Senate Document Number 3502S
Date of Senate Approval 04/11/02
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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:
EC 2: Revision of UNCA Tenure Policies and Regulations
Effective Date: Fall 2002 or upon approval of the UNCA Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors
Replace Tenure Policies and Regulations of the University of North Carolina at Asheville Section III C- F with the revised version that follows a summary, rationale and impact statement. Changes from the current document are noted and explained with [ ]. Persons hired before these changes become effective would follow previous procedures.
Summary of Proposed Changes
1. Change The probationary term would be changed to four years for each rank. (Current probationary terms are three years for assistant professors, five years for associate professors and three years for full professors.)
Rationale The committee believes that probationary terms for Assistant and Full Professors are currently too short because they require evaluation in the second year. We also believe that the corresponding period for Associate Professors are too long. They should all be the same. This schedule was supported by a substantial majority of respondents to our second survey.
Impact In the case of Associate professors, tenure would be conferred two years earlier than current procedures and for Assistant and Full Professors it would be at the same time as current practice.
Rationale This would reduce the workload of Chairs, the Committee of Tenured Faculty, and of the candidates by condensing the two current evaluations that are a year apart into one evaluation. It would also give the assistant professor candidates another year to prepare for tenure evaluation. It was supported by all of the faculty who responded to this issue in our initial survey.
Impact The workload of everyone involved in tenure decisions for assistant professors would be reduced.
Rationale The Tenure Task Force Committee believes that the criteria for receiving tenure should be the same as that for promotion to Associate Professor. Thus success on one should imply success on the other. This change was supported by a slight majority of respondents to our second survey.
Impact There have been approximately 2 tenured Assistant Professors in the last 15 years. There would be a very small change in the makeup of the faculty.
Rationale This would avoid the current situation where the VCAA makes both the preliminary evaluation of the candidate and the final recommendation to the Chancellor. The Associate VCAA/ Dean for Faculty would be able to give the evaluation of candidates closer attention than the VCAA would have time for. Although all three persons who responded to this issue in the first survey did not think the VCAA should make the preliminary evaluation, there was no agreement on who should take that role in either the first or second survey. An Associate VCAA / Dean of Faculty received slightly more support than other possibilities in the survey.
Impact There would be a slight shift in responsibilities from the VCAA to the Associate VCAA/ Dean of Faculty.
5. Change A clause in the current document allows the Chancellor, in exceptional cases and with the recommendation of the department chair and the VCAA, to reappoint an assistant professor after seven years for up to three years more without granting tenure but with the possibility of receiving tenure at the end of the reappointment. This would be deleted.
Rationale The current version does not eliminate the possibility of a person receiving tenure without ever going through a successful university tenure evaluation. With an additional year to prepare for the tenure evaluation assistant professors have had enough time to establish their record. The tenure process has shown itself to be an effective method of making the decision and we do not believe it is to the university's advantage to allow it to be circumvented.
Impact To our knowledge, the current clause has been used approximately twice since the current regulations were implemented.
Rationale Because there was no separate discussion of the rank of lecturer issues such as term lengths, reappointment, and notice were not specified. They would be specified to approximate current practice in the revised document.
Impact There should be little impact they approximate current practice. Lecturers would now have basic contract terms in writing.
Rationale Including this information would make the procedure consistent with SD3701.
Impact No impact.
Rationale Changes in leave policy will make leaves while on a probationary term more common. For some faculty, it may be in their best interest to keep the clock ticking during a one-semester leave while for others, it may not.
Impact The impact depends on what percentage of faculty take one-semester leaves and elect to keep the clock ticking. It is anticipated that this would involve a relatively small number of individuals.
C. Faculty Ranks.
Academic tenure, as herein described, pertains exclusively to the employment of faculty members by appointment to specified faculty ranks. Such appointments may be for fixed terms of employment, automatically terminal when they expire ("fixed term appointment"); or they may be for probationary terms ("probationary term appointment"); or they may be continuous until retirement, death, or resignation except as provided in Sections IV and V herein ("appointment with permanent tenure").
The faculty ranks to which appointments may be made are:
[The phrase "and the incidents of academic tenure applicable to each" is deleted in the previous sentence.]
1. Instructor. The rank of instructor is appropriate for a person who is appointed to the faculty in the expectation that he or she could progress to a professorial rank but who lacks, when appointed, one or more qualifications expected by his or her department for appointment to a professorial rank. Initial appointment to the rank of instructor shall be for a probationary term of one year. Appointments to this rank may be renewed on a yearly basis for a total of four probationary years service at this rank. Effective on completion of any probationary year, an instructor may also be offered promotion to the rank of assistant professor, which appointment constitutes initial appointment at that rank, or a "special" appointment pursuant to Section III.C.5. herein. No person holding a position as an instructor may be appointed to permanent tenure at that rank. Notice to an instructor of the decision concerning reappointment shall be given according to this schedule:
1. during the first year of service as an instructor, no less than 90 days2 before the end of that year;
2. during the second year of service as an instructor, no later than 180 days before the end of that year with reference to a third year of service;
3. before the end of the third year of service as an instructor, with reference to non-reappointment at the end of the fourth year of reappointment at that time at the rank of assistant professor.
2. Assistant Professor. Initial appointment to the rank of assistant professor shall be for a probationary term of four years. At the conclusion of this initial term the faculty member may be offered reappointment to a second probationary term of three years as an assistant professor, or reappointment with permanent tenure as an associate professor, or may not be offered reappointment. At the conclusion of a second probationary term the faculty member may be offered reappointment with permanent tenure at the rank of associate professor, or may not be offered reappointment. Notice to an assistant professor of the decision concerning reappointment shall be given no less than twelve months before the end of the individual's then-current term.
[ The probationary term has been changed from three to four years. Granting tenure without promotion is no longer an option. The footnote defining the chair has been deleted. The former part b. was deleted and lettered headings condensed ]
3. Associate Professor. Initial appointment to the rank of associate professor shall be for a probationary term of four years. At the conclusion of this term the faculty member may be offered reappointment with permanent tenure at the same or higher rank, or may not be offered reappointment. Notice to an associate professor of the decision concerning reappointment shall be given no less than twelve months before the end of his or her probationary term.
[The probationary term has been changed from five to four years.]
4. Professor. Initial appointment to the rank of professor shall be for a probationary term of four years. At the conclusion of this term the faculty member may be offered reappointment with permanent tenure as a professor, or may not be reappointed. Notice to a professor of the decision concerning reappointment shall be given no less than twelve months before the end of his or her probationary term.
[The probationary term has been changed from three to four years.]
a. Lecturer The rank of lecturer is appropriate for a person who has special teaching ability but does not currently have and does not intend to obtain the terminal degree in the field. Initial appointment to the rank of lecturer shall be for one year. After completion of at least three one-year appointments, terms may be extended to three or five years. Reappointment requires successful performance by the lecturer and continuing need for this type of position in the department. Lecturers are not eligible for tenure. Notice to a lecturer of the decision concerning reappointment for the following academic year should be given before the end of the spring semester.
[Lecturer was separated from other fixed term appointments to allow more specific guidelines for the rank of lecturer.]
b. Visiting faculty appointments. Persons other than regular members of the faculty may receive fixed-term appointments as visiting members of the faculty with rank designations, prefixed by the word "visiting," appropriate to their status in their regular employment. Such an appointment shall be for a term of not more than one year; one subsequent appointment may be made for a term of not more than one year. Visiting faculty are not eligible for tenure. The "notice" provisions of Section III.B.4. do not apply to visiting appointments, but during the term of appointment a visiting faculty member enjoys the protections afforded by Section IV.
[Position moved and non-eligibility for tenure made explicit.]
["Lecturer" was deleted from the list and teaching was deleted from the list of unusual qualifications. The possibility of initiating a reappointment proceeding in this case was eliminated.]
D. Initiation, Review, and Approval of Promotion and Reappointment decisions.
1. Initiation of Review. In the case of a contractually required review (i.e., a reappointment or tenure review), the VCAA begins the process by sending a notice of review to each candidate with a copy to the faculty member's chair. The notice of review specifies the documents to be prepared and the timetable for the review process. In the case of a requested review (i.e., a promotion or early tenure review), the candidate initiates the process, notifying his or her department Chair of the request for review.
[ This section was added. It corrects the statement that a recommendation from the chair initiates the review for required reviews and describes the process for initiating a requested review, which was not discussed in the previous version.]
2. Chair's evaluation.
a. Each decision concerning reappointment or promotion in rank (whether or not the decision concerns a recommendation for conferral of permanent tenure) requires an evaluation by the department Chair after consulting with the department's assembled tenured faculty. In the case of evaluation of a Chair the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs / Dean of the Faculty fills the role of Department Chair throughout the procedure. After consulting with the tenured Department members, and reviewing all materials in the evaluation file, the Chair writes an evaluation of the faculty member under review, including the vote of the assembled tenured Department members, and the date of that meeting, as well as the Chair's own recommendation regarding the faculty member.
[ The VCAA may select a designee to evaluate chairs. The output from the departmental meeting is made more specific following SD3701]
b. If the department has less than three tenured faculty members the chair may consult with other members of the department senior in length of service to the faculty member. With the express approval of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, faculty members outside the department and familiar with the person's work also may be consulted.
c. If the Chair intends to recommend reappointment, he shall notify the faculty member and shall submit to the Vice Chancellor a written recommendation which shall include an assessment of the faculty member's demonstrated professional competence and his or her potential for future contributions.
[ Heading" b" was split into two headings. Conditions for including other senior faculty are made more specific following SD3701]
d. When the chair intends to make a negative recommendation, he or she shall communicate that intention to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the faculty member privately by a simple, unelaborated written statement. Within five days after receipt of that notice the faculty member may request a conference with the chair and the opportunity to provide the chair, for inclusion in the faculty member's record, additional written evidence or views bearing on the faculty member's demonstrated professional competence and potential for future contributions. Any such request shall be granted and any conference or submission shall be accomplished within five days of the date the request is made. If the faculty member does not make timely request for the opportunities set forth above, or after any such opportunity is afforded the faculty member, the chair within five days thereafter shall submit to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs the written recommendation described in Section III.D.1.
1. Vice Chancellor's favorable recommendation. After receiving the department chair's recommendation the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall consult the Committee of the Tenured Faculty which consultation shall include review both of the chair's recommendation and of institutional needs and resources. A committee member who holds an appointment in the faculty member's department or has a conflict of interest shall withdraw from the deliberations and voting on that case after consultation with the committee Chair and the Chair of the Faculty Senate. Except where the Vice Chancellor intends to decide that a faculty member shall not be reappointed, the Vice Chancellor then shall notify the faculty member and send his or her written recommendation, together with the chair's recommendations and written statements of the views of the Committee of the Tenured Faculty, to the Chancellor.
2. Vice Chancellor's decision not to reappoint.
a. When the Vice Chancellor intends to decide that the faculty member shall not be reappointed, he or she shall communicate that intention to the faculty member privately by a simple, unelaborated written statement. Within five days after receipt of that notice the faculty member may request a conference with the Vice Chancellor, either alone or together with the Committee of the Tenured Faculty; any such request shall be granted and the conference shall be within five days of the date the request is made.
b. If the faculty member does not make timely request for such a conference, or after any such conference is held, the Vice Chancellor within five days shall either recommend to the Chancellor that the faculty member be reappointed as provided in paragraph 2, or notify the faculty member of his decision that the faculty member shall not be reappointed. Notice of a decision not to reappoint shall be made by a simple, unelaborated written statement, a copy of which is sent to the Chancellor; no other materials shall be transmitted to the Chancellor.
c. The faculty member may seek review of the Vice Chancellor's decision before the Faculty Hearings Committee in accordance with Section III.J. herein if the faculty member alleges that the decision is based on a ground prohibited by Section III.J.1 or affected by the material procedural irregularities as defined by III.J.2.
3. Chancellor's decision. The Chancellor shall make a decision on each favorable recommendation submitted by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and on each appeal as provided in Sections III.J. within 20 days of receipt of the recommendation or appeal. When the Chancellor makes a favorable decision, he shall forward it to the Board of Trustees for final approval (unless that Board has delegated approval authority to the Chancellor), provided that pursuant to Section III.B.2., in any case involving a recommendation for conferral of permanent tenure, if the Board of Trustees concurs with the Chancellor's recommendation he then shall forward that recommendation to the President and Board of Governors for approval. If the Chancellor's decision is unfavorable, he shall so notify the faculty member by a simple, unelaborated written statement, and within 10 days thereafter the faculty member may appeal to the Board of Trustees pursuant to Section 501C(4) of the Code. A positive decision regarding tenure or promotion becomes effective on July 1 of the year in which the decision is made.
[The effective date of tenure or promotion was not specified in the previous version but historically has been delayed a year for tenure. With the proposed terms an assistant professor would be evaluated a year later in both terms but tenure and promotion would be conferred at the same time as presently occurs.]
A faculty member shall give prompt written notice of his resignation, including the effective date, to his or her department chair and to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
[ The description of probationary leave has been changed from "ordinarily are not granted" to "unusual circumstances. A one-semester leave timetable extension would become optionally requested by the faculty member as opposed to automatically applied.]
1. Wherever used in Sections III, IV, and V, the word "year" means an academic year.
2. Wherever used in Section III, the word "day" excludes Saturday, Sunday, and any institutional holiday; in computing any period of time, the day on which notice is received is not counted but the last day of the period being computed is counted.