Aug 13, 2022  
2021-2022 Faculty Handbook 
    
2021-2022 Faculty Handbook

Section VI- Review for Retention, Tenure, Promotion, and Merit


 

6. Promotion, Tenure, Review and Merit

6.1.   General Performance Criteria

General promotion and tenure criteria are contained in Sections 6.2 and 6.3 respectively. Specific evaluation criteria are contained in the bylaws of each school/college/library.

6.2. Promotion Policy, Criteria, and Procedures

Promotion in academic rank is a means by which the university encourages, recognizes and rewards faculty members for excellence in the performance of their duties.

6.2.1. Procedures for Promotion Review

The initial responsibility for applying for advancement in rank and the burden of proof for such advancement rests upon the individual faculty member. Faculty members who intend to apply for promotion in rank must inform their school or college dean or library director. The dean or library director will inform the appropriate committee responsible for promotion and tenure on or before October 1 of the academic year in which the faculty member wishes to be reviewed. The dean or library director will also inform the committee of any specific expectations that were part of the faculty member’s original appointment.

The school/college/library or division committee responsible for promotion and tenure conducts a formal review of all faculty members who wish to apply for promotion in rank. On or before October 15 the chair of the school/college/library or division committee responsible for promotion and tenure will notify all candidates who are scheduled for promotion review of their responsibility for compiling a review file and of the appropriate deadlines.

6.2.1.1. Promotion Review Files

The evaluations of the school/college/library or division committee responsible for promotion and tenure will be based on evidence contained in the promotion review file or, in the case of those also being reviewed for tenure, the tenure review file prepared by the faculty member. This file shall contain a detailed table of contents identifying each and every item contained in the file, a current curriculum vitae, evidence of teaching excellence (including student evaluations), or for librarians evidence of superior professional performance, the individual program of professional development, letters of recommendation and other evidence that the candidate has met the various criteria (Sections 3.2.   and 6.1) necessary for the promotion being requested, including any specific expectations consistent with the criteria that were included in the supplement to the original appointment letter prepared by the dean. It is the right and responsibility of the faculty member to make sure that his/her review file is complete for this formal evaluation.

The school or college dean or library director and the Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom committees also have the right to consult experts, either from within or outside the university, for information which might aid them in their evaluation. The dean or library director and the committee responsible must agree on the consultant. The candidate will be consulted on the selection of the expert.

The material in the review file will be available only to the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees, the president, provost, school or college dean, library director and committee responsible for promotion and tenure, department chair or head/division associate dean, and the candidate. Only the candidate may make this material available to others. The detailed table of contents will be retained in the dean’s/library director’s and provost’s file.

6.2.1.2. Evaluation and Recommendation by Department Chair or Head/Division Associate Dean or School/College Dean or Library Director

An application for advancement in rank must be accompanied by an evaluation and recommendation from the appropriate department chair or head/division associate dean. In the case where a department chair or head/division associate dean is applying for promotion, the application must be accompanied by an evaluation and recommendation from the school or college dean or library director. In either case the evaluation should specifically address the degree to which the candidate meets or fails to meet the appropriate criteria (Sections 3.2.  , 6.1, and 6.2.1).

6.2.1.3. Evaluation by Students
 

Faculty have the primary responsibility for determining how teaching is evaluated. It is the joint responsibility of the appropriate dean, department chair/head or unit associate dean and the faculty member to see that policies and procedures are developed, and formal evaluations of teaching are conducted for all faculty. For the purposes of application for retention, tenure, and promotion, candidates shall create a teaching narrative that includes a statement of teaching philosophy that puts materials used to evaluate teaching into context relevant to the committee’s evaluation of candidates’ eligibility for promotion. For decisions related to retention, faculty should address how student feedback and peer observation were used to improve teaching. Information from multiple sources should be used to evaluate teaching and arrive at a determination of teaching excellence.

Candidate Statement. The candidate should present a teaching narrative that includes a brief statement of teaching philosophy to put evidence for teaching excellence into context for any formal review. Concerns, problems, and suggestions raised in course evaluations and observations should be addressed in the teaching narrative with a description of how the feedback has influenced the faculty member’s teaching in ways that have contributed to improved student learning and the faculty member’s professional growth. The teaching narrative should include evidence that the candidate establishes rigorous academic expectations for students and uses appropriate high-impact educational practices in helping students meet those expectations. This statement should be clearly and explicitly supported by evidence. This evidence may include course evaluations, class observations, syllabi, sample assignments and rubrics, exams, samples of student work, and letters from alumni.

Student Course Evaluation. Student course evaluations must be conducted for each course taught. The course evaluations should be designed to provide formative information to faculty which they can use to improve teaching. The raw data from the course evaluations will be made available to the faculty member and their immediate academic supervisor once final grades have been submitted for the course. Faculty members will incorporate the information from the course evaluations into a narrative that describes how their teaching has developed over the time of the review.

Peer Observations. Each probationary term faculty member will have at least two peer observations of their teaching to provide actionable feedback toward building on strengths and making instructional improvements. Faculty members will incorporate the information from the peer observations into a narrative that describes how their teaching has developed over the time of the review. Each academic unit will develop its own process for peer observation for probationary term faculty members.

The teaching narrative will be accompanied by a summary of the student course evaluations, peer observations, and other evidence prepared by the immediate academic supervisor, in consultation with the faculty member, for use by the Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom (PTAF) Committee. The narrative and summary of the evidence will be presented to PTAF Committee for its review. While the course evaluations, peer observations, and other evidence are intended to be formative, faculty members’ narrative accounts of how they have used the information to improve teaching and learning will constitute part of the evidence on which the PTAF committee will make summative judgments regarding reappointment and promotion and tenure of faculty members.

6.2.1.4. Action

After the faculty members have submitted the review files, the division or school/college/library committee responsible for promotion and tenure will examine the review files and determine the degree to which each candidate has successfully met the various criteria. The committee will notify each candidate of its recommendation, and will also indicate areas that need improvement before subsequent reviews. The committee will submit to the school or college dean or library director its recommendation (either positive or negative) in each case. The school or college deans or library director will notify candidates of their recommendations.

When a tenured faculty member is denied a recommendation of promotion by a faculty committee charged with these matters, the faculty member will be so advised, in writing, by the chair of the committee within five working days after the decision. Upon receipt of a written request for reasons from the faculty member, the chairperson will deliver to the faculty member a written statement of reasons, approved by the majority of the committee members, within fourteen working days from the date of the request.

When an administrator makes an adverse recommendation concerning the promotion of a tenured faculty member in contradiction to the recommendation of the faculty committee charged with considering the matter, the administrator shall so advise the chair of the committee. The faculty member involved will be advised, in writing, by the administrator making an adverse recommendation. Upon the faculty member’s written request, the administrator will provide an oral or written statement of the reasons within ten working days after the receipt of the faculty member’s request.

The division or the school/college/library committee responsible for promotion and tenure will submit through the dean or library director to the provost, its recommendations in each case. (Within the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services, all promotion cases begin at the level of the division, center, or institute Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom Committee). 

The deans or library director will submit their recommendations to the provost separately from those of the committee. In the case of library faculty, the library director will solicit a letter of recommendation from the Vice President for Library and Information Services to be included in the materials forwarded the provost. The provost then transmits the recommendations of the committee along with the deans’ or library director’s recommendations and her/his own recommendations to the president. If and only if the president or the relevant promotion and tenure committees make a positive recommendation is the candidate’s case brought forward to the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees. In such cases the president and the provost then make known their recommendations to the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees. Following review by the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees, its chairperson transmits the recommendation of the president to the Board of Trustees for final action. The provost will inform the candidate of the action of the Board of Trustees. 

Where applications for promotion are approved, such promotion becomes effective with the beginning of the next appointment year.

6.2.1.5. Appeal Procedure

In the case of a negative recommendation by a center/division/institute/school/college promotion, tenure, and academic freedom committee, the faculty members in question may appeal these recommendations in accordance with the procedures for appeal set forth in the bylaws of their school/college and of Faculty Council. Faculty members must submit notice of their intent to appeal by April 15 of the academic year of notification or four weeks after the notification (whichever comes later), and the appeal petition must be filed by May 1 or six weeks after the notification (whichever comes later).

6.2.1.6. Specific Evaluation and Promotion Policies of Individual Schools, Colleges and Libraries

Such policies shall supplement Section VI of this Handbook by reference. Policies defined by individual schools/colleges/libraries must be consistent with Section VI. In the event of a conflict, the policies set forth in Section VI of this handbook will supersede those of the individual school/college/library.

6.2.2. Eligibility for Promotion for Tenure Track Faculty

Faculty applying for promotion are expected to demonstrate continuous, long-term engagement by making meaningful contributions to the University and its mission through ongoing professional development related to teaching, scholarship, and academic citizenship.  Candidates for promotion are expected to provide evidence of the impact of their work in each of these three areas. Specific criteria are set forth in the bylaws of each school or college.

Teaching is defined as facilitating student learning and ensuring that students develop the intellectual skills and dispositions appropriate to their program of study.  Candidates must demonstrate how they contribute to and have an impact on student learning by developing, implementing, assessing, and refining their teaching. Candidates shall use a statement of teaching philosophy as well as a narrative to put this material into context for the promotion, tenure, and academic freedom (PTAF) committee’s review of their teaching. Materials to support teaching excellence may include: course evaluations, classroom observations by peers, syllabi, sample assignments and rubrics, exams, samples of student work, and letters from students or alumni.  Additionally, candidates should show how they use student feedback to improve student learning. 

Scholarship is defined as advancing a field of academic inquiry by creating and disseminating knowledge in that discipline. Candidates must demonstrate that their scholarship has made meaningful intellectual contributions, and that these contributions are being shared in appropriate venues. The candidate must provide the PTAF committee with evidence adequate for the committee to make an informed decision.  Candidates shall use a narrative to put this material into context for the PTAF committee’s review. 

Academic Citizenship is defined as service to the institution, profession, discipline, or community.  Candidates must demonstrate effective contributions through constructive and purposeful citizenship, including evidence of leadership.  Letters from committee chairs and colleagues that explain the candidate’s roles and individual contributions, as well as the impact of this work, are particularly useful.  Candidates shall use a narrative to put this material into context for the PTAF committee’s review.

6.2.2.1. Instructor to Assistant Professor

The rank of instructor is intended for faculty who do not possess a terminal degree.  Faculty with probationary appointments can be appointed as instructors, but should be actively engaged in completing the degree within the number of years specified by their school or college policy. In no case may a probationary-appointment faculty member hold the rank of instructor beyond six years. Probationary-appointment faculty members will be promoted to assistant professor when they obtain the terminal degree.

6.2.2.2. Assistant to Associate Professor

Assistant professors will normally be eligible for promotion to associate professor when they are eligible for tenure. For tenure-track faculty, denial of promotion from assistant professor to associate professor will result in denial of tenure

For promotion to the rank of associate professor, the individual must have demonstrated excellence in teaching, excellence in one of the other two areas (see Section 6.2.1), and satisfactory performance in the third. The second area of excellence may be stipulated by the individual school/college or department/division or in the original supplement to the letter of appointment prepared by the dean.

6.2.2.3. Associate Professor to Professor

Faculty members will be eligible for promotion after five years in the associate professor rank, at least three years of which must be at Widener University.

The rank of professor is reserved for those individuals whose performance is truly exceptional as defined by the individual’s school or college promotion and tenure committee or other relevant committee. Promotion to professor is an affirmation by the University that the promoted faculty members possess the qualities of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and institutional service. The teaching should be judged as excellent by peers and students. The scholarship should be at a sustained level during the years at the rank of associate professor and should be widely recognized as superior by peers nationally or internationally. Institutional service should involve being active academic citizens, being recognized as campus leaders by their colleagues, and being recognized as role models for junior faculty.

While there is a minimum of five years of service required at the associate professor rank to be considered for promotion to the rank of professor, it is expected that attainment of the superior credentials required for promotion to the rank of professor would in general require a time period in excess of five years. Therefore, the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees believes that it will be the exceptional person who will achieve by the end of the minimum five years of service at the rank of associate professor the level of excellence expected for promotion to the rank of professor.

6.2.2.4. General Policies Regarding Promotion

Each school/college and department/division will publish a detailed set of criteria, hallmarks and evidence, all of which are consistent with the general criteria set forth in Section 6.2 of this handbook.

All recommendations for promotion must be documented for consideration by the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees. Although a department chair or head/division associate dean or school/college dean and the appropriate committee responsible for promotion and tenure may recognize superior service by recommending advancement in rank and the university may concur by offering advancement in rank, individual faculty members may not apply for advancement until the minimum length of time in current rank has been completed.

Sabbatical leave will count toward promotion in rank. A leave with pay for less than an academic year will count toward promotion and or tenure unless the faculty member and the University agree in writing to the contrary at the time the leave is granted. A leave with pay for one academic year or longer or a leave without pay will not count toward promotion and tenure unless otherwise specified in writing prior to the date on which the leave commences (see Section 5.5. ).

6.2.3. Library Faculty Eligibility for Promotion

All criteria for eligibility and promotion are defined by the Guidelines and Procedures for Appointment, Retention, Promotion, Extended Term Appointment and Renewal of Extended Term Appointment of Library Faculty (internal library document).

Within the context of a librarian’s promotion, librarianship shall be considered that body of work which constitutes the primary roles for which the individual was hired. Typically, the elements comprising librarianship for an individual will differ based on the particular position and its library department. In terms of the usual promotion evaluation criteria of teaching, professional development, and academic citizenship, librarianship takes the place of teaching in librarians’ evaluations.

6.2.3.1. Affiliate Librarian

Affiliate Librarian is an entry level position. The minimum qualification for this rank is a master’s degree in Library or Information Science from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited institution.

6.2.3.2. Affiliate to Assistant Librarian

The Assistant Librarian rank designates professional competence beyond the entry level. Qualifications are a minimum of three years professional experience during which the candidate demonstrates satisfactory professional effectiveness, professional development, and contribution to the University and community in this or another library.

6.2.3.3. Assistant to Associate Librarian

The Associate Librarian rank designates above average professional competence. Qualifications include a second graduate degree, or an advanced degree beyond the master’s degree in Library or Information Science, and six years of above average professional effectiveness, professional development, and contribution to the University and community in this or another library. Only under extraordinary circumstances can the other criteria of publishing, research, etc., replace the educational requirements for appointment to this rank.

6.2.3.4. Associate Librarian to Librarian

The highest rank achieved only through superior professional competence as a Librarian as well as through the completion of an appropriate degree beyond the Masters in Library or Information Science. It is to be awarded as an acknowledgement of exceptional contribution to the University and the Profession. Promotion to Librarian is an affirmation by the University that the promoted librarian possesses the qualities of excellence in librarianship, scholarship, and institutional service. The librarianship should be judged as excellent by peers. The scholarship should be at a sustained level during the years at the rank of associate librarian and should be recognized by peers nationally or internationally. Institutional service should involve being active academic citizens, being recognized as leaders by their colleagues, and being recognized as role models for junior librarians. It cannot be awarded in less than five years in the Associate Rank.

6.2.4. Full-Time Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Eligibility for Promotion

6.2.4.1. Lecturer or Senior Lecturer to Assistant Professor

A non-tenure track faculty member who completes the terminal degree while at the rank of Lecturer or Senior Lecturer will be given the title of Assistant Professor, as described in section 3.2.3.  and will be eligible to apply for promotion to Associate Professor as described in section 6.2.4.2.

6.2.4.2. Assistant to Associate Professor

Non-tenure-track faculty members who are in the third year of at least their first Extended-Term Appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor are eligible to apply for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor. Specific criteria for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor will be developed by each school or college, but at minimum must include (1) excellence in teaching, (2) engagement in service activities to the unit and/or university and (3) continuous efforts to maintain currency in their field through professional development.

6.2.4.3. Associate Professor to Professor

A non-tenure-track faculty member at the rank of Associate Professor who is engaged in sustained scholarly activities is eligible to apply for promotion to the rank of Professor. Specific criteria for promotion to the rank of Professor will be developed by each school or college.

6.3. Tenure Policy, Criteria, and Procedures

Widener University recognizes the value of tenure as promoting favorable conditions for the exercise of academic freedom and for the orderly development of the university as a community of teachers and scholars.

Types of appointment are defined in Sections 3.2.   and 3.3. , which should be read in conjunction with this section.

6.3.1. Definition of Probationary and Tenured Status and of Retention

The probationary period, which precedes the granting of tenure, gives individuals time to demonstrate their ability and also gives their colleagues time to observe and evaluate them on the basis of their performance in faculty positions. During this period, faculty members have the same academic freedom as tenured faculty members, and nonretention (see Section 6.3.4.1) cannot be based on reasons which involve a violation of academic freedom. Termination, dismissal, or suspension of probationary faculty members can occur only in accordance with the provisions of Section VIII of this handbook. Retention is the renewal of a probationary appointment. Faculty members holding probationary appointments are evaluated for retention as specified in Sections 6.3.4 and 6.3.4.1, and for tenure as specified in Sections 6.3.4 and 6.3.4.2.

Conferral of tenure means that the Board of Trustees grants faculty members continued full-time appointment within their disciplines until resignation or retirement as defined in Sections 8.1.   and 8.2.  A tenured appointment cannot be terminated unless there is proof of adequate cause (as defined in Section 8.4. , “Dismissal for Cause”), prolonged mental or physical illness (as defined in Section 8.3.4.  ), financial exigency (as defined in Sections 8.3.3.   and 8.3.5.  ), or changes in the educational program (as defined in Sections 8.3.1.  and 8.3.2. ).

6.3.2. Eligibility for Tenure

To be eligible for tenure, a faculty member must hold a probationary appointment as defined in Section 3.3.2.   The probationary period of a faculty member at Widener shall not exceed six years, counted as beginning with a full-time appointment as an instructor or at any higher rank. The candidate may negotiate to count prior service as part of the probationary period (see Section 3.5.1.  ). Such service must have been at the rank of instructor or above at accredited colleges and universities of recognized standing. (A college or university of recognized standing is an institution accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations; e.g., Middle States). Except by special action of the president and the Board of Trustees, Widener University will require no fewer than three years of full-time tenure-track service at Widener even though the faculty member’s total probationary period in the academic profession is thereby extended beyond the normal maximum of six years. The precise terms of any credit given for previous teaching experience and the length of the probationary period to be fulfilled at the university shall be stated in writing at the time of the initial appointment and shall be incorporated into the initial letter of appointment. Under extenuating circumstances, the faculty member may request an extension of the probationary period (see Section 6.3.2.1).

Since the actual conferral of tenure is an affirmative act by the president and the Board of Trustees, the faculty member must formally request tenure during the sixth year of probationary status or its equivalent in cases where the probationary period at faculty request was shortened or extended by mutual agreement, as provided in the first paragraph of Section 6.3.2.

The university may recognize superior service by offering an early grant of tenure. However, individual faculty members may not apply for tenure until they are in the sixth year of probation or its equivalent, as defined above.

6.3.2.1. Extension of the Tenure Probationary Period

Probationary faculty are eligible for a one-year extension of the six-year probationary period (indicated in Section 6.3.2) when extenuating circumstances significantly impede progress toward achieving tenure. The tenure probationary period will resume 12 months after the extension is requested. If a faculty member is granted an extension to the tenure probationary period but continues to work at the university (i.e., is not on leave), the period continues to be included in years of service to the university. No documentation for the Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom Committee is required during the academic year in which such an extension to the tenure probationary period is granted. The process described in this subsection does not affect the merit evaluation process. Faculty members may request one additional extension of one year  following the procedure described herein. The tenure probationary period may not be extended after faculty members have submitted their application for promotion and tenure documents to their Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom Committee.  If a faculty member elects to take a one-year extension under these circumstances, a single one-year extension to the probationary period is automatically available to faculty for the birth of a child, adoption of a child, or significant responsibility for the care of a family member with major health issues.  In these cases the faculty member must notify their immediate academic supervisor, the dean of the school or college, and the provost in writing.  The notification must include documentation of the extenuating circumstances and a plan for resuming the tenure probationary period.

Faculty with other extenuating circumstances that significantly impede progress towards receiving tenure may apply for a one-year extension to the probationary period.  Faculty must submit a formal request for an extension, in writing, to the dean of the school or college with a copy to the immediate academic supervisor. The written request must include documentation of the extenuating circumstances and a plan for resuming the tenure probationary period. The dean will forward the request with their recommendation to the provost.  If the dean does not support the request, the faculty member may consult with the provost.  The provost will send their recommendation and the recommendation from the dean to the president.  The president’s decision shall be final, with no right of appeal. The faculty member shall be notified in writing of the decision within 10 days of the initial request.

Faculty may also request a second one-year extension to the probationary period.  Faculty must submit a formal request for this additional extension, in writing, to the dean of the school or college with a copy to the immediate academic supervisor. The written request must include documentation of the extenuating circumstances and a plan for resuming the tenure probationary period. The dean will forward the request with their recommendation to the provost.  If the dean does not support the request, the faculty member may consult with the provost.  The provost will send their recommendation and the recommendation from the dean to the president.  The president’s decision shall be final, with no right of appeal. The faculty member shall be notified in writing of the decision within 10 days of the initial request.

6.3.3. Procedure for Retention and Tenure Review

It is the duty of the department/division and/or school/college committee responsible for promotion and tenure to conduct each year a formal review of all probationary faculty. On or before September 15 of each year, the dean of each school or college will prepare a list of all probationary faculty. This list is to be sent to all faculty in each school or college. Any faculty members who believe that they have been improperly omitted from the list of faculty scheduled for review should make this known to the appropriate dean. In the event that the dean and the faculty members cannot reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, the provost, in consultation with the school or college Committee on Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom, will decide whether or not the faculty members in question are eligible for review. On or before October 15, the school or college dean will notify all candidates who are scheduled for retention or tenure review of their responsibility for compiling a review file and of the appropriate deadlines for the completion of their portion of the review file.

6.3.3.1. First-Year Review File

The evaluation of the division or school/college Committee on Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom will be based on the evidence contained in the review file of the faculty members. The file will consist of three parts: the material submitted by the faculty members, the material submitted by the immediate academic supervisor, and the material solicited by the department/division or school/college Committee on Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom.

  1. Material submitted by the faculty members: This material should include a current curriculum vitae, syllabi of all courses taught during the Fall semester at Widener, and evidence of teaching ability. The material may also include copies of examinations and a statement by the candidates in support of their candidacy. It is the responsibility of the faculty members to make sure that this portion of the review file is complete for these formal evaluations.
  2. Material submitted by the immediate academic supervisor: The faculty members’ immediate academic supervisor will provide any specific expectations consistent with the criteria for evaluation that were part of the faculty member’s original appointment, documentation of teaching ability, including student evaluations (or summaries thereof as defined by the individual schools, colleges and divisions), representative summaries of student comments, results of other evaluative methods deemed appropriate by each individual school, college, and division, and reports of all formal meetings between the immediate academic supervisor and the faculty members concerning their teaching. (Here and hereafter a “formal meeting” is defined as one for which the faculty members have been previously informed the meeting will be a meeting of record). If the faculty members’ immediate academic supervisor is not a member of the originating review Committee on Promotion, Tenure and Academic Freedom, the supervisor will also submit a written evaluation of the faculty members’ teaching. All material placed in this file will be available to the faculty members under review.
  3. Material solicited by the school or college or division Committee on Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom: The school/college or division committee responsible for promotion and tenure may solicit additional written information from the appropriate department chair or head/division associate dean or school/college dean for each faculty member being reviewed. All material placed in this file will be available to the faculty member under review.

The material in the review file will be available only to the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees, the president, provost, school or college dean, department chair or head/division associate dean, immediate academic supervisor, the committee responsible for promotion and tenure, and the candidate. Only the candidate may make this material available to others. Personal property provided by the candidate (e.g. manuscripts, reprints) will be returned. Other material and all of the material solicited by the committee will remain in a file in the office of the school or college dean or his/her designee. Where appropriate, this material may be considered in subsequent formal reviews of the faculty member by the school/college or division committee responsible for promotion and tenure. The material in the file can be used for no other purpose.

Unless the candidate has received credit toward tenure for prior academic experience, the first year review is based solely on an evaluation of the candidate’s teaching as a tenure-track faculty member at Widener. If a candidate has taken credit toward tenure for prior academic experience, the evaluation shall be based on teaching as a tenure-track faculty member at Widener, and may also include prior as well as current professional development.

6.3.3.2. Second- through Fifth-Year and Tenure Review Files

The evaluations of the school/college/division Committee on Promotion, Tenure and Academic Freedom will be based on evidence contained in the review file of the faculty member. This file will consist of three parts: the material submitted by the faculty member, the material submitted by the immediate academic supervisor, and additional material solicited by the school/college/division Committee on Promotion, Tenure and Academic Freedom.

  1. Material submitted by the faculty member:  This material should include a current curriculum vitae, evidence of teaching excellence, evidence of professional development, evidence of academic citizenship, letters of recommendation and other evidence that the candidate has adequately met the various criteria necessary for the second through fifth year review or the awarding of tenure. The material may also include a statement by the candidate in support of his/her candidacy. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to make sure that this portion of the file is complete for these formal evaluations.
  2. Material submitted by the immediate academic supervisor:  The faculty member’s immediate academic supervisor will provide any specific expectations consistent with the evaluation criteria that were part of the faculty member’s original appointment, student evaluations of teaching (or summaries thereof as defined by the individual Schools, Colleges or Divisions), representative summaries of student comments, and reports of all formal meetings between the immediate academic supervisor and the faculty member concerning his/her teaching, scholarly activity and service. If the faculty member’s immediate academic supervisor is not a member of the originating review Committee on Promotion, Tenure and Academic Freedom, the supervisor will also submit a written evaluation of the faculty member’s teaching, scholarly activity and service. All material placed in this file will be available to the faculty member under review.
  3. Material solicited by the school/college or division Committee on Promotion, Tenure and Academic Freedom:  The school/college or division committee responsible for promotion and tenure may request additional information in writing from the appropriate department chair/head or division associate dean and/or school/college dean for each faculty member being reviewed. The committee also has the right to consult additional experts, either from within or outside of the university, for written information which might aid in its evaluation. All material placed in this file will be available to the faculty member under review.

The material in the review file will be available only to the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees, the president, provost, school/college dean, department chair or head/division associate dean, immediate academic supervisor, the committee(s) responsible for promotion and tenure, and the candidate. Only the candidate may make this material available to others. Personal property provided by the candidate (e.g. manuscripts, reprints) will be returned. Other material and all of the material solicited by the committee will remain in a file in the office of the school/college dean or his/her designate. Where appropriate, this material may be considered in subsequent formal reviews of the faculty member by the committees responsible for promotion and tenure. The material in the file can be used for no other purpose.

6.3.3.3. Evaluation by the Department Chair or Head/Division Associate Dean

Department chairs or head/division associate deans will submit their letters of evaluation to the school/college dean.

6.3.3.4. Use of Evaluations by Students

Evaluations by students will be considered as part of assessing teaching effectiveness in all tenure considerations.

6.3.4. Action, Notice, and Standards

After faculty members have submitted the first- through-fifth year or tenure review files, the school/college, center, institute, or division committee responsible for promotion and tenure shall examine the first- through fifth-year or tenure review files and determine the degree to which the candidates have met the criteria for first- through fifth-year retention or tenure, as the case may be. In conformity with the requirements of Sections 6.3.4.1 or 6.3.4.2, the committee shall notify the school or college deans in writing, with a copy to the faculty members, of its recommendation and indicate in such notice the basis upon which the recommendation was made, and the school or college deans shall also notify the faculty members of their recommendation. Notification of non-retention or denial of tenure shall be given by the university as follows:

  1. on or before March 1 of the first academic year of service if the initial appointment is not to be renewed, or at least three months prior to the expiration of an initial one-year appointment if it expires during an academic year; or,
  2. on or before December 15 of the second academic year of service if the appointment is not to be renewed, or at least six months prior to the expiration of the appointment if it expires during an academic year; or,
  3. at least twelve months prior to the termination date of the faculty members if they are in the third year or beyond of an academic probationary appointment.

The legitimate bases for recommendation of non-retention or denial of tenure are:

  1. incongruity between the teaching expertise of the faculty members and the educational goals or needs of the university; or,
  2. inadequate performance of the faculty members’ major appointment responsibilities in teaching, as established in accordance with the standards and procedures of the relevant academic unit and in conformity with Section 6.2.1 and its subparts.
  3. inadequate performance of the faculty members’ major appointment responsibilities in professional development, as established in accordance with the standards and procedures of the relevant academic unit and in conformity with Section 6.2.1 and its subparts.
  4. inadequate performance of the faculty members’ major appointment responsibilities in academic citizenship, as established in accordance with the standards and procedures of the relevant academic unit and in conformity with Section 6.2.1 and its subparts.
  5. inadequate performance of the faculty members’ responsibilities as set forth throughout Section IV , or violations of policies set forth in this section.

6.3.4.1. First through Fifth-Year Review

The chair of a committee which makes a negative recommendation for retention shall notify the faculty members of this recommendation, in writing, within five business days after the committee’s decision. Faculty members receiving negative recommendations for retention from a school/college, center, institute, or division committee are entitled to receive a statement of the reasons for the committee’s recommendation. Affected faculty members who wish a statement of reasons shall so request of the chair of the committee, in writing, indicating their preference for an oral or written statement. The committee shall prepare a statement of reasons, approved by a majority of the committee, which shall be transmitted to the provost for review before it is given to the faculty members. Faculty members shall be provided with the statement of reasons within 14 business days of the date of the request.

When an administrator makes an adverse recommendation concerning the retention of faculty members in contradiction to that of the faculty committee charged with considering the matter, the administrator shall so advise the chair of that committee in writing. The faculty members involved shall be advised, in writing, by the administrator making the adverse recommendation. The affected faculty members are entitled to a statement of reasons for the adverse recommendation. Affected faculty members who wish a statement of reasons shall so request of the administrator in writing, indicating their preference for an oral or written statement. The administrator shall provide this statement to the faculty members within ten business days of receipt of the request. If the committee recommends retention in the case of a first- through fifth-year review, and the dean, provost, and president concur, a new appointment letter shall be issued for the following academic year. If the committee recommends against retention, and the dean, provost, and president concur, the faculty members shall be given notification of nonretention as specified in Section 6.3.4. If the committee and the dean do not agree on the recommendation, the case shall be referred to the provost, who shall submit her/his recommendation to the president for a final decision. If the committee and the dean agree but the provost does not concur, the provost shall submit his/her recommendation, along with those of the committee and the dean, to the president for a final decision.   If the case is ultimately decided negatively, the faculty members shall be given notification as specified in Section 6.3.4.

6.3.4.2. Tenure

The chair of a committee which makes a negative recommendation for tenure shall notify the faculty members of this recommendation in writing within five business days after the committee’s decision. Faculty members receiving negative recommendations for tenure from a school/college, center, institute, or division committee are entitled to receive a statement of the reasons for the committee’s recommendation. Affected faculty members who wish a statement of reasons shall so request of the chair of the committee, in writing, indicating their preference for an oral or written statement. The committee shall prepare a statement of reasons, approved by a majority of the committee, which shall be transmitted to the provost for review before it is given to the faculty members. Faculty members shall be provided with a statement of reasons within 14 business days of the date of the request.

When an administrator makes an adverse recommendation concerning the tenure of faculty members in contradiction to the faculty committee charged with considering the matter, the administrator shall so advise the chair of that committee in writing. The faculty members involved shall be advised, in writing, by the administrator making the adverse recommendation. The affected faculty members are entitled to a statement of reasons for the adverse recommendation. Candidates who wish a statement of reasons shall so request of the administrator in writing, indicating their preference for an oral or written statement. The administrator shall provide this statement to the candidate within ten business days of receipt of the request. The center, institute, division and/or school/college Committee on Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom shall submit through the dean to the provost its recommendations in each case. (Within the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Human Service Professions, all tenure cases begin at the level of the division, center, or institute Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom Committee). Deans shall submit their recommendations to the provost separately from those of the committees. If and only if the president or the relevant promotion and tenure committees make a positive recommendation are the candidates cases brought forward to the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees. In such cases, the president and the provost then make known their recommendations to the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees. Following review by the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees, its chairman transmits the recommendation of the committee, along with those of the provost and president, to the Board of Trustees for final action. The provost shall inform the candidates of the action of the Board of Trustees.

A decision with regard to the awarding of tenure is based on a judgment by the committees responsible for promotion and tenure and the appropriate academic administrators as to whether or not the faculty members meet the established criteria and the degree of correspondence between the individuals’ expertise and the university’s educational needs. Award of tenure is, in the final instance, a decision by the Board of Trustees.

6.3.5. Appeal Procedure

In cases of negative recommendation for retention or tenure, the faculty members in question may appeal this recommendation in accordance with the procedures for appeal set forth in the bylaws of the school or college and in Section 5.11 (a) (3) of the bylaws of Faculty Council. Faculty members in the first two years of academic service who wish to appeal a committee’s recommendation of denial of retention or tenure must submit notice of the intent to appeal by April 15, and the appeal petition must be filed by May 1 of the academic year of notification. For faculty members in the third year of service and beyond, notice of intent to appeal must be filed by April 15 or four weeks after notification of the committee’s recommendation (whichever comes later), and the appeal petition must be filed by May 1 or six weeks after the notification (whichever comes later).

There are two grounds of appeal of committee recommendations of nonretention or denial of tenure to the Faculty Council Promotion, Tenure, and Academic Freedom Committee:

  1. allegations by faculty members that they were denied adequate consideration in terms of the relevant standards of the institution; and,
  2. allegations by faculty members that the Committee’s recommendation was based on illegal discrimination. (Faculty alleging discrimination must follow standard university procedures through the Office of Human Resources).

Recommendations of denial of retention and tenure are not otherwise subject to appeal.

6.3.6. Specific Evaluation and Tenure Policies of Individual Schools and Colleges

Such policies shall supplement Section VI of this handbook by reference. Policies defined by individual schools or colleges must be consistent with Section VI. In the event of a conflict, the policies set forth in this section will supersede those of the individual school or college.

6.4. Merit  

The process of determining merit awards begins in May when faculty members submit information to their immediate supervisors documenting meritorious teaching, professional development or scholarship, and service for the just completed academic year. The immediate supervisors evaluate the submissions from all of the faculty that report to them consistent with the merit implementation document of the local unit. The supervisors record this evaluation in writing and share it with the faculty members being reviewed. The academic supervisors then report this evaluation to the academic deans/director of the school/college/library. (In certain cases the immediate academic supervisor is the dean/director).

Before the merit award is finalized, faculty members have the opportunity to comment on their supervisors’ evaluations. If faculty members feel that the criteria have not been fairly applied, they have the right to appeal to their school or college deans/library director and, if necessary, to the provost or Vice-President for Library and Information Services. Faculty also have the right to make appeals consistent with Section VII of the Faculty Handbook.

Deans/directors review all recommendations concerning faculty in their school/college/library and assign dollar amounts for merit based upon the merit evaluations that have been received and on their own evaluations of the faculty members’ performance. If the dean’s evaluations of the faculty members’ performance differ from those of the immediate academic supervisors, the faculty members will be so informed in writing and given an opportunity to respond. The merit amounts assigned may be based either on lump sum increments or on awards tied to a percent of base salary. (Each school/college/library determines a preference between these two approaches. Based upon the preference of the faculty and the recommendation of the dean/director and provost/Vice-President for Library and Information Services, the president approves the approach for each school/college/library).

The total pool of money that the dean or director has to award for merit is determined by the budget director based upon the following formula. One half of the merit monies made available by the Board of Trustees is allocated based on the fraction of the total full-time faculty eligible for merit assigned to the school/college/library in question. The other half of the merit monies is allocated based on the fraction of the total salaries of full-time faculty eligible for merit assigned to the school/college/library in question.

The dean or director of the school/college/library submits merit recommendations to the provost or Vice-President for Library and Information Services. The dean/library director and provost/Vice-President for Library and Information Services discuss these and reach agreement on all recommendations. If the provost’s/ or Vice-President for Library and Information Services’ evaluation of the faculty member’s performance differs from that of the dean, faculty members will be so informed in writing and given an opportunity to respond before the award is finalized. The provost or Vice-President for Library and Information Services then forwards the merit adjustments to the Budget Director, who processes them for the generation of salary award letters by the provost’s office.

If a full time tenured or tenure-track faculty member does not qualify for a merit salary adjustment for three consecutive years, then, in the fourth and succeeding year(s), that faculty member will not be given an economic adjustment.  Only after again qualifying for a merit adjustment will the faculty member receive an economic adjustment.