Policies

II:01:01 Faculty Promotion

I. Introduction

Promotion in rank is recognition of past achievement of the individual being considered for promotion. In addition, the advancement in rank is recognition of future potential and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of even greater accomplishments and of assuming greater responsibilities. The policy of Volunteer State Community College (VSCC) is to make promotions strictly on consideration of merit tempered by College and fiscal considerations. The purpose of this policy is to help ensure that promotions are made objectively, equitably, impartially, and as recognition of merit consistent with the following policy guidelines.

The President of the College is responsible for the master-staffing plan of the College. In developing such a plan, the President will consider the fiscal impact of each promotion recommended to the Board.

II. Definitions

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

A. 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.

B. Service/Outreach

Service applies to service within the community as defined by the College's role and mission; service to the college, as in student advising and/or mentoring; and service within the bounds of the applicant's academic discipline and budgeted assignment.

C. 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 in Section IV of TBR Policy No. 5:02:03:70 Academic Tenure at Tennessee Board of Regents Community Colleges and Section IV of VSCC Policy No. II:01:00 Academic Tenure.

III. Minimum Rank Criteria

The following define 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.

A. Instructor

  1. Potential ability in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
  2. As determined to be 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.

B. 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 three years in rank
  4. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.

C. 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.
  3. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.

D. 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 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 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. An exception to the minimum rank criteria must be recommended by the President to the Chancellor. Upon approval of such an exception by the Chancellor, the faculty member's recommendation for promotion will go forward to the Board as meeting the minimum rank criteria.

IV. Terminal Degree Designation

The Board of Regents will use national discipline standards to determine which degrees are considered to be "terminal" within each discipline and will provide each community college with a list that delineates these degrees. Blanket exceptions to these standards may be requested by the College by classification based upon the College's mission and hiring practice. The College may also petition 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.

V. Promotion Criteria

Candidates for promotion in rank must meet the criteria outlined previously as minimum rank criteria. Eligibility for promotion in rank under these minimum criteria does not automatically result in promotion. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to initiate consideration for any change in rank. Extended leave taken by candidates may affect the time in rank required for eligibility for promotion. Once minimum criteria have been met, the decision on promotion will be based on criteria outlined below:

Time in Rank Details
Instructor Three Years

May apply for Assistant Professor during the third year to be effective the fourth year

Assistant Professor Three Years

may apply for Associate Professor during the third year to be effective the fourth year

Associate Professor Five Years

may apply for Professor during the fifth year to be effective the sixth year

A. Teaching (60%)

Evaluation of teaching shall be conducted by the department chair /division dean, peers, and students. The evaluation shall be based on the following criteria (evidence of each should be submitted):

  1. Curriculum and/or program development.
  2. Development and application of current instructional techniques (including development of online and computer-assisted course development), etc.
  3. Documentation of teaching methodologies.
  4. Documentation of staying current in his/her field of discipline/specialization.
  5. Student evaluations of the teaching performance.

B. Service/Outreach (30%)

Evaluation of the service component should be based on performance in three areas: service to the College; public service to the community as defined by the College's role and mission; and service within the bounds of the applicant's academic discipline and budgeted assignment. Evaluation should be based on all three areas although it is realized that differences in emphases may exist. The College shall determine the emphasis as well as the specific criteria based on the individual's aspect of work. These criteria should include: College committee and administrative responsibilities, community service programs, public service consultation, and active contributions to professional associations. Specific evaluative criteria may be developed using the following guidelines:

  1. Performance in relation to assigned and budgeted duties (as described in the candidate's position description which includes a statement of the mission or purpose of the position and of the objective(s) of the nominee's service unit, as well as the specific assigned tasks and responsibilities of the nominee).
  2. The candidate's effectiveness, as judged by his/her impact on the institution, individuals, groups, or organizations served. This should include documentation of the success of his/her internal and external service, in terms of improvement of communities, programs, operating agencies, production processes, or management practices. It should also include indications of satisfaction with the service provided by the nominee, and of the magnitude and complexity of his/her work (as opposed to perfunctory activity that does not lead to useful results).
  3. Service/outreach work is sometimes not publishable. The results may be in the form of direct consultations, planning reports, or instructional time directed largely to the recipients of college service programs. But certain aspects of service work are suitable for publication in professional journals. For example, unique techniques developed to motivate students or others or new approaches to the transfer and application of knowledge, would be of interest to peers in other public service programs.
  4. Performance in the advisement and mentoring of students.

C. Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research (10%)

The following are examples of, but not limited to, appropriate activities for this criterion:

  1. Scholarly pursuits in support of the discipline or the teaching profession, which should include typical professional development activities such as taking classes, etc.
  2. Implementation and use of cutting-edge teaching approaches, such as instructional technologies and learning theories, etc.
  3. Performances, compositions, and other artistic creations that are evaluated by written reviews and by qualified peers, either in person or aided by other forms of reports, or both.
  4. Professional or scholarly papers presented at international, national, or regional/state meetings.
  5. Publication of research or scholarly works such as books, journal articles, and other scholarly papers.

VI. General Process Guidlines

The Vice President of Academic Affairs will notify faculty members of their eligibility to apply for promotion based upon recommendations from the respective division dean. Eligible candidates will prepare their promotion packets addressing promotion criteria as outlined in College policy. Each packet must contain documentation of the candidate's teaching performance, service/outreach contributions, and scholarship/creative activities/research. While all three areas are important, certain exceptions may exist where evaluation may occur in one or the other area exclusively. In these cases, as well as in the general case, appropriate supervisory personnel shall clearly and adequately document the facts that justify the individual's promotion.

The individual promotion packets, including the recommendation of the division dean, are then reviewed by a promotion committee consisting of faculty members. The recommendations of the committee are then forwarded to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will inform each candidate of the recommendation made by the promotion committee. Written notice of intent to submit an appeal must be provided to the Vice President within 48 hours (2 business days) in cases where a faculty member did not receive a favorable recommendation for promotion/tenure from the committee. The appeal should include additional documentation which specifically addresses issues relative to the non-recommendation, and must be submitted to the Vice President for review and consideration within 1 week from the date of the letter of notification. A decision will be rendered by the Vice President within 1 week of receipt of the written appeal and support documentation. The Vice President of Academic Affairs will review and make recommendation to the President relative to all candidates.

A list of promotional recommendations will be forwarded by the President of the College to the Chancellor for review. The Chancellor's recommendation will be forwarded to the Committee on Personnel and their recommendation forwarded to the Board.

Note: Upon adoption of this policy at the December 13, 1974 meeting, implementation of the Board-approved college criteria began on September 1, 1975, and no faculty experienced demotion in rank due to the new policies. Upon extending the policy to the technical institutes at the September 30, 1983 meeting, no technical institute faculty shall be demoted in rank as a result of the new provisions.

TBR Source: April 2, 2004 TBR Board Meeting

This policy is a result of a comprehensive revision of former TBR Policy 5:02: 02:00, Faculty Promotion. The former policy contained provisions related to faculty promotion for both universities and community colleges. The revision, approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents on April 2, 2004, created separate policies relative to faculty promotion for universities and community colleges. Faculty members appointed prior to July 1, 2004, may elect to be considered for promotion under the provisions of Policy 5:02:02:00 or under the revised policy for a four-year phase-in period. The revised policy will be applicable to all promotion actions taken on or subsequent to July 1, 2008, for faculty whose employment began prior to July 1, 2004.

VSCC Source: July 5, 1989, President; December 15, 1993; President; July 21, 1999, President; June 1, 2004, President; October 20, 2008, President's Cabinet (Received TBR Approval, 10/28/08); October 14, 2009, President