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Chapter 320: Employment and Termination

320.035 Policy and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure

Executive Order No. 6A, 6-9-92, Amended 9-2-92. Revised 7-31-97; 08-10-05; 09-27-05; 07-14-08; 4-21-11; 4-12-13; Amended 2-9-17.

  1. Procedures
    1. Initiation of Recommendations
      1. A recommendation to consider a faculty member for promotion in academic rank or award of continuous appointment shall be initiated by the department chairperson or the appropriate departmental or school promotion and tenure committee. In units having departments, the first review of recommendation shall be by the departmental promotion and tenure committee. In divisions without departments, first review is by the divisional promotion and tenure committee, which shall transmit its recommendations to the dean of the school or college, or on campuses with no schools or colleges the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs. If the candidate holds a joint appointment between two departments or schools or colleges, the primary department, school or college (University of Missouri, Collected Rules and Regulations 320.080) bears the responsibility for recommendation for promotion in academic rank or award of continuous appointment. However, the non-primary department, school or college may prepare a recommendation which shall be included as part of one file pertaining to promotion or continuous appointment under the direction of the primary department. All recommendations shall be forwarded with supportive documentation including teaching evaluations, evidence of research, scholarly activity, and service.
      2. Consideration for award of continuous appointment and promotion to the rank of associate professor normally occurs after a probationary period not to exceed six years, as described in the Academic Tenure Regulations (University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations, 310.020). Candidates who are not recommended for promotion to associate professor should not be recommended for continuous appointment. Conversely, while there may be some cases in which an exceptional record warrants promotion to associate professor prior to the awarding of tenure, it should be kept in mind that to make such a promotion seems almost certainly to hold out the promise of tenure. Normally, recommendations for promotion to associate professor and for tenure are made simultaneously.
      3. The promotion and tenure committees may be appointed, elected, or otherwise designated in accordance with the established department, school, or college procedures as long as the procedures are in compliance with the Curators’ rules and regulations. If other than tenured faculty members are included on the committee, only those who are tenured may participate in making a recommendation for a candidate seeking tenure, except in the case of faculty members emeriti serving on the committee as allowed in Section 320.035.A.1.d.
      4. If other than tenured professors are on the committee to consider a candidate for promotion to professor, only the tenured professors and professors emeriti, as allowed below, may participate in making a recommendation for a candidate seeking promotion to professor. If, in the discretion of the dean, or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, there is not an adequate number of tenured professors within the primary department, a special promotion and tenure committee shall be formed by the addition of tenured professor(s) from a closely related department, and/or tenured professor(s) from a closely related department on the other UM campuses, and/or professor(s) emeriti from the primary department in accordance with established procedures. The emeriti faculty serving on the committee shall have attained the rank of professor with tenure, and the number shall not be greater than 50% of the committee membership. This committee shall serve as the department-level committee and shall then make a recommendation for candidate(s) seeking promotion to professor.
      5. Prior to the deliberations of the promotion and tenure committee, all tenured members of that department or school holding the same rank as or higher rank than that of the candidate (or, in larger departments or schools, all tenured members of the particular academic field holding the same rank as or higher rank than that of the candidate) shall be given the opportunity to provide written and signed comments to the promotion and tenure committee regarding the candidate being considered.
      6. The promotion and tenure committee may solicit whatever additional information its members deem appropriate, from within and outside the University, to evaluate the candidate under consideration in the areas of teaching, research, and service.
      7. An annual report of promotion and tenure actions approved by the chancellor shall be submitted by the chancellor to the president.
    2. Review by the School or College Dean or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
      1. Upon receipt of the recommendations from the promotion and tenure committee or the department chairpersons, the dean, or director, or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, here and after when appropriate, shall review all such recommendations. The dean may consult with members of the faculty individually or in a group and may confer with others.
      2. The critical questions that should be addressed during review by the dean or director, or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, are as follows:
        (1) Is the candidate qualified to be promoted or to be placed on continuous appointment?
        (2) If more than one person is being considered for a single position, is the candidate the best qualified among those being considered to fill this tenured position?
      3. The dean, or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, should solicit whatever additional information is deemed appropriate for making an independent evaluation and recommendation.
      4. In making recommendations at the department and the school or college or campus levels, each committee, chairperson and dean, or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, should keep the above two questions clearly in mind.
      5. The dean/director, or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, shall then forward all recommendations to the chancellor, including a written statement of evaluation and recommendation for each candidate.
    3. Review by the Chancellor
      1. The chancellor is assisted in the review of recommendations for promotion and tenure by a campus-wide promotion and tenure advisory committee. The committee may be appointed, elected, or otherwise designated in accordance with the established campus procedures. This committee reviews all recommendations for promotion and continuous appointment and advises the chancellor on the following matters:
        (1) The adequacy of the criteria used at the department, school, and college level;
        (2) The qualifications of the individuals recommended; and
        In making a final recommendation to the chancellor, the committee will answer the two critical questions in Section 320.035.A.2.b.
    4. Evaluation and Notification Process
      1. In the promotion and continuous appointment process, the final decisions are made by the chancellor. Recommendations by committees, chairpersons, deans, or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, are not binding on the chancellor.
      2. When a recommendation for continuous appointment cannot be substantially supported, a negative recommendation should be made at the earliest possible time by the first level of review. To insure fair and timely review of all actions, committees, chairpersons, deans, or on campuses with no schools or colleges, the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs, shall communicate their recommendations to candidates under consideration and give each candidate a reasonable time to submit written rebuttal to the recommendation so that both recommendation and rebuttal may be forwarded to the next level of review.
  2. Policies
    1. General Philosophy—As one of the nation’s leading teaching and research institutions, the University of Missouri maintains high standards in recruiting, promoting, and awarding tenure to faculty members. While specific criteria for judging the merits of individual faculty may vary among units, there must be no variation in standards. The University will continue to strengthen its standards in all disciplines. Satisfaction of minimum criteria at the college, school, or department levels is not sufficient to insure promotion or continuous appointment. The University seeks faculty members who are genuinely creative scholars and inspired teachers and who are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and its transmission to others. These high standards are to be observed in the recruitment, promotion, and tenuring of faculty members. All persons and committees making recommendations regarding promotion and tenure will consider the candidate’s demonstrated ability to meet these standards.
      Outstanding intellectual qualities as reflected in teaching and scholarship are the primary criteria for recommendation for promotion and tenure. Additional criteria include professionally-oriented, service contributions and service to a faculty member’s department, school, college, and the University. Because the faculty has a special role in the decisions of the University, service to the University and its numerous units is expected of every faculty member; but such service shall not substitute for teaching and scholarship in matters of promotion and tenure.
    2. Special Policy Considerations
      1. Sustained Contributions Essential—The essential factors in consideration of candidates for promotion and tenure will be documented merit in the traditional areas of teaching, research, and service and the degree to which contributions are comprehensively substantiated and represent sustained efforts.
        Candidates for promotion and tenure should demonstrate sustained merit and contributions over an extended period of time. Recommendations for promotion and/or tenure before the sixth year should be rare and restricted to truly exceptional cases. Early recommendations for promotion and/or tenure should not be made primarily on the basis of market conditions which make it appear that a faculty member might accept an offer elsewhere.
      2. The Role of Research and Other Scholarly Contributions—Productivity in research and other scholarly activities is the most distinguishing characteristic of the faculty of the University, setting it apart from all other public institutions in the state. Research by University faculty not only generates new knowledge but also results in teaching which is up-to-date and intellectually stimulating. The University expects faculty members to be engaged in scholarly or creative activities appropriate to their disciplines. Recommendations for promotion or tenure involving cases in which such activities are not at the highest level will be approved only in very rare cases where the documented evidence for teaching (including extension) and/or service contributions is exceptionally compelling.
        A recommendation for promotion and/or tenure must include supporting evidence that the individual’s contributions have had an impact on the discipline; that is, the research should have made a significant contribution to knowledge that is recognized by professional colleagues. One common method of documenting such impact is through outside evaluations by authorities in the field. The most relevant letters of evaluation usually are written by disinterested experts recognized nationally and internationally for their own achievements. Because they may be biased, letters from former students, departmental colleagues, research collaborators, or former mentors should be used sparingly; when such letters are submitted, an explanation of the personal relationship should be included. Evidence of effective and sustained research and creativity must be presented. Quantity can be a consideration but quality must be the primary one.
        Evidence of favorable judgment by colleagues includes publication in journals where expert evaluation is required for acceptance; favorable review of books, appointments or awards that require evaluation of professional competence; election to office in learned societies; and receipt of fellowships. Frequent citation by other scholars also provides evidence of good research. Good researchers often are invited to serve as editors of journals, members of site visit teams or in other evaluative functions of the scholarly work of their peers. Any evidence of such contributions should be emphasized in promotion and tenure recommendations.
        Research grants awarded, programs initiated, and other research in progress or research findings submitted for publication all represent activities that are expected of faculty members recommended for promotion and/or tenure.
        Although faculty committees on promotion and tenure have the first responsibility for evaluating the quality of the work of a candidate for tenure or promotion, it is within the scope of the department chairpersons’, deans’, vice chancellors’/provost’s, and chancellor’s responsibilities to gather confirming evidence of scholarly competence by seeking the comments of other scholars within and outside the University.
      3. The Role of Teaching, including Extension—Teaching includes, besides classroom and laboratory instruction, many activities that require professional knowledge and that directly contribute to the academic advancement of students; for example: academic advising, supervision of junior staff, creative redesign of courses, including courses offered through telecommunications and the Internet; liaison with teachers outside the University, off-campus teaching, and preparation of teaching materials, including textbooks.
        Teaching of all faculty members shall be evaluated annually. Among the most useful kinds of evaluative evidence are testimony of chairpersons and deans, especially when based on student interviews covering several semesters, comments of colleagues who are well acquainted with the teaching performance of the candidate, achievement of students, and the quality of teaching materials prepared by the staff member. Evaluations based on classroom visitations by departmental peers can help to document the teacher’s efforts to reach or maintain a given level of quality.
        A significant element in the evaluation of teaching is the overall judgment of students, and each unit, department, school, and college is responsible for obtaining such information on all staff members, particularly those recommended for promotion. Questionnaires developed at the college or school level in cooperation with the faculty committees on promotion and tenure may be used for this purpose, or a similar procedure can be followed which is designed to reflect comprehensive student judgment concerning teaching qualities. Data from questionnaires should be buttressed by interpretation and comparative data. Simple numerical summaries of evaluations are not sufficient to judge teaching ability. Faculty members whose records consistently reflect poor teaching will normally not be recommended for promotion.
        Other indicators may be used to point out good teaching. Good teachers receive public recognition in a variety of ways. Students, both individually and through organizations, seek them out more often. Such teachers make more innovative contributions in courses, sometimes whole curricula. Their students demonstrate achievement in learning. They often serve on more student activity committees and carry heavier advising loads. They are known for their enthusiasm and involvement in the education of students. Evidence which documents such contributions is strongly encouraged.
        Extension and continuing education activities represent an extension of the teaching and research functions of the institution. Faculty engaged in this mission will be evaluated by the same criteria applied to other faculty. Outstanding performance in extension leads to special recognition of faculty by groups, individuals, and organizations. These faculty members develop innovative curricula, adapt research findings to everyday needs of citizens, serve on committees and boards, and use innovative ways of enhancing learning by part-time students. They are sought out by others for advice and counsel and are known for their enthusiasm, competence and interest in helping individuals solve problems and learn.
        In unusual circumstances, tenure may be recommended for demonstrated excellence in teaching, even in the absence of significant published research. Qualifications for teaching and scholarship are, however, very closely related. The faculty member who does not keep current with developing knowledge in the field or who is not constantly searching for new insights cannot be an effective classroom teacher. Graduate as well as undergraduate instruction is a responsibility of the faculty of the University; a continuing interest in, and a capacity for, creative scholarship by a faculty member is essential to effective instruction for undergraduate as well as graduate students. A faculty member who lacks the qualifications to teach advanced students ordinarily will not be recommended for promotion to senior ranks.
      4. The Role of Service—Opportunities for service contributions abound and can take many forms. Service may occur within a discipline, through national, regional, and state organizations, or in the community at large; it may also occur in an administrative unit, such as the home department, school, or college, or on the campus. However, an uncritical list of such activities provides little support for the recommendations. A case should be made for the impact and quality of the individual’s contributions. There should be evidence that the individual’s efforts and judgment are held in high regard. Evidence of unusual service contributions, however, cannot by itself be sufficient grounds for a recommendation for promotion and/or tenure. It must be supported by significant additional evidence of contributions in teaching and research.
      5. Importance of New Talent—Recruitment and subsequent development of new faculty members are important ways in which an educational institution renews itself. Fresh ideas and new perspectives provide the stimulation on which a university thrives, and every effort should be made to secure them through the recruitment, development, and evaluation processes. Departments which recruit their own graduates for regular faculty positions risk making a commitment which is inimical to the long-range interests of the department and, hence, the University. Such appointments should be discouraged; and in those cases where such appointments have been made, the tenure and promotion documentation should demonstrate clearly that the individual meets the University’s standard criteria.
      6. Promotion to Professor—A person recommended for promotion to the rank of professor should have significant accomplishments, especially in the area of research and scholarly activity, beyond those justifying the rank of associate professor. Years of service alone do not justify advancement. Rather, sustained contributions during a career to research, scholarship, and teaching are necessary. A person to be considered for promotion to professor should be a scholar who has achieved national distinction.
      7. Persons with Special Duties—In some cases, individuals on regular academic appointments have responsibilities substantially different from the usual mix of teaching and research duties (including extension). Campuses should examine such cases and seek where appropriate to change the appointment to nonregular or to administrative, service, and support. Such persons should not normally be considered for continuous academic appointment.
  3. Statement of Nondiscrimination
    The University of Missouri prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status, and any other status protected by applicable state or federal law. The University's nondiscrimination policy applies to any phase of its employment process, including decisions regarding tenure and promotion.

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