Chapter 8. Departmental Standards and Criteria

Under the Faculty Rules and Regulations, all untenured faculty have a right to a written statement of their department's, program's, or division's criteria for recommending renewal of an appointment or the awarding of tenure, and of the procedures that precede such recommendations. This requirement has been extended to include the right of all faculty to a statement of departmental standards and criteria in matters of research, teaching and service that would apply when important personnel recommendations or decisions affecting their interests are made by the department.

These statements must be detailed, clear, objective and manifestly fair, and they must indicate the relative importance ("weight") given to each criterion - research, teaching and service. Such statements are an essential tool in reappointment, promotion and tenure cases and are necessary in any subsequent defense of the professionalism of these evaluations. The department is responsible for providing each member of the department with a copy of its standards and criteria, especially new faculty and those who may be candidates for reappointment, promotion or tenure in the near future. A copy of each department's current written standards and criteria should also be kept on file in the offices of the appropriate divisional Dean. These statements are periodically reviewed by the Tenure, Promotions, and Appointments Committee (TPAC), which assesses their adequacy.

These statements should explicitly address questions such as the following, which are illustrative only: What kinds of research are valued by the department, how much is expected, and how is it assessed? What differentiates the recommendation for a two year renewal of an untenured Assistant Professor's initial contract from a four-year renewal? Under what conditions might the department recommend no reappointment at all? In cases where outside evaluators are used, how are these individuals selected? If letters from undergraduates and graduate students are included as part of a personnel dossier, what procedures exist for the selection of these students, and how is the confidentiality of this process ensured?

If a department includes among its faculty (i) long-term research appointees, (ii) adjunct staff, or (iii) lecturers and/or senior lecturers, it is necessary that the department's written statement explicitly address the standards and criteria the department employs in considering the reappointment or promotion of these individuals.