C. Review for Reappointment, Promotion, and Conferral of Permanent Tenure

Standards for Review for Reappointment, Promotion and Conferral of Permanent Tenure

The initial appointment of a Faculty Member at the rank of Assistant Professor shall be for a term of four years. Before the end of the third year of the initial appointment as Assistant Professor, the Faculty Member shall be reviewed for reappointment.  This reappointment review is mandatory.  The faculty member shall receive written notice of reappointment at the same rank or of non-reappointment.

An Assistant Professor who is reappointed at the same rank shall receive an appointment of three years. During and before the end of the second year of the second appointment as Assistant Professor, he or she shall be reviewed for promotion to Associate Professor with conferral of Permanent Tenure.   This tenure and promotion review is mandatory.  The faculty member shall receive written notice of promotion to Associate Professor with conferral of Permanent Tenure or of non-reappointment.  Permanent Tenure may not be awarded to a Faculty Member at the rank of Assistant Professor.

The initial appointment of a Faculty Member at the rank of Associate Professor without Permanent Tenure shall be for a term of three to five years. During and before the end of the penultimate year of the appointment as Associate Professor, the Faculty Member shall be reviewed for Permanent Tenure.  This tenure review is mandatory.  The faculty member shall receive written notice that he or she will be reappointed with Permanent Tenure at the same rank or of non-reappointment.

An Associate Professor with Permanent Tenure shall be reviewed for promotion at least once every five years, unless the Faculty Member postpones this review for promotion in writing for a specified period not to exceed five additional years. This right to postpone the review for promotion shall not modify the requirement that all Tenured Faculty Members undergo a comprehensive review every five years pursuant to the “Tenured Faculty Performance Review Policy.” An Associate Professor with Permanent Tenure may not elect to postpone periodic reviews as required under the “Tenured Faculty Performance Review Policy.”

Policies, Regulations, and Procedures

Reviews for reappointment, promotion, and/or conferral of permanent tenure involve a peer review process conducted according to Section 6 of University Policy 102.13, Tenure Policies, Regulations, and Procedures of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Tenure Document), the college and departmental policies, procedures, and criteria that implement them, and the University’s Affirmative Action Plan. Each faculty member receives copies of the Tenure Document, college criteria and procedures, and departmental criteria and procedures at the time of initial appointment, and updates and revisions to them as they are made. The Provost establishes a schedule for receiving and acting on recommendations and determinations resulting from the department and college peer review processes.

Areas of Performance to be Reviewed

The areas of performance in which a faculty member is reviewed for reappointment, promotion, and conferral of permanent tenure are: 1) teaching, advising, curriculum and instructional development; 2) scholarly research, creative, and other professional activities; and 3) service to the University, the profession, the public and/or the community. As required by Section 3.1 of the Tenure Document, the assessment of the candidate’s performance in each of these areas addresses at least the following: (a) the faculty member’s demonstrated professional competence; (b) potential for future contribution to UNC Charlotte; and (c) institutional needs and resources. Community engagement refers to research/creative activities, teaching, and service activities that are collaboratively undertaken by faculty members with community partners, staff, and/or students through processes that exemplify reciprocity in partnerships and public purposes. Following are guidelines for reviewing each of the areas of performance:

1. Teaching, Advising, Curriculum and Instructional Development

Effective teaching is the primary mission of the University and, therefore, is an essential criterion for appointment or advancement. Clear documentation of effectiveness in this area is required for approval of any recommendation for reappointment, promotion, or conferral of permanent tenure.

Effective teaching encompasses a broad range of activities in addition to performance in the classroom, and the weighting of each may differ from case to case. The total performance of the candidate in this area must be evaluated according to established department and college criteria and standards, taking into consideration the types and levels of instructional activities assigned to and expected of the candidate.

Evaluation of the candidate’s teaching should consider at least the following:

  1. Subject Competence. What subject areas and level of courses normally are taught by the candidate and what is their relevance to the department’s curriculum? Does the candidate have full command of the subject and an understanding of its relationship to other areas of knowledge? Is course content current and appropriate for the level of the course and curriculum?
  2. Course Design. Are the courses taught by the candidate organized appropriately for their subject matter and placed within the curriculum? Are instructional strategies and course materials appropriate for the level of the course, size of the class, nature and preparation of the students, contact hours, and schedule of class meetings?
  3. Course Presentation. Are course materials presented clearly and coherently? Does the candidate present the course with enthusiasm that supports the learning process? Is the course presented in a manner that stimulates the interest and involvement of students and challenges their abilities? What is the candidate’s impact on the quality of student performance?
  4. Advising. What is the type and the extent of advising responsibilities of the candidate? What measures does the department use to evaluate advising effectiveness, and what are the results of these evaluations? To what extent has the candidate attempted to improve the effectiveness of advising? Have these efforts been successful?
  5. Directing Student Research. What types and levels of student research have been directed by the candidate? How does the department evaluate effectiveness in guiding student research, and what are the results of these evaluations for the candidate?
  6. Supervision of Graduate Teaching Assistants. What responsibilities has the candidate had, if any, for training, supervising, and evaluating graduate teaching assistants? How does the department evaluate effectiveness in fulfilling such responsibilities, and what are the results of these evaluations for the candidate?
  7. Curriculum and Instructional Development. What has the candidate contributed to development of the curriculum, and how has this contribution been evaluated? How effective, innovative, and significant have the instructional strategies and materials developed and disseminated by the candidate been? What are the significance and results of curriculum and instructional development projects for which the candidate has been awarded grant funding? What are the quality and significance of other contributions to pedagogy by the candidate?

2. Scholarly Research, Creative, and Other Professional Activities

The University’s mission in the discovery, dissemination, synthesis, and application of knowledge requires that all members of the faculty are productively engaged in research, scholarship, creative, and other professional activities appropriate to their discipline or profession. Clear documentation for productivity in this area is required for approval of any recommendation for reappointment, promotion, or conferral of permanent tenure.

Engagement in research, scholarship, creative, and other professional activities takes many different forms depending upon the disciplinary or professional affiliation of the faculty member. Likewise, evidence of the productivity of this engagement varies widely from refereed publications to artistic productions to original designs to unique applications of existing knowledge to solve a problem. It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that the candidate and review participants at all levels understand what constitutes appropriate evidence and documentation of productive engagement within the discipline or profession, and the quality and significance of the work.

Evaluation of the candidate’s performance in this area should consider at least the following:

  1. Publications. Publications, and the work they represent, must be evaluated and not merely enumerated. Work in progress should be assessed whenever possible and its status clearly identified, e.g., in press, accepted for publication, submitted for publication, or manuscript in preparation. A piece of work that has been disseminated through multiple outlets should be identified as such; e.g., it should be clear to the reviewers when a book chapter presents a piece of work previously published in a journal and/or a conference proceeding after originally being presented as a paper at a professional meeting. The department should assist reviewers to understand the status within the discipline or profession of the journal or type of publication, the rigor of the review process for acceptance, and any other special distinctions that should be considered. Appraisals of publications or other works in scholarly and critical literature would be useful in this process. Each author of a co-authored piece of work must be identified and the department must establish as clearly as possible the role of the candidate in the joint effort, e.g., the candidate’s role in the conception, planning and performance of the research work; the candidate’s role in the synthesis of the research results and in writing the manuscript; assessment of the importance of the candidate’s contributions relative to those of the other authors, and, when feasible, percentage of total effort on the project attributable to the candidate.
  2. Presentations at Professional Meetings. Unless documentation to the contrary is provided, a paper or presentation at a professional meeting is not considered to have been critically refereed. If the contribution was peer reviewed or if it was specially invited, it is the candidate’s responsibility to provide appropriate documentation. It is the responsibility of the department to assist reviewers at all levels to understand the distinction of presenting at the meeting in question, the rigor of the review process for acceptance, and the significance to be attributed to an invitation to make a presentation.
  3. Other Creative Scholarly Works. Artistic productions, designs, performances, exhibitions, and other creative works, like publications, must be evaluated and not merely enumerated. It is the responsibility of the candidate to provide any published reviews of the creative work by outside critics and appropriate documentation that a performance or exhibition has been juried. It is the responsibility of the department to assist reviewers at all levels to understand the significance the discipline attributes to the type of performance or exhibition and the credibility of the reviewers. Each collaborator in a collaborative production or performance must be identified and the department must establish as clearly as possible the role of the candidate in the joint effort and provide an assessment of the importance of the contribution relative to the contributions of the other collaborators.
  4. On-going Agenda for Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities. Consideration should be given to other work in progress in terms of its place in the candidate’s on-going agenda for research, scholarly and creative activities. How does this work relate to that reported above; e.g., does it replicate or extend that work, or does it represent a new line of investigation? Identify work supported by grants or contracts and indicate the funding agency and the amount and duration of funding.

3. Service to the University, the Public, and the Profession

As a public university, the mission of UNC Charlotte is to provide for the educational, economic, social, and cultural advancement of the people of North Carolina. To fulfill this mission requires participation of members of the faculty in service activities that are distinct from but related to their roles as teachers and scholars. Contributions in these areas should be carefully documented, evaluated, and considered as positive factors in the reappointment, promotion, and tenure review process.

Such service includes participation in the administration and governance of the University and activities that involve the professional expertise of members of the faculty in the community or region outside the University. It also may include contributions of faculty members to their discipline or profession through service to professional societies and associations.

Evaluation of the candidate’s performance in this area should consider at least the following:

  1. Contributions to the Administration and Governance of the University. Consideration should be given to administrative responsibilities and terms of service and their effectiveness. Recognition should be given to special contributions to the governance of the institution through service on committees at department, college, and University levels. It is the responsibility of the department to document the quality and effectiveness of a candidate’s service to the institution, not merely to enumerate administrative or committee assignments.
  2. Public Service. Consideration should be given to activities external to the University that are based on the professional expertise of the candidate and related to the public service objectives of the institution. Such activities might include service on boards, committees, and task forces and through consulting arrangements. Delivery of continuing education workshops and non-credit courses might be included here or in the teaching area depending upon guidelines established by the candidate’s department and college. It is the responsibility of the candidate to provide accurate information about the nature and extent of these services; it is the responsibility of the department to obtain an assessment of their significance and effectiveness.
  3. Service to the Profession. Faculty members often provide service to their profession through involvement in professional associations appropriate to their specialization. Contributions might take the form of editorial work or service as a referee for a professional journal; membership on committees; or holding an elective or appointed office. It is the responsibility of the candidate to identify these activities and provide appropriate documentation. It is the responsibility of the department to assess the quality and significance of the contributions and to assist reviewers at all levels to understand the status of these contributions within the professions.

Role of Departmental Faculty

Section 6.3.2 of the Tenure Document  requires that the permanently tenured faculty members in the department, other than those who will participate in the review process at another level, who are at or above the rank for which a candidate is under consideration, shall be provided an opportunity to review the candidate’s review file and provide advice to the DRC.  Every department is encouraged to develop a published process by which peer faculty may independently view a candidate’s review file and contribute feedback to the DRC.  All persons who have access to a candidate’s review file shall treat the information as confidential personnel information as provided in section 5.2 of the Tenure Document.

The Review File

Compilation of the materials that will constitute the review file is a shared responsibility of the candidate, the Department Review Committee, the Department Chair, the College Review Committee, and the Dean. The completed file should consist of the following:

Dossier. A dossier is the candidate’s compilation of his or her professional activities that will form the basis for the review.  At a minimum, the dossier includes the candidate’s current curriculum vitae and his or her self-assessment. The candidate for review has the major responsibility for compiling the dossier. The department chair may advise and counsel, but it is the candidate’s responsibility to provide a full and accurate accounting of the activities to be evaluated in the format specified by the department or college. An up-to-date curriculum vitae must be included and the candidate is encouraged to include a teaching portfolio. The vitae must clearly identify co-authored or collaborative works, those undertaken since the last comprehensive review, and those representing a piece of work that has been disseminated through multiple outlets. As they review the candidate’s dossier, it is the responsibility of the department and college review committees, department chair, and dean to make a written request for any missing or additional information or clarification needed for the review. The candidate’s self-assessment is also part of the dossier.

The candidate is expected to prepare a self-assessment of his or her performance in each of the major areas for review. This assessment should be written in the first person and organized according to guidelines provided by the department or college.

External Reviews. For cases involving consideration for promotion or conferral of permanent tenure, letters from three or more external reviewers are required. It is the responsibility of the department chair, Department Review Committee, or dean--depending upon established procedures of the department and college--to consult with the candidate to identify a pool of qualified external reviewers to assist with assessment of the quality and significance of the scholarly activity of the candidate. Departments may develop processes for soliciting additional letters of review related to teaching and/or professional service, but external review of scholarly activity is required of all faculty candidates for promotion and/or tenure. It is the responsibility of the candidate only to assist with the identification of a pool of persons appropriately qualified to serve as reviewers. The Department Chair, Department Review Committee, or Dean must select and contact the reviewers, provide representative well-organized materials to be reviewed, give them specific guidelines for the assessment they are asked to provide, and inform them that their review will be available to the candidate and to other tenured faculty upon request. The review file should include a description of the process for selecting the external reviewers, a brief explanation of why each was selected and the nature and extent of any prior personal or professional relationship between the candidate and the reviewer, and the guidelines provided to them. Upon request, these external review letters should be made available to the candidate and permanently tenured faculty members in the department who are at or above the rank for which a candidate is under consideration in accordance with Section 6.3.2 of the Tenure Document..

Analysis of the Candidate's Performance in Teaching. The Department Review Committee and/or Department Chair is responsible for preparing an analysis of the candidate's performance in teaching that (1) summarizes responses on student evaluations of instruction, including items assessing the overall quality of the course and compares them to the responses to these questions for all faculty in the department or other relevant faculty groups; (2) assesses course materials and other documentation that might be provided in a teaching portfolio; and (3)indicates specific strengths and weaknesses of the instructor identified by student, peer, and external evaluations and describes any actions being taken to correct deficiencies. This analysis becomes part of the review file (either as part of the DRC's recommendation or as a separate document).

Analysis of the Quality and Significance of the Candidate’s Scholarly or Creative Activity. The Department Review Committee and/or Department Chair is responsible for examining documentation of the candidate’s scholarly research, creative, and other professional activities, including the assessments solicited from external reviewers, and preparing an analysis of their quality and significance that is added to the review file (either as part of the DRC’s recommendation or as a separate document).

Analysis of the Quality and Significance of the Candidate’s Service Activity. It is the responsibility of the Department Review Committee and/or the Department Chair to examine documentation of the candidate’s service activities, including any assessments solicited from external reviewers, and prepare an analysis of their quality and significance to be added to the review file (either as part of the DRC’s recommendation or as a separate document).

Recommendation of the Department Review Committee. The analysis of strengths and weaknesses and the resulting recommendation prepared by the Department Review Committee should be addressed to the Department Chair. It should indicate the vote of the committee on the recommendation and be signed by all members to indicate that they have reviewed the full recommendation document. Significant minority opinions should be identified but need not be attributed to individual members of the committee. Separate minority recommendations may be written and submitted as an attachment to the recommendation of the committee.

Determination of the Department Chair. The analysis of strengths and weaknesses and the resulting determination prepared by the Department Chair should be addressed to the Dean. (If the determination is positive, a copy is given to the candidate when it is forwarded to the dean. If it is negative, he or she shall meet with the Faculty Member to provide the Faculty Member with a copy of the determination and its rationale, and to explain the Faculty Member’s right of rebuttal. Within fourteen Days after receiving a copy of the Department Chair's determination, the Faculty Member may submit to the dean and the chair his or her written rebuttal to the chair’s determination. Upon receipt of the Faculty Member’s rebuttal, or at the end of fourteen Days after the chair meets with the Faculty Member if the Faculty Member does not submit a rebuttal, the chair shall submit his or her determinations and rationales, together with the recommendations and rationales of the DRC, to the dean of the College).  See section 6.3.2 of the Tenure Document.

Recommendation of the College Review Committee. The analysis of strengths and weaknesses and the resulting recommendation prepared by the College Review Committee should be addressed to the Dean. It should indicate the vote of the committee on the recommendation and be signed by all members to indicate that they have reviewed the full recommendation document. Significant minority opinions should be identified but need not be attributed to individual members of the committee. Separate minority recommendations may be written and submitted as an attachment to the recommendation of the committee.

Determination of the Dean. The analysis of strengths and weaknesses and the resulting determination prepared by the Dean should be addressed to the Provost. (If the determination is positive, a copy is given to the candidate when it is forwarded to the Provost. If the determination is negative, he or she shall meet with the Faculty Member to provide the Faculty Member with a copy of that determination and its rationale, and to explain the Faculty Member’s right of rebuttal. Within fourteen Days after receiving a copy of the Dean's determination, the Faculty Member may submit to the Provost and the dean his or her written rebuttal to the dean’s determination. If this rebuttal is the Faculty Member’s second rebuttal (following a prior rebuttal to the Department Chair’s negative determination), it should consist of (1) a copy of the first rebuttal with the original date and (2) a short addendum clarifying prior arguments and/or advancing new arguments.  The addendum should not be a reiteration of arguments included in the first rebuttal. Upon receipt of the Faculty Member’s rebuttal, or at the end of fourteen Days after the Dean meets with the Faculty Member if the Faculty Member does not submit a rebuttal, the Dean shall submit his or her determinations and rationales, together with the recommendations and rationales of the CRC and the DRC, the determinations and rationales of the department chair, and the Faculty Member’s rebuttal(s), if any, to the Provost.) See section 6.3.3 of the Tenure Document.

Determinations and Documentation Reviewed by the Provost

Positive Determination. The file submitted to the Provost for a positive determination should include only the determination of the Dean (to which the recommendation of the College Review Committee, the determination of the Chair, and the recommendation of the Department Review Committee are attached) and the required documentation listed below presented in one manila file folder labeled with the name of the candidate and the action determined by the Dean. The remainder of the review file should be kept intact in the Dean’s Office until notified otherwise by the Provost’s Office.

Supporting documentation accompanying each positive determination to be reviewed by the Provost must include:

  1. AA Form-20: Reappointment, Promotion, and/or Conferral of Permanent Tenure;
  2. The required Affirmative Action Memorandum (Form AA-27) signed by the department chair in the capacity as Unit Affirmative Action Officer;
  3. An up-to-date curriculum vitae prepared by the candidate;
  4. The candidate’s self-assessment;
  5. The recommendation of the Department Review Committee addressing teaching, research and service;
  6. The determination of the Department Chair addressing teaching, research and service;
  7. The recommendation of College Review Committee addressing teaching, research and service;
  8. The determination of the Dean addressing teaching, research and service;
  9. Any rebuttals by the faculty member if there was a negative determination by the Chair and/or Dean.
  10. Copies of annual evaluation letters to the candidate for the period since the last appointment, reappointment or promotion decision for the candidate;
  11. External evaluations for cases involving promotion and/or tenure. See Appendix L. RPT External Review Letters and Record.
Negative Determinations

The full review file should be submitted to the Provost in cases where the determination of the Dean is negative. This should include any rebuttal letters by the faculty member to the Chair or the Dean.

Tenure Clock Extensions for Probationary Faculty

A one-year extension of the probationary period shall be granted for any approved FMLA leaves of absence (See University Policy #102.6).  The FMLA leave is approved in the UNC Charlotte Benefits Office for the following reasons: 

  • Care for newborn child
  • Care for adopted or foster child
  • Care for serious health condition of my child, spouse, parent
  • Care for my own serious health condition that prevents me from performing the functions of my position
  • A qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that my immediate family member is on military active duty or has been called to active duty status in support of a contingency operation
  • Serious injury or illness of a covered service member for whom I am next of kin

Below is listed other reasons that a tenure clock extension may be approved:

  • Exceptional delays in providing critical equipment, laboratory renovations, or other elements of the committed start-up package essential to establishing a viable research program.
  • Significant administrative duties during the probationary period for which adequate release time cannot be provided.  This extension should be agreed upon by the chair and set forth in the appointment paperwork for the administrative position.
  • Extenuating non-professional circumstances not covered under FMLA that have had a significant impact on the faculty member’s productivity, including personal leaves of absence (see University Policy #102.15).

For non-FMLA reasons, requests must be made within one year of the “qualifying event” in a written memo to the department head prior to submission of the dossier.  Approval by the chair and dean are required for probationary extensions with a memo to the Provost for formal notification.  The faculty member may appeal denial of the request to the Provost.  Decision of the Provost is final.  Probationary period extensions are granted in one-year increments.  A cumulative total of two years is normally the maximum probationary period extension for any combination of reasons.