RUL 05.67.707 – Department of Biological Sciences RPT Standards and Procedures

First Issued: June 2, 2014

Related Policies:
NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure
College of Sciences RPT Rule
NCSU REG05.20.34 – Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments
NCSU REG05.20.27 – Statements of Mutual Expectations

Additional References:
Office of the Provost RPT Website


1. Introduction

This rule addresses reappointment, promotion and tenure (RPT) of faculty and is supplemental to and consistent with NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure and NCSU REG05.20.34 – Non-Tenure Track Faculty Ranks and Appointments.

The department head and faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences have the responsibility to critically and periodically review faculty for reappointment, promotion or appointment to tenure. This review is necessary to assure that the highest standards of scholarship are maintained and that all recommendations for promotion or appointment will result in the continued strengthening of the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences.

The purpose of this rule, therefore, is to communicate to faculty the kinds of materials and level of performance that are essential to support a favorable recommendation for reappointment, promotion and tenure. 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.

2. Areas of Faculty Responsibility

In the Department of Biological Sciences, the major areas of faculty responsibility are Teaching and Mentoring; Research; Extension and Engagement; and Service in Professional Societies & Service within the University. Each faculty member’s responsibilities are identified in the offer letter and further documented in the Statement of Mutual Expectations.

The primary responsibility of the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences is the generation and dissemination of knowledge. This responsibility is normally discharged by research, public science activities and teaching activities, the latter including both classroom teaching and the training of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

As an untenured faculty member develops his/her program, it is expected that the annual plans of work and the work priorities established by the faculty member be consistent with the overall duties and responsibilities of the position. It is intended that the untenured faculty member will be successful in his or her position if the individual performs the stated duties and responsibilities of the position in a satisfactory manner.

Scholarly activity, appropriate to the discipline and responsibilities, is expected of all faculty, including untenured faculty members, and will be used to assess contributions made by an individual. Scholarly activity is defined broadly when considering the work of academicians at institutions of higher learning, and is most often captured in the concept of creating new knowledge and transferring knowledge to others.

2.1. Teaching and Mentoring

The act of transmission of knowledge is designated as teaching, and can be included in activities such as classroom instruction, research instruction, distance education, and advising students. Activities associated with the transfer of knowledge, such as curriculum development, writing books and laboratory manuals, development of lesson plans, and evaluation of students, are also important components of an academic appointment. Scholarly activity in the academic area involves creative work such as publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and books and documentation of knowledge transferred such as student evaluations, peer evaluations and the development of an academic portfolio.

2.2. Research

A productive research program has some or all of the following components: a successful grant and funding program, a successful graduate education program, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations at national and international meetings. Other examples of reputation that emanate from a productive research program include service as a peer reviewer of manuscripts and grants, and service on research-related committees at the college, university, national and international levels.

2.3. Extension and Engagement

Productive engagement of the public has some or all of the following components: Talks to the public, active engagement in K-12 education, articles written for the public, science done with the public, involvement in the development of museum exhibits or materials for the public, and the mentoring of undergraduate students, graduate students or postdoctoral researchers in public engagement. Other examples of reputation that emanate from a successful public science program include radio and television appearances, contributions to the discourse (whether at professional meetings or elsewhere) on the role of communication in the science and collaborations that forge new connections between science and the public. Additionally, evidence of public science includes traditional extension activities in which stakeholders are directly engaged by scientists with the aim of increasing the scientific basis of practice.

2.4. Service in Professional Societies and Service within the University

Faculty members are expected to be involved in the operation of the department, college, and university by serving in various capacities. This service includes committee service, election to offices in College and University organizations, special assignments, task forces and commissions, and contributions to departmental meetings and activities.

Faculty members may further their disciplines by providing service to their professional societies by serving as officers or on committees, serving as editors and reviewers for professional journals or other professional publication outlets, serving on study and review panels for governmental agencies and funding organizations, organizing scientific meetings, symposia, workshops and similar events, making presentations to the public, schools and other groups, and serving in an advisory capacity to the public and governmental agencies. There is a reasonable limit to the extent of involvement, which is managed by the department head.

3. General Standards

The general standards for appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure in the Department of Biological Sciences follow NCSU POL05.20.01 – Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Permanent Tenure.   The Department also welcomes joint faculty appointments (salary provided by two or more departments), and appointments where the work is “substantively interdisciplinary.” NCSU POL05.20.01 establishes criteria for consultation on initial appointments and RPT decisions for faculty with joint and interdisciplinary appointments and in those cases the procedures described in the policy will be followed.

4. Standards for Reappointment as Assistant Professor

To be reappointed as Assistant Professor, there must be evidence that the candidate has been involved in teaching and mentoring, the generation of new knowledge and/or new approaches to problems, has carried out creative activities, has made contributions and innovations available to others through presentation in scientific and technical journals, books or comparable publications and has the ability to participate in university, college and departmental affairs.

5. Standards for Associate Professor with Tenure

To be promoted to associate professor with tenure, a faculty member must first meet the standards described above for reappointment as an assistant professor.  Furthermore, the individual will have demonstrated recognized ability and potential for distinction in teaching, research, extension and engagement, and service commensurate with the Statement of Mutual Expectations.  Also, the individual will have demonstrated the ability to manage or direct activities at the departmental, college and /or university level that contributes to the well being of the institution.  The DVF must be assured that there is a reasonable expectation that the candidate will continue to build a national and international reputation through significant contributions to the field.

6. Standards for Professor

To be promoted to professor, a faculty member will have met the standards described above for promotion to Associate Professor with tenure.  Furthermore, the faculty member will have demonstrated a record of distinguished achievement in teaching, research, extension and engagement and service commensurate with their Statement of Mutual Expectations.  The DVF must be assured that the faculty member has a national and international reputation for excellence in her/his field and that they will maintain this reputation through significant contributions to the field.

Promotion to Full Professor is not acquired solely because of the number of years in the associate professor track. 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 with tenure.

7.  Procedures for RPT Review

The DVF shall consist of tenured faculty with equal or greater rank than the position for which the individual is being considered.  The Department Head will assign one of the senior faculty members to serve as Chair of the DVF.  Consistent with NCSU POL04.20.06 – Interpersonal Relationships, in cases where there is an “amorous” or “familial” relationship, DVF members will recuse themselves from participation in discussions and votes.

Within the first few months after an assistant professor or an untenured associate professor is appointed in the Department, the department head, after consultation with the faculty and the candidate, will appoint a senior member of the faculty to serve as a “liaison.” The department head may choose to serve in this role in some (or all) instances. The liaison’s role is to assist in the junior faculty member’s academic progress toward a favorable tenure decision, to serve as a source of information about professional and university matters, and to serve as a liaison between the senior faculty and the junior faculty member.

The performance of junior faculty will be evaluated on an annual basis by the department head with assistance from the senior faculty. To expedite timely review, junior faculty will provide appropriate documentation to the department head early in the spring semester of each year. The department head and senior faculty will meet soon afterwards and review the available documentation and discuss the progress being made. The department head will communicate his/her findings and those of the senior faculty to the candidate so that the candidate will be informed of the department’s perception of progress toward promotion and tenure

7.1. Reappointment to Assistant Professor

7.1.1. The candidate will present a departmental seminar on his or her own research during the initial appointment.

7.1.2. Documentation supporting reappointment is in the form of a complete dossier to be prepared by the candidate.  The candidate shall assemble their dossier in accordance with NCSU REG05.20.20 – Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Dossier Format Requirements.

7.1.3. The DVF Chair convenes the appropriate DVF to vote on the candidates undergoing reappointment. The DVF Chair facilitates the meeting, takes notes and oversees the voting. Absentee ballots must be provided in writing to the DVF Chair.

7.1.4. The Chair of the DVF or a designee will write the DVF assessment.  The Department Head will participate in each candidate’s review discussion, but will not vote.

7.1.5. The candidate’s dossier, the DVF voting and recommendation, and the Department Head’s recommendation are submitted to the College of Sciences for action.

7.2. Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure

7.2.1. The candidate (second term Assistant Professor, or untenured Associate Professor) will present a departmental seminar before the DVF vote for promotion.

7.2.2. At least five letters of evaluation will be required from recognized authorities in the candidate’s field. See NCSU REG05.20.05 for specific requirements. External reviewers in academia must be at an equal or greater rank than the position for which the individual is being considered. The candidate and the DVF will provide names of potential external evaluators to the Department Head before the end of the semester preceding the year of the RPT action.

7.2.3. Documentation supporting tenure and promotion is in the form of a complete dossier to be prepared by the candidate.  This documentation is expected to include recent peer observations of classroom instruction and student course evaluations. The candidate shall assemble his/her dossier in accordance with NCSU REG05.20.20 – Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Dossier Format Requirements.

7.2.4. The DVF Chair convenes the appropriate DVF to vote on candidates undergoing promotion to Associate Professor. The DVF Chair facilitates the meeting, takes notes and oversees the voting. Absentee ballots must be provided in writing to the DVF Chair.

7.2.5. The Chair of the DVF or a designee will write the DVF assessment. The Department Head will participate in each candidate’s review discussion, but will not vote.

7.2.6. The candidate’s dossier, the external letters, the DVF voting and recommendation, and the Department Head’s recommendation are submitted to the College of Sciences for action.

7.3. Promotion to Full Professor

7.3.1. Associate Professors who elect to be considered for promotion to Full Professor must inform the Department Head in writing before the end of the spring semester preceding the year of the RPT action.

7.3.2. The candidate will present a seminar before the DVF vote for promotion to full professor.

7.3.3. At least five letters of evaluation will be required from recognized authorities in the candidate’s field. See NCSU REG 05.20.05 for specific requirements. External reviewers in academia must be at an equal or greater rank than the position for which the individual is being considered. The candidate and the DVF will provide names of potential external evaluators to the Department Head before the end of the semester preceding the year of the RPT action.

7.3.4. Documentation supporting promotion is in the form of a complete dossier to be prepared by the candidate.  This documentation is expected to include recent peer observations of classroom instruction and student course evaluations. The candidate shall assemble their dossier in accordance with NCSU REG05.20.20 – Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Dossier Format Requirements.

7.3.5. The DVF Chair convenes the appropriate DVF to vote on the candidates undergoing promotion to Professor. The DVF Chair facilitates the meeting, takes notes and oversees the voting. Absentee ballots must be provided in writing to the DVF Chair.

7.3.6. The Chair of the DVF or a designee will write the DVF assessment. The Department Head will participate in each candidate’s review discussion, but will not vote.

7.3.7. The candidate’s dossier, the DVF voting and recommendation, and the Department Head’s recommendation are submitted to the College of Sciences for action.

7.4. Subsequent Contracts for Non-Tenure Track Faculty

7.4.1. The performance of each non-tenure track faculty member will be evaluated on an annual basis by the department head with assistance from other faculty.

7.4.2. The Department Head is authorized to recommend to the Dean, subsequent part-time or full-time contracts of up to a total of two (2) years without the vote of the DVF.

7.4.3. For subsequent contracts greater than two (2) years up to the maximum of five (5) years the Department Head shall seek a vote from the DVF prior to recommendation to the Dean.  Non-tenure-track faculty of equal or greater rank will participate in the discussion and will separately vote on their recommendation to the Department Head.

7.5. Promotion of Professorially Ranked Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Non-tenure track faculty who elect to be considered for promotion must inform the Department Head in writing before the end of the spring semester preceding the year of the promotion action.  The promotion of non-tenure track faculty shall follow the procedures established for tenure-track faculty within the Department of Biological Sciences with the following exceptions.

7.5.1. Standards for reappointment and promotion will reflect the duties outlined in the SME for the faculty member.

7.5.2. The DVF shall consist of all tenured faculty with equal or greater rank than the position for which the individual is being considered.   Consistent with NCSU POL04.20.06 – Interpersonal Relationships, in cases where there is an “amorous” or “familial” relationship, DVF members will recuse themselves from participation in discussions and votes.

7.5.3. Non-tenure-track faculty of rank equal to or greater than the rank of the individual under consideration will participate in faculty discussions regarding the promotion of NTT faculty and will separately vote on their recommendation to the Department Head.  In cases where there is an “amorous” or “familial” relationship, NTT faculty members will recuse themselves from participation in discussions and recommendations.

7.5.4. From the College of Sciences RPT Rule, external letters are required only for Research Assistant/Associate Professors.  The candidate is to be involved in the selection of the external reviewers in compliance with Section 5.3.1 of REG 05.20.05.