RUL 05.67.405 – Department of Social Work Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures

Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

History: First Issued: December 4, 2001. Last Revised: December 10, 2007.

Related Policies: 
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure 
NCSU RUL05.67.411 – College of Humanities and Social Sciences Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures
NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Mutual Expectations
NCSU REG05.20.02 – Annual Faculty Activity Report
NCSU REG05.20.04 – Post Tenure Review of Faculty
NCSU REG05.20.08 – Evaluation of Faculty Outreach and Extension
NCSU REG05.20.34 – Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments

Additional References:
Office of the Provost RPT Website

Contact Info: Department Head, (919-515-0438)


1. Introduction

The mission of the Department of Social Work is to promote a socially responsible society through education, research, and extension/community service. Within a framework emphasizing professional values and ethics, cultural competence, strengths, and partnerships, the Department prepares undergraduate students for generalist practice and graduate-level academic work and prepares graduate students for advanced practice and leadership roles.

The goals of the Department of Social Work are as follows:

a. To offer a supportive and challenging learning environment where students develop the knowledge, skills, and values for socially responsible practice.

b. To understand, design, and participate in inquiry that is conducted in a socially responsible manner and that contributes to the knowledge base of social work.

c. To appreciate and utilize extension and community service in building local, state, national, and international partnerships that enhance human well-being and promote social and economic justice.

1.2. The Department of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the only accrediting body for social work education programs in the United States.

1.3. This Departmental rule is supplemental to and consistent with the college rule and the university Academic Tenure Policy.

1.4. This rule is divided into the following areas: areas of faculty responsibility, general standards, evaluative standards, and procedures for reviews. The University’s Board of Trustees (BOT) is the authority for final tenure approval.

2. Areas of Faculty Responsibility

2.1. Social work is both a discipline and profession. Accordingly, faculty contribute to the development of social work by advancing knowledge, skills, and values consistent with social work ethics and commitments. The four areas of faculty responsibility are as follows: (a) teaching & mentoring, (b) research & scholarship, (c) service, and (d) engagement. Because of the applied nature of social work research and education, these four areas of faculty responsibility are seen as mutually enriching and sustaining.

2.2. It is the responsibility of the candidate to demonstrate achievement in all pertinent categories and the burden of proof of achievement is on the applicant, not the department head or other faculty members. Faculty members under review must complete the appropriate university forms, carefully following written instructions on content and format provided by the university, and submit a complete and properly formatted dossier of material to be considered by the faculty.

2.3. The material must reflect the relevant weight of the four areas (teaching & mentoring, research & scholarship, service, and engagement) as recorded in the faculty member’s Statement of Mutual Expectations and in the annually reviewed plans of work and professional development. The default percent of effort devoted to these four areas is 40%, 40%, 10%, and 10% respectively. However, faculty may negotiate different weightings depending upon their individual circumstances, career trajectories, or the needs of the department.

2.4. While the mix of one’s appointment distribution and job description are considered in any evaluation, each faculty member is expected to develop both a quality teaching program and a quality well-focused research program. While the research program expectations (quantity) vary with one’s appointment, the quality of one’s research productivity must be high. Each faculty member should develop a primary research focus-one that they should be nationally known for, regardless of their appointment distribution. The Department deems service to programs of the Department, College, University, professional organizations as a responsibility of each faculty member. It is recognized that service will vary among faculty members and for a faculty member over time depending, in part, on the specific faculty appointment. The Department also deems engagement work at the local, regional, national, or international level as a responsibility of each faculty member.

3.  General Standards

3.1. All faculty are expected to adhere to the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics. They are also expected to develop and sustain an academic program that advances the Council on Social Work Education’s Educational Policies and Accreditation Standards. Congruent with its mission statement, the Department upholds a philosophy of collaboration among scholars and partnership with the community.

3.2. Performance evaluations are designed to determine the extent to which performance expectations are achieved and will be judged against the norms of quality among peers in the Department, in the College, and at the national or international level as outlined in this document. Performance evaluations are used to make decisions concerning reappointments, promotions, and the granting of tenure. Reappointments and promotion decisions depend upon both the quantity and quality of professional accomplishments. Tenure decisions are based on demonstrated performance but potential is also considered. Merit, rather than years of service, is the basic standard in all tenure and promotion decisions.

3.3. These RPT rules apply uniformly to each faculty member. Teaching & mentoring, research & scholarship, service, and engagement are all important functions. Teaching & mentoring and research & scholarship are weighted more heavily than service and engagement in the department calculus in performance evaluations. This does not mean that service and engagement is unimportant. It means that service and engagement are necessary but not sufficient bases for reappointment, promotion, and tenure. All four areas are considered in determining the overall contributions of the faculty member for annual performance reviews, and for the reappointment, promotion, and/or tenure process. Exemplary performance in one evaluation component (teaching, research, service, or engagement) cannot compensate for serious deficiencies in another. Within each evaluation component, however, outstanding performance in some respects may offset deficits in another.

3.4. Without the ability to work congenially and effectively with others at all employment levels, and to exhibit a positive and supportive attitude, other positive attributes and contributions of a faculty member are compromised and the potential for collaborative efforts and advances are forfeited. One’s own self-esteem and attitude, and its impact on colleagueship and departmental growth, productivity and image cannot be ignored in the overall evaluation process.

3.5. Specific standards relevant to the areas of teaching & mentoring, research & scholarship, service, and engagement follow.

3.5.1. Performance Standards for the Evaluation of Teaching & Mentoring

Undergraduate and graduate teaching in the classroom and field are of very high importance to the department’s mission and hence supportive of reappointment, promotion, and tenure. Teaching effectiveness will be determined through such indicators as student evaluations; peer evaluations of classroom lectures, course materials, and other relevant information; field liaison evaluations; and teaching awards and grants. Course and curriculum development and assessment, as well as participation in accreditation and reaffirmation activities, are of high importance. Undergraduate and graduate student advising and related activities are of high importance. Moderate to high importance is accorded to undergraduate and graduate-student research supervision and collaborative presentations and publications with students. Participation on departmental committees concerning academic and student affairs are of moderate importance. Credit is given to mentoring adjunct and full-time faculty and to offering or attending teaching/learning seminars and workshops.

3.5.2. Performance Standards for the Evaluation of Research & Scholarship

Because there are numerous ways of achieving high quality in research & scholarship, it is impractical to specify product types prerequisite to reappointment, promotion, and tenure. Following, however, are characteristics the departmental faculty considers important:

3.5.2a.. The product’s basic form or mode of dissemination . Journal articles and books are considered of very high importance; edited volumes and book chapters are of high importance; monographs, treatment manuals, and published instruments are of moderate importance. Credit is given for other publications that are citable: These include research reports, textbooks, review articles, conference proceedings, professional/academic presentations, abstracts, videos, and newsletter articles. A “published” work is one that is in print, electronically posted, or in press (with a letter from the editor clearly indicating that the work is accepted for publication).

3.5.2b. The nature of the product’s content and/or the process involved in deriving it. Theory formulation, practice development, policy analysis, scholarship of teaching/learning, scholarship of engagement, and research methodology are of very high importance; concept presentation and literature synthesis are of moderate to high importance.

3.5.2c. The nature of the product’s review prior to publication or dissemination . Peer reviews are of very high importance; an edited chapter or an invitation for inclusion in a professional/academic publication is of moderate to high importance.

3.5.2d. The primary audience or user-group for the product . Professional peers and the academic or general professional social work communities are of very high importance; community and service recipients are of moderate to high importance. Greater weight is given to national or international forums than to local or state forums.

3.5.2e. The degree of continuity in the product . Programmatic and thematic efforts are of high importance.

3.5.2f. Seeking and/or receiving external grant support , especially from nationally competitive sources as well as effectively managing, completing, and reporting the results of supported projects. While not required for promotion, these activities are considered as evidence of potential for distinction in research. (Although included here under research & scholarship, it is important to recognize that, depending upon circumstances, grant activity could be considered a component of teaching & mentoring, service, engagement, or a combination of all four realms of faculty responsibility.)

Although these characteristics per se do not assure high quality in research & scholarship, they are considered supportive of promotion, provided individual products meet quality standards. It should be noted, however, that this list is neither prescriptive nor proscriptive. Individual products of other kinds might well be judged as important and high in quality. Further, it should be noted systematic research efforts are cardinal to this university’s mission and to the operation of a high quality program in social work. Accordingly, a candidate’s dossier must contain products that clearly demonstrate his or her research competence.

3.5.3. Performance Standards for the Evaluation of Service

Evaluation of service will be based on the amount, quality, and importance of the candidate’s service to the department, college, university, and/or professional organizations. Sustained, conscientious participation through service as chair and/or member of active committee(s) at the department, college or university, and/or professional organizations counts to a significant extent. Credit is given for service on editorial boards of refereed journals, review of manuscripts for refereed journals, review of abstracts for professional conferences, appointment to review panels of federal funding agencies, and occasional reviews of grant proposals for funding agencies.

3.5.4. Performance Standards for the Evaluation of Engagement

Substantial achievement in the field of engagement is demonstrated by developing and applying relevant new knowledge to the community; producing innovative materials or approaches to issues encountered in engagement activities; and/or regular dissemination through appropriate media (e.g., newsletter, media interview, forum, video, electronic post) of applied knowledge relevant to engagement activities. Effective leadership and service to the community are demonstrated through substantial recognition by peers at regional, national, and/or international levels, including receiving awards and being elected or appointed to leadership positions.

4.  Standards for Reappointment as Assistant Professor

Reappointment to the level of assistant professor will require the faculty member to provide clear evidence of having established programs in accordance with his/her individual appointment as outlined in the individual’s letter of offer and as described in the Statement of Mutual Expectations that the candidate must develop during his/her first year at the university, and in the annually reviewed plans of work and professional development. Evidence must be documented in accordance with the university’s Academic Tenure Policy, and must include the types of evidence outlined in Section III of this document. The assistant professor is expected to show good progress in meeting the following standards:

4.1. Ability or definite promise in teaching & mentoring, research & scholarship, service, and engagement.

4.2. Potential for directing activities in the assigned realms of responsibility. Progress toward meeting the standards should be evident with particular emphasis on teaching & mentoring and research & scholarship.

4.3. Ability and willingness to participate in department, college, university, and professional organizational affairs.

5. Standards for Associate Professor with Tenure

A successful recommendation will require the faculty member to provide clear evidence of having established programs in accordance with his/her individual appointment as outlined in the individual’s original letter of offer, and as described in the Statement of Mutual Expectations that the candidate has developed in conjunction with the department head and the annually reviewed plans of work and professional development. The candidate’s evidence must be documented in accordance with the University’s Academic Tenure Policy. At a minimum, appointment to the Associate Professor level will require:

5.1. Recognized ability and potential for distinction in teaching & mentoring, research & scholarship, service, and engagement.

5.2. Demonstrated ability to direct activities in the assigned realms of responsibility.

5.3. Demonstrated ability and willingness to participate in the department, college, university and professional organizational affairs. Because of the need for an assistant professor to establish a strong record in teaching & scholarship and research & scholarship, the expectations for service in promotion to associate professor are less than for those in the upper ranks.

6. Standards for Professor

Recommendations for appointment to the level of Professor will be made in relation to the candidate’s appointment with regard to teaching & mentoring, research & scholarship, service, and engagement as documented in his/her letter offer and Statement of Mutual Expectations. A successful recommendation will require the faculty member to clearly demonstrate having developed a national or international reputation in his/her field. A national or international reputation may be indicated by involvement within national/international professional organizations, governmental activities, number and quality of invited speeches, journal articles, and special reports and presentations. Academic leadership may be indicated by significant curriculum development or course design and chairing of major academic committees or programs within the department. The candidate’s evidence must be documented in accordance with the university’s Academic Tenure Policy. At a minimum, appointment to the professor level will require:

6.1. Distinguished achievement in teaching & mentoring, research & scholarship, service, and engagement.

6.2. Demonstrated ability to direct activities in the assigned realms of responsibility.

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

6.4. Demonstrated ability and willingness to participate in and provide leadership to the department, college, university, and professional organizations. The service expectations for promotion to professor are higher than for promotion to associate professor with tenure.

7. Procedures for RPT

7.1. Faculty evaluations are initiated in three ways:

7.1.1. As required under terms of the faculty member’s contract

7.1.2. At the request of the individual faculty member

7.1.3. By recommendation of the tenured associate professors and tenured full professors and/or department head

7.2. The departmental voting faculty’s (DVF) and/or department head’s agreement to review a candidate does not constitute sponsorship or endorsement. Agreement to review is not the same as agreement to forward a favorable recommendation to the dean. Agreement to review a candidate is the first step in the process, whereas forwarding a recommendation to the dean is the last step.

7.3. The department head announces the review schedule each year, which begins in the spring. This announcement initiates the review process by the Departmental Review Committee (consisting of the departmental voting faculty and, as needed to achieve a group of at least three voting members, faculty members in areas related to the applicant’s area of teaching and research) and provides opportunity for individual faculty to request review. (The review schedule appears below. The review schedule includes all important dates in the process.)

7.4. EXTERNAL EVALUATION OF APPLICANTS FOR PROMOTION AND TENURE. The university requires that at least five letters of external evaluation be submitted as part of each applicant’s dossier when seeking promotion and tenure. The purpose of these letters is to supplement the department’s evaluation of the applicant. To select these evaluators, the applicant will first submit five names of possible evaluators to the Departmental Review Committee. This list must not include the candidate’s dissertation advisor. Working with the department head, the committee will compose a list of five additional names. Working with the applicant, the department head will select three mutually acceptable evaluators from each list. Letters will be solicited from these six. Should more than one of the six potential evaluators decline, the department head will meet again with the applicant to select additional evaluators until the minimum of five is obtained.

7.5. DEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE REVIEW OF APPLICANTS FOR REAPPOINTMENT, PROMOTION AND TENURE. For applicants seeking promotion to the rank of professor, the Departmental Review Committee will consist of all full professors in the department and, as needed to achieve a group of at least three voting members, full professors in areas related to the applicant’s area of teaching and research. Faculty members on leave may participate in the process only if they formally indicate in writing that they will do so fully, which means they must participate in all relevant meetings and review all relevant documents as they would have had they not been on leave. No proxy votes are permitted. The department head serves ex officio (without vote) on the Departmental Review Committee.

7.6. For applicants seeking reappointment, tenure, or promotion to associate professor, the Departmental Review Committee will consist of all departmental tenured associate and full professors and, as needed to achieve a group of at least three voting members, full or associate professors in areas related to the applicant’s area of teaching and research. Faculty members on leave may participate in the process only if they formally indicate in writing that they will do so fully, which means they must participate in all relevant meetings and review all relevant documents as they would have had they not been on leave. No proxy votes are permitted. The department head serves ex officio (without vote) on the Departmental Review Committee.

7.7. The applicant will work with the department head to produce a dossier in compliance with university guidelines. The dossier, plus any relevant supporting materials, will be made available to the faculty committee no later than October 1. From among the Departmental Review Committee faculty, the candidate may choose an advocate to present her/his case to the Departmental Review Committee. After careful study of the applicant’s file, the Departmental Review Committee will meet to determine the merit of the application. At this meeting, chaired by the department head or a designee, a secret ballot vote will be taken by rank and the results tabulated. A faculty member will be designated by the faculty present to write a letter describing the findings of the faculty concerning the level of accomplishment and qualifications of the applicant for tenure, promotion, or both. All major perspectives voiced by the faculty present and voting should be represented in this description. Upon timely completion of this letter, the participating faculty will approve and/or amend the letter and forward it to the department head who will follow university policy for sharing it with the applicant. Likewise the department head will follow university policy for sharing the head’s evaluation of the applicant with the committee and applicant.

7.8. Because of the importance of all personnel decisions, the department requires that all negative decisions and decisions to abstain be explicitly described in the committee report.

7.9. DETERMINATION OF INTENT TO SEEK PROMOTION. Faculty holding the rank of associate professor (at NC State University or another college or university) may confer with the department head concerning intent to seek promotion. There is not a timeframe for applying for promotion to full professor. NC State University data, however, indicates the timeframe is typically about six years. If the candidate feels he/she meets the standards of the department for promotion to full professor, the candidate must announce by letter to the full professors in the department his/her intention to seek promotion in the next fall semester following receipt of the letter. The letter must be accompanied by at least a complete curriculum vita. The full professors may then meet and advise the candidate concerning his/her progress toward promotion. While the advice of the full professors is not binding upon the candidate, it must provide a constructive base upon which potential candidates can build successful promotion strategies. The advice should also discourage premature applications.

7.10. EARLY TENURE AND PROMOTION DECISIONS. While the university grants a seven-year period for assistant professors to build a case for tenure and promotion, occasionally a candidate may desire to be considered before the seven-year period elapses. Typically this would occur when the candidate has had previous professional experience outside NC State University or when the candidate has had a superlative record of scholarly accomplishment. To initiate early consideration the candidate must consult with the department head. All procedures for decision making would follow the same schedule as for timely considerations.

7.11. The review schedule for the Department follows (specific dates are omitted in that they change each year).

SCHEDULE FOR REAPPOINTMENT, PROMOTION AND TENURE DECISIONS

March Last date for candidates for early tenure, early promotion, or promotion to full professor, to declare themselves in writing to the department head; department head provides written statement of review procedures
March Each faculty member submits updated vitae to the department office.
May Departmental voting faculty completes its review of faculty vitae and annual activity reports.
May Letters requesting external evaluations of declared candidates are mailed by department head.
September: Candidates for reappointment, promotion and tenure and for comprehensive review provide files for review.
September Departmental Review Committee begins reviews of candidates for reappointment, promotion and tenure.
September External review letters returned to the department.
October Target date for department head to inform candidates of recommendations.
November Department head’s and Departmental Review Committee’s recommendations forwarded to the deans.