Tenure and Promotion

IV.  Criteria and Procedures for Tenure and Promotion

A.   Board of Trustees Tenure Policy Statement

The Board of Trustees of Albright College adopted the following tenure policy agreed upon by the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of University Professors. (T-2/11/1943), including additions/changes in subsequent years. 

  1. After the expiration of a probationary period and upon conferring tenure, teacher or instructor have permanent or continuous tenure, and their services should be terminated only for adequate cause, or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies.In the interpretation of this principle, it is understood that the following represents acceptable academic practice:
    1. The precise terms and conditions of every appointment should be stated in a written contract signed by the President of the College and the teacher and in the possession of both College and teacher before the appointment is consummated.
    2. Beginning with appointment to the rank of full-time instructor or higher rank, the probationary period should not exceed six years, except where the faculty member has been granted a tenure clock stoppage as provided in Section IV.C.2.c., the probationary period shall be extended by one year, which may include, at the College’s discretion, up to three years credit for full-time service at other institutions of higher learning.  Notice should be given at least one year prior to the expiration of the probationary period before the end of the sixth year, if the teacher is not to be continued in service after the expiration of that period.
    3. During the probationary period a teacher should have the academic freedom enjoyed by all other members of the faculty.
    4. Termination for cause of a continuous appointment, or the Dismissal for cause of a teacher prior to the expiration of a term appointment, should, if possible, be considered by both a faculty committee and the governing board of the institution.  In all cases where the facts are in dispute the accused teacher should be informed, in writing, before the hearing, of the charges against her/him and should have the opportunity to be heard in her/his own defense by all bodies that pass judgment upon the case, and should be permitted to have with her/him an advisor of her/his own choosing who may act as counsel.  There should be full stenographic record of the hearing available to the parties concerned.  In the hearing of charges of incompetence the testimony should include that of teachers and other scholars, either from his/her own or from other institutions.
    5. Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency should be demonstrably bona fide.
  2. In order to make more definite the policies relative to permanent tenure, the following additional principles were adopted:
    1. In no case shall an individual holding the rank of Instructor receive permanent tenure.  Permanent tenure is thus reserved for individuals holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor.
    2. The holding of a faculty rank above that of Instructor does not in itself carry with it permanent tenure status.  Such status must be granted by specific action of the Board of Trustees.
    3. Albright College may continue to employ on a year-to-year basis without awarding that individual permanent tenure even when such continuous employment exceeds the number of years normally considered as a maximum probationary period.  In such instances Albright College will state this fact at the time that the individual is notified of her/his employment for each year.  It is the judgment of Albright College that, if the individual wishes to continue her/his employment under such circumstances, and with full knowledge of the lack of permanent tenure, the College is relieved of obligation in this respect.
    4. The matter of permanent tenure shall be reviewed by the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee or the appropriate successor committee each year at the time that recommendations are made for re-employment and recommendations for placement upon permanent tenure of faculty members who are not already so classified shall be made by the President to the Academic Affairs Committee if any persons are considered by the committee to be eligible.
    5. Under no condition shall any person be considered to have attained permanent tenure automatically.  When an individual has been specifically approved for permanent tenure by the Board of Trustees of Albright College, he or she shall be officially informed of this action in writing.
    6. “Tenure” as here used applies to teaching status only and does not apply to administrative positions whether full or part-time.

B.   Criteria for Tenure and Promotion 

  1. Eligibility

    Only faculty members who hold the academic rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or (Full) Professor pursuant to a full-time tenure-track appointment AND have completed the period of continuous, full-time faculty service at Albright College stated in this Handbook and/or in a faculty member’s contract letter shall be eligible to apply for, and only such faculty members shall be eligible to be granted, or to hold, a tenured appointment at Albright College.In no case shall an individual holding the rank of Instructor receive permanent tenure.  Permanent tenure is thus reserved for individuals holding the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor.

  2. Board Action Required for Tenure

    No person shall gain, obtain, hold or be granted a permanent tenured faculty appointment at Albright College except by the affirmative action of the Board of Trustees of Albright College, and neither the holding of a faculty rank above that of Instructor, nor any period of continuous service as a full-time faculty member at Albright College, shall, in the absence of such affirmative action, confer or be deemed to be evidence of permanent tenured status at the College.

  3. Tenure and Promotion File

    All evaluations of faculty members applying for renewal of a probationary appointment, for tenure or for promotion, and all recommendations of the President and all decisions of the Board of Trustees with respect to such applications shall be based solely upon information properly included in the applicant’s promotion and tenure file at the time the evaluation begins.  However, if a faculty member does something of consequence either to his or her benefit or detriment after the beginning of the evaluation but before the final tenure decision, written documentation of such action may be considered by the ACRT, the Chief Academic Officer, the President and the Board of Trustees, with the knowledge of the candidate and department chair.  The candidate may submit a response within one week of being apprised of the new material.  This response shall be included in the file.No information regarding a faculty member applying for tenure or promotion shall be considered by the ACRT, the Chief Academic Officer, the President or the Board of Trustees, and no recommendation or decision regarding such application, shall be justified or justifiable by reference to any evidence not properly included in the candidate’s rank and tenure file and directly relevant to the candidate’s a) merit as a teacher, as a scholar or other professional, or b) to the candidate’s service to the College community.

  4. Criteria

    All applicants shall be judged with respect, and only with respect, to the following three categories of performancea) teaching excellence, b) scholarship, creative achievement,  and professional activity, and c) service to the College community and only as such categories are defined and the procedures set forth in Sections IV.B.5.IV.B.6.IV.B.7., and IV.C. of the Handbook.  Faculty members must strike a balance between scholarship and service to the College according to her/his interests and abilities and, while both are important to the College, neither should be done at the expense of teaching excellence nor can either serve as a substitute for teaching excellence.

  5. Teaching

    The single most important criterion and a necessary requisite, for the granting of tenure and/or promotion is demonstrated teaching excellence.  Teaching evaluations shall be based upon the assessment of: (a) the written evaluations of the applicant’s teaching submitted by the applicant’s Department Chair and peers (such evaluations shall be based upon, and shall refer with specificity to, classroom visitations); (b) all course syllabi and assignments; and (c) written evaluations submitted by such alumni, and only such alumni, as have been invited to submit an evaluation pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section IV.C.6.i.(iv) of this Handbook and e) all student teaching evaluations.  The candidate faculty member is encouraged to submit any additional evidence of teaching excellence that he or she wishes.  In judging the extent to which an applicant has achieved “teaching excellence” the ACRT and all others participating in the review of an application for tenure shall apply the following, and only the following standards:

    1. Classroom
      An excellent teacher demonstrates thorough and current knowledge of the subject matter and uses that knowledge to effectively engage and challenge students.  An excellent teacher is an effective communicator, using clear and organized presentations that are appropriate to the level of the course and making effective use of the class time.  Creativity and innovation in the design and presentation of course material, where such creativity or innovation improves interest in the class assignments and aids in the students’ grasp of the material presented, is one manifestation of excellent teaching.  Excellent teachers personally demonstrate the qualities of active, enthusiastic seekers in their disciplines.  Setting rigorous academic standards for students and creating an environment where students are motivated to do their best work are important to the excellent teacher. An excellent teacher teaches at a variety of curriculum levels.  Fairness and impartiality in evaluation and grading are essential.
    2. Attitude Toward Students
      An excellent teacher enjoys teaching and shows care and respect for students and the student experience, and promotes a positive learning environment.  An excellent teacher is enthusiastic and conveys that enthusiasm to students.  While maintaining high expectations and demanding student effort, an excellent teacher recognizes when students have difficulty mastering the material presented, offers help to individual students who seek help and privately suggests the value of such help to students who appear to be struggling with the course but have not sought help.  Providing positive feedback and constructive criticism and not being threatened by student questions and disagreement are important characteristics of an excellent teacher.  An excellent teacher creates a scholarly environment where students are encouraged to think for themselves and develop their critical and analytical abilities.
  6. Scholarship, Creative Achievement, and Professional Activity
    Scholarship as a criterion for promotion and/or tenure can include peer reviewed publications, including performances or exhibits, books, book chapters, journal articles; peer reviewed entries in reference works or reviews; major editorial responsibilities or reviewer with a nationally or internationally recognized journal or other publication; major role in conference or scholarly event organization; offices in professional organizations and elected/nominated memberships; reviewer or editorial board member; grant writing and acquisition; professional conference presentations and invited addresses; entries in reference works, reviews and other non peer-reviewed works; student involvement in faculty scholarship or supervision of student scholarship; and work submitted but not yet accepted for publication or showing.Productive engagement is a necessary but not sufficient, requirement for the award of tenure at the College.  In addition, the scope and level of resources available to faculty also are to be considered.
  7. Service to the College Community
    Involvement in the life of the College is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for tenure and promotion.  The College recognizes committee membership and positions, academic advising and counseling of students, participating in College activities, sponsoring speakers or other public events that enrich the intellectual life of the campus, and serving community groups as a recognized representative of the College and thereby enhancing the public image of the college.

C.   Procedures for Consideration for Tenure and Promotion

  1. Initiation of ConsiderationThe process for promotion and tenure is initiated by the Chief Academic Officer, in consultation with ACRT, by sending a letter to the eligible faculty candidate, according to the timeline below.
  2. Timing of Evaluations 
    1. For tenure, the ACRT makes evaluations of faculty members for counseling purposes during the second and fourth years of service at Albright, but these may occur with greater frequency at the initiation of either the faculty member or the ACRT.  The evaluation for the granting of tenure, for faculty with up to three years credit for prior full-time employment at one or more colleges, before the sixth year of service at Albright shall be done only at the faculty member’s request.  The faculty member must notify ACRT of her/his intention for early tenure consideration by no later than May 31st of that faculty member’s tenure decision year.
    2. The evaluation for granting of tenure takes place during the third to sixth year of service at Albright except where the faculty member has been granted a tenure clock stoppage as provided in Section IV.C.2.c.
    3. Any Albright College tenure-track faculty member facing life events that could significantly impede progress toward achieving tenure can apply to stop the tenure clock once for two consecutive semesters (one year).
      1. Tenure clock stoppage with leave.A one-year tenure-clock stoppage is granted, to a faculty member who is granted one or more semesters of illness/disability leave, parental leave, and/or personal leave.  A faculty member choosing not to stop the clock must make the request in writing. The request should then be approved by the CAO.
      2. Tenure clock stoppage without leave:Faculty members who are primary caregivers of a child, or of a parent, a spouse, or a domestic partner in a health crisis of extended duration, or who face other significantly disruptive life events that could significantly impede progress toward achieving tenure may also request tenure-clock stoppage without taking leave.

        When not taking leave any tenure-clock stoppage requires approval by the Chief Academic Officer in consultation with the department chair(s). (In the event that the department chair is the one seeking tenure-clock stoppage, the CAO shall consult with another member of the department.) The request for a tenure-clock stoppage should be made in writing to the CAO in advance wherever possible; in the case of unplanned life events that make a tenure-clock stoppage necessary, the request should be made as soon after the event as is practical. The CAO shall document in writing when a tenure-clock stoppage is approved, to the applicant, his or her department chair and the Rank and Tenure Committee. The CAO shall provide any rejected candidate a written explanation of the reasons why, and the candidate will have the right to appeal such denial to the Faculty Appeals Committee.

  3. Chief Academic Officer Responsible for Administrative Work 

    The Chief Academic Officer is responsible for the administrative work, including the communications of the ACRT.  All forms for evaluation and directions for their implementation, with the exception of student evaluations, shall be made available through the office of the Chief Academic Officer.  For external evaluations of scholarship, the candidate shall provide the Chief Academic Officer with the name of at least three external reviewers, capable of evaluating the candidate’s scholarship.  The candidate should state any professional or personal interaction with the reviewer.  The chairperson of the candidate’s department must provide at least one name different from the names provided by the candidate. Thhe Chief Academic Officer will inform the reviewer of the pending review; shall transmit a copy of the Handbook Sections setting forth the criteria by which such decisions are made; and shall ask the person to send his or her evaluation to the Chief Academic Officer.

  4. Except for their reasons for tenure and promotion the discussions of the ACRT shall be confidential 

    Only the conclusions of the deliberations and a detailed rationale for recommendation or denial shall be made available.

  5. Creation and Closing of Rank and Tenure File 

    When a faculty member is being considered for tenure or promotion, the ACRT establishes a candidate Rank and Tenure File to be maintained in the Academic Affairs Office.  The candidate’s Rank and Tenure File is closed on the day following the second Friday in October and no further information is added after that date without the unanimous approval of the candidate, the department chair, the ACRT chair, and the Chief Academic Officer.

  6. The Rank and Tenure File contains information from the following sources:
    1. The rank and tenure file must contain the following materials.  Failure to provide all specified materials will result in termination of consideration for tenure.  At the conclusion of the process, including any appeal proceedings, the materials, except as noted in Section IV.C.6.i.(i) below, shall be returned to the candidate.
    2. Curriculum vita.
    3. Candidate statement that includes the candidate’s self-assessment of teaching effectiveness and philosophy, scholarly activities and growth, campus and community service, and overall contribution to the college.
    4. All course syllabi and related course materials.
    5. All student teaching evaluations (objective summary and all subjective forms) for each class taught at Albright.  For candidates applying for promotion to full professor, a minimum of student teaching evaluations (objective summary and all subjective forms) for the past five years.
    6. Any additional supporting material, including items from the candidate’s personnel file, relevant to the criteria for tenure and promotion as set forth in Section IV.B. of this Handbook.
    7. Evidence of scholarship, per the criteria set forth in Section IV.B.6. of this Handbook.
    8. Evidence of service, per the criteria set forth in Section IV.B.7. of this Handbook.
    9. In addition the file will contain the following materials obtained by the Chief Academic Officer and ACRT.  After the completion of the process, including any appeal proceedings, these materials will be removed from the file and placed in the candidate’s personnel file.
      1. Department Chairperson letter addressing such topics as: teaching effectiveness, relationship with students, professional accomplishments, commitments to the department and the college.  The chairperson’s evaluation of teaching must be based partly on recent classroom observations.
      2. Written evaluations based on announced classroom visitations by colleagues designated by the ACRT, The candidate will submit the names of 3-4 tenured faculties, other than the candidate’s chairperson. ACRT will select several tenured faculty to provide the evaluations, including faculty in addition to those on the list provided by the candidate.
      3. External reviews of scholarship by colleagues judged to be objective by the ACRT and Chief Academic Officer.  Such evaluations will not be solicited for two and four year evaluations, or any other evaluations occurring before tenure consideration.
      4. Evaluations from alumni/ae who, and only who, were students or advisees of the candidate shall be solicited in whole or in random fashion by the Chief Academic Officer. At least 50 such alumni shall be solicited by the Chief Academic Officer. Such evaluations will not be solicited for two and four year evaluations, or any other evaluations occurring before tenure consideration.
      5. Materials the ACRT solicits that are relevant to the criteria for tenure and promotion set forth in Section IV. of this Handbook and reasonably judged by the ACRT to be factually reliable statements based on direct observation of the candidate by the person making the statement.
  7. Consideration by ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer
    1. At the earlier to occur of such time as all appropriate material has been placed in the candidate’s Rank and Tenure File or at the deadline for placing such material in the Rank and Tenure File, the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer shall separately begin an evaluation of the candidate’s record with respect to teaching, scholarly or creative achievement, and service, based on, and only on, all material properly included in the candidate’s rank and tenure file review. Decisions with respect to the credence and importance to be given material in the rank and tenure file shall be made at the discretion of the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer, using their best professional judgment, but all members of the ACRT, and the Chief Academic Officer, shall give adequate consideration to all such material and shall evaluate all such material pursuant to the criteria and standards set forth in this Handbook Section IV. for such evaluation.
    2. The detailed recommendation of the ACRT with respect to any candidacy or application presented to it for review shall be based upon collegial discussion, and reached through a process of deliberation employing high standards of intellectual probity and rigor. The Committee shall give consideration to and shall respond to all questions raised by any member of the committee.  The sole aim of the Committee’s deliberations shall be the thorough consideration of the record.
    3. The recommendation of the Chief Academic Officer with respect to any candidacy or application presented to him or her for review shall fully comply with the provisions set forth for the conduct and reporting of the ACRT’s review and recommendation.
    4. At such time as the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer have completed their respective written accounts of their recommendation with regard to a candidacy, including both the recommendation itself and the explanation of the recommendation, or the dissent and the explanation of the dissent, the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer shall simultaneously receive each other’s written statement.
    5.  At such time as the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer have completed a consideration of the other’s statement, the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer shall meet to discuss both statements.  The sole aim of the joint review of by the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer shall be a thorough consideration of the written statements before them.
    6. A final written joint statement from the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer will be produced by their joint deliberation, which shall include the written account of the ACRT’s initial recommendation and the explanation of the recommendation followed by any revised recommendation and the explanation thereof resulting from deliberation with the Chief Academic Officer, shall be transmitted to the President over the joint signatures of the Chief Academic Officer and the chair of the ACRT.
  8. Presidential Consideration 

    After receipt of the record consisting of the file and joint written statement from the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer, the President shall review the entire record, and only such record, thus transmitted to him. If the President’s intended recommendation differs from that of the ACRT, the President and the ACRT shall meet in an attempt to resolve their differences. The President shall set forth both his or her written recommendation and the grounds thereof and transmit this written statement to the candidate, the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer. 

    The candidate shall have 14 calendar days from the date of his or her receipt of the President’s recommendation within which to submit notice that he or she shall, pursuant to the substantive and procedural provisions of Section V.of this Handbook, appeal a recommendation that his or her application be denied.  Should the candidate appeal, the candidate shall have complete access to the candidate’s file, including materials collected or composed by the ACRT, the Chief Academic Officer and the President.  However, such materials may not be copied or removed from the Academic Affairs Office.

    A candidate’s notice that he or she will appeal a recommendation by the President that his or her application be denied shall be submitted to the chair of the Faculty Appeals Committee, with copies to the President, the Chief Academic Officer, and the chairs of the ACRT and the FEC.

    If a candidate does not submit a notice of appeal or request for clarification or revision within the 14-day period above the President shall transmit to the Chief Academic Officer and to the Chair of the ACRT a copy of such statement as the President transmits to the candidate, and shall transmit his recommendation, in form identical to that provided the candidate, to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, along with the entire record jointly transmitted to the President by the chair of the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer

    If a candidate does submit a notice of appeal within the 14-day period provided in this section, the President shall transmit his recommendation, in form identical to that provided the candidate, to the chair of the Faculty Appeals Committee, along with the entire record jointly transmitted to the President by the chair of the ACRT and the Chief Academic Officer.

  9. Board of Trustees Consideration 

    After receipt of the President’s recommendation and after thorough consideration of the President’s recommendation and the record, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees shall, submit its recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

    Should the Academic Affairs Committee’s recommendation differ from that of the President, the Committee and the President shall attempt to resolve such difference prior to the Academic Affairs Committee’s submission to the Board of Trustees.

    The Board of Trustees makes its decision and communicates it to the candidate and the President.  There is no appeal of the decision made by the Board of Trustees, which the decision shall be final.

    In cases where the Board of Trustees has made a decision denying tenure, the faculty member shall be given a terminal contract.  Written notice that a probationary appointment is not to be renewed shall be given to the faculty member at least 12 months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years of service at the College.

  10. Procedures for Pre-Tenure Reviews 

    For two and four year evaluations, and any other reviews that may occur prior to tenure consideration, the process is completed after 7c above. At that time, the ACRT will meet with the candidate to discuss their impressions of the candidate’s file with respect to the criteria as described above. Following this meeting but no later than the first Friday in May, the ACRT will submit a written letter to the candidate informing the candidate of the ACRT’s evaluation of the candidate’s file.

  11. Guideline Dates 

    Each spring the guideline dates for the following academic year shall be published in the April issue of the Chief Academic Officer’s Bulletin.  These dates shall be:

Between May 1 and the second Friday in May Letter sent by the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) to all Faculty eligible for tenure and/or promotion decisions, and 2-year, 4-year, and other reviews in the following academic year. Letter outlines information to be submitted and the date files are to be completed (copies of such letter available in Academic Affairs office).
No later than third Friday in June Untenured faculty eligible for an early tenure decision by virtue of credit awarded by Albright College for prior college or university teaching service and faculty eligible for promotion must notify the CAO, in writing, of their request for tenure and/or promotion decision in the following academic year.

Eligible faculty candidates reply to the CAO in writing with recommendations for peer reviewers.

Eligible faculty candidates must present scholarly and/or creative works completed on or before the third Friday in June to the CAO and provide a list of external reviewers of those works to the CAO. Department chairperson of candidate must also submit name of external reviewer to CAO.

From the third Friday in June trhough second Friday in August CAO solicits and collects information from alumni and external sources.

Peer reviewers are selected by the ACRT and invited to participate in the process by the CAO. The CAO notifies the candidates of the selected peer reviewers. Candidates send fall syllabi to peer reviewers.

No later than the second Friday in October Completed files are due in the office of the CAO for those under consideration for tenure and promotion. Department chairs’ letters of evaluation, peer reviews, and external evaluations are due.

Beyond this date no additional informaiton may be added to the candidate’s Rank and Tenure file without the knowledge of the candidate and the department chair.

From second Friday in October through third Friday in November ACRT considers recommendations and all materials in the candidate’s file.
No later than the second Friday of December Recommendations of ACRT and CAO are sent to the President.
No later than January 1 President determines her/his recommendation and communicates it to the candidate and the CAO. The President shall set forth both his or her written recommendation and the grounds thereof and transmit this written statement to the candidate, the ACRT and the CAO.
No later than 14 calendar days after receipt of the President’s letter informing the candidate of recommendation A candidate for tenure and/or promotion may file a statement with the Faculty Appeals Committee appealing an adverse recommendation of the President.
No later than the third week in January Submission to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees the President’s positive recommendations for tenure and promotion. Candidates will be notified in writing of the Trustees’ decisions one week following the winter full-Board meeting. The January deadline for the Trustees’ consideration does not apply to a candidate who has appealed, by the aforesaid deadline date, an adverse recommendation made by the President. There is no appeal of an adverse decision by the Board of Trustees.
First Monday of March Completed files are due for those undergoing 2-year, 4-year, and other reviews. Department chairperson’s letters and peer reviews are due.
No later than second Friday in May undergoing ACRT sends letter to candidates and their department chairs 2-year, 4-year and other reviews apprising them of their conclusions regarding their progress toward tenure and promotion.
No later than second Friday in May ACRT sends letter to candidates undergoing 2-year, 4-year and other reviews apprising them of their conclusions regarding their progress toward tenure and promotion.
Spring Board Meeting Trustees consideration and decision for tenure and promotion candidates who had, in a timely fashion, appealed an adverse recommendation by the President to the Faculty Appeals Committee.