Promotion Policies and Procedures

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[The following was approved on December 31, 2016, in accordance with provisions set forth in SIU Board of Trustees 2 Policies C.]

Southern Illinois University is a comprehensive university; therefore, it is essential that its faculty be dedicated to achieving excellence in teaching, research/creative activity, and professional contributions to preserve and strengthen the vitality of the University. Academic promotion is awarded to those faculty making continuing contributions in these areas. The preservation of quality requires that all persons recommended for promotion clearly satisfy the general criteria presented herein. Fairness requires that these criteria be applied as uniformly as possible.

A basic format for promotion dossiers will be given to collegiate deans for distribution through department chairs to faculty members eligible to be considered for promotion. A common format for presenting the supporting information will help assure fairness in the decision-making process. As promotion requires that a person's entire professional contribution be reviewed, the format calls for information on educational background, previous academic and professional experience, teaching and advising activities, scholarly contributions, and service activities. Some academic units may wish to add special categories.

A faculty member will be evaluated for promotion in any year at his/her request. A tenured faculty member below the rank of professor must have his/her dossier submitted for review by the basic academic unit at least every five years unless the faculty member requests in writing that it not be reviewed. A more frequent review of faculty performance for purposes of promotion is strongly encouraged.

The faculty member should assist in the preparation of his/her dossier. The faculty member should be allowed to submit whatever he or she considers relevant to promotion in addition to any information or material required by university, collegiate, or departmental policies.

I. General Criteria

  1. Teaching: The first step in promotion is an evaluation of teaching effectiveness. Only after an affirmative judgment as to teaching effectiveness has been made can serious consideration be given to an evaluation of scholarship and professional service. Unless a determination is made that the candidate is an effective teacher, whether at the departmental or interdisciplinary level, promotion will not be granted. Teaching includes an up-to-date knowledge of one's discipline. In some instances teaching may be indirect, primarily in support of student learning activities. Faculty members also influence teaching by designing courses and curricula. Textbooks and innovative instructional material may be considered contributions to teaching. In addition, faculty members influence teaching in less tangible but no less decisive ways through such activities as counseling students, through conversations with colleagues, etc.

    Detailed and specific evidence of effective teaching should be included in the dossiers of faculty members being recommended for promotion. Evidence should include peer evaluations and student evaluations conducted over a reasonable period of time. Faculty colleagues should be asked to evaluate the objectives, methods, and materials of courses designed and/or taught by the individual. Evaluations of teaching effectiveness should also be drawn from faculty who have taught with the individual or have frequently observed classes taught by the individual. Wherever possible, evaluation should also include evidence concerning the continuing performance of students taught by the candidate.

  2. Research/Creative Activity: Research and creative activity are those activities which serve to advance the discipline or the state of the art. Evidence of research and creative activity, essential for promotion, include written publications, nonprint presentations, funded grant applications, exhibits, artistic performances, and the like. Textbooks and innovative instructional materials having significant value beyond this campus may be considered contributions to research/creative activity. The dossier of an individual should provide substantiating evidence submitted by qualified observers within or outside the University, e.g., reviews of the candidate's books, artistic performances, etc. If the candidate's field is one in which no colleague has expertise, it is essential that outside review of the candidate's scholarly activities be sought.
  3. Professional Contributions: Faculty members are expected to make professional contributions through service to the department, the college, the university, and the discipline at large. The last item includes discipline-related community service. Professional services may include paid or unpaid consulting work. Administrative and professional work on behalf of the department or the university, for which there is no specific compensation or assignment, may be regarded as service. It is desirable that an evaluation by qualified individuals indicating the quality and extent of the service rendered be submitted with the promotion dossier.

II. Minimum Standards for Academic Ranks

Each basic academic unit and collegial unit may have requirements defined for each rank which exceed those of the university. The minimum university requirements for each academic rank are given below.

  1. Assistant Professor: Promotion is not possible from any of the non-tenurable ranks, except as provided under the policy on Appointment of Faculty Contingent on Completion of Academic Requirements.
  2. Associate Professor: Promotion from the rank of assistant professor to the rank of associate professor requires 1) a demonstrated record of effectiveness as a teacher; 2) a record of peer-reviewed publication and/or peer-reviewed creative activity which has contributed to the discipline or field of study, to the candidate's intellectual/artistic development, and to the quality of the academic unit; 3) a record of professional service appropriate to the discipline, the academic unit, and where possible, the college and/or the university; and 4) promise of growth in teaching and research or artistic/creative activity.
  3. Professor: For promotion to the highest academic rank, the candidate's academic achievements and professional reputation should be superior. This rank can be earned only by the faculty member who has demonstrated continued growth in, and has a cumulative record of, teaching effectiveness, substantial peer-reviewed publication and/or peer-reviewed creative activity, and professional contributions and service.

III. Decision-Making Process

Throughout the promotion review process, evaluation decisions shall be made in a deliberate and thoughtful manner and shall be founded on a full and fair consideration of all the factors pertinent to the promotion decision.

  1. Originating Academic Units: Recommendations for promotion originate with the basic academic unit. Each unit shall develop written procedures to be utilized in promotion considerations. Each basic academic unit shall also develop specific written standards for promotion to each professorial rank, which reflect its mission and at the same time meet university criteria. These procedures and standards must have the approval of the dean and the Provost and Vice Chancellor. Subsequent changes in approved standards or procedures must similarly be approved. After written standards for promotion have been ratified by the academic unit, the dean, and the vice chancellor, the primary responsibility of evaluating individual promotion requests in terms of those standards shall be assigned to the faculty in the academic unit(s) in which the request for promotion is made. Once the faculty has made its evaluation and recommendations, the results should be reversed only for reasons which are stated in detail, showing evidence of deliberate and thoughtful review derived from a full and fair consideration of the promotion case.

    Basic academic unit procedures should identify the nature and composition of promotion committees. Procedures should also allow for a formal vote of "appropriate faculty members" for the promotion committee's consideration in a given promotion decision. At a minimum, the "appropriate faculty members" for the formal vote shall include all professors who hold tenured appointments for promotion to the rank of professor, all professors and associate professors who hold tenured appointments for promotion to the rank of associate professor. Academic units may decide that non-tenured faculty holding the rank for which a candidate is being considered should also participate in formal votes regarding any or all ranks.

    In transmitting the department's recommendations to the dean, a department chair must indicate who has been consulted, the form of the consultation, the vote of the appropriate faculty member group, and the vote of any departmental committee charged with recommending promotion. The recommendations of the department chair shall be reported to the faculty of the academic unit. The written recommendation of the department chair shall be provided to the candidate. All dossiers reviewed by the department shall be forwarded to the dean. Faculty members may request in writing that their dossiers be withdrawn from further consideration.

    The department chair shall, in cooperation with the candidate, prepare and forward a formal promotion dossier to the dean. Included in the dossier, at the time it is forwarded, should be a statement signed by the candidate that he or she has reviewed the contents of the dossier. Once the dossier leaves the academic unit, no further information should be added to the dossier other than that required by collegial procedures with regard to the review committee's and the dean's recommendation.

    At Southern Illinois University Carbondale it is not possible to hold different academic ranks in different units. Therefore, for faculty members who hold half-time (50/50) appointments in two academic units, the recommendation for promotion must be a joint submission of both units concerned and the promotion recommendation shall be considered to be positive only if both units make positive recommendations. Promotion recommendations must be processed according to the regular procedures of both units. It is incumbent upon the department chairs of both academic units to insure initiation of the review process.

    If a faculty member holds less than a half-time appointment in one academic unit and more than a half in another academic unit, promotion recommendations shall be made by the academic unit where the major responsibility lies. It is this academic unit's responsibility to originate consideration of promotion and to inform the secondary unit of its intent. For these unequal joint academic appointments, promotion recommendations must be processed according to the regular procedures of both academic units (except in the case of zero fiscal line appointments). However, while the secondary area must process the candidate according to its normal procedures, the outcome of its deliberations shall be provided to the primary academic unit. The primary unit shall take into consideration the secondary unit's opinion and shall include it as part of the dossier. In the case of zero fiscal line appointments, the secondary unit shall not participate in the promotion process.

    In the case of a faculty member who has administrative or other non-faculty duties outside the academic unit in which he or she holds rank, the academic unit has the responsibility for originating promotion recommendations. Candidates holding such joint appointments shall meet the same standards required of other faculty members of a similar rank within the department. The administrative officer in the other administrative unit in which duties are performed should be consulted by the department chair. A letter should be solicited from such an administrative officer for the dossier, detailing and evaluating the administrative or other duties performed.

    An academic unit may be too small to provide adequate review. In such cases, the department chair in consultation with the dean shall seek the advice of an executive committee or other college-wide body, or may appoint an appropriate ad hoc committee for review of a specific case. If this is done, the composition of the committee and its recommendations must be reported in the final recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor.

    In addition to the required consultation with faculty members of senior rank within the academic unit and the joint consideration of joint appointments, originating academic units are urged to consult with others who may have special knowledge of the performance of candidates and to solicit letters from such persons for the dossier. Examples of such persons include faculty members from other academic units when candidates under consideration have taught a number of students from those units, or who have served on a number of doctoral committees in those units, or have engaged in interdisciplinary teaching or research with members of those units. It is also appropriate to solicit letters from administrative officers in various parts of the university concerning service by the candidate to those units.

    If reviews of the candidate's work are solicited from outside sources (see section I.B of Promotion Policies and Procedures, above, regarding general criteria for soliciting such reviews), the manner in which the department selects reviewers shall be in accordance with procedures described in the departmental Promotion and Tenure Guidelines. Those procedures must provide the candidate an opportunity to comment on the suitability of particular reviewers. Departmental guidelines shall provide for the selection of objective and disinterested reviewers by requiring disclosure of any personal or professional relationship with the candidate or other departmental faculty. As a general rule, all solicited letters of review should be included in the dossier, but the department Promotion and Tenure Guidelines may contain specific criteria under which certain solicited letters of review should be excluded. Reviewers should be asked to comment on any or all of the candidate's record including, but not limited to, the merit of published research or creative products, of service to professional or other organizations, of teaching in a visiting capacity in another university. Reviewers should not be asked "Does this individual merit promotion?" since the definition and application of standards at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are the responsibilities of this university.

  2. Collegiate Review: It is the responsibility of the dean to recommend either positively or negatively on all promotion recommendations forwarded by the department chair. The dean shall forward to the Provost and Vice Chancellor all recommendations, together with a statement indicating the reasons for the recommendations. In all cases, a copy of the dean's written recommendation shall be forwarded to the department chair and the candidate. A faculty member may request in writing that his/her dossier be withdrawn from further consideration. In the process of reviewing the recommendation, the dean is encouraged to seek formal advice of an executive committee or other appropriate college-wide committee. In making a recommendation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor, the dean shall specify the nature of the report and the vote of such a committee.
  3. The Review by the Provost and Vice Chancellor: It is the responsibility of the Provost and Vice Chancellor to receive recommendations regarding promotion, to review them with respect to the academic unit, college or school, and university standards, and to approve or disapprove all recommendations received. After such review, the Provost and Vice Chancellor will meet with each dean to discuss that dean's recommendations. If the Provost and Vice Chancellor does not concur in the dean's recommendation, the vice chancellor shall submit a written statement to the dean, with copies to the department chair and the candidate, explaining the reason for the disagreement.

IV. Documentation

  1. Materials to be Provided by the Candidate to the Academic Unit
    1. Appropriate supporting materials that cannot be provided from academic unit files.
    2. All materials required by the academic unit's procedural guidelines.
  2. Materials to be Provided by the Department Chair to the Dean
    1. A separate letter concerning each candidate, giving the following information:
      1. Department chair's evaluation of candidate's
        1. Teaching
        2. Research/creative activity, and
        3. Professional service
      2. The vote of appropriate faculty members.
      3. The vote of any departmental committee making recommendations to the department chair.
      4. A summary of the procedures followed by the academic unit in evaluating the candidate.
    2. Complete dossier of the candidate organized in the format given in Section V. Copies of publications, works of art, etc. shall be included only if specifically requested by the dean.
  3. Materials to be Supplied by the Dean to the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor 
    1. A cover letter summarizing collegial procedures
    2. The dossiers of all candidates
    3. Recommendations of any college-wide review committee, including the vote of such a committee
    4. A letter of recommendation by the dean for each candidate.