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Chapter 2
Faculty Appointments

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Contract Reviews and Renewals for Faculty Members (School of Engineering)

See related section above on contract appointments, reviews, and renewals for faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Contract Renewal Sequence

Tenure-Track Appointments

The Office of the Dean issues contracts for tenure-track appointments to faculty members on the following occasions.

  • Initial appointment
  • Appointment renewal
  • Award of tenure
  • Change in rank

The usual sequence of contracts for tenure-track faculty is as follows.

  • First contract: for years one and two (review in year two)
  • Second contract: for years three, four, and five (review in year four)
  • Third contract: for years six and seven (tenure review in year six)

Departmental reviews of tenure-track faculty members must be completed in advance of the applicable date of notification of contract nonrenewal.

Nontenure-Track Appointments

The Office of the Dean issues contracts for nontenure-track appointments to faculty members on the following occasions.

  • Initial appointment
  • Appointment renewal
  • Change in time status (i.e., from full- to part-time or vice-versa), with the exception of research faculty members

Full-time Lecturers. Possible contract lengths for full-time or fractional lecturers with an initial one-year contract are as follows.

  • First contract: one year
  • Second contract: one year
  • Third contract: maximum of two years
  • Fourth and subsequent contracts: maximum of three years

Possible contract lengths for full-time or fractional lecturers with an initial two-year contract are as follows.

  • First contract: two years
  • Second contract: maximum of two years
  • Third contract and subsequent contracts: maximum of three years

Part-time Lecturers. Initial contracts for part-time instructional faculty hired on a per-course basis are for either one semester or one year. After two consecutive years of employment, a department or program may request the dean's approval to offer a two-year contract to a part-time faculty member.

Research Faculty. Possible contract lengths for research appointments, regardless of level of appointment, are as follows.

  • First contract: two years
  • Second and subsequent contracts: two or three years, as appropriate

Professors of the Practice. Possible contract lengths for professor of the practice appointments, regardless of level of appointment, are as follows.

  • First contract: two years
  • Second and subsequent contracts: two or three years, as appropriate
  • Total time of employment in the school not to exceed eight years

Visiting Faculty. Possible contract lengths for visiting appointments, regardless of level of appointment, with an initial one-year contract are as follows.

  • First contract: one year
  • Second contract: one year
  • Third contract: one year
  • Total time of employment in the school not to exceed three years

Possible contract lengths for visiting appointments, regardless of level of appointment, with an initial two-year contract are as follows.

  • First contract: two years
  • Second contract: one year
  • Total time of employment in the school not to exceed three years

Adjunct Faculty. Contract lengths for either adjunct or secondary appointments are as follows.

  • For engineering faculty: without limit of time
  • For nonengineering faculty: three years

Departmental and programmatic reviews of nontenure-track faculty members must be completed in advance of the applicable date of notification of contract nonrenewal.

Contract Review and Renewal Procedures for Tenure-Track Faculty Members

Procedure for Second-Year Review of Tenure-Track Faculty Members

  1. In the fall, the dean's office informs the department chair via memorandum that a review must be conducted that semester. The department chair contacts the dean with questions about the procedures or if an unusual situation requires special arrangements (for example, if there are very few tenured members in the department or if the candidate has a joint appointment).
     
  2. Only the tenured members of the department meet to review the candidate's activities and to vote on whether to recommend renewal of the contract. The discussion within the department is confidential and is not shared with the candidate. The chair writes the dean a letter, signed by all of the faculty members who voted, recording the vote and summarizing the discussion. The letter includes the following information.
    1. Scholarship: areas of research, collaborations, publications, patents, works in progress, grant proposals, and any other material the department deems appropriate
    2. Teaching: a complete list of courses taught with both enrollment figures and the numerical averages from student evaluations for questions 8, 15, and 18[1]. The letter also summarizes the written comments students provide on the evaluations.
    3. Advising: a summary of advising activities and a description of any supervision of undergraduate and graduate research
    4. Service: department, school, and university activities; professional offices, responsibilities, and activities
    The chair sends the dean the confidential letter, together with the candidate's current curriculum vitae, no later than November 20 of that year (or the Friday before the Thanksgiving holiday). The confidential letter is not shared with the candidate.
     
  3. The dean meets with the department chair to discuss the contents of the department review. (If the dean is considering an action that does not reflect the recommendation of the majority of the voting faculty members, the dean informs the chair during this consultation.)
     
  4. The dean and the chair generate and sign a joint review and feedback letter summarizing positive and constructive aspects of the department's review. Additionally, the letter informs the candidate of the decision regarding reappointment or nonrenewal, as appropriate. The timing of this letter, if it includes a notification of nonrenewal, must comply with university guidelines. In this letter, the candidate is requested to make an appointment with the dean to discuss the review.

    This review and feedback letter is a separate and distinct document from the confidential letter from the department summarizing its discussion. It is intended to identify areas in which the faculty member is meeting the institution's expectations for the granting of tenure, as well as areas in which the department and the dean believe the faculty member needs to improve performance in light of the tenure expectations. The review and feedback letter is not intended to predict whether the faculty member will receive tenure, nor should positive statements in the letter be interpreted as the administration's support for a positive tenure decision.
     
  5. The review and feedback letter is transmitted to the candidate and becomes part of the departmental record. It is consulted during the fourth-year review and again during the tenure review.
     
  6. The dean meets with the candidate to discuss the review and feedback letter.
     
  7. Renewal and nonrenewal procedures are as follows.
    1. In the event of renewal, the dean's office sends the candidate a reappointment contract at the appropriate time.
    2. In the event of nonrenewal, the candidate must be given written notice in accord with university nonrenewal deadlines (that is, not later than December 15 of the second academic year of service in the university if the appointment terminates at the end of that academic year or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates during an academic year, not later than six months prior to the date of its termination.)

Procedure for Fourth-Year Review of Tenure-Track Faculty

  1. In the fall, the dean's office informs the department chair via memorandum that a review must be conducted during the current academic year. The department chair contacts the dean with any questions about the procedures or if an unusual situation requires special arrangements (for example, if there are very few tenured members in the department or if the candidate has a joint appointment).
     
  2. Only the tenured members of the department meet to review the candidate's activities and to vote on whether to recommend renewal of the contract. The discussion within the department is confidential and is not shared with the candidate. The chair writes the dean a letter, signed by all of the faculty members who voted, recording the vote and summarizing the discussion. The letter includes the following information.
    1. Scholarship: areas of research, collaborations, publications, patents, works in progress, grant proposals, and any other material the department deems appropriate
    2. Teaching: a complete list of courses taught with both enrollment figures and the numerical averages from student evaluations for questions 8, 15, and 18[1]. The letter also summarizes the written comments students provide on the evaluations and provides information on teaching innovations, introduction of new courses, and courses taught in the various programs and/or centers.
    3. Advising: a summary of advising activities, including first-year advising duties, and a description of any supervision of undergraduate or graduate research
    4. Service: department, school, and university activities; professional offices, responsibilities, and activities
       
    The chair sends the dean the confidential letter, together with the candidate's current curriculum vitae, no later than March 1 of that academic year. The confidential letter is not shared with the candidate.
     
  3. The dean meets with the department chair to discuss the contents of the department review. (If the dean is considering an action that does not reflect the recommendation of the majority of the voting faculty members, the dean informs the chair during this consultation.)
     
  4. The dean and the chair generate and sign a joint review and feedback letter summarizing positive and constructive aspects of the department's review. Additionally, the letter informs the candidate of the decision regarding reappointment or nonrenewal, as appropriate. The timing of this letter, if it includes a notification of nonrenewal, must comply with university guidelines. In this letter, the candidate is requested to make an appointment with the dean to discuss the review.

    This review and feedback letter is a separate and distinct document from the confidential letter from the department summarizing its discussion; it is intended to identify areas in which the faculty member is meeting the institution's expectations for the granting of tenure, as well as areas in which the department and the dean believe the faculty member needs to improve performance in light of the tenure expectations. The review and feedback letter is not intended to predict whether the faculty member will receive tenure, nor should positive statements in the letter be interpreted as the administrator's support for a positive tenure decision.
     
  5. The review and feedback letter is transmitted to the candidate and becomes part of the departmental record. It is consulted during the tenure review.
     
  6. The dean meets with the candidate to discuss the review and feedback letter.
     
  7. Renewal and nonrenewal procedures are as follows.
    1. In the event of renewal, the dean's office sends the candidate a reappointment contract at the appropriate time.
    2. In the event of nonrenewal, the candidate must be given written notice in accord with university nonrenewal deadlines (that is, not later than twelve months prior to the date of termination of an appointment if the appointment terminates subsequent to the completion of more than two years of service in the university).

Contract Review and Renewal Procedures for Nontenure-Track Faculty Members

All nontenure-track faculty members are on term contracts; they are given either a nonrenewable appointment–usually one year–or a renewable appointment. If the appointment is renewable, the department or program conducts a review for contract renewal.

Review Procedure for Professors of the Practice, Research Faculty, and Full-Time Lecturers

  1. In the fall, the dean's office informs the department chair or program director via memorandum that a contract review and recommendation must be sent to the dean's office. This is required for all nontenure-track faculty members whose contract termination date and terms require a recommendation during the current academic year. (A review and recommendation are not required if the faculty member has a nonrenewable contract.)
     
  2. Tenured and tenure-track members of the department (or a designated committee) meet to review the candidate's activities and to vote on whether to recommend renewal of the contract. The discussion within the department is confidential and, therefore, is not shared with the person being reviewed. The department chair or program director writes a confidential letter to the dean, signed by all of the faculty members who voted, recording the vote and detailing the discussion. Though not intended to be a lengthy report, the confidential letter should contain a brief evaluation of the faculty member's accomplishments and should be accompanied by a current curriculum vitae. It should also include a recommendation regarding renewal. If the department or program wants to increase the contract length for the reviewee, a recommendation should be made at this time.

    Additional documentation the department submits with the confidential letter includes the following (as appropriate).
    1. Scholarship: areas of research, collaborations, publications, patents, works in progress, grant proposals, and any other material the department deems appropriate
    2. Teaching: a complete list of courses taught with both enrollment figures and the numerical averages from student evaluations for questions 8, 15, and 18[1]. The letter also summarizes the written comments students provide on the evaluations.
    3. Advising: a summary of advising activities and a description of any supervision of undergraduate or graduate research
    4. Service: department, school and university activities; professional offices, responsibilities, and activities

    The chair sends the dean the confidential letter, together with the candidate's current curriculum vitae, no later than November 20 of that year (or the Friday before the Thanksgiving holiday) in the case of a second-year review, and March 1 for subsequent reviews. The confidential letter is not shared with the candidate.
     
  3. The dean informs the department chair or program director of his/her recommendation. (If the dean's recommendation is contrary to that of the department or program, the dean consults with the department chair or program director before making his/her own recommendation.)
     
  4. The dean and the chair or director generate and sign a joint review and feedback letter summarizing positive and constructive aspects of the department's review. Additionally, the letter informs the candidate of the decision regarding reappointment or nonrenewal, as appropriate. The timing of this letter, if it includes a notification of nonrenewal, must comply with notice requirements (see 7b below).

    This review and feedback letter is a separate and distinct document from the confidential letter from the department summarizing its discussion; it is intended to identify areas in which the faculty member is meeting the institution's expectations, as well as areas in which the department and the dean believe the candidate needs to improve performance in order to enhance opportunity for future reappointment.
     
  5. The written evaluation is transmitted to the candidate and becomes part of the departmental record. It is consulted during future reviews and in the case of promotion procedures.
     
  6. The chair or program director meets with the candidate to discuss the review.
     
  7. Renewal and nonrenewal procedures are as follows.
    1. In the event of renewal, the dean's office sends the candidate a reappointment contract at the appropriate time.
    2. In the event of nonrenewal, the candidate must be given written notice in accord with university nonrenewal deadlines.
      1. Not later than March 1 of the first academic year of service in the university if the appointment terminates at the end of that year or, if an initial one-year appointment terminates during the academic year, not later than three months prior to the date of its termination.
      2. Not later than December 15 of the second academic year of service in the university if the appointment terminates at the end of that year or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates during an academic year, not later than six months prior to the date of its termination.
      3. Not later than twelve months prior to the date of termination of an appointment if the appointment terminates subsequent to the completion of more than two years of service in the university.

Review Procedure for Part-time Lecturers

The department chair or program director is responsible for reviewing the performance of part-time faculty. Course evaluations are reviewed every semester. The department chair or program director should discuss particular problems with the dean. If a decision is reached that the part-time faculty member should not continue to teach in the department or program, he or she is not offered a new contract.

Promotion Procedures for Nontenure-Track Faculty Members

Promotion to Senior Lecturer (Full- or Part-Time)

  1. The department chair or program director conveys to the dean the department's or program's proposal to consider a candidate for promotion to senior lecturer. Such a promotion is not based primarily on length of service, but it is unusual to promote a lecturer to senior lecturer with fewer than five years of service to the university. Assuming the dean concurs with this proposal, the procedure is as follows.
     
  2. The department chair or program director prepares a dossier including the following.
    1. Teaching and advising
      1. A list of courses taught and enrollments in these courses
      2. A numerical summary of student course evaluations (questions 8, 15, and 18)[1]
      3. A summary of written comments on student course evaluations
      4. Any available information on advising performance; it is recommended that the chair or the review committee, once formed, solicits student and mentee feedback for the purposes of this review.
    2. Service to the department and university
    3. Other professional activities that support the lecturer's teaching and service
    4. A current curriculum vitae
       
  3. By departmental vote or appointment by the chair, the department creates an ad hoc committee composed of two tenure-track and/or tenured faculty members. The department proposes an additional member of the ad hoc committee from outside the department, but within the school, subject to the dean's approval.
     
  4. The ad hoc committee meets, reviews the dossier, and makes a recommendation to the department.
     
  5. All tenure-track and tenured faculty in the department vote on the recommendation. The department chair prepares a written recommendation and the dossier, which are then forwarded to the dean for consideration.
     
  6. The dean notifies the department of the decision in writing. A favorable decision is reflected in a new contract letter indicating the new title and length of contract.
     

Promotion from Research Assistant Professor to Research Associate Professor

  1. The department chair conveys to the dean the department's proposal to consider a candidate for promotion to research associate professor. If the dean concurs with this proposal, the procedure is as follows.
     
  2. The department chair prepares a dossier that includes a current curriculum vitae and relevant publications and papers. If the candidate has been teaching, the chair provides the following information.
    1. A list of courses taught and enrollments in these courses
    2. A numerical summary of student course evaluations (questions 8, 15, and 18)[1]
    3. A summary of written comments on student course evaluations
    4. Any available information on advising and mentoring performance; it is recommended that the chair or the review committee, once formed, solicits student and mentee feedback for the purposes of this review.
       
  3. The tenured members of the department meet to evaluate the candidate's dossier and to vote on whether to recommend promotion.
     
  4. Following the department meeting, the department chair sends the dean a report, signed by all of the faculty members who voted, conveying the recommendation and summarizing the discussion. In the material sent to the dean, the chair includes the current curriculum vitae and, if relevant, the summary of the candidate's teaching and advising record.
     
  5. The dean reviews the material and then informs the department chair in writing of the decision. A favorable decision is reflected in a new contract letter indicating the new title and length of contract.
     
  6. The appointment to research associate professor must be approved by the provost; approved appointments are reported to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.
     

Promotion from Research Associate Professor to Research Professor

  1. The department chair conveys to the dean the department's proposal to consider a candidate for promotion to research professor. If the dean concurs with this proposal, the procedure is as follows.
     
  2. The department chair prepares a dossier that includes current curriculum vitae and relevant publications and papers. If the candidate has been teaching, the chair provides the following information.
    1. A list of courses taught and enrollments in these courses
    2. A numerical summary of student course evaluations (questions 8, 15, and 18)[1]
    3. A summary of written comments on student course evaluations
    4. Any available information on advising and mentoring performance; it is recommended that the chair or the review committee, once formed, solicit student and mentee feedback for the purposes of this review.
       
  3. The tenured members of the department recommend two outside experts whose objective evaluations will be sought regarding the quality of the candidate's scholarly work. If the candidate objects to any of the department's choices, the candidate may submit written objections to the department chair. The department is not required to make changes in response to the candidate's objections to the list.
     
  4. The department chair contacts the experts to request their written evaluation of the candidate's scholarly work.
     
  5. After securing their agreement, the department chair sends the outside experts copies of the dossier, including a current curriculum vitae and relevant publications and papers.
     
  6. The tenured members meet to review the letters from the outside experts; to evaluate the scholarly work of the candidate; to review the course evaluations (if the research faculty member has been teaching); and to assess the candidate's general contributions to the department. The tenured members vote on whether to recommend promotion.
     
  7. Following the department meeting, the department chair sends a report, signed by all of the faculty members who voted, conveying the recommendation and summarizing the discussion. In the material sent to the dean, the chair includes the letters from the outside reviewers, the current curriculum vitae, and, if relevant, the summary of the candidate's teaching and advising record.
     
  8. The dean reviews the material and then informs the department chair, in writing, of the decision. A favorable decision is reflected in a new contract letter indicating the new title and length of contract.
     
  9. The appointment to research professor must be approved by the provost; approved appointments are reported to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.
     

[1] For reference, on the student course evaluation, question 8 asks for an overall rating of the instructor; question 15 asks for an overall rating of the course; and question 18 asks the following: "Compared to other courses at Tufts, I learned ______ than usual," with a rating scale from 1 to 5 where 1 equals "much less," 2 equals "less," three equals "a typical amount," 4 equals "more," and 5 equals "much more.""