The procedures set forth in this section implement North Dakota State Board of Higher Education Policy 601.1, Section 3.a and Section 3.b, and Section 3.c.

In accordance with State Board policy, 605.1 and Section 4.a, Probationary Appointments are renewable annually and yield credit toward tenure. The probationary term is limited to six years of continuous academic service, excluding extensions to the term or exceptions to the continuous service requirement granted in exceptional circumstances. See section B, below, for Extension of the Probationary Period.

A. Tenure Procedures

At the end of September each year, the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) will announce to the faculty the list of faculty eligible for tenure consideration and those seeking promotion.

A faculty member undergoing tenure evaluation will complete the process described in this policy, V605.01.01, instead of the pre-tenure evaluation process described in V605.01.02.

Standards for tenure include (see form AA-20 ETP Rubric)
  • Effectiveness of Instruction or Primary Responsibility, as evidenced by strong student assessments, peer evaluations, administrative evaluations, and self-evaluations.
  • Scholarship, Professional, and Creative Activities, demonstrated by such factors as formal and informal continuing education, research, publications, performances, and creative endeavors.
  • Service to the University and Community: activities that reflect a strong contribution to the mission of the Department and the University, faculty governance, active committee work, community leadership. Faculty should write an explanation of how any service activity benefits the community and/or University, including how the skills and qualities developed through the service benefit the faculty member as a professional.

1.  The Department Chair will appoint a departmental tenure committee and name the committee chair. Membership will include at least 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 tenure committee in their respective departments. When the non-tenured faculty member being evaluated is a Department Chair, the VPAA or designee will assume the role defined for the Department Chair.

2.  By the first week in November, the departmental tenure committee will meet with the candidate(s) to discuss the tenure review process, timeline, and required materials.

3.  The individual faculty member will begin to compile the materials needed to complete the self-assessment portfolio. The faculty member will submit the completed portfolio to the Departmental Tenure Committee. Materials included for consideration should be dated since the VCSU hire date. The portfolio will include the following documents:

  1. The evaluation, tenure and promotion self-assessment form (AA-6a) completed by the faculty member eligible for tenure evaluation.
  2. Most recent Curriculum Vitae
  3. Copies of course syllabi
  4. Copies of all student evaluations
  5. Documentation in support of service activities
  6. Relevant scholarly papers, presentations, articles and activities
  7. Letter of support from outside of the university for work beyond the committee’s purview
  8. The faculty member may choose one or two additional tenured faculty outside the department to complete a faculty recommendation form (AA-7).
4.  The Departmental Tenure 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 tenure should not be forwarded to the Department Chair.
5.  The Departmental Tenure 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.
6.  The Department Chair will complete his/her recommendation on Form AA-5b; this recommendation will also become part of the portfolio.
7.  The Departmental Tenure Committee and department chair will meet with the candidate to review their recommendations.
8.  The candidate may write a response to the recommendation that is attached to AA-5a and AA-5b and becomes part of the portfolio.

9.  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 #13 below).  Therefore, all parties must take care to express ideas, concerns, and recommendations clearly and completely.

10.  The University Promotion and Tenure committee 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.
a. Department members of the committee are not eligible to vote on faculty Promotion and Tenure from their department.
11.  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 University Promotion and Tenure Committee recommendation, the President will meet with the chair of the committee prior to announcing his/her decision.

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

13.  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-5a, AA-5b, AA-5c, and AA-5d forms.

14.  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. Extension of the Probationary Period

A semester can count as part of the probationary period for tenure only if a faculty member is teaching full-time at Valley City State University. Summer school will not count as a semester, due to the fact that it is more difficult to teach a full load and to fulfill the University service commitment during the summer.

The required term for qualification for tenure may be extended beyond six years and the continuous service requirement waived to a maximum of eight years when an individual is officially granted leave under one of the following policies: V701.01 (Leave without Pay) or V607.04 (Faculty Sick Leave -- Long term leave or Family Leave)

1.  Application for tenure in these exceptional cases must be made no later than the end of the 15th semester of teaching at Valley City State University (for review and Board action during the 16th semester). The date of application will follow the tenure policy timeline if it is to be in the Spring. Tenure documents must be submitted by September 30th if application is made in the Fall.

2.  Exceptional circumstances not covered by this policy may be permitted on an individual basis through submission of a request to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Forms required:

    • AA-5a, Faculty Departmental Committee Recommendation
    • AA-5b Departmental Chair Recommendation
    • AA-5c Tenure Promotion Committee Recommendation
    • AA-5d Presidential Recommendation
    • AA-6a Self-Assessment
    • AA-6b Faculty Evaluation, Tenure, Promotion cover page
    • AA-7 Faculty Evaluation (Optional)
    • AA-20 Evaluation, Tenure, and Promotion Rubric

    Forms are located at X:/Institution/Offices/Academic Affairs/Academic Forms/
Sponsored by: Faculty Association
Reference: Approved by Academic Policy and Affairs Council and Faculty Senate in 1984.
Approved: Faculty Senate, 1984
Reviewed: Winter, 1996
Revised: March, 2002
Revised: January 2011 (Revised from "Faculty Promotion" to "VCSU Tenure Procedures." Faculty Promotion is now V605.1.3)
Revised: December 2012
Revised:  March 2015