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Faculty Tenure and Promotion

Toward Tenure and Promotions

Tenure and Promotion Workshop

Tuesday, April 5, 2016  |  1:30-3:00 p.m.

Lighty 405 and AMS Videoconferencing

Enroll: http://hrs.wsu.edu/skillsoft/default.aspx?c=ilt_wsu_PD_385

Progress-towards-tenure Review

All pre-tenure tenure-track faculty members receive a second review each year to assess their progress towards tenure.  This review differs from the annual review in that it assesses the faculty member’s cumulative performance to date, not just performance during the previous calendar year.  The entire senior faculty, not just the chair, must participate in this review.  In addition, the chair must meet with the faculty member to discuss the results of the review. (See Faculty Manual, III. D. 3. d)

Intensive Progress-towards-tenure Review
(Third Year Review)

Most pre-tenure tenure-track faculty members receive an intensive review of their cumulative performance, usually in their third year at the university.  This intensive pre-tenure review follows all of the procedures of a tenure review except that no outside evaluations are solicited (see bellow).  The review results in one of three ratings of the faculty member’s performance.  “Progress Satisfactory” means that the faculty member will probably receive tenure if his or her progress continues at the same rate. “Improvement Required” means that the faculty member should change some aspect of his or her performance to receive tenure.  The aspect of performance that needs improvement should be specified by the chair or dean. “Unsatisfactory” means that the faculty member is unlikely to obtain tenure.  This rating is often accompanied by separation from the university after one additional year.

Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

Each department or school has its own guidelines for tenure and promotion.  Faculty members should be familiar with these guidelines.  The following description is consistent with the procedure described in the University guidelines.

  • The tenure review begins when the faculty member prepares a file.  Then the chair or director solicits at least 4 external letters of evaluation.  Each tenured faculty member in the department votes either to grant tenure and promotion or to deny it and defends his or her vote.  The department chair summarizes the case and casts his or her ballot. The dean also summarizes the case and casts a ballot.  The provost makes the final decision. In most cases, tenure is accompanied by promotion to associate professor.
  • Those who are granted tenure and promotion receive a 10% raise and are honored at the Celebration of Excellence Dinner at Showcase. Those who are denied tenure may appeal to the Faculty Status Committee.

Promotion to Professor

Again, each department or school has its own guidelines for this promotion.  Faculty members should be familiar with these guidelines.  University guidelines require a national or international reputation in some aspect of performance for promotion to professor.  The procedure for this promotion is the same as that for tenure. Those who are promoted to professor receive a 10% raise and are honored at the Celebration of Excellence Dinner at Showcase. Those who are denied promotion may appeal to the Faculty Status Committee and they may stand for promotion again.

Promotion to Regents Professor

The rank of regents professor can be held by no more than 30 Washington State University faculty members at any one time. Promotion to regents professor requires service to the university for at least 7 years and attainment of the highest level of professional achievement.  Each college may nominate only two faculty members as candidates for this promotion each year.  Those who are promoted to regents professor receive a 10% raise and are honored at the Celebration of Excellence Dinner at Showcase. Those who are not selected for promotion may be nominated again.

Extending the tenure clock

The tenure clock may be extended for as many as two years for becoming a parent.  The clock can also be extended for catastrophic illness, family emergencies, and for leave without pay. Extensions in the tenure clock must be requested from the provost, through the department chair and dean before September 1 of the year of tenure consideration. (See, for example, Faculty Manual, III, D.3 f.)