RUL 05.67.18 – Department of Biology Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures

Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

History: First Issued: January 1999.  Last Revised: April 29, 2010.

Related Policies: 
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
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 

Additional References: 
Office of the Provost RPT Website
Options for Review in Departments Impacted by the Creation of the College of Sciences 

Contact Info:  Head, Department of Biology, (919-515-2741)

Please note:
For 2013-14 and 2014-15, faculty members whose departments were impacted by the creation of the College of Sciences have the option to be reviewed for reappointment, promotion and tenure or for post-tenure review using the Rule for Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures or the Rule for Post-Tenure Review Standard and Procedures of their previous academic departments.  For more information about whether faculty reviews in your department are affected by the creation of the new college, please contact the Dean’s Office in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences or the College of Sciences. 


1. Introduction

The mission of the Department of Biology is to provide outstanding educational opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students and to conduct world class, fundamental research in areas of modern biology from the cellular to the ecosystem level.  It also includes applied research and outreach in aquaculture and fisheries and wildlife management.  To accomplish this mission it is necessary to integrate a strong research program, traditional and innovative classroom instruction, intensive mentoring of students, and outreach to a diverse clientele.

This rule describes that standards and procedures of the Department of Biology for reappointment, promotion and tenure and is supplemental to and consistent with NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure.

Reappointment, promotion and tenure are processes whereby innovative and creative scholars join the senior ranks of the faculty. Peer review is the basis for reappointment, promotion and tenure and the responsibility granted to the Department Voting Faculty for performing such reviews is based on the principle that scholars in a particular field are the best judges of the scholarly activities of their colleagues.

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

The primary roles of most faculty members in the Department are teaching, mentoring students and research.   A smaller number of faculty have responsibilities for extension and outreach.   All faculty are expected to maintain an active research program.

The Department provides introductory biological training to its own majors in the Biological Sciences, Biology, Ecology, and Fish and Wildlife Sciences curricula.  It also provides advanced training to students from its own and other curricula, including pre-professional students who typically major in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Microbiology or Biology and students with interests in environmental sciences who typically major in Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences or Biology.

The Department has a vigorous graduate program and offers degrees through the graduate curricula of Biomathematics, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Physiology, Functional Genomics, and Biology. Students receive training in areas of expertise that are represented within the faculty including behavioral biology, conservation biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, fisheries biology, physiology, developmental and cellular biology and fish and wildlife sciences.

The Department’s research portfolio is strong and diverse.  Funding agencies that sponsor research within the department include NSF, NIH, DOD, DOI, USDA, NOAA, EHRA, SeaGrant, several North Carolina agencies and international organizations.  Much of the research is integrated across a spectrum from basic to applied research and outreach.

The Department’s outreach program includes aquaculture and fisheries.  Of particular note are the roles that the Department has played in developing a vigorous and growing aquacultural industry and outreach in collaboration with the NC Division of Marine Fisheries and the North Carolina Sea Grant College to the coastal fisheries community.

The professional expectations for an individual faculty member are determined by the position description, which is typically included in the letter of offer and subsequently in the Statement of Mutual Expectations. Modifications to this description will be negotiated, documented and incorporated in the Statement of Mutual Expectations.

3. General Standards

Each faculty member is expected to achieve professional excellence and peer recognition in at least one area of scholarship, which includes teaching, research, outreach or service and to demonstrate professional competence in the other areas that apply to the individual’s position description.  Faculty members are expected to establish programs characterized by quality, depth and high levels of productivity. National and international recognition are important standards, especially for promotion to the rank of Professor. Faculty members are expected to contribute to the intellectual life of their Department, College,

University and profession through professional service. Merit of a faculty member’s program rather than time in rank is the basic standard for all recommendations regarding reappointment, promotion and tenure.

The following standards for the realms of faculty responsibility represented in the department are not in order of priority nor of equal weight. Individual faculty are evaluated on their total program and are expected to achieve at high levels of quality and productivity in most of the standards that are appropriate to their position description.

3.1.  Teaching Standards

3.1.1. Quality of teaching as evaluated by student and peer evaluation

3.1.2. Development of innovative teaching materials, e.g publications, videos, computer software, slide sets, etc

3.1.3. Innovation of course content

3.1.4. Participation in teaching symposia and workshops

3.1.5. Honors and Awards

3.1.6. Advising of undergraduate and graduate students

3.1.7. Evaluation of overall contributions to the education of students as evaluated by exit interviews

3.1.8. Efforts and success with proposals for extramural funding

3.2.  Research Standards

3.2.1. Quality and quantity of peer reviewed publications including journal articles, book chapters, books, monographs and computer software

3.2.2. Significance of research contributions to the discipline

3.2.3. Development of innovative theories, techniques and technologies

3.2.4. Invited and submitted presentations at symposia and professional meetings

3.2.5. Honors, awards and consultancies

3.2.6. Efforts and success with proposals for extramural funding

3.2.7. Training and placement of graduate students and post-doctoral associates

3.3.  Extension and Outreach Standards

3.3.1. Identification of constituent needs

3.3.2. Application of research program to address needs

3.3.3. Contribution of applied research to resolving needs

3.3.4. Quantity and quality of publications and training aids

3.3.5. Innovation of applied research programs

3.3.6. Demonstration projects

3.3.7. Participation in symposia and conferences

3.3.8. Participation in agent training

3.3.9. Honors and awards

3.3.10. Efforts and success with proposals for extramural funding

3.4.  Departmental, College and University Service

3.4.1. Committee service

3.4.2. Committee leadership

3.4.3. Elected offices in College and University Organizations

3.4.4. Contributions to community development within the Department

3.5.  Professional and Public Service

3.5.1. Election to offices in local, national and international scientific societies and professional organizations

3.5.2. Committee service for scientific and professional organizations

3.5.3. Service in reviewing grants or programs

3.5.4. Service as editor or on editorial boards for journals and books

3.5.5. Advisory service to public and governmental organizations

3.5.6. Organization and leadership of scientific meetings, symposia and workshops

3.5.7. Presentations to public schools and organizations

4.  Standards for Reappointment as Assistant Professor

For reappointment as an Assistant Professor there must be demonstrable potential that the candidate will excel in at least one realm of responsibility and perform well in all other realms of responsibility.   Evidence of such potential will indicate that the candidate has been involved in the generation of new knowledge, has carried out creative activities, and has made contributions and innovations available to others through teaching, outreach and/or presentations in scientific and technical journals, books or comparable publications.  Successful application for extramural funds is further testimony to the candidates potential.

5. Standards for Associate Professor with Tenure

For appointment as an Associate Professor with tenure there must be evidence that the candidate has excelled in one realm of responsibility and performed well in all other realms of responsibility.   Evidence of such potential will indicate that the candidate has been involved in the generation of new knowledge, has carried out creative activities, and has made contributions and innovations available to others through teaching, outreach and/or presentations in scientific and technical journals, books or comparable publications.  Candidates should have a national reputation for contributions to their fields.  Successful application for extramural funds is further testimony to the candidate’s reputation outside the university.  The faculty must be assured that there is a reasonable expectation that the candidate will continue to build their national and international reputations through significant contributions to the field.

6. Standards for Professor

Promotion to full professor is not acquired because of the number of years in the associate professor rank. Therefore, it is crucial that the quality of a candidate’s performance be carefully documented. During the review, emphasis will be placed on activities and accomplishments since the year of promotion to associate professor and appointment to tenure rank. Regardless of a candidate’s area of activity, there must be evidence that the candidate has been involved in the generation of new knowledge, has carried out creative activities, and has made contributions and innovations available to others through teaching, outreach and/or presentations in scientific and technical journals, books or comparable publications. Furthermore, 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.

7. Procedures

Within the Department of Biology each Assistant and Associate Professor is assigned a liaison, typically a Professor although an Associate Professor can serve as liaison for an Assistant Professor, who monitors the activities and accomplishments of his or her charge. Each year in the spring at a meeting of the senior faculty, liaisons report on the progress of their charges. The senior faculty evaluates the progress of each junior faculty and provides feedback that is communicated by the liaison to his or her charge. Through this process the senior faculty evaluates the professional development of junior faculty and provides constructive feedback regularly.

In addition, each assistant and associate professor develops a statement of mutual expectations in consultation with the head of department, who, in turn, consults with the departmental faculty.  This statement of mutual expectations becomes an agreement between the individual faculty member and the departmental faculty at higher ranks.  The head of department reviews the accomplishments of all faculty every year.  Peer evaluations of teaching are conducted annually as a part of the review of each assistant professor.  Associate professors are also reviewed every three years through the process for Comprehensive Review of Tenured Faculty which is accompanied by a peer evaluation of teaching.

Associate professors are free to petition for promotion anytime that they feel their credentials are sufficient.  The senior faculty frequently make recommendations that an associate professor is ready for consideration through the liaison process.

The senior faculty liaisons typically meet during April to review the performance of assistant and associate professors.  Following this meeting, typically in May, the head of department contacts those due for mandatory review and those who the senior faculty recommend as ready for consideration.  The head also announces to the associate professors that they should make known their plans for petitions for promotion during the following cycle.  All who are ready for review are given full instructions for preparing the dossier, are asked to recommend external references (except assistant professors petitioning for reappointment), and given a deadline typically of 15 September for submission of their reappointment, promotion and tenure documentation.

During May and June the head consults with the senior faculty about additional appropriate external references and sends requests for references to those chosen with a deadline on or about 15 September.   During the latter half of September the head of department reviews all documentation, makes editorial and substantive recommendations and returns it to the candidates for preparation of a final draft.

The dossier is made available to the Departmental Voting Faculty on or about 1 October or 2 weeks prior to the October faculty meeting at which petitions for reappointment, promotion and tenure are considered.

Following discussion of each petition, a faculty vote is taken.  Two weeks prior to the meeting the head requests all eligible faculty who will be absent to submit, preferably before the meeting, a written proxy to the head.  An individual is chosen by consensus of the voting faculty to prepare the written assessment.  This assessment is made available to the voting faculty for comment before it is incorporated in the dosier.  The head of department prepares a separate written assessment.  These assessments are made available to the candidates allowing five business days for them to provide an optional response that, if submitted, becomes part of the dossier submitted to the dean.