member who is eligible for review, indicating whether any of those eligible has declined to be considered for promotion.

Additional information concerning a candidate may be sought from administrators, faculty colleagues familiar with the candidate’s work, recognized experts in the candidate’s field or other relevant referees.  Such information must be submitted in writing and must be made part of the candidate’s personnel file.  In seeking additional information or confidential recommendations, promotions committees at all levels must observe the requirements of Accessibility of Employment Records, Section 1.5, pp. 110-112, in the Faculty Manual.  All materials pertinent to the promotion decision, including confidential recommendations summarized in writing, are contained in the promotion file.  Members of promotion committees at the department, school, or university level do not have access to the official personnel files in the Faculty Affairs office without the written consent of the faculty member whose file is to be inspected.  While it is the responsibility of the candidate and the candidate’s department to provide the bulk of information required for the promotions decision, it is the responsibility of the University Promotions Committee to seek additional information in all cases in which the original presentation is inadequate.  If additional information is sought by the University Promotions Committee or other committees or individuals involved in the promotions process, the candidate must be informed in writing of this action.

Recommendations for promotions are made to the university president.  Recommendations should be made as early in the year as possible, but no later than May 1.

The University Promotions Committee shall file a separate report with the Academic Senate, not later than June 1, to provide a general accounting of the outcome of promotions deliberations and to call attention to ways in which the promotions operations may be improved. The report must be signed by all committee members.

All proceedings of the University Promotions Committee a-re conducted in strict confidence. No member of the committee is authorized to divulge any information with regard to committee proceedings to any candidate for promotions nor to any person not involved in the promotions process, with the exception that the committee may designate one of its members to request further information on a candidate.  The University Promotions Committee may participate in meetings having to do with general promotions policies and processes where such meetings of communications sessions do not involve discussion of individual cases.

For any candidate who is not recommended for promotion by the University Promotions Committee, the University Promotions Committee must provide the candidate, directly and in writing, with an explanation of why, in the committee’s opinion, a favorable recommendation was not merited. The committee will determine the length, format and degree of specificity of this communication, whatever Its design arid extent; however, the report shall make clear those factors which were the basis for the recommendation against promotion. In fulfilling this important part of its work, the committee must strive to issue as clear and complete a statement as possible, without compromising the confidentiality which is necessary for rigorous peer review. To protect this confidentiality, the following stipulations shall apply to all reports: (1) reports shall reflect the view of the majority of the committee; (2) reports shall be signed by the chair of the committee, and (3) under no conditions shall the vote of the committee, or and of its members, be revealed in the report. This document should be sent to the candidate within five (5) working days following the president’s formal announcement of promotions at the end of the academic year. A copy will be sent to the appropriate dean who will discuss its contents with the candidate.

4.3 Department Promotions Committee

4.3.1 Membership

Department promotions recommendations shall be made by a committee elected by the members of the department according to procedures determined by the department.

Minimum eligibility for these committees shall be tenure and the rank of associate professor or professor.

All persons eligible for automatic review may not serve.

The department committee shall consist of at least three persons. In cases in which a department does not possess three eligible faculty members, not including the department chair, members from outside the department shall be added according to procedures determined by the department in consultation with the provost and the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate.

4.3.2 Operation

The school dean shall notify in writing the candidates, department promotions committee and the University Promotions Committee about department members who are eligible for promotion.  The school dean is informed about eligible faculty from the list prepared by the associate provost of faculty affairs at the beginning of the fall semester.

At the beginning of the academic year each department must file copies of its promotion procedures and membership of its promotions committee with the Academic Senate, the University Promotions Committee, the school dean and the associate provost of faculty affairs.

The department promotions committees operate according to the decision procedure specified in 4.6 below. Recommendations shall be made on the basis of a majority vote, although minority reports may be filed. Abstention will be counted as a no vote.

Department promotions committees may receive signed written reports or hear testimony from other faculty members, from students and others as deemed appropriate. Oral statements shall be taken In the presence of the committee alone to ensure confidentiality. Any oral statements shall be summarized in writing and signed by both the person giving the testimony and the chair of the committee on behalf of the committee.

The Individual being evaluated should be an active partner in the process and should be encouraged to contribute whatever material the candidate 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 department promotions committee and the candidate should act in a reciprocal manner to disclose and present the candidate’s achievements and attributes fully and fairly and to prepare materials which will be employed in support of the department committee’s recommendation.

Promotions deliberations are personnel matters, and the usual and legal proscriptions with respect to confidentiality obtain.

Whenever a candidate is not recommended for promotion by the department promotions committee, the committee must provide the candidate, in writing, with its reasons for recommending against promotion and its specification of ways in which the candidate must improve in order to merit promotion, prior to forwarding the materials.

4.3.3 The Department Chair

The department chair may sit ex officio on the department promotions committee during all its deliberations.  The chair may advise but may neither vote nor be the author of recommendations made by the committee.  The chair must share all pertinent knowledge of a candidate with other members of the committee and must present the committee with a copy of the chair’s letter of recommendation before any materials are forwarded to the school dean and the University Promotions Committee.

The chair shall prepare a separate recommendation concerning each candidate.  The chair must give a copy of this recommendation, as well as a copy of the department promotions committee’s recommendation, to the candidate before forwarding them.  The chair shall review these recommendations with the candidate and shall forward the recommendations, together with any amendments which may have been made and shown to the candidate, to the school dean, and the University Promotions Committee.  The department chair and the candidate should act in a reciprocal manner to disclose and present the candidate’s achievements and attributes fully and fairly.

4.4 The School Dean

Each school dean receives and reviews all recommendations by department promotions committees and chairpersons in his/her school-. The school dean shall prepare a separate recommendation concerning each candidate and then forward copies of all recommendations to both the University Promotions Committee and the university provost. The school dean must present a copy of his/her promotion recommendation to the candidate before the promotion dossier is forwarded.


4.5 Eligibility and Types of Promotion

4.5.1 Types of Promotion

Regular promotion Is based on the criteria specified in 4.6 below.

Contingent promotion is granted conditionally and becomes effective upon the granting of the doctoral degree or degree equivalence. The contingent promotion holds for a single year, after which it may be extended or withdrawn in favor of a recommendation for regular promotion, depending on the request of the department promotions committee.

Administrative promotions are granted to class and rank employees who have been engaged in administrative activities outside the departmental structure. Such promotions must be made according to the relevant portions of the decision procedure specified below and after review by the University Promotions Committee.

The university president may promote a faculty member to adjust an Inequity which is disclosed subsequent to the time at which the individual joined the university. If such action Is taken, the president will inform the University Promotions Committee of his/her decision.

4.5.2 Eligibility

Only tenured faculty are eligible for promotion to the ranks of associate professor or professor.

To ensure equitable treatment for all full-time faculty members, every individual is automatically considered for promotion after having reached the fifth step in rank, and if promotion is denied, in every subsequent year. With support of the departmental promotions co9uittee, any full-time faculty member may be considered for promotions on the basis of distinguished and outstanding performance after having been on the university’s faculty for one full academic year.

A faculty member who is eligible for review may decline such review by so informing the department chair and the department promotions committee in writing.

Tenured faculty who are currently employed part-time become eligible for promotion after serving an aggregate time in rank equal to that of eligible full-time faculty members.

Faculty members on leave may be considered for promotion. Time spent by faculty members while on sabbatical or other authorized leave directly related to professional endeavors is included in time spent in rank. The position of a candidate on the salary scale for a given rank is not a factor in eligibility for promotion. The promotions process is not to be employed to safeguard the university against the loss of personnel to other employment nor to provide extraordinary monetary rewards.

4.6 Promotion Criteria. The following criteria are to be employed at all levels of decision-making in respect to promotions.

4.6.1 To merit promotion, all faculty must meet the basic requirements listed below: Beyond the primary emphasis on teaching ability, to merit promotion (described below) an individual must exhibit superior achievement and service in a single category or significant achievement and service in more than one category. Faculty members are not required to exhibit achievements in all the promotion criteria. Indeed, to provide for a variety of meritorious activities and for flexibility, comprehensiveness, and vigor in the university faculty, it is to be hoped that faculty members will exhibit highly varied profiles of achievement. The nature of accomplishments within each criterion will vary with differences in disciplines, professional expectations within a discipline, and/or changes In disciplines, and departmental, school, and university objectives and goals. It is the responsibility of the department promotions committee to establish clearly the department’s expectations for promotion within each criterion for each faculty member in the department and its requirements for documenting the quality of the work accomplished according to departmental expectations. This will be done in consultation with the candidate at the time of hire and at the beginning of each review cycle. Activities while in current rank are of primary relevance to promotion considerations. A recommendation for promotion should be made upon concluding that the candidate’s activities during service in the current rank have proved to be of significant value to the university. It is understood that achievement will exceed the basic obligations required for mere continuation of employment. Activities engaged in while In former ranks are relevant when they form part of a process which occurs, in part, while the candidate is in current rank. 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 application of standards than promotion to associate professor. All faculty must have achieved the appropriate level of academic training for promotion. For promotion to the rank of associate professor or professor, possession of a doctoral degree or appropriate terminal degree is a normal prerequisite; exception may be made In those instances where faculty members may be uniquely qualified or where doctoral programs in the candidate’s specific field are not available, and/or are not appropriate, or where the probationary appointment commenced prior to September 1971 at which time the university, as prescribed by Title 5 (Section 42700-01), uniformly required the doctorate or equivalency for tenure and at which time Trustee Policy (FSA 70-80, Report on Procurement and Retention of a Quality Faculty) specified that possession of the doctorate or the appropriate terminal degree was a normal prerequisite for promotion beyond the rank of assistant professor. For promotion to assistant professor, substantial professional training and experience must be demonstrated.

4.6.2 Evaluative criteria for promotion should include teaching performance, research and creative activity, contributions to the community, and contributions to the institution. During the evaluation process, primary emphasis shall be on teaching ability beyond which there is no order of priority among the remaining evaluative criteria. (Note exception in the following paragraph.)

For those members of the faculty whose primary assignment is other than teaching, e.g., audio-visual, student affairs, library, and who do not have a separate promotions policy approved by the 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 documented data provided on the quality of his/her performance. Teaching Performance. Assessment of teaching effectiveness must be based on systematically gathered evidence. The department, in making its evaluation of teaching, must indicate the basis on which that judgment was made. Comparative data may be used but are not mandatory. To merit promotion, all candidates must meet that standard of excellence which is normally expected of faculty and which is required for service to the university. A faculty member must maintain an adequate scholarly level in providing Instruction; must show commitment to high academic standards; must be successful in instructing students In the relevant disciplinary skills and subject matters; must be able, as a teacher, to guide and stimulate students; must be effective in advising; and must be milling to confer with students upon request. Evidence of success is to be obtained systematically from students and colleagues as specified in department or university policy. Such evidence should reflect variations in the department’s need for the following: Instruction at differing levels, individualized and specialized instruction as appropriate, and student advising.

Continuous study of the Individual’s discipline or related disciplines, and the infusion of current materials into the curriculum being taught, are minimal requirements of all faculty.

For faculty (including department chairs) whose primary assignment is other than teaching, the committee shall evaluate teaching effectiveness in those courses taught. Beyond that the committee shall evaluate performance in the areas of primary assignment. Professional Achievement and Growth. Professional achievement and growth may be exhibited In a variety of ways including research, publications, creative work, curricular development, unpublished manuscripts, or work in progress. Although in general, no one of the following vehicles (below) for professional growth and achievement 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. (See

Research and Publication. Descriptions of publications, research projects or unpublished manuscripts, or copies of said works shall be submitted to the department promotions committee. If scholarly evaluations of the works are available, these shall be Included. If such evaluations are not available and if the department promotions committee determines that such evaluations are desirable, it is authorized to obtain such evaluations after reaching agreement with the candidate about the appropriateness of the referees. School deans, the University Promotions Committee, and other extra departmental constituents In the promotions process must obtain the agreement of the department promotions committee In regard to appropriate referees or else must employ recognized professional referees or accrediting bodies. The department promotions committee should include in its report assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work.

Creative works, such as musical compositions, paintings, sculptures, films, videotapes, literary or dramatic works, designs or inventions, exhibitions or performances shall be submitted to the department promotions committee in whatever form or forms typically are 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 promotions committee should include in its report assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work. Procedures for securing referees and evaluations are those specified in under Research and Publication.

Research and Curricular Development. 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 promotion. Procedures for securing referees and evaluations of such significant curricular developments are those specified in under Research and Publication. Service

Community.  Individuals may serve the university by using their professional expertise or their status within the university to provide service at the community or city, state, or national levels.  Such service must involve participation at a level which makes a significant contribution to community activities or projects.  For such service to be recognized as significant it must be shown to enhance relations between the university and the community.

More weight will be given to 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 promotions committee. If the department promotions committee determines that evaluation of community service activities by outside experts is desirable, procedures for securing referees and evaluations are those specified in under Research and Publication.

Professional Societies or Other Professional Activities.  Participation must be at a level which demonstrates significant accomplishment through service to the relevant field and/or status in the field or recognition of professional colleagues. Participation includes membership and offices held in professional societies, committee activities, participation on editorial boards or in refereeing, and services provided as a consultant. Procedures for securing referees and evaluations are those specified in under Research and Publication. University Non-Teaching Activities. These include, but are not limited to, the following: administrative assignments, committee work, special advising assignments, program/curriculum development, sponsorship of student organizations, and direction of non-instructional activities and projects. Normal expectations are that the above activities will represent various levels of participation; i.e., department, school, university, and system-wide. Activities included in this section should not be duplicated in other sections of the report.

The departmental promotions committee should include in its report some assessment of the nature and quality of the candidate’s work in the above activities. After consultation with the candidate, the departmental promotions committee is authorized to request assessment of the quality of the candidate’s service from members of the university community who have worked with the candidate in university non-teaching activities. Procedures for securing referees and evaluations are those specified in under Research and Publication.

4.7 Appeal of Promotions Decisions. Request for Reconsideration: A faculty member who has not been promoted and believes that non-promotion has resulted from failure to consider substantial evidence or that the evidence presented was not properly evaluated may request, in writing, reconsideration of his/her case. Requests for reconsideration should include only that material not previously available to the persons involved in the review and decision making process. Requests for reconsideration must be initiated (not later than fifteen working days after promotions are announced).

The faculty member, having prepared a comprehensive statement of factual material, should present it first to the appropriate department chair. It should be ascertained whether or not the department chair would support carrying the request to the next administrative level. If the department chair does not support the request for reconsideration, the faculty member may ask that it be forwarded along with an evaluation by the department chair which indicates lack of support. If the department chair supports the request for reconsideration, the statement prepared by the candidate, along with the chair’s evaluation and recommendation, should be forwarded to the dean of the school. If, after examining the information submitted, the school dean is convinced that pertinent facts have been overlooked in the previous evaluation of the candidate’s work, he/she may collect data which will support the candidate’s request for reappraisal. The dean will forward these materials to the president. If the president has a designee, he/she will prepare an evaluation and recommendation and will submit this along with an evaluation and recommendation from the University Promotions committee to the president for consideration.

If the candidate’s school dean is not of the opinion that a case exists for reconsideration, he/she should so inform the candidate and recommend to him! her that the request be dropped.

If the candidate has been advised by the school dean to drop the request but is unwilling to follow that suggestion, the candidate may request that the case be forwarded to the president or his/her designee along with a written indication of the dean’s recommendation against reconsideration. In such cases, the president or designee and the University Promotions Committee will review the materials supplied. If in their view no substantial evidence exists for reconsideration, the candidate will be informed of their decision to reject the request of the faculty member.

The foregoing are considered to be the campus “informal solution procedures.”  Having pursued these completely without satisfaction, the faculty member may then avail himself/herself of the formal grievance procedures of the California State University.

Note: The section on Emeritus Status which was also a part of the Promotions Policy has not been modified (Faculty Manual 8.0).

I accept Academic Senate Policy Recommendation #S82-28 and #S82-99 (Promotions Policy and Library Promotions Policy) as approved by the Academic Senate on December 8, 1981 and May 25, 1982 with the exceptions listed below.  These approved policies are to be implemented beginning with academic year 1982-83.

I am taking this action based upon careful analysis of the Senate approved promotion policy forwarded to me June 3, 1982 and the evaluation of the three-year experiment with the interim promotions policy.  I feel this decision is in the best interests of faculty seeking future promotions.

Paul F. Romberg, President

September 17, 1982

The President’s modifications are to Section, Section 4.4, and Section 4.5.1.  They have been incorporated in the approved policy.