Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
History: First Issued: Fall 2000. Last Revised: April 28, 2020.
UNC Policy 300.4.2 – Employment of Related Persons
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
NCSU REG05.20.20 – Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Dossier Format Requirements
NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Faculty Responsibilities
Departmental Heads Guide to NC State’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure (RPT) Process
Dean’s Guide to NC State’s Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure (RPT) Process
Collection of Optional and Required Formats for Presenting Sections of the Dossier
Frequently Asked Questions – Voting
Contact Info: Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (919-513-7741)
1. CONSULTATION AND VOTING
1.1 The evaluation of faculty accomplishment rests on consultation with peers in the review process, which includes the Departmental Voting Faculty (DVF), the College Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committees (CRPTC) and scholarly external reviewers and may include consultation with peers outside the department (See section 1.7 below). Consultation must be undertaken by heads, deans, and the Provost in an environment in which the peers are well informed about department and colleges RPT rules and the expectations (NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Faculty Responsibilities [SFR]) and accomplishments of the candidate. Consultation demands full participation by the members of each group at the department and college levels and includes contributing to an assessment of the quality and impact of the candidate’s accomplishments and voting on the proposed action.
1.2 The formal documented basis for the consultation will be the candidate’s dossier augmented by external evaluation letters and written assessments, votes, and recommendations produced at preceding levels in the review. All participants shall have full and convenient access to these materials. No content summaries, extracts, or abstracts of the dossier should be prepared for formal distribution and presentation to the group without the candidate’s advance knowledge.
1.3 While participation in reviews by peers is a responsibility of every member of the DVF and CRTPC, conditions sometimes make physical presence at consultative meetings by all members impossible. The following guidelines are provided to ensure full participation by each eligible faculty member:
1.3.1 Department Heads and Deans set date(s) of DVF and college committee meeting(s) and communicate the schedule early in the academic year.
1.3.2 Department Heads and Deans facilitate convenient access to dossiers for review.
1.3.3 When members are unable to participate in person, Department Heads and Deans shall facilitate, where possible, confidential arrangements for receiving their consultation. In such cases, absentee votes are permitted and are to be combined with the votes of those present at meetings.
1.4 In cases where a member of the DVF or the CRPTC bears a relationship to the candidate that is covered by the Board of Governors’ Policy on Employment of Related Persons (UNC Policy 300.4.2), the DVF or CRPTC member is ineligible to vote and will not be counted in the total of eligible votes.
1.5 DVF or CRPTC members have the responsibility to recuse themselves from voting if there is an actual or appearance of a personal or professional conflict of interest. For example, if a DVF or CRPTC member has been the subject of a formal grievance or other less formal complaint by the candidate or vice versa that would create the appearance of a conflict of interest, the DVF or CRPTC member must recuse himself or herself. The DVF or CRPTC member must inform the Department Head of the recusal but is not required to explain the basis of the recusal.
1.6 On each RPT case, each member eligible to vote shall vote “Yes,” “No,” or “Abstain.” Eligible members who recuse themselves are included in the number of eligible voters but do not vote and will be recorded as recusals. The Department Head should record the number of recusals on the dossier cover form. (see Section 1.5).
1.7 If a faculty member has been appointed to a joint or interdisciplinary position, consultation in reappointment, promotion and tenure decisions should comply with the options for review by faculty external to the department as described in Sections 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 of NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure–and in sections 1.7.1 and 1.7.2 of this regulation. These options will be described for each joint or interdisciplinary faculty member in a written plan for review developed by the end of the first year of the appointment.
1.7.1 In the case of joint appointments, the DVF of the home department shall make the recommendation for promotion and tenure based on written input from the DVF(s) of the other appointing department(s) or may conduct a single review by a DVF made up of representatives from each department.
1.7.2 In the case of an appointment in which the area of work of the candidates is substantively interdisciplinary, the head of the faculty member’s home department shall receive recommendations from tenured faculty of appropriate rank outside the department who are familiar with the interdisciplinary focus and activities of the faculty member. This may be achieved in either of two ways: (1) through written input by appropriate interdisciplinary faculty members in the deliberations of the DVF, or (2) through the Dean’s creation of an interdisciplinary review committee made up of faculty from the home department and appropriate interdisciplinary faculty members; interdisciplinary review committees shall be appointed in consultation with the candidate, the Head of the home department and other faculty familiar with the faculty member’s interdisciplinary area and approved by the Provost.
For the purposes of this regulation, interdisciplinary review committees will function in the same ways as the DVF. Members of interdisciplinary review committees will constitute the eligible voting faculty for the cases they are appointed to review.
2. WRITTEN ASSESSMENTS BY THE DVF AND CRPTC
2.1.1 The written assessments by the DVF and CRPTC provide the formal record of review of the quality and impact of the accomplishments of each candidate relative to the SFR and the Department and College Rules. These documents are to be fully shared among all participants: the candidate, the DVF, the Department Head, the CRPTC, the Dean, the University Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee (URPTC) (for those cases they are asked to review), and the senior academic administrators who conduct the final portion of the review. In the case of joint or interdisciplinary appointments, the record of review at each level (DVF, department head, CRPTC, Dean) will be shared among all units formally involved in the review. The Department Head, the Dean, and the Provost each have defined coordinating responsibility in assuring the timely and appropriate sharing of these materials during the course of the review.
2.2 Written assessments by the DVF focus on relevance to departmental standards and NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Faculty Responsibilities. Those prepared by the CRPTC focus on relevance to college level standards and the degree to which it is clear that the department review maintained its relevance to stated departmental standards and was undertaken in a manner that supports a fair decision. Those prepared at the university level, by the University Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee upon the request of the Provost, focus on university standards described in NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure and the degree to which the college and department level reviews maintained their relevance to stated college and departmental standards and process.
2.3 The following points should be considered in preparing written assessments:
2.3.1 Provide description rather than argument. Do not compose written assessments as arguments for or against the proposed action nor as a justification for the vote of the group. Rather focus on describing the judgments expressed in the group as to quality and impact of the accomplishments of the candidate relative to the appropriate standards.
2.3.2 Be inclusive in scope. Describe the full range of clearly expressed peer viewpoints on the quality and impact of the candidate’s work. It is not the role of the written assessment to represent only the viewpoints on which all or a majority of the members of the review group agree; rather, it should describe the range of viewpoints.
2.3.3 Refer only to the accomplishments of the candidate who is the subject of the review. Make no comparison or reference to any other individuals, by name or any other means by which those persons can be uniquely identified. Moreover, the written assessment should make no reference to personal characteristics of the individual, but rather it should focus on the accomplishments of the individual.
3. WRITTEN RECOMMENDATIONS BY DEPARTMENT HEADS AND DEANS
Recommendations are prepared by Department Heads and Deans based on their own evaluation of each case, informed by the written assessments preceding them and their own assessments of faculty performance (i.e. Department Head’s annual review). They summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the case for the proposed action and make a recommendation that either endorses or does not endorse the proposed action. Recommendations should refer only to the accomplishments of the candidate and should not refer or make comparisons to other individuals by name or other means of identification. Recommendations should reflect on the quality and impact of the accomplishment of the candidate relative to NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Faculty Responsibilities and applicable standards. In cases of recommendations against promotion of tenured faculty, the recommendation should identify areas in which improvement should be sought by the candidate.
4. OPTIONAL CANDIDATE RESPONSES
Candidate responses provide a place to include updated information (e.g., publications, funding, etc.) that have occurred since the start of the review process and provide an opportunity for the candidate to offer clarification at the completion of the department review (i.e., to the Department Head within five (5) business days upon receipt of the DVF vote and assessment and the Department Head’s recommendation) and at the completion of the college review (i.e., to the dean within five (5) business days upon receipt of the CRPTC vote and assessment and the Dean’s recommendation). The candidate’s statement should not refer to other individuals by name or other means of identification.
5. SCHOLARLY EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS
5.1 Evaluations by accomplished scholars who are not a part of the NC State community provide a valuable element in assessing the accomplishments of faculty (note: external evaluations are not required for reappointments). External evaluations must be solicited and reviewed in the form of letters of evaluation.
5.2 Identifying Scholarly External Evaluators and Potential Conflicts of Interest
5.2.1 Evaluators must not be members of the NC State faculty. All evaluators must be persons with significant expertise and reputation, thus usually a Professor in the field of the individual faculty member under review. For evaluators who are not full Professors, the Department Head should include justification for their selection in the annotated listing of evaluators.
5.2.2 Care should be taken to avoid the potential for conflicts of interest when identifying external evaluators. A conflict of interest is defined as an existing or prior close working relationship with the faculty member, such as the candidate’s major professor or frequent co-author. One standard to consider is whether the evaluator would benefit as a result of the candidate’s receiving promotion or tenure, such as in reputation or visibility. (See the FAQ section of the RPT website for examples of conflicts of interest).
5.2.3 The candidate must be given the opportunity to suggest names of evaluators. The candidate must also be given an opportunity to discuss potential conflicts of interest with the department head. The department head either must discuss the full list of suggested evaluators with the candidate prior to soliciting the evaluations in order to identify potential conflicts, or must ask the candidate to provide the head with a list of individuals that the candidate believes may be in conflict. The department head should provide an explanation to the candidate if any individual identified as a potential conflict is not, in the head’s estimation, an actual conflict. Potential evaluators that the head and the candidate agree are in conflict must not be solicited for an evaluation.
5.2.4 In arriving at the collection of scholars from which evaluations will be solicited, the candidate’s suggestions must be considered by the Department Head along with guidance from members of the DVF, the candidate’s mentor(s), or others with expertise appropriate to the area of specialty of the candidate, including departments or units formally involved in joint or interdisciplinary reviews. College Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Rules may also require the Dean’s review or approval of selected reviewers.
5.3 Obtaining Scholarly External Evaluations
5.3.1 The Department Head should consult with the candidate regarding the appropriate sample of the candidate’s scholarly work and other documentation to be provided to external evaluators to facilitate their review.
5.3.2 Each evaluator should be provided the candidate’s Statement of Faculty Responsibilities (SFR) and an appropriate sample of the candidate’s scholarly work. Each evaluator should be asked to comment on the quality, quantity, impact, and creativity of the candidate’s accomplishments.
5.3.3 All correspondence with external evaluators should be initiated by the Department Head or a member of the DVF specifically designated by the Department Head for this communication purpose.
5.3.4 All external evaluators must be informed that their letters will become part of the personnel file of the candidate, and that, accordingly, the letters may be examined by the candidate upon request. A required template for letters requesting external evaluations is available on the Provost’s RPT website.
5.4 Inclusion of Scholarly External Evaluations in the Dossier
5.4.1 All solicited external evaluation letters received are to be included by the Department Head in the candidate’s dossier for review at the departmental, college, and university levels. However, any letters received too late to be included in all the levels of review, i.e., letters received after review by the DVF, shall not be added to the dossier for the subsequent reviewers.
5.4.2 Evaluators should be selected with the aim of obtaining evaluations from at least five (5) individuals, a mix of which are suggested by the candidate, Department Head, DVF, etc. If fewer than five letters are included in the dossier, the Department Head’s assessment must explain why five (5) letters were not received.
5.4.3 External evaluation letters should be preceded in the candidate’s dossier by a listing, prepared by the Department Head or designee, of the names of the evaluators including their current academic and/or professional affiliations, a brief biographical statement, and indications of how each reviewer was selected (i.e., at the suggestion of the candidate, the departmental voting faculty, the department head, or others with expertise appropriate to the area of specialty of the candidate).
5.4.4 All solicited external letters received should be included in the dossier which becomes part of the permanent personnel file of the candidate (archived in Human Resources). Electronic formats of the letters are suitable, but the department must have evidence of the letter’s authenticity. A copy of the letters should be retained in the faculty member’s personnel file in the department.
5.4.5 Candidates may ask to review external letters included in the dossier. Although the opportunity for this review differs by department or college practice, the review generally does not take place before the candidate receives the DVF and Department Head assessments and has the opportunity to respond to the departmental assessments.