Promotion and Tenure Guidelines
This policy is subordinate to the policies of the College of Arts and Science, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and University of Missouri System, and any legal requirements.
A. INITIAL PROCEDURES
- For untenured assistant professors, the date of the mandatory review and the date of tenure notification are set by university policy, but the mandatory review normally takes place in the sixth year. Candidates may be given a review prior to the mandatory review year if and only if the candidate so requests and his/her P&T Committee supports such action by a majority vote. The UM Policy and Procedure for Promotion and Tenure requires that recommendations for promotion and/or tenure before the sixth year should be rare and restricted to truly exceptional cases. A faculty member who holds the rank of associate professor has the right to full application of the departmental decision process for or against promotion to full professor rank, in the sixth year of appointment at associate rank and, should promotion not occur, after at least three years from prior negative decision.
- Personnel Committee: The tenured members of the department constitute its Personnel Committee—with the Department Chair being a non-voting member. The entire Personnel Committee considers candidates for tenure. Only those Personnel Committee members of higher rank consider candidates for promotion. In the Spring semester preceding the review of a promotion or tenure case, or a third year review (addressed separately below), the Department Chair will call a meeting of the Personnel Committee, and the committee will select, by majority vote, a full professor to serve as its chair. The Department Chair is not eligible to serve as chair of the Personnel Committee.
- Candidate’s P&T Committee (which votes on the candidate’s promotion and/or tenure): This consists of all members of the Personnel Committee who hold a rank at least as high as the promotion rank at issue and have no close family ties to the candidate. If the Department Chair satisfies the rank and family-tie requirement, then he/she is a non-voting member of the candidate’s P&T Committee.
- Review Committee (which requests and reviews P&T materials, and then prepares a written report for the Candidate’s P&T Committee): The chair of the Personnel Committee, after confidential consultation with the candidate, will propose, during the preceding Spring semester, a Review Committee consisting of at least three members of the candidate’s P&T Committee, exclusive of the Department Chair and including no one who is not a member thereof. The final composition of this committee, and its chair, will be determined by the candidate’s P&T Committee. The candidate will be promptly informed of the composition of his/her Review Committee,; if he/she has any serious concerns about the its composition, he/she should promptly voice them to the chair of the Personnel Committee, and the candidate’s P&T Committee will then decide whether to reconsider the composition of the Review Committee. The Department Chair will provide the Review Committee with links to (or copies of) the College, Campus, and University promotion and tenure documents (including the Provost’s call letter).
- Each candidate to be reviewed is required to assemble by June 1st all the elements of the dossier specified by the Provost’s call that he/she is able to provide. He/she should request help from the Department Chair or administrative assistant, as needed. Normally, the dossier includes at least the following items: a complete curriculum vitae (including a record of research, teaching, and service), the initial appointment letter, all publications, forthcoming works, work in progress, letters of acceptance, teaching evaluations from both students and faculty members, teaching materials, and summaries of research, teaching, and service accomplishments. The Review Committee should inform the candidate in writing, if any elements of the dossier specified by the Provost’s call or required by department, college, or university policy, are missing. The Review Committee may also request additional materials. Authors of co-authored papers should identify their percentage contribution and describe their role in co-authored projects. The Department Chair will add the chair’s past annual evaluation letters to the dossier and provide the dossier to the Review Committee.
B. THE REVIEW COMMITTEE
- The Review Committee will start by ensuring that it has read the relevant College (none as of 2012), Campus, or University promotion and tenure documents (including the Provost’s call letter).
- The Review Committee asks the candidate to provide a list of people whom he or she thinks would be suitable external reviewers. The candidate may also provide a list of up to three people whom he or she thinks would not be suitable external reviewers (e.g., because unlikely to provide a competent or fair evaluation), and these people will not be among the reviewers. After considering the candidate's list(s), the Review Committee develops a proposed list of possible external reviewers (including several backup possibilities), ideally (to the extent compatible with other university requirements) with at least half of the reviewers being not on the candidate's list. The list may, if the Review Committee desires it, list the potential reviewers in the order in which they should be approached. Normally, reviewers should be from AAU or comparable institutions and should not be past mentors, collaborators, classmates, former students, friends, or anyone else who could give the appearance of being biased. The Review Committee should also ensure that any additional institutional restrictions on reviewers (e.g., as posted on the Provost's web site), if any, are met. The Review Committee then submits the list of possible external reviewers to the candidate’s P&T Committee, which may choose to approve the Review Committee's proposed list or approve an amended list, with at least half of the reviewers not being on the candidate's list (to the extent compatible with other university requirements). The Review Committee will keep a record of which reviewers were recommended by the candidate, which by the Departmental Chair, which by the Review Committee, and which by the candidate’s P&T Committee.
- The Review Committee or Departmental Chair will aim to secure by May 1st the agreement of at least six referees from the list approved by the candidate’s P&T Committee. If that list lists potential reviewers in the order in which they should be approached, the Review Committee or Departmental Chair must approach them in that order. Reviewers are provided with materials as specified by the Provost’s Call. They are asked to provide written evaluations by the end of the summer (e.g., August 15th). The reviewers must be told that, insofar as possible, access to their evaluations and information about their identity will be limited to those persons who will vote on tenure or promotion.
- At least one member of the Review Committee (normally, the member charged with summarizing the candidate’s teaching record) will visit at least one class taught by the candidate and will file a written report in the candidate’s dossier.
- Early in the Fall semester (e.g., by Sept. 1st), the Review Committee will, on the basis of the dossier supplied by the candidate and the external referee reports, complete a written report (which is not normally included in the official university P&T file) assessing the candidate’s research, teaching, and service. The committee will assess, with justification, how well the candidate meets the standards (in Section 16) for each of research, teaching, and service. It will then make a recommendation on whether the candidate merits promotion (and tenure, if not held already). The committee will record its assessments and recommendation in its report. The committee will also supplement the dossier supplied by the candidate to include teaching reports by Review Committee members, all letters of evaluation solicited by the department along with an explanation of the process for selecting respondents, a description of each respondent's credentials and expertise in the candidate’s areas, and a list of all individuals whose evaluation was sought whether they responded or not, along with any known reason for a non-response. The Review Committee should also ensure that the dossier includes any other materials deemed relevant by the College or Campus policies, or by the Dean, Provost, or Chancellor (e.g., as posted on their web sites).
C. P&T COMMITTEE ACTION
- The chair of the Personnel Committee will ensure that the Review Committee’s report is discussed and the candidate’s promotion or tenure is voted upon by the candidate’s P&T Committee early enough to consider an appeal and second vote before the College deadline for dossier submission. The chair of the Personnel Committee will also ensure that, prior to any vote, all members of the candidates’ P&T Committee have the opportunity to provide written and signed comments to be part of the candidate’s dossier.
- The candidate’s P&T Committee considers the external evaluations along with other materials concerning the candidate's research, teaching, and service supplied by the candidate or obtained through other sources. The committee will vote on whether the candidate meets the standards (in Section 16) for each of research, teaching, and service. These votes are solely for informational purposes. The committee will then vote on whether the candidate merits promotion (and tenure, if applicable). This is the vote that determines, by majority vote, the committee’s recommendation. All votes will be by secret ballot. The chair of the candidate’s P&T Committee will verify that the P&T Committee has discharged all its duties specified by the Provost’s Call (such as writing up a report of the meeting).
Faculty who cannot be present at the time called for voting shall be notified of a reasonably concurrent date by which their vote must be received. The votes shall not be counted until this date is passed or all votes have been received. Moreover, to ensure independence: (1) the Department Chair will not be informed of the outcome of the vote until he/she has completed his/her letter of recommendation, and (2) the Department Chair will not inform any faculty member of his/her recommendation until the candidate’s P&T Committee has completed its voting. Faculty members who cast a vote in the tenure or promotion decision process have the right, individually or jointly, to submit a signed, separate evaluation and opinion to the Chair and/or Dean with regard to the departmental recommendation.
All information revealed in the deliberations of the candidate’s P&T committee, other than the outcome of the votes as communicated to the candidate, is strictly confidential. Members are not permitted to reveal this information to others.
- The chair of the Personnel Committee will promptly inform the candidate of the recommendations of his/her P&T Committee—including, if requested, the numerical breakdown of the votes. Candidates not recommended for tenure or promotion have the right, if invoked in writing (including e-mail) within 72 hours of notification of the recommendation, to have their Personnel Committee reconsider its recommendation in light of discussion with the candidate and any new materials provided within one week of the notification of the committee recommendation. If the candidate appeals in writing his/her P&T Committee’s recommendation, the report written by the chair of the Departmental P&T committee (as required by Provost’s Call) will be made available to him/her, upon request. He/she has the option of sending written response to the chair of his/her P&T Committee. His/her P&T Committee will then reconsider its assessment. If the candidate appeals the recommendation at higher levels, the chair of his/her departmental P&T Committee will make his/her report available to the candidate.
- After the candidate’s P&T Committee resolves any appeal, the Department Chair will then make, and promptly inform the candidate of, his/her own recommendation for promotion and/or tenure. If this recommendation is negative, the candidate has the right, if invoked within 72 hours of notification of the recommendation, to have the Department Chair reconsider his/her recommendation in light of discussion with the candidate and any new materials provided within one week of the notification of the Department Chair’s recommendation.
- After any required reconsideration, the Department Chair completes the dossier by noting all the votes on the requisite form and then submitting the complete dossier to the College.
- Tenure and promotion to Associate Professor normally requires high quality teaching, a satisfactory record of service, and sufficient scholarly work (and refereed publications in particular) beyond the content of the doctoral dissertation to establish that the candidate is highly likely to develop a national reputation in the discipline. Promotion to Full Professor further requires that the candidate has established a national reputation in the discipline through his or her scholarly work (especially publications).
- Research: Research achievements are assessed on the basis of factors such as: (a) publication of articles in journals, (b) chapters in books, (c) publication of books and monographs (which are relatively uncommon in philosophy, and not required even for full professorship) and edited volumes, (d) external research funding (which is quite rare in philosophy), (e) research awards, (f) refereed presentations at conferences, and (g) invitations to speak at conferences and symposia. The quality of the journals, presses, and conferences is especially important, as is the basis on which the work was selected (e.g., acceptance rates if refereed, and honorific status if invited). Quality is more important than quantity. The number and quality of papers in high quality anonymous peer-reviewed journals and the evaluations given by respected external referees are crucial in determining whether the candidate has developed, or is highly likely to develop, a national reputation in the discipline. Faculty members are expected to have a significant independent research program of their own (e.g., have some significant single-author publications, especially in peer-reviewed journals).
- Teaching: Teaching achievements are assessed on the basis of factors such as: (a) teaching load (e.g., number of courses and number of students), (b) the quality of the teaching (e.g., as indicated by student evaluations, written reports of colleagues who visited classes, appropriateness of course content and design as revealed by the syllabus, course materials prepared by the instructor, assignments, and grading methods employed), (c) responsiveness to departmental teaching needs in the faculty member’s area of competence (e.g., willingness to teach or develop needed courses in their area of competence), (d) involvement in teaching renewal or development workshops, and (e) recognition by teaching awards.
For untenured faculty members, each year, the Department Chair will assign a tenured faculty member to visit at least one class and write up a brief assessment. Ideally, the tenured faculty member and the untenured faculty member will agree on a mutually convenient date for the visit. The visiting colleague should give his/her report to the Department Chair to include in the untenured member’s file. Each year, when annual evaluations are done, the Department Chair should ensure that such materials have been submitted.
- Service: Service achievements are assessed on the basis of factors such as: (a) regular satisfactory service and special administrative work for the department, the College of Arts and Science, the MU campus, or the UM System; (b) administration for regional, national, and international professional organizations; (c) refereeing for journals and presses, grant reviews, and tenure reviews; and (d) philosophical presentations to community groups.
- General: For each of the above three categories, the following are sufficient for an assessment of unsatisfactory: (a) systematic failure, without any sound excuse, to perform adequately the assigned departmental, college, or university duties in the category; (b) systematic obstruction of the abilities of colleagues to carry out their normal academic functions in the category; and (c) professional misconduct or malfeasance in the category.
E. THIRD YEAR REVIEW
- Non-tenured tenure-track faculty members are on one-year appointments and are reviewed each year by the Departmental Chair for the purpose of a recommendation to the Dean regarding reappointment. Before submitting this written assessment recommendation to the Dean, the Departmental Chair will share a preliminary version with the Personnel Committee, which will meet and discuss the faculty member’s progress. A copy of the final assessment and recommendation will be given to the faculty member.
- The review of an untenured faculty member three years prior to the mandatory review (normally in the third year of service toward tenure) is especially extensive and the evaluation includes a statement of how well the individual is meeting the department's expectations for progress toward tenure.
At the beginning of the Fall semester, the chair of the Personnel Committee will, after confidential consultation with the faculty member, communicate to the faculty member a proposed three-person Third Year Review Committee drawn from the Personnel Committee. The chair of the Personnel Committee will then invite the faculty member to identify any problems with the composition of the Third Year Review Committee within one week. After considering any problems raised by the faculty member, the chair of the Personnel Committee appoints the Third Year Review Committee and instructs the faculty member to assemble the same set of materials as required for promotion and tenure review (as specified in the most recent Provost’s Call). At least one member of the committee will visit at least one class taught by the faculty member and will file a written report in the candidate’s dossier. No external letters will be sought. Prior to the end of the Spring semester, the Third Year Review Committee will submit the final report to the chair of the Personnel Committee.
- The chair of the Personnel Committee will ensure that, shortly after the beginning of the Fall semester of the fourth year (after the Spring TEQs are received but in time to meet the Dean’s deadline for submission of the recommendations), the Third Year Review Committee report is discussed and voted upon by the Personnel Committee. Members who have close family ties to the candidate are not eligible to vote. All votes will be by secret ballot. The committee will vote on whether the candidate has made sufficient progress towards meeting the promotion and tenure standards for each of research, teaching, and service. These votes are solely for informational purposes. The Personnel Committee will then decide, by majority vote which of the following recommendations to make:
- Positive Reappointment: This signifies a positive performance of the faculty member toward promotion and/or tenure.
- Reappointment with Counsel: This signifies that, although the faculty member's performance is regarded as positive overall, improvements in one or more categories of activity are needed to ensure the candidate's successful progress toward promotion and/or tenure.
- Reappointment with Warning: This signifies that significant problems exist in one or more categories such that continuation of the existing pattern of activity is likely to result in a failure to achieve either promotion or tenure.
- Non-Reappointment: This signifies that sufficiently significant problems exist to warrant non-reappointment.
The first vote will be on Positive Reappointment. If it receives majority approval, then that will be the recommendation. If not, a vote will be taken for Reappointment with Counsel. If it receives majority approval, then that will be the recommendation. If not, a vote will take for taken for the next most positive recommendation. And so on.
Members of the Personnel Committee who cannot be present at the time called for voting shall be notified of a reasonably concurrent date by which their vote must be received. The votes shall not be counted until this date is passed or all votes have been received.Faculty members who cast a vote in the decision process have the right, individually or jointly, to submit a signed, separate evaluation and opinion to the Department Chair and/or Dean with regard to the departmental recommendation. The chair of the Personnel Committee then provides a written statement to the faculty member of the outcome of the vote along with a summary of the main considerations and a breakdown of the numerical votes.
- The Department Chair writes an independent assessment of the faculty member’s progress towards tenure and promotion and makes an explicit recommendation as to whether the faculty member’s contract should be renewed. The Chair’s report should explain carefully the general norms in philosophy concerning such matters as typical publication records, the role of external funding, the role of joint-authorship, and the norms for the order in which authors of joint works are listed. He/she provides to the faculty member a written statement of his/her recommendation along with a summary of the main considerations. The reports, recommendations, and any written response by the individual are retained in the individual's file. The Department Chair relays, consistent with university requirements for timely notification, the Personnel Committee's recommendation, and his or her own, regarding the reappointment or non-reappointment of the individual.
- The Department Chair is expected to work directly with assistant and associate professors to define expectations relative to their teaching load, research load, and service obligations. He/she will plan workloads for them that will facilitate their fulfillment of these expectations. He/she will also (1) ensure that adequate mentoring opportunities are made available to the faculty member, and (2) encourage the faculty member to make use of those opportunities (e.g., by appointing, in consultation with the faculty member, two or three productive tenured members of the department to serve as mentors, by encouraging the faculty member to participate in relevant college or campus faculty development programs, and so on).
- Assistant Professors: In the first semester on the tenure track, tenure-track faculty members should submit a list of journals and conferences that accept work in their area(s) of specialization. They may discuss the list with their mentors in advance. The Personnel Committee, without the faculty member present, will discuss the suitableness for promotion and tenure of those journals and conferences. The Department Chair will send the faculty member an e-mail summarizing the main points of discussion, with a copy to his/her personnel file.
In conjunction with the annual salary review, the Department Chair will invite tenure-track faculty members to meet and discuss their progress in the preceding year and plans for the coming year.
- Associate professors: Associate professors are strongly encouraged to request, three to five years prior to any formal application for promotion to full professorship, an informal review of their accomplishments and plans by the full professors on the Personnel Committee. Upon such a request, the committee will meet and provide feedback to the faculty member.
Approved: April 1989
Revised: April 2006
Revised (by e-mail): 5-25-13