Promotions Policy (Experimental Program)

Reference Number: F81-28
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, September 01, 1981


Academic Senate Policy Recommendation #F81-28

At its meeting of December 8, 1931, the Academic Senate approved modifications to the Promotions Policy approved by the Academic Senate on March 28, 1978.

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 regulation of the CSUC system as published in the pertinent FSA documents and Title 5.  These documents may be obtained from the Office of Faculty Affairs.

I. 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.  As indicated, the University Promotions Committee will reach an independent decision based up the information passed to it.  Before it may consult or deliberate with any it receives member of the university administration.  The committee shall inform the president in writing of those candidates it recommends and does not recommend for promotion.  The committee is to retain a record of these decisions.  Following these procedures, the president may, of course, consult with the provost.  After the final promotions announcement by the president, any candidate has the right to learn from the committee whether he or she was recommended or not recommended on the committee’s written communication to the for promotion by the University Promotions president Committee.

RATIONALE:  This makes explicit the provost’s role in the promotions process as being advisory to the president when the president desires. There are those who maintain that the provost should be more involved in the promotions process; however, many faculty, including the chair of the University Promotions Committee, believe that the Promotion Committee’s recommendations should be made without discussion with the provost.

A. The University Promotions Committee

1. Membership

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. 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.

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.

3. Operation

a. 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.

b. 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.

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

d. 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 the University Promotions Committee through the school dean.

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

f. 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.

g. 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 permanent record 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 no 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 University Promotion 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.

RATIONALE: The intent is to assure faculty rights of privacy and access by cross-referencing the pages in the manual on accessibility of employment records.

h. 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.

i. 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.

j. All proceedings of the University Promotions Committee are conducted in strict confidence. No member of the committee is authorized to divulge any information with regard to committee proceedings to any candidate for promotion 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.

k. Whenever a For any candidate who has been  is not recommended for promotion by his or her department promotions committee, chair and dean is not also recommended by the University Promotions Committee, the University Promotions Committee must provide the candidate, directly an 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 and 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 any 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.

RATIONALE: The University Promotions Committee recommended that a letter be sent to all candidates whom they do not recommend to the president rather than only to those with positive recommendations at the department and dean level. Their justification is that the university committee may provide a different perspective to the candidate than that given by other reviewers and that it assures the candidate that he/she has been given careful consideration by the university committee.

B. Department Promotions Committee

1. Membership

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

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

c. All persons eligible for automatic review may not serve.

d. 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.

2. Operation

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. The department promotions committees operate according to the decision procedure specified in II 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.

d. 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.

e. 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.

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

g. 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.

3. The Department Chair

a. 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.

b. 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 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.

C. 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 president. The school dean must present a copy of his/her promotion recommendation to the candidate before the promotion dossier is forwarded.


D. Eligibility and Types of Promotion

1. Types of Promotion

a. Regular promotion is based on the criteria specified in II. below.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. After consultation with the University Promotions Committee, the university president may adjust an inequity which is disclosed subsequent to the time at which the individual joined the university.

2. Eligibility

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

b. To ensure equitable treatment for all full-time faculty members, every individual must be 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 committee, any full-time faculty member may be considered for promotion on the basis of distinguished and outstanding performance after having been on the university’s faculty for one full academic year.

RATIONALE: There is evident that such modification is needed to avoid having candidates who are not at the fifth step go through the entire promotions sequence when his/her record of achievement does not justify such consideration.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. 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.

f. 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.

II. Decision Procedure: The following decision procedure is to be employed at all levels of decision-making in respect to promotions.

A. Evaluative criteria for promotion should include teaching performance, research and creative activity, contributions to the community, contributions to the institution, the willingness of the faculty member to confer with students, and appropriate academic training. In the evaluative procedures, primary emphasis shall be on teaching ability beyond which there is no order or priority among the remaining evaluative criteria, nor is achievement in any specified number required to prove outstanding merit. What is important is quality of achievement and value of achievement in serving the university. 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. The candidate’s activities must demonstrate an ability to undertake commitments which serve the university and which exceed the basic obligations required for mere continuation of employment. Included in the evidence presented to show that an individual is an effective teacher should be consideration of the role the individual plays in the department’s program. Such consideration should reflect variations in the department’s need for the following: instruction at differing levels, individualized and specialized instruction as appropriate, and student advising.

1. Teaching ability:  Evidence Assessment of teaching effectiveness must be based on systematically gathered data 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 promotions, all candidates must meet that standard of excellence which is normally expected of faculty as 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 skill and subject matters, and must be able, as a teacher to guide and stimulate students, and must be effective in advising.  Evidence of success is to be obtained systematically from students and colleagues as specified in department or university policy.

RATIONALE: Many people on the campus think that the University Promotions Committee has initiated new policy by insisting upon comparative and longitudinal data on teaching effectiveness. The Faculty Affairs Committee recognizes the need for documentation of teaching effectiveness rather than a statement of advocacy, but we are concerned about the heavy reliance on student ratings as evidence of good teaching. We urge departments to develop alternate means of assessing teaching.

For faculty 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.

RATIONALE The University Promotions Committee members have indicated that an addition such as this will be helpful in evaluating such individuals as department chairs for whom there is limited data on teaching effectiveness. The Faculty Affairs Committee is concerned that these individuals be provided an equitable opportunity for academic promotion, but we also hope that effort be made to obtain some assessment of teaching effectiveness.

2. Professional achievement and growth: Professional achievement and growth may be exhibited in a variety of ways - research, publication, creative work, unpublished manuscripts or work in progress. Continuous study of the individual’s discipline or related disciplines including interdisciplinary research which results in improved instructional facility, creation or teaching of new courses, or the reshaping of curricula will be considered as evidence of professional achievement and growth when the quality and extent of these accomplishments exceed what is normally required of all faculty. No one of the following vehicles (a-d below) for professional growth and achievement is viewed as more important than others.

a. Publications and Research: 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 evaluation is desirable, it is authorized to obtain such evaluations after reaching agreement with the candidate as regards 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 refereeing or accrediting bodies. The department promotions committee should include in its report assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work.

b. 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 purposes of 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 may solicit from the candidate or other sources whatever information and evaluations are required for determining the significance of the creative work.  Evidence of work in progress also may be submitted.  Procedures for securing referees are those specified in II.A.2.a. above.  The department promotions committee should include in its report assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work.

c. Participation in professional societies or in other professional activities is relevant to demonstrating professional achievement and growth if such participation indicates service to the relevant field and/or status in the field or respect 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 security referees and evaluations are those specified in II.A.2.a. above.

d. Continuous study of the individual’s discipline or related disciplines, including cross-disciplinary study and general education instruction, is relevant to professional achievement and growth if such study results in improved instructional facility, creation or teaching of new courses, or the reshaping of curricula and if it can be shown that such improvements required extensive research and re-thinking of the relevant field. Procedures for securing referees and evaluations are those specified in II.A.2.a. above.

3. University non-teaching activities: These include administrative assignments - committee work at system-wide, university, school, or department levels (but not necessarily at all these levels); special advising assignments, sponsoring student organizations or non-instructional projects; curriculum development not included as evidence of professional achievement or growth.  The department promotions committee should include in its report some assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work in some of these activities but it cannot be expected to provide assessment of all such activities.  After consultation with the candidate, the department promotions committee is authorized to request assessments 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.

4. Community service: Individuals may serve the university by using their professional expertise or their status within the university to provide non-compensated service at the community or city, state, or national levels. Such service may involve participation in public forums or lectures or significant contribution to community activities or projects. Such service is recognized as exhibiting merit if it can be shown to enhance relations between the university and the community. More weight may be given to those community activities where the academic expertise of the faculty member is directly applied.

5. Appropriate academic training: 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 Sept. 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.

B. To merit promotion, it is understood that no one is required to exhibit achievement in all the relevant categories. 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. No individual may be disadvantaged with respect to promotion simply for devoting energy to achievement in one or more categories while failing to perform in other categories. Beyond the primary emphasis on teaching ability to merit promotion, an individual must exhibit superior achievement and service in a single category or significant achievement and service in more than one category.

It must be remembered that expectations will vary with differences in disciplines, with changes in conditions and professional expectations within a discipline, and with the university’s ability to support various kinds of achievement. Activities while in current rank are of primary relevance to promotions considerations. 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. 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. Nevertheless, achievements in current rank should demonstrate promise of meritorious activities concomitant with the achievements and services expected of faculty who serve at the rank to which the individual is to be promoted.

III. 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 and Colleges.


A. The title emeritus shall be conferred upon retirement on every member of the faculty who has tenure and who has served the university for at least ten years in full-time employment or the aggregated equivalent of at least ten years in part-time employment.

B. Each spring, those faculty members receiving the emeritus title shall be invited to sit at the graduation ceremonies. Their names shall appear in the commencement program.

C. Basic privileges of emeritus status shall include:

1. An emeritus faculty identification card

2. Use of the university Library and any special faculty facilities in the Library

3. Use of university recreational facilities

4. Listing in the university Bulletin

5. Free admission to university athletic and cultural events

6. Invitations to participate in all public ceremonies of the University

7. Invitations to participate in all social functions sponsored by the university

8. And other privileges designated by the president

D. Emeritus faculty will be encouraged to participate in the academic life of their former departments as well as to continue their own scholarly activities. If in either of these capacities they continue to work at the university, an attempt will be made to offer them the following extended privileges:

1. Free parking, if available, after all active faculty and staff members have had their parking needs met.

2. Office and/or laboratory space allocated by the individual department chairs after all space needs of their active faculty members have been met.

3. Modest clerical support allocated by the individual department chairs after all clerical needs of the active faculty members have been met.

4. Right to administer grants, contracts, or other research projects funded by resources outside the CSUC system.

E. Emeritus faculty will be encouraged to participate in service to the university through extended invitations to consult on policy, procedures, and curriculum planning.


As per our understanding, we will try this for a two year period as an experimental program. It will then be reviewed at the end of the second year.

President Paul F. Romberg