Procedural Requirements for Academic Personnel Decisions

(Approved by Faculty Senate, 4/2/01)

1. Academic personnel decisions will proceed in the following steps for reviews and recommendations to the college President:

President
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Provost
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Dean
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Department Chair
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Department
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APT Committee
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Applicant

 

2. Composition of departmental Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committees

a. Purpose: To facilitate personnel actions and to assure both academic rigor and equity in review.

b. Application: This section applies to APT committees addressing actions on continuing appointment, reappointments, promotions, and sabbatical leaves. It does not apply to APT committees addressing DSI recommendations.

c.. Academic credentials and performance should be reviewed by those with similar knowledge and experience; therefore (with the exception of the Faculty Senate Observer/Consultant), only teaching faculty should be members of APT committees reviewing teaching faculty, and only librarians should be members of APT committees reviewing librarians.

d. All members of departmental APT committees should have continuing appointment (or, in the case of professional staff, permanent appointment).

e. APT committees consist of at least three (3) members from the candidate’s home department. When committee composition cannot be comprised of three faculty from the candidate’s home department, the Dean, after consultation with the department chair and members of the faculty, will constitute a three-person committee with either emeritus faculty from the department, or appropriate members from outside the home department.

f. In the case of promotions, only those who have attained the rank of Associate Professor or higher may serve on the APT committee. In the case of promotion to full Professor, the APT committee must include at least one full professor. If a full professor is not available among the members of the department, the dean, after consulting the chair and members of the faculty in the department, will appoint an emeritus full professor from the department, or a full professor from another department, to the APT committee for the purpose of reviewing the promotion to professor.

g. If a department decides that professional staff members assigned to the department should also serve on the APT committee, the department chair will request approval of these members from the School dean, in accordance with subsection “e” above.

h. APT committees should consider the opinion of students, as provided in the campus’ student reaction to instruction process, in making recommendations as to continuing appointments, reappointments, and promotions.

3. The responsibility of the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure (APT) committee is to evaluate the applicant’s performance. This involves not only a judgment, but also the clear statement of a supporting rationale in the committee’s report.

4. The department of the whole (all eligible faculty members as described in 4a below, including departmental members of the APT committee, but with the exclusion of the department chair) registers its agreement with the recommendation of the APT committee. This vote does not involve the creation of a separate report, but the numerical tally recording the vote should be communicated to the chair, Dean, Provost and the President. The applicant may request and receive the numerical tally.

a) Each department should develop a written policy regarding the department vote that:

(1) establishes voting rights,

(2) specifies a quorum,

(3) permits or prohibits voting in absentia,

(4) defines a “positive” or “favorable” vote, and

(5) defines categories of department members who may participate and vote in departmental discussions of matters referred to the department by its APT committee according to the following guidelines:

  • all full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty will be included
  • full-time professional staff and full-time qualified academic rank faculty may be included
  • the candidate under consideration and adjunct and temporary faculty will not be included

b) Departments should establish sign-out procedures to ensure that department members have reviewed the appropriate documents in advance of consideration and voting.

5. The department chair, Dean and Provost each make independent conclusions on the applicant’s performance. They may find the opinions of lower levels useful in arriving at their judgment, but they are not bound by the recommendation of any lower level.

6. In all academic personnel actions, the applicant shall be notified of the recommendation at each point in the process, and allowed the opportunity to stop the consideration process at any point prior to the President’s decision.

The President’s decision letter shall be transmitted to the applicant in accordance with notification dates determined by the Office of Human Resources.

Recent questions/answers about APT committee procedures:

[Note: This is not a part of the original College Senate approved document.]

1. Is it appropriate for an APT committee to revise the contents of its letter after it has been signed and delivered to the candidate by the due date?

ANSWER: Affirmative Action has concluded that this would not be appropriate. However, members of the APT committee who felt that the committee’s letter was in some way “technically inaccurate” may place a brief statement detailing their concern into the candidate’s portfolio if they wish.

2. Should the APT committee’s letter to the chair be part of the candidate’s portfolio that the faculty can review prior to voting on the committee’s recommendation?

ANSWER: Affirmative Action has concluded that any such letter should be available for faculty review prior to a vote.

3. If the candidate writes a rebuttal to the APT committee’s letter to the chair (if any), should this letter be available in the portfolio for faculty review prior to the vote on the committee’s recommendation?

ANSWER: Affirmative Action has concluded that the letter of rebuttal should also be available for faculty review prior to a vote.

4. Should the faculty vote on the APT committee’s recommendation be made available to members of the department?

ANSWER: There is currently variation from one department to the next on this practice. Until a uniform practice is in effect, departments should follow their established practice. Future action may deal with this variation.