RUL 05.67.410 – Sociology and Anthropology – Departmental Reappointment,Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures

Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

History: First Issued: March, 1992. Last Revised: September 30, 2014.  

Related Policies:
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
NCSU RUL05.67.411 – College of Humanities and Social Sciences Reapointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures
NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Mutual Expectations
Standard Operating Procedure for Granting Emeritus/Emerita Faculty Status

Additional References:
Office of the Provost RPT Website

Contact Info:  Department Head (919-515-3180)

  1. Introduction

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is administratively located in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.   The mission of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences is to serve the residents of North Carolina and meet the challenges of the 21st century by educating our students to be future leaders and responsible citizens with a distinctive willingness to engage in the life of their communities, their state, and their nation.  The mission of the department of Sociology and Anthropology is to conduct research, teaching, and outreach to help individuals, groups, and organizations in North Carolina, the region, the nation, and other countries better understand society and culture. To accomplish this mission, the department:

  • focuses on relevant theoretical, social, and cross-cultural issues
  • conducts basic and applied research
  • provides high quality undergraduate and graduate education
  • transfers knowledge through outreach and extension programs
  • operates with public and private financial support

Our vision is to be recognized as a community of scholars creating excellence through diversity and innovation.  These mission and vision statements provide a general context for the department’s specific reappointment, promotion, and tenure standards and procedures.

The department head and the departmental voting faculty (DVF) are responsible for reviewing faculty member’s accomplishments in relation to their individual appointments and for making recommendations on reappointments, promotions, and the conferral of tenure.  The DVF shall consist of all tenured associate and full professors in the Department for consideration of the reappointment as well as the promotion and tenure of assistant professors and for the tenure of associate professors.  The DVF shall consist of all tenured full professors for recommendations for promotion of associate professors and for the tenure of full professors.  The standards, procedures, and other information in this document are intended as specific rules for faculty in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology with regard to reviews they will undergo for reappointment, promotion in academic rank, and/or the conferral of tenure.  The information herein is supplementary to the NC State University Academic Tenure Policy found at: NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure, and is congruent with the college and university standards.  Permanent tenure at any rank may be conferred only by action of the Board of Trustees (BOT).

  1. Areas of Faculty Responsibility

The standards set forth for the evaluation of faculty performance reflect the department’s mission statement as outlined in the introduction.  Each faculty member is expected to: 1) disseminate knowledge, whether through resident instruction, among peers, or to outreach students, including extension clientele; 2) generate knowledge through scholarly activities; and 3) provide service to the department, college, university and profession.  While the mix of one’s appointment distribution and job description are considered in any evaluation, each faculty member is expected to develop both an excellent teaching program (addressing students and/or colleagues on the NC State University campus, and/or outreach students and/or extension clientele) and a high 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.  Every faculty member must develop a primary research focus – one for which they are nationally known, regardless of their appointment distribution.  The department deems service to programs of the department, college, university and 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.

  1. General Standards

Each faculty member is expected to achieve excellence and scholarly recognition in the area of research as well as demonstrate ability and accomplishment in other areas as defined in the faculty member’s statement of mutual expectations. In addition, the faculty member is expected to contribute to the intellectual life of the Department and to that of the College, University and/or profession through various service activities.  Performance evaluations are designed to determine the extent to which these performance expectations are achieved and will be judged against the standards set forth 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 quality and quantity 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 decisions.

These standards apply uniformly to each faculty member.  Teaching, research, extension/engagement, and service are all important functions.  Teaching, research and extension/engagement are weighted more heavily than service in the departmental calculus of performance evaluations.  This does not mean that service is unimportant.  It means that service is a necessary but not sufficient basis for reappointment, promotion and tenure.  All the areas in the faculty’s Statement of Mutual Expectations are considered in determining the overall contributions of the faculty member for annual performance reviews, and for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure decisions.  Exemplary performance in one evaluation component (research, teaching, extension/engagement, and service) cannot compensate for serious deficiencies in another.  Outstanding performance in one or more of these areas may compensate, however, for minor shortcomings in another.

Part of a faculty member’s work is to contribute to the joint efforts of the department.  In making reappointment, promotion, and tenure decisions, we consider the extent to which the faculty member makes a constructive contribution to the collective work of the department.  Specific standards relevant to the areas of teaching, research, extension and service follow.

3.1. Performance Standards for the Evaluation of Research.

3.1.1. Development of a substantial contribution to at least one substantive, methodological, or theoretical area that advances knowledge in that area. The extent of the contribution to a developing body of knowledge, rather than the proportion of single authored versus collaborative pieces, is the major consideration. Outstanding compilations of the scholarly research of others that point a field in new directions are also considered. The research may include basic and/or applied research, research about teaching and learning, inter-disciplinary research, participatory research, and community-engaged research.  If included in the candidate’s SME (Statement of Mutual Expectation), creative activity that contributes to public understanding of social and cultural issues will also be given consideration and credit as will technological and/or managerial innovations.  The credit given to such work will be substantially less than that given to refereed articles or monographs published by academic publishers. A candidate for promotion submits a written statement characterizing the nature of his/her research agendas, outlining the connections and continuities in the work, as well as new initiatives undertaken during the research career.  In the case of candidates who have had research leaves and/or course load reductions for research, fulfillment of the faculty member’s agreement with the department in association with such leaves will be taken into consideration.

3.1.2. Substantial involvement in the research process, evidence of which may include (listed in order of significance):  1) publication of original research in respected refereed journals or as a scholarly book(s) from a recognized academic publisher(s); 2) review articles and chapters in edited volumes; 3) edited volumes; textbooks and other materials that are intended primarily to be tools for instruction (these are valued as research output only to the extent that they present new ideas or constitute conceptual or empirical innovation); 4) published book reviews, papers that have been published in the proceedings of professional meetings; 5) citable publications and reports that are not previously referenced above; and 6) presentations at regional, or national/international professional meetings; other unpublished manuscripts and manuscripts in progress. Quality carries more weight than quantity.

3.1.3. Seeking and receiving external grant support, especially from nationally (and/or internationally) 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 distinction in research, especially when the quality of the research design is high. Candidates whose RADAR (Research Administration Data and Reporting System) report shows one or more entries with multiple investigators must include within their dossiers a brief (1-3 sentences) description of their role in each multiple-investigator project.

3.1.4. Supporting letters normally requested from at least five outside full professors in the discipline that attest to the high quality of the candidate’s published work.

3.1.5 Other indicators of commendable scholarly activity, depending on rank (in no particular order): 1)  multiple citations of the individual’s published work appearing annually in the Web of Science’s Social Science Citation Index or Google Scholar or other citation assessment tool agreed upon by the DVF; favorable reviews and/or citations in other scholars’ published work;  2) external recognition, such as invited research or theoretical presentations at national conferences, and/or awards for distinguished scholarship from outside the department.

3.2. Performance Standards for the Evaluation of Teaching

3.2.1. Conscientious performance as a teacher as documented by student evaluations, peer observations and evaluations of teaching and evaluation of course materials, and other relevant information. A candidate for promotion submits a written statement characterizing the nature of his/her teaching activities. This short statement might include a narrative of teaching accomplishments including teaching innovations, course development, inter-disciplinary teaching, extension/engagement teaching, work with graduate and undergraduate students, advising, mentoring, laboratory supervision, direction of research projects, papers, dissertations and theses, and other contacts and relationships outside the classroom.

3.2.2. Rich and current course content, as documented by course syllabi, handouts, course web sites, ancillary instructional methods, and tests.

3.2.3. Innovation in teaching techniques.

3.2.4. Publication of a textbook.  Updating a previously published textbook is considered, but is a lesser accomplishment than the original publication of the textbook.

3.2.5. Effective service as an advisor to undergraduates and/or graduate students, including service as member, chair, or co-chair of graduate student advisory committees.

3.2.6. Effective participation in other teaching-related activities; e.g., course and curricular initiation and review, teaching seminars and workshops, and preliminary doctoral examination subcommittees.

3.2.7. Evidence of outstanding performance in teaching includes receipt of a competitive teaching or advising award at the departmental, college, university and/or national levels.

3.3. Performance Standards for the Evaluation of Extension/Engagement/Outreach

3.3.1. Development and implementation of a coherent extension/engagement agenda in at least one area of recognized need.  See also: NCSU POL 05.20.01 Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure, especially 5.2.5 and 5.2.6  (NCSU REG05.20.08 – Evaluation of Faculty Outreach and Extension).

3.3.2. Application of basic research to generate extension/engagement contributions.

3.3.3. Effective contributions to the university, community, state, and/or nation in producing innovative materials or approaches to problems encountered in extension/engagement activities.

3.3.4. Regular dissemination through appropriate media of applied knowledge relevant to extension/engagement activities.

3.3.5. Evidence of effective performance in extension/engagement may include receipt of a competitive extension/engagement award at the college, university, or national/international levels; evaluations to show impacts; publications in peer-reviewed scholarly outlets; and/or supporting letters focusing on extension/engagement activities.

3.4. Performance Standards for the Evaluation of Service

3.4.1. Faculty member must be a constructive and active member of the department, college, university, and professional community.

3.4.2. Outstanding service related to the candidate’s field of expertise is recognized.

3.4.3. Sustained, conscientious participation through service as chair and/or member of active committee(s) at the department, college or university, and regional/national/international professional organization levels.

3.4.4. Service on editorial boards of refereed journals, review of manuscripts for refereed journals, appointment to review panels of federal funding agencies, and occasional reviews of grant proposals for foundations or federal funding agencies.

3.4.5. Demonstrated readiness to take the initiative and to pursue important assignments effectively.

3.4.6. Evidence of distinction in service includes nomination and election to regional or national/international office in professional organizations.

  1. Standards for Reappointment as Assistant Professor

Reappointment to a second term as assistant professor requires 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 Expectation, Self Assessment, and the Plan for Faculty Development that the candidate must develop.  Evidence must be documented in accordance with NCSU POL05.20.01 -Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure, and must include the types of evidence outlined in Section 3 of this document.  At a minimum, reappointment will require:

4.1. Ability or definite promise in teaching, research, extension/engagement and/or other scholarly or germane activity.

4.2. Potential for directing classroom or extension/engagement-type teaching programs, applied and/or basic research, and graduate programs.

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

4.4 Unless indicated otherwise in the Statement of Mutual Expectations, ability or definite promise in research is necessary for reappointment as assistant professor.

  1. Standards for Associate Professor with Tenure

Recommendations for appointment or promotion to Associate Professor with tenure will be made in relation to the candidate’s responsibilities with regard to teaching, research and/or extension/engagement as documented in his/her letter of offer and Statement of Mutual Expectations.  A successful recommendation will require the faculty member to provide clear evidence of having established a program of work 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, Self-Assessment, and Plan for Faculty Development that the candidate has developed in conjunction with the department head.  The candidate’s evidence must be documented in accordance with NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure.  Clear evidence of the development of a national reputation in the field is expected.  At a minimum, appointment to the Associate Professor level will require:

5.1. Recognized ability and potential for distinction in teaching, independent research, extension and/or other scholarly activity that is germane to the faculty member’s appointment.  Unless otherwise indicated in the Statement of Mutual Expectations, recognized ability and potential for distinction in independent research are necessary conditions for promotion to associate professor with tenure

5.2. Clearly documented achievements, as appropriate for the individual’s appointment, that demonstrate: success in developing a classroom or extension/engagement/outreach teaching program; an applied and/or basic research program including efforts that culminate in publications in the individual’s area of specialization such as a scholarly book(s) issued by an academic publisher or as articles in well-recognized refereed journals (contributions to edited volumes, encyclopedias, and handbooks are recognized, but as lesser accomplishments than  journal articles or books); and active participation in graduate training.  For faculty members with extension/engagement responsibilities per their statements of mutual expectations, these standards include leadership of appropriate, effective extension/engagement programs.

5.3. Clear service contributions to a combination of department, college, university and professional organizations.  Departmental service is expected.

  1. Standards for Professor

Recommendations for appointment or promotion to Professor will be made in relation to the candidate’s responsibilities with regard to teaching, research and/or extension/engagement as documented in his/her letter of offer and Statement of Mutual Expectations.  A successful recommendation will require the faculty member to clearly demonstrate having developed a national reputation in his/her field.  The candidate’s evidence must be documented in accordance with NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure.  At a minimum, appointment to the professor level will require:

6.1. Distinguished achievement in research that culminates in publications in the individual’s discipline and/or area(s) of specialization.  These publications take the form of articles in well- recognized journals and/or a book(s) from academic publishers.  Contributions to edited volumes, encyclopedias, and handbooks are recognized, but as lesser accomplishments than journal articles and books.

6.2 For faculty members with extension/engagement responsibilities per their Statements of Mutual Expectations, these standards include an effective extension/engagement program.

6.3. Clearly documented accomplishments, as appropriate to the individual’s appointment, that demonstrate continuing and increasing success in developing a teaching program and/or extension/engagement/outreach teaching program and active participation in leadership in a department graduate program.

6.4. Clear service contributions to the department, college, university, and/or to regional, national or international level of professional organizations.  Substantial departmental service is expected.

  1. Procedures for RPT Review

Faculty evaluations are initiated in three ways:

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

7.2. At the request of the individual faculty member

7.3. By recommendation of the DVF and/or department head

The DVF’s 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.

Each fall, the department head announces the review schedule, which begins the following spring. This announcement initiates the review process by the tenured associate professors and tenured full professors and provides opportunity for individual faculty to request review. (A sample review schedule appears below.)  The review schedule includes all important time posts in the process.

The DVF or a faculty member may request a non-mandatory review for reappointment, promotion, or tenure. If recommended by the DVF, the department head invites the named faculty to submit their dossier for review. (Faculty may decline.) Other candidates are reviewed on a mandatory basis determined by the academic tenure policy.

The department head provides a letter with written instructions regarding procedures, timetable, and assembly of review materials by candidates for review.

External evaluations are requested for candidates for tenure and promotion to associate professor and professor. An external or outside reviewer must not be a member of the NC State faculty, and should have significant expertise and reputation in the field of the individual faculty under review. Candidates are invited to suggest the names of six to ten outside reviewers and may choose one as an external reviewer. The department head and DVF name four or more additional reviewers (not limited to the suggested reviewers).  Requests for letters of evaluation are made by the department head.  Outside letters normally come from full professors in the candidate’s field.  For candidates whose research extends beyond the field of their appointment in sociology or anthropology, letters normally may be solicited from full professors who are expert in the relevant field.

The DVF meets in executive session when evaluating candidates, i.e., the meetings are open only by invitation, and tenured associate professors and tenured full professors are honor bound not to discuss the proceedings. While all may not be able to attend the executive session, all are entitled to vote.  The vote and written summary evaluation of the candidate are sent to the department head, who shares the results with the candidate.  The candidate is advised of her/his right to respond.

The department head forwards the vote of the DVF, DVF written assessment, her/his independent recommendation, and all supporting documentation, to the dean and advises the candidate on the outcome of the evaluation in a timely manner.

The review schedule for the department follows (specific dates are omitted in that they change each year):


March XX, 20XX: 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 XX, 20XX: Each faculty member submits updated vitae to the department office.
May XX, 20XX: DVF completes its review of faculty vitae and annual activity reports.
May XX, 20XX: Requests for external reviews of declared candidates are sent by department head.
August X, 20XX: Candidates for reappointment, promotion and tenure provide files for review.
September XX, 20XX: DVF begins reviews of candidates for reappointment, promotion and tenure.
September XX, 20XX: Target date for external review letters to be returned to the department.
October X, 20XX: Target date for department head to inform candidates of recommendations.
October X, 20XX: Department head’s and DVF recommendations forwarded to the dean or posted on secure website, as required.