Policy No. 217: Criteria for Faculty Rank and Promotion

Policy Number: 217 Effective Date: 06/23/86
Policy Title: Criteria for Faculty Rank and Promotion Revised: 08/31/05, 07/01/10
Approval Date: 23 June 1986 President’s Signature:  on file

CRITERIA FOR FACULTY RANK AND PROMOTION

In accordance with Higher Education Policy Commission’s Series 9, “Academic Freedom, Professional Responsibility, Promotion, and Tenure,” West Liberty University establishes the following faculty ranks and sets the following guidelines to determine eligibility for appointment to or promotion to these faculty ranks.

West Liberty University establishes four of the most important areas of faculty evaluation to be: teaching, professional activity, professional conduct, and service. As an undergraduate teaching institution, excellence in classroom teaching is the most important criterion, but professional activity, service, and professional conduct are also extremely important. For promotion to the rank of assistant professor, quality teaching constitutes a heavily weighted criterion for promotion. Promotion to the ranks of associate or full professor requires satisfactory completion of additional criteria which are listed in the policy which follows. For the upper two professional ranks, quality teaching constitutes a necessary but not sufficient condition for promotion.

TEACHING:

To establish the quality of teaching, evaluation may make use of, but is not limited to, peer evaluation, self-evaluation, Department Chair evaluation, student evaluation, or instruments applicable to a particular academic discipline. Cumulative evaluation of classroom performance will be utilized. Instructor’s materials such as goals and objectives, course syllabi, examinations, handouts, etc. will also be introduced into the analysis. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to assure that these materials are completed, included in his/her permanent record, and presented in the portfolio during the promotion review process.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY:

To establish the quality and/or quantity of professional activity, evaluation may make use of, but is not limited to, scholarly contributions, unrefereed publication, refereed publication, professional conference presentation, professional membership and activity, professional development, professional grants, professional honor and/or recognition, or earned degrees. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to submit these materials for inclusion in his/her permanent record with the University and to present these in the portfolio during the promotion review process.

PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT:

Professional conduct, as defined by the March 23, 1970 resolution “Statement on Professional Ethics” (Policy & Procedure Manual, Introduction, Faculty Senate), must be established and documented by written statements provided by faculty, administrators, staff, students, or persons external to the University. These statements may be provided in accordance with the request of the Promotion Review Committee or of the candidate for promotion, and the candidate shall have the opportunity to review and respond to any or all such statements. The promotion candidate, by applying for promotion, grants the right to members of the Promotion Review Committee to review his/her confidential permanent record FOR THE TERM OF PROMOTION REVIEW ONLY and any personnel file item(s) relating to the candidate’s professional conduct may be introduced into the promotion review by members of the Promotion Review Committee.

SERVICE:

To establish the quality and/or quantity of service, evaluation may make use of, but is not limited to, service to the West Liberty University academic community or the academic community in general. Voluntary activity should be documented as part of this criterion. Academic and/or administrative assignments, whether voluntary or assigned, should be documented. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to include these materials in his/her permanent record with the University and to present these during the promotion review process.
TIMELINE AND PROCESS:

The timeline and process by which a faculty member will request promotion in rank and be considered are given below:

1. Application for promotion in rank must be submitted IN WRITING to the appropriate Department Chair, with copies to the Dean and the Provost, no later than MARCH 1 of the calendar year in which the application will be considered. No application for promotion received after this date will be considered in that academic year.

If the applicant for promotion is a candidate for a degree which is a requirement for award of the promotion requested, and if the degree work may reasonably be assumed to meet the following requirements on or before October 1 of the evaluation year, the applicant may apply for promotion by March 1, even though the required degree is not “in-hand” at the time of the initial application for promotion. The degree candidate’s committee chair and/or graduate College/School must attest, in writing, to the WLU Provost that:

a. All required class work has been satisfactorily completed
b. All required comprehensive examinations have been passed
c. All required research has been completed
d. Thesis or dissertation has been completed, accepted, or defended
e. The degree will be conferred before the conclusion of the academic year in which promotion application has been tendered

If the applicant for promotion does not or cannot produce the documentation listed above by October 1 OR if the required degree will not be conferred in the academic year in which promotion review is requested, the application WILL NOT be accepted in that academic year, and the applicant must defer application until a subsequent application cycle.

2. The applicant for promotion in rank must submit a portfolio supporting the application to the Department Chair no later than OCTOBER 1 of year in which the application for promotion has been submitted. The applicant is responsible to provide all materials in the portfolio and is free to include additional materials which he/she feels may be pertinent.

3. If the portfolio has not been submitted by October 1, the candidate for promotion will not be considered in that academic year and must resubmit the application in a subsequent promotion cycle.
4. The Department Chair will name a Promotion Review Committee of three (3) faculty, exclusive of the Chair. If the department consists of less than three, the Chair will name sufficient faculty from other department(s) within the College/School to appoint this Committee. Such additional faculty will be named as a result of negotiation between the Chair and the faculty member requesting promotion. The committee must be assembled by October 15.

A department member may decline this appointment only if a credible claim of conflict of interest may be presented, in writing, to the Department Chair, who will rule on the request.

If a member of the Promotion Review Committee cannot, for any reason, complete his/her term, the Chair will name a replacement member to the Committee as a result of negotiation between the Chair and the faculty member requesting promotion.

5. The Promotion Review Committee will select its own chair who will be responsible to submit the Committee’s formal recommendation, in writing, and the candidate’s portfolio to the Department Chair by December 1.

The Department Chair will notify the candidate of the committee recommendation within five (5) working days of receipt of the recommendation, and the candidate will have the opportunity to provide an unrebutted response to the Department Chair no later than December 15. The applicant’s response will be added to the portfolio.

6. The Department Chair will submit his/her formal recommendation, in writing, a copy of the Committee’s recommendations, and the candidate’s portfolio to the College/School Dean by January 15. The Department Chair will notify the candidate of his/her recommendation by January 15, and the candidate will have the opportunity to provide an unrebutted response to the College/School Dean no later than February 1. The applicant’s response will be added to the portfolio.

7. The College/School Dean will submit his/her formal recommendation, in writing, a copy of the Committee’s recommendation, a copy of the Department Chair’s recommendation, and the candidate’s portfolio to the Provost by February 15.

The College/School Dean will notify the candidate of his/her recommendation by February 15, and the candidate will have the opportunity to provide an unrebutted response to the Provost no later than March 1. The applicant’s response will be added to the portfolio.

8. The Provost will submit his/her formal recommendation, in writing, to the President of the University by March 15.

The Provost will notify the candidate of his/her recommendation by March 15, and the candidate will have the opportunity to provide an unrebutted response to the President by April 1. The applicant’s response will be added to the portfolio.

9. The President of the University will advise the candidate of his/her decision, in writing, by May 1.

10. Any deadline date which falls on a weekend or holiday will be extended to the next regular workday of the University.

11. The promotion portfolio which was prepared by the applicant will be returned to the applicant by the President by June 1. All other materials added to the portfolio file in the process of evaluation will become part of the applicant’s confidential personnel file maintained by the Provost.

A promotion in rank which is granted will take effect, along with any benefit(s) associated with promotion, specifically, the 10% increase in base salary which represents the promotion increment, on the first contract day of the academic year following that in which the consideration for promotion was conducted.

ACADEMIC RANKS:

The academic ranks and the criteria for attainment of these ranks are:

A LECTURER:

A master’s degree is preferred for the rank of lecturer but is not required. A bachelor’s degree is required except in exceptional cases specified by the hiring Department Chair and confirmed in writing by the College/School Dean and Provost. Teaching experience is preferred but is not required for appointment to the rank of lecturer.

The rank of lecturer is non-tenure only, is outside the probationary status of full-time faculty ranks given below, and appointment to this rank generally may not exceed six (6) years. Lectureships are subject to annual renewal and do not imply any presumption of a right to reappointment or to appointment as a probationary or tenured faculty member.

B. INSTRUCTOR

A master’s degree is required for the rank of instructor except in certain fields specified by the hiring Department Chair and confirmed in writing by the College/School Dean and Provost. Teaching experience is preferred but is not required for appointment or promotion to the rank of instructor.

Tenure will not be granted to a person holding the rank of instructor.

C. ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

A master’s degree plus fifteen (15) hours of graduate study beyond the master’s degree in his/her field are required for the rank of assistant professor. In addition, any persons being considered for appointment or promotion to this rank must satisfy the following criteria:

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR CRITERIA:
1. Documented teaching skill and effectiveness
2. Documented adherence to WLU professional conduct statement
3. Three (3) years of full-time University teaching experience*

*The experience requirement will be waived for persons who hold an earned doctorate/terminal degree at the time of initial employment as a full-time faculty member at West Liberty University.

D. ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

Six (6) years of full-time University teaching experience are required before a person may apply for promotion from assistant to associate professor. For those who are hired with a doctorate completed, or the terminal degree in their field, the six-year experience requirement is reduced to four (4) years. In addition, the following criteria must be met:

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR CRITERIA:
1. Documented teaching skill and effectiveness
2. Documented adherence to WLU professional conduct statement
3. Documented career contributions in either professional activity or service to the academic community
4. ABD* status towards the doctorate or completion of 30 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master’s degree in his/her field of study.

*ABD status in a doctoral program is defined as satisfactory completion of comprehensive qualifying examinations and documented permission of the candidate’s graduate program to proceed to the dissertation stage of the doctoral program.

E. PROFESSOR

An earned doctorate or terminal degree in their field is required for the rank of (full) professor, but this rank will not be awarded simply for longevity of employment or completion of the doctorate/terminal degree. Sophistication in teaching, significant career professional/service achievements, and significant contributions to the academic community must be documented. In addition, any person being considered for promotion to this rank must satisfy the following criteria:

PROFESSOR CRITERIA:
1. Documented improvement in teaching
2. Documented adherence to WLU professional conduct statement
3. Ten (10) years of full-time University teaching experience
4. Documented contributions in professional activity and service to the academic community beyond those cited at the time of promotion to associate professor.

F. MERITORIOUS PROFESSOR

Only those faculty holding the rank of associate professor or professor are eligible to apply for and to be designated by the President of the University as a West Liberty Meritorious Professor. Meritorious Professor appointment will be for a term not to exceed one (1) academic year, and no more than one faculty member may hold this designation at any given time.

West Liberty Meritorious Professor designation is intended to recognize teaching faculty who have made major career contributions in teaching, professional activity, or service and to provide incentive for further contributions by providing a one-quarter release from teaching during the term as Meritorious Professor. Designees may be in any combination of teaching, professional activity, or service.

Any WLU faculty member meeting the basic requirements for Meritorious Professor may apply for this appointment by application directly to the President of the University by March 1 of the year in which evaluation is requested. It will be the responsibility of the faculty member to prepare and submit to the President, by October 1 of the evaluation year, a portfolio to document and support that faculty member’s application.

The President will consider the applicant’s qualifications, the financial capacity of the institution to support the Meritorious Professor release, and the proposed release time activity to determine if appointment as a WLU Meritorious Professor will be offered. The applicant will be notified by the President, in writing, of his/her decision by May 1.

Any person wishing to be named West Liberty Meritorious Professor must meet the following criteria:
1. Documented outstanding achievement in teaching, professional activity, or service to the academic community.
2. Documented testimony that West Liberty University colleagues and administrators (Chair, Dean, and Provost) recognize the applicant’s achievements to be among the best at the University.
3. Documented adherence to WLU professional conduct statement.
4. Agree upon appointment to provide a written summary of activities and accomplishments while holding appointment as WLU Meritorious Professor. This report will be submitted to the President of the University no later than sixty (60) days after the completion of term as Meritorious Professor.

Should the President choose to extend a Meritorious Faculty appointment to any candidate, his/her decision will be communicated, in writing, by June 1.