FACULTY TENURE POLICY AND PROCEDURE (BP)
DATE OF ADOPTION: October 21, 2004
REVISION DATE(S): February 19, 2015
The following tenure policy revision was adopted by the Seminole State College Board of Regents in October, 2004. Provisions apply to non-tenured faculty members from the date of adoption and thereafter. Faculty members who were tenured prior to the policy revision in 2004 will retain tenure, subject to future tenure review
Definition of Tenure
“Tenure is a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society […]. After the expiration of a probationary period, teachers or investigators should have permanent or continuous tenure, and their service should be terminated only for adequate cause, except in the case of retirement for age, or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies" (AAUP, 2001, pp. 3-4).
Tenure describes faculty members who have met the requirements of this policy. Tenure is a reciprocal state in which the faculty member commits to an on-going effort to achieve excellence and the institution commits to support the achievement of excellence and to retain the faculty member. Tenure is justified by the critical protection it affords to academic freedom.
Definition of Faculty
For the purposes of tenure, faculty is defined as those whose greatest concentration of duties are classroom teaching and who are on full-time faculty contracts at the College.
Eligibility for Tenure
Faculty are eligible to apply for tenure at the conclusion of a probationary period which is defined below. All faculty new to Seminole State College must serve a probationary period of four continuous years as a full-time faculty member and must have earned a master’s degree with 18 graduate hours in the primary teaching field (i.e., life sciences, physical sciences, nursing, business administration, computer science, child development, among others) prior to applying for tenure. This four-year period provides for annual evaluation, notification of unsatisfactory work, an opportunity to address deficiencies, a determination of program viability, and for the faculty member to become involved with the institution and its five-county service area. Application for tenure may be made during the fifth year of continuous full-time service or any year thereafter.
Faculty Tenure Status
A faculty member in tenure application status is a tenure-eligible faculty member, as defined above, who has chosen to enter or re-enter the tenure procedure. A non-tenured faculty member is a faculty member who is not entering or re-entering the tenure procedure.
Criteria for Judging Tenure Applications
In support of the primary functions of the College, faculty considered for tenure must show evidence of quality performance in three: teaching, scholarship, and service. Priority shall be given to faculty activities which are supportive of the philosophy and purposes of the College. Teaching is defined as instruction to impart knowledge or skill to students within the formalized academic processes and structures of the College. In considering evidence for tenure, faculty who do not demonstrate superior teaching excellence will not be tenured. Scholarship is defined as academic learning or achievement systematically advancing knowledge or skills in a field of learning. Service is defined as actions contributing to the advancement or enhancement of others beyond the scope of expected work assignments and duties. Activities of the faculty member shall be judged in terms of the impact which they have in promoting desirable educational progress within the College and within the five-county service area of the College.
Evidence submitted to support a recommendation for tenure will be judged according to the pattern of performance which it reveals. The pattern should show both recent performance as well as a history of performance over the period of employment at Seminole State College.
During the faculty member’s probationary period, the faculty member shall gather and organize evidence for inclusion in a Tenure Application Portfolio.
Criteria for Judging Faculty Performance
1. Teaching Function
- The faculty member is able to produce evidence of student learning as specified in course goals and objectives. Such goals and objectives shall be consistent with program and divisional goals and objectives.
- The faculty member has established positive colleague and student relationships.
- The faculty member contributes to program development and program implementation in ways consistent with the philosophy of the College.
- The faculty member applies methodology, concepts, processes, and principles central to the curriculum taught.
- The faculty member participates in in-service, colloquia, and other professional development opportunities.
- The faculty member is involved in professional organizations and activities appropriate to his/her teaching field(s).
- The faculty member engages in activities and learning experiences enabling him/her to maintain current knowledge of his/her teaching field(s).
3. Service Function
- The faculty member provides service to the College outside of his/her teaching responsibilities.
- The faculty member provides service to students that are outside of his/her teaching responsibilities.
- The faculty member provides service to groups of his/her choice in the five-county College service area.
Faculty members eligible for tenure at Seminole State College, but for whom a tenure position does not currently exist due to faculty tenure density at the College shall be protected to the fullest extent possible. In the interim, these faculty may be reappointed annually as non-tenured, until such time as the tenure density at the College allows for additional tenured faculty.
No part of this policy shall be construed to imply that faculty members waiting for tenure density to decrease shall be accorded automatic tenure status without final review of the tenure recommendation file. Nor does this imply that a person awaiting tenure due to tenure density shall be denied promotion if he/she qualifies for such promotion.
At Seminole State College, the maximum tenure density is 60 percent based on 40 full-time faculty or an average number of full-time faculty from the previous five years, whichever is higher. Tenure applications exceeding the 60 percent limit may be considered by the Board upon recommendation with justification by the President.
Tenure Application Procedure
During the fifth year of continuous full-time service, or any year thereafter, faculty applying for tenure shall complete a Tenure Application Portfolio. The completed Tenure Application Portfolio shall be placed in a three-ring binder and submitted to the Division Chair by November 1. The Tenure Application instruction packet is available in the Office of Academic Affairs. Applicants are advised to confer with the Division Chair throughout the process. The packet will include helpful checklists of required documentation. In the years of teaching prior to applying for tenure, the faculty member shall gather and organize evidence for inclusion in the Tenure Application Portfolio.
Steps in the Tenure Application Procedure are as follows:
1. Tenure Application Portfolio
The Portfolio should be placed in a three-ring binder and contain the following materials in sequential order:
a. Summary of Evidence
The candidate shall write a self-evaluation of assets and strengths and a summary of materials in the Tenure Application Portfolio. This document should not exceed four 8 1/2 X 11, double-spaced typed pages.
The candidate shall include a current resume. The candidate shall ensure that his/her personnel file is complete and contains a current resume.
The candidate shall include copies of official, current transcripts. The candidate shall ensure that his/her personnel file contains official, current transcripts.
d. Evidence of Meeting Criteria
The candidate shall organize and include in the file the materials relating to the Criteria for Judging Faculty Performance” that shall have been gathered in the years of teaching prior to applying for tenure.
Suggested evidence for evaluating the Criteria for Judging Faculty Performance regarding Teaching (correlates to criteria for teaching in section on Criteria for Judging Faculty Performance) is:
a. Course handouts
Course lecture notes
Division chair evaluations of faculty
Relevant examples of student work
b. Letters, notes, recommendations and/or awards from students
Letters, notes, recommendations and/or awards from colleagues
c. Minutes of meetings regarding development/revision curriculum
Syllabi of courses developed/revised
Completed Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education degree program addition/modification forms
d. Course assessment tools and results
Student Feedback on Instruction results
Suggested evidence for evaluating the Criteria for Judging Faculty Performance regarding Scholarship (correlates to criteria for Scholarship in section on Criteria for Judging Faculty Performance) is:
a. Programs and agendas
Certificates of completion
Notes or articles acknowledging attendance
b. Programs, agendas, newsletters
Letters, notes or articles acknowledging participation
c. Published or copyrighted articles or materials
Research, performance or art show documentation
Suggested evidence for evaluating the Criteria for Judging Faculty Performance regarding Service (correlates to criteria for Service in section on Criteria for Judging Faculty Performance) is:
a., b., and c.:
Committee appointment letters
Notes, letters acknowledging contributions
Awards, honors, certificates
The candidate shall include current syllabi of courses taught.
f . Tenure Team Classroom Performance Evaluations
g. Tenure Application Committee Interview Form
3. Tenure Application Committee
In order to complete the application, the candidate should form a Tenure Application Committee consisting of five colleagues, one of whom may be the Division Chair, and two of whom are outside the candidate’s discipline. Faculty in Divisions with less than three colleagues may seek an exemption with the approval of the Division Chair and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The majority of the committee shall be tenured faculty. The candidate should determine if each colleague has time and is willing to serve as a member of the candidate’s Tenure Application Committee. The Committee shall meet with the candidate to review and take action on the Colleague Classroom Performance Evaluations and the completed Tenure Application Portfolio (see 4, 5, and 6 below), applying the criteria set forth in this policy.
4. Colleague Classroom Performance Evaluation
When the Division Chair receives the candidate’s Tenure Application Portfolio, the Chair will appoint two faculty from the candidate’s Tenure Application Committee who will join with the Vice President Academic Affairs in a classroom evaluation of the candidate.
The Classroom Performance Evaluators will submit written evaluation reports to the candidate’s Division Chair. These reports, as well as that of the Division Chair, will become part of the candidate’s Tenure Application Portfolio.
a. Colleague Classroom Performance Evaluation Procedure
(1) Each colleague and Division Chair, hereinafter known as the evaluators, shall review the syllabi prepared by the candidate before visiting a class session. Evaluators shall each visit a different course, or if the candidate has only one preparation during the tenure application semester, different class sections.
(2) The evaluators may confer with the candidate and with students regarding the syllabus and the course before and after the classroom visit. Each evaluator will review the completed Colleague Classroom Performance Evaluation with the candidate before submitting the form to the Division Chair.
(3) Evaluators may elect to visit the candidate’s classroom unannounced or to confer with the candidate before visiting. Evaluators may also elect to visit the classroom up to three times before completing the evaluation form.
(4) Evaluators should use the review of the syllabi, conferences and classroom visits in order to complete the evaluation form. Upon completion, the evaluator shall submit this form and the recommendations to the candidate’s Division Chair, after having shared the evaluation with the candidate.
(5) Colleague Recommendations: In a typewritten statement, each colleague shall address the candidate’s qualifications for tenure by citing his/her assets, strengths, limitations, and contributions to the institution.
5. Tenure Application Interview
The Division Chair will interview the candidate after the classroom evaluations and colleague evaluations and will request that the colleagues participate in the interview. In order to ensure uniformity among divisions, each Division Chair will use the Tenure Application Committee Interview Form and file it in the candidate’s Application Portfolio.
Division Chair Action on Tenure
The Colleague Classroom Performance Evaluation, colleague recommendations and interview must be completed and filed by December 1, at which time the Division Chair reviews the completed Tenure Application, the candidate’s personnel file, and prepares a written report. The Division Chair, after reviewing all evidence, will submit to the Vice President for Academic Affairs a written recommendation to approve or deny the tenure request.
The Division Chair will then confer with the candidate, announcing his/her recommendation and providing the candidate with a copy of the Division Chair’s report by December 15. If the Division Chair cannot recommend the candidate for tenure consideration, the candidate may file an appeal in accordance with institutional policy.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Action on Tenure
If the Division Chair recommends the candidate for tenure, the Division Chair submits the completed Tenure Application Portfolio to the Vice President for Academic Affairs no later than January 1.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs has until February 1 to review tenure candidates and their respective Tenure Application Portfolios, and to prepare a written report for each candidate, recommending or not recommending candidates for tenure. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will confer with each candidate and with each candidate’s Division Chair jointly, reviewing his/her report with them and providing a copy of this report to them.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs submits his/her recommendation with documentation to the President by February 15. The President shall then recommend candidates for tenure at the next regular Board of Regents meeting for Board action. After Board action, a copy of the Tenure Application Portfolio and the Board decision become a part of the faculty member’s personnel file. The original Tenure Application Portfolio is returned to the faculty member.
If the Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or the Division Chair do not recommend a candidate for tenure, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or the Division Chair will prepare a written report, specifying the reasons for not recommending tenure and will review the report with the candidate. The Vice President for Academic Affairs and/or the Division Chair may take the following actions:
(1) Assist the candidate in establishing a specific set of goals and objectives, with timetables for the candidate’s improvement to provide an opportunity for the candidate to become tenured.
(2) Recommend that the faculty member remain in non-tenured status.
A continuously employed faculty member may re-enter the tenure application process after having completed at least one additional academic year on contract if the faculty member has achieved the specified goals and objectives in the timetable established. A faculty member may re-enter the tenure application process no more than twice.
American Association of University Professors (2001). AAUP policy documents and reports (9th ed.). Washington, D.C.:
American Association of University Professors.