Feb 26, 2024  
Policies and Procedures Manual 
    
Policies and Procedures Manual

06:05:00 Guidelines for Faculty Promotion Recommendations at Tennessee Board of Regents Community Colleges


Revision Responsibility: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Executive Officer: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Source/Reference: TBR Policy 5:02:02:30

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to outline the policy and procedures for faculty promotion. Promotion is the recognition of past achievements of the individual. In addition, the advancement in rank is a recognition of future potential and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of greater accomplishments and responsibilities. The policy of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR): The College System of Tennessee and Walters State Community College is to make promotions strictly on consideration of merit tempered by college and fiscal considerations. The purpose of this committee is to help ensure that promotions are made objectively, equitably, impartially, and as recognition of merit consistent with the policy.


Policy

I. Introduction

Walters State Community College’s faculty promotion plan outlines the procedure to follow when a faculty member is eligible for and desires to be considered for promotion to a higher faculty rank. The plan incorporates quantitative and qualitative measures of teaching, service/outreach and scholarship/creative activities/research. The college realizes that improvements to the plan may be desirable in the future. For this reason and because the needs of this institution will change from year to year, the president may authorize a review committee, as deemed necessary, to solicit input concerning any changes that will improve the plan.

The objectives of the faculty promotion plan are to:

  1. Provide information about the method utilized to evaluate members of the faculty who are eligible and desire to be considered for promotion;
  2. Provide feedback to individual members of the faculty who were eligible and have been considered for promotion;
  3. Acknowledge the importance of excellent teaching and to implement this conviction in the college’s reward structure;
  4. Reduce the arbitrariness of the decision-making processes associated with promotion;
  5. Improve the instructional effort and overall quality of the college’s educational program;
  6. Meet the requirement of the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action program of TBR: The College System of Tennessee which states that “each institution of the TBR must establish in reasonable detail and make available upon request the standards and procedures which govern all employment practices in the operation of the institution.”
  7. Demonstrate compliance with the TBR Policy 5:02:02:30.

II. Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research will be defined as follows.

  1. Teaching - Teaching applies to any manner in which information is imparted so that others may learn, and may include, but is not limited to, a variety of techniques including instruction, development of course materials and courseware, and development of innovative approaches to teaching.
  2. Service/Outreach - Service and outreach apply to faculty engagement within the community and student engagement activities (i.e., performances, academic competitions, student activities, transfer outreach, …) as defined by the college’s mission and strategic plan; service/outreach to the college, as in student advising and/or mentoring; and service/outreach within the bounds of the applicant’s academic discipline and budgeted assignment.
  3. Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research - Research applies to the studious inquiry, examination, or discovery that contributes to disciplinary and interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge. Scholarship/creative activities/research may include, but is not limited to, typical professional growth and development activities, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities that focus on the boundaries of knowledge, community-based scholarship, creative activities (e.g., performances or other artistic creations), and the development of cutting-edge teaching approaches.

    A more detailed description of these activities and the criteria to be applied in assessing performance in these three areas may be found below.

III. Promotion Guidelines

The guidelines that follow provide a general plan for documenting the evaluation process for promotion. All documents related to faculty promotion are posted on the Academic Affairs Web pages. College policies sections clearly outline promotional procedures, timelines, as well as opportunities for review of a negative decision.

IV. Minimum Rank Criteria To Qualify For Promotion

In order to be considered for promotion, faculty members must meet the minimum criteria established by the TBR and the institution. Once these criteria have been met, faculty requesting consideration for promotion will be evaluated according to procedures outlined in the faculty promotion plan. Exceptions to the minimum rank criteria can be made only on the recommendation of the president and subsequent approval by the board.

The following defines minimum criteria that distinguish between academic ranks. Faculty must demonstrate minimum criteria to be eligible for promotion in rank. Promotion must be sequential in each rank.

  1. Instructor
    1. Potential ability in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
    2. As deemed appropriate for the instructional discipline, either an associate or baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the discipline or related area.
    3. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
  2. Assistant Professor
    1. Documented evidence of ability in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
    2. As determined to be appropriate for the instructional discipline, either a baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area.
    3. At least two years in rank.
    4. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
  3. Associate Professor
    1. Documented evidence of high-quality professional productivity in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
    2. As determined to be appropriate for the instructional discipline, either a baccalaureate degree (i.e., Career Studies) or an earned master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area plus at least three years in rank. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
    3. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
  4. Professor
    1. Documented evidence of sustained high-quality professional productivity in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
    2. Earned doctorate or TBR-recognized terminal degree from an accredited institution in the instructional discipline or related area plus five years in rank.
    3. Documented evidence of teaching excellence and superior contribution to student development or superior scholarly and/or creative activity. The absence of such evidence may prevent advancement to the rank of professor. Since there is no higher rank, promotion to professor is taken with great care and requires a substantial level of achievement. This rank is not a reward for long service; rather it is recognition of superior achievement within the discipline with every expectation of continuing contribution to the college and the larger academic community.
    4. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, professional integrity, and a high degree of academic excellence and responsibility.

      Note: Minimum criteria may be waived if approved by the college president when a candidate offers extraordinary qualifications in lieu of the stated minimum rank criteria. Such approval must be supported by evidence of the extraordinary nature of the qualifications. For example, a candidate with recognized, national prominence and expertise might qualify for such a waiver.

V. Terminal Degree Designation

Terminal degree designation will be determined by the list provided by the TBR, and they will use national discipline standards to determine which degrees are considered to be “terminal” within each discipline. The president may request exceptions to the list based on the college’s mission and hiring practice. Exceptions must be petitioned to the board for “equivalent work experience credit” when a candidate has not obtained a terminal degree but has a record of extraordinary achievement in a given field. The equivalent work experience credit may include relevant teaching experience or other experiences such as experience gained as an administrator, counselor, librarian, journeyman, or the like.

VI. Promotion Criteria

Faculty members eligible for promotion will be evaluated on the basis of their teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research during the years since the last promotion. Those considered for promotion will be evaluated in the major areas of.

Area One

Teaching

60%

Area Two

Service/Outreach

30%

Area Three

Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research

10%

*See Faculty Promotion Review Guidelines for detailed assigned weights.

AREA ONE: Teaching

A faculty member will be evaluated on teaching effectiveness by the division dean or direct supervisor, peers, and students. The evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

  • Curriculum and/or program development.
  • Development, application, and documentation of current research-based instructional techniques and pedagogies.
  • Documentation of staying current in their field of discipline/specialization.
  • Student evaluations of the teaching performance and narrative responses to the evaluations from the date of hire or previous promotion date at WSCC.
  • Development and update of course materials (i.e., course syllabi, handouts, exams/evaluation instruments, instructional materials).
  • Statement of teaching philosophy.
  • Goal setting that supports WSCC’s mission and strategic plan.
  • Other evidence of excellence in teaching or mentoring, or both.

AREA TWO: Service/Outreach

Evaluation of service/outreach will be based on performance in each of these areas of service:

  • Service to the college: performance in relation to the job description, assigned tasks, responsibilities, performance in advising and mentoring students, college committee and administrative work, club advising and participation or attendance at various college functions, recruitment.
  • Service to the academic discipline: participation in division activities and meetings, completion of assignments in a timely manner, participation and contributions to professional organizations, revising course materials, participation in setting and achieving personal and divisional goals supporting the mission of the college, attendance at faculty development activities.
  • Service to the community: participation, service, and leadership in community service agencies with documented evidence of success, complexity, and satisfaction with services by the agency, serving as an officer in a community organization, making presentations, sponsoring workshops, judging fairs, public service consultation.
  • Goal setting that supports WSCC’s mission and strategic plan.
  • Other evidence of excellence in teaching or mentoring, or both.

AREA THREE: Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research

Documented activities of scholarship/creative activities/ research may include but are not limited to:

  • Professional growth and development activities.
  • Development and implementation of cutting-edge teaching approaches.
  • Scholarly pursuits in support of the discipline or teaching profession.
  • Performances, compositions, and other artistic creations that are evaluated by written reviews and by qualified peers.
  • Professional or scholarly papers presented at international, national, or regional/state meetings.
  • Publication of research or scholarly works such as books, journal articles, and other scholarly papers.
  • Goal setting that supports WSCC’s mission and strategic plan.

VII. Promotion Process

  1. Each faculty member seeking promotion for the upcoming academic year should contact the chair of the Campus Peer Evaluation Team no later than January 31st  of the spring term of the year before being considered for promotion. At this point, the faculty member seeking promotion will be directed by the chair of the Campus Peer Evaluation Team to select one peer from within his or her division to evaluate his or her teaching in one class to be selected by the faculty member (see criteria listed above in Area One: Teaching). The chair of the Campus Peer Evaluation Team will also assign the faculty member a member of the Campus Peer Evaluation Team to conduct a peer evaluation of the same class. These peer evaluations should be conducted the spring semester prior to the fall semester that the faculty member files for promotion candidacy. Once completed, these evaluations will be valid for two consecutive years. See Peer Evaluation Guide.
  2. Each faculty member who desires to be considered for promotion should complete an Eligibility Criteria for Promotion Form  (https://library.ws.edu/AA/facultyandstaff?preview=a8a4c94313a3e502d0fb12f084d89cb2)
  3.  and forward the form to the Academic Dean no later than the last working day before October 1st of the year in which they initiate the promotion process. This process can be started and completed in an electronic signature application (such as DocuSign) for tracking.
  4. Each Academic Dean will forward the Eligibility Criteria for Promotion Forms to the Human Resources Office for verification of the appropriate educational degree and number of years in current rank no later than the last working day before October 20. A year in rank indicates the faculty member has held that rank for a full academic year (August to May). This process can be completed using an electronic signature application if started in this format.
  5. The Office of Human Resources will provide the documentation, verify by signature and return the forms to the Office of Academic Affairs no later than the last working day before October 30. This process can be completed using an electronic signature application if started in this format.
  6. The vice president for Academic Affairs will review the information and verify by signature that each faculty member seeking promotion has met two of the minimum rank criteria (see specifics for each rank listed above): appropriate educational degree and years in rank. The Eligibility Criteria for Promotion form will be returned to Human Resources for documentation and forwarded to each faculty member’s Academic Dean no later than the last working day before November 15. This process can be completed using an electronic signature application if started in this format.
  7. The faculty member seeking promotion will submit the required documentation. The document includes responses to specified questions addressing the three major areas of Teaching, Service/Outreach, and Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research. These responses must be written and follow the prescribed submission format. The faculty member will submit their written responses to their Academic Dean no later than the last working day before December 15th. All submissions should be the original work of the promotion candidate and will be verified by the FPRC.
  8. For each faculty member seeking promotion, the Academic Dean or the candidate’s immediate supervisor will complete the Faculty Evaluation and send it to the promotion candidate. This assessment will document the candidate’s student evaluation status and provide the supervisor or dean’s input regarding the candidate’s suitability for promotion. The faculty member will then upload this evaluation to their online promotion folder along with their question responses and both peer evaluations. This upload should occur on or before the college opening date for the spring semester.
  9. The academic dean will complete the Checklist for Promotion form and forward it to the Office for Academic Affairs no later than the college opening date for the Spring semester. If the academic dean is newly appointed, the above should be completed in consultation with the vice president for Academic Affairs.
  10. The vice president for Academic Affairs will notify the Chair of the Promotion Committee no later than February 15 that the electronic promotion folders are available for review.
  11. The chair of the Promotion Review Committee will conduct the review following the promotion review guidelines. The rankings and recommendations will be forwarded to the vice president for Academic Affairs no later than the last working day before March 20.
  12. The vice president for Academic Affairs will review the rankings and recommendations, notify the faculty members under consideration of their respective rankings, and forward a recommendation to the president no later than the last working day before April 1.
  13. The president will review the rankings and the vice president’s recommendations, determine those candidates to recommend, and forward recommendations to TBR for approval.
  14. After the late-June board meeting, the president will notify each faculty member considered for promotion of the board’s action on the recommendations.

VIII. Campus Peer Evaluation Team

Each division will appoint two tenured faculty members to the Campus Peer Evaluation Team (CPET). In the event that a division has only one tenured faculty member, that division will appoint a faculty member with a long record of service in that division. In addition, two faculty members will be elected by the faculty at large.

This team will serve a two-year term. After two years, if a division has no tenured faculty other than the faculty member who is currently serving, the division will appoint a faculty member with a long record of service in that division.

The chair of the committee will be appointed by the Faculty Senate to serve a three-year term and minimally be an assistant or associate professor with at least three academic years’ experience at Walters State. The chair receives a $750 per year supplement over the 3-year chairpersonship.

The Campus Peer Evaluation Team (CPET) will conduct the campus peer evaluation for the faculty members eligible for promotion each spring. No evaluator may evaluate a candidate from their own division.

The chair of the Campus Peer Evaluation Team (CPET) will act as a liaison between faculty members and peer evaluators.

IX. Faculty Promotion Review Committee

Each division will appoint one person to serve on the Faculty Promotion Review Committee (FPRC). In addition, two members will be elected by the faculty at large. No division can have over two representatives on the committee and no dean or assistant dean will be eligible to serve.

Members of the committee shall not be in consideration for promotion.  

The chair of the committee will be appointed by the Faculty Senate to serve a three-year term and minimally be an assistant or associate professor with at least three academic years’ experience at Walters State.

X. Purpose and Responsibility of the Faculty Promotion Review Committee

Members of the Faculty Promotion Review Committee (FFPRC) will be selected in the fall semester of each year and will meet with the vice president for Academic Affairs during the semester to review the faculty promotion plan. The chair of the FPRC together with the committee will develop a faculty promotion/evaluation calendar for the academic year. The committee will then inform the faculty of the promotion process procedures, promotion materials required, and deadlines for submission of required materials.

The FFPRC’s primary responsibility is to evaluate all the documentation included in each candidate’s promotion folder and assign points according to the stated guidelines. This evaluation includes checking that all materials submitted by each promotion candidate are unique to each faculty member. The committee will then rank each candidate from highest to lowest according to point totals and forward these rankings to the vice president for Academic Affairs.  The vice president for Academic Affairs will review all documentation and evaluate the electronic promotion materials according to the stated guidelines. The FPRC chair receives a $750 per year supplement over the 3-year chairpersonship.

03/06; 10/13; 01/15; 06/22; 02/23

*Faculty Promotion Review Guidelines

The Faculty Promotion Review Committee will evaluate each written response and assign points as specified below.

Teaching

60% Total Weight

1.1

10 points

1.2

20 points

1.3

30 points

1.4

20 points

1.5

30 points

1.6

10 points

 

120 points

 

 

Teaching

30% Total Weight

2.1

20 points

2.2

20 points

2.3

10 points

2.4

10 points

 

60 points

 

 

Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research

10% Total Weight

3.1

10 points

3.2

10 points

 

20 points

 

 

Total Points

200 points