Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook

23rd Edition, 2013 Version


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

4.4 Tenure and Promotions - Faculty Personnel Rules

4.4.1 General

The usual probationary period shall be seven years in a full-time or at least half-time position. Provisions shall be made at the time of hire for the appropriate counting of prior service at other institutions and at the institution. Tenure is not acquired solely because of years of service.

4.4.1.1 Timing of Tenure Recommendation

A tenure recommendation shall ordinarily be made during a probationary faculty member's sixth year of full-time or at least half-time employment. The notice of employment for the eighth year shall be given during the sixth year in accordance with the schedule set forth in Table 4.3.6.4 Except as provided in UWS 3.10link and Section 4.4.1.5, notice of appointment for the eighth year shall constitute the granting of tenure to the probationary faculty member.

4.4.1.2 Criteria for Early Tenure Decision

A faculty member may be considered for tenure prior to the completion of the usual probationary period provided that at least one of the following criteria is met:

  1. For extraordinary reasons, the faculty member has taught seven years at this institution without receiving tenure.
  2. The faculty member possesses teaching, administrative, and/or research expertise that makes possible an extraordinary contribution to the fulfillment of the goals of the institution.

4.4.1.3 Criteria for Delayed Tenure Decision

A faculty member may be considered for tenure with a longer maximum probationary period (greater than 7 years as defined in 4.4.1) in a full-time or part-time position of at least half-time (see Sections 4.4.1.4 and 4.4.1.5).

4.4.1.4 Leave of Absence or Sabbatical

A leave of absence, sabbatical or a teacher improvement assignment does not constitute a break in continuous service and shall not be included in the 7-year period under Section 4.4.1

4.4.1.5 Other Circumstances That May Delay Tenure Decision

Circumstances in addition to those identified under Section 4.4.1.4 that do not constitute a break in continuous service and that shall not be included in the 7-year period include responsibilities with respect to childbirth and adoption, significant responsibilities with respect to elder or dependent care obligations, disability or chronic illness, or circumstances beyond the control of the faculty member, when those circumstances significantly impede the faculty member's progress toward achieving tenure. The request shall be made in writing. It shall be presumed that a request made under this section because of responsibilities with respect to childbirth or adoption shall be approved. A request for additional time should be made prior to the beginning of the sixth year.

  1. A request for additional time because of responsibilities with respect to childbirth or adoption shall be initiated in writing by the probationary faculty member concerned and shall be submitted to the chair or academic unit head, who will forward it with a recommendation to the Dean, who will forward it with a recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for approval. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall specify the length of time for which the request is granted. The request should state the reason for the exception, and state the beginning date and the ending date of the leave. Final approval and notification shall be made by the Chancellor.
  2. Except for a request because of responsibilities with respect to childbirth or adoption, a written request made because of other circumstances under this section shall be submitted to the chair or academic unit head, who will forward it with a recommendation to the Dean, who shall forward it with a recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for approval. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall specify the length of time for which the request is granted. The request should state the reason for the exception and state the beginning date and the ending date of the leave. Final approval and notification shall be made by the Chancellor. A denial of a request shall be in writing by the Chancellor and shall be based on clear and convincing reasons.
  3. More than one request may be granted because of responsibilities with respect to childbirth or adoption. More than one request may be granted to a probationary faculty member but the total, aggregated length of time of all requests, except for a request because of responsibilities with respect to childbirth or adoption, granted to one probationary faculty member ordinarily shall be no more than one year.
  4. If additional time is needed, the approval process must be reinstituted.
  5. The department chair shall notify the tenured faculty members that the leave has been approved and does not constitute a break in service. The chair does not need to notify the tenured faculty members as to the reason for the request.
  6. If any faculty member has been in probationary status for more than 7 years because of one or more of the reasons set forth in Section 4.4.1.4 or 4.4.1.5, the faculty member shall be evaluated as if he or she had been on probationary status for 7 years.

4.4.2 Procedure

The procedure for granting tenure shall be the same as the procedure for the renewal or nonrenewal of a probationary appointment in Section 4.3.1 through Section 4.3.6, except for the following:

  1. Voting members of the academic unit shall consist of all tenured faculty members of the unit.
  2. A motion to grant tenure shall carry only if favored by at least two-thirds of those voting. Abstention votes of any form should be counted as no vote cast. They should not be considered in any personnel decision.
  3. When tenure is to be granted to a faculty member prior to the expiration of the normal probationary period, the decision may be made independently of the calendar dates in Section 4.3.5.1 (f) and Section 4.3.6 Nevertheless, the time periods and sequences associated with giving notice, scheduling meetings, and providing information shall be honored. When the Dean forwards his or her recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, he or she shall, at the same time, inform all academic unit heads and each other Dean about the recommendation. The purpose of providing this information is to give the various parts of the University an opportunity to express to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and/or Chancellor any concerns they have regarding the proposed action prior to a decision.
  4. When tenure is to be granted simultaneously with initial appointment, the tenured faculty of the academic unit, upon two-thirds majority vote, shall initiate the recommendation for granting tenure. This recommendation shall accompany the recommendation for initial appointment in the process of administrative review provided in Section 4.2.2.5 and 4.2.2.6 When the Dean forwards his or her recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, he or she shall, at the same time, inform all academic unit heads and each other Dean about the recommendation. The purpose of providing this information is to give the various parts of the University an opportunity to express to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and/or Chancellor any concerns they have regarding the proposed action prior to a decision. A denial of tenure under these circumstances does not require written reasons, a reconsideration, nor opportunity for an appeal under UWS 3.07link and UWS 3.08link
  5. As noted in Section 4.1.5, a tenure appointment is granted by the Board upon the affirmative recommendation of the appropriate academic unit and the Chancellor of the University via the President of the System, unless a denial of tenure is found to be based on impermissible factors, in which case the provisions of Section 4.4.3 will apply.

4.4.3 Review and Rectification of Denial of Tenure For Impermissible Factors

4.4.3.1 Procedures for the Review and Rectification of Denial of Tenure on Basis of Impermissible Factors

Recommendations for tenure shall be based on the criteria established in Section 4.3.2.1 and on such extensions of those criteria as are enacted by each academic unit and filed with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Tenure shall not be denied on the basis of impermissible factors as defined in Section 4.6.4 of the Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook. Faculty who appeal their denial of tenure on the basis of impermissible factors may follow the process and procedure of the appeal process described below. No member of the academic unit in which the appeal originated shall serve on any body involved in the appeal.

  1. The faculty member denied tenure may appeal to the Faculty Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee to determine if impermissible factors were used in denying tenure. This committee will review the tenure documents and supporting materials and hold interviews and hearings as needed to establish the basis on which the decision was made. Academic staff members of the Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee shall not participate in appeals of denial of tenure for impermissible factors.
  2. Should the Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee find that the decision was not based on impermissible factors, the denial shall stand.
  3. Should the Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee find that the decision was based on impermissible factors, an Ad Hoc Committee shall be established to conduct an independent review of the grievant's credentials in relation to established criteria (Section 4.3.2.1).
  4. The Faculty Senate shall be responsible for establishing the Ad Hoc Committee.
    (1) The Chair of the Faculty Senate in consultation with the tenured members of the Executive Committee shall draft a list of potential Ad Hoc Committee members to be approved by the entire Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate Chair shall be responsible for contacting nominees to the Ad Hoc Committee and obtaining their consent to serve.
    (2) This Ad Hoc Committee shall be composed of five members who teach in the same academic field as the individual under review or in a substantially similar academic field, and a non-voting chair selected by the tenured members of the Executive Committee of the UWRF Faculty Senate.
    (3) Members of the Ad Hoc Committee may be UWRF faculty or faculty from other campuses, but they must be tenured at an accredited four-year institution of higher learning. In selecting off-campus members of the Ad Hoc Committee, the Faculty Senate shall try to choose faculty from institutions whose philosophy and mission are similar to those on this campus. Members of this Ad Hoc Committee are expected to give a fair and impartial review and to be free of conflicts of interest which might bias them in favor of one of the parties to the appeal.
  5. The Ad Hoc Committee shall function as follows:
    (1) The administration shall provide a recording secretary who, in the event of an open meeting, will prepare a verbatim report.
    (2) The Ad Hoc Committee shall review documents on which the decision was based including, but not limited to, the grievant's personnel file, minutes of meetings at which the grievant's tenure was discussed, the chair's recommendation regarding tenure, and other supporting documents;
    (3) hold a meeting to conduct an independent review of the grievant's credentials in relation to established criteria (Section 4.3.2.1). In accordance with s. 19.85(1)(b)link Wisconsin Statutes and other statutory provisions, appropriate notice shall be given of this meeting and the grievant shall have the option to request that it be open;
    (4) after due discussion and deliberation, vote by signed ballot to recommend granting or denying tenure; and
    (5) convey to the Chancellor their conclusions, providing a report stating the rationale for their decision and indicating any substantive minority views which may have been expressed.
  6. The Chancellor shall review the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee and make a recommendation following the criteria in Section 4.3.2.1 and any such extension of those criteria established by the academic unit and filed with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  7. The following time limits shall govern this procedure:
    (1) Within 30 days after being notified in writing of the departmental vote denying tenure, the faculty member must forward an appeal to the Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee. [FS 12/13-149document]
    (2) The Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee shall operate under the provisions of Section 4.10 except that in the event impermissible factors are found to operate, the Hearing, Grievance and Appeals Committee chair shall immediately notify the faculty member and the Chair of the Faculty Senate.
    (3) Faculty Senate action on establishing the Ad Hoc Committee shall proceed in a timely fashion, but no more than one month shall elapse between notification and the approval of the Ad Hoc Committee.
    (4) The Ad Hoc Committee shall have one month in which to conduct its review and to notify the Chancellor of its decision.
    (5) The Chancellor will act on the report within two weeks after its receipt and will immediately give written notice of the final decision to all parties involved.

4.4.4 General Criteria for Promotion

Reflecting the spirit and intent of Chapter 3.06link of the UWS Administrative Code "Renewal of Appointments and Granting of Tenure," this handbook includes the general criteria for promotion.

4.4.4.1 Specific Criteria for Promotion to Associate Professor

Each department or functional equivalent develops specific criteria for retention and promotion, including technology integration, in accordance with Section 4.3.2.1c and determines the relative importance of these criteria. The appropriate Dean, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor review and approve the criteria. The department chair shall present these department criteria to faculty members and shall discuss with them the ways in which the criteria can be fulfilled so that such faculty can successfully attain tenure and the automatic promotion to Associate Professor it carries. Copies of the criteria will be on file in the offices of the Dean, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor.

4.4.4.2 Procedure for Promotion to Associate Professor

Faculty appointed at the Assistant Professor level are promoted to Associate Professor simultaneously with the granting of tenure. For additional information on promotion to Associate Professor see Section 4.4.1 on Granting Tenure.

4.4.4.3 Specific Criteria for Promotion to Professor

Performance expectations for promotion to Professor will be beyond those expectations for promotion to Associate Professor. Similar to promotion to Associate Professor, each department or functional equivalent develops the specific criteria, including technology integration, and determines the relative importance of these criteria. The appropriate Dean, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor review and approve the criteria. The department chair shall present these department criteria to faculty members and shall discuss with them the ways in which the criteria can be fulfilled. Copies of the criteria will be on file in the offices of the Dean, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor. A supportable, severe deficiency in any or all of the criteria is reasonable cause for denial of promotion.

4.4.4.4 Procedure for Promotion to Professor

Promotion to Professor involves review and recommendations at the department, College/unit, University and UW Regents levels as described later in this section. A positive recommendation for promotion at a lower level does not guarantee a positive recommendation at a subsequent higher level.

4.4.4.5 Qualifications for Promotion

4.4.4.5.1 Appropriate Educational Preparation

In promotion of faculty members, the following criteria will be considered: appropriate educational preparation, appropriate experience, and contributions to the University. The educational preparation code assignment shall be based on the following minimal academic experience pertinent to the teaching assignment:

Code 1. Any of the following categories qualify for this rating:

  • Ph.D.
  • Ed.D.
  • Earned doctor's degree equivalent to the Ph.D. and Ed.D. requiring the minimum equivalent of three full years of graduate study beyond the baccalaureate
  • M.F.A. in performing arts (dance and theatre) or in studio arts
  • M.S.W./M.S.S.W. with ACSW eligibility (limited to promotions to Associate Professor only)
  • M.A./M.S. in Journalism and minimum three years relevant professional experience (limited to promotions to Associate Professor only)  [FS 03/04-6document]
  • M.A. in SCTA/Mass Communication with appropriate professional experience (limited to promotions to Associate Professor only) [FS 04/05-1document]

Code 2.

  • Earned degrees requiring a minimum of three years of work beyond the baccalaureate degree
  • All requirements met for the doctorate except for the completion of the dissertation

Code 3.

  • Master's degree plus one full year of graduate study as measured by the institution where graduate work is applicable in a degree program
  • A specialist degree or its equivalent
  • Two-year master's degree

Code 4. Master's degree

Code 5. Bachelor's degree

Code 6. No bachelor's degree

NOTE: In those academic areas where the terminal degree traditionally accepted in the discipline is other than code 1 or code 2 or in fields where faculty members with code 1 or code 2 credentials are not available, the faculty member may receive consideration for promotion upon recommendation of the academic department. Less than full-time faculty may be considered for promotion in rank when their actual teaching experience adds up to the number of years required for promotion to the rank in question. The Chancellor may waive the criteria and must provide the justification for the waiver.

4.4.4.5.2 Appropriate experience

Having met the standard for minimal academic preparation as outlined in assignment of code, the faculty member who seeks advancement in rank must meet the following criteria:

  • Associate Professor: To be eligible for consideration for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor, the faculty member must meet minimal educational preparation code 1. A minimum of six years of teaching or equivalency with a minimum of three academic years as an Assistant Professor at this University will be required.* An Assistant Professor who is granted tenure shall automatically be promoted to Associate Professor if minimal educational preparation code 1 is met and the rank of Assistant Professor has been held for at least three years. There shall be no promotion to Associate Professor prior to the granting of tenure.**

*Neither the current year nor summer sessions will be considered in meeting this requirement
**Applies to tenure-track faculty hired after October 9, 1996

  • Professor: There shall be no promotion to Professor prior to the granting of tenure.** To be eligible for promotion to the rank of Professor, the faculty member must meet minimal educational preparation code 1. Ten years of fultime college/university teaching or equivalency is required.* A minimum of three of those years must be at the rank of Associate Professor at this University.

*Neither the current year nor summer sessions will be considered in meeting this requirement
**Applies to tenure-track faculty hired after October 9, 1996

4.4.4.5.3 Contribution to the University

The faculty member who has met criteria Appropriate Educational Preparation and Appropriate Experience (above) may be considered for promotion using the criteria found under Section 4.3.2.1 (c1)-(c3).

Evaluation of the criteria in Section 4.3.2.1 c shall be based on the faculty member's professional record. Faculty members (tenured and tenure track) are expected to develop and maintain a faculty record for use in merit, retention, tenure, promotion, and post-tenure decisions. A copy of the record should be kept by both the faculty member and his or her department chair and updated annually. This professional record should include a Vita, a self-reflective statement, and the following position information: Letters of appointment, position announcement, University rank and years of service. The record shall document the faculty member's activities in four categories: teaching, research/scholarly activity/creative activity, university service and outreach, and other professional contributions, and may include the following documentation and activities:

  1. Teaching: must include student, peer, and department evaluations, and may include a list of courses taught, enrollment, student advising, reassigned/release time, curriculum revision/innovation, renewal and retraining, and other professional teaching development.
  2. Research/Scholarly/Creative Activity: may include, but is 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, participation in scholarly/scientific meetings, and related activities. [FS 02/03-11document]
  3. University Service and Outreach: may include committee participation and leadership (department, college, University), student club advising, and extension and outreach responsibilities.
  4. Other Professional Contributions: may include active involvement in professional organizations, professional consulting, professional service to community organizations, and similar activities.

The items within the categories above are suggestions of appropriate activities to document in the record and may not include every appropriate activity. Specific performance expectations for promotion are established by the department and kept on file with the Dean of the College, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor.

4.4.4.6 Promotion Procedures

4.4.4.6.1 Department Procedures

Recommendations for promotions shall be initiated during Fall semester at the departmental level. The departmental procedures shall provide a review of a promotion professional record containing such information and summary of data as described above. At the departmental level, the professional records of those candidates recommended by the department shall be forwarded to the College Promotions Committee for review and action. Every faculty member who meets the minimum requirements for promotion but is not recommended for promotion by the department can request that his or her professional record be forwarded to the Dean of the College.

A meeting will be conducted by the department chair, except in instances where the chair does not hold a rank equivalent to that being decided on, in which case the Dean will designate a committee chair from the department members eligible to vote. The vote will be taken at the meeting by signed ballots of those department members who hold the same or higher rank for which the candidate is being considered. Members unavoidably absent from the meeting because of illness, professional commitment, or emergency may vote by absentee ballot submitted to the committee chair prior to the meeting. There shall be no voting by proxy.

The recommendation for promotion shall pass if a majority of those voting concur. If the votes are equally divided, no department recommendation will be forwarded to the College Promotions Committee. Abstention votes of any form should be counted as no vote cast. They should not be considered in any personnel decision.

The Department committee chair shall prepare and submit the unit's recommendation for administrative review. The recommendation shall be accompanied by a copy of the record which was presented to the faculty, and a statement of the number of faculty members who favored and the number who opposed the recommendation.

Copies of the academic unit's recommendation, including all documents referred to above, and a copy of the department's promotion criteria shall be reviewed by the College Promotion Committee. That material and the individual signed ballots shall be retained by the Dean.

At the same time that the recommendation is forwarded for review to the College Promotions Committee, the department committee chair shall give written notice to the faculty member of the recommendation adopted by the unit.

NOTES: The Dean shall augment any department with fewer than three eligible voting members with additional members who shall participate in the promotion decisions. See Section 4.1.1 for information on how the augmented committee shall be formed and who shall serve on it. Recommendations for promotion of department chairs may be made by the Dean in consultation with the tenured members of the department.

4.4.4.6.2 College Promotions Committees

The Dean of each College shall establish a College Promotions Committee to evaluate the professional record of each candidate. This committee shall consist of 20 percent (rounded down) of the tenured faculty members within a college with a maximum of seven members. Voting in the College Promotions Committee shall be governed by the principle that nominations to a given rank shall be voted upon only by members of the committee who hold rank equivalent to or higher than that under consideration. A member's service on this committee shall be limited to three consecutive years and no more than two members of the same department shall serve on the committee at the same time. The College Promotions Committee shall consider the professional records of the following groups: (a) candidates recommended by the department, (b) persons who request consideration by appeal to the Dean of the College, and (c) any others whom the committee believes deserve consideration because of special circumstances. [FS 12/13-133document]

A written report on the deliberations of the College Promotions Committee shall be forwarded to the Dean. This report shall explain briefly the strengths and weaknesses of each nominee, and in cases in which the committee chooses not to recommend a candidate for promotion the report shall give reasons for this action. Wherever feasible, this report shall include any information which may be of service to the faculty member who is not granted promotion and who wishes to improve his or her performance.

4.4.4.6.3 Action of the Dean

The Dean shall review the recommendations of the College Promotions Committee, shall provide additional information where it is appropriate and shall then forward the list of candidates for promotion to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Upon timely request from an unsuccessful candidate, the Dean shall meet with the candidate to review the professional promotion record and to advise the candidate of any actions that may be taken to strengthen his or her qualifications for promotion.

4.4.4.6.4 Review by the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall review the recommendations of the Deans and shall send his or her recommendation concerning promotions to the Chancellor.

4.4.4.6.5 Final Action By the Chancellor

The Chancellor shall make his or her final decision regarding recommendations for promotion, shall forward this decision to the Board of Regents, and shall notify all candidates of the status of their nomination. Upon written request from an unsuccessful candidate, the Chancellor shall review the candidate's professional record, including recommendations of the various promotions committees, of the Dean, and of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and shall discuss with the candidate the rationale for the action on his or her recommendation. The Chancellor may refer the candidate to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs or to the appropriate Dean or the department chair for a review of the candidate's file and the actions thereon.

4.4.4.6.6 Appeal

A faculty member who is not recommended for promotion has the right to appeal that decision to the Faculty Hearing, Grievance, and Appeals Committee in accordance with the procedures of Chapter IV of this Handbook: Section 4.10 - Procedure for Handling Grievances: Faculty Personnel Rules

4.4.4.6.7 Promotion calendar

The Dean of the College notifies the department chair of all faculty eligible for promotion consideration by September 15.

The chair notifies individual faculty members within five working days following September 15 of the faculty members’ eligibility for promotion to full professor and their requirement to submit their professional record, as specified in Section 4.4.4.5.3 of the Faculty and Academic Staff Handbook: Contribution to the University. The completed record will be submitted to the department chair for departmental review by October 15  [FS 03/04-13document] The departmental decision is made by November 1.

The departments send promotion recommendations to College Promotion Committees by November 15.

The College Promotion Committees send recommendations to their respective Deans by February 1.

The College Deans send recommendations to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs by February 15.

The Chancellor and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs inform the Deans and the individual faculty of their recommendations by March 1 and send recommendations to the Board of Regents according to System guidelines. Upon receipt of the final decision from the Board of Regents, the Chancellor shall inform the faculty members of their status.

4.4.4.6.8 Promotion to Full Professor Calendar

Action

Date

The Dean of the College notifies the department chair of all faculty eligible for promotion

By September 15

Department chair notifies individual faculty members

Within five working days following September 15

Completed record submitted to department chair

By October 15

Departmental decision

By November 1

Recommendations from departments to College promotion committees

By November 15

Recommendations from promotion committees to Deans

By February 1

Recommendations from Deans to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

By February 15

Chancellor and Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs inform the Deans and individual faculty and send recommendations to the Board of Regents

By March 1

Chancellor informs faculty members

After receipt of the final decision from the Board of Regents