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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Faculty Promotion at Community Colleges : 5:02:02:30

Policy/Guideline Area

Personnel Policies

Applicable Divisions

Community Colleges

Purpose

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 the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) 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.

Definitions

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the TBR policy on “Academic Tenure at Tennessee Board of Regents Community Colleges.”

Policy/Guideline

  1. Introduction
    1. The president of each college is responsible for the master-staffing plan of the college.
      1. In developing such a plan, the president will consider the fiscal impact of each promotion recommended to the Board.
  2. Promotion Guidelines
    1. The guidelines that follow provide a general plan for documenting the evaluation process for promotion at each college.
      1. However, each college must develop specific promotion criteria that all units of that college will follow.
      2. The college’s policies must, at a minimum, satisfy the criteria established by these general system guidelines, but may be more rigorous than the criteria stated herein.
      3. They should be written to distinguish between functional areas of teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research.  College policies should contain sections that clearly outline promotional procedures, timelines, as well as opportunities for review of negative decisions.
    2. Once the college has developed its criteria complete with process and appellate procedures, these must be forwarded to the TBR Office of Academic Affairs for review and approval. Upon TBR Academic Affairs’ approval, the college’s proposed policy becomes effective as an institutional policy.
  3. Minimum Rank Criteria
    1. 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.
      1. 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.
      2. 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 two years in rank.
        4. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.
      3. 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.
      4. 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.
    2. Note:  Minimum criteria may be waived if approved by the college 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.
      1. For example, a candidate with recognized, national prominence and expertise might qualify for such a waiver.
      2. An exception to the minimum rank criteria must be recommended by the president to the Chancellor or designee.
      3. 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.
  4. Terminal Degree Designation
    1. The Board 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.
    2. Each community college may request blanket exceptions to these standards by classification based upon its mission and hiring practice.
    3. Each community 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.
      1. 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.
  5. Promotion Criteria
    1. Each college must develop written guidelines for evaluating the faculty in teaching, service/outreach, and scholarship/creative activities/research. The college will assign varying weights to each of the criteria, with teaching being assigned a minimum of fifty-one (51%) of the weight. Evaluation should be based on all three criteria, although it is realized that differences in emphases may exist.
    2. Campus guidelines will require that candidates for promotion provide documented evidence that the criteria have been met.
    3. These guidelines should be distributed to all new faculty members and should be easily available to all faculty at all times, including via the Web.  Whenever the guidelines are revised, the faculty should be notified of the availability of the revised guidelines. Guidelines should use the following general criteria as minimum requirements.
      1. Teaching
        1. Evaluation of teaching shall be conducted by the department chair /division head, 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.
      2. Service/Outreach
        1. Evaluation of the service component should be based on performance in three areas:
          1. Service to the college;
          2. Public service to the community as defined by the college’s role and mission; and
          3. Service within the bounds of the applicant’s academic discipline and budgeted assignment.
        2. Evaluation should be based on all three areas although it is realized that differences in emphases may exist.
        3. The college shall have the responsibility for determining the emphasis as well as the responsibility for determining specific criteria based on the individual’s aspect of work. These criteria should include:
          1. College committee and administrative responsibilities;
          2. Community service programs;
          3. Public service consultation; and
          4. Active contributions to professional associations.
        4. 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).
        5. 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.
        6. 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.
        7. Performance in the advisement and mentoring of students.
      3. Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research
        1. 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.
  6. General Process Guidelines at the College Level
    1. Each recommendation forwarded from the department to a higher administrative level in the college must be accompanied by complete and careful documentation of the candidate’s teaching performance, service/outreach contributions, and scholarship/creative activities/research.
    2. While all three areas are important, certain exceptions may exist where evaluation may occur in one or the other area exclusively.
      1. 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.
      2. Additional procedures may be used by each college with approval of TBR Academic Affairs.
  7. General Process Guidelines at Board Level
    1. A list of promotional recommendations should be forwarded by the president of the college to the Chancellor for his/her review. The Chancellor’s recommendation will be forwarded to the Committee on Personnel and their recommendation forwarded to the Board.

Sources

TBR Board Meeting April 2, 2004; TBR Board Meeting September 25, 2009.

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..

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.

Related Policies

Contact

Mickey Sheen
615-366-4437
mickey.sheen@tbr.edu