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Promotion in Rank

(Board of Visitors Policy, #1412)
  1. Board of Visitors Policy
    1. Except for promotion to the rank of assistant professor, all promotions in rank are based on evaluation of the faculty member’s performance in teaching, research, and service over the total time in the previous rank as compared to the criteria established by the Board of Visitors for the rank being considered and any other criteria established by the department or college.

    2. Promotion to the rank of associate professor must occur at the time of the tenure award.

    3. Promotion to the rank of full professor is normally considered no earlier than during the sixth year of a faculty member's service as associate professor at Old Dominion University. Exceptions are made only under the following circumstances:
      1. A faculty member who has held the rank of associate professor at another institution and was initially appointed to Old Dominion University at the rank of associate professor may be considered for promotion at the time of the award of tenure.

      2. A faculty member of extraordinary merit may be considered for promotion to the rank of full professor before the sixth year as associate professor at Old Dominion University.

    4. The president, upon the recommendation of the Faculty Senate, shall establish procedures for consideration of promotion to the rank of full professor (and designation as eminent scholar). Such procedures shall require consideration and recommendation by faculty members at the department and college level, the chair, the dean, and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee. The decision concerning promotion is to be made by the provost and vice president for academic affairs. If the provost and vice president for academic affairs decides against promotion, the faculty member may request a review by the president. The decision of the president is final.

  2. Procedures for Promotion in Rank
    1. These procedures apply to promotion to the rank of full professor. Promotion to the rank of assistant professor is made by the provost and vice president for academic affairs following recommendation by the chair and dean. These procedures are designed to implement the Board of Visitors policy concerning promotion. The board policy is governing in all promotion cases.

    2. Considerations Concerning Promotion
      1. Each faculty committee and administrator considering a promotion case must specifically consider factors listed below as they apply to each case in the written recommendations that are submitted up the line to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. In the case of committees, the vote must be recorded in the recommendation, and the reasons produced by the minority members must be specified.

      2. Each committee and administrator making a recommendation concerning promotion considers evidence of the faculty member’s performance over the total time in which the previous rank has been held as compared to the guidelines for the rank being considered as established by the Board of Visitors and any other guidelines established by the department or college.

      3. The total rank structure of the department should be considered.

      4. At the least, the committees and administrators should examine faculty information sheets, chair evaluations, dean’s evaluations, and any other evidence submitted by the faculty member, the chair of the department, or any other relevant source. It is the responsibility of the department chair and the departmental promotion and tenure committee to provide an assessment of the quality of the publications for the faculty being considered for promotion. The evidence should address the quality of the journals and the reputation of book and other such publishers.

    3. In the case of promotion to full professor, external evaluation of the faculty member’s research and scholarly activity by nationally recognized experts in the field of specialization will be required.
      1. The responsibility for initiating the external review, securing the reviewers, and forwarding complete review files to the dean, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee belongs to the department chair. In promotion of department chairs, the responsibility belongs to the dean.

      2. External reviewers with academic positions will hold the same rank or higher than the promotion rank for which the faculty member is being considered; exceptions should be justified by the dean. The department tenure and promotion committee and the candidate will prepare separate lists of potential reviewers. The candidate will review both lists and will document personal and professional relationships with all potential reviewers. The chair will select three reviewers from the candidate’s list and three reviewers from the department tenure and promotion committee’s list; the chair will provide the list of reviewers to the dean. The dean will submit an agreed upon list to the provost and vice president for academic affairs for final approval prior to initiating the review process. As a general rule, external reviewers should not be co-authors or former mentors of the candidate. The selection of potential external reviewers must be completed before the end of the semester prior to the submission of credentials for promotion.

      3. External reviews will be confidential; reviewers will be so advised. Requests for exception to the confidentiality of external reviews should be made directly to the provost and vice president for academic affairs before the reviewers are asked to submit evaluations. If an exception is approved, candidates for promotion will be allowed access to the substance of external reviews, but the authorship of specific external reviews and other identifying information contained therein will remain confidential. All external reviewers will receive a standard letter sent by the chair but prepared by the provost and vice president for academic affairs in consultation with the deans and a copy of the policy on external reviews so their responsibilities will be clear.

      4. A curriculum vitae will be required of each external reviewer. Each reviewer will be asked to describe any personal or professional relationship with the candidate. It is the responsibility of the chair to include a curriculum vitae of each reviewer. For promotion of department chairs, the responsibility belongs to the dean.

      5. External reviewers will be asked to evaluate all submitted material mailed to them. Candidates for promotion are responsible for the preparation of the research portfolio and curriculum vitae to be sent to external reviewers. In the case of the arts, reviewers may be asked to consider works of art or performances. External reviewers will be asked to evaluate: a) the quality of the scholarship or creative work under review; and b) the scholarly reputation (regional, national, international) of the candidate.

      6. All candidates for promotion will be required to have their scholarship evaluated by no fewer than four external reviewers. If fewer than four reviews are received, the chair will choose additional reviewers alternately from the lists of the department promotion and tenure committee and of the candidate.

      7. The University and college administration will assist departments where reasonable expenses are necessary to obtain appropriate external reviews.

    4. A candidate for promotion in rank is initially considered by the faculty members in the department who hold the rank being considered or above:[1] Only faculty holding the rank of professor are eligible to vote on candidates for promotion to professor.
      1. In the case of large departments, the faculty members in the rank being considered or above may select a committee from their ranks to consider and make recommendations concerning promotion. In that case, it is the responsibility of the committee to elicit opinions from all faculty members holding the rank considered or above.

      2. In departments where fewer than three members hold appointments in the rank being considered or above, the dean, in consultation with the chair, will appoint enough additional faculty in the rank or above from other disciplines to form a committee of at least three.

      3. Candidates for promotion should provide a statement of potential external and/or internal reviewers with whom there is a conflict of interest, e.g., co-authors, co-investigators, etc.

      4. No dean, associate dean, assistant dean, or other full-time administrator or department chair shall attend or participate in the deliberation of either the departmental, college, or University Promotion and Tenure Committee.

      5. The college committees shall consist of one tenured faculty member from each department in the college. All members of the college promotion and tenure committees shall be elected directly by the faculties they represent for a one-year term renewable twice for a total of three years. This member shall be chosen by majority vote of all full-time, tenure-track teaching and research faculty members of the department, present and voting, by secret ballot before April 15 of each year for the ensuing year. There should be at least three professors on the college committee. No person shall serve on a college promotion and tenure committee for more than three years consecutively but is eligible for reelection after an absence of at least one year.

      6. The University Promotion and Tenure Committee shall consist of one tenured faculty professor from each of the major degree-granting academic colleges. This member shall be elected by his/her college’s promotion and tenure committee(s) by September 15. The University Promotion and Tenure Committee shall elect one of its members as chair[1]. No personal shall serve on the University Promotion and Tenure Committee for more than three years consecutively but is eligible for reelection after an absence of at least one year.
      7. The faculty member involved is informed that the committee is considering promotion in rank and is given an opportunity either to appear before the committee (or group) considering the case, or to submit a statement in writing in support of eligibility for promotion.

      8. In case of material developments before the conclusion of the evaluation process, additional documentation may be added to the portfolio with the concurrence of the department chair and dean.

    5. The committee or faculty group makes its recommendation concerning promotion to the chair together with reasons for the recommendation (including a minority statement in the case of a split vote), and specifies the vote of the committee. All committee members should vote yes or no. The chair evaluates independently the credentials of the faculty member, the rank structure of the department, and any additional evidence presented, either by the faculty member or from any other source, and makes a recommendation, with reasons, concerning promotion.

    6. If either the departmental committee (or group), or the chair, or both recommend promotion, the faculty member’s credentials together with the recommendation of the faculty committee and the chair will be forwarded to a promotion committee of the college for consideration. This committee will make an independent evaluation and make a recommendation concerning promotion with reasons (including reasons of the minority), to the dean. The recommendations will indicate the vote of the committee. All committee members should vote yes or no.

    7. If neither the faculty committee (or group) nor the chair recommend promotion, the faculty member will not be considered for promotion in the coming year unless a review by the college promotion committee and the dean is requested by the faculty member. If a review is requested, the departmental committee and the chair forward all documents to the promotion committee of the college, which examines them and makes a recommendation concerning promotion to the dean. All committee members should vote yes or no. The dean examines all documents, including the recommendation of the college committee, and makes a determination concerning promotion. If the dean’s determination is negative and is in accordance with the recommendations of the departmental committee, the chair, and the college committee, then the faculty member is not promoted for the coming year. If the dean’s determination is negative and is not in accordance with all previous recommendations, the faculty member may request a further review by the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The decision of the provost and vice president for academic affairs is final in such cases.

    8. The dean, considering all previous recommendations and all credentials, then makes a recommendation concerning promotion, which is forwarded, with reasons, to the provost and vice president for academic affairs.

    9. The University Promotion and Tenure Committee, consisting of one tenured full professor from each of the major degree-granting academic colleges, examines the facts and all previous recommendations and documentation, and makes a recommendation (with reasons, including minority reasons, if any) concerning promotion which is forwarded to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. All committee members should vote yes or no.

    10. On the basis of all the evaluations and recommendations presented, and after consultation with staff, the provost and vice president for academic affairs makes a decision concerning promotion for the coming year. If the recommendations of the committees and administrators that have previously considered the case have not been in agreement with one another, or if the provost and vice president for academic affairs disagrees with the recommendations that have been in agreement with one another, the provost and vice president for academic affairs shall consult with the chair, the dean, and the University Promotion and Tenure Committee before reaching a final decision. The decision of the provost and vice president for academic affairs will consist of one of the following:
      1. promotion

      2. deferral

    11. If the decision of the provost and vice president for academic affairs is for promotion, the faculty member will receive the higher rank in the subsequent academic year. The decision of the provost and vice president for academic affairs will be reported to the president.

    12. The faculty member may request that the president review a negative decision by the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The decision of the president is final.

    13. All promotions are reported by the president to the Board of Visitors.

    14. Copies of the recommendations by all committees, chairs, deans and the provost shall be provided to the faculty member being considered for promotion. The faculty member will be provided opportunity to correct any factual misinformation in such recommendations by placing a letter in his or her promotion file at any stage, or up until April 1 to the provost.

    15. The above procedures at the department and college level may be suitably adapted for faculty members who hold interdisciplinary or interdepartmental appointments. The adapted procedures should be recommended by the promotion and tenure committee of the college or colleges involved and approved by the dean or deans and the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Procedures above the college level will be the same as those designated above in all cases.

  3. Research Faculty
    1. Promotion to the rank of research professor from the rank of research associate professor and promotion to the rank of research associate professor from the rank of research assistant professor shall be upon the recommendation of the department, chair, college promotion and tenure committee, dean and University Promotion and Tenure Committee to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. If the provost and vice president for academic affairs decides against the promotion, the person may request a review by the president. The decision of the president is final.

    2. The process for promotion to the rank of research professor and promotion to the rank of research associate professor will require external evaluation of the quality of the faculty member’s research performance from nationally recognized experts in the faculty member’s field; procedures for the external review process can be found in section II.C. of this policy.

    3. For those research faculty who only have appointments in one of the University-level research centers, the following promotion policy will apply. Research centers will establish a promotion committee to review faculty promotions and make recommendations to the center director. Appointments to this committee will follow the guidance of section II.D. of this policy pertaining to departments. This promotion committee should include at least one member from the academic department(s) most closely aligned to the center to ensure promotion considerations are being applied equitably between the faculty assigned to that department and those assigned to the center. In centers where fewer than three members hold appointments in the rank being considered or above, the center director will solicit members of the department(s) most closely aligned to the center, in consultation with the chair(s) of those department(s), to form a committee of at least three. The center director will review faculty promotion recommendations and will recommend to the vice president for research those members who have met the promotion criteria. The vice president for research will forward a recommendation regarding promotion to the Office of Academic Affairs for review by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee and the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The University Promotion and Tenure Committee will forward a recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. If the decision of the provost and vice president for academic affairs is for promotion, the faculty member will receive the higher rank in the subsequent academic year. The faculty member may request that the president review a negative decision by the provost and vice president for academic affairs. The decision of the president is final.

  4. Part-time instructional faculty may be promoted in rank (for example, from adjunct assistant professor to adjunct associate professor) upon recommendation of the chair and dean to the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Full documentation of the credentials of the faculty member being recommended for promotion is required. If the provost and vice president for academic affairs denies the promotion, the faculty member may request a review by the president. The decision of the president is final.

 

- Adopted by the Board of Visitors
September 26, 2013



[1] See the Schedules for Faculty Personnel actions in the appendix for specific dates and actions.

[1] The members of the faculty who are elected to serve on the University Promotion and Tenure Committee shall serve for the subsequent academic year. The promotion and tenure committee elected by each individual degree-granting college serve for an entire year, not for the spring semester of one year and the fall semester of the following year.


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