Faculty Handbook
July 1999

Appendix L Procedure for the Final Probationary Review for the Award of Tenure

General Information about the Final Probationary Review

The Final Probationary Review is a two-part review by (1) the tenured departmental or divisional faculty (or the Collegiate Promotion and Tenure Committee (CPT Committee), if appropriate) and (2) the Chair (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.12.3.4). According to the Board's policy on tenure, an adequate evaluation of a tenure candidate's qualifications, professional contributions, potential, and determination of whether he or she should be accepted as a tenured member of the UT Memphis academic community, requires the judgment of both the candidate's faculty colleagues and the responsible administrators (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.1). Thus, although recommendations for tenure are administrative actions that must be approved by the Board of Trustees, there should be no positive recommendation for tenure without formal consultation with the tenured faculty of the department in which the candidate holds his or her position (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.1). At UT Memphis this formal consultation with the tenured faculty in the candidate's department is contained in the Interim and Final Probationary Reviews of the candidate's performance by the tenured faculty of his or her department (Faculty Handbook, Sections 4.12.3.3, 4.12.3.4 and 4.13.1). If a department does not have at least three tenured faculty members (excluding the Dean and Chair), the CPT Committee (Section 4.3.3) will perform this review; however, any departmental tenured faculty members will have the opportunity to review the candidate's dossier and vote on the recommendation to award tenure. In large departments (e.g., Medicine, Pediatrics, etc.), the Chair may divide the tenured departmental faculty by divisions in order to form several committees composed of five or more tenured faculty members.

Each year the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer publishes and distributes a detailed schedule for the Final Probationary Reviews and the process related to the recommendation of the award of tenure. Generally, a faculty member's preparation for this review begins in September. Each candidate will prepare a dossier, containing the documents required for this review by the tenured faculty (Faculty Handbook, Sections 4.10.2 and 4.12.3.4). External review of the dossier may be permitted in any case and required when sufficient expertise is lacking among the tenured departmental faculty (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.12.3.4). An example of the summary document for the Final Probationary Review (Form 0005) is attached.

Procedure for the Final Probationary Review

The Department Chair may delegate his or her responsibility for the Final Probationary Review to other individuals. The procedure for the Final Probationary Review should include the following elements:

  1. The Chair should counsel the faculty member concerning updating his or her curriculum vitae and the identification of supporting documentation to be submitted to the tenured departmental or divisional faculty (or CPT Committee) (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.12.3.4). The faculty member, in consultation with the Chair, should compile a dossier containing all documents to be submitted for review. Although each department's tenured faculty and Chair determine what additional items are required for a candidate's dossier, the dossier must include at least the following items (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.10.2):
    1. Current Curriculum Vitae, in the form required by UT Memphis;
    2. The initial appointment letter and annual reappointment letters with all figures related to salary or income completely obscured;
    3. Annual accomplishments and goals, written by the candidate, since accepting a tenure-track faculty appointment at UT Memphis;
    4. Summaries of Annual Performance-and-Planning Reviews, written by the Chair and the faculty member's responses, if any, that correspond to the annual accomplishments and goals of item 3 above; and
    5. Documents pertaining to the candidate's Interim Review, if relevant.

      The faculty member may also include in the dossier any other documents that he or she believes may assist the tenured faculty in its review or be relevant to a positive recommendation (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.10.2). Such documents may include, but are not limited to, sample publications; summaries of student teaching evaluations, as well as other indicators of teaching performance; or letters of evaluation. A letter of evaluation contains a subjective peer-evaluation of a candidate's accomplishments and professional standing. For any candidate the maximum number of requested letters of evaluation is six (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.10.2). Within a department the number and nature of required letters should be uniformly applied to every faculty member. Any letters of evaluation should be directed to the Chair.
  2. The tenured departmental or divisional faculty (or CPT Committee, if appropriate) will review the dossier and meet for the purpose of recording a formal vote on the recommendation to award (or not award) tenure (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.12.3.4). A quorum shall be fifty percent (50%) of the tenured faculty eligible to vote on a given candidate or issue, and a positive or negative recommendation shall be decided by a simple majority of those tenured faculty members present (Faculty Handbook. Sections 4.3.2 and 4.3.3). Following the review of the candidate's dossier, the tenured faculty will record a formal vote on the recommendation (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.12.3.4). The tenured faculty's report to the Chair shall contain the following: a list of the tenured faculty members in attendance; the majority and minority views, if relevant; and the summary vote. A copy of this report must accompany the request for the award of tenure forwarded to the Collegiate Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Dean, the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer, and the Chancellor (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.12.3.4).
  3. The Chair reviews the dossier(s) and considers the recommendation(s) of the tenured departmental or divisional faculty (or CPT Committee). Then, the Chair makes a recommendation concerning each faculty member under consideration (Faculty Handbook, Sections 4.12.3.4 and 4.13.2). In a case in which the award of tenure is recommended, the Chair prepares a letter of nomination to the Dean. The letter of nomination must contain the following items:
    1. Name of the faculty member;
    2. Date of the original appointment;
    3. Date of any prior promotion;
    4. Date on which the recommended award of tenure would become effective;
    5. The faculty member's professional discipline or field; and
    6. Examples of important and specific accomplishments in teaching, scholarly activities, service, and/or patient care, as appropriate for the individual faculty member.

      If the Chair recommends an individual for the award of tenure in contrast to a negative recommendation of the tenured faculty, this fact must be noted in the Chair's nominating letter and the reason(s) for the Chair's action must be explained (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.12.3.4). In a case in which the award of tenure is not recommended, the Chair prepares a letter in which he or she states the reason(s) for the non-recommendation.

      Some faculty members may be recommended for the award of tenure earlier than one year before the end of their probationary period. However, this is an exceptional request that must be accompanied by letters of explanation from the Chair to the Dean and from the Dean to the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer. Individuals recommended for the award of tenure at this time will be evaluated primarily on their accomplishments at UT Memphis and on the value of the faculty member to UT Memphis in the future.
  4. Whenever the recommendation of the Chair differs from that of the tenured departmental or divisional faculty (or CPT Committee), the Chair must notify the tenured faculty who may meet again to consider whether a dissenting report should be developed, forwarded to the Department Chair, and attached to Form 0005 (Faculty Handbook, Sections 4.12.3.4 and 4.13.2).
  5. All tenure recommendations of the Department Chair, whether positive or negative, must be reviewed by the Dean of the College (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.3). Except in colleges without subdivisions, each college with regular faculty has a CPT Committee (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.3.3). The recommendation of the CPT Committee is advisory to the Dean (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.3).
  6. All required documents of candidates for the award of tenure (Form 0005 and all attachments) must be forwarded from the department to the collegiate academic officer and the CPT Committee by the end of January (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.3). Any negative or controversial recommendation should be forwarded to the collegiate academic officer as soon as possible, but not later than the end of January. Extra time may be required for reviews at higher levels or for appeal by the faculty member. In addition, summary information (Form 0006) on all candidates for the award of tenure should be sent from the department to the collegiate academic officer.
  7. Recommendations (Form 0005 and all attachments) are presented by the collegiate academic officer to the CPT Committee (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.3). The committee will vote on each recommendation, thereby making a positive or a negative recommendation on each candidate to the Dean. A quorum shall be fifty percent (50%) of the tenured faculty eligible to vote on a given candidate, and a positive or negative recommendation shall be decided by a simple majority of those tenured faculty members present (Faculty Handbook. Section 4.3.3).

    If the CPT Committee renders a negative recommendation, the Department Chair will be informed in writing of the reason(s) for the recommendation (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.3). The Department Chair may appeal to the Dean before the recommendation at the college level is made.
  8. The Dean will make a recommendation based on advice of the CPT Committee, the Department Chair and the tenured faculty, as well as on the basis of other circumstances, including personal knowledge of individuals and the needs of the college (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.3). In the case of a positive recommendation by the Dean, he or she will advise the Chair. In a case of any negative recommendation by the Dean, the Dean will provide the individual faculty member and the Chair with written notice of that recommendation. The faculty member must be notified about the negative recommendation and must be informed of his or her right to consult with the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer prior to or at the same time as the Dean forwards the recommendation to the next level of review.
  9. After making an independent judgment on the tenure candidacy, the Dean shall forward his or her recommendation to the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer (Form 0005 and all attachments) (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.3). Any negative or controversial recommendation should be forwarded from the Dean to the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer as soon as possible, but not later than the end of February. Extra time may be required for reviews at higher levels or for appeal by the faculty member. By the beginning of April all recommendations and required supporting documents must be forwarded to the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer.
  10. All tenure recommendations of the Dean, whether positive or negative, shall be reviewed by the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.4). The UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer, in consultation with the Chancellor, evaluates the college recommendations in light of general knowledge of individuals and the needs of UT Memphis. During March and April, the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer prepares a consolidated report. After making an independent judgment on the tenure candidacy, the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer shall forward his or her recommendation to the Chancellor.
  11. During April, all tenure recommendations of the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer whether positive or negative, shall be reviewed by the Chancellor (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.5). After making an independent judgment on the tenure candidacy, the Chancellor shall forward only positive recommendations to the President by the beginning of May. Summary information on each faculty member being considered for tenure should be sent to the Office of the Senior Vice President.

    If the Chancellor reverses a negative recommendation by the Dean, he or she will advise the Dean, the Chair, and the faculty member. If the Chancellor does not reverse a negative recommendation by the Dean, the faculty member will be advised regarding the Faculty Senate appeal process.

    The Chancellor may decide that the best interests of UT Memphis are not served by the award of tenure to a faculty member. In case of a negative recommendation by the Chancellor reversing a positive recommendation by the Dean, the Chancellor must meet with the faculty member, the Dean, and the Chair to explain the reason(s) for the adverse recommendation. At the faculty member's request, the Chancellor must provide the faculty member with written notice of the recommendation, giving the reason(s) for that recommendation, and stating that the faculty member may appeal the recommendation in accordance with the provisions of the UT Memphis Faculty Handbook.
  12. If the President concurs in the positive recommendation of the Chancellor, he or she shall submit the recommendation for tenure to the Board of Trustees (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.6). However, the President may decide that the best interests of The University would not be served by the award of tenure to a faculty member. In such a case, the President will notify the Chancellor, who will inform the Dean, the Chair, and the faculty member.
  13. No person shall acquire or be granted tenure except by positive action of the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the President (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.13.7). The Board of Trustees acts only on positive recommendations. After positive action by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor and Dean shall give the faculty member written notice of the effective date of tenure.

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Faculty Senate President Office
Martin E. Donaldson, PhD
62 South Dunlap Rm 212
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901-448-6206