Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Guidelines for Tenure and/or Promotion and Third Year Progress Toward Tenure Review


The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) follows the University of Kansas guidelines for promotion and tenure as set forth in FSRR, Article VI and of the School of Education. In all of its work, ELPS supports the AAUP Statement on Academic Freedom and responsibilities associated with such freedom, This document supplements the SOE guidelines and the instructions on the appropriate university forms. Candidates should consult the appropriate forms and instructions available on the Provost’s web site.

The document is divided into two sections. The first speaks to the criteria for promotion and tenure and the second describes the procedures.

Criteria for Departmental Recommendation for Promotion and Tenure

This document is meant to supplement the tenure and promotion procedure outlined in the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations Article VI (FSRR VI) and those of the School of Education Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure. Its purpose is to describe and explain the criteria that the ELPS department uses in evaluating faculty candidates for promotion and tenure. These criteria are the basis for the departmental committee’s review of promotion and tenure candidates and for the department’s recommendation to the school and university personnel committees.

Candidates for promotion and tenure are evaluated in each of the three main areas of faculty responsibility: teaching, scholarship, and service. Candidates are expected to meet expectations in all three areas, but for purposes of the final departmental recommendation, teaching and scholarship count more than service. The criteria described in this document serve as guidelines for the department’s evaluation, but ultimately the decision is based on the department’s judgment as to whether the quantity and quality of the candidate’s work in each of the areas and overall is sufficient to justify granting the requested promotion. The evaluation is based primarily on the candidate’s performance at the rank currently held. The evaluation is cumulative and may be based on standards that differ from those employed in the department’s annual evaluation of faculty.

In accordance with FSRR 6.3.2.2, ELPS uses the following scale to rate candidate performance in Scholarship, Teaching and Service: “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” “marginal,” or “poor.”

Associate Professor and Tenure

Teaching

Assistant professors are expected to contribute to the on-gong effectiveness of the department’s educational programs and mission by developing and offering courses in their areas of expertise, advising students, serving on thesis and dissertation committees, and, after receiving “chairing privileges,” sponsoring theses and dissertations. Candidates for associate professor and tenure are evaluated on the extent to which they perform these tasks and their effectiveness in doing so.

ELPS subscribes to, and uses as a basis for its evaluation of teaching, FSRR 6.2.2

6.2.2. Teaching. Teaching is a primary function of the University, which strives to provide an outstanding education for its students. The evaluation of teaching includes consideration of syllabi, course materials, and other information related to a faculty member’s courses; peer and student evaluations; a candidate’s own statement of teaching philosophy and goals; public representations of teaching; and other accepted methods of evaluation, which may include external evaluations.

6.2.2.1. High quality teaching is serious intellectual work grounded in a deep knowledge and understanding of the field and includes the ability to convey that understanding in clear and engaging ways. The conduct of classes is the central feature of teaching responsibilities at KU, but teaching also includes supervising student research and clinical activities, mentoring and advising students, and other teaching-related activities outside of the classroom.

6.2.2.2. For the award of tenure and/or promotion to associate professor, the record must demonstrate effective teaching, as reflected in such factors as command of the subject matter, the ability to communicate effectively in the classroom, a demonstrated commitment to student learning, efforts to improve teaching skills over time, and involvement in providing advice and support for students outside the classroom.

6.2.2.3. For promotion to the rank of professor, the record must demonstrate continued effectiveness and growth as a teacher, as reflected in such factors as mastery of the subject matter, strong classroom teaching skills, an ongoing commitment to student learning, and active involvement in providing advice and support for students outside the classroom.

6.2.2.4. In the case of non-teaching faculty and unclassified academic staff, professional performance, as defined by the unit and the expectations of the discipline, may be evaluated instead of teaching. The weight given to professional performance shall be determined by the particular responsibilities of the candidate. Each administrative unit with nonteaching faculty shall establish standards of professional performance, commensurate with the standards for teaching established in these regulations, to evaluate nonteaching faculty for promotion to equivalent ranks. Throughout this Article, references to teaching and its evaluation should be understood to include professional performance and its evaluation as appropriate to the positions and responsibilities of nonteaching faculty and unclassified academic staff.

ELPS subscribes to the recommendations for evaluation of teaching made by the Governance Task Force on Teaching and Learning (www2.ku.edu/~unigov/TFATLdeptguidelines.shtml.) A variety of evidence can be used to demonstrate teaching effectiveness. A major instrument for the evaluation of classroom teaching is the “CTE Student Evaluation of Teaching Document.” The department considers the scores achieved by the candidate and the student “comments” in each course taught by the candidate in light of the size and nature of the course and any other relevant factors of which it is aware. Systematic peer evaluation of assistant professors’ teaching is also weighed heavily. More recent classroom teaching performance is given greater weight than earlier performance particularly if there has been improvement over time. In addition, candidates must submit information about teaching awards, handouts, assignments and examinations or any other information he/she feels demonstrates teaching performance. Advising and academic committee service are evaluated by the number of students served and any other evidence that the candidate chooses to submit such as testimonials of students and faculty.

Scholarship

Assistant professors are expected to develop and carry out a focused program of original research and to disseminate the products of their research program in scholarly outlets appropriate to their field. Candidates for promotion to associate professor and tenure are evaluated on the quality and quantity of their research products and on the extent to which they show promise for future scholarly productivity.

In evaluating a candidate’s scholarship the department gives strong consideration to the findings of the outside evaluators supplemented by its own judgment concerning the extent to which the candidate is making a contribution to the scholarship of the field. Factors to be considered in judging the quality of scholarship include the reputation and selectivity of the journals or other scholarly outlets in which the candidate has published, the extent to which the candidate’s work is focused on a specific area of specialization of importance to the candidate’s field, and any relevant awards or recognition the candidate may have received. No particular method of scholarly inquiry is preferred to another as long as the work is rigorous and the methods appropriate to the field. Judgments concerning quantity of scholarship are not based simply on the number of scholarly products, but on whether the totality of the work represents a substantial and sufficient contribution to scholarship within the field. Major works include refereed journal articles, conference proceedings (if so considered by the sub-field), chapters in edited books, and books. They may include technology products that are vetted through a recognized peer review process. Book reviews, editorials, opinion pieces, speeches, technical reports are considered minor works. The bulk of work considered for tenure and/or promotion should fit the major category. Normally, candidates are expected to have produced more than one peer-reviewed scholarly publication per year (e.g., received an annual rating of VG or E in several of the five years on which the tenure assessment is made), but smaller numbers of very high quality scholarship may suffice and no amount of work can compensate for low quality. Judgments concerning future promise are based on completed works not yet published, works in progress, and candidate’s statements concerning plans for future research. Both solo and collaboratively written products are valued in the annual review process, however, candidates for promotion and tenure must engage in sufficient solo or lead authored work to demonstrate a coherent research agenda. Faculty members should describe their contributions to collaborative projects.

Service

Like all tenure track faculty, assistant professor are expected to engage in service to various levels of the university, to their academic fields, and, if appropriate to their area of specialization, and to the corresponding field of practice. At the same time, the department recognizes that teaching and scholarship are the primary determinants of successful promotion to associate professor with tenure and advises early-career faculty to apportion their time accordingly. Assistant professors are expected to:

  • Demonstrate consistent activity as a member in at least 1 committee per year at the department, school or university level.
  • Participate actively in department and school activities (attending meetings, participating in searches, etc.).
  • Provide evidence of involvement in scholarly associations at the national/international level (e.g., proposal reviewer for conference, discussant, chair for conference session, review manuscripts for journals).
  • Engage in, as appropriate, service to local, regional, and state entities, such as K-12 schools or universities.

Candidates for promotion to associate professor and tenure are evaluated on the extent to which they engage in these and other appropriate service activities and on any evidence concerning the quality of the candidate’s performance (e.g., relevant testimonials and letters.)

Promotion from Associate to Full Professor

Like assistant professors, associate professors have responsibilities in the areas of teaching, research, and service. Much of the above discussion of expectations and evaluation criteria for promotion to associate professor apply here as well, but the expectations are higher.

To be “clearly promotable” to the rank of full professor, an associate professor should have produced a significant body of scholarship since promotion to associate professor that “demonstrates mastery of a specialty area[s] for which he/she has established a national … reputation for contributions to the discipline or professional scholarly field” (SOE Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure). According to both SOE and University guidelines, the candidate for promotion to full professor must have achieved a national reputation for her/his scholarship and have been engaged in “significant research and publication or other scholarly endeavors which further the knowledge base of the professor” (SOE Guidelines). It is not possible to provide a minimum number of scholarly works necessary for promotion. If an individual consistently publishes refereed publications in high quality outlets (e.g., an average of more than 1 refereed article per year or the equivalent) the numerical expectations for promotion should be met. However, numbers alone are insufficient for promotion to the rank of full professor. The primary criteria are the quality of the work and the extent to which the work makes a contribution to the candidate’s field. Receipt of competitive externally funded grants may be one indication of national reputation but obtaining grants cannot serve as a substitute for “significant research and publication.” In addition to continuing service to the Department, School, University and professional community, a candidate for promotion to full professor should have engaged in professional activities at the national or international levels that have established his/her leadership in the field. Candidates for promotion are expected to meet departmental standards
for effective instruction, including growth as a teacher and maintaining advising activities appropriate to the faculty member’s program.

Procedures for Seeking Tenure and/or Promotion

All activities related to consideration of a faculty member for promotion and/or tenure are confidential.

Important dates

May 1: Candidate must notify the department chair (or chairperson of the Personnel Committee in absence of the department chair) of his or her intention to submit materials for tenure and/or promotion (hereafter referred to as P&T) during the upcoming academic year. It is assumed that candidates entering in the mandatory review year will undergo review. In the annual review process each spring, the chair and faculty members below the rank of full professor will review progress in relation to possible consideration for promotion the following academic year.

The department chairperson will designate a faculty member, preferably in the candidate’s area of expertise, to serve as a P&T mentor to assist and advise in preparation of the packet to be sent to external reviewers, the form provided by the Provost’s Office and the dossier. The P&T mentor will not be a member of the department or school personnel committees. The mentor will be available to assist the candidate, as requested by the candidate. Final responsibility for the content of materials submitted rests with the candidate.

October 1: Completed dossiers are due to the Department Chair’s Office. If October 1 falls on a weekend, the dossier is due the following Monday.

External reviewers

Per University policy, external reviewers will be contacted and will submit evaluations of the candidate’s scholarship/research in all tenure and/or promotion cases. External reviewers will not be asked to evaluate teaching and service. Any unsolicited evaluative comments as they may make on service to the profession will be considered in the committee’s evaluation of the candidate’s record.

By May 15 of the year in which the candidate is seeking promotion and or tenure, the P&T candidate will submit names, contact information, and a short description of up to 6 individuals from whom external reviewers will, in part, be chosen. (The candidate may also submit the names of two individuals whom he or she would prefer not serve in this capacity.) A candidate should not include the names of former professors, advisors, collaborators (e.g., co-PI, co-author) or individuals with whom the candidate has a close personal connection. As stated in The University of Kansas Guidelines on Requirements for External Evaluation Promotion and Tenure: 2008-2009, “Evaluators should possess credentials that will document their expertise in evaluating the candidate’s work within the context of the discipline or profession. Outside evaluators must hold a rank at least equal to the rank to which the candidate is seeking promotion or have comparable professional standing in a non-academic setting. It is also expected that evaluators from academic institutions will be at institutions comparable to KU. External reviewers should be experts in the candidate’s field. Consideration should also be given to selecting reviewers familiar with the mission and expectations of a research university comparable to that of the University of Kansas.

Department faculty in the candidate’s area of expertise will be asked to submit the names of six additional reviewers.

The department chairperson, in consultation with the relevant program area faculty and the ELPS Personnel Committee chair, will select the names of six individuals from list who will be asked to be reviewers. Normally the six selected reviewers will consist of at least 2, but no more than 3, from the candidate’s list and 4 from the department list. In the event that an individual invited to serve as an external reviewer is not able to do so, or an individual who agreed to be an external reviewer fails to submit a letter, the department chair will contact another reviewer from the original list until the minimum of six letters is received. Should more names be needed to obtain the required six reviews, the department chairperson (or Personnel Committee chairperson) will consult program area faculty to identify additional reviewers until sufficient reviewers are obtained.

The candidate will not be informed of the names of the reviewers chosen nor will their reviews be shared with the candidate.

On or before June 1 of the year in which promotion and/or tenure is sought, the department chairperson, the P&T mentor and the candidate will prepare a packet of materials to be sent to reviewers following directions set forth in the University of Kansas Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure Recommendations. This packet will contain the chairperson’s letter to reviewers, the candidate’s vita, a statement of research interests and agenda, and a representative sample of the candidate’s scholarly work (no more than six examples). The packets will be sent to reviewers with a requested return date of no later than September 30 of the evaluation year.

All letters to external evaluators will the following: School/College confidentiality statement, a request for a short form of the individual’s CV, and identification of the following evaluation areas, which must be addressed by the evaluator at a minimum:

  • Length and nature of his/her association with the candidate;
  • The quality of the candidate’s work as reflected in the candidate’s CV and works sent for the evaluator’s review;
  • The significance of the candidate’s work to the discipline/profession;
  • The pattern of productivity reflected in the candidate’s record compared to discipline characteristics;
  • The extent to which the candidate’s record reflects a sustainable program of scholarly activity;
  • The level of state, regional, national and/or international stature of the candidate as a result of this work;
  • Any special distinction achieved by the candidate.

The chairperson’s letter to reviewers will contain the following confidentiality statement:

As a part of the promotion and/or tenure review process, we are soliciting assessments of Professor_______’s research contributions from academic colleagues and distinguished professionals. These letters will become part of the candidate’s promotion and tenure dossier and are treated as confidential by the University to the extent we are permitted to do so by law.”

In a case in which more than six external reviewers agree to write letters, the first 6 letters returned will be included in the file. Late arriving letters will be included as supporting letters. (This is in accord with university policy.)

Preparation of and Submission of the Promotion and Tenure Form and Dossier

The candidate will complete the promotion and tenure form as specified in The University of Kansas Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure Recommendations. The promotion and tenure form and the guidelines are available on the Provost’s website.

All dossiers must be submitted to the ELPS Personnel Committee (Chair’s Office) by 5 PM on October 1. If October 1 falls on a weekend, the dossier should be submitted by 5 PM the following Monday.

As specified in the University of Kansas General Instructions for Promotion and Tenure Recommendation, the dossier should include the following: a completed promotion and tenure form, all student evaluations and peer evaluations, a syllabus for each course taught, evidence of advising activities; all products related to scholarship/research (e.g., books, book chapters, published articles, articles submitted for publication, papers delivered at conferences); and evidence of service (e.g., letters of appreciation, when available).

The dossier should be organized in a manner that makes all documentation of teaching, scholarship/research, and service easy to locate. Typically, a candidate should use an appropriately sized box, such as a banker’s box, to contain documentation. The candidate must include the promotion and tenure form in a file folder meeting the specifications outlined by the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure. Documentation should be organized in the box in labeled file folders.

Prior to submission, the candidate is responsible for inspecting the final copy of the promotion and tenure form and dossier to determine accuracy and completeness and for signing the form in the appropriate places. In accordance with KU policy, “once the copy has been submitted to the initial review committee, no other changes are made to the candidate sections”(p. iii, Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure).

Primary Evaluation

The ELPS Personnel Committee provides all evaluative comments on the promotion and tenure form and completes all other work necessary to completing the department’s evaluation of the candidate, including the summary section to be shared with the candidate.

The ELPS Personnel Committee shall be responsible for conducting the initial review and evaluation of the dossier submitted by the candidate and of the external letters. The reviews shall be conducted with regard to disciplinary expectations and the criteria set forth in the document “Criteria for Departmental Recommendation for Promotion and Tenure: Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.”

Chain of evaluation and voting

A candidate’s dossier is evaluated by the ELPS Personnel Committee, the department faculty as a whole, the department chair, the SOE Personnel Committee, the dean of the School of Education, and the University Committee on Promotion and Tenure. The ELPS Personnel Committee evaluates the candidate on teaching, research and service and provides the overall evaluation. After receiving the ELPS personnel committee evaluation, eligible ELPS faculty vote via paper ballot on whether the candidate is recommended for tenure and/or promotion. Eligible faculty members are those who hold at least the rank and tenure status to which the candidate aspires. A majority of eligible voters is required to support a recommendation. In all stages, a candidate’s dossier is treated confidentially. Only eligible voters will have access to necessary documentation and deliberations about a tenure and/or promotion decision.

The department chair “shall indicate separately, in writing whether he or she concurs in or disagrees with the recommendations of the committee and/or faculty” (FSRR 6.5.4.2).

Personnel Committee. As stated in the ELPS Code, the membership of this committee shall include at least three faculty members, representing the Department's concentration areas if possible. Members shall serve three-year terms with no more than one-third of the membership changing each year. Committee members shall be elected at the last faculty meeting of each academic year. When feasible, at least two members shall be full professors. Untenured assistant professors may not be members of the Personnel Committee for P&T reviews but may serve as members for the purpose of annual reviews. No more than ONE member of the committee may be an assistant professor in any given year. The chair of the committee shall be tenured and shall have served on the committee previously. The department chair has no ex-officio status on the department's personnel committee. Assistant professors will be replaced for tenure and promotion reviews and associate professors will be replaced for reviews of individuals seeking promotion to full professor. Additionally, personnel committee members who are being actively evaluated for tenure, promotion, mid-probationary review or sabbatical leave must be replaced for the duration of the review period by another departmental faculty member, who is appointed by the committee chair.

Faculty who have a clear conflict of interest or who would otherwise compromise the impartiality of an evaluation of a candidate shall recuse themselves from being on the ELPS Personnel Committee or from voting in the departmental vote. In a small collegial department it is difficult to be entirely impartial, making it difficult to precisely define conflict of interest. Situations that automatically result in recusal would be marriage (or the equivalent status) to a candidate, divorce, law suit against candidate or vice versa.

Candidates may petition for the recusal of a committee member. Such a petition must be made in writing to the department chair by September 1 of the review year. The candidate must provide evidence that the committee member in question has engaged in actions that indicate an inability to be impartial. The chair shall forward the request to the committee. If the named committee member does not recuse him or herself, the majority of remaining committee members will determine whether the named individual has a conflict of interest and shall be replaced.

Candidate Notification

The ELPS Personnel Committee will prepare the summary evaluation section (FSRR 6.3.4.2) that is shared with the candidate. This summary includes the recommendation of the committee/department, ratings of the candidates in areas of teaching, scholarship and service, and a rationale for those ratings. If applicable, the statement should include an indication of the degree of unanimity on the ratings.

In accordance with FSRR 6.5.4.2 and 6.5.4.4, the department chair shall communicate the recommendations of the department’s review to the candidate and “provide the candidate with a copy of the corresponding evaluation section of the promotion and tenure form. Negative recommendations shall be communicated in writing and, if the review will not be forwarded automatically [e.g., promotion to full professor], shall inform the candidate that he or she may request that the record be forwarded for further review.” Negative recommendations in the mandatory review year must also be forwarded to the SOE Personnel Committee. Favorable recommendations are forwarded to the SOE Personnel Committee. The candidate has a right to submit to the next level of review a written response to a negative recommendation at the department level or to a final rating of teaching, research, or service below the level of “good.”

Request for Information

In accordance with FSRR 6.6.22, a request for information made by a higher level committee (e.g., SOE or University) shall be transmitted immediately to the candidate. Concurrently, the department Personnel Committee will be informed of the request. In the event that the candidate is out of town or on leave, a registered letter will be sent to the candidate’s home address. The department chair and the ELPS Personnel Committee shall prepare the response to the request for information. The candidate shall be asked to participate in the preparation of the response and/or to submit his or her response and documentation directly to the SOE Personnel Committee.

Third Year Progress Toward Tenure Review

Preparation and Submission of Third Year Progress Toward Tenure Review Materials

On or before August 1, the department chairperson (or chairperson of the ELPS Personnel Committee in absence of the department chair) will designate a mentor to assist the mid-probationary candidate complete the Third Year Review form and compile a dossier. The mentor will not be a member of the Personnel Committee. The mentor will be available to assist the candidate, as requested by the candidate. Final responsibility for the content of materials submitted rests with the candidate.

Dossiers of mid-probationary/third year review candidates are due in the Department Chair’s Office on November 15 (or the following Monday if Nov. 15 falls on a weekend).

External evaluations of a candidate’s work are not sought for the mid-probationary/third-year review. The dossier should include the following: a completed Green Form, all student evaluations and peer evaluations, a syllabus for each course taught, evidence of advising activities; all products related to scholarship/research (e.g., books, book chapters, published articles, articles submitted for publication, papers delivered at conferences); and evidence of service (e.g., letters of appreciation, when available). The appropriate forms are available at Progress Toward Tenure Review).

The dossier should be organized in a manner that makes all documentation of teaching, scholarship/research, and service easy to locate. Typically, a candidate should use an appropriately sized box, such as a banker’s box, to contain documentation. Documentation should be organized in the box in labeled file folders.

Chain of Evaluation and Voting

A candidate’s dossier is evaluated by the ELPS Personnel Committee, the department chair person, the SOE Personnel Committee and the dean. The ELPS Personnel Committee evaluates the candidate’s teaching, research and service and makes the overall assessment of a faculty member’s progress toward tenure. In the event that the ELPS Personnel Committee recommends non-reappointment, the case will be brought to the department for a vote. Those eligible to vote are those faculty members with tenure.

Candidate Notification

At the end of the school-level review, candidates will receive feedback from the School Personnel Committee.

Revised 9/2010
Revised and Approved by faculty vote: 9/16/2011
Approved by SPPT: 10/2011

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