Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Toolkit
- Introduction to Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Process
- Timeline for RP&T: What Happens and When?
- Preparing Materials for RP&T: A Checklist of Best Practices for Faculty
- Preparing Materials for RP&T: A Checklist of What Needs to be Documented
Resources for Early Career Faculty
(Promotion from Assistant to Associate with Tenure)
- At MSU, faculty are expected to be both active scholars and student-focused. They must demonstrate substantial scholarhip and ability to promote learning through our on-campus and off-campus education and research programs.
- MSU must improve continuously. To do so requires that academic personnel decisions must result in a progressively stronger faculty— a faculty who meet continuously higher standards that assures enhanced quality within a national and international context. Individual personnel actions for tenure recommendation should result in the improvement of academic unit quality.
- Assessment of faculty performance should recognize the importance of both teaching and research and their extension beyong the borders of the campus as part of the outreach dimension.
- The achievement and performance level required must be competitive with faculties of leading research-intensive, land-grant universities of international scope. (comparison important)
- Details regarding the Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure process is provided in an annual letter sent out to chairs and directors in fall semester. The basic content of that letter can be found at: http://hr.msu.edu/documents/facacadhandbooks/faculty/handbook/recommendations.htm
1. Initial Appointments
- The normal initial appointment for an Assistant Professor is for 4 years followed by a second 3 year probationary appointment.
- If at any time during the two probationary appointments, an assistant professor is promoted to associate professor, tenure is awarded and there are no further probationary appointments.
- New Associate Professors are typically appointed for one 4-year probationary appointment, but these appointments may range from 2-5 years.
- All tenure system probationary appointments begin on August 16 (following the initial appointment in the tenure track) regardless of when during the calendar year the appointment is effective.
2. Early Promotion or Tenure
- Early promotion/tenure is based on an exceptional record of accomplishments at MSU that is based on department/school/college and University criteria. Early promotion/tenure is reserved for extraordinary cases.
- An assistant professor without tenure may request promotion to associate professor with tenure prior to the conclusion of the stipulated probationary appointment period. A negative decision on such a request does not preclude consideration for promotion at the normal time.
- Early promotion and tenure for an assistant professor can be requested– faculty should seek guidance from their unit administrator, unit promotion and tenure committee members or mentor. Review any unit or college evaluation criteria for promotion to see if your professional accomplishments match the expectations for promotion and tenure.
- Leaves of absence with or without pay that are one semester to twelve months. Changes in appointment to 50% time or less for one year.
- Upon request from a faculty member on approved leave of absence (paid or unpaid) for twelve weeks or longer for reasons related to the birth or adoption of a child. Automatic extensions for this reason are limited to two separate one-year extensions.
- Immigration/visa status that does not permit the award of tenure for candidates who have been recommended for tenure.
- An extension recommended as an outcome of a hearing and/or appeal conducted pursuant to the Faculty Grievance Policy.
- Additionally, extensions of the probationary appointment may be requested from the University Committee on Faculty Tenure (UCFT). These requests may be due to reasons related to childbirth, adoption, the care of an ill and/or disabled child, spouse, or parent; personal illness; to receive prestigious awards, fellowships, and/or special assignment opportunities; or other such serious constraints. Who do you ask: First your unit administrator.
4. When do you develop your reappointment, promotion or tenure materials
- Download Form D: http://www.hr.msu.edu/forms/faculty_forms/FormInfoRRPTPages.htm
- Start organizing your productivity measures from the beginning of your appointment
- Begin to review the materials needed to be submitted near the end of the academic year before the year when materials are to be submitted for reappointment/promotion.
- In the spring talk with the chair or unit administrator about what to include in the packet and when the materials are due in the unit.
______ The University’s timetable for RP&T is distributed to units in August, and includes a list of faculty scheduled for review. At that time the Dean’s Office informs units when packets are due from the departments.
______ Also begin to plan writing the reflective essay.
- Units define their own deadlines for submission of RP&T materials; usually the packets are due to the departmental committee in early fall.
- Departments must submit their input and recommendations for all RP&T packets to the college early in the spring semester.
- In March and April, Deans meet with Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources, Senior Associate Provost and the Vice President for Research and Graduate Students to review each RP&T recommendation.
- Provost decisions are announced to deans usually by the end of April.
- Deans notify chairpersons and directors of actions taken after receiving notice from the Office of the Provost.
- Lists of reappointments and promotion involving award of tenure are forward to President and Board of Trustees for their approval in June.
- Notification of final approval for actions is sent to deans who notify chairpersons and directors who notify the faculty in mid to late June.
For details, see the Faculty Guide for Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Review: http://www.hr.msu.edu/promotion/facacadstaff/FacGuideTenure.htm
______ Document EVERYTHING – from the beginning of your appointment—If it isn’t documented it didn’t happen!!!
______ Set up a system to record your professional activities and accomplishments in systematic way.
In your document demonstrate:
- Growth and Trajectory
______ You should meet regularly (at least once a year) with the appropriate administrators in the department/unit in which you have a minor appointment. You should request input, ideally in writing, regarding progress related to your minor appointment in that unit.
______ Your RP&T materials will be reviewed by your primary department/college. Only that college will make the final recommendation.
______ Your RP&T materials may be shared with the unit/college in which you have a minor appointment. Input will be requested by the lead department/college before developing their recommendation
______ If you have an appointment in a unit such as MAES or the NSCL, your packet may be shared with those units and input will be requested
- Formal Classes
______ Schedule, class size and format
______ Syllabi, course materials
______ Exams and grade distribution
______ Student evaluations
______ Colleague evaluations
______ Evidence of student learning
- Workshops, Seminars, etc. (conducted by you)
- Advising & Mentoring
______ Student supervision of independent study, clinical, internship or thesis projects
- Supervision and Training of Graduate Students
______ In research: as major professor, on advisory committee
______ For teaching assistance
______ In service and outreach activities
- Course and Curriculum Development
______ Develop/redesign course
______ Develop teaching materials
______ Planned/developed out-of-class experiences
- Professional Activities
______ Instructional research and instructional grants
______ Professional development: attendance at workshops, professional meetings
- Additional Ideas for Teaching Documentation
______ Reflective statement
______ Your philosophy, approach, goals, objectives
______ Your teaching methods
______ How these fit within your unit and discipline
______ How your teaching has changed over time
- Course Reflections
______ Your goals for student learning
______ How you help students achieve these goals
______ New approaches and innovations you have developed
______ Impact on students – outcomes assessment, unsolicited comments
- Relationship of Teaching to Other Work
______ Teaching, research, service, outreach
2. Research and Scholarship
- Products of Research
______ Books or monographs (can include reviews of books)
______ Book chapters
______ Articles in refereed journals
______ Non-peer reviewed publications
______ Creative works—exhibits, performances
______ Edited works—journals, other publications
______ Presentations at scholarly/professional meetings
______ Other papers, reports, reviews
- Funded Projects
______ Grant proposals—funded and non-funded
______ Grant management—budgets, staff
- Reflective Statement related to research
______ Standing in the Discipline
______ Journal rankings
______ Citation analysis
______ Reviews and published reactions
______ Awards and honors
______ Invited activities
______ Unsolicited testimonial
- Involvement in the Discipline
______ Manuscript review
______ Grant evaluation panels
______ Leadership activities in scholarly societies
- Relationship of Research to Other Work
______ Research and Teaching
______ Research and Service/Outreach
3. Service, Outreach and Professional Service
- Service to Scholarly/Professional Organizations
______ Leadership roles—elected and appointed
______ Committee memberships
______ Reports written
______ Grants developed
______ Conferences planned
- Service within the University
______ Department, college, university leadership roles
______ Department, college, university committees
______ Grants for the institution
______ Task forces and reports
- Other service and outreach information CAN include
______ Broader Community
______ Activities Disseminating Knowledge
______ Evaluation and Development of Products
______ Partnerships with Agencies
______ Clinical Service
- Other Ideas
______ Reflective Statement related to service
______ Evidence of Expertise
______ Invited Talks/Presentations
______ Proposal reviews
______ Awards and honors
______ Published reactions
______ Unsolicited testimonials
- Evidence of Impact
______ Program evaluations
______ Outcomes assessments
______ Constituency reactions
______ Examples of change related to your work
- Relationship to Other Work
______ Service and Teaching
______ Service and Research
4. Other materials in the RP&T package
_____ Candidate’s CV (Include honors and awards, other professional recognition, professional certifications, leadership positions in disciplinary society or on campus, consulting activity, intellectual property development, professional service)
_____ External Letters of Evaluation (University Guidelines)
Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures
in the MSU Faculty Handbook
Operating Principles of the Tenure System
Provides principles regarding the start dates for probationary appointments, leaves of absence, notification of non-reappointment, appointments of foreign nationals, interpretation of the tenure rules and where tenure resides.
Faculty members appointed as Associate Professors without tenure and who have served previously at MSU are appointed in the tenure system for a probationary period of, generally, two to five (2-5) years.
A newly appointed Associate Professor can be granted tenure from the date of appointment.
Faculty members appointed as an Assistant Professor are appointed for an initial probationary period of four years and may be reappointed for an additional probationary period of three years.
Reassigning Tenured Faculty http://hr.msu.edu/documents/facacadhandbooks/facultyhandbook/facultyreassign.htm
Tenure at MSU resides in the University. Thus, if a unit is discontinued, reassignment of the faculty is normally in another academic unit and is negotiated with the faculty member and the receiving unit.
Stopping the Tenure Clock
Provides reasons for automatic, one-year extension of probationary appointments and information about the process for requests of extensions for other reasons.
Post Tenure Review
There is not a distinct process for post tenure review. Post-tenure review is implemented by monitoring performance through the annual performance evaluation process. The post tenure review process can result in a plan which leads to increased productivity or enhanced professional achievement by the faculty member. Depending on the outcome of the plan, the process can result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.
Faculty Handbook Policies:
- Policy and Procedure for Implementing Disciplinary Action Where Dismissal is Not Sought
- Provides causes for discipline, the process, and possible disciplinary actions. http://www.hr.msu.edu/documents/facacadhandbooks/facultyhandbook/Disciplinary.htm
Dismissal of Tenured Faculty for Cause
Provides grounds for dismissal and the stages of the process.
Appointment, Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion Recommendations
Policies in the Faculty Handbook:
Handbook outlines the process initiated at the unit level, based on both peer review of candidates and unit standards for performance. Candidates are reviewed at the college and university levels; these reviews are based on explicit unit criteria and quality evaluations, consistent with college and university policies and goals. Recommendations can be positive or negative for: reappointment of an Assistant Professor for a second probationary period; reappointment of a tenure-system, untenured Associate Professor with the award of tenure; promotion of Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with the award of tenure; promotion of an Associate Professor to Professor. An overview of the standards for such recommendations is presented.
Tenure Action and Promotion
Overview in the Faculty Handbook
This section includes an overview of the extensive information needed to evaluate faculty performance for tenure action and promotion. Expectations for action are unit specific and dependent on an individual’s particular assignment.
College-Level Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee Policies
Guidelines in the Faculty Handbook:
Each college is required to establish a college-level reappointment, promotion and tenure committee that is charged to provide advice to the dean about department/school recommendations for reappointment, promotion and tenure. Deans are responsible for personnel matters in her or his respective college, taking into account the college’s advisory procedures. College-level reappointment, promotion and tenure committees provide input to the dean in making reappointment, promotion and tenure decisions.
Each college must include in its written materials rules governing the reappointment, promotion, and tenure process, a procedure for establishing a college-level reappointment, promotion and tenure review committee, including methods for selecting committee members and how the committee will function.
Guidelines for Academic Unit Peer Review Committee Composition
Guidelines in the Faculty Handbook:
Each unit establishes procedures to provide peer review advice to unit administrators regarding recommendations for academic personnel actions, including merit salary increases. The unit bylaws should indicate the designated group(s) to whom recommendations regarding reappointment, tenure and promotion should be made. Guidelines for Peer Reviews Committee Composition are outlined.
External Letters of Reference
Policies in Faculty Handbook:
External letters of reference are required for all reviews involving the granting of tenure or promotion. Some units require external letters for reappointment. Practices may vary by unit, but the principles of soliciting letters of reference are outlined.
Policies regarding the Confidentiality of Letters of Reference:
In soliciting letters of reference a specific statement of confidentiality MUST be included in the request. The suggested wording of the statement is listed in faculty handbook reference above.
Evaluation of Non-Tenured Faculty in the Tenure System
Policies in the Faculty Handbook:
The above reference outlines the process for evaluating non-tenured, tenure-system faculty. The actions to be taken upon decision not to reappoint are outlined and the possible responses of the faculty member not reappointed are presented.
Faculty Guide for Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure – an Overview
Provides overview of RPT process including time table, early promotion & tenure, visa status, effective dates for various decisions and outcomes, Survive and Thrive workshop descriptions, University level review and tenure and promotion recognition dinners. Also presents data on RPT processes from the last five years.
Workshops, Programs and Resources on Reappointment, Promotion & Tenure
1. Survive and Thrive in the MSU Tenure System
Normally scheduled in Mid October – Half day Workshop
- To expand faculty members’ understanding of department and University reappointment, promotion and tenure procedures.
- To discuss approaches to documentation and record keeping for reappointment, promotion and tenure purposes.
- To provide practical information on making choices, balancing conflicting demands, and managing departmental politics.
- To provide an opportunity for communication and problem solving among faculty and academic administrators. Many faculty members find it helpful to attend this program more than once, finding different elements useful at different stages of their pre-tenure experience.
2. From Associate Professor to Professor: Productive Decision-making at Mid-Career
For Recently Appointed Associate Tenure-System Professors
- To clarify expectations for attaining the rank of full professor;
- To enable new associate professors to better anticipate the opportunities and challenges they will face and to inform their mid career decision-making and experiences; and
- To provide a venue for faculty members to ask questions about this new stage in their careers.
3. Spring Institute on College Teaching and Learning
Single and multi-day workshops are offered on topics related to active learning, inclusive teaching, and assessment.
4. Online Instructional Resources
Instructional resources on a large number of instructional resources that are available on the web are available from this site, organized by major topical areas.
5. Orientation For New Tenure System and Health Programs Faculty, Continuing System Librarians and National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory Appointments
Orientation for all NEW tenure system faculty events occur in late August and includes, in addition to the general orientation, a research section and an additional technology workshop.
6. Workshop for Faculty Leaders
Workshops for Faculty Leaders (WFL), provide leadership development for faculty in their many roles in governance, search committees, research projects and large labs, and the myriad of contexts in which faculty rely on leadership skills.
7. Support for Research
Office of Research Facilitation and Dissemination sponsors a variety of faculty research workshops, seminars and discussion groups.
8. Events and resources provided by the Women’s Resource Center:
Past programs have included:
- "Letting Off a Little Self Esteem"
- "College to Career Transition"
- "Training for a Future in Political Office"
Orientation for New Administrators – Office of Faculty and Organizational Development
Three half-day sessions, mandatory orientations for department chairs, school directors, and deans, are held in early August. The program includes:
- Hiring, Promotion, Tenure and Performance Review
- University Research Policies and Procedures
- Survival Skills for New Administrators
- Conflict Resolution Resources
- Legal and Regulatory Environment
LEAD programs – Office of Faculty and Organizational Development
LEAD workshops are offered for deans, chairs, directors and executive managers, sponsored by the Office of Faculty and Organizational Development in the Office of the Provost. These programs are designed to promote ongoing communication among academic administrators, provide leadership development opportunities, and support campus leaders (deans, chairs, directors, and executive managers) in their efforts to foster organizational change in their units.
Past programs have included topics such as:
- Making Joint Appointments a Success
- Tackling the Human Resources Challenges of the Chair/Director
- Study of Mid-Career Faculty: Implications for Practice
- Strategies for Advancing Diversity and Quality at MSU in a Post-Prop 2 Environment
- Success in the Academic Hiring Process from Start to Finish
- Faculty Performance Review and Development: Improving the Process and its Outcomes
Resources from the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives
- Bias-Free Communication Brochure
- Sexual Harassment training programs
- Bias Incident Reporting and Training
- Brochure on Assuring Equity and Non-discrimination
- Annual Data Reports on Inclusion and Diversity at MSU
Check List of Required Practices
In Reappointment, Promotion & Tenure Practices (Unit Guidelines)
Below are guidelines regarding required practices for UNITS when reviewing Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures.
Check List of Required Practices
Reappointment, Promotion & Tenure (Colleges Guidelines)
Below are guidelines regarding required practices for COLLEGE DEANS' OFFICES to consider when developing, reviewing or revising Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures.