Faculty Affairs

Promotion and Tenure Guidelines

The Steinhardt School Of Culture, Education, And Human Development1

Personnel Policies and Procedures for Promotion, Tenure, and Review of Faculty 

This document establishes the guidelines for promotion and tenure in The Steinhardt School, which are intended to reflect the School's unique culture and characteristics. These School guidelines conform to the core principles and procedures set forth in the "New York University Promotion and Tenure Guidelines." 

Assumptions

The decision to grant promotion or tenure is one that is of central importance to an institution of higher education, where the quality of education is dependent upon the strength of the quality of the individuals appointed as members of the faculty. The duty of the tenured faculty to give advice on decisions of tenure following a rigorous and effective review is perhaps their highest responsibility. The process begins with their review, and it is highly dependent upon their thoroughness, fairness and rigor. There are no absolute criteria, given that individual personnel decisions are unique. However, the process must be one that is governed by clear, objective, and equitable standards and procedures. At The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development faculty personnel decisionsare based on consideration of quality of performance in relation to the achievement of the goals of The Steinhardt School in research, publication, creative work, teaching, and service.

The University Guidelines address standards as follows:

A high standard of excellence and effectiveness in teaching in the context of a research university is a prerequisite for tenure at NYU, as is the promise of effective contributions toward the work of the individual's department or school and the intellectual life of the University. Once these prerequisites are met, outstanding scholarship or creative work in the arts is the requirement for tenure. Thus, in order to have a reasonable prospect of gaining tenure at NYU, a Candidate must have a record of outstanding achievement and recognition in scholarly research or creative work in the arts together with a record of effective teaching integrally influenced by scholarship2. In the absence of such a record, tenure will not be granted.

The process of evaluating a Candidate for tenure is an inquiry: Is the Candidate for tenure among the strongest in his or her field, in comparison with other individuals at similar points in their careers?

The inquiry for promotion to full professor is essentially the same as for a tenure Candidate: is the Candidate for promotion among the strongest in her/his field, in comparison with individuals at similar points in their careers? In addition, the Candidate must have achieved a significant milestone or marker beyond the work considered at the point of awarding tenure. The normal expectation will be that the new work mark significant new scholarly or artistic achievement since the conferring of tenure. The docket must clearly indicate which work distinguishes the Candidate's achievements since the last review for promotion.

It is neither desirable nor possible to define an abstract and universal standard of measurement for tenure and promotion. Each case must be examined in detail by making explicit comparisons, by delineating special strengths, and by acknowledging limits or weaknesses. Context may be a criterion in judging the strength of a particular Candidate. All these factors must be carefully discussed and weighed in reaching a recommendation on tenure and/or promotion.

Because these discussions about whether each Candidate has achieved these high standards of excellence must be totally frank in order to arrive at good decisions, faculty must maintain total confidentiality.

General Guidelines For Promotion And Tenure

Departments are expected to adhere to The Steinhardt School's general guidelines. In cases where departmental practice or policy is more explicitly detailed, or differs in any way from the general guidelines contained herein, the department must submit a written description to the Steinhardt Office of Faculty Affairs for review and approval. The duty of the tenured faculty to give advice on promotion decisions is among their highest responsibilities. To give weak advice to the Dean on the assumption that the difficult decisions will be made at a later stage subverts the principle of the review and faculty governance and is an abdication of departmental responsibility. A report that is considered by the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure to fall into this category will be returned to the department with a request that the problem be corrected. An assessment must not ignore weaknesses of the Candidate's portfolio. Lack of perfection is not a bar to promotion or tenure, and advocacy assessments that attempt to gloss over imperfections are more likely to arouse suspicion than admiration. It is far more helpful to the Candidate, and the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure to have a balanced discussion of a Candidate's strengths and weaknesses.

Departmental Committees

Faculty Personnel Committee

Each department in The Steinhardt School maintains a Faculty Personnel Committee or committees on appointments, sabbaticals, promotions, and tenure to render informed judgments on proposed recommendations relating to faculty members in the department. Committees on appointments, sabbaticals, promotions, and tenure may be separate or overlapping (i.e. a personnel committee). This Faculty Personnel Committee may be appointed by the Department Chair, or it may be elected, following traditional practice in the department. Departments may establish ad hoc committees for each promotion and tenure case, or they may establish a single committee each year to review all cases. The single restriction is that for tenure reviews only tenured faculty members may serve on the respective tenure committees. The entire tenured faculty of a department is authorized to vote and to make a collective recommendation for or against tenure at the rank of associate professor. For promotion reviews, only faculty members at or above the rank being requested in the promotion may serve on the respective promotion committee.When a department does not have at least three tenured faculty members, an ad hoc committee is appointed by the Dean in consultation with the Department Chair, with membership augmented by tenured faculty of appropriate rank from other departments. Department Chairs do not serve as members of Faculty Personnel Committees. Department Faculty Personnel Committees may consult other faculty members and students as necessary to have sufficient information for the review.

General Procedures

Faculty Personnel Committee recommendations at the departmental level are part of the decision making process in every action pertaining to faculty appointment, sabbatical, promotion, and tenure. The department Faculty Personnel Committee should conduct a review of the Candidate's docket and present a summary of the Faculty Personnel Committee's discussion to the department faculty who are eligible to vote in the review. The department faculty, who have reviewed the docket in detail, should discuss and vote on the docket. The deliberations of the Faculty Personnel Committee and the department conclude with a closed ballot vote on the recommendation. The Faculty Personnel Committee should prepare a detailed summary of its own deliberations and vote, as well as a summary of the deliberations and vote of the department faculty who are eligible to vote. The recommendation of the Faculty Personnel Committee includes the numerical vote of the Faculty Personnel Committee and the department, which should be taken by closed ballot.

The Faculty Personnel Committee reports all definitive actions to the Department Chair who, in turn, forwards the Faculty Personnel Committee report to the Dean along with the Department Chair's independent recommendation, with the application and all supporting documents.The Department Chair or the Faculty Personnel Committee Chair, if the Department Chair so designates, shall meet with the Candidate and shall only indicate the overall outcome of the deliberations at the departmental level.

In cases of promotion to full professor, if the Department Chair is not a tenured full professor, a recommendation must be prepared by a tenured full professor in the department/Steinhardt School in addition to the Department Chair's recommendation. Both recommendations will be included in what is forwarded to the Dean. In instances where the Department Chair's rank and tenure status are equal to that to which the Candidate is being promoted, an additional letter is not required. If the Department Chair is the Candidate for promotion, the report of the department Promotion and Tenure Committee should be submitted by the Chair of that committee directly to the Dean. The Department's Faculty Personnel Committee may also request that the Dean appoint an ad hoc committee with membership augmented by tenured full professors from other departments.

The School and University have established deadlines, which should be strictly adhered to by departments, for the collection and submission of materials for the review. These deadlines will be determined by the Steinhardt Office of Faculty Affairs, in accordance with University deadlines, and will be provided annually to the academic departments.

The Dean refers the Candidate's application for promotion and/or tenure, all supporting documents, the recommendations received from the Faculty Personnel Committee and Department Chair, and the assessments of the external referees for review and assessment to the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure.

For promotion of clinical faculty, the Dean may seek advice from clinical faculty who are at or above the rank being requested in the review.

Composition:

  1. Members of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall be tenured full professors.
  2. The Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall be a permanent committee of the School and shall consist of six members.
  3. Half of the members shall be elected by the full faculty from each of the three major areas within the School (Education and Applied Psychology, Arts and Communication, and Health). Half shall be appointed by the Dean from these three areas.
  4. Members of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall serve staggered, three-year terms, with reappointment or re-election possible after a two-year period following their service.
  5. The Chair of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall be elected each year from among second and third year members by members of this Committee for a one-year term.. The Chair may be re-elected.
  6. The Dean participates in the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

The Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure may request that the Department Chair, the Chair of the Faculty Personnel Committee or other people with relevant expertise attend a meeting.

The Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure shall make recommendations to the Dean concerning the merit of the Candidates being considered for promotion or tenure.

The Dean of the School is responsible for evaluating the docket and the recommendation of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure. The Dean may solicit additional information and/or external reviews and/or letters of evaluation on his/her own and these additional reviews shall be treated as confidential. If this is done while the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure is still meeting, the Dean will share these letters with the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure. To ensure that the Dean does not solicit evaluators already contacted by the department, the Department Chair shall be required to provide the Dean with a list of all evaluators solicited by the department including those who have declined to serve as evaluators.

The Dean will inform the Department Chair of his/her own proposed recommendation to the Provost and the Department Chair will promptly inform the Candidate of the Dean's recommendation.

In the event the Dean's recommendation is contrary to that of the department, the Dean will provide the Department Chair with the reasons and the Department Chair will then have 14 days in which to provide further information or counter-argument before the Dean's final recommendation is sent to the Provost.

The Dean submits his/her recommendation to the Provost, together with the application and recommendations of the external referees, the Faculty Personnel Committee, the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure, and Department Chair.

The Provost shall evaluate each tenure and promotion docket and recommendation submitted by the Dean. In evaluating a promotion or tenure recommendation submitted by the Dean, the Provost may solicit additional information and/or letters of evaluation, and may in unusual cases appoint an ad-hoc advisory committee composed of tenured faculty to seek further counsel. The Provost shall support or oppose the Dean's recommendation and will inform the Dean of his/her pending decision. In those cases in which the Provost's pending decision is contrary to the recommendation of the Dean, the Provost will provide the Dean with the reasons and give the Dean an opportunity to provide further information or counter-argument before the Provost's final decision. The Provost will notify the Dean of the final decision, along with the reasons therefor if the Dean's recommendation is disapproved.

Upon notification of the Provost's decision, the Dean will write to the Department Chair and to the Candidate informing them of the decision.

In the event of a negative decision, the Candidate has the right to file a grievance in accordance with the provisions of the University's Faculty Grievance Procedures. Grievance procedures are explained in The Faculty Handbook, 2008, page 56. It is expected that the Candidate will first confer with the Department Chair or the Dean to seek an informal resolution or an explanation of the decision. If not settled informally, the Candidate may appeal to the Dean to convene The Steinhardt School Faculty Grievance Committee, which is a standing committee of elected faculty members. The Steinhardt School Faculty Grievance Committee shall not judge professional merits of the case, but will consider the appeal based on whether a) the procedures to reach the decision were improper or the case received inadequate consideration; and b) the decisions violated the academic freedom of the Candidate, in which case the burden of proof is on that person. The Steinhardt Faculty Grievance Committee, after reviewing the case, will advise the Dean of its recommendation. After reviewing the recommendation of the Steinhardt Faculty Grievance Committee, the Dean will notify the Candidate of his/her final decision. Should the decision not be satisfactory to the Candidate, he or she may appeal to the Provost to convene the University Faculty Council Grievance Committee, an advisory body made up of faculty from different schools within the University. It makes its recommendations to the Provost.

Promotion, Without A Corresponding Tenure Review (To Full Professor, Or All Non-Tenure Track Promotion Reviews)

See the Tenure Review Section for additional information on tenure decisions.

The following are excerpts from the Faculty Handbook of New York University, 2008:

"The rank of Assistant Professor should be granted only to those who have proved their worth as teachers and have given evidence of character and productive scholarship. The assistant professor should possess the maturity and attainment in the field of scholarship or professional practice of which the doctor's degree is usually the testimonial."

"The rank of Associate Professor should be granted only to those who, in addition to all the qualifications for an assistant professorship, have an unusual contribution to make to the University through the excellence of their character, teaching, productive scholarship, or other educational service."

"The rank of Professor should be granted only after careful consideration of the individual's character, scholarship, productivity, teaching ability, and reputation among peers in his or her own field, as well as his or her capacity for inclining students toward noteworthy attainments. It should be granted only to men and women who have been so tested that there is reasonable certainty of their continuing usefulness throughout the remainder of their working years. It should never be granted as the reward of seniority and should be reserved as a mark of distinction in the field of scholarship and instruction. It should never be granted as a recognition of usefulness in administration." (Faculty Handbook, pages 23 – 24)

Promotion Procedures, without a corresponding tenure review

In matters of promotion within The Steinhardt School, consideration of a Candidate by the faculty personnel committee may be initiated by the Faculty Personnel Committee itself, the Department Chair, the Candidate, or the Dean. In cases in which promotion and tenure are being considered and tenure action is concurrent, only tenured faculty may vote. In cases of promotion only those at a higher rank are eligible to participate and vote. For clinical faculty requesting promotion, all faculty at or above the rank requested are eligible to vote. Clinical faculty may not vote on the promotion of tenured or tenure-track faculty. Each Candidate for promotion is expected to complete the University promotion application form, available online and in the Steinhardt Office of Faculty Affairs, and to submit supporting evidence and relevant materials for review.

External Referees for promotion

Each department develops a list of prospective external referees for faculty who are to beconsidered for promotion. The Department Chair may consult with senior program facultyin identifying potentialexternal referees who are scholars with whom the Candidate has not been closely associated. The Department Chair requests and secures a minimum of fivewritten recommendations from highly qualified external referees from comparable institutions who are at or above the rank being considered in the review for each applicant for promotion. If the Candidate is in a field outside that of members of the Faculty Personnel Committee, or Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure, or if the case requires it, the Department should seek additional external evaluations.The Department Chair furnishes the referees with the Candidate's curriculum vitae, selections of published works, and other relevant documents, which may include the Candidate's personal statement. The recommendations received are confidential and should be kept in a file separate from the Candidate's docket and made available only to members of the Faculty Personnel Committee, department faculty who are eligible to vote in the review, the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure, the Office of Academic Appointments, the Provost's Office, and the President. Referees are requested to comment specifically on research, scholarship, and creative contributions, and may also discuss other factors included in the promotion form, e.g. teaching, publication history, community and school outreach, citizenship, honors, and awards, etc. (See sample letters).

The confidentiality of letters from outside evaluators must be preserved. Only eligible voters in the department should be allowed access to the letters. For both ethical and legal reasons, neither the writers nor the content of the letters should be communicated to the Candidate or anyone else beyond members of the department eligible to vote, not even in summary form. In all communications with them, writers of letters should be assured that their letters will be held in such confidence that, unless the law requires it, they will be seen only by tenured members of the department, the Dean, the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure, the Office of Academic Appointments, the Provost's Office and the President.

Department Review for Promotion

The Department Chairs provide their respective Faculty Personnel Committees with the following materials on each Candidate for promotion:

  1. Completed original promotion application.
  2. Written statements from external referees.
  3. Annual Faculty Professional Activities Reports and peer and Department Chair evaluations.
  4. Course syllabi, student evaluations of teaching, and reports of peer observations, including formal assessments of teaching effectiveness, including publications and/or creative contributions.
  5. Documentation in support of all other factors detailed in the application form.
    1. An analysis of the impact of the Candidate's scholarly work in the field (may include but is not limited to: citation analysis; comparative analysis of comparable peers; reviews of performances, exhibitions or creative works; clinical practice expertise or recognition; reviews of academic book and journal articles; readers' reviews of unpublished books; external review letters; assessment of colleagues, citations in public media as well as citation index; new internet metrics, etc., where appropriate)
  6. Any other material deemed relevant to the review.

Faculty Personnel Committee Recommendation for Promotion.

The Faculty Personnel Committee submits to the Department Chair its written recommendation, signed by the members of the Faculty Personnel Committee, on each application for promotion considered. Each statement of recommendation includes the following information:

  1. The dates on which the Faculty Personnel Committee met to consider the application.
  2. The vote of the Faculty Personnel Committee and the department faculty who are eligible to vote (the record of the vote should not include the vote of individuals, but rather the total number supporting or opposing, taken by closed ballot).
  3. Criteria for evaluation
  4. Evidence considered
  5. Rationale for the recommendation, addressing all of the three criteria areas of research and scholarship, teaching and service. The evaluation by the Faculty Personnel Committee should not be an advocacy document and must include a fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Candidate.

Department Chair's Recommendation for Promotion

The Department Chair prepares a statement of his/her own recommendation for the applicant for promotion, and should also include an independent and fair assessment of the Candidate's strengths and weaknesses in the three criteria areas of research and scholarship, teaching, and service. The statement endorses or opposes the recommendation of the Faculty Personnel Committee and gives specific reasons, makes independent observations, and offers the Department Chair's evaluation of the Candidate.

Documents for Submission for Promotion

For each application for promotion the Department Chair forwards to the Steinhardt Office of Faculty Affairs the following material:

  1. The completed original application form with attachments
  2. A minimum of five recommendations from external referees, who have experience in comparable institutions, including some indication of how the external referees were selected.
  3. Signed detailed recommendation of the Faculty Personnel Committee, including the numerical vote of the Faculty Personnel Committee, and of the department, if applicable.
  4. Recommendation of the Department Chair.

Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure.

The Dean provides the application and supporting documentary materials to the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure for review and evaluation. The Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure meets to consider each of the Candidates for promotion and prepares a signed, detailed recommendation that includes for each Candidate the numerical vote of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure and a fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses. This recommendation should address all of the three criteria areas of research and scholarship, teaching, and service. The Dean may attend the meetings of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure as an ex-officio, non-voting member.

Dean's Recommendation

  1. The Dean will inform the Department Chair of his/her own proposed recommendation to the Provost.
  2. The Dean sends his/her recommendation to the Provost, with all supporting materials.

Concluding the Process: Reporting Back to the Candidate

The following is an excerpt from the Faculty Handbook of New York University, 2008, p. 85:

"In order to preserve a meaningful process of peer review for promotion and tenure, it is vital to obtain candid analysis and opinion from qualified scholars. Therefore, it is the general policy of New York University to treat as confidential all evaluations of University faculty, making only such limited exceptions as are necessary to permit informed review of promotion and tenure decisions by the appropriate decision makers and review panels within the University."

In keeping with the above University policy, the following are guidelines regarding the provision of feedback to the Candidate.

  1. The Department Chair or the Faculty Personnel Committee Chair, if the Department Chair so designates, shall meet with the Candidate and shall only indicate the overall outcome of the deliberations at the departmental level.
  2. Upon inquiry, the Director of Faculty Affairs informs the Department Chair of the physical location of the docket, i.e., it is with the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure or it is with the Dean's Office.
  3. The Dean will inform the Department Chair of his/her own proposed recommendation to the Provost and the Department Chair will promptly inform the Candidate of the Dean's recommendation.
  4. In the case of a Dean's recommendation contrary to that of the department, the Dean will provide the Chair with the reasons. The Chair will then have 14 days in which to provide further information or counter-argument before the Dean of the Faculty's final recommendation is made to the Provost.
  5. The Dean's (favorable/unfavorable) recommendation is forwarded to the Office of the Provost.
  6. Once the Dean's Office receives official notification from the Office of the Provost regarding the promotion decision, the Dean's Office will write to the Department Chair and Candidate to inform them of the Provost's decision.
  7. It is imperative that the confidentiality that has been assured to faculty, students, colleagues, and reviewers not be violated.
Tenure Review

See the Promotion, Without A Corresponding Tenure Review Section for additional information on promotion to higher rank without a corresponding tenure review.

Department Review for Tenure

The Department Chairs provide their respective Faculty Personnel Committees with the following materials on each Candidate:

  1. Completed original tenure application
  2. Written statements from external referees
  3. Copies of annual professional development reviews that took place during the probationary period.
  4. Course syllabi, student evaluations of teaching, and reports of peer observations, including formal assessments of teaching effectiveness.
  5. Documentation in support of all of the other factors detailed in the application form, including publications and/or creative contributions. An analysis of the impact of the Candidate's scholarly work in the field (may include but is not limited to: citation analysis; comparative analysis of comparable peers; reviews of performances, exhibitions or creative works; clinical practice expertise or recognition; reviews of academic book and journal articles; readers' reviews of unpublished books; external review letters; assessment of colleagues, citations in public media as well as citation index; new internet metrics, etc., where appropriate)
  6. Any other material deemed relevant to the review.

External Referees for Tenure

Each department develops a list of prospective external referees for Candidates who are to be considered for tenure. The Department Chair may consult with senior program facultyin identifying potentialexternal referees who are scholars with whom the Candidate has not been closely associated. The Department Chair requests and secures a minimum of five written recommendations from highly qualified, tenured external referees from comparable institutions who are at or above the rank being considered in the review for each Candidate. If the Candidate is in a field outside that of members of the Faculty Personnel Committee, or Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure, or if the case requires it, the department ought to seek additional external evaluations. The Department Chair furnishes the referees with the Candidate's curriculum vitae, selections of published works, and other relevant documents, which may include the Candidate's personal statement or selected teaching evaluations. The recommendations received are confidential and should be kept in a file separate from the Candidate's docket and made available only to members of the Faculty Personnel Committee and department faculty who are eligible to vote in the review. Referees are requested to comment specifically on research, scholarship, and creative contributions, and may also discuss other factors included in the promotion form, e.g. teaching, publication history, community and school outreach, citizenship, honors, and awards, etc. (sample letters are attached).

The confidentiality of letters from outside evaluators must be preserved and only eligible voters in the department should be allowed access to the letters. For both ethical and legal reasons, neither the writers nor the content of the letters should be communicated to the Candidate or anyone else beyond eligible members of the department, not even in summary form. In all communications with them, writers of letters should be assured that their letters will be held in such confidence and that, unless the law requires it, they will be seen only by tenured members of the department, the Dean, the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure, the Office of Academic Appointments, the Provost's Office, and the President.

Faculty Personnel Committee Recommendation.

The Faculty Personnel Committee submits to the Department Chair its written recommendation, signed by the members of the Faculty Personnel Committee, on each application for tenure considered. Each statement of recommendation includes the following information:

  1. The date(s) on which the Faculty Personnel Committee met to consider the application.
  2. The numerical vote of the Faculty Personnel Committee and of the eligible faculty of the department. The Department Chair prepares a statement of his/her own recommendation of who are eligible to vote (the record of the vote should not include the vote of individuals, but rather the total number supporting or opposing, taken by closed ballot).
  3. Criteria for evaluation
  4. Evidence considered
  5. Rationale for the recommendation, addressing all of the three criteria areas of research and scholarship, teaching and service. The evaluation by the Faculty Personnel Committee should not be an advocacy document and must include a fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Candidate.

Department Chair's Recommendation for Tenure

The Department Chair's evaluation of the Candidate for tenure should also include an independent and fair assessment of the Candidate's strengths and weaknesses in the three criteria areas of research and scholarship, teaching and service. The statement endorses or opposes the recommendation of the Faculty Personnel Committee and gives specific reasons, makes independent observations, and offers the Department Chair's evaluation of the Candidate

Documents for Submission for Tenure

For each application for tenure the Department Chair forwards to the Steinhardt Office of Faculty Affairs the following material:

  1. The completed original application form with attachments.
  2. A minimum of five recommendations from external referees, including some indication of how the external referees were selected. Letters should be from people who are not personally or professionally affiliated with the Candidate, from comparable institutions, are tenured and at or above the rank being considered in the review.
  3. Signed detailed recommendation of the Faculty Personnel Committee, including the numerical vote of the Faculty Personnel Committee, and of the department, if applicable.
  4. Recommendation of the Department Chair.

Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure

The Dean provides the application and supporting documentary materials to the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure for review and evaluation. The Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure meets to consider each of the Candidates for tenure and conducts a closed ballot vote to inform the recommendation. The Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure prepares a signed, detailed recommendation that includes for each Candidate a record of the numerical vote and a fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses. This recommendation should address all of the three criteria areas of research and scholarship, teaching, and service. The Dean may attend the meetings of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure, as a non-voting member.

Dean's Recommendation

  1. The Dean will inform the Department Chair his/her own proposed recommendation to the Provost.
  2. The Dean sends his/her recommendation on tenure to the Provost, with all supporting information.

Concluding the Process: Reporting Back to the Candidate

The following is an excerpt from the Faculty Handbook of New York University, 2008, p. 85:

"In order to preserve a meaningful process of peer review for promotion and tenure, it is vital to obtain candid analysis and opinion from qualified scholars. Therefore, it is the general policy of New York University to treat as confidential all evaluations of University faculty, making only such limited exceptions as are necessary to permit informed review of promotion and tenure decisions by the appropriate decision makers and review panels within the University."

In keeping with the above University policy, the following are guidelines regarding the provision of feedback to the Candidate.

  1. The Department Chair or the Faculty Personnel Committee Chair, if the Department Chair so designates, shall meet with the Candidate and shall only indicate the overall outcome of the deliberations at the departmental level.
  2. Upon inquiry, the Director of Faculty Affairs informs the Department Chair of the physical location of the docket, i.e., it is with the Dean's Advisory Committee on Promotion and Tenure or it is with the Dean's Office.
  3. The Dean will inform the Department Chair of his/her own proposed recommendation to the Provost and the Department Chair will promptly inform the Candidate of the Dean's recommendation.
  4. In the case of a Dean's recommendation contrary to that of the department, the Dean will provide the Chair with the reasons. The Chair will then have 14 days in which to provide further information or counter-argument before the Dean of the Faculty's final recommendation is made to the Provost.
  5. The Dean's (favorable/unfavorable) recommendation is forwarded to the Office of the Provost.
  6. Once the Dean's Office receives official notification from the Office of the Provost regarding the tenure decision, the Dean's Office will write to the Department Chair and Candidate and inform them of the Provost's decision.

It is imperative that the confidentiality that has been assured to faculty, students, colleagues, and reviewers not be violated.

Notice Of Mandatory Tenure Review

The tenure application review normally occurs in the year preceding a Candidate's final non-tenure or probationary year, and a definitive recommendation on tenure must be made by the Dean. This timing makes possible a year's notice of termination to those in their terminal year who are not awarded tenure status. The Steinhardt Office of Faculty Affairs provides each department with a list of its Candidates for whom tenure and/or promotion recommendations are required.

Acceleration Of Schedule For Tenure Review

Proposals for early promotion and tenure must be considered extraordinary actions. Indeed, it is not normally in the best interest of a Candidate or of the institution to propose Candidates for promotion and/or tenure ahead of schedule unless the case is very well justified. The Dean should be consulted prior to the preparation of an early case. The best reason for proposing early consideration is a record of extraordinary accomplishment that can be readily distinguished from strong cases. It should be noted that external experts whose evaluation of the Candidate are sought in these cases must be asked to comment specifically on the special grounds for an early decision. Department Chairs and Faculty Personnel Committees must also specifically address this issue. However, even with these affirmative recommendations, the Dean will not recommend early tenure unless the case is extraordinary and compelling, particularly in relation to the already high expectations for Candidates reviewed under the usual schedule.

New Appointments With Tenure

In the case of new appointments to tenure, the report must include a summary of the recommendations of the Search Committee and must identify the external referees consulted by the department in the search process, indicating which were selected by the Candidate and which were selected by the department. The Search Committee should seek at least five external referee letters (at least three not recommended by the Candidate) from suitable evaluators, some of whom may have been sought as part of the search process, but at least two of whom would need to answer all of the relevant questions of the tenure review process as outlined here (a sample letter to external referees is attached). The report may also include letters from other Search Committee referees as supplemental materials to the docket. The docket for new appointments with tenure must include a description of the Candidate's teaching, evidence of excellence, and an indication of how the Candidate will meet the teaching needs of the department. The Candidate should address teaching in his or her personal statement and submit teaching evaluations from their current institution. If evaluations are not available, alternative documentation must be provided by the Chair of the Search Committee.

 

Sample Solicitation Letters

(Will be available shortly)

Annual Professional Development Review For Tenure-Track Faculty

Each year, the Faculty Personnel Committee, or a subcommittee thereof, should review the annual Faculty Professional Activities Report submitted by each member of the tenure track faculty, and consider evidence of accomplishment in the three areas of research and scholarship, teaching and service. The Committee's review should also include a discussion about where the Faculty Member should focus efforts in order to provide feedback that will lead to a record of excellence in all three areas of performance in the years preceding tenure.The Faculty Personnel Committee will summarize its discussion and recommendations in Professional Development Report. This Reportis forwarded to the Department Chair for reaction and his/her recommendation. The Department Chair confers with the Faculty Member under review about the Faculty Personnel Committee's evaluation, as well as about the Department Chair's own evaluation. The Department Chair sends copies of the Faculty Personnel Committee's Professional Development Report and his/her recommendation to the Steinhardt Office of Faculty Affairs for review by the deans. Copies are sent to the Faculty Member under consideration. The Dean reviews each Professional DevelopmentReport. The Deanprovides a written report on the professional development of untenured faculty only at the third-year review (see below).

The annual Professional DevelopmentReport prepared by the department-based Faculty Personnel Committee is based upon a thorough review of the annual Faculty Professional Activities Report and supporting evidence. This should include a review of the publications or creative productions for that year, student evaluations, and peer observations of teaching that are conducted annually by a senior member of the department. The Professional Development Report shouldindicate specifically the strengths and weaknesses of the Faculty Member under consideration in relation to the school and department criteria. Where there are weaknesses, the Faculty Personnel Committee suggests courses of action to improve performance which are conveyed to the Faculty Member in writingby the Department Chair and Steinhardt Office of Faculty Affairs. The Department Chair, the Dean, or the Faculty Member may request a meeting to discuss the outcome of the annual review. Each subsequent Professional DevelopmentReport reviews the current Faculty Professional Activities Report and all previous annualstatements, with special attention to the implementation of recommendations for improvement. Evidence of improvement is cited along with continued need for development. Again, where warranted, specific activities designed to improve performance are suggested by the Department Chair and/or the Dean to the Faculty Member.

Third Year Review

Process

Probationary assistant and associate professors, will be subject to a formal third year review of their performance (in lieu of the annual professional developmentreview) to determine whether they should be reappointed or be given notice of termination. The third year review will follow the same procedural steps as the annual professional development review, with the exception that the review should be more comprehensive. Faculty should submit an updated curriculum vitae, a personal statement, a copy of all publications, teaching evaluations, and copies of annual peer observations of teaching to the Department Chair and Faculty Personnel Committee. Departments may choose to collect additional information (i.e. external reviews) as long as the process is consistent for all untenured faculty in the department and the Office of Faculty Affairs has been informed in writing of departmental practice. The Department Chair and Faculty Personnel Committee will submit a report to the Dean by February 1 recommending continuation or termination of probationary service.

1 Approved by Steinhardt Faculty Council, December 1, 2008

2 In this document scholarship refers to research, publications, and creative works.

September 2009: cdb