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Promotions in Academics

Promotions in Academics

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
Revised February 14, 2002
In F/S Handbook: 
yes

General

Promotion in rank is based on the faculty member's past achievement as well as his/her future potential for professional growth with the assumption of increasing responsibility to serve the University mission. The review of materials for promotion should stress quality over quantity, especially in the area of Professional Activity and contribution to teaching in the discipline.

Faculty must present all appropriate and most current evidence for meeting criteria for promotion to the department head each year he/she wishes to be considered for promotion.  The academic calendar indicates the date materials are due.  After faculty members submit to the department head a request for promotion, the process for determining recommendation for promotion in academic rank will originate with the head of the department.  The department head shall consult with the tenured department members to determine if recommendation shall be submitted to the Dean.  Faculty requesting promotion must present appropriate documented evidence, including merit evaluations, which supports the request for promotion.  This documentation is open to review by all tenured faculty in the department.

The head of the department shall submit the recommendations and all appropriate documentation from his/her department to the dean for review at the college level.  Only academic criteria are considered for academic rank promotion.  Under no circumstances will seniority in rank, time, or service be considered in academic promotion.

TheAnnual Performance Report (APR) is the basic instrument for decisions concerning merit pay, promotion, and tenure, and faculty members are primarily responsible for timely submission and accuracy of information included in the APR.  The APR is described in detail in Section 207.2.a. of Employee Evaluation.  The date materials should be submitted is on the academic calendar.

Promotion in rank is not automatic and cannot be earned simply by attaining the minimum standards for that rank.

College deans submit faculty promotion recommendations to the Office of Academic Affairs for review at the university level.  According to University of Louisiana System Board Rules, the number of faculty members of Professorial rank shall not exceed 35% of the total faculty with a typical range of 20-28%.  The number of faculty members of the rank ofAssociate Professor shall not exceed 35% of the total faculty with a typical range of 25-35%.  McNeese State University may seek to meet lower numbers in professor and associate professor rank.  Recommendations for promotion submitted to the Vice President of Academic Affairs are considered according to the quality of appropriate academic criteria, number of faculty in each rank, past merit performance, and potential contributions.  

Criteria for Promotion

Colleges and departments may develop more specific criteria than the items presented here.  All faculty must be made aware of criteria for promotion in their department.  Criteria must be approved at the dean's level and must be within University of Louisiana System and MSU guidelines.

Instructor

Instructor positions are non-tenure track positions.  Instructors cannot be promoted to Assistant Professor or higher unless they apply for and are selected for an Assistant Professor vacancy for which they qualify.  As of Fall 1998, instructors who are currently enrolled in a terminal degree program will be eligible to be promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor in their current position upon completion of the degree and upon proving himself/herself effective in fulfilling the requirements for the position. 

Assistant Professor to Associate Professor

To be promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, an Assistant Professor must have reached the educational and experience levels established for the rank and have demonstrated more than satisfactory ability in teaching, supervising, or in otherwise carrying out the duties of his/her position.  Furthermore, the faculty member must have indicated continued professional growth and development by participation in the activities of the various professional associations of his/her discipline and by publications or comparable scholarly achievements.  Collegiality is also considered in promotion decisions.

Associate Professor to Full Professor

To be promoted to the rank of Professor, an Associate Professor must have reached the educational and experience levels established for the rank and have earned the reputation for exceptionally skilled performance in teaching, supervising, or in otherwise carrying out the duties of his/her position.  Furthermore, the faculty member must have indicated continued professional growth and development by participation in the activities of the various professional associations of his/her discipline and by publications or comparable scholarly achievements.

Guidelines for the Evaluation of Candidates for Promotion

Professional accomplishments should be measured in proportion to the support opportunities (e.g., reassigned time, sabbaticals, grants, travel to professional meetings, graduate assistant support, etc.) that are available.  For example, a faculty member who receives reassigned time may be expected to achieve higher levels of scholarly productivity.
Candidates for promotion should provide evidence of professional achievement which is truly outstanding and significant to the discipline and supportive of the University mission.  Achievement of a level of distinction or that which sets itself apart from the ordinary or the merely acceptable, should be evidenced.  Candidates who do not meet the criteria should not receive a positive recommendation for promotion to a higher rank.

Procedures for Promotion Review


Submission of the File

The candidate for promotion should seek advice from the department head and may choose to consult with the dean regarding eligibility for promotion.  Promotion candidates must provide supporting materials covering at least the four most recent years of his/her current rank.

The candidate must submit to the department head a review file which contains at least the following:
  1. Concise narrative summary presenting the candidate's basis for requesting consideration for promotion, not to exceed three pages.  The candidate should clearly state and justify the level of achievement (excellence, distinction, and adequacy relative to approved departmental guidelines) on which he/she believes the categories of Teaching/Job Performance and Scholarly and Professional Activity should be judged.
  2. Current and complete curriculum vitae (resume).
  3. Annual APR summaries.
  4. Summary of activities for each year.
  5. Summary printouts of the SEI.

Department Peer Evaluation

The department head will make the candidate's file available to tenured faculty within the department.  Tenured faculty should review the file, and discuss with the department head the request for promotion.  The department head must verify the discussion by obtaining the signature of each tenured faculty member and maintaining a log of signatures.

Department Head Evaluation of Candidate for Promotion

The department head's evaluation of the categories for promotion should be founded primarily upon a definite, objective and fair interpretation of the individual's review file.  The evaluation shall not be tainted by undocumented or hearsay evidence.  The department may request additional supporting information as well as an interview with the candidate.  The department head will make the recommendation based on his/her evaluation of the candidate's performance in producing scholarly activity, contribution to the discipline, and teaching.  The department head will also report the faculty discussions relevant to the recommendation. The recommendation should be forwarded to the dean of the college.

Dean Evaluation

The dean's evaluation for promotion should be founded primarily upon a definite interpretation of the individual's review file.  The evaluation shall not be tainted by undocumented or hearsay evidence.  In making his/her decision, the dean should consider carefully the evaluations of the candidate's department head.  The dean should study the particulars of the request and take into consideration the department head's and the faculty's comments relevant to the recommendation, interview the candidate if deemed necessary, and make his/her own recommendations.

Approval/disapproval by the dean should be a matter of careful review to ensure that no major misjudgments have been made by the faculty and the department head, and that no major inequalities exist from department to department in meeting the academic standards of the college or school. The dean's recommendation with written narrative justification and supporting documentation shall be forwarded to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Review

Approval/disapproval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs should be a matter of careful review to ensure that no major misjudgments have been made by the lower recommending units and that no major inequalities exist from college to college in meeting the academic standards of the University.  Institutional requirements as to numbers of faculty at each rank may restrict the number of promotions recommended.  When there are conflicting recommendations from the lower units, the Vice President of Academic Affairs should study all the particulars and make an appropriate determination for recommendation.  The Vice President of Academic Affairs submits recommendations for promotion to the President.

Promotion Decision

The President shall make the final recommendation for promotion.  If affirmative, the President's recommendation will be forwarded to the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors for final action.  Supporting documents will be returned to the candidate after the Supervisors have announced their decision.  The decision shall be made public only after the System has approved the promotion.