Faculty Handbook
July 1999

Section 1Section 2Section 3Section 4Section 5Section 6Section 7

Section 4 Selection, Tenure, and Career Development of Regular Full-Time Faculty Members

4.1 definition of Tenure

Tenure is a principle that entitles a faculty member to continuation of his or her annual appointment until relinquishment or forfeiture of tenure or until termination of tenure for adequate cause, financial exigency, or academic program discontinuance. The burden of proof that tenure should be awarded rests with the faculty member. Tenure is acquired only by positive action of the Board of Trustees, and is awarded in a particular unit, department, school, college, or other department of a campus. The award of tenure shifts the burden of proof concerning the faculty member's continuing appointment from the faculty member to the University.

4.2 The UTHSC Regular Full-Time Faculty

Regular full-time faculty members are initially appointed as probationary for tenure. After the completion of a successful probationary period, regular full-time faculty members are granted annual appointments that are continuous with tenure. Tenured faculty members may be terminated by UTHSC only for forfeiture of tenure (Section 7.1.4), adequate cause (Sections 7.2 and 7.3), or under extraordinary circumstances because of academic program discontinuance or bona fide financial exigency at UTHSC (Section 7.1.3).

The selection and the ongoing career development of the regular full-time faculty, individually and collectively, is essential to the fulfillment of the mission of UTHSC. The Board, the President, the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Dean, the Chair, and the regular full-time faculty share the responsibilities of selecting regular full-time faculty members wisely and promoting their professional development.

4.3 Organization of the Tenured Faculty for Selection and Career Development of the Regular Full-Time Faculty

4.3.1 Role of the Department Chair

The Department Chair is the academic and administrative leader of the department's faculty. The Chair is responsible for total management of the department's activities, including direction of the work of the faculty. The assignment of workloads to faculty members is the responsibility of the Chair. The Chair is responsible for the equitable assignment of faculty responsibilities and assures an appropriate balance of time and effort is committed within the department to teaching, research, service, and, if applicable, patient care. The Chair is responsible for overseeing the career development of every regular full-time faculty member in the department. In a large department the Chair may delegate some of these responsibilities to Division Chiefs.

4.3.2 Role of the Tenured Faculty of the Department

The tenured faculty within each department of UTHSC (excluding the Dean and Chair) makes recommendations to the Chair with regard to faculty appointment, promotion, the award of tenure, and termination for adequate cause. Any tenured faculty member, who is under a Plan for Remediation (Section 4.14.8) or who is being terminated for adequate cause (Section 7.3), is ineligible to participate in these activities.

The mechanism for the tenured faculty's participation in these activities is described in the collegiate and/or departmental bylaws. If a department does not have at least three tenured faculty members (excluding the Dean and Chair), the departmental bylaws shall specify that the College Promotion and Tenure Committee (Section 4.3.3) will perform some of these activities, while also providing for the tenured faculty's participation in the Final Probationary Review and vote concerning the award of tenure (Sections 4.12.3.4 and 4.13.1), participation as members of a Review Committee (Section 4.14.8), and participation in the procedures for termination for adequate cause (Sections 7.3.1 and 7.3.2). Bylaws for departmental governance shall contain appropriate policies, procedures, guidelines, and criteria for which the Board has delegated authority and specific responsibility to the departments. These bylaws shall include and be consistent with relevant policies, procedures, guidelines, or criteria of the Board, UTHSC, and the department's college.

Departmental bylaws must contain the rules governing (a) any more-specific criteria for tenure than those of UTHSC or the department's college; (b) guidelines and criteria for the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review which are appropriate to the department; and (c) the tenured faculty's participation in (1) the appointment or promotion of a regular full-time faculty member, (2) the Interim and Final Reviews of a regular full-time faculty member during the probationary period, (3) the Cumulative Performance Review of a tenured faculty member, and (4) the termination for adequate cause of a tenured or non-tenured faculty member. These bylaws shall provide for meetings of the tenured departmental faculty for these purposes. In addition, these bylaws shall also include a mechanism for reasonably notifying and accommodating tenured faculty members, shall provide for the manner of taking and recording a formal vote, and shall establish the minimum number of votes necessary to constitute a positive or a negative recommendation. A quorum shall be fifty percent (50%) of the 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 faculty members present. Bylaws may limit peer reviewers for appointments, promotions, and Cumulative Performance Reviews to those tenured faculty members holding faculty rank(s) equal or superior to that of the candidate. Other matters having to do with departmental governance, including rules for amending the bylaws, may be included in these bylaws. After approval by the Dean, the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor, these bylaws shall be published and distributed to every regular full-time faculty member in the department and placed in the Office of the Faculty Senate.

4.3.3 Role of the Collegiate Promotion and Tenure Committee

Except in colleges without subdivisions32, each college with regular faculty must have a Collegiate Promotion and Tenure Committee (CPT Committee). The CPT Committee advises the Dean on (1) all recommendations for the award of tenure and (2) all positive and controversial recommendations for promotion in rank. The Dean may request the CPT Committee to review recommendations for appointments and provide advice on other matters related to collegiate appointments, promotions, recommendations for the award of tenure, and Sixth-Year Reviews of tenured faculty members. A CPT Committee must be composed of at least four tenured faculty members, in addition to the committee chair. The collegiate academic officer shall serve ex officio as a voting member. A quorum shall be fifty percent (50%) of the 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 faculty members present.

Collegiate bylaws specify the size, composition, and selection of the CPT Committee. In addition, bylaws for collegiate governance must contain appropriate policies, procedures, guidelines, and criteria for which the Board has delegated authority and responsibility to the colleges; specify what documents are necessary for the various reviews by the CPT Committee; provide for the manner of taking and recording a formal vote of the CPT Committee; and establish the minimum number of votes necessary to constitute a positive or a negative recommendation to the Dean. Other matters having to do with collegiate governance (Sections 2.3.4.4, 2.3.4.5, and 2.3.6), including rules for amending the bylaws, may be included. Copies of these bylaws must be published and distributed to every regular full-time faculty member in the college and placed in the Office of the Faculty Senate.

4.4 Eligibility for Tenure Consideration

Eligibility for tenure consideration shall be subject to the following minimum standards:

  1. Regular, full-time, tenure-track faculty appointments at the academic rank of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor are eligible for tenure;
  2. Temporary, term, and part-time appointments are not eligible for tenure (Sections 5.2.2 and 5.2.3); and
  3. Faculty members pursuing degrees at UTHSC are not eligible for tenure.

No faculty member shall be appointed initially with tenure except by positive action of the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the President and after review by the tenured faculty of the department and Chair, the Dean, UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Chancellor.

At UTHSC, the following individuals are not eligible for tenure and will be so notified in their initial faculty appointment agreement forms and letters of reappointment:

  1. individuals who are appointed to UTHSC in administrative positions with academic rank and who are notified in writing that such service is not applicable to consideration for tenure (Section 5.2.4),
  2. individuals with secondary faculty appointments whose primary appointments are non-faculty (Section 5.2.4), and
  3. volunteer faculty members or individuals from other categories of Faculty (i.e., affiliated) who are not salaried through UTHSC (Sections 5.2.5 and 5.2.6).

4.5 Selection Criteria for Regular Full-Time Faculty members

4.5.1 Initial Selection of Regular Full-Time Faculty Members

An individual is initially selected to join the regular full-time faculty with an appointment that is probationary for tenure because he or she appears to:

  1. fulfill the basic criteria for appropriate faculty rank as outlined in Section 5.1 of this Faculty Handbook,
  2. fulfill the distinctive requirements established by the department for the faculty position to be filled, and
  3. possess documentation of academic achievement and credentials (acquired as a student, a faculty member, a postdoctoral appointee, research associate, or during a fellowship or residency) that strongly indicate that the performance as a regular full-time faculty member will be outstanding throughout his or her future academic career.

Proper credentials are the primary criteria for appointment. Credentials include, but are not limited to, academic degrees, postdoctoral training, residency, fellowship, certification, and other appropriate education and experience. The original appointment of an individual to a specific faculty rank must be based on credentials documented through the institutions from which they were obtained.

4.5.2 Selection Process for Regular Full-Time Faculty Members Members

  1. On the basis of a demonstrated need of the department's academic program and availability of money for the position, the Chair requests that a new or replacement faculty position be filled.
  2. The Dean authorizes the new or replacement faculty position to be filled.
  3. The Chair prepares a description of the open position and initiates the appropriate UTHSC recruitment process to identify candidates.
  4. The Chair may appoint a search advisory committee.
  5. The Chair shall consult with the regular departmental faculty of equal or superior ranks to that of the prospective appointee before nominations are forwarded. Final responsibility for the departmental recommendation rests with the Chair.
  6. The Chair selects the candidate to be recommended for the position.
  7. The Chair holds informal discussions with the selected candidate concerning rank, salary, and other conditions of employment, and the candidate's willingness to accept such conditions, if a formal offer is made by UTHSC.
  8. If the selected candidate is willing to accept the conditions of employment, the Chair proceeds to the appointment process described in Sections 4.6.1 and 4.6.2.

4.5.3 Nepotism

The University permits the employment of persons related by blood or marriage, but they must not be placed in the same direct line of supervision, thereby being able to determine the appointment, retention, salary, promotion, or other aspects of the employment of their relatives. Where faculty members are in a position of responsibility affecting a relative, they must waive authority and defer to the next higher administrative officer. This practice is governed by Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual, 115.

4.5.4 Certification of Effective Communication in English

An individual who is a candidate for an appointment to a teaching position or for tenure in such a position and whose native language is not English is evaluated by the Chair regarding the ability to communicate effectively with students in the English language (Administrative Manual, policy 1.080). The method of evaluation is left to the discretion of the Chair; however, the method must provide for thorough, and effective evaluation. If the Chair finds the individual's ability acceptable, he or she so certifies in writing to the Dean.

4.6 Initial Faculty Appointment Process

4.6.1 Approval by the Dean

After a candidate who is willing to accept the conditions of employment is selected, the initial appointment process is as follows:

  1. The Chair makes a recommendation for appointment at a particular rank to the Dean (Section 5.1).
  2. The Dean may request the CPT Committee to review the candidate's credentials and make a recommendation concerning the appointment and rank.
  3. The Dean may (a) agree with the Chair's recommendations concerning both appointment and rank; (b) agree with the Chair's recommendation for appointment but disagree with the recommendation concerning rank and direct the Chair to modify the appointment; or (c) disagree with the Chair's recommendation for appointment and direct the Chair to continue the selection process.

4.6.2 Initial Appointment Letter

  1. Notification of initial appointment to the selected candidate is made by letter from the Dean and the Chair. Sample letters of appointment are included in Appendix H. The letter should state the precise terms and conditions of the appointment including, but not limited to:
    1. the classification of the appointment, e.g., regular full-time faculty appointment that is probationary for tenure;
    2. the rank, salary, and related financial
    3. the length of the probationary period and the academic year in which the faculty member must be considered for tenure if he or she has met the minimum eligibility requirements (Section 4.7);
    4. the initial specific academic expectations of the appointee during the probationary period (Section 4.10.1);
    5. the general expectation that the appointee will abide by the rules and regulations of UTHSC, including the provisions of this Faculty Handbook the Honor Code of UTHSC; and
    6. a statement that the letter contains the complete appointment agreement between UTHSC and the appointee and that any previous discussions or correspondence are not binding on UTHSC.
  2. A copy of the Honor Code of UTHSC must be enclosed with the initial appointment letter. In addition, the initial appointment letter must include the Internet address of the UTHSC home page and information concerning how to access the Faculty Handbook through the home page.
  3. The selected candidate's written acceptance of the provisions of the initial appointment letter, together with the execution of a faculty appointment agreement, a personnel action form, and other UTHSC employment forms, completes the initial agreement of employment between the new faculty member and UTHSC.
  4. The base salary is the only portion of a faculty member's salary that is protected by tenure. The initial appointment letter must specify the base salary.

4.7 Length of Probationary Period

A tenure-track faculty member must serve a probationary period prior to being considered for tenure. The probationary period at UTHSC shall be no less than one and no more than seven academic years; however, for good cause, the President, upon the recommendation of the Chancellor, may approve a probationary period of less than one academic year. If a faculty member has served in a tenure-track appointment at another institution, his or her total probationary service may extend beyond seven years.

The original appointment letter shall state the length of the faculty member's probationary period and the academic year in which he or she must be considered for tenure if he or she has met the minimum eligibility requirements for consideration (Section 4.6.2). The review date for the award of tenure usually occurs during the year preceding the last year of the probationary period. The stipulation in the original appointment letter of the length of the probationary period and the year of mandatory tenure consideration does not guarantee retention until that time.

For good cause related to procedural error (e.g., lack of due process), UTHSC and a tenure-track faculty member may agree in writing to extend a seven-year probationary period for a maximum of two additional years. The proposed extension must be approved in advance by the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Chancellor, the Senior Vice President (or designee), and the General Counsel (or designee).

4.7.1 Transfers from Part-Time to Full-Time Appointments

If a part-time faculty member later becomes a regular full-time faculty member, the process of a regular appointment must be followed (Sections 4.5 and 4.6). The time that the individual held a part-time faculty position may be considered as part of a probationary period after which a recommendation for awarding tenure may be made. Such credit for the earlier appointment is determined by the faculty member, the Chair, and the Dean prior to the appointment to a tenure-track position.

4.7.2 Transfers from Non-Tenure to Tenure-Track Appointments

A non-tenure-track faculty member may be appointed to a tenure-track appointment, if the individual holds a full-time appointment and UTHSC accepts the commitment of transfer. In such a situation, the process of a regular appointment must be followed (Sections 4.5 and 4.6). The proportion of full-time effort spent in academic service prior to the transfer may be applied to the probationary period, when agreed in writing by the Chair, the Dean, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the faculty member.

4.8 Suspension of Probationary Period

The UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall decide whether the probationary period will be suspended when the following circumstances occur:

  1. the faculty member accepts a part-time faculty position;
  2. the faculty member accepts an administrative position; or
  3. the faculty member is granted a leave of absence.

The UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall give the faculty member written notice of the decision concerning suspension of the probationary period. If the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs approves a suspension of the probationary period, an extension of that period will be granted.

4.9 Notice of Non-Renewal

Notice that a tenure-track faculty member's appointment will not be renewed for the next year shall be made in writing by the Chancellor, upon the recommendation of the Chair, Dean, and the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, according to the following schedule:

  1. In the first year of the probationary period, not less than three months in advance;
  2. In the second year of the probationary period, not less than six months in advance; and
  3. In the third and subsequent years of the probationary period, not less than twelve months in advance.

These notice requirements relate only to service in a probationary period with UTHSC. Credit for prior service shall not be considered in determining the required notice. Notice of non-renewal shall be effective upon personal delivery or upon mailing, postage prepaid, to the faculty member's residential address of record at UTHSC.

The procedure for appeal of a decision for non-renewal of a faculty appointment during the probationary period is described in Section 6.2. A faculty member has a right to request the underlying reasons contributing to the decision not to renew his or her appointment. However, the written report will become part of his or her permanent record. Such a written request must be sent to the Chancellor within 15 days after receipt of such a notification. An account of these reasons will be given in writing by the Chancellor or designee within 15 days after receipt of the request.

4.10 Criteria for Tenure

Tenure is awarded after a thorough review which culminates in The University acknowledging a reasonable presumption of the faculty member's professional excellence, and the likelihood that excellence will contribute substantially over a considerable period of time to the mission and anticipated needs of the academic unit in which tenure is granted. Professional excellence is reflected in the faculty member's teaching, research, and service including the faculty member's ability to interact appropriately with colleagues and students. The relative weights of these factors will vary according to the fit between the faculty member and the mission of the academic unit in which he or she is appointed. Thus, a positive recommendation for the awarding of tenure is based not only on the individual's professional excellence but also may include consideration of the anticipated needs of the academic programs of UTHSC. Consequently, a recommendation not to award tenure is in no sense a judgment of incompetence.

4.10.1 General Criteria for Tenure at UTHSC

The basic criterion for tenure for a regular full-time faculty member at UTHSC is fulfilling the distinctive requirements established in writing by the department for the faculty position. The relative weighting is determined at the time of initial appointment but may be changed during the probationary period by the Chair and the faculty member during the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review(s). These distinctive requirements may include performance in teaching, research, and service (See Footnote 29, page 11). Thus, the minimum criteria for a positive recommendation for the award of tenure at UTHSC include the following:

  1. fulfilling the distinctive requirements established in writing by the department for the faculty position, and
  2. possessing a record of academic achievement at UTHSC that strongly indicates that his or her performance as a regular full-time faculty member will meet the expectations and goals of the department throughout his or her future academic career.

Furthermore, no faculty member at the rank of Instructor shall be recommended for the award of tenure without a concurrent recommendation for promotion to the rank of Assistant Professor.

The Board's policy on tenure states that a college or a department may establish more-specific criteria for tenure in that unit. The Board requires that, after approval by the Dean, the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor, these criteria for tenure shall be published in the bylaws of that academic unit. The Board also requires that the tenure criteria for a department shall include and be consistent with the criteria stated in the Board's policy, as well as any criteria established by the department's college and UTHSC.

4.10.2 A Candidate's Supporting Documentation for the Award of Tenure

The burden of proof that tenure should be awarded rests with the faculty member. At least one month before the deadline for review by the tenured departmental faculty, the Chair shall counsel the faculty member concerning updating his or her curriculum vitae and the identification of supporting documentation to be submitted for this faculty review. The faculty member, in consultation with the Chair, shall compile a dossier containing all documents to be submitted for review and forward them to the Chair who will make the documents available for review. The Chair shall determine what deadlines are observed, provided these are consistent with UTHSC and the department's college deadlines. 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:

  1. Current Curriculum Vitae, in the form required by UTHSC (Appendix I);
  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 UTHSC (the actual number may vary from none for a one-year probationary period to five for a seven-year probationary period);
  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 c above; and
  5. Documents pertaining to the candidate's Interim Review (Section 4.12.3.3), 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. 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. 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.

Faculty members are encouraged to contact their Chair, the chair of their CPT Committee, or the Faculty Senate for assistance with documenting performance relative to the criteria for the award of tenure.

4.11 Locus of Tenure

Tenure at The University of Tennessee is granted in a particular academic unit (e.g., department, college) of a specific campus in a position appropriate to the faculty member's qualifications. Reorganizations that result in the merger or splitting of departments do not affect the tenure or probationary status of the faculty involved.

If a tenured faculty member voluntarily transfers from one UT campus to another, his or her tenured status is not transferred. However, a review by the responsible administrators in consultation with the tenured faculty of the receiving department may result in an immediate recommendation to the Board of Trustees that tenure at the new campus be granted to the transferred individual; on the other hand, a new probationary period in the receiving unit may be established. There shall be no involuntary transfer of faculty members between campuses.

Transfers from another UT campus to UTHSC follow the procedures outlined for all new appointments in Sections 4.5 and 4.6. All aspects of the new appointment - title, rank, terms of employment, and tenure - are re-negotiated. This re-negotiation does not jeopardize the faculty member's participation in group insurance, retirement plans, or other standard faculty benefits. Prior to the effective date of the transfer, all conditions relating to tenure must be documented and accepted in writing by the transferring faculty member.

Transfers of tenure between colleges and/or departments within UTHSC do not require Board approval, but must be approved by the responsible campus administrators in consultation with the tenured faculty of the receiving unit(s), with notice to the Board of Trustees. In any event, prior to the effective date of the transfer all conditions relating to tenure must be documented and accepted, in writing, by the transferring faculty member. If a non-tenured faculty member transfers from one existing department to another, a new probationary period must be established and documented under the same guidelines that would be followed if the faculty member came from another institution. All conditions relating to the new probationary period must be documented and accepted, in writing, by the transferring faculty member.

If a tenured faculty member accepts a part-time faculty position or an administrative position with UTHSC, neither of which can carry tenure, the faculty member retains tenure in the full-time faculty position he or she vacated.

4.12 Career Development and Evaluation of Faculty Members During the Probationary Period

Promotion in academic rank and the award of tenure are separate issues at The University of Tennessee. It is the prerogative of UTHSC to undertake a series of reviews of a regular full-time faculty member in the probationary period to determine whether retention is in order before the end of the probationary years stipulated.

The performance of each probationary faculty member must be evaluated by the Chair and the faculty member's tenured colleagues. At UTHSC, for a faculty member on a tenure track, formal review of the individual's accomplishments is undertaken by the Chair annually. In addition, interim and final retention evaluations of each probationary faculty member are conducted by the Chair, with advice from and vote of the tenured faculty of the department in which the candidate holds his or her position. The primary basis for a recommendation of retention is fulfillment of the distinctive requirements established in writing by the department for the faculty position that a probationary faculty member fills.

4.12.2 Basic Faculty Career Development of Tenure-Track Faculty Members

Faculty career development for a regular full-time faculty member during the probationary period is the progression from initial appointment to the attainment of tenure. Successful career development is primarily the responsibility of the individual faculty member; however, guidance should be provided by the faculty member's Chair in consultation with the tenured faculty of the department.

4.12.3 Career Development and Evaluation Process for Tenure-Track Faculty Members

The career development and evaluation process for regular full-time faculty members in the probationary period is a series of meetings, involving the faculty member and the Chair. The purposes of these meetings are to mutually establish academic (e.g., teaching, research, service, and/or patient care) goals for the faculty member, to evaluate the faculty member's performance in achieving these previously established academic goals, and to provide the faculty member with a routine opportunity to seek and receive advice and guidance from the Chair and the tenured faculty of the department. The tenured faculty of the department participate in the processes as described below. Any faculty member who feels aggrieved by the career development and evaluation process as applied to him or her may appeal through the provisions of Sections 6.2 and 6.3. The career development and evaluation process is as follows:

4.12.3.1 Initial Meeting with the Chair

In his or her annual appointment letter the probationary faculty member is advised in writing of the schedule for tenure and the final retention determination. As soon as possible after arriving at UTHSC but no longer than 30 days, the new regular full-time faculty member must meet with the Chair to review the terms of the appointment, to receive the initial work assignment, and to mutually establish the academic goals to be achieved by the faculty member during the first academic year (or partial year). At this time the Chair will give the probationary faculty member copies of the collegiate and departmental bylaws, including guidelines for the award of tenure.

4.12.3.2 Annual Performance-and-Planning Review

The procedure for these reviews is found in Appendix J. Annually, each regular full-time faculty member in the probationary period must meet with the Chair to review his or her performance in achieving previously established academic goals, to receive the work assignment, and to mutually establish the academic goals to be achieved by the faculty member during the coming year. In addition, each year the Chair advises the faculty member concerning how much probationary time is left and how the quality of his or her performance is likely to be assessed. A document summarizing the review - including a summary rating of the faculty member's performance - must be signed by the faculty member (to acknowledge receipt of the review document) and the Chair (Appendix J). Copies of these Annual Performance-and-Planning Reviews are given to the faculty member and placed in the faculty member's personnel file.

For each tenure-track faculty member whose probationary period is four or more years, an Interim Review will be conducted. The purpose of the Interim Review is to establish a mutual understanding between the faculty member and the Chair regarding his or her progress towards attainment of tenure. If the probationary period is four years, the Interim Review occurs in the second year. If the probationary period is five, six, or seven years, the Interim Review occurs during the third year. A sample document, summarizing this review, is found in Appendix K.

This two-part review will be conducted (a) by the tenured faculty in the department and (b) by the Chair at the same time as the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review. After reviewing each tenure-track faculty member's dossier (Section 4.10.2), the tenured faculty will record a formal vote on the individual's progress towards tenure. A report will be written to the faculty member's Chair and will contain the following: a list of the tenured faculty members in attendance; all suggestions; the majority and minority views, if relevant; and the summary vote. The Chair will present and discuss the tenured faculty's report, as well as his or her own assessment, with the faculty member during the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review; this meeting with the Chair constitutes the second part of the Interim Review. The Chair will certify in the summary of the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review that the Interim Review by the tenured faculty has been completed and note the results thereof. Copies of these interim review documents are given to the faculty member and placed in his or her personnel file.

A favorable Interim Review does not commit the department or the college to a subsequent recommendation for the award of tenure. A negative Interim Review by either the tenured departmental faculty or the Chair should place the candidate on notice of deficiencies that must be corrected before the award of tenure could be recommended. In response to a negative review, the Chair and the faculty member should develop a written plan whereby the faculty member can meet the departmental expectations; this plan must be contained in the summary of the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review. Alternatively, an unfavorable review may lead to a notice of non-renewal (Section 4.9).

At any time during the probationary period, the Chair may request that the tenured faculty review the faculty member's progress.

Each year the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 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 departmental faculty (Section 4.10.2). External review of the dossier may be permitted in any case and required when sufficient expertise is lacking among the tenured departmental faculty. A sample document, summarizing this review, is found in Appendix L.

Prior to one year before the end of the probationary period, the tenured departmental faculty make a thorough review of the dossier. Following the review of each candidate's dossier, the tenured faculty will meet and record a formal vote on the recommendation to award or not award tenure. The tenured faculty 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 CPT Committee, the Dean, the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor.

The Chair reviews the dossier(s) and considers the recommendation(s) of the tenured departmental faculty. Then, the Chair makes a recommendation concerning each faculty member under consideration. In a case in which the award of tenure is recommended, the Chair prepares a letter of nomination to the Dean. The format for a letter of nomination is described in the collegiate guidelines related to the award of tenure. If the Chair recommends an individual for the award of tenure in contrast to a negative recommendation of the tenured departmental faculty, this fact must be noted in the Chair's nominating letter and the reason(s) for the Chair's action must be explained. 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. Whenever the recommendation of the Chair differs from that of the tenured faculty, the Chair must notify the tenured faculty who will meet again to consider whether a dissenting report should be developed and forwarded to the chair of the CPT Committee. The tenured faculty will provide a copy of any dissenting report to the Department Chair.

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 a letter of explanation from the Chair and the Dean to the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Individuals recommended for the award of tenure at this time will be evaluated primarily on their accomplishments at UTHSC and on the value of the faculty member to UTHSC in the future.

4.13 Procedures for Consideration and Grant of Tenure

The UTHSC procedures for considering a faculty member for tenure include and are consistent with the minimum components stated in The University of Tennessee Policies Governing Academic Freedom, Responsibility and Tenure.

4.13.1 Tenured Faculty's Recommendation

According to the Board's policy on tenure, an adequate valuation 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 UTHSC academic community, requires the judgment of both the candidate's faculty colleagues and the responsible administrators. 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. At UTHSC 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 (Sections 4.12.3.3 and 4.12.3.4).

Tenure resides in a community of scholars competent to evaluate a candidate's professional contributions and to determine whether, on the basis of past and potential contributions, he or she should be accepted as a permanent member of that community. The Board requires that each department shall adopt bylaws governing the tenured faculty's consideration of a candidate for tenure. These bylaws shall provide for a meeting of the tenured faculty to debate and discuss the tenure candidacy. The bylaws shall also provide for the manner of taking and recording a formal vote of the tenured faculty on whether the candidate should be recommended for tenure and shall establish the minimum number of votes necessary to constitute a positive recommendation. At UTHSC the tenured faculty recommendation and formal vote is contained in the report of Final Probationary Review (Section 4.12.3.4).

4.13.2 Department Chair's Recommendation

The vote of the tenured faculty is advisory to the Department Chair. After making an independent judgment on the tenure candidacy, the Chair shall submit his or her recommendation to the Dean with a written summary of his or her judgment (Section 4.12.3.4). If the Chair's recommendation differs from the recommendation of the tenured faculty, the summary must explain the reasons for the differing judgment, and the Chair must provide a copy of the summary to the tenured faculty (Section 4.12.3.4). The tenured faculty may forward a dissenting report to the next level of review (Section 4.12.3.4).

4.13.3 Dean's Recommendation

All tenure recommendations of the Department Chair, whether positive or negative, shall be reviewed by the Dean of the college. The Dean shall establish a CPT Committee for review of tenure and promotion recommendations. The recommendation of the CPT Committee shall be advisory to the Dean. The CPT Committee is described in Section 4.3.3. Collegiate bylaws specify what documents are required by the CPT Committee.

Recommendations and supporting documents for each candidate for the award of tenure will be forwarded to the collegiate academic officer. Recommendations are presented by the collegiate academic officer to the CPT Committee. The committee will vote on each recommendation, thereby making a positive or a negative recommendation on each candidate to the Dean. The summary vote of the CPT Committee, as well as any dissenting report from a tenured departmental faculty, must be included with the supporting documents and forwarded to the Dean, the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and the Chancellor.

If the CPT Committee renders a negative recommendation, the Department Chair will be informed in writing of the reason(s) for the recommendation. The Department Chair may appeal to the Dean before the recommendation at the college level is made.

The Dean will make a recommendation based on advice of the CPT Committee, the Department Chair and the tenured departmental faculty, as well as on the basis of other circumstances, including personal knowledge of individuals and the needs of the college. 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 UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs prior to or at the same time as the Dean forwards the recommendation to the next level of review. After making an independent judgment on the tenure candidacy, the Dean shall forward his or her recommendation to the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer, in consultation with the Chancellor, will specify what documents are required.

4.13.4 Recommendation of the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

All tenure recommendations of the Dean, whether positive or negative, shall be reviewed by the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Chancellor, evaluates the college recommendations in light of general knowledge of individuals and the needs of UTHSC. During March and April, the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs prepares a consolidated report. After making an independent judgment on the tenure candidacy, the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs shall forward his or her recommendation to the Chancellor.

4.13.5 Chancellor's Recommendation

During April, all tenure recommendations of the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs whether positive or negative, shall be reviewed by the Chancellor. 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, he or she will advise the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Dean, the Chair, and the faculty member. If the Chancellor does not reverse a negative recommendation, the faculty member will be advised regarding the Faculty Senate appeal process (Section 6.3).

The Chancellor may decide that the best interests of UTHSC 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, the Chancellor must meet with the faculty member, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, 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 (Section 4.9), giving the reason(s) for that recommendation, and stating that the faculty member may appeal the recommendation in accordance with the provisions of Section 6.3.

4.13.6 President's Recommendation

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. 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.

4.13.7 Action by the Board of Trustees

No person shall acquire or be granted tenure except by positive action of the Board of Trustees upon the recommendation of the President. 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.

Career Development and Evaluation of Tenured Faculty Members

Faculty career development for a tenured faculty member is the progression from the attainment of tenure, to the attainment of the rank of professor, and, following these milestones, to an ongoing career of continually increasing academic achievement at UTHSC. Successful career development is primarily the responsibility of the individual faculty member; however, guidance should be provided by the faculty member's Chair. For a tenured faculty member, formal review of the individual's accomplishments is undertaken by the Chair annually (i.e., the faculty member's Annual Performance-and-Planning Review).

Competent teaching is a crucial responsibility for faculty members with teaching assignments, and the effective use of appropriate instructional evaluation (including departmental files of class syllabi and related materials, student evaluation, and peer evaluation) is important to all objective review processes. Faculty members with research responsibilities should have the quantity and quality of their work fairly assessed. Each faculty member's service contributions, if applicable, should be evaluated impartially. At UTHSC this evaluation process primarily emphasizes professional career development and usually integrates developmental goals of faculty members with departmental mission and priorities.

4.14.2 Career Development Planning and Evaluation Process for Tenured Faculty Members

Generally, the career development and evaluation process for tenured faculty members is a series of meetings, involving the faculty member and the Chair. The objectives of these meetings are (a) to mutually establish academic goals for the faculty member (i.e., distinctive requirements of the faculty position in teaching, research, service, and/or patient care); (b) to evaluate the faculty member's performance in achieving these previously established academic goals; and (c) to provide the faculty member with a routine opportunity to seek and receive advice and guidance from the Chair. Any faculty member who feels aggrieved by the career development and evaluation process as applied to him or her may appeal through the provisions of Sections 6.2 and 6.3.

4.14.3 Annual Performance-and-Planning Review

The Board's policy on tenure states that each faculty member and his or her Department Chair will engage in a formal Annual Performance-and-Planning Review, examining the previous year's activities and planning what should occur during the coming year. The procedure for the Annual Performance-and-Planning Reviews at UTHSC is found in Appendix J. The Board's policy also stipulates that each faculty member's Annual Performance-and-Planning Review should proceed from guidelines and criteria which are appropriate to the department, college, and UTHSC (Section 4.3.2). A document summarizing the review - including an objective rating of the faculty member's performance - must be signed by the faculty member (to acknowledge receipt of the review document) and the Chair; a copy must be sent to the Dean. Copies of the summary document and the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review are given to the faculty member and placed in his or her personnel file. An example of the summary document is contained in Appendix J.

Annually, each tenured faculty member must meet with the Chair. The purpose of this meeting is three-fold: (a) to review the faculty member's performance in achieving previously established academic goals, (b) to receive the work assignment for the coming academic year, and (c) to mutually establish the academic goals to be achieved by the faculty member during the coming year. At any time the Chair or faculty member may request that the tenured departmental faculty also review the faculty member's performance. At UTHSC summary ratings indicate that during the past year the faculty member's performance was Exceeds Expectations for Rank, Meets Expectations for Rank, Needs Improvement for Rank, or Unsatisfactory for Rank. UTHSC should recognize and seek to reward faculty members, who receive Exceeds Expectations for Rank ratings (Section 4.14.6).

In response to a negative rating (i.e., needs improvement for rank or unsatisfactory for rank), the Chair and the faculty member must develop a written plan, whereby the faculty member can meet the departmental expectations; this plan must be contained in the summary of the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review. A faculty member whose performance is rated as needs improvement for rank or unsatisfactory for rank shall be ineligible for rewards (including salary increases), and must provide to the Chair a written Interim Progress Report of remedial steps taken on his or her performance in area(s) noted as unsatisfactory for rank, with copies forwarded to the Dean. The Dean must notify the UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of all faculty members whose performance is rated as unsatisfactory for rank.

Similarly, the Dean meets and evaluates the performance of the Chairs. Copies of Annual Performance-and-Planning Reviews are given to the Chair and placed in the Chair's personnel file.

4.14.4 Cumulative Performance Review

A comprehensive, formal, cumulative, performance review is triggered for the following tenured faculty members:

  1. a faculty member whose annual review is Unsatisfactory in any two of five consecutive years
  2. a faculty member whose annual review is any combination of Unsatisfactory or Needs Improvement in any three of five consecutive years.

Should CPR be required, the Chair shall immediately notify the Dean who, within 30 days will convene a CPR Committee and appoint its chair. This committee shall be composed of appropriate, same or higher rank, tenured departmental faculty members (excluding the departmental Chair), and appropriate faculty from outside the department. The faculty member being reviewed and the Chair may each name a campus tenured faculty member to the committee, which normally should have at least five (5) members including the CPR Committee chair, and at least two additional faculty members nominated by the Faculty Senate (one departmental faculty member and one non-departmental faculty member). All CPR Committee members must be tenured faculty of the same or higher rank.

The CPR Committee chair shall forward the committee consensus recommendation to the Chair, Dean, and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Performance ratings for cumulative reviews shall be:

  1. Satisfies Expectations for Rank
  2. Fails to Satisfy Expectations for Rank

If the CPR Committee consensus rates the faculty member's performance as Satisfies Expectations for Rank, the Committee must forward its justification/rationale to the Dean. The Dean must recommend one of the following three actions by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs:

  1. concur that the faculty member's performance has been Satisfies Expectations for Rank, that his/her personnel file should show that both the CPR Committee and the Dean concur in a Satisfactory CPR rating, and that a new five-year period annual review cycle will begin; or
  2. find that the faculty member's performance has been Fails to Satisfy Expectations for Rank (including a rationale for that ranking), and recommend that the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs should require that the CPR Committee develop with the affected faculty member a written CPR Improvement Plan (which may include, but shall not be limited to, skill-development, leave of absence, intensive mentoring, curtailment of outside services, change in load/responsibilities), normally of up to one calendar year, and a means to assess its efficacy; or
  3. find that the faculty member's performance has been Fails to Satisfy Expectations for Rank (including a rationale for that ranking), and recommend to the Chancellor that he/she initiate proceedings, as specified in the Faculty Handbook, to terminate the faculty member for adequate cause after the Chancellor has consulted with the Faculty Senate President and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (which may delegate its responsibility to the appropriate Faculty Senate committee).

At the end of the time allotted for a CPR Improvement Plan, the Chair, CPR Committee, Dean, and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs shall send a written consensus report to the campus Chancellor recommending:

  1. that the faculty member's performance is Satisfies Expectations for Rank and no other action need be taken at this time; or
  2. that the faculty member's performance has improved sufficiently to allow for up to one additional year of monitoring of improvement, after which the Chair, CPR Committee, Dean, and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs must by consensus determine if the faculty member's performance is Satisfies Expectations for Rank or recommend that the Chancellor initiate proceedings, as specified in the Faculty Handbook, to terminate the faculty member for adequate cause after the Chancellor has consulted with the Faculty Senate President and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (which may delegate its responsibility to the appropriate Faculty Senate committee); or
  3. that the Chancellor initiate proceedings, as specified in the Faculty Handbook, to terminate the faculty member for adequate cause after the Chancellor has consulted with the Faculty Senate President and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (which may delegate its responsibility to the appropriate Faculty Senate committee).

If the CPR Committee consensus rates the faculty member's performance as Fails to Satisfy Expectations for Rank, it may develop, with the affected faculty member and Chair, a written CPR Improvement Plan (which may include, but shall not be limited to, skill-development leave of absence, intensive monitoring, curtailment of outside services, change in load/responsibilities), normally up to one calendar year and a means to assess its efficacy with the plan to be reviewed by the Dean and approved by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Alternately, the CPR Committee may recommend to the Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs that the Chancellor initiate proceedings as specified in the Faculty Handbook, to terminate the faculty member for adequate cause after the Chancellor has consulted with the Faculty Senate President and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (which may delegate its responsibilities to the appropriate Faculty Senate committee).

4.14.5 Career Remediation Program

The Cumulative Performance Review allows an under-performing faculty member to improve with collegial and institutional support. In a case in which this review indicates need for improvement, UTHSC will provide the faculty member opportunities to improve his or her performance. These opportunities may include, but are not limited to the following: (a) consultation with colleagues for purposes of assisting in problem areas; (b) appropriate reallocation of departmental assignments to facilitate updating and improving the faculty member's teaching or research; (c) access to a program for improvement; or (d) access to a program for personal counseling.

4.14.6 Recognition of Excellence

Whenever feasible, UTHSC should recognize and seek to reward faculty members who receive Exceeds Expectations ratings on their Annual Performance-and-Planning. Such rewards may include, but need not be limited to the following: (a) a financial reward; (b) additional research or clerical support; (c) special travel funds; (d) provision of opportunities for participating in professional enrichment conferences or seminars; and (e) UTHSC recognition of individual faculty members for outstanding achievement.

Contact Us

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