Departmental Guidelines for Award of Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor and for Promotion to Professor

Adopted by the faculty, 9/14/10

I. General Considerations
  1. The awarding of tenure and/or promotion within the Department of Chemistry should not be considered to be simply a reward for past accomplishments. Rather it should be understood that such decisions will be based upon the expectation and promise of continued excellence by the candidate in the areas of scholarly research, teaching and service for the remainder of their career.
  2. All faculty members put forth for tenure and/or promotion in the Department of Chemistry will be effective teachers. This is a minimum condition for consideration. Effective teaching by itself, however, will not lead to tenure. Ineffective teaching will lead to denial of tenure. In evaluating effectiveness of teaching it is expected that tenure candidates’ teaching experience will have included a level of diversity of courses consistent with that which they will be expected to encounter during the course of their careers in the Department. Moreover it is expected that there will be evidence of a sustained commitment to excellence in teaching by the candidate as reflected in, for example, student evaluations, faculty peer evaluations, contributions to Department and/or University curriculum, and recognition of teaching.
  3. All faculty members put forth for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor or promotion to full Professor will have participated in the administration of the department through assigned committee and administrative assignments. The role of such assignments, however, will be minor for assistant professors, with such responsibility growing with increased rank and tenure on the faculty. All faculty members who are nominated for tenure will have abided by the rules and procedures established by the department, college and university.
  4. Subject to the above, tenure and promotion will be awarded for proven scholarship. Although the exact evaluation procedure is complex, scholarship in chemistry shall be demonstrated, usually, through quality articles published in refereed journals, chapters published in books edited by prestigious colleagues, and sufficient grant and contract support to ensure continuation of research programs. Scholarship shall be attested to by five or six letters of evaluation from objective external expert colleagues.. The external letter writers list will normally exclude the candidate’s PhD and postdoctoral research advisor(s) as well as collaborators and colleagues with whom the candidate has worked within the past five years. In general, three letters will be sought from a list of no more than seven external referees nominated by the candidate. The remaining three letters will be sought from a list of no more than seven or eight external referees selected by the faculty member who has been assigned by the Department Chair to handle the candidate’s T & P package, also in consultation with other appropriate members of the Department. The candidate will be allowed to examine this list of names suggested, and make comments as to the suitability of each letter writer. The list of thirteen or fourteen potential letter writers will be reviewed by the Department’s Merit Committee to provide input and guidance to the Department Chair who will then choose the individuals who will comprise the final list of six. .
II. Procedures
  1. All college and university regulations will be met.
  2. The chair will instigate consideration of tenure for all of its untenured members and promotion of all Associate Professors in a timely fashion as determined through university policy. An Assistant Professor may seek early consideration for T & P (“tenure when ready”) in consultation with the Department Chair at any time. Likewise, an Associate Professor may solicit consideration for promotion to Full Professor at any time through consultation with the Department Chair.
  3. The Departmental Merit Committee will examine all tenure and promotion cases brought before it by the chair as early as possible, but no later than the month of June, in order to facilitate the solicitation of support letters. The Merit Committee will also meet after completion of the packet to provide advice to the Department Chair on the case.
  4. For those cases involving promotion from Associate to Full Professor, and prior to solicitation of support letters, sufficient documentation will be compiled by the candidate so that the merit committee and the Chair will be able to make a preliminary determination of suitability and thus provide advice to the candidate. This documentation will generally take the form of a current, detailed cv to which has been added information on teaching and service, including teaching evaluation data from the most recent five years. In all such cases, the candidate will retain the right to make the final decision of whether to obtain support letters and move forward to consideration of his/her promotion package by qualified members of the full Department at a faculty meeting.
  5. All T&P cases for which letters are obtained will be considered at an open faculty meeting of those eligible to vote on the case, unless the candidate chooses to withdraw. Each case will be presented in an impartial manner by a member of the Merit Committee, or a substitute designated by the Chair, with a brief review of the candidate’s record. A secret ballot (by mail) will then be conducted to obtain the votes of the faculty for all individuals being considered for tenure/promotion. Candidate T&P packages will be available for viewing by eligible faculty members before the meeting and up until the time of voting. .
  6. It is the responsibility of the candidate and his/her chosen representative, working with the Department Chair’s secretary, to complete all documentation necessary for tenure. This documentation, together with the Chair’s letter, will be forwarded to the college according to college procedures.