Article 20. Tenure Review and Promotion

ARTICLE 20.  TENURE REVIEW AND PROMOTION

Section 1. This Article applies only to bargaining unit faculty members in the Tenure-Track and Tenured Professor classifications.  Tenure is in the University, and not in a college, school, department, program or discipline.  The award of tenure requires an express grant by the Provost communicated in writing to the bargaining unit faculty member and signed by the Provost.  There is no de facto tenure.  Tenure means that the bargaining unit faculty member’s employment may be terminated only for cause (Article 24), or in case of program eliminations or reductions (Article 25).

Section 2. Eligibility for tenure review. Except as authorized in writing by the Provost

or designee, a bargaining unit faculty member is entitled to a decision on tenure only after six consecutive academic or fiscal years of employment at 1.0 FTE per year or the equivalent of consecutive part time employment at or above .5 FTE per year. An appointment is considered consecutive even if interrupted by one or more approved leaves of absence. The period of an approved leave of absence does not count toward consideration for tenure unless the bargaining unit faculty member elects otherwise.

Tenure and Promotion Criteria

Section 3. The University follows the same general timetable, process, and standards of performance for evaluation and promotion as do many other public research universities, particularly AAU institutions. The University also considers AAUP guidelines for tenure review and promotion.

The tenured faculty in each department or unit will begin the process of developing a written policy setting forth tenure and promotion criteria that are consistent with university-wide criteria, by first considering any input provided by the department or unit head, dean, vice president, Provost, or designee. The faculty will submit their recommended policy to the appropriate dean, vice president, or designee for review.  The dean, vice president, or designee will document and discuss any revisions he or she makes to the policy with the faculty before submitting his or her recommended policy to the Provost or designee. The Provost or designee will have final authority to establish the policy for each department or unit. If the dean, vice president, Provost or designee materially alters the faculty-recommended policy, he or she will provide a written explanation for the change(s) to the faculty in the department or unit. The department or unit head, dean, vice president, Provost, or designee may initiate changes to established policies by informing the appropriate faculty of the change being considered, thereby initiating the process described in this Section.

Section 4.  Each department’s or unit’s promotion and tenure criteria are intended to be consistent with those of other major research universities and shall include expectations, including the proportional weights, for each of the following, as defined by each department or unit:

  1. Sustained high-quality, innovative scholarship in the faculty member’s discipline, demonstrated through a record of concrete, accumulated research or creative activity;
  1. Effective, stimulating teaching in courses taught and in contributions to ensuring academic success for undergraduate and graduate students, as applicable;
  1. On-going, responsible service and leadership to the faculty member’s students and department, the university, the community, and the faculty member’s professional discipline more broadly.

These criteria will be available on the Academic Affairs website and in the department or unit.

Reviews

Section 5. Reviews for bargaining unit faculty members in the Tenure-Track and

Tenured Professor classification will consist of (1) annual reviews for faculty not holding tenure; (2) mid-term reviews between appointment and tenure review for the faculty without tenure; (3) tenure and promotion review; (4) three-year post-tenure reviews for tenured faculty in the third year following a tenure or promotion decision or following a sixth-year post-tenure review; (5) promotion-to-full-professor review for tenured faculty in their sixth year or later after receiving tenure; and (6) sixth-year post-tenure review for tenured faculty in their sixth year following a tenure and/or promotion decision or following a previous sixth-year review.

Section 6. Annual Reviews. Each tenure-track bargaining unit faculty member who has not received tenure and is not in the process of a tenure review will have an annual review conducted by the department or unit head or designee.  These annual reviews provide an opportunity to evaluate the tenure-track bargaining unit faculty member’s performance and offer an opportunity to address problems and to support faculty members in their progress toward the mid-term and tenure reviews.

Mid-Term Reviews

Section 7. Timing. Each bargaining unit faculty member in the tenured and tenure-track classification who has not received tenure will have a mid-term review approximately half way between appointment and eligibility for tenure.  The timing of this review generally will be established at the time of appointment, in that this review will usually take place during the last year of the bargaining unit faculty member’s initial contract.  A successful review is one prerequisite for contract renewal.  Review decisions will be made and communicated at least one month before the end of the initial contract.

Section 8. Initiating the Mid-Term Review. To initiate the mid-term review process, the department or unit head or designee will contact the bargaining unit faculty member during the fall term of the year in which the review will take place and request the following:

  • Election of Criteria: The criteria the bargaining unit faculty member chooses to be reviewed under, if there has been a change in criteria since the time of hire, as per Section 29.
  • Curriculum vitae: A comprehensive and current curriculum vitae that includes the faculty member’s current research, scholarly and creative activities and accomplishments, including publications, appointments, presentations, and similar activities and accomplishments.
  • Scholarship portfolio: A comprehensive portfolio of scholarship, research and creative activity; and appropriate evidence of national or international recognition or impact.
  • Personal statement: A 3-6 page personal statement developed by the bargaining unit faculty member evaluating his or her performance measured against the applicable criteria for tenure and promotion. The personal statement should expressly address the subjects of teaching; scholarship, research, and creative activity; and service contributions to the academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession, and the community.  The statement should also include discussion of contributions to institutional equity and inclusion.
  • Teaching portfolio: Representative examples of course syllabi or equivalent descriptions of course content and instructional expectations for courses taught by the bargaining unit faculty member, examples of student work and exams, and similar material.
  • Service portfolio: Evidence of the bargaining unit faculty member’s service contributions to his or her academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession, and the community. Such evidence could include white papers authored or co-authored by the faculty member, commendations, awards, op ed pieces, and/or letters of appreciation.  The portfolio should also include a short statement on the faculty member’s unique service experiences or obligations.

Section 9. Department or Unit Head’s Role: The department or unit head will obtain and place in the evaluation file copies of summary reports from the student evaluation process.  The file must also include a recent peer evaluation of the bargaining unit faculty member’s teaching.  Once the department or unit head has obtained all of the appropriate documents and information, he or she will establish a committee of tenured faculty and provide the committee with access to the documents and information.  The department or unit head will then:

  1. Obtain a report from the faculty committee including an assessment of the bargaining unit faculty member’s progress toward tenure and promotion; and
  1. Prepare his or her own evaluation of the bargaining unit member’s progress toward tenure and promotion; and
  1. Provide the department or unit head’s report to the bargaining unit faculty member and allow the faculty member 10 days from the date of the receipt of the report to provide responsive material or information, which shall be included in the evaluation file; and
  1. Submit the evaluation file to the appropriate dean.

If a department or unit has or develops a policy or practice of providing the report of the faculty committee to the bargaining unit faculty member, the department or unit head shall do so.

Section 10. Dean’s Role. The dean will review the file and may consult with appropriate persons and may obtain and document additional relevant information. Once the dean deems the file complete, he or she will prepare a separate report and recommendation. The dean will share his or her report and recommendation with the bargaining unit faculty member and allow the faculty member 10 days from the date of receipt of the report to provide responsive material or information, which shall be included in the evaluation file.  The dean then will submit a summary report including dean’s recommendation, department head’s recommendation, faculty committee report, and faculty member’s curriculum vitae, statement, and responsive material or information to the Provost or designee.

Section 11. Provost’s Role. The Provost or designee will consider the cumulative recommendations received from department faculty, the department or unit head, and the dean, and then will decide the terms and duration of any subsequent appointment of the bargaining unit faculty member.  Upon Provost review, the summary report will be placed in the faculty member’s departmental or college personnel file.

Tenure Review Process

Section 12. Initiating the Tenure Review Process. To initiate the tenure review process, the department or unit head will contact the bargaining unit faculty member no later than winter term of the year preceding the year in which a tenure decision is required and request the following:

  • Election of Criteria: The criteria the bargaining unit faculty member chooses to be reviewed under, if there has been a change in criteria since the time of hire, as per Section 30.
  • Curriculum vitae: A comprehensive and current curriculum vitae that includes the faculty member’s current research, scholarly and creative activities and accomplishments, including publications, appointments, presentations, and similar activities and accomplishments.
  • Scholarship portfolio: A comprehensive portfolio of scholarship, research and creative activity; and appropriate evidence of national or international recognition or impact.
  • Personal statement: A 3-6 page personal statement developed by the bargaining unit faculty member evaluating his or her performance measured against the applicable criteria for tenure and promotion.  The personal statement should expressly address the subjects of teaching; scholarship, research, and creative activity; and service contributions to the academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession, and the community.  The statement should also include discussion of contributions to institutional equity and inclusion.
  • Teaching portfolio: Representative examples of course syllabi or equivalent descriptions of course content and instructional expectations for courses taught by the bargaining unit faculty member, examples of student work and exams, and similar material.
  • Service portfolio: Evidence of the bargaining unit faculty member’s service contributions to his or her academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession and the community.  Such evidence could include white papers authored or co-authored by the faculty member, commendations, awards, op ed pieces, and/or letters of appreciation. The portfolio may also include a short narrative elaborating on the faculty member’s unique service experiences or obligations.
  • External reviewers:  A list of qualified outside reviewers provided by the bargaining unit faculty member.

Section 13. Schedule for Review of Tenure and Promotion Files. The Provost or designee will establish a schedule for the compilation and review of tenure and promotion files. If the bargaining unit faculty member fails to comply with the timeline established by the Provost for submission of materials, the department or unit head will notify the faculty member of the missed deadline by university email and the primary phone on record in the Banner system.  If the faculty member does not respond within 14 days, tenure may be denied.  If the faculty member responds within 14 days, the department or unit head will establish a new deadline for submission of all materials.

The new deadline must allow the University adequate time to complete the tenure review process by June 15.  If the faculty member misses the new deadline, tenure will be denied.

Section 14. External reviews. The department or unit head will prepare a list of qualified external reviewers, with input from the department or unit faculty eligible to vote on a tenure and promotion case.  The department or unit head will select a majority of the external reviewers, but the department or unit head’s primary responsibility is to obtain the best judgments from the most highly qualified experts in the appropriate areas.  Most, if not all, of the external reviewers should be at the rank for which the candidate is being considered or above (i.e., associate professor or professor for tenure and promotion to associate professor; professor for promotion to professor).  Reviewers generally should come from comparable institutions or programs. The suggestions regarding rank and affiliations of external reviewers apply to the majority of the reviewers and are not strict prohibitions, so there is flexibility to meet particular circumstances.  A minimum of five substantive external evaluations is required for a tenure case to move forward.

The department or unit head will recruit external reviewers from this list and provide them with the candidate’s signed and dated curriculum vitae, signed and dated personal statement, the candidate’s scholarship portfolio and the department’s or unit’s adopted criteria for promotion and tenure.

Section 15. Faculty Review. The eligible faculty in the candidate’s department or unit, or a personnel committee comprised of a subset of the eligible faculty (if the department’s or unit’s internal policy specifies the creation of such committee), will review the file and the external reviews, prepare a report, and vote.  In cases where there are too few eligible faculty members to form a review committee within the candidate’s department or unit, the department or unit head will work with the appropriate dean to establish a committee including appropriate faculty members from outside the department.  A final vote will be conducted by signed ballot, and the ballots will remain confidential to the extent permitted by law.

Section 16. Review by Department or Unit Head, College or School Personnel Committee and Dean. The department or unit head will prepare an independent report and recommendation, and then forward the entire file to the appropriate dean.  The file then will be reviewed by a school- or college-level personnel committee appointed by a process determined by the dean.  The committee will prepare an independent report and vote, and will forward the entire file to the dean.  This step may be bypassed in schools or colleges whose deans choose not to convene a personnel committee.  The dean will then prepare an independent report and recommendation, and then meet with the candidate to discuss the case, review the recommendations made by the department committee, department or unit head, and the school or college-level personnel committee (if applicable), and the dean’s own recommendation.  Upon request, the candidate will be provided with a copy of the dean’s report that has been redacted in accordance with the waiver status to protect personally identifiable information.  The candidate may provide responsive material for the file within 10 days of the meeting with the dean or the receipt of the redacted report, whichever is later.  The dean will then forward the entire file to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Section 17. Provost’s Review of File. The Provost or designee will review the promotion and tenure file for completeness and general presentation, and may request additional information from the dean. The file forwarded to the Provost or designee should include the following:

  • Promotion and tenure checklist
  • Voting summary
  • Criteria for tenure and promotion
  • Dean’s evaluation and recommendation
  • School- or college-level personnel committee recommendation, where applicable
  • Department or unit head’s evaluation and recommendation
  • Department committee recommendation
  • Letters of evaluation section, including:
  • A single copy of each letter used to solicit an external review
  • A list of the materials sent to the external reviewers
  • A brief biographical sketch of each reviewer, including indication of any relationship with the candidate and whether the reviewer was suggested by the candidate
  • The external letters of review
  • Documentation of declinations to review (typically copies of email notifications)
  • Any internal letters of evaluation
  • Curriculum vitae (signed and dated by the candidate), as seen by the external reviewers.  Updates may be provided by the candidate in the form of a list of specific changes rather than as a full additional curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement (signed and dated by the candidate), as seen by the external reviewers
  • Statement of waiver, partial waiver, or non-waiver (see Article 8, Personnel Files)
  • Statement of duties and responsibilities
  • Conditions of appointment, including a copy of the current notice of appointment and any memoranda in the case of joint or multiple appointments
  • Teaching evaluations, including:
  • UO checklist for the evaluation of teaching
  • List of all courses taught, including term, enrollment, and instructor and department mean scores for required questions
  • List of any/all teaching awards, including awards from the department, school or college, university, and external sources
  • List of all supervised dissertations, theses, and undergraduate honors papers
  • Sample course evaluation questions
  • Statistical summary page for each course taught
  • Peer evaluations of teaching
  • An index of supplementary binder material
  • Additional materials deemed necessary or advisable by the dean or Provost or designee
  • A supplementary binder, which typically includes:
  • Full curriculum vitae of each external reviewer, if provided
  • Evidence of professional activities, including publications, as provided in the Scholarship Portfolio
  • Evidence of contributions to institutional equity and inclusion
  • Signed written student evaluations of teaching
  • A teaching portfolio, commonly including sample course materials such as syllabi, exams, homework assignments, etc.  This material should be representative, not comprehensive, and may include other submissions, such as electronic websites for courses and other presentations of teaching efforts and innovations
  • A service portfolio, commonly including evidence of the candidate’s service contributions to his or her academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession and the community.  Such evidence could include white papers authored or co-authored by the faculty member, commendations, awards, op ed pieces, and/or letters of appreciation. The portfolio may also include a short narrative elaborating on the faculty member’s unique service experiences or obligations

Section 18. University Faculty Personnel Committee Review. After the Provost or designee has reviewed the file and deemed it complete, the file is sent to the University Faculty Personnel Committee.  The committee will review the file, request additional information from the Provost or designee if necessary, and then discuss and record a vote by the name of each person voting.  The committee will prepare a written summary of its discussion which will include the outcome of the vote.

Section 19. Provost’s Decision. The Provost has plenary authority to award or deny tenure.  The candidate will be notified in writing of the Provost’s decision.  The letter accompanying the decision will contain an explanation of the reasons underlying the Provost’s decision, if the decision is to deny tenure or promotion.  A tenured appointment may not be less than .50 FTE.  If tenure is granted, the letter will include a statement indicating the FTE of the tenured appointment.  The letter will be placed in the candidate’s personnel file.  The foregoing does not preclude a subsequent written agreement between the Provost or designee and the candidate adjusting the FTE of the appointment, so long as the appointment is at least .50 FTE.

Successful candidates are granted tenure and assume their new classification and rank at the start of the next academic year, or sooner at the discretion of the Provost.  Candidates who are denied tenure will receive a notice of appointment which expires at the end of the academic or fiscal year following the one in which the application for tenure was submitted.

Section 20. Withdrawal of Application. A bargaining unit faculty member may withdraw an application for tenure in writing to the provost and the dean at any time before the Provost’s decision.  Upon withdrawal, a bargaining unit faculty member will receive a notice of appointment which expires at the end of the academic or fiscal year following the one in which the application for tenure was submitted.

Promotion Review

Section 21. Promotion from Associate Professor to Professor. The process and timelines for review and evaluation for promotion from associate professor to professor are the same as those for promotion to associate professor and tenure, except:

  1. bargaining unit faculty members with tenure who are denied promotion from associate professor to professor will remain employed at the associate professor rank, and
  2. the election of criteria bargaining unit faculty members may choose to be reviewed under, if there has been a change in criteria, is limited to the preceding six years.    

Section 22. The criteria for promotion from associate professor to professor will be developed as described in Sections 3-5 of this Article.  Department or unit criteria for promotion to professor must be consistent with the general principles stated in those sections and must require that the candidate have engaged in significant service demonstrating leadership and commitment both within and outside the candidate’s department or unit.

General Provisions Related to the Tenure, Promotion, and Post-Tenure Review Process

Section 23. Accelerated Review. An accelerated tenure review may occur in particularly meritorious cases as determined by the Provost or designee in consultation with the appropriate dean, department or unit head, and affected bargaining unit faculty member.

Section 24. Credit for Prior Service. When credit for prior service is agreed upon, the terms of hire will state the number of years of credit granted, the earliest date for tenure consideration, and the required date for tenure consideration.  Scholarship, research, creative activity, and teaching completed by the bargaining unit faculty member during the period of prior service will receive full consideration during the promotion and tenure process if the bargaining unit member elects the earliest date for tenure review.  Should a bargaining unit member who received credit for prior service at the time of hire choose to delay the review for the full six years of full-time appointment at the University of Oregon, teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity completed prior to arrival at the university will be of secondary consideration during the promotion and tenure process.  Should the bargaining unit faculty member choose to use some, but not all of the credit for prior service, the focus of the review of teaching, scholarship, research, and creative activity will adjust appropriately so that, for example, four years of full-time appointment at the University would mean that at most two years of prior service will receive full consideration.

Section 25. Joint Appointments. For bargaining unit members holding multiple or joint appointments, a memorandum will be completed at the time of hire or assignment specifying expectations for promotion and tenure review and identifying how the tenure and promotion process will be handled among the units. Such memorandum is not valid unless approved in writing by the bargaining unit faculty member and the Provost or designee.

Section 26. Notice of Meetings. A bargaining unit faculty member will receive at least three days’ notice of any meeting or hearing which the member is invited or required to attend with a dean or the Provost or designee regarding recommendations or decisions on promotion or tenure.  The bargaining unit faculty member may have a colleague or Union representative present at the meeting as an observer.

Section 27. Waiver of Access to Materials. Bargaining unit members have the right whether to waive in advance in writing their access to see any or all of the evaluative materials (see Article 8, Personnel Files). The choice by the bargaining unit faculty member to waive or not waive access to evaluative materials shall not be considered during the evaluation process. Such waivers, however, shall not preclude the use of redacted versions of these documents in a denial review process. The redacted versions are intended to protect the identity of the reviewer.

Section 28. Stopping of the “Tenure Review Clock.” The “tenure review clock” may be stopped in the following circumstances, at the bargaining unit faculty member’s discretion.  The bargaining unit faculty member must decide whether to opt to stop the tenure review clock at the start of the leave or absence, or the tenure review clock will not be stopped during the leave or absence.  The bargaining unit faculty member, however, may later opt to restore the period when the clock was stopped and may apply for tenure review at the time the bargaining unit faculty member would have become eligible without the stopping of the clock.

The tenure review clock may be stopped:  (1) for one year upon the birth or adoption of a child; (2) for up to two years for approved leaves of absence without pay lasting two or more terms; or (3) in other extraordinary circumstances as approved by the Provost or designee.

Section 29. Report to the Union. The University will send the Union an annual report of all promotion and tenure decisions concerning bargaining unit faculty members in the Tenure-Track and Tenured Professor classification made by the Provost during the preceding academic year no later than the following September 1 and in accordance with applicable confidentiality requirements.

Section 30.  Criteria Changes.  If criteria for review, promotion, and/or tenure change during the course of a TTF bargaining unit faculty member’s employment, the bargaining unit faculty member may elect among current criteria and any in effect during the period of time specified by the appropriate section of this Article prior to the initiation of a given review or promotion process.

Post-Tenure Reviews

Section 31. The primary function of post-tenure review is faculty development.  Post- tenure review is not a process to reevaluate the award of tenure.  The failure of a faculty member to make substantial progress toward meeting the goals of a development plan established through the post-tenure review process may be evidence of inadequate performance.  The post-tenure review process, however, may not be used to shift the university’s burden of proof in a proceeding to terminate a tenured faculty member for cause.

Section 32. Third-Year Review. Tenured bargaining unit faculty members will have an interim review in the third year following promotion and a sixth-year major post-tenure review.  The three-year review is conducted jointly by the bargaining unit faculty member and the appropriate department or unit head.  As a result of the review, the department or unit head will prepare a brief statement and share it with the bargaining unit faculty member, who may respond in writing.  The statement and any response will be placed in the bargaining unit faculty member’s personnel file.

Section 33. Sixth-Year Review. Tenured bargaining unit faculty members will have a review in the sixth year following a promotion or a sixth-year post-tenure review.

Section 34. Initiating the Sixth-Year Review. To initiate the review process, the department head, unit head or designee will contact the bargaining unit faculty member during the fall term of the year in which the review will take place and request the following:

  • Election of Criteria: The criteria the bargaining unit faculty member chooses to be reviewed under, if there has been a change in criteria during the preceding six years, as per Section 29.
  • Curriculum vitae: A comprehensive and current curriculum vitae that includes the faculty member’s current research, scholarly, and creative activities and accomplishments, including publications, appointments, presentations and similar activities.
  • Personal statement: A 3-6 page personal statement developed by the bargaining unit faculty member evaluating his or her performance measured against the applicable criteria for tenure and promotion.  The personal statement should expressly address the subjects of teaching; scholarship, research, and creative activity; and service contributions to the academic department, center or institute, school or college, university, profession, and the community.  The statement should also include discussion of contributions to institutional equity and inclusion.
  • Sabbatical portfolio: A report of the accomplishments and benefits resulting from sabbatical, if applicable.

Section 35. Joint appointments. Tenured faculty members who hold joint appointments will be reviewed by the primary unit. Input from appropriate reviewers (e.g., faculty, chair, dean) of the secondary unit, including performance reviews, teaching evaluations, service and research evaluations, must be considered by the primary unit as part of the review process.

Section 36. Department or Unit Head’s Role. The department or unit head or designee will obtain and place in the evaluation file copies of summary reports from the student evaluation process.  The file must also include a recent peer evaluation of the bargaining unit faculty member’s teaching.  Once the department or unit head has obtained all of the appropriate documents and information, he or she will establish a committee of tenured faculty members and provide the committee with access to the documents and information.  The department or unit head or designee will then:

  1. Obtain a report from the faculty committee including an assessment of the bargaining unit faculty member’s performance; and
  1. Prepare his or her own evaluation of the bargaining unit faculty member’s performance; and
  1. Provide the department or unit head’s report to the bargaining unit faculty member and allow him or her 10 days from the date of the receipt of the report to provide responsive material or information, which shall be included in the evaluation file; and
  1. Submit the evaluation file to the appropriate dean.

If a department or unit has or develops a policy or practice of providing the report of the faculty committee to the bargaining unit faculty member, the department or unit head shall do so.

Section 37. Dean’s Role. The dean will review the file and may consult with appropriate persons and may obtain and document additional relevant information.  Once the dean deems the file complete, he or she will prepare a separate report and recommendation. The dean will share his or her report and recommendation with the bargaining unit faculty member and allow him or her 10 days from the date of receipt of the report to provide responsive material and information, which shall be included in the evaluation file.  The dean will then submit the complete evaluation file to the Provost or designee.

Section 38. Provost’s Role. The Provost or designee will consider the cumulative evaluations received from the faculty committee, the department or unit head, and the dean.  

If the Provost or designee concludes that the bargaining unit faculty member’s overall performance was in the highest category (e.g. exceeds expectations) then the bargaining unit faculty member will receive at least an 8% increase to base salary, as per Article 26.

If the Provost or designee concludes that the bargaining unit faculty member’s overall performance was in the second highest category (e.g. meets expectations), then the bargaining unit faculty member will receive at least a 4% increase to base salary, as per Article 26.

If the Provost or designee concludes that the bargaining unit faculty member’s overall performance is unsatisfactory, the dean and the department or unit head shall consult with the bargaining unit faculty member and recommend to the Provost a development plan for demonstrable improvement. Such development plan should be implemented as soon as practicable after a determination of unsatisfactory performance and have a goal of reaching satisfactory performance by the next scheduled 3-year post-tenure review.