205  Promotion of Tenured and Tenurable Faculty

Approved by Board of Trustees
Effective Date: December 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Responsible Office:  University Provost
Responsible Officer:  University Provost

I. Purpose

This policy establishes criteria and procedures for academic promotion at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University). It is intended to help ensure that promotions are made objectively, equitably, impartially, and as recognition of merit.

II. Applicability

This policy relates only to promotion of MTSU faculty who are tenurable or tenured. Promotion of faculty who hold one of the ranks within the instructor position is found in Policy 202 Faculty Definition, Roles, Responsibilities, and Appointment Types.

III. Definitions

The following are general definitions of words and terms used in this policy that are not hereinafter specifically defined; however, the words and terms are subject to further qualification and definition in the subsequent sections of this policy or those of colleges and departments.

A.  Teaching. Teaching includes strategies by which information is imparted so that others may learn, and may include, but is not limited to, a variety of techniques including instruction, student advising and/or mentoring, and development of course materials, courseware, and innovative approaches to instruction.

B.  Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity. Research/scholarship/creative activity encompasses the studious inquiry, examination, or discovery that contributes to disciplinary and interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge and is disseminated to an appropriate audience. Research/scholarship/creative activity may include, but is not limited to, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities that focus on the boundaries of knowledge, field-based scholarship, creative activities (i.e., film-making, performances, or other artistic creations), research in teaching and learning, and seeking grants to support such activities.

C.  Service. Service encompasses a faculty member’s activities in three (3) areas: University service, professional service, and public service.

1.  University service refers to work other than teaching and research/scholarship/ creative activity done at the department, college, and/or University level. Participation in University service is expected of every faculty member. University service includes, but is not limited to, participation on department, college and University committees. Some faculty members may accept more extensive citizenship functions, such as a leadership role in the Faculty Senate, membership on a specially appointed task force, advisor to a University-wide student organization, and/or membership on a University search committee.

2.  Professional service refers to the work done for organizations germane to one’s discipline or to the teaching profession generally. Service to the profession includes, but is not limited to, association leadership, journal editorships, articles and grant proposal review, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities. While it is difficult to define the exact nature of significant professional service, clearly more is required than organizational membership and attendance; examples of significant service would be that done by an officer of a professional organization or a member of the editorial staff of a journal.

3.  Public service is the University’s outreach to the community and society at large, with major emphasis on the application of knowledge for the solution of problems with which society is confronted. Public service primarily involves sharing professional expertise and should directly support the goals and mission of the University.

IV. Consideration for Promotion

A.  The listed criteria represent minimum standards set by MTSU. College and/or department policies relating to the promotion process must meet the criteria as specified herein, but may exceed and be more specific than the minimum standards required by the University. All college and department policies will be reviewed for consistency with MTSU policies by the Provost and approved by the President. Approved college and department policies will be made available online.

B.  Promotion in Rank

1.  Promotion in rank is recognition of past achievements of the candidate. In addition, the advancement in rank is recognition of future potential and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of even greater accomplishments and of assuming greater responsibilities. Promotions are to be made strictly on consideration of merit tempered by University and fiscal considerations.

2.  Tenure and promotion are not formally linked, but typically promotion to associate professor comes with tenure, and granting of tenure comes with promotion to associate professor.

3.  The President is responsible for the master staffing plan of the University. In developing such a plan, the President will consider the fiscal impact of each promotion recommended to the Board of Trustees (Board); i.e., resources allocated and distributed within the University.

C.  Promotion Process

1.  Procedures for Promotion Recommendations

a.  General Guidelines

(1)  Consideration for promotion originates in the department or academic program unit to which the faculty has been assigned. Faculty members are responsible for initiating the promotion process by written notification to the department chair/director by the deadlines specified in the promotion calendar. Candidates for promotion are also responsible for submitting to the Department Chair/Director the Outline of Faculty Data form and such pertinent supporting materials as are called for in Section IV.B.

(2)  Administrators and committees involved in the review process (department committee, Department Chair/Director, college committee, Dean, and Provost) shall only submit those materials, forms, letters, and other documentation required by the review process outlined below. This includes letters of recommendation which should specify the performance criteria used and explain how the candidate has or has not met those criteria.

(3)  No material can be added to the Outline of Faculty Data or supporting materials once the department and/or academic program unit review process has formally begun. It is important that all participants in the review process have access to the same set of materials.

(4)  Members of department and college tenure and promotion review committees shall not make individual recommendations concerning candidates to administrators or committees in the review process outside committee procedures.

(5) Policy 816 Nepotism prohibiting nepotism will apply to all levels of the promotion process.

(6)  The candidate for promotion may withdraw from the review process at any level without prejudice. Withdrawal from the process does not preclude the candidate from reapplying.

b.  Department and/or Academic Program Unit Review

(1)  The review process for promotion recommendations at the department and/or academic program unit level consists of separate considerations by the department chair/director and a department tenure and promotion review committee. Departments and/or academic program units may establish a single committee for both tenure and promotion review, or if deemed desirable and necessary, departments and/or academic program units may create two peer review committees (a tenure and promotion review committee and a tenure review committee) as outlined in department policies, subject to approval by the Provost and President.

(2)  Department Promotion Review Committee. Each department and/or academic program unit will develop written policies that cover the structure, annual election of committee members, and operating procedures of the department tenure and promotion review committee. A copy of these policies will be available to faculty members in the offices of their Department Chair/Director and Dean. At a minimum, these policies will include the following:

(a)  Committee members must be tenured;

(b)  All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the department and/or academic program unit are entitled to a vote on the committee membership;

(c)  Temporary faculty are not entitled to vote on committee membership;

(d)  Candidates for promotion and the Department Chair/Director cannot be members;

(e)  A committee chair/director will be elected by the members of the committee; and

(f)  Whether there will be academic rank requirements for committee membership.

In situations where the staffing procedures described in the department policy cannot be implemented (for example, in the case of an inadequate number of tenured faculty or of specified academic rank), an alternate committee composition may be proposed subject to approval of the Provost, appropriate Dean, and Faculty Senate president prior to review of the candidate application(s).

(3)  Review Process. The Department Chair/Director, after examining all materials submitted by each candidate for promotion, then forwards the materials to the department tenure and promotion review committee. The department tenure and promotion review committee will separately consider each candidate’s qualifications for promotion on such department, college, and university criteria as have been approved. After consideration, the committee will consult with the Department Chair/Director. If the recommendations of the Department Chair/Director and committee are in concert, separate reports will be filed by the department chair/director and by the committee to the appropriate dean. If the recommendations of the Department Chair/Director and committee are in conflict, they will meet in an attempt to resolve the conflict prior to submitting written recommendations to the appropriate dean. If the conflicts cannot be resolved, reports submitted to the dean by the committee and by the Department Chair/Director will each describe the points of conflict.

(4)  When deliberations are concluded, the Department Chair/Director and the committee will separately notify each promotion candidate of the recommendation that has been forwarded to the appropriate dean. Each candidate will be afforded the opportunity to meet with the Department Chair/Director and/or the department tenure and promotion review committee to discuss the review process and the data upon which the decision was made. It is the candidate’s responsibility to initiate requests for a meeting with the Department Chair/Director and/or department committee chair.

(5)  In the case of departments or academic program units not affiliated with an academic college, the department tenure and promotion review committee will forward recommendations directly to the Vice Provost, who will serve as dean for the purposes of the review process. When conflicting recommendations result between the Dean/Vice Provost and the department tenure and promotion review committee, they will meet in an attempt to resolve conflicts before forwarding recommendations to the provost.

c.  College Review

(1)  The review process for promotion recommendations at the college level consists of separate and independent considerations by the Dean and a college promotion and tenure review committee.

(2)  College Promotion Review Committee. Each academic college will develop written policies that cover the structure, election of members to terms of three (3) years and the operating procedures for the college tenure and promotion review committee. A copy of these policies will be available to faculty members in the offices of their Department Chair/Director and Dean. At a minimum, these policies will include the following:

(a)  Colleges with six (6) or more departments will elect one (1) faculty member from each department to the committee; colleges with five (5) or fewer will elect two (2) faculty members from each department to the committee. (To provide for committee rotation, those tenured faculty elected to serve on the first college tenure and promotion review committee will draw numbers to determine whether they serve for periods of one [1], two [2], or three [3]years; one-third [1/3] of the members will rotate off the committee each year.)

(b)  Committee members must be tenured;

(c)  All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the department and/or academic program unit are entitled to a vote to elect their representative(s);

(d)  Temporary faculty are not entitled to vote on committee membership;

(e)  Candidates for promotion and department chair/directors cannot be members. In the event that an elected committee member initiates the promotion process during his/her three (3)-year term, the department will elect a replacement;

(f)  A committee chair/director will be elected annually by the members of the committee; and

(g)  Colleges need to determine whether there will be rank requirements for those faculty members serving on the committee.

In situations where the staffing procedures described in the college policy cannot be implemented (for example, in the case of an inadequate number of tenured faculty or of a specified academic rank in a department), an alternate committee composition may be proposed subject to approval of the Provost, appropriate Dean, and Faculty Senate president prior to review of the candidate application(s).

Each college Dean will provide the Faculty Senate president with the names of those elected to the college promotion and tenure review committee according to the timetable specified in the promotion calendar. The Faculty Senate president, in consultation with the Faculty Senate Steering Committee, may in turn appoint up to two (2) additional faculty members to each college promotion and tenure review committee to ensure diversity, which will provide for representation that reflects the make-up of the University.

(3)  Review Process. Upon receipt of recommendations and other materials from the Department Chair/Director and department tenure and promotion review committee, the college Dean then forwards the materials to the college tenure and promotion review committee. The college committee is responsible for consideration of each candidate’s qualifications using approved department, college and university criteria; and reviewing the promotion recommendations of the department committees and Department Chair/Director for each candidate. Deans are responsible for consideration of each candidate’s qualifications using approved department, college and University criteria; and reviewing the recommendations of Department Chairs/Directors and department committees for each candidate. After consideration the committee will consult with the college Dean. If the recommendations of the Dean and committee are in concert, the committee will forward all materials submitted, along with their own recommendations, to the appropriate Dean. If the recommendations of the college Dean and committee are in conflict, they will meet in an attempt to resolve the conflict prior to submitting formal recommendations. If the conflicts cannot be resolved, reports submitted by the committee to the Dean will describe the points of conflict. Deans will forward all materials submitted, along with their own recommendations, to the Provost.

(4)  When deliberations are concluded, the academic Dean and the college tenure and promotion review committee will notify each candidate considered for promotion of their recommendations. Each candidate will be afforded the opportunity to meet with the Dean and/or the college committee to discuss the review process and the data upon which the decision was made. It is the candidate’s responsibility to initiate requests for a meeting with the Dean and/or college committee.

d.  Provost’s Review

(1)  The Provost will review all recommendations and materials sent forward on promotion and forward his/her recommendations to the President. The Provost is responsible for consideration of each candidate’s qualifications using approved department, college and university criteria; and reviewing the recommendations of Department Chair/Director, department tenure and promotion review committee, college promotion committee, and Dean for each candidate. The Provost will forward all materials submitted, along with his/her own recommendations, to the President.

(2)  On the same date a decision is forwarded to the President, the Provost will notify each person considered, along with the appropriate Dean and Department Chair/Director, of his/her decision. The Provost will afford each person considered an opportunity to meet and discuss the review process and the data upon which the decision was made. It is the candidate’s responsibility to initiate any request to review the process and data upon which the decision was made.

e.  President’s Review

The President is responsible for consideration of each candidate’s qualifications using approved department, college and University criteria; and reviewing the recommendations of Department Chair/Director, department tenure and promotion review committee, college promotion committee, and dean, and Provost for each candidate. The President will prepare a list of faculty recommended for promotion and submit it to the Board. The President will notify candidates, Department Chairs/Directors, Deans, and the Provost of his/her recommendations. When notified of Board action, the President will inform the parties concerned of the Board’s decisions. If a candidate appeals, the President will not notify the individual of a promotion recommendation after the appeal process is completed.

f.  Appeals

The appeals process for official review by members of the Faculty Appeals Committee and others is outlined in Policy 206 Tenure and Promotion Appeals Process. The appeal process should commence after the Provost has rendered his/her decision and notified the candidate of the decision.

2.  Calendar of the Review Process. Each Spring semester, the Office of the Provost will issue a calendar for the promotion review process for the upcoming academic year, which will include key dates at each major step in the process.

3.  Qualified Privilege of Academic Confidentiality for Promotion Review Committees

a.  Peers and other faculty members serving on committees that make evaluations are expected to observe the highest appropriate standards of confidentiality concerning deliberations. Tenure and promotion review committees have qualified privilege of academic confidentiality against disclosure of individual promotion votes unless there is evidence that casts doubt upon the integrity of the committee. This policy will be interpreted in a manner consistent with the Tennessee Public Records Act, as recorded in T.C.A. § 10-7-101 et seq.

b.  In general, no such privilege is recognized for proceedings outside of the University. The records created during the promotion process are subject to disclosure pursuant to T.C.A. § 10-7-503 et seq., and information regarding the process may be sought by subpoena or court order.

D.  Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Consideration in Initial Appointment and Promotion

1.  Initial appointment in academic rank is based on specific criteria and expectations as outlined in the following. Promotion in rank at any level is not simply a reward for length of service, but rather is recognition of fulfillment of higher expectations and more specific criteria at each academic rank.

2.  In general, each academic rank requires an advanced degree in the academic discipline. Where the degree is from a related area, the department chair/director and dean must approve the degree as being related to the academic discipline and forward such recommendation to the Provost. Upon receipt of these recommendations, the Provost will determine whether the degree is appropriate to the teaching field, normally at the time of initial appointment of the faculty member.

3.  When a faculty member’s initial appointment begins in January, service for that semester will be counted toward promotion as one whole academic or fiscal year.

E.  General Criteria for Initial Appointment and Promotion in Rank. The following are the minimum criteria that distinguish between academic ranks. See Section VI. Exceptions to Minimum Academic Rank Criteria.

1.  Assistant Professor

a.  Earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution in the academic discipline or related area.

b.  Evidence of potential ability in teaching if initially appointed at this rank or documented ability if promoted into this rank.

c.  Evidence of potential ability in research/scholarship/creative activity and service.

d.  Evidence of professional integrity.

2.  Associate Professor

a.  Earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution in the academic discipline or related area.

b.  Six (6) years of full-time collegiate experience in the academic discipline or related area as an assistant professor. Thus, a typical candidate is eligible to apply for promotion to associate professor at the beginning of his/her sixth (6th) year.

c.  Evidence of high quality professional performance in teaching.

d.  Evidence of continuing direct participation in research/scholarship/creative activity and in service.

e.  Evidence of high quality professional productivity in either research/scholarship/creative activity or service and quality professional productivity in the other area.

f.  Evidence of professional integrity that will ensure cooperation with colleagues and commitment to the programs and students of the department, the college, and the University.

3.  Professor. Since there is no higher rank, promotion to professor will be considered with great care and requires a level of superior achievement within the discipline with every expectation of continuing contribution to the University and larger academic community.

a.  Earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution in the academic discipline or related area.

b.  Four years of full-time collegiate experience in the academic discipline or related area as an associate professor. Thus, a typical candidate is eligible to apply for promotion to professor at the beginning of his/her fourth year as an associate professor.  Evidence of sustained excellence in teaching.

c.  Evidence of sustained excellence in teaching.

d.  Evidence of sustained high quality professional productivity in both research/scholarship/creative activity and in service. In one of these categories, the candidate will demonstrate a level of excellence in the academic discipline that is recognized at the national level. National recognition must be defined in department policies with approval at the college level.

e.  Evidence of professional integrity that will ensure cooperation with colleagues and commitment to the programs and students of the department, the college, and the University.

V. Criteria to be Considered in Promotion Recommendations

A.  General Promotion Criteria

1.  While the nature and relative importance of the criteria for recommendation for promotion depend upon the nature, missions and goals of the college and the department or academic program unit, all faculty members considered for promotion will be evaluated with respect to their performance in teaching; research/scholarship/creative activity; and service. All candidates for promotion are expected to demonstrate high quality performance in teaching. In the remaining two (2) categories of evaluation, expectations for promotion to academic rank are described in Section III.D. In all categories of evaluation, documentation of quality as evaluated by peers will be stressed over quantity. Within the context of teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service, the faculty member must demonstrate a willingness and ability to work effectively with colleagues to support the mission of the University and the common goals both of the University and of the academic organizational unit.

2.  The academic units of the University must develop written policies with specific criteria for evaluating the faculty in teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service. College and/or department policies relating to the promotion process must meet the criteria as specified herein, but may exceed and be more specific than the minimum standards required by the University. National recognition must be defined in department policies with approval at the college level. College and department policies will be available to faculty members in the offices of their Department Chair/Director and Dean.

3.  College and department policies should use the following general criteria as minimum requirements.

a.  evidence of high quality professional experience and performance in teaching;

b.  evidence of continuing direct participation in scholarship through research and/or creative activity;

c.  evidence of continuing direct participation in university service, professional service and/or public service germane to their discipline;

d.  evidence of professional integrity that will ensure cooperation with colleagues and commitment to the programs and students of the department, the college, and the University.

B.  Outline of Faculty Data and Supporting Materials

Candidates for promotion will submit a completed Outline of Faculty Data form. Candidates will also submit an orderly file of supporting materials (reprints, letters of support, creative works, etc.). A list of these supporting materials will be attached to the Outline of Faculty Data form. However, the supporting materials themselves will be stored in the department. Administrators and committees involved in the review process may ask to review any or all of these supporting materials at their discretion. Departments and/or colleges may require additional specific supplemental documentation as outlined in department and/or college policies, subject to approval by the Provost and President.

C.  Teaching

1.  Overview. All faculty members are expected to demonstrate high quality performance in teaching. Teaching applies to any strategy in which information is imparted so that others may learn, and may include, but is not limited to, a variety of techniques including instruction, student advising and/or mentoring, development of course materials and courseware, and development of innovative approaches to instruction. Effective teaching is an essential qualification for promotion, and promotion should not be granted in the absence of clear evidence of a candidate’s teaching ability and potential for continued development.

2.  Performance Criteria. All faculty members are expected to demonstrate high quality performance in teaching. Although academic units of the University may assign varying degrees of significance to individual criteria, all faculty members will be evaluated with respect to each of the following criteria for teaching.

a.  Performance in teaching of students as evaluated by students and peers;

b.  Performance in the advisement and mentoring of students, if applicable;

c.  Improvement of their own courses and also the curricular offerings of the department, college and University;

d.  Effectiveness in teaching methods (including efforts to improve pedagogy with new techniques and integration of new instructional technologies);

e.  Supervision of specialized instructional activities (student research/scholarship/creative activity, thesis and dissertation direction, experiential learning, service learning, internships, student teaching, etc.);

f.  Honors received and recognition for teaching;

g.  Currency and continued intellectual development in the field of specialization;

h.  Seeking internal and external funding for instructional activities. Whether funded or unfunded, the quality of the proposal will be stressed in the evaluation. Other factors may include the reputation of the funding source and the competition for funding;

i.  Contributions to teaching (for example, textbooks, articles, workshops, presentations, instructional technology resources, etc.) could be appropriate here or under research/scholarship/creative activity depending on the nature of the work.

3.  Documentation

a.  Supporting materials as described in Section IV.B. will, at a minimum, include a statement of teaching philosophy, course materials, evidence of student projects and other forms of student mentorship, and evidence of evaluation by faculty peers.

b.  Student evaluations for each course section evaluated since initial appointment or most recent promotion will be added to the candidate’s supporting materials by the Department Chair/Director.

c.  Other supporting material may include, but will not be limited to grant proposals, additional student input, results of alumni surveys and/or student exit interviews, textbooks or educational articles, and innovative contributions to teaching, if published or presented in a peer-reviewed forum.

D.  Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity

1.  Overview. All faculty members are expected to demonstrate quality research, scholarship, and/or creative activity. Candidates for promotion must present evidence of their research, scholarship and/or creative activity when they apply for promotion. Research/scholarship/creative activity applies to the studious inquiry, examination, or discovery that contributes to disciplinary and interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge. Research/scholarship/creative activity may include, but is not limited to, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities that focus on the boundaries of knowledge, field-based scholarship, and creative activities (i.e., film-making, performances, or other artistic creations).

2.  Performance Criteria.

Although academic units of the University may assign varying degrees of weight to each criterion, all faculty members will be evaluated with respect to each of the following criteria:

a.  Direct participation in research, scholarship, and/or creative activity. Faculty collaboration with undergraduate and/or graduate students may be included here;

b.  Thorough and systematic study of the research, scholarship, and/or creative activity of others; and

c.  Seeking internal and external funding for research, scholarship, and/or creative activity. Whether funded or unfunded, the quality of the proposal will be stressed in the evaluation. Other factors may include the reputation of the funding source and the competition for funding.

3.  Documentation

a.  The Outline of Faculty Data and supporting materials as described in Section IV. B. must include evidence of peer-review of some elements of the candidate’s research/scholarship/creative activity. If the candidate chooses, the Outline of Faculty Data may also include external peer review of scholarship and research.

b.  Other supporting materials may include, but will not be limited to, the following:

(1)  Publications (articles, monographs, books, electronic media, and other published works). Publications that are subject to a formal review process by recognized scholars in the field are considered more significant than those subject to less rigorous examination;

(2)  Written reviews and evaluations of performances, compositions, and other creative activities by qualified peers, either in person or aided by other forms of reports, are considered appropriate documentation;

(3)  Published programs or reviews of public performance or public display will constitute documentation of original creative work;

(4)  Presentations before one’s professional peers at regional, national, or international meetings/conferences;

(5)  Appropriate textbooks, educational articles, and/or instructional technology resources and innovative contributions to teaching, if published or presented in a peer-reviewed forum, constitute scholarship of teaching.

(6)  The scholarship of teaching is a valid measure of research capability;

(7)  Funded internal grants from the University or external grants from public or private sources;

(8)  Unfunded proposals for internal and external grants, where the documentation supports the quality of the proposal.

E.  Service

1.  Overview. As a vital component of the University’s mission, service must be performed at the same level of quality that characterizes the teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity programs. Service encompasses a faculty member’s activities in three (3) areas: University service, professional service, and public service.

a.  University service refers to work other than teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity done at the department, college, and/or University level. Participation in University service is expected of every faculty member.  University service includes, but is not limited to, participation on department, college and University committees. Some faculty members may accept more extensive citizenship functions, such as a leadership role in the Faculty Senate, membership on a specially appointed task force, advisor to a University-wide student organization, and/or membership on a university search committee. Service includes, but is not limited to, activities that contribute to the recruitment, retention, progression, graduation, and post-graduation career placement of students.

b.  Professional service refers to the work done for organizations germane to one’s discipline or to the teaching profession generally. Service to the profession includes, but is not limited to, association leadership, journal editorships, articles and grant proposal review, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities.  While it is difficult to define the exact nature of significant professional service, clearly more is required than organizational membership and attendance; examples of significant service would be that done by an officer of a professional organization or a member of the editorial staff of a journal.

c.  Public service is the University’s outreach to the community and society at large, with major emphasis on the application of knowledge for the solution of problems with which society is confronted. Public service primarily involves sharing professional expertise and should directly support the goals and mission of the University.

2.  Performance Criteria

Participation in University service is expected of every faculty member. Although it is recognized that differences in emphases may exist, evaluation of service will be based on an appraisal of the candidate’s performance in the three (3) areas defined above: University service, professional service, and public service. Evaluation will be based on the following criteria, with the academic unit of the University to which the faculty member is assigned determining the degree of weight for each criterion. These criteria should include community service programs, public service consultation, University committee and administrative responsibilities, and active contributions to professional associations. In each case, documentation of the evaluation process and criteria used will be as complete as possible.

3.  Documentation

a.  The Outline of Faculty Data and supporting materials as described in Section IV.B. must include evidence of the candidate’s service.

b.  Other supporting materials may include, but will not be limited to, the following:

(1)  A description of the candidate’s service that permits evaluation of performance. This should include a statement of the mission or purpose of the activities, and of the objective(s) of the candidate’s service unit, as well as the specific assigned tasks and responsibilities of the candidate.

(2)  An evaluation of the candidate’s effectiveness, as judged by his/her impact on individuals, groups, or organizations served. This should include indices of the success of his/her service, in terms of improvement of communities, programs, operating agencies, production processes, or management practices. The evaluations should also include indications of satisfaction with the service provided by the candidate, and of the magnitude and complexity of his/her work (as opposed to perfunctory activity that does not lead to useful results).

(3)  An appraisal of the candidate’s local, regional and national stature. Although the achievement of national stature is sometimes difficult for service faculty whose activities are primarily directed to groups within the state, the faculty member should take advantage of every opportunity to project his/her accomplishments among peers on a local, regional, and national basis. Service work is sometimes not publishable. The results may be in the form of direct consultations, planning reports, or instructional time directed largely to the recipients of university service programs. Certain aspects of service work may be suitable for publication in professional journals. For example, unique techniques developed to motivate clients, or new approaches to the transfer and application of knowledge, would be of interest to peers in other service programs across the nation.

(4)  Evidence of applications seeking internal and external funding for service activities; funded grants from MTSU, public agencies, or private foundations; submitted proposals for external funding by public agencies or private foundations. The quality of the grant proposals, whether funded or unfunded, will be stressed in the evaluation.

VI. Exceptions to Minimum Academic Rank Criteria

To ensure the development of a faculty of the highest caliber and to ensure access to appropriate rank for all members of the faculty, justifiable exceptions to these criteria may be recommended.

Exceptions to the minimum rank qualifications established by this policy can be approved by the Provost; however, such exceptions are not favored and should be granted only upon a showing of a candidate's exceptional merit and/or other extraordinary circumstances, such as an objective need to deviate from these minimum qualifications in filling positions and/or retaining otherwise qualified faculty within certain academic disciplines. This determination will be made at the time of hire.

Petitions for exceptions to promotion criteria may include consideration of the appropriateness of the degree, extraordinary qualities that the candidate may possess, and/or equivalent work experience credit.

The Department Chair/Director, Dean, and faculty are responsible for evaluating a candidate’s professional experience and record of accomplishments and recommending consideration for an exception to the Provost.

VII. Terminal Degree Designation

The University will use national discipline standards to determine which degrees are considered to be terminal within each discipline. The University may also award equivalent work experience credit when a candidate has not obtained a terminal degree, but has a record of extraordinary achievement in a germane field.

Forms: 

Outline of Faculty Data

Revisions: June 5, 2017 (original policy); December 5, 2017.

References: Policies 202 Faculty Definition, Roles, Responsibilities, and Appointment Types; 206 Tenure and Promotion Appeals; 816 Nepotism; T.C.A. § 10-7-101; 10-7-503; Tennessee Public Records Act.