4.4.4 Departmental Responsibilities

(In colleges, schools, or divisions without departments, all of the requirements for department action devolve upon the college, school or division.)

The department bears the major burden of defining standards, specifying the procedures to be followed in deciding whether the standards are met, and judging the credentials submitted in support of each application for promotion. Minimum requirements for the satisfactory discharge of these department responsibilities include:

  • After approval at all levels, any special interpretations specific to that discipline or unit must be published and distributed to all members of the department, to the appropriate committees and University officials, and to the University Faculty Senate through its Committee on Promotions and Tenure.
  • Changes in promotion and tenure statements, which should be made only for compelling reasons, should first be sent to the appropriate college committee and dean. If approved, they should then be forwarded to the University Committee on Promotions and Tenure and to the Provost, both of whom will review the proposals for compliance with this document, and suggest revisions if necessary. Upon acceptance of the revised document, they will sign and date it to signify its approval. Proposed changes to existing statements must be submitted to the University Committee and Provost by March 1 to become effective by September 1.
  • The specific criteria upon which recommendations are based must be clearly set forth in the formal statement of promotion policies and procedures of the University, college, and department. The qualities and achievements taken into account by the department in making its decisions should be explicitly described. The kinds of evidence by which the attainment of the stated criteria is to be judged should also be specified in the published statement, as should the specific weight given the various criteria and the kinds of evidence to be submitted in support of their having been met.
  • Department promotion and tenure procedures must be democratic. Although the application of this principle will obviously vary from department to department, certain ground rules must be observed. The department's promotion and tenure committee should be constituted and operated in such a fashion that due respect is given to the opinions and advice of all faculty. Units which elect to include untenured faculty in the review process should ensure that individual participation is voluntary and that the interests of those who wish to participate are protected (for example by using secret ballots). A majority of the committee should consist of faculty who are at or above the rank to which a candidate seeks promotion. (Departments lacking a sufficient number of faculty at the appropriate rank should solicit participation of faculty from kindred departments. Procedures for this solicitation must be specified in the department's document.) The committee should also consult with the department chairperson, who should offer counsel but neither participate in its final deliberations nor vote on its recommendation. The committee should meet formally and follow established procedures. The department committee shall include a separate document in the external letters section of the dossier, identifying the specific external reviewers who were nominated by the candidate versus those nominated by the department, and the criteria used to request letters from specific reviewers. (Rev 5/2013)
  • The department's letter of recommendation, which must indicate the numerical vote, describe the committee's composition and explain the reasons for the decision, must be transmitted in full and in writing to the candidate and be signed by all committee members. The recommendations of the department committee shall be addressed to the department chairperson and inserted into the dossier. When they arise, signed minority opinions will be forwarded as appendices to the committee's recommendations.
  • The department chairperson will review the dossier submitted by the candidate, the report of the committee, and the stated criteria, and make a recommendation supporting or failing to support the candidacy. The chairperson should explain, in writing, the decision to the candidate and to the department committee. The chairperson's recommendation is transmitted in full and in writing to the candidate and also inserted into the candidate's dossier. The chairperson's letter should include a description of the candidate's workload distribution during the time in rank, and how that workload relates to his or her recommendation concerning tenure and/or promotion.