RUL 05.67.603 – Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure (RPT)

Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

History: First Issued: January 2001. Last Revised: July 31, 2023.

Related Policies:
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Faculty Responsibilities 
NCSU REG05.20.10 – Evaluation of Teaching
NCSU REG05.20.08 – Evaluation of Faculty Outreach and Extension
NCSU RUL05.67.204 – College of Education Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures
NCSU REG05.20.34 – Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments

Additional References: 
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost RPT Website

Contact Info: Dean, College of Natural Resources, (919-515-2883)

1. Introduction

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

This document describes the philosophy behind the tenure and promotion process in the College of Natural Resources and identifies general issues that must be addressed in every dossier developed by a candidate for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure (RPT). This document is intended to guide faculty by clarifying expectations and committees to use while evaluating RPT cases and by providing guidance on the types of questions that need to be asked when evaluating cases for promotion and tenure. This document is also intended to provide Department Heads with a common format for comparing the merits of various tenure and promotion recommendations, clarity to provide mentorship and guidance, and for assuring procedural equity within the department.

Next to the initial decision to hire a particular faculty member, no decisions are more important than those relating to reappointment, promotion and tenure. The process by which these decisions are made must explicitly encourage our faculty to excel by continuously growing in professional stature and accomplishments. It must be based on clear criteria and a database that is consistent across the College, and it must encourage the faculty member to think not only about accomplishments, but about ways to constantly improve.

The primary business of faculty is scholarship whether in classroom teaching, discovery, or the process of applying knowledge. Scholarship is defined as the systematic, continuous, and rigorous expansion of the knowledge base of society.

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.

1.1. Statement of Faculty Responsibilities. Before performance can be assessed, the faculty member and the Department Head must agree broadly to the responsibilities to be undertaken. The principal mechanism at NC State for establishing these responsibilities is the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities (SFR – see REG 05.20.27) which is the starting point for the preparation of the RPT Dossier.

The Statement of Faculty Responsibilities must be developed between the faculty member and the Department Head within six months of employment, whenever a major change in responsibilities occurs, and every three to five years thereafter. It must specify the forms of scholarship that a faculty member agrees to pursue over the period and that balances the needs of the department with the aspirations and capabilities of the faculty member. The terms of the agreement will guide the relative effort across the realms of responsibility as described in the faculty member’s Statement of Faculty Responsibilities.

2. Areas of Faculty Responsibility

Each faculty member will be evaluated in regard to the realms outlined in the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities and general standards established by the university and stated in the Academic Tenure Policy (POL 05.20.01 for tenure track/tenured faculty and REG 05.20.34 for professional faculty), as appropriate for the particular appointment and Statement of Faculty Responsibilities.

3. General Standards

There is no formula for tenure or promotion, (for both tenure track and professional faculty), nor should there be. Decisions about these matters will always be a judged based on individual faculty productivity in the areas outlined by the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities. However, the process of evaluating faculty for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure should be structured to encourage a high level of accomplishment and a constant quest for excellence in scholarship, however scholarship is manifested. Faculty members being considered for reappointment, promotion and tenure and/or promotion and the College Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee (CRPTC) should assess each case based on the following three questions:

  1. Is the faculty member doing what is expected of them?
  2. Is the work being done in an exemplary way?
  3.  Has the faculty member clearly demonstrated a commitment and a capacity to continue to improve the quantity, quality and impact of their work?

To help Department Heads, candidates and the CRPTC, a table consisting of example metrics under reach of the different realms is provided. This table will be reviewed each year by the CRPTC to ensure it is up-to-date.

3.1. Teaching

Teaching must be approached as a scholarly pursuit in which the faculty member is constantly testing new ideas and approaches to teaching, systematically evaluating their effectiveness, and adjusting accordingly. The dossier should describe these approaches to teaching improvement and the results of experimenting with different approaches. Examples of such documented endeavors include presentations and scholarly articles written about lessons learned in the classroom, teaching innovations, and other dimensions of teaching, advising, and guiding undergraduate and graduate students.

A variety of attributes go together to define an excellent teacher. Faculty members must have a sincere interest in students, an enthusiasm for teaching, an ability to stimulate students to think and learn, and an ability and willingness to contribute to the overall objectives of the academic unit. They must be up to date in their subject matter, organized and prepared, and excellent communicators. Each of these desirable attributes can best be assessed by different groups of people.

Various constituents can evaluate the teaching skills of faculty. Students and alumni are probably best equipped to evaluate whether a faculty member demonstrates a sincere interest in students. Students can also evaluate the communication skills of the professor, the level of organization and preparation, their enthusiasm for teaching, and the ability to stimulate thinking and learning for these kinds of attributes, student evaluation, and ability to stimulate thinking and learning. For these kinds of attributes, student evaluation of teaching performance provides useful information to the faculty member and for the self-evaluation. Alumni are particularly useful in commenting on the impact of a professor on stimulating additional learning, on the level of interest in the student, and whether the material was up-to-date. Internal peers are in a good position to judge whether the material being presented is up-to-date and whether the faculty member is contributing to the overall mission of the unit.

A faculty member who is truly committed to teaching and continuously improving should use a combination of inputs (e.g., teaching workshops, utilizing student, alumni and peer feedback) and should describe the results of these activities in their dossier. Seeking additional input from faculty peers on course outlines and structure is strongly encouraged. A respected peer might occasionally be invited to the classroom to observe the teaching environment and to provide comments that could lead to improvement, not in an evaluative mode, but as a colleague and mentor. This suggestion to seek peer input as a means to improve is separate from the mandate by Office of the President to secure peer input for evaluative purposes. Teaching evaluations are to be reported as described in the regulation on Evaluation of Teaching (REG 05.20.10).

3.2. Research

The organized peer review system for research grants and scientific publications provides a process to assess the research of faculty members. However, the task of assessing the significance of the research is far more involved than counting articles. Therefore, the dossier must go beyond a mere listing of publications, grants, and awards. It should encapsulate and define the most significant ideas or concepts that have emerged from the research, the significance of these ideas, and their actual or expected impact on the scientific community or on practice. This discussion, in the candidate statement, should be written in terms that can be understood by the non-specialist in the field.

Faculty engaged in research should also be constantly thinking about ways to improve. Therefore, dossiers should explicitly describe, in their candidate statement, such things as intellectual barriers that have been reached in conducting research and steps that were taken to overcome these barriers. For example, this may describe taking a course on new techniques or traveling to a different institution to learn from others.

Outstanding research should reflect intellectual curiosity, creativity, a high level of scientific integrity and impact. Advising and training undergraduate and graduate students are integral parts of research activity. Relevant examples of scholarly activity to be included are listed here.

3.3. Extension and Outreach

The scholarship of extension and outreach requires that faculty members be constantly evaluating their extension programs, developing or improving methods of technology transfer, learning from the results of their on-the-ground work, and reporting these outcomes through pertinent scholarly avenues.

Several attributes are critical to be an outstanding extension or outreach specialist. These include a demonstrated interest in meeting the needs of clientele groups, practical experience in the area of expertise, knowledge of the field, creativity, communication skills, and evidence of positive impact. Evidence demonstrating this impact could include evidence of the scope and impact of dissemination efforts that were developed (e.g., websites, blogs, online tools), recognition and awards, or evidence of the scope and impact of dissemination efforts. A template and example of how to structure the extension and engagement section of the dossier is listed here.

Internal peers can be most helpful in reviewing annual plans of work and assessing their creativity and likely impact. External extension or outreach peers can help evaluate the creativity demonstrated by the person in terms of his or her knowledge of the field, and level of communication skills.

3.4 Service

Service is essential to the proper functioning of NC State. Without the active participation of faculty in governance and other activities, NC State cannot adapt to the ever-changing needs of students, the community, and society. The strength of the institution relies heavily on the commitment of faculty to act as a community of interdependent members rather than as a body of independent individuals. Service is not simply an individual goal, but an opportunity to shape and advance the mission and goals of the College of Natural Resources and NC State.

It is valuable to view service as an essential component of a long-term professional trajectory centered on a commitment to the University, society, and profession. Service should not be viewed as a series of disconnected actions or activities that are simply afterthoughts or “add-ons” to a busy schedule. Faculty members are encouraged to assess each potential service opportunity not only on its stand-alone merit but also in relation to the significance it may hold for the long-term goals of the faculty member and the institution.

4. Standards for Reappointment as Assistant Professor

Based on the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities and the general standards in Sections 3, the faculty member is expected to demonstrate recognized ability and potential for distinction in the realm of responsibility that they have assigned effort, Teaching and Mentoring of Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Discovery of Knowledge through Discipline-Guided Inquiry, Extension and Engagement with Constituencies Outside the University, Creative Artistry and Literature, Technological and Managerial Innovation and Service in Professional Societies and within the University. They are expected to also show progress toward being promoted to associate professor and promise of future success in supporting the mission and needs of the college and university. The trajectory of tenure-track assistant professors should indicate progress towards tenure.

5. Standards for Associate Professor with Tenure

Based on the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities and the general standards in Section 3, the candidate is expected to show progress toward being promoted to professor and promise of sustained productivity, growth, and leadership. In addition, they are expected to have established a strong national record of accomplishments in their area of expertise, have national recognition and uphold the mission of the college and university.

6. Standards for Professor

Based on the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities and the general principles in Section 3, the candidate is expected to have established a record of distinguished achievement in their area of expertise. They are to have established an excellent reputation among their peers, be known as an expert in their field, and should either have a national or international reputation or have made demonstrable and substantive contributions to their program’s national or international reputation. That is, they should have contributed cumulative outstanding leadership      to the national or international reputation of the program rather than an individual’s reputation, and be recognized as an expert in their field. Cumulative outstanding leadership within the university, over an extended number of years, which contributes to the national or international recognition of university programs, may be more heavily weighted than a faculty member’s individual national or international recognition and reputation. Finally, they are expected to show sustained and demonstrated effective leadership, particularly in the areas outlined in the Statement of Faculty Responsibilities and demonstrated leadership for service both on campus and to the profession. In addition, their efforts must support the college and university mission.

7.  Promotion of Professional Faculty with Professional Rank

There is a recognition that professional faculty plan an increasing pivotal role within the university. There is no mandatory timeline for promotions for professional faculty members. However, it is recommended that professional assistant professors consider submitting their promotion materials and dossier after their fifth year of appointment, as this is the average time it takes to adequately demonstrate recognized ability and potential for distinction in the faculty reals of responsibility. Similar to faculty in the tenure track line, the Department Head should make a case to the CRPTC explaining reasons why a professional faculty member should be considered for promotion prior to the fifth year. They may request to be considered based on consultation with or recommendation from the Department Head and/or the department voting faculty (DVF).

Although the same standards in each of the realms of faculty responsibility apply to professional faculty, most professional faculty have the majority of their effort focused in one realm. This should be considered in deliberations and in selecting peers to serve as external reviewers. For example, if an assistant teaching professor is being considered for a promotion, selecting external reviewers who can effectively evaluate and describe the quality, effectiveness and impact of the candidate’s teaching will be important.  For specific guidance on external evaluations, see Reg 05.20.05 .

In the case that there are no eligible professional faculty in the same rank, the home department may conduct a promotion review with written input from professional faculty in the same track from outside the college. The review may be conducted by a committee, appointed by the Dean, and should include faculty from the same professional track as the candidate.

8. Procedures 

8.1. Statement of Faculty Responsibilities

The Statement of Faculty Responsibilities (SFR) must be signed by the faculty member and Department Head.

8.2. Dossier

The primary database for reappointment, promotion and tenure decisions is a dossier of materials. Format and content requirements for the dossier are described on the Provost’s web site. For professional or tenure track faculty whose Statement of Faculty Responsibilities is weighted heavily in the Teaching and Mentoring of Undergraduate and Graduate Students, dossiers may optionally include links to course management systems or websites to demonstrate their innovations and new course development (include in Section B – Instructional Development – highlight innovations and new developments in courses, curricula and programs).

8.2.1. In accordance with NCSU REG05.20.34 – Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments Section 9.1.3 which requires that each dean must establish for the college for all the categories of full-time (> 0.75 FTE) professional faculty with professorial rank whether to require external evaluation letters for the dossier, the Dean of the College of Natural Resources has decided the following:

Clinical Associate/Full Professors:  Letters required.
Extension Associate/Full Professors:  Letters required.
Research Associate/Full Professors:  Letters required.
Teaching Associate/Full Professors:  Letters required.
Associate/Full Professors of the Practice:  Letters required.

External evaluation letters may be solicited from others outside academia.

8.2.2. Candidates may ask to review external letters included in the dossier.  The candidate has the right to review these letters on request. It is recommended that the best time to review these letters is after the departmental level review (see – see the section on external evaluations).

8.3. College Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee

8.3.1. Purpose

The purpose of the college-level review by faculty is to assess reappointment, promotion and tenure recommendations from academic departments or programs and to provide advice to the Dean about whether departmental recommendations meet college expectations. The CRPTC must provide a formal advisory vote and written assessment of each candidate. This vote and written assessment are a part of each candidate’s dossier as it moves forward to the Dean and the university level. Engaging the CRPTC does not change the requirement that the Dean, upon making a recommendation that differs from that of the voting faculty in the department or program, meet with the voting faculty to discuss the recommendation.

8.3.2. Composition The Committee is made up of six tenured professors, two from each of the three departments in the College. However, if there are professional faculty members being considered for promotion, three additional professional faculty members will be assigned to sit on the promotion deliberations for professional faculty being considered for promotion. The professional CRPTC members will vote on professional promotions but not on tenure-track cases. The Dean, in consultation with Department Heads, will appoint the additional three members. The Department Heads and Dean will make an effort to appoint faculty in the same track (e.g., research, teaching) as the faculty under consideration by CRPTC for promotion. The Dean, in consultation with the Department Heads, will appoint the additional three members. Membership on the CRPTC is restricted to tenured faculty with the rank of Professor. However, if professional faculty members are being considered for promotion, a professional faculty member can be part of the CRPTC when evaluating other professional faculty. The assigned professional faculty members must hold the rank of professor. If there are not enough professional faculty in a particular track, other full time faculty from any rank could be invited by the CRPTC and/or Dean to provide some context and insight related to the deliberations. However, these faculty would not be eligible to vote. Representatives will serve two-year terms, staggered within departments so that one representative is chosen at the beginning of each academic year. Representatives may serve consecutive terms depending on need. If a representative cannot serve out his/her term, the departmental head of the department in which that person resides will choose a replacement to complete the remaining term. The committee will elect a chair from among the members of the committee who have served for at least one year.


8.4. The Process

8.4.1. The Dean will ensure that dossiers are complete and then forward them to the CRPTC.

8.4.2. The CRPTC will review the dossiers in a timely manner and, by formal vote, determine if it concurs with the department’s recommendation.

8.4.3. The vote and a written assessment for each candidate will be forwarded to the Dean and will be included in the candidate’s dossier as it moves forward to the university level.

8.4.4. If the Dean’s assessment and recommendation differ from the DVF, Department Head and/or College RPT Committee, the Dean may meet with the department head and review committees to discuss the process relative to CNR RPT standards.

8.5 Voting

8.5.1 The first year member from each department serving of the CRPTC will vote only at the department level on cases from their home department.  These members will participate fully in the deliberations, but will not be included in the total eligible CRPTC’s votes for these cases. Professional faculty members serving on the CRPTC will only vote at the department level on cases from their home department. Professional faculty members will only be eligible to vote on cases of professional faculty in their same track.

8.5.2 The second year member from each department serving on the CRPTC will vote only at the college level on cases from their home department.  These members may participate in the deliberations at the department level, but will not be included in the total DVF votes for these cases. Professional faculty members serving on the CRPTC will vote at the college level on cases that are not from their home department. Professional faculty members will only be eligible to vote on cases of professional faculty in their same track.

8.5.3 College administrators who hold tenured positions in a department in the College of Natural Resources vote with the DVF of their home department.  University administrators with tenure homes in the College may vote with the DVF of their home department if they devote a minimum of 0.5 FTE to regular department faculty responsibilities.

8.5.4 Votes will be taken by secret ballot.