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A. Procedures

1. At the beginning of the Fall semester, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) will explain the criteria, deadlines, and pertinent policy for faculty promotion. Faculty who wish to apply for promotion should discuss their interest with their respective Department Chair, and VPAA, if appropriate. See section C, below, for guidance on eligibility for promotion.

2. By the end of the third week in September, faculty who wish to apply for promotion should declare (via email) their intent to apply to their Department Chair and the VPAA.

3. At the end of September each year, the VPAA will announce to the faculty the list of faculty eligible for tenure consideration and those seeking promotion.

4. Candidates may begin building a promotion portfolio with content based on the information required by Form AA-6a, Faculty Evaluation, Tenure and Promotion Self Assessment Form, and noted in Sections B and C, below (form AA-20 Evaluation, Tenure, Promotion Rubic).

5. The Department Chair will appoint a Departmental Promotion Committee and name the committee chair. Membership will include three full-time, tenured Faculty. The Department Chair may request the participation of a qualified faculty member outside the Department. Exceptions to this policy must be approved and documented by the VPAA. The Department Chairs may not serve on a promotion committee in their respective departments. When the candidate for promotion is a Department Chair, the VPAA or designee will assume the role defined for the Department Chair.
  1. By the first week in November, the Departmental Promotion Committee will meet with the candidate(s) to discuss the promotion process, timeline, and required materials.
  2. The format of the portfolio may be determined by the Departmental Promotion Committee, in consultation with the candidate. The portfolio should include updated curricular vita; history of employment and rank; multiple student course assessments showing excellence or improvement over time; course syllabi and evidence of course development over time; scholarly papers and articles; documentation of service activities; letters of support from outside the Committee for work beyond their purview: see Sections B and C below for further guidance on content. The Evaluation, Tenure, and Promotion Self-Assessment form (AA-6a) should be included in the portfolio.
  3. Materials included for consideration should be dated since the last promotion or VCSU hire date, whichever is most recent.
  4. The Departmental Promotion Committee is responsible for assuring a complete and convincing portfolio that meets the requirements identified for the proposed rank. Portfolios that are not complete and do not make a convincing case for promotion should not be forwarded to the Department Chair. The candidate will be informed on missing documentation and can resubmit within the deadline.
6. The Departmental Promotion Committee will review the portfolio and make a recommendation (Form AA-5a).
This recommendation will then become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the department chair.

7. The Department Chair will complete his/her recommendation on Form AA-5b; this recommendation will also become part of the portfolio.

8. The Departmental Promotion Committee and department chair will meet with the candidate to review their recommendations.

9. Candidate may write a response to the recommendation that is attached to AA-5a and AA-5b, which becomes part of the portfolio.

10. The department chair will submit the completed portfolio to the VPAA office no later than the second Friday of Spring Semester.
At this point the portfolio should be considered complete and locked; additional materials may not be added or considered except in cases of appeal (see #15 below).
Therefore, care must be taken by all parties to express ideas, concerns, and recommendations clearly and completely.

11. The University Promotion and Tenure Committee (faculty constitution) will review each portfolio and make a recommendation (Form AA-5c). This recommendation and the portfolio should be forwarded to the President by no later than February 15. The Committee should make its decision based on the materials presented in the portfolio. It is the responsibility of the reviewers to read carefully and thoroughly and exclude personal bias in making decisions.
  1. Department members of the committee are not eligible to vote on faculty tenure and promotion from their department.
12. The President of the University will review each portfolio and make a decision (Form AA-5d).
If the President’s decision differs from the decision of the departmental or university committee recommendations, the President will meet with the chairs of these committees prior to announcing his/her decision.

13. The President will inform each candidate of the decision, with copies to the Department Chair and VPAA.

14. A copy of the portfolio and completed AA-5a, AA-5b, AA-5c, and AA-5d forms will be retained in the VPAA office; the candidate will receive a copy of the completed AA-5 form.

15. The candidate has the right to appeal the President’s decision.  The first step in this process should be a letter of appeal to the President.  Should the matter not be resolved satisfactorily within 20 working days, the candidate may appeal to the Standing Committee on Faculty Rights, using the process described in NDUS 605.4.

B. General Criteria for Promotion in Faculty Rank and Examples of Documentation

For promotion to all ranks, faculty members must meet the following general standards:
Effectiveness of Instruction or Performance of Primary Responsibility
Effectiveness of instruction will be based on such factors as multiple student assessments, peer evaluations, administrative evaluations, and self-evaluations. Documentation examples may include new syllabi and revisions of syllabi, copies of new materials, and evidence of improved instruction, in addition to letters of recommendations from peers and administrators.
Scholarship, Professional, and Creative Activities
Professional Development will be based on such factors as formal and informal continuing education. Documentation examples may include: A list of reading done; transcripts of coursework completed; and evidence of leadership positions and attendance/participation at meetings, seminars, workshops, and conferences in professional organizations, and certifications.
Service to the University and Community
Service to the University and Community will be based on such factors as committee work, offices held, special assignments, involvement at departmental and divisional levels, advisement, recruiting and public relations activities, and public and community services.
Terminal Degree
Normally promotion to the position of Assistant Professor assumes the attainment of a terminal degree. Terminal degrees will be defined as earned doctorates except in discipline areas where an advanced graduate degree, certification, or licensure other than a doctorate is considered terminal.
Faculty in the 'Professionally Qualified' pathway to tenure and promotion, as defined in Policy V605.01, B 1 and 2, may be promoted to Assistant Professor at tenure. Earlier promotion to Assistant Professor or further promotion is dependent on completion of additional qualifications, as described in V605.1, B, section 3.
See Policy V605.01 for full discussion of terminal degrees, tenure, and promotion pathways
Faculty seeking promotion without the terminal degree/professionally qualified status should consult with their Division Chair and then the VPAA before beginning the promotion process. Documentation that might warrant special consideration includes the publication of significant work, or the development of a state-wide or national reputation.

C. Faculty Rank

In order to be appointed or promoted to a specific rank, a faculty member must meet the minimum requirements described below.
The rank of Lecturer shall be for performance of specifically assigned academic duties only without general faculty responsibilities. These appointments should originally be either part- time or temporary. Minimum qualifications are a sound educational background for the specific task or duty and the attainment of the Bachelor's Degree.
The rank of instructor is assigned to new faculty who has not yet attained the terminal degree. Only in exceptional cases will a candidate be appointed to the rank of Instructor prior to attainment of the Master's Degree.
Assistant Professor
Normally the rank of Assistant Professor assumes the attainment of a terminal degree. The untenured faculty member holding the rank of Instructor who completes a terminal degree will, upon documentation and the completion of form AA-45, be automatically awarded the higher rank of Assistant Professor. The corresponding salary increase will take effect the semester subsequent to the semester in which the work is completed.
Faculty who are Professionally Qualified (a second master's degree in a related field or appropriate professional certification) will also qualify for the Assistant Professor rank; untenured faculty holding the rank of Instructor who complete either a second master's degree in a related field or substantial professional certification (as agreed upon with their Department chair and VPAA) will, upon documentation and completion of form AA-45, be automatically awarded the higher rank of Assistant Professor. The corresponding salary increase will take effect the semester subsequent to the semester in which the work is completed. Refer to V605.01 for further information.
Associate Professor
Generally, promotion to Associate Professor assumes at least six years of teaching experience at VCSU at the rank of Assistant Professor, along with evidence of continued professional or scholarly development, excellence in teaching, and significant service contributions to the university or community.
Full Professor
Promotion to Full Professor generally denotes 10-12 years of teaching experience at VCSU above the instructor rank, notable professional or scholarly performance, excellence in teaching, and leadership in chairing significant university committees or initiatives. In addition, one who seeks promotion to the rank of Professor must have demonstrated extraordinary competence according to the General Criteria, which appears at the beginning of this section.
Forms required:
  • AA-5a Departmental Committee Recommendation
  • AA-5b Department Chair Recommendation
  • AA-5c Tenure Promotion Committee Recommendation
  • AA-5d President Recommendation
  • AA-6a Faculty Evaluation, Tenure, Promotion Self Assessment
  • AA-6b Faculty Evaluation, Tenure, Promotion Cover Page
  • AA-20 EPT Rubric
  • AA-45 Notice of Degree Completion
Forms are located at X:/Institution/Offices/Academic Affairs/Academic Forms/

VCSU Faculty Promotion Procedures was formerly V605.1.1 (Approved by Academic Policy and Affairs Council and Faculty Senate in 1984, Reviewed 1996, Revised March 2002)

Sponsor: Faculty Association
Approved: January 2011
Revised: December 2012
Revised March 2015