Faculty and Staff Handbook

24th Edition, 2015 Version

Chapter IV: Faculty Personnel Rules and Procedures of UW-River Falls

4.3 Renewal and Nonrenewal of Probationary Appointments-Faculty Personnel Rules

The provisions of this section, except as they are modified by the provisions of section 4, shall not apply to the appointment of a faculty member to an eighth year of service to this institution.

4.3.1 Recommendation from an Academic Unit Time Strictures

Renewal of appointments may be granted only upon affirmative recommendation of the appropriate academic unit. The proportion of time provided for the appointment may not be diminished or increased without the mutual consent of the faculty member and the institution, unless the faculty member is dismissed for just cause, pursuant to 36.13 (5), Wisconsin Statutes, or is terminated or laid off pursuant to 36.21, Wisconsin Statutes. Voting Eligibility

Only tenured faculty members in the academic unit or its functional equivalent shall be eligible to vote on renewal and nonrenewal of probationary appointments except for those who have resigned for reasons other than retirement and those excluded by other UWS regulations, e.g., s. UWS 8.03 (3), the rule governing nepotism.

4.3.2 Criteria for Recommendation Core Criteria

The recommendation shall be based on the following factors:

  1. The personnel needs as determined by the specific mission and programs of the academic unit within the overall mission and programs as defined and set forth for the respective College and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
  2. Professional preparation and experience
  3. Performance criteria
    (c1) Effectiveness in teaching. This section is to apply to any academic unit (department) faculty member whose appointment normally involves a teaching component. Each academic unit (department) will draw up in writing a set of teaching expectations to be used as a guideline for all of its teaching staff in carrying out their teaching duties.

    Teaching expectations shall include, but not be limited to, classroom teaching and its ancillary activities such as advising, testing, professional consultations with students on class progress and with colleagues on curriculum revision and development, class preparation and syllabus writing, and maintaining familiarity with technology. These activities and their relative importance are to be clearly defined in departmental guidelines. The teaching effectiveness criteria for faculty also shall be used to evaluate academic staff with teaching appointments.

    The most important performance criterion will be effectiveness in teaching. Effectiveness in teaching will be assessed through peer evaluations, student evaluations, the faculty member's teaching portfolio, and any other appropriate means of evaluation as approved by a majority of the academic unit's (department's) teaching staff.

    (c2) Professional involvement and accomplishments. Professional involvement and accomplishments in research/scholarly/creative activity may include, but are not limited to, student-faculty or faculty research/scholarly/creative activity involving traditional discipline-related activity or the scholarship of teaching and learning, publications, presentations to professional organizations, grants applied for, grants received, exhibitions of works of art, performances, video productions, software production, participation in scholarly/scientific meetings and related activities.

    (c3) Contributions. Significant contributions at the departmental, College, University, community, state, national, or international level in categories other than those identified above. Such activities include, but are not limited to, if assigned as advisor, perform duties outlined in, advising campus organizations; participating in faculty governance; sharing professional expertise with government, business or private non-profit entities; participation in non-academic local, regional, national, and international organizations whose aims parallel the professional interests of the faculty. Deficiency

A supportable, severe deficiency in any or all of the above criteria, (c1)-(c3), is a reasonable cause for non-renewal. Departmental Criteria

Each academic unit (department) will develop a written set of criteria and will determine the relative importance of these criteria for determining renewal using the basic core of the above criteria, including the integration of technology, in Section as a model and have it approved by the respective College Dean, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor. These criteria are to be provided in writing to and discussed with new faculty members by each academic unit chair.

The department may adjust its criteria, within the boundaries of core criteria (c1)-(c3) above; the respective College Dean, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor must approve those changes.  With the approval of the majority of the tenured members of the department, the department chair, the respective College Dean, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor, individuals within departments may develop different workload expectations within the boundaries set by departments in and will be reviewed based on these revised expectations. A written copy of the alternative workload expectation must be included in all files prepared for promotion and reviews. [FS 07/08-68], [FS 12/13-33] Departments and administrators must follow a principle of fairness in applying changed criteria to decisions involving faculty who have been working under the conditions of the prior criteria. Faculty within three years of the department’s decision for tenure, promotion, or post-tenure review decisions will be given the option to have the criteria operative prior to the change used in these decisions.

Other faculty subject to a retention, promotion or post-tenure review decision when criteria have changed since time of hire, last promotion or post-tenure review should confer with the department and department chair to negotiate and clarify the criteria to be used. Consideration must be given to length of service under the prior criteria, the terms and expectations under which the initial hire was made, the decision process used to change the criteria, and the extent of prior consultation with the faculty member with respect to the changed criteria. These clarifications will be summarized in writing, approved by the respective College Dean, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor, and entered into the faculty member’s professional record. These clarifications will also be mentioned in the Chair’s recommendation and the individual’s Reflective Statement in the decision file. Decision makers will use these clarified criteria in making their recommendations.  [FS 03/04-7] Professional Record

The head of the academic unit concerned shall maintain the professional record indicating the performance of each probationary faculty member with respect to the criteria set forth in Section Such records shall be limited to official University documents relevant to reaching an evaluation. Personal Statement

As part of the official record, faculty members under review shall prepare two- to three-page statements reflecting on their progress in meeting the department’s performance criteria noted in Section This statement should summarize the candidates’ portfolios and elaborate on activities such as their teaching, collaborations with students and colleagues, accomplishments in research/scholarly/creative activity, and service to the campus and larger community. This statement shall be prepared and updated for the professional record as appropriate for decisions involving retention, tenure, promotion, and post-tenure review.

4.3.3 Procedures for Recommendation Names of Probationary Faculty Forwarded to Department by Dean

The names of the probationary faculty members to be evaluated shall be forwarded to the heads of the appropriate academic units by the Dean in accordance with the schedules set forth in Section 4.3.6, Table

Probationary faculty hired at mid year will be evaluated (first review) with first year probationary faculty hired in the next academic year. Notification of Probationary Faculty and Department

At least 30 calendar days prior to the vote on the question of renewal of a probationary appointment, the head of the academic unit shall notify, in writing, the faculty member in question and all faculty members eligible to vote thereon. These individuals shall be allowed access to the professional record and given the opportunity to update that record as identified in Section This material must be placed in the record within 20 days after the notification. For at least a five-workday [FS 06/07-82] period before the vote is taken, the faculty member in question and every faculty member eligible to vote shall be allowed access to the professional record for review purposes only. (See time schedule in Section Meeting for Discussion Prior to Vote

Before a vote is taken, the recommendation in question shall be discussed at a meeting of the faculty members eligible to vote thereon. The meeting shall be called under the provisions of s. 19.85, Wisconsin Statutes, the Open Meeting Law, and Section The meeting shall be called and conducted by the chair so as to afford reasonable opportunities to ask questions, to offer additional information, and to discuss the recommendation in question. This discussion shall be based on documents in the probationary faculty member's personnel file. This file should contain and the chair shall introduce for discussion: official recommendations from departmental personnel committee where such exist; and non-binding advisory reports from other sources who are engaged in a working relationship with the faculty under review. Voting Procedure

The vote shall be taken at the meeting by signed ballots. Members unavoidably absent from the meeting because of illness, professional commitment, or emergency may vote by absentee ballot submitted to the head prior to the meeting. There shall be no voting by proxy. Counting of Votes

The recommendation to renew a probationary appointment shall pass if a majority of those voting concur. If the votes are equally divided, the recommendation shall be against reappointment. Abstention votes of any form should be counted as no vote cast. They should not be considered in any personnel decision. Report of Recommendation

The head of the academic unit shall prepare and submit the unit's recommendation for the administrative review provided in Section 4.3.5. The record submitted by the head of the academic unit shall include the unit’s recommendation, a copy of the record which was presented to the faculty, a statement of the number of faculty members who favored and the number who opposed the unit head’s summary of views of those disagreeing with the recommendation, and whether the head of the academic unit concerned agrees with the recommendation. [FS 06/07-82] Period for Review of Report

The recommendation, including all documents referred to in Section, shall be available in the chair's office for inspection and comment by the voting members for a period of not less than three weekdays prior to the date set forth in Section 4.3.6 for its submission for administrative review. During those days, any voting member may add his or her separate concurring or dissenting statement to the material forwarded. These statements are added to the official record and are open to the same review as the other material forwarded. [FS 06/07-82] Disposition of Documents

Copies of the academic unit's recommendation, including all documents referred to in Section and Section and the individual signed ballots, shall be retained by the Dean.

4.3.4 Disclosure of Recommendation to a Faculty Member Written Notice from Academic Unit to Faculty Member

At the same time that the recommendation is submitted for administrative review, the head of the academic unit shall give written notice to the faculty member of the recommendation adopted by the unit. Notification of Probationary Faculty at Each Reviewing Level

The probationary faculty member shall be notified in writing within 20 days after each decision at each reviewing level as outlined under "Dates of Implementation" Section

4.3.5 Administrative Review of the Recommendation

[FS 12/13-149] Levels of Review

The recommendation of the academic unit shall be submitted to and reviewed by the administration in accordance with this section.

  1. The head of the academic unit shall submit the recommendation outlined in Section and Section to the Dean. The Dean shall make a recommendation, appending any comments, and forward the recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  2. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall make a decision, appending any comments, and forward the recommendation to the Chancellor.
  3. The Chancellor has the responsibility and authority to make the decision for renewal and nonrenewal based on the criteria listed in Section and shall inform the head of the academic unit of the decision.
  4. If the Chancellor disagrees with the recommendation of the academic unit and requests that the unit reconsider the matter, he or she must submit a statement of reasons for disagreement to the unit.
  5. The head of the academic unit shall call a meeting of those members of the academic unit who are eligible to vote on the question. After discussion of the reasons given by the Chancellor, a vote shall be taken to determine what the reconsidered recommendation shall be. Voting shall follow procedures given in Section and Section
  6. The head of the academic unit shall submit the unit's reconsidered recommendation to the Chancellor not less than three weekdays prior to the notification dates for reappointment. (see Table
  7. The decision of the Chancellor on the reconsidered recommendation shall be final. Faculty Member Informed of Chancellor’s Decision

The Chancellor shall inform the faculty member of his or her decision for the renewal or nonrenewal of the probationary appointment. A nonrenewal notice shall include the reasons for nonrenewal. Such reasons shall become part of the professional record of the individual. Request for Reconsideration

Within 30 days after receiving written reasons from the Chancellor, the faculty member may submit to him or her a written request for a reconsideration of the nonrenewal decision. The purpose of reconsideration of a nonrenewal decision shall be to provide an opportunity for a fair and full reconsideration of the nonrenewal decision and to ensure that all relevant material is considered.

  1. Such reconsideration shall be undertaken by the Chancellor and shall include, but not be limited to, notice at least five workdays [FS 06/07-82] in advance of the time of reconsideration of the decision, an opportunity to respond to the written reasons and to present any written or oral evidence or arguments relevant to the decision, and written notification of the decision resulting from the reconsideration.
  2. Reconsideration is not a hearing or an appeal, and shall be non-adversarial in nature.
  3. In the event that a reconsideration affirms the nonrenewal decision, the procedure outlined for appeal may be followed. (See 4.6, Nonrenewal Appeals)

4.3.6 Implementation Dates Associate Professor/Tenure

Since the promotion to associate professor is coupled to the granting of tenure, the dates of implementation to Table shall apply to both. Notice Periods

The dates used in the implementation of the procedures of Section 4.3.3 are based upon the notice periods provided by UWS 3.09, Wisconsin Administrative Code, and are listed in the table below. Mid-year Appointment

In case of an appointment terminating in the middle of an academic year, the time associated with the implementation dates shall be apportioned accordingly and precede the notification dates as given in UWS 3.09 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.

See the following chart: Probationary Faculty Calendar


First Year  (for second year appointment)

Second year (for third and fourth year appt)

After two or more years

A. Names of  probationary faculty members forwarded to heads of academic units no later than (Section

December 5

September 15

November 25

B. Head of academic unit notifies probationary faculty members and all eligible voters no later than (Section

December  10

September 20

December 5

C. Professional file is made available to candidate and faculty members eligible to vote, for their consideration and additions (Section

December 11- January 20

September 21- October 20

December 6 - January 5

D. Amended file available for review only (Section

Jan 21-26

October 21-31

January 6-31

E. Vote no later than (Section

Feb 2

November 10

February 6

F. Departmental recommendations and all supporting documents (as outlined in Section shall be opened to inspection and comments for three weekdays prior to their submission to the Dean but no later than (Section

Feb 7 * 

November 15*

February 13*

G. Departmental recommendations with all supporting documents (as outlined in Sections and  forwarded to the Dean no later than (Section

  February 10

 November 16  

February 14

H. Dean forwards recommendations to Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs no later than (Section

February 15

November 23

February 21

I. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs forwards recommendation to Chancellor no later than (Section

February 20

November 30

February 28

J. Chancellor informs head of academic unit and faculty member of decision no later than (Section

February 25

December 8

  March 7

* 5 days allocated to allow for weekends during some terms