Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
History: First Issued: October 1999. Last Revised: August 1, 2017.
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
NCSU POL05.20.02 – Emeritus/Emerita Faculty Status for Faculty and Senior Administrators
NCSU RUL05.67.22 – College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures
NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Mutual Expectations
Office of the Provost RPT Website
This rule describes the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences (hereafter known as the Department) standards for evaluating faculty performance for reappointment, promotion and tenure and is supplemental and consistent with NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure.
The objective of reappointment, promotion and tenure in the Department is to recognize and reward colleagues who have achieved distinction in their discipline and who show expectation of continued professional development and advancement. Distinction is characterized by excellence in conducting and directing teaching, research, and extension activities. Participation in service and University community activities are also recognized as important contributions to the mission and vitality of the Department and University.
Although promotion and tenure are designed to reward distinction in professional development, the gaining of promotion and tenure should not be an end unto itself. Rather, faculty should view such attainment as milestones in continued professional development throughout one’s career. While recognizing that the total effects of teaching, research, and extension may take years to surface, the Departmental Voting Faculty and administrators must make judgments on a faculty member’s professional development, and potential for continued development, within finite time frames. Because of the wide diversity of disciplines and activities resident within the Department, the faculty and administration also recognize that, although there must exist core expectations for distinction in one’s career, the standards must accommodate diversity that considers such factors as appointment and areas of expertise leading to differences in experimentation lengths (short- vs- long-term). Nonetheless, the standards must be applied consistently.
Hereafter in this rule, “senior faculty” refers to tenured full professors, and “junior faculty” refers to tenured or tenure track assistant professors and tenured or tenure track associate professors.
2. AREAS OF FACULTY RESPONSIBILITY AND STANDARDS
Tenure-track faculty in the Department will have various combinations of responsibilities in the areas of teaching, research, extension and service.
The Department recognizes the value of teaching and associated academic activities, and supports faculty efforts to contribute to and improve a robust educational climate on campus.
2.1.1. Classroom Performance
Teaching effectiveness will be evaluated by student questionnaires, observation by peers, and other methods for special situations, as in the case of graduate-level courses with few students. Such methods may include written comments from students, other faculty who visit the class, and graduate students who assist the faculty member in teaching the course.
2.1.2. Graduate Education and Training
The training of graduate students and collaboration with post-graduates is an important function of the department. Faculty are encouraged to participate in graduate student training, if appropriate to their appointment. Publication of graduate students’ and postdoctoral research contributes greatly to the strength and reputation of a faculty member’s program and, subsequently, the Department.
2.1.3. Creativity, Innovation, and Scholarship
Creativity and innovation in course and curricula development are important evaluation standards. Materials and methods developed and/or published as textbooks, laboratory manuals, audiovisuals, and computer-based educational programs are examples of activities, which will be included in the evaluation. Recognition by peers, including honors, awards, and invitations to participate in symposia, conferences, and workshops related to teaching are important considerations.
2.1.4. Additional Evidence of Academic Effectiveness
The evaluation of teaching performance will also consider seeking and obtaining extramural funds for academic programs, teaching development, student recruiting, continued contact with graduates, and sensitivity to the needs and interests of a diverse student population both inside and outside the classroom, including club advising.
When the faculty member develops a new course, consideration will be given for the time, energy, and expertise required to initiate and implement such an addition to the Department’s academic offerings.
Similarly, oral or poster presentations of academic issues and concepts at professional meetings have considerable value to the individual, Department, and profession, and thus will also be considered as part of the evaluation.
Faculty members with responsibilities in research are expected to develop and conduct independent, productive research programs directed toward the creation of new knowledge or the creative synthesis of existing knowledge. They will prepare and have approved one or more North Carolina Agricultural Research Service (NCARS) project outlines according to the guidelines for an USDA CRIS project.
2.2.1. Extramural Funding
Effort and success in attracting extramural funding is important to the development of a quality research program, and effort in this regard will be considered during the tenure and promotion evaluation process. With the advice of the Head, colleagues, his/her mentor, NCARS personnel, and other appropriate agencies, the faculty member must identify sources of support and submit proposals for consideration. This funding may come through various methods, including direct grants, university mini-grants, memoranda of agreement, unrestricted gifts, and in-kind support.
2.2.2. Reporting of Results (Publications)
Faculty having research responsibilities are expected to publish in refereed journals. There is no specific number of publications required as this will depend upon the nature of the research and the percent of research appointment. A sustained publication record is expected. Other activities that are indicators of scholarly research accomplishments are publications of review articles, Experiment Station publications (bulletins, etc.), presentation of papers at national professional meetings, and symposiums, invited seminars and receiving extramural funding.
2.2.3. Potentially Patentable Research
Faculty who are working on developments that may have rather immediate commercial application should familiarize themselves with the University Patent Policy. Faculty members who are involved in potentially patentable developments should consult with and keep the Head informed of such activities so that the Departmental Voting Faculty and administration can be made aware of the situation during the evaluation process for promotion and tenure.
2.2.4. Collaborative Efforts
Although, independent work is the basis of most scholarly activities and recognition participating in collaborative work has become essential. Ability to cooperate with other faculty within the department, other departments within the university, and with faculty in other institutions, is therefore important.
2.3.1.Components of Successful Programs
Because of the numerous commodities, issues, and/or disciplines dealt with by Departmental extension faculty, the specific nature and objectives of programs and approaches used by individual specialists will vary. The Statement of Faculty Responsibilities will describe the responsibilities of an individual faculty member. New faculty members are encouraged to discuss priorities and approaches to program development with the Head, Department Extension Leader, campus extension specialists, county extension agents, commodity leaders and advisory groups, and his/her mentor. In addition, attention to the following components of effective, successful extension programs will facilitate professional development and, therefore, the promotion and tenure process.
2.3.2. Program Delivery and Evaluation. New technology and information may be transferred by a multitude of traditional and new techniques, including in-service training (classroom and field), fee-for-service training, on-farm tests (applied research) and demonstrations, newsletters, tours, short courses, meetings with county extension agents and agency and business personnel, press and media, videos and computer software development, extension/research publications, etc., depending on the nature and objectives of specific educational programs and clientele. In the case of split appointments, use of appropriate extension delivery techniques which complement individual responsibilities to departmental research or teaching functions are encouraged (e.g., development of written and visual materials which can also be used for teaching or inclusion of treatments in replicated on-farm tests which complement experiments conducted on research stations).
2.3.3. Scholarly activities. Extension publications and/or the use of other educational outlets such as those listed under “Program Delivery and Evaluation” are essential and demonstrate the effectiveness of extension programs. In addition, periodic publication in peer-reviewed journals or publications are necessary for promotion. Publication in such journals or other scientific publications, writing of books or book chapters, and training of graduate students, either individually or cooperatively, is evidence of scholarly activity and continued intellectual development within the discipline.
2.3.4. Program Support and visibility. Individual or cooperative success in obtaining ongoing extramural funding is important and demonstrates that extension programs are pertinent and objectives are being achieved. Similarly, international experiences reflect program and professional maturity and are encouraged to the extent that programs and creativity are enhanced.
Most Departmental extension faculty maintain close, professional contacts with commodity, state agency, or trade organizations, or similar groups. These relationships can help develop statewide recognition of a program, make the specialist aware of clientele concerns, maintain contact with commodity and industry leaders, and, in some instances, serve as sources of financial support.
2.4. SERVICE IN PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES AND WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY ITSELF
All faculty members are expected to become involved in the operation of the department, college, and university by serving in various capacities (e.g., on committees, boards, panels, task forces, and commissions). Faculty members are also expected to further their disciplines by providing service to their professional societies as officers or on committees, as editors and reviewers for professional journals or other professional publications, and through study and review panels for governmental agencies and funding organizations. Although there is a practical limit to the extent of involvement, it is reasonable for these tasks to average 10 to 15% of a faculty member’s time. Appointments requiring larger amounts of time should be approved in advance by the department head.
2.5. REPUTATION AMONG PEERS
Reputation among peers is important in evaluating faculty. To be considered for promotion and tenure to the associate professor level, all faculty must have established a regional or national reputation. International recognition is required for promotion to the rank of professor. Recognition by peers on a national and international basis is more critical in the evaluation of faculty for promotion to the rank of professor than for promotion to associate professor. Receipt of awards and honors provides a basis for quantifying recognition, as do invitations to participate in symposia or training workshops, to present seminars, to hold editorships, to contribute review papers and/or book chapters, etc. Nomination and election to positions of leadership in professional societies are also indicative of peer recognition. In short, any activity that reflects on the professional competence and reputation of the faculty member contributes to establishing distinction in research.
3. STANDARDS FOR REAPPOINTMENT AS ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
In addition to annual reviews by the Head, the reappointment process includes an interim judgment about the faculty member’s probable suitability for tenure. The individual is expected to show evidence that significant scholarly activity is in progress. Strengths and weakness should be identified, and standards for promotion and tenure that remain to be satisfied should be clearly articulated to the faculty member.
If the assistant professor is reappointed, he or she will be expected to follow the written and oral guidance of the Department and the Dean, and meet the expectations stipulated in the review.
4. STANDARDS FOR ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR WITH TENURE
To be considered for promotion to Associate Professor in the Department, an individual must fulfill the standards as described in Section 2. The Departmental Voting Faculty must have a reasonable expectation that the candidate will continue to build a national and international reputation through continued contributions to the field.
5. STANDARDS FOR PROFESSOR
To merit promotion to Professor, an individual faculty member will have met the standards described above for appointment or promotion to associate professor with tenure. Furthermore, the individual will have demonstrated a proven record of distinguished achievement in teaching, research and extension commensurate with their Statement of Faculty Responsibilities. For promotion to full professor, the department must be assured that the candidate has a national and international reputation for excellence in her/his field and that the candidate will maintain this reputation through significant contributions to the field.
Faculty are responsible for understanding the Department’s reappointment, promotion and tenure standards and procedures, as well as the College and University related processes.
USDA scientists add significantly to the research capabilities of the Department, and are considered to be full members of the faculty. Consistent with university policy, the Department evaluates USDA personnel holding faculty rank for promotion on the same basis as tenure-track faculty.
Briefly, the procedures are as follows:
The candidate is notified in writing by the Department Head that he/she is due for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure, and details are provided regarding the required materials that the candidate must supply.
By late August, candidates for reappointment, promotion, and tenure present their dossier including recommendations for External Evaluators as appropriate. The dossier is then reviewed for formatting issues and content.
Names of potential External Evaluators are solicited from the tenured Associate and Full professors by the Department Head. The final list of External Evaluators is selected at a meeting of tenured faculty and the Department Head. Four External Evaluators are selected from the candidates list and four are selected from the list submitted by tenured faculty members.
The Department Head contacts each prospective External Evaluator for their consent to participate in this process until they find 6 total reviewers, 3 from the candidates list and 3 from the tenured faculty list. Once a positive confirmation is received from each External Evaluator, a packet containing a letter of instruction, the dossier, and three to five samples of the candidates writing are mailed. Once received the External Evaluation letters are added to the dossier.
Copies of the candidate’s dossier including the letters written by the External Evaluators are made available to the Departmental Voting Faculty (DVF) to review prior to the RPT meeting, typically scheduled for mid- to late-October. The candidate’s mentor traditionally presents the case to DVF and the candidate’s credentials are discussed. Votes of the DVF to grant or deny reappointment, promotion and tenure are submitted through secret ballots and counted jointly by the Department Head and a randomly selected member of the DVF.
Much effort is expended to schedule the DVF meeting at a time when the greatest number of DVF can attend. If a member cannot attend, however, an absentee ballot is filed with the Department Head prior to the full DVF meeting. When unforeseen circumstances inhibit a DVF member from attending the meeting, absentee ballots will be accepted after the meeting by a deadline the Department Head will determine so that the college submission deadline can be met.
Within five working days after the vote, the DVF summary letter, typically written by the mentor, is added to the dossier and then the Department Head prepares his/her summary letter that is added to the dossier. In both cases, the candidate has five working days to respond to the written comments of the faculty and the Department Head before the dossier is forwarded to the Dean of CALS, usually in mid-November.
These procedures are consistent with NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure.