OIT - Knowledge Base
Student Achievement Services
University Policy Repository
Effective Date: May 31, 1975
Office of the Provost
Tenure is a means to ensure academic freedom and a sufficient degree of employment continuity to make the profession attractive to persons of ability. The goal of AThe Tenure Policy@ is to establish review procedures that achieve these ends and further the interests of the University.
A. DEFINITIONS AND SPECIFICATIONS
- 1. "Tenure" is a term used to denote that holders thereof are assured that their services shall be continued with fair compensation unless they are terminated for adequate cause, except in cases of retirement, financial exigency of the University, or discontinuance of a department or degree-granting program.
- The "tenure policy" is the policy regarding tenure described in this statement.
- "Tenurable rank" refers to those academic ranks eligible for receipt of tenure, namely, to holders of full-time teaching appointments in the faculty ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. However, tenure in rank, once achieved, shall not be affected by subsequent appointments.
- Tenure shall not apply to personnel in administration, educational resources, physical education, aerospace studies, military science, or research.
- Tenure shall not apply to adjunct faculty ranks, to such professional designations as instructor, to research positions including that of research professor, to visiting professors, or to such other professional, non-tenure designations as may be authorized by the president.
- The "University Tenure Committee" or the "Tenure Committee" will be composed from 2 tenured faculty members elected by the tenurable rank faculty (both tenured and non-tenured) of each school for staggered, three year terms. Faculty members in the positions of chair, dean or comparable administrative position are not eligible for membership on the Tenure Committee. At least two candidates for the Tenure Committee will be nominated for each position by the Senate. Nominations for candidacy can also be presented by written petition endorsed by fifteen tenurable rank faculty. Nominees for a particular position do not necessarily have to be a member of the school they are nominated to represent although this is expected to be the norm. Faculty voting on a position can also vote to leave the position empty if they so desire.
This formula for allocating positions on the University Tenure committee may be altered on the basis of a recommendation by the Faculty Senate and a vote of the tenurable-rank faculty.
The University Tenure Committee charge is:
- To act in accordance with the Tenure Policy as passed by the Faculty Senate and approved by the Board of Trustees.
- To confirm that the tenure file (described below) of each individual reviewed contains adequate documentation to reflect properly the individual's performance as it pertains to the granting of tenure, or indicate as soon as possible to the person responsible for preparing the file how it is deficient. The preparer will immediately attempt to provide the materials necessary to remedy the deficiencies. The Tenure Committee may hold the tenure file until such documentation is provided. If the preparer is unable to supply the required materials, the Tenure Committee may correct any deficiencies, and will inform the tenure candidate that it has done so.
- To ensure that new information added to the tenure file is communicated to the preparer of the file who, in turn, must forward it through appropriate channels along with the preparer's revised recommendation, if any.
- To add to each tenure file a committee evaluation and tenure recommendation based solely on the contents of the tenure file and the evaluative standards outlined in 5.3.
- To ensure that the Tenure Policy is fully and properly implemented in all tenure reviews.
- To advise the Faculty Senate on the Tenure Policy and its implementation.
- To act in accordance with the Tenure Policy as passed by the Faculty Senate and approved by the Board of Trustees.
- The term "year" refers to the academic year, unless otherwise noted.
- The "pre-tenure period" is the period of full-time service in a tenurable rank at Clarkson up to and including the year during which a tenure review is conducted.
- The minimum pre-tenure period shall be three years of full-time service exclusive of periods of leave of absence unless the Provost exercises the prerogative to permit earlier consideration for tenure. The individual being considered for tenure must consent to such an early review. The Provost should exercise this prerogative, or the prerogative to recommend that tenure be granted an individual on initial appointment only in exceptional circumstances and with the written advice of the University Tenure Committee. The Provost or designee may permit an initial appointment letter to include a promise or a requirement of a reduced (less than six year) pre-tenure period if the prospective faculty member has had prior experience as a faculty member at another institution. The tenure review process in a case of early tenure review shall, as far as possible, be the same as that used in other Clarkson tenure reviews.
- The maximum pre-tenure period shall be six years of full time service exclusive of periods of leave of absence. Hence, a tenure review must be conducted during the sixth year of pre-tenure service for any non-tenured faculty member who is not on terminal contract, with the following exceptions:
- Persons who hold administrative positions of Provost, vice President, dean and who simultaneously hold faculty rank, shall not have the time during which they perform administrative service considered part of the pre-tenure period. Time served as associate dean or as a director may be excluded from the pre-tenure period by mutual consent of the individual and the Provost.
- If a tenure review is not conducted by the end of the sixth year of academic service, a full tenure review must be completed within one calendar year of the date on which this omission becomes known to the Provost. Under these circumstances, service at Clarkson may exceed a previously understood maximum pre-tenure period before tenure is either awarded or denied. In no event can tenure be obtained without a tenure review and an affirmative decision by the president.
Tenure clock relief -- A non-tenured member of the faculty shall be eligible for an extension of the pre-tenure probationary period for life events, described below, that can reasonably be expected to delay the research process. For extensions in category 1, there will be no limit on the number of extensions. For extensions in categories 2-5, a maximum of two separate extensions of the tenure probationary period will be granted. As described below, each extension can be for either one or two semesters. For purposes of review, a semester is defined as six (6) months in duration. Invoking an extension does not commit the person to wait the full extent of the probationary period before requesting tenure review. Life events that can be expected to markedly delay the research process are listed below.
1. A child is born or adopted into the faculty member’s household (maximum two semester extension for the parent or adoptive parent).
2. By reason of a serious health condition (as defined in the Family and Medical Leave Act) persisting for a substantial portion of a semester, the faculty member is required to act as primary caregiver for a parent, child, spouse, or domestic partner as defined and recognized by Clarkson University (one semester extension).
3. By reason of a serious health condition (as defined in the Family and Medical Leave Act) persisting for a substantial portion of the period for which extension is sought, the faculty member is unable to perform the functions of her or his position (maximum two semester extension).
4. By reason of the death of a parent, child, spouse, or domestic partner as defined and recognized by Clarkson University (one semester extension).
5. By reason of a catastrophic residential property loss (one semester extension).
In the instance where the birth of a child results in a serious health condition for either the mother or the child (as in 2 or 3 above), the maximum extension will be two semesters.
Extensions of the tenure probationary period will also be granted for the following reasons and will not count toward the limit in the number of extensions specified above. However, it is expected that, in total, a three (3) year overall limit in extensions of the probationary period will not be exceeded. Extensions may be granted for the following reasons.
1. By reason of specialized experience or training approved by the department chair and dean, when during such experiences, research publications and other tenure-related activities are expected to be reduced or interrupted.
2. By reason of significantly increased administrative duties that were unanticipated at the time of the tenure-track appointment (e.g., serving as a department chair or establishing a new, off-site program).
3. By reason of an approved period of part-time status (tenure clock extension would be pro-rated to the percentage of effort during the part-time period).
Requests for all extensions must be made in writing to the department chair and forwarded to the appropriate dean for final approval by the provost. Requests for extensions must be made within three (3) months of the onset of the life event or as soon as practicable once the situation has been identified.
- The "Trustees" shall be the Trustees of the University, when they are in session, and when not in session, the executive committee of the Trustees.
- The "faculty member under consideration" or the "candidate" denotes the faculty member being reviewed for tenure.
- The "preparer of the file" is that person or group responsible for compiling the tenure file (described below) and for adding an initial evaluation and recommendation to it. Where administrative structure and circumstances permit, the preparer of the file will be the person responsible for conducting the annual evaluation conferences, normally the department chair. In those academic units not organized on departmental lines, the preparer will be that person or group designated as such by the Provost on the recommendation of the appropriate dean. Individual academic units may choose to have a committee of tenured faculty from within the unit serve as the "preparer of the file": this choice must be approved by the Provost. When the "preparer of the file" is a committee of tenured faculty, each member of this committee of tenured faculty, other than its chair, must submit an internal deposition (see 5.5.B.3.b) prior to viewing any other confidential evaluations or depositions. In exceptional circumstances, including but not limited to the preparation of a tenure file for a prospective dean or department chair who is to be reviewed for tenure upon initial appointment, the Provost shall designate that person or group responsible for preparing the file and for adding to it an initial evaluation and recommendation. Members of the University Tenure Committee may not serve as "preparer of the file.”
- The chair, dean, or Provost may appoint an "advisory committee" of tenured faculty members or academic administrators holding tenurable rank to assist in evaluating the tenure file. Members of such committees must submit any individual depositions to the preparer of the file prior to viewing confidential letters from internal evaluators or external referees. Members of the University Tenure Committee may not be appointed to any such "advisory committees."
- Prior to the President's decision, the tenure review proceeds strictly on the basis of the contents of the "tenure file." All formal recommendations must be based on its contents alone and the evaluative standards described in 5.3. The formal review process begins when items 5.5.A.11.a-1, have been compiled. When the tenure review is completed and a decision is reached, the tenure file must contain true copies or originals of at least the following items:
- All appointment and reappointment letters (with salary figures concealed/erased).
- The candidate's most recent resume or curriculum vitae, including: education; experience; published work with key bibliographic, locative information; presentations of scholarly works; documentation of artistic exhibitions or network art performance; and where appropriate, a tabulation of citations of the candidate=s publications by others; invention disclosures and patents; computer software; internal and external funding with sources, amounts and coinvestigators; theses directed; new courses created; professional services performed; awards and honors; and other relevant scholarly and professional activities.
- All annual Faculty Activity Reports.
- All annual faculty evaluation memoranda (heretofore in personnel file: see (5.4.C.1 and 5.4.A).
- All student evaluation of instruction reports, including course numbers and titles (heretofore in the personnel file: see 5.4.C.2 and 5.4.A). Appropriate comparative data shall be included against which the course evaluations are assessed (such as mean rating for graduate courses, mean rating for introductory courses, etc.). The preparer of the file will also provide written comments interpreting the numerical teaching evaluation scores and assessing their significance.
- Classroom visit reports by colleagues (heretofore in the personnel file: see 5.4.C.3 and 5.4.A).
- Statement from the preparer regarding tenure flow in the candidate's department (or relevant organizational unit), indicating how the award or denial of tenure would affect teaching and research in the department. This statement must also indicate the number of tenurable rank faculty in the department, the number currently tenured, and a projection for the next three years taking into account anticipated departures and retirements, faculty scheduled for tenure review, and changes in the number of tenurable positions.
- Written evaluations from Clarkson faculty members together with copies of the memo soliciting these evaluations.
- Written evaluations by external referees together with copies of all letters soliciting these evaluations. These evaluations should be accompanied by a brief statement from the preparer sketching the professional background of each referee.
- Copies of all the scholarly publications of the candidate, along with an indication of which of these were available to external referees.
- Any materials or statements submitted by the candidate to the preparer, or included in the file in response to the candidate's request.
- A complete inventory of the file as compiled by the preparer. A copy of this inventory must be provided to the candidate before the file is forwarded by the preparer.
- Evaluation and recommendation letter from the department chair, the standards preparer, or designated advisory committee based on the contents of the tenure file and the evaluative described above (see 5.3).
- Evaluation and recommendation letter from the appropriate dean based on the contents of the tenure file and the evaluative standards described above (see 5.3). This must be accompanied by a statement regarding tenure flow in the school, indicating how the award or denial of tenure would affect teaching and research in the school.
This statement must also indicate the number of tenurable rank faculty in the school, the number currently tenured, and a projection for the next three years taking into account anticipated departures, faculty scheduled to be considered for tenure review, and changes in the number of tenurable positions.
- An evaluation and recommendation letter from the academic vice president (if the position is occupied) based on the contents of the tenure file and the evaluative standards described above (see 5.3).
- Evaluation and recommendation letter from the University Tenure Committee based on the contents of the tenure file and the evaluative standards described above (see 5.3).
- A letter from the President or designee explaining the tenure decision.
B. TENURE REVIEW PROCEDURES
- By May 15 of each academic year, the Provost, in consultation with the academic deans, shall:
- prepare a list of all faculty scheduled for tenure review during the coming academic year, and
- determine the person or group who shall serve as the preparer of each tenure file (see definition of "preparer" above).
Concurrently, the Provost, in consultation with the academic deans and the Chair of the University Tenure Committee, shall prepare a calendar for each forthcoming tenure review that provides adequate time for all parties to examine the tenure file and prepare their recommendations. Copies of the list of tenure candidates, preparers, and the calendars for reviews will be provided to the academic deans, academic vice president, and University Tenure Committee. Likewise, a copy of the review calendar along with the name of the corresponding file preparer and candidate will be given to each candidate and file preparer. In exceptional circumstances (e.g., a presidential recommendation of tenure upon initial appointment), flexibility in scheduling is permissible.
- Taking care to allow the candidate time to complete the tasks required, the preparer will send a memorandum to the candidate outlining the candidate's rights and responsibilities with respect to the preparation of the tenure file. Specifically, this memorandum should advise the candidate to review these "faculty policies." The memorandum must ask the candidate:
- to submit a current resume or curriculum vitae for inclusion in the tenure file,
- to submit copies of all scholarly works by the candidate along with a list of those works the candidate thinks are sufficient to provide external reviewers an adequate basis for assessing the candidate's scholarly accomplishments (in terms of the evaluative standards set forth in 5.3),
- to submit a list of those items within the candidate's personnel file that the candidate wishes to make available for review by those Clarkson faculty who shall be asked to prepare written evaluations (see 5.5B.3.b and 5.4A). These items might include the annual evaluation reports, the student evaluation of instruction scores and comments, the classroom visit reports of colleagues, etc. The documents selected by the candidate should be chosen so as to provide internal colleagues adequate information with which to assess the candidate's teaching accomplishments (in terms of the evaluative standards set forth in 5.3). The candidate should also be advised that certain items in the personnel file (e.g., student evaluation of instruction scores, classroom visit reports, etc.), must be included in the tenure file as formally reviewed even if the candidate elects to deny access to these items to departmental colleagues at the time the latter prepare their internal evaluations.
- to submit for inclusion in the file any other materials or statements that the candidate considers relevant to the tenure review. Such materials might include the candidate=s own assessment of his/her teaching and research program, evidence documenting professional and University service, etc.
- to provide a list of any persons from whom the candidate wishes to have testimonials solicited (such testimonials are distinct from the evaluations prepared by Clarkson faculty or external referees),
- to anticipate consulting with the preparer, if this has not already occurred, on the selection of the candidate's preferred external referees (see 3.a),
- to recognize that the candidate is responsible for ensuring that the tenure file contains all those documents and materials, beyond those required by these policies, that the candidate considers relevant to the tenure review.
- The preparer of the tenure file shall seek evaluations of the candidate by Clarkson faculty and external referees. The preparer must ensure: first, that those preparing evaluations have ample time to consider the materials offered for assessment, second, that any letter or memorandum soliciting an evaluation excludes comments which might bias the respondent's evaluation, and third, that copies of all memoranda and letters soliciting evaluations are retained for inclusion in the tenure file. Only evaluation statements which are signed by their authors will be considered. Within the limits allowed by law, confidentiality of an evaluation will be preserved unless the author indicates otherwise. Access to confidential information shall be limited to those persons having primary responsibility in formulating tenure recommendations, i.e., the department chair or designated preparer, the dean, members of duly-appointed advisory committees, the academic vice president, members of the University Tenure Committee, the President, the Trustees, or other parties designated by the President.
- Procedures for External Referees
- External referees who are qualified to provide objective assessments of the quality of the candidate's scholarship should be invited to submit written evaluations. The preparer must acquire at least six evaluations of the candidate's work from scholars outside Clarkson. These scholars are to be selected by the preparer in consultation with department chairs, other faculty, the dean, and the candidate. At least three of these referees should have been selected by the preparer. At least three external references should be solicited from individuals selected by the candidate.
- The preparer must provide each external referee with a copy of the candidate's complete resume or curriculum vitae and copies of those scholarly works the candidate has indicated are sufficient to provide external reviewers an adequate basis for assessing the candidate's scholarly accomplishments (see 5.5B.2b).
- External referees should be asked to provide independent assessments of the candidate's achievements in scholarship, research, or other creative work, as well as to comment on the significance of the candidate's achievements. Referees may be invited to comment on the candidate's teaching and advising skills or service contributions to the profession, if the referees possess relevant information on these matters.
- In the letters soliciting external evaluations, the preparer should inform the external referees of those persons with access to their evaluation statements (e.g., dean, Tenure Committee, Provost, President, any advisory committees, and Trustees).
- Procedures for Internal Evaluations
- The preparer will solicit evaluations regarding the candidate's suitability for tenure from all tenured faculty members in the department (or relevant organization), from non-tenured faculty members in the department (or relevant organization), and from faculty members outside the department who are thought to have special knowledge of the candidate. All tenured faculty members within the department must provide an evaluation of the candidate, or submit a written statement that they choose not to do so.
- The preparer will make available to faculty preparing internal evaluations: the candidate's complete resume or curriculum vitae, copies of the candidate's scholarly works, any information documenting teaching and advising performance (e.g. student evaluation of teaching scores, classroom visit reports) offered for review by the candidate, documentation of service accomplishments, as well as any other materials the candidate wishes to have considered (including such other items from the personnel file as the annual evaluation reports). If the candidate elects to offer the student evaluation of teaching scores for review by faculty colleagues, the preparer shall append the "appropriate comparison data" (referenced in item 5.5.A.11.e of the definition of the tenure file) to these scores.
- Faculty preparing evaluations should review and analyze the materials provided for assessment: their assessments should gauge the candidate=s qualifications and performance with care, and should do so in light of the evaluation standards described in 5.3. Where possible, evaluators should buttress their comments with first hand observations.
- Procedures for Testimonials
- The preparer should solicit testimonials regarding the candidate from those individuals the candidate has indicated are appropriate.
- The preparer will accept testimonials from other members of the campus community or the community-at-large that address the candidate's contributions.
- Procedures for External Referees
- The preparer shall: collect the Aappropriate comparative data@ (referenced in item 5.5.A.11.e), prepare the statement assessing the student evaluation of instruction scores (again, see 5.5.A.11.e), and prepare a statement on tenure flow (see item 5.5.A.11.g of the tenure file description).
- The preparer must assemble, supplement, and inventory the tenure file in accord with the following:
- The preparer shall assemble and inventory all the documents referenced in items 5.5.A.11.a-k of the tenure file description. This inventory must consist of a detailed list of all materials included in the file including the names of internal and external reviewers. A copy of this inventory must be added to the assembled materials. Another copy of the inventory must be given to the candidate; this copy of the inventory should be accompanied by a memorandum inviting the candidate to inspect the inventory closely so as to ensure that no materials or documents the candidate considers relevant to the review are absent from the file.
- The inventory must be updated, and the candidate provided with a copy of this update, any time new material is added to the tenure file (apart from the recommendations of the preparer, dean and advisory committee, the academic vice president, and the University Tenure Committee and the decision of the President).
- Once items 5.5A.11.a-1 of the tenure file have been assembled, and a copy of the inventory has been given to the candidate, the tenure file is ready for review. During the course of the review, the following procedures apply:
- Each recommendation regarding the candidate's suitability for tenure must be based solely on the content of the tenure file and the evaluative standards set forth in 5.3 of these "faculty policies."
- Only the preparer may add new material to the tenure file (apart from items 5.5.A.11.m-q of the tenure file). Consequently, if any person or group, including those reviewing the tenure file, develops new information that is considered during the tenure review, this information must be conveyed to the preparer for inclusion in the file. Likewise, if any reviewer contacts the author of a confidential deposition for clarification of the author's comments, an attempt must be made to secure this clarification in writing. If written comments cannot be obtained, then a written record of the conversation must be developed and sent to the preparer. In sum, any new information, documents, conversation accounts, or depositions considered during the tenure review must be forwarded to the preparer for inclusion in the file, the inventory updated, and the candidate so informed. The preparer may then develop a revised recommendation, if any, and forward it along with the new information through appropriate channels.
- The preparer will write a letter that evaluates the candidate's tenure file (in terms of the standards articulated in 5.3) and presents a recommendation regarding the candidate's suitability or tenure. This letter will be added to the file, and the file conveyed to the appropriate dean.
- The dean will write a letter that evaluates the candidate's tenure file (in terms of the standards articulated in 5.3) and presents a recommendation regarding the candidate's suitability for tenure. The dean shall also prepare a statement on tenure flow (see item n of the tenure file). Both the dean's letter and tenure flow statement will be added to the file. If the position of vice-president for academic affairs is occupied, the dean shall convey the file to that person. The academic vice president shall write a letter that evaluates the candidate's tenure file and presents a recommendation regarding the candidate's suitability for tenure. This letter shall be added to the file, and the file conveyed to the University Tenure Committee. If the position of academic vice president is not occupied, the dean will convey the file directly to the University Tenure Committee.
- The University Tenure Committee will evaluate the candidate's tenure file to ensure that it contains adequate documentation to reflect properly the candidate's performance as it pertains to the granting of tenure. When satisfied as to the file's adequacy, the Tenure Committee will write a letter that evaluates the candidate's tenure file and presents a recommendation regarding the candidate's suitability for tenure (in terms of the standard articulated in 5.3 above). This letter will be added to the file, and the file conveyed to the President.
- The President will evaluate the candidate's tenure file. The President will decide either to grant or to deny tenure. The President's decision must be based upon (1) the contents of the tenure file and the evaluative standards contained in these "faculty policies" as well as (2) the needs of the University. If the president decides to grant tenure, the Board of Trustees shall be informed of this decision. Regardless of the decision reached, the President (or designee) must prepare a letter explaining the tenure decision, and this letter must be added to the tenure file. The tenure file will then be closed, and subsequent access to it will require presidential permission.
- As soon as practicable after informing the Board of Trustees, the president shall communicate in writing the final tenure decision to the candidate, the department chair or preparer, the dean, the academic vice president, and the University Tenure Committee.
- The communication to the candidate shall indicate that the candidate will be given, upon request, an interview with the President to discuss the tenure decision. The communication to each candidate denied tenure shall also indicate that the candidate may, upon request, receive a written explanation of the decision. The faculty member's request for this written explanation must be submitted within 30 days of notification of the tenure decision.
- The communication to the preparer, chair, dean, academic vice president, and University Tenure Committee shall indicate that all copies of confidential evaluative materials, specifically, copies of any internal or external reviews, must be destroyed or submitted to the President [see 5.4.A.2].
- Upon receipt of a faculty member's request for a written explanation, the President shall prepare an account of the reasons for the decision to deny tenure. This written explanation shall be conveyed to the faculty member denied tenure within 45 days of the date on which the explanation was requested.
- If the decision is to grant tenure, the grant of tenure becomes effective upon receipt of the President's letter communicating the decision.
- If the decision is to deny tenure, the faculty member shall be offered a terminal contract for the following academic year.
C. APPEALS OF A TENURE DECISION
An individual denied tenure may seek a reassessment of the tenure decision on either of two grounds.
First, a reconsideration may be requested to answer claims that the decision derived from a misreading of the individual's tenure file.
Second, an individual denied tenure may appeal the tenure decision on the basis of either a claimed violation of the review procedures described in this "tenure policy" or of an alleged violation of civil rights. Those initiating such an appeal as well as those charged with assessing an appeal's merits should recognize that a tenure review constitutes a professional and administrative assessment--it is not a judicial process. While the university will make a good faith effort to ensure that stipulated review procedures are followed precisely, the goal of the tenure policy is to ensure that tenure candidates receive a thorough, professional review. Hence, procedural mistakes that have not influenced the final tenure decision in a significant way are not grounds for an appeal.
The procedures described below are the exclusive institutional remedies for faculty members who wish to challenge the decision to deny tenure. The Grievance Procedures set forth in Clarkson Regulations are not applicable to such challenges.
Several additional provisos apply. First, allegations of civil rights violations will be reviewed in accord with the procedures described in the present section of the Operations Manual (5.5.C). However, before such allegations will be reviewed, the faculty member must complete and submit to the Director of Affirmative Action the discrimination complaint form described in the "Discrimination Grievance Procedures" section of Clarkson Regulations. In tenure appeals involving allegations of civil rights violations, the provisions of this "tenure policy" supersede the Discrimination Grievance Procedures. Second, no appeal will be considered from the decision not to extend an offer of tenure upon initial appointment. Third, initiating either of the processes described below does not alter the appellant's contract status.
- Requests for Reconsideration:
- A faculty member denied tenure may seek reconsideration of the decision by submitting a letter to the President. This letter must be submitted within 45 days of the date on the written explanation of the denial of tenure(5.5.B.12); the faculty member's letter must explain clearly the grounds for the reconsideration request.
- A presidential reconsideration shall employ the same evaluative criteria as those governing any other tenure review. The President may review whatever materials and consult with whomever the President deems necessary and appropriate.
- On concluding the reconsideration, the President will notify the faculty member whether the decision is to confirm or alter the original tenure decision. The reconsideration process must be completed within 45 calendar days of receipt of the request for reconsideration.
- An appeal alleging procedural error is initiated by submitting a letter of appeal to the chair of the Faculty Senate. If the appellant alleges civil rights violations, the letter of appeal must be accompanied by a copy of the completed discrimination complaint form described in the preamble to the present section (5.5.C). The chair of the Faculty Senate shall contact the chair of the Academic Planning Committee of the Board of Trustees and the chair of the University Tenure Committee for the purpose of establishing an Internal Review Committee [hereafter, the IRC]. The IRC shall consist of three individuals.The chair of the IRC shall be selected by the chair of the Trustees' Academic Planning Committee after consulting with the chair of the Faculty Senate. The two other members of the IRC shall be selected from a list of all former (and not current) members of the University Tenure Committee presently serving on the Clarkson faculty. This list is to be maintained by the Secretary of the Faculty Senate. One former Tenure Committee member will be selected from this list by the appellant, the other by the University Tenure Committee. IRC deliberations and documents shall remain confidential: within the limits allowed by law, access will be confined to those specifically involved in the appeals process.
- The appellant's letter of appeal must be submitted within 45 calendar days of receipt of the written explanation of the denial of tenure. The appeal letter must itemize the procedural errors alleged and must present the evidence in support of each allegation.
- Upon appointment the Chair of the IRC shall promptly see to the selection of the other members of the IRC. Within 45 calendar days of receipt of the appeal by its Chair, the IRC shall:
- provide a copy of relevant components of the appellant's letter of appeal to each person to whom procedural errors have been attributed and offer these individuals an opportunity to prepare a written response to these allegations.
- conduct such meetings and inquiries as are deemed necessary, to consider the appellant's letter of appeal and any responses thereto,
- prepare a Notice of Appeal that summarizes the IRC's findings on each allegation. The summary shall:
- review the accuracy and adequacy of the information known about each alleged error,
- comment on the potential significance to the tenure decision of each allegation the IRC concludes may have a basis in fact, and
- incorporate dissenting opinions, if any.
If the members of the IRC unanimously agree that the appellant's allegations are either without foundation or are too insignificant to have affected the final tenure decision, the Notice of Appeal should so state.
- submit to the appellant, the President, and the University Tenure Committee copies of:
- the Notice of Appeal,
- the letter of appeal and documentation offered by the appellant,
- any responses prepared to the appeal, and
- all other relevant correspondence or documentation possessed by the IRC.
- Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal and related items, the President and the University Tenure Committee, in its capacity as that faculty body specifically charged with ensuring that, tenure reviews proceed in accord with established procedures, shall review the materials presented by the IRC. Within 21 days, and after consulting with the University Tenure Committee, the President shall prepare a memorandum of determination indicating whether a significant error has occurred. If the President finds such an error, the President shall take appropriate action and so inform the interested parties. If the President finds no such error, the memorandum of determination shall describe this finding.
- If both the IRC, writing unanimously, and the President find no significant procedural error in the conduct of the tenure review, the appeals process is terminated. The appellant is immediately informed that the appeal has been denied. In such a case, items f, g, and h below do not apply.
- If the President and the IRC do not concur, or if the IRC has not acted unanimously, then the President's memorandum shall be attached to the Notice of Appeal. The Notice of Appeal and presidential attachment, as well as all related materials presented by the IRC, shall be forwarded to the Board
- Concurrently, the President shall send a copy of the memorandum of determination to the appellant. In the event that the President finds no significant error, the appellant may prepare a response to the president's memorandum and forward this response to the Board of Trustees. If the appellant submits such a response, it shall be incorporated into the documents subject to review by the Board of Trustees.
- On receipt of:
- the Notice of Appeal and other materials compiled by the IRC.
- the President's memorandum denying the appeal, and
- the appellant's response, if any, to the President's memorandum,
the Board of Trustees will initiate its review. The Board will consider appeals only so far as they pertain to clear and significant procedural errors or alleged violations of civil rights. Appeals will be considered by a three-person subcommittee consisting of members of the Board appointed by the chair of the Board. The decision to deny or to order a new tenure review will be rendered by this subcommittee within 120 days of receipt of the Notice of Appeal. All appropriate parties will be promptly informed of this Board sub-committee's decision.
D. SPECIAL REVIEWS OF TENURED FACULTY
If a tenured faculty member feels that the annual evaluation memoranda prepared by the chair (or other appropriate academic administrator) consistently fail to reflect accurately the faculty member's professional record, the faculty member may request that the Provost convene a special review committee to assess the faculty member's performance. Likewise, if a chair (or other academic administrator charged with conducting the annual conferences) feels that a tenured faculty member is consistently failing to fulfill the expectations associated with the faculty member's position, the chair may request that the Provost convene a special review committee to assess the faculty member's performance. Should the Provost decide to proceed with a special review, both the faculty member and the chair involved will be promptly informed of this decision. Such special review committees shall consist of three tenured faculty members appointed by the Provost. The chair of this committee will be from the department or academic area of the faculty member under review; at least one of the other members of this committee will be from a different department or academic area. This review committee shall have access to or may solicit all the sorts of documents and materials characteristically found in a tenure or promotion file. It may request interviews with the faculty member under review, the chair (or other appropriate academic administrator), as well as such other persons as the committee anticipates can provide relevant information for its deliberations. The committee shall, so far as circumstances permit, conduct its review in confidence. The committee shall pursue its deliberations in accord with the evaluative standards set forth in 5.3. Specifically, the committee shall examine the faculty member's performance with respect to teaching, scholarship, and service. At the close of its review, the committee shall prepare a report discussing the quality of the faculty member's professional development and, if appropriate, suggest areas for improvement. Likewise, the committee report may suggest ways in which the chair (or other appropriate academic administrator ) might improve the annual evaluation process such that the annual evaluation memoranda accurately reflect the faculty member's professional development. Prior to submitting its report to the President (with a copy for inclusion in the faculty member's personnel file), the committee shall send a copy of its report to the faculty member under review for initialing. The faculty member's initials on the report merely indicate that the faculty member has received the report: the initials do not indicate agreement with the report's contents. If the faculty member refuses to initial the report, the chair of the review committee shall prepare a memo noting this fact, append it to a true copy of the report, and submit these materials and any other documents the committee may have acquired in the course of its review to the President. If the committee's report indicates areas for improvement by the chair (or other appropriate academic administrator), a copy of the report will be given to that individual. Subsequent access to any materials submitted by the special review committee to the President requires approval. Since such special reviews involve a substantial commitment of institutional and professional resources, they should not be requested routinely -- they are not meant to substitute for the annual reviews described in 5.4.C. Individual faculty members may not request such reviews more frequently than once every four years; a chair (or other appropriate academic administrators) may not request a special review of a specific, individual faculty member more frequently that once every seven years.
E. TERMINATION OF TENURED FACULTY MEMBERS
- A recommendation to terminate a faculty member holding tenure for reasons other than financial exigency or discontinuance of a department or degreegranting program (see 2, below) may be initiated by the appropriate chair, dean, or the academic vice-president. This recommendation will be reviewed by the appropriate chair, dean and the academic vice president (excepting the initiator). Each will prepare a written statement either concurring with or dissenting from the initial recommendation. Each of these letters, including the initial recommendation, will be submitted to the chair of the University Tenure Committee. The chair of the University Tenure Committee will provide a copy of each of these letters to the faculty member recommended for termination of tenure.
Adequate cause for the termination of tenure is related directly and substantially to the performance of a faculty member as a teacher and scholar and is defined as gross incompetence, dereliction of duty, mental or physical incapacity, or gross personal or professional misconduct. The faculty member recommended for termination shall be given a written specification of the reasons for recommending termination. In particular, the faculty member must receive copies of the original recommendation and all other letters either concurring with or dissenting from this recommendation. The faculty member must be afforded an opportunity to prepare a written response to these allegations. This response, if offered, should be submitted to the chair of the University Tenure Committee.
After receiving the letters from the appropriate academic administrators, and the response, if offered, from the faculty member involved, the chair of the Tenure Committee shall convene a termination review panel. This seven member panel shall be composed of three members from the Tenure Committee, the chair of the Tenure Committee, and three members from the Promotions Committee (see 5.6.C.2.f). This panel shall review the original recommendation for termination as well as all statementsresponding to this recommendation. The chair of the Tenure Committee shall chair this termination review panel; the selection of the three members drawn from the Tenure and the three members from the Promotions Committee shall be decided by each committee acting individually.
The faculty member recommended for termination and the academic administrator recommending termination shall have the opportunity to be heard before the review panel, and to call and question appropriate witnesses. The faculty member shall also be permitted to choose and have present another Clarkson faculty member to act as advisor. A full stenographic record, videotape, or audiotape of the hearing shall be available to the parties concerned. The review panel shall render a judgement on the recommendation for termination based upon the evidence presented and the panels assessment of the faculty members willingness and ability to fulfill the duties of faculty member as set forth in 5.2. At the close of its deliberations, the review panel shall prepare a written explanation of its judgement and send copies of it to the President and the faculty member in question. It shall also forward to the President all letters, records, transcripts, recordings or tapes developed over course of the review proceedings.
The President shall assess all the materials presented by the review panel as well as the review panels written explanation of its own recommendation. While conducting this assessment, the President may confer with any parties the President deems appropriate. The President shall decide whether or not to terminate, and shall promptly inform the faculty member involved of the decision. Whatever the President's decision, all documents and materials submitted to or considered by the President in this matter shall be preserved in the confidential files of the President's office. Subsequent access to them shall require permission from the President.
The Board of Trustees shall be informed of any presidential decision to terminate a tenured faculty member. Tenured faculty members who are dismissed for reasons other than neglect of duty or misconduct shall receive their salaries for not less than one year from the date of notification of dismissal whether or not they are continued in their duties at the institution.
- Termination of tenured faculty members due to either financial exigency or to the discontinuance of a department or degree- granting program shall be demonstrably bona fide. This shall initially be determined by the President, with advice from the University Tenure Committee, upon evidence which shall be available to each faculty member affected by such initial determination, and shall not take effect until confirmed by the Board of Trustees. Before seeking confirmation (of termination) from the Board of Trustees, the President shall make a good faith effort to find another appropriate position at the University for the faculty member.
Tenured faculty members who are terminated due to either financial exigency or to the discontinuance of a department or degree-granting program shall receive their salaries for not less than one year from the date the Board of Trustees confirmed their termination whether or not they are continued in their duties at the institution.
F. REVISION OF THE TENURE POLICY
The Tenure Policy shall remain subject to the authority of the Trustees. The policy may be changed, modified, and amended by them. It is the intent of the Trustees to seek the advice and recommendations of the faculty before modifying the policy.
Approved by Faculty Senate 5/13/75
Approved by Faculty 5/22/75
Approved by Board of Trustees 5/24/75
Editorial Revision August 1977
Revision approved by Faculty Senate 5/4/81
Revision approved by Faculty 5/14/81
Revision approved by Board of Trustees 5/16/81
Revision approved by Faculty Senate 4/17/89, 11/6/89, 1/22/90, 2/5/90
Revision approved by Administrative Council 12/7/83, 3/12/90
Revision approved by Faculty 12/20/91
Approved by Board of Trustees 1/22/92, 1/20/93
Approved by Faculty Senate 1/16/95, 10/2/95
Approved by Administrative Council 9/25/95
Approved by Faculty 10/30/95
Approved by Board of Trustees 2/17/96
Revision Regarding Composition of Tenure Committee Approved March 2004
Revision of Section 5.5.A.6.b.iii Approved March 2008
Revision of Section 5.5.A.11 Approved October 2011
Revision Approved by Administrative Council December 2019
Revision 5.5.A Approved March 2022