RUL 05.67.23 – Department of Applied Ecology Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures

History: First Issued: May 2014.  Last Revised: September 13, 2021.

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 Faculty Responsibilities
NCSU REG05.20.34 – Professional Faculty Ranks and Appointment

Additional Information:
Office of the Provost RPT Website

1. Introduction

1.1 The mission of the Department of Applied Ecology is to advance and share fundamental and novel discoveries in ecology and apply them to our greatest environmental challenges.  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 diverse stakeholders. With a well-funded and diverse research portfolio, we strive to understand the living world and to apply ecological principles to solve societal challenges. We have particular strengths in global change biology and aquatic sciences, and our broad research portfolio spans genes to ecosystems through work in fisheries and aquaculture, conservation biology, ecology, pollinator biology, environmental toxicology, disease ecology, and environmental health.  We train students to become world-class scientists and leaders who are equipped to tackle tomorrow’s grand environmental challenges, and we conduct interdisciplinary work that engages students and the general public in an effort to apply our expertise to understanding and managing the natural world.

1.2 This rule describes the standards and procedures of the Department of Applied Ecology for reappointment, promotion and tenure and is supplemental to and consistent with NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure and NCSU REG 05.20.34 – Professional Faculty Ranks and Appointment.

1.3 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.

1.4 Hereafter in this rule, “senior faculty” refers to full-time tenured and professional-track professors, and “junior faculty” refers to full-time tenured, tenure-track, and professional-track assistant and associate professors.

2. Areas of Faculty Responsibility

2.1 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.

2.2 The Department has a vigorous graduate program and offers degrees through the graduate curricula of the Biology Graduate Program, Biomathematics, and Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. Students receive training in areas of expertise that are represented among the faculty.

2.3 The Department’s research portfolio is strong and diverse.  Funding agencies that sponsor research within the department include NSF, DOD, DOI, USDA, NOAA, EPA, USGS, Sea Grant, several North Carolina agencies and international organizations.  Much of the research is integrated across a spectrum from basic to applied research and outreach.  A significant component of the department’s portfolio involves the U.S. Department of Interior’s Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.  Faculty in the unit have the equivalent of full faculty status, mentor graduate students and teach graduate-level courses.

2.4 The Department’s outreach programs include Agromedicine, urban ecology, environmental health, aquatic ecology, aquaculture and fisheries.  Of particular note are the roles that the Department has played in developing a statewide water quality monitoring program, farm safety programs and a growing aquaculture industry.  Significant outreach efforts involve collaboration with the NC Division of Marine Fisheries and the North Carolina Sea Grant to the coastal fisheries community.

2.5 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 Faculty Responsibilities. Modifications to this description will be negotiated, documented and incorporated in the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities.

2.6  Professional-track faculty are expected to meet the same criteria for tenure-track faculty as described in these policies, rules and regulations as appropriate to their appointment and position title.

2.7. In recognition of the central importance of diversity in our field, we consider the work of scholars and teachers to diversify science and science engagement to be as great a contribution (in the context of promotion and tenure) as research, teaching or extension. Examples of such efforts, which transcend the traditional categories of contribution, include a) mentoring students from underrepresented groups, b) scholarly work related to diversity and inclusivity, c) participation in, and especially leadership in, training focused on diversity in science and d) engagement and extension focused on underrepresented communities.

3. General Standards

3.1 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 or Statement of Faculty Responsibilities.  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.

3.2 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.

3.3 Teaching Standards

3.3.1 Quality of teaching as evaluated by student and peer evaluation

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

3.3.3 Scholarship of teaching publications

3.3.4 New course development and preparation, and keeping existing courses timely and current

3.3.5 Innovation of course content

3.3.6 Participation in teaching symposia and workshops

3.3.7 Honors and Awards

3.3.8 Advising of undergraduate and graduate students

3.3.9 Evaluation of overall contributions to the education of students as evaluated by exit interviews
3.3.10 Efforts and success with proposals appropriate for the faculty member’s particular program
3.3.11 Community building through peer teaching workshops, mentoring faculty and graduate students in pedagogical approach, linking undergraduate students/graduate students/faculty for shared projects

3.4 Research Standards

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

3.4.2 Significance of research contributions to the discipline

3.4.3 Development of innovative theories, techniques and technologies

3.4.4 Invited and submitted presentations at symposia and professional meetings

3.4.5 Honors, awards and consultancies

3.4.6 Efforts and success with funded research proposals

3.4.7 Training of graduate students and post-doctoral associates

3.4.8 Demonstrated impact of scholarship

3.4.9 Outreach and engagement connected to scholarship

3.5 Extension and Outreach Standards

3.5.1 Identification and documentation of constituent needs

3.5.2 Application of research program to address needs

3.5.3 Contribution of applied research to resolving needs

3.5.4 Quantity and quality of publications and training aids

3.5.5 Innovation of applied research programs

3.5.6 Demonstration projects

3.5.7 Participation in symposia and conferences

3.5.8 Participation in agent training or providing educational materials for stakeholder needs

3.5.9 Honors, awards, consultancies and elected leadership positions

3.5.10 Efforts and success with proposals for extramural funding

3.6 Departmental, College and University Service

3.6.1 Committee service

3.6.2 Committee leadership

3.6.3 Elected offices in College and University Organizations

3.6.4 Contributions to community development within the Department

3.7 Professional and Public Service

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

3.7.2 Committee service for scientific and professional organizations

3.7.3 Service in reviewing grants or programs

3.7.4 Service as editor or on editorial boards for journals and books

3.7.5 Advisory service to public and governmental organizations

3.7.6 Organization and leadership of scientific meetings, symposia and workshops

3.7.7 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 for which they have assigned time in their Statement of Faculty Responsibility. Evidence of such potential will indicate that the candidate has been involved in the generation of new knowledge, has carried out creative activities, or 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 candidate’s potential.

5. Standards for Associate Professor with Tenure

For appointment as an Associate Professor, there must be evidence that the candidate has excelled in one realm of responsibility and performed well in all other realms of responsibility for which they have assigned time in their Statement of Faculty Responsibility. Evidence of such potential will indicate that the candidate has been involved in the generation of new knowledge, has carried out creative activities, or 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 field(s).  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 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, when appropriate, 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, or 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

7.1 Within the Department of Applied Ecology each full time (>0.75FTE) Assistant and Associate Professor with a contract longer than a year 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.

7.2 In addition, each assistant and associate professor develops a Statement of Faculty Responsibilities in consultation with the head of department, who, in turn, consults with the departmental faculty.  This Statement of Faculty Responsibilities 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 as required by NCSU Peer Review of Teaching regulation 05.20.10.  Associate professors are reviewed for teaching by the same guideline, and comprehensively per the NCSU Post Tenure Review of Faculty regulation 05.20.04.

7.3 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.

7.4 The senior faculty liaisons typically meet during spring to review the performance of assistant and associate professors.  Following this meeting, 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 for submission of their reappointment, promotion and tenure documentation.

7.5 During spring, 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 31 August.  During the latter half of September, the head of department works with the candidates to ensure a final dossier is fully prepared.

7.6 The dossier is made available to the Departmental Voting Faculty approximately two weeks prior to the September or October faculty meeting at which petitions for reappointment, promotion and tenure are considered.

7.7 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 to prepare the written assessment; typically this is the junior faculty member’s liaison.  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.