RUL 05.67.306 – Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures

Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

History: First Issued: September 4, 2002. Last Revised: March 1, 2005.

Related Policies:
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
NCSU RUL05.67.308 – College of Engineering Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures 
NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Mutual Expectations

Additional References:
Office of the Provost RPT Website

Contact Info: Department Head (919-515-2368)


  1. Introduction

This rule describes the standards and procedures for reappointment, promotion, and tenure in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and is supplemental to and consistent with the college rule and university Academic Tenure Policy.

The Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering administers two programs; Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering. The mission of the department, which embraces the three-pronged mission of the University and the College of Engineering is to be a flagship engineering department that benefits all the people of North Carolina and society at large by: making a profound impact on current and emerging technologies; fostering exemplary, synergistic multidisciplinary research and education programs in close partnership with industry and government; providing a stimulating environment and supportive infrastructure for professional and scholarly development; and graduating highly skilled, ethical engineers who will be able to stay at the forefront of a rapidly changing world, and be the future leaders in technology and society.”

  1. Areas of Faculty Responsibility

In general, the expectation is that each faculty member will progress from the potential (for promotion to Associate Professor) to the achievement (for promotion to Professor) of national/international recognition based on the faculty member’s contributions in scholarship and leadership.

The realms of faculty responsibility include: (1) teaching and advising students, (2) discovery of knowledge through discipline-guided inquiry, (3) technological innovation, (4) extension and engagement with constituencies outside the university, and (5) service in professional societies and within the university itself. The manner in which various faculty members may demonstrate their credentials in these realms may vary widely. Thus, an assessment of a particular faculty member’s individual combination of contributions will be evaluated using the criteria described in III-VI.

  1. General Standards

3.1. Reappointment, promotion and/or tenure will be evaluated for each faculty member with an appropriate and individual integration across the dimensions expressed in Section II. These decisions depend upon both the quantity and the quality of professional accomplishments. While consistent production in quantity of the contributions is important, a fair and thorough evaluation of the quality of candidates’ output is equally important.

3.2. Evidence of good teaching must accompany each positive recommendation for personnel action.

3.3. In addition to positive performance in those areas supporting the mission of the university, each faculty member is expected to work in a collegial manner.

3.4. In considering cases involving the promotion and tenure of faculty, the MAE Department has established the following qualifications and expectations of performance at each level in accordance with standards set forth by the College:

3.4.1. Qualifications for academic rank require appropriate growth in scholarship and leadership as one advances from Assistant Professor to Professor. Also, at each rank the Department requires evidence of an appropriate mix of the six realms of faculty responsibility outlined in Section 2 .

3.4.2. In this document, scholarship refers to activities that contribute to knowledge or application of knowledge. Scholarly activities include publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals, publishing monographs or books, contributing chapters to edited works, presenting contributed or invited presentations at technical meetings and workshops, transferring technology to industry, filing patent applications, and all other activities aimed at generating, contributing to or disseminating new and original knowledge.

3.4.3. Leadership refers to the ability to inspire and guide others. Leadership includes activities such as: mentoring Assistant Professors; establishing and leading a focused multi-collaborator research group; writing proposals and successfully competing for external funding; supporting and directing graduate students to successful completion of advanced degrees and co-authoring archival journal articles, book chapters, etc.; developing new courses; taking on editorship of pertinent journals; membership and activity in professional societies; service on institutional, regional, national, and international committees and panels; organizing workshops and conferences;

3.4.4. In reviewing a recommendation for positive personnel action, the focus is on quality of contributions. Evidence for quality of scholarship includes first and foremost publication of articles in archival journals and chapters in research monograms. Other evidence includes awards and honors (e.g., outstanding paper awards), numerous citations of publications by peers with evidence of substantial impact, wide adoption of a textbook, invited lectures, keynote addresses, etc. (especially at the national or international level), successful patents, adoption of methods by peers in industry or at other universities, strong demand for high-level consulting services, external support through peer-reviewed proposals, and strong letters of recommendation from external references able to judge significance and quality of contributions.

3.4.5. Evidence of quality of leadership can include election or appointment to positions of responsibility in professional societies; service as editor (or associate editor or a member of an editorial board) of a respected journal; chairmanship of scientific committees of conferences and symposia, boards, and panels; peer evaluations of impact on engineering education and practice; outstanding teacher awards; substantial external research support; and outstanding service in an administrative position.

3.4.6. A successful recommendation for reappointment, promotion, or tenure, must present evidence that the candidate has met or exceeded appropriate qualifications and must address quality of scholarship and leadership appropriate to the recommended action. Activity and quantity are also important, but primarily to the extent that they have resulted in a body of work subject to peer review.

  1. Standards for Reappointment as Assistant Professor

4.1. Proven capability in both UG/GR-level teaching and other educational activities and definite promise in research and extension, leading potentially to national recognition

4.2. Potential for directing teaching, research, graduate study, and extension activities

4.3. Ability and willingness to participate in departmental and university affairs

4.4. A doctoral or equivalent degree

  1. Standards for Associate Professor with Tenure

5.1. Recognized ability in teaching and independent research, leading potentially to international recognition, as well as extension services

5.2. Ability to direct advanced research projects and graduate studies with a focus on generating external funding, Ph.D. student education, and archival journal publications

5.3. Ability and willingness to participate in departmental and university affairs

5.4. A doctoral or equivalent degree

  1. Standards for Professor

6.1. Recognized ability in teaching and national/international recognition based on independent research, extension, and scholarly contributions

6.2. Ability to direct advanced research projects and graduate study with consistent contribution to externally funded research, Ph.D. student education, and archival journal publications

6.3. Established reputation in the individual’s profession or field of scholarly activity

6.4. Ability and willingness to participate in departmental and university affairs

6.5. A doctoral or equivalent degree

  1. Procedures for RPT Review

The MAE department shall review its faculty each year to determine which individuals should be considered for reappointment, promotion, or tenure. Procedures to review faculty members for reappointment, promotion and tenure decisions in the MAE department follow.

7.1. Documentation: It is the sole responsibility of each Assistant/Associate Professor to keep up-to-date dossiers as required by the Provost’s office and provide all supporting information including the data sheet and self-assessment requested by the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT) Committee of the MAE Department. All required documents for RPT decision should be collected early in the fall semester.

7.2. Assessment: The RPT committee has a primary responsibility to review and to make an initial assessment of dossiers of all Assistant and Associate Professors. The committee shall identify those individuals for whom a decision is mandatory and shall determine which other individuals should be officially considered for any of the above personnel actions. Nominations for all non-mandatory actions should be submitted in a written form to the Chair of the RPT Committee during this time. An individual faculty can be nominated by the DH, any member of the DVF, or self-nominated. The result of the assessment by the committee will be presented at the first DVF meeting (or meetings) to be held within a month from receipt of the dossiers.

All individuals considered for actions should provide to the RPT Committee a one-page self-assessment on leadership and collegiality. It is the sole responsibility of the DVF members to assess the quality of contribution by each candidate. A sufficient number of copies for all candidates’ dossiers should be made available in a timely manner to the appropriate DVF members.

7.3. Preliminary Voting: The second DVF meeting will be held within 2 weeks from the first DVF meeting for all those nominated for non-mandatory action. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the contributions of and to have a preliminary vote on each candidate. Each DVF member is expected to present his/her opinion on all cases, preferably both in written and oral forms. The date of the preliminary voting will be determined at the first DVF meeting and announced to all DVF members in sufficiently advance time to achieve maximum participation.

7.4. Evaluation: The RPT Committee, in due consultation with the DH, will appoint ad hoccommittees for peer-review of teaching and research contributions of those candidates with a positive recommendation from the preliminary voting along with those requiring mandatory actions. Ad-hoc committee on teaching will conduct a peer-review of classroom performance and course materials, interviews with former students of the candidates, and collect and evaluate any other pertinent information on teaching capability of the candidates. Ad-hoc committee (or committees) on research will conduct a peer-review of the candidates’ research contributions with a focus on assessing the quality of publications, graduate student supervision, and research-related society involvement.

For each candidate, letters of evaluation from six external reviewers should be solicited and documented for review by all appropriate DVF members during this process. Each candidate can recommend up to six names for external review, out of which the RPT committee will select three. The RPT committee, in consultation with the research ad hoc committee, will choose three other reviewers.

7.5. Final Voting: The third and final DVF meeting will be held in early November to cast the final vote on each candidate’s case. If new motions or issues are voted on during the meeting, absentee voters on record will be allowed three working days to vote on these issues. The date of the final voting will be determined at the second DVF meeting and announced to all DVF members in sufficiently advance time to achieve maximum participation.

The DVF will vote on each departmental RPT action and contribute to a written assessment for each candidate. The department head will forward his/her written recommendation, along with the faculty written assessment, the vote results and all the required supporting documentation in accordance with the aforementioned guidelines on reappointment, promotion and tenure, to the college for evaluation by the College Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee.