Reappointment of Assistant Professor



Reappointment as Assistant Professor requires satisfactory progress toward excellence in scholarship and teaching as evaluated by the departmental faculty, the SAS Personnel Committee, and the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Reappointments cannot be considered automatic, and careful consideration must be given to the candidate's performance in the context of the department's long-range plan and of the projected resources available in the School of Arts and Sciences.

It is SAS policy that in instances where a department recommends against reappointment of an assistant professor in his or her third year, the department will automatically be authorized to conduct a search to replace that person during the subsequent academic year. This policy is designed to prevent a department's reappointment of a weak assistant professor for the purpose of "preserving" a faculty line.

    1. Term of Reappointment

      The normal term of the second appointment following an initial four-year appointment is three years. Shorter terms can be recommended under unusual circumstances. In no case is the total term of appointment as an Assistant Professor permitted to exceed seven years unless a portion of the time of appointment has been explicitly excluded from the probationary period by the Provost and the President. Such exclusion can occur for child-care leave or serious health condition. This exclusion must be requested by the Assistant Professor in writing, approved by the department chair, the Dean, and by the Provost's Staff Conference at the time the leave is approved.

    2. Deadlines for Recommendations

      University policy requires that all faculty members holding probationary appointments be notified of reappointment or termination prior to the end of the penultimate year of their appointments. This can be done most expeditiously if recommendations for reappointment or termination are received before the end of the fall term of the penultimate year. In the event that advice from the department is not received in time to permit the Personnel Committee, the Dean, and the Provost's Staff Conference to complete their reviews before June 30, the Dean, in order to protect the interests of the School of Arts and Sciences, may send a notice of termination to the faculty member.

    3. Dossier for Reappointment (See SAS Form 99-9)
      1. Chair's Letter

        The Professors and Associate Professors of the department should evaluate the candidate for reappointment in terms of the candidate's performance to date as measured against the department's initial expectations for scholarly development and teaching as documented in the recommendation for initial appointment.

        If a candidate has not met the department's expectations, the department should give serious consideration to recommending the termination of the appointment at the end of its current term. However, the review for reappointment is not intended to be a review for ultimate tenure, and the candidate should not be expected to have demonstrated that he or she will clearly merit a future recommendation for a tenured appointment. The review for reappointment is an excellent occasion to make a careful analysis of the candidate's teaching record, and to provide appropriate advice if he or she appears to be deficient in this area. When recommending a candidate for reappointment the Chair's letter should comment on the extent to which the candidate has fulfilled his or her initial promise as indicated in the initial appointment documentation. However, the Chair's letter should not speculate on the likelihood that the department will eventually forward a positive recommendation for the candidate's tenure.

        The Chair's letter must report the formal vote of the faculty in the department, including the manner in which the vote was taken. Positive votes, negative votes, abstentions, and absences must all be included in this statement. No dossier will be considered by the Personnel Committee if it lacks an explicit statement of the formal vote. Minority opinion, when present, should be expressed in the Chair's letter or in a separate letter written by another faculty member selected by the Chair.

      2. Curriculum Vitae of the Candidate

        The candidate is responsible for preparing an up-to-date curriculum vitae which includes scholarly accomplishments and plans, teaching experience at the University (course numbers and descriptions, numbers of students, dissertation supervision, graduate student placement, if any, and undergraduate independent study supervision), and administrative and committee service. All works published and in progress should be included in the bibliography.

        Candidates must provide inclusive pagination of all bibliographical citations in the curriculum vitae (exact page numbers for articles, number of pages for books and monographs). In addition, the Chair should annotate the curriculum vitae or append to it a statement that will enable readers of the dossier: (1) to distinguish the journals in which the candidate's work appears that are refereed from those that are not; and (2) to identify the writings that are primarily by the candidate in cases of multiple authorship. The Chair should identify the most significant scholarly journals in the field and indicate the protocol for the field with regard to the order of names on jointly authored works. No dossier for the reappointment of an Assistant Professor will be considered by the Personnel Committee if it lacks this information.

        Include all professional reviews of books written by the candidate.

        When a candidate for reapointment has, had, or will have grant support from outside agencies, the Department should use SAS Forms 99-28, 99-29, and 99-30 to elaborate.

      3. Personal Statements

        The candidate is to provide a personal statement(s) detailing research, teaching, and service approaches and goals. Typically, this statement--or these statements--greatly strengthen the understanding of the candidate in the various stages of review.

      4. Teaching Chronicle (SAS Form 99-15)
      5. Evaluation of Teaching

        The teaching evaluation for reappointment as assistant professor should give a clear indication of the candidate's record and promise for future growth as a teacher. It need not be as thorough an analysis as is required for tenure discussions. School or departmental course evaluations must be included. If small advanced graduate courses have not been evaluated, that fact should be noted on the teaching chronicle. Departmental mentorship activities should be described. TA's with whom the candidate has worked should be consulted.

        The Chair is responsible for providing enough information so that the teaching data can be appropriately assessed. A departmental analysis of the teaching data in a format that is consistent from case to case within the department would be helpful. Average departmental ratings and plots of instructor quality ratings versus class size can be helpful. In interpreting the teaching evaluation of a faculty member teaching a specific course, it might be helpful to know how those ratings compare with the ratings of other faculty who have taught the same course.

      6. Faculty Distribution by Rank (SAS Form 99-16)
      7. Supporting Letters

        At least three letters from University faculty commenting on the candidate's performance to date should be included. External letters, if appropriate, may be included in addition to or in place of some of the internal letters. The report of an ad hoc department committee may be substituted for individual letters. Letters from faculty in departments in which the candidate holds a secondary appointment should also be included.

    4. Notification of Candidate

      It is the responsibility of the Chair of the department to notify the candidate in writing before June 30 of the official action taken. If reappointment has not been approved, the Chair should notify the candidate with a letter similar to that suggested in SAS Form 99-21. Failure to provide such written notice may result in an automatic reappointment for a terminal year regardless of other departmental priorities. A copy of the letter countersigned by the candidate must be sent to the Dean's Office together with a Faculty Equal Opportunity Compliance Statement (SAS Form 99-5).

    5. Procedures when Department does not Recommend Reappointment
      1. Dossier Prepared for Dean
        1. Chair's Letter

          The Chair's letter should summarize the discussions in the department. Dissenting opinion, if present, should either be summarized in the Chair's letter or presented in a separate letter from a faculty member designated by the Chair. The formal vote of the faculty members must be recorded in the Chair's letter.

        2. Curriculum Vitae

          The curriculum vitae should be prepared in a manner similar to that presented for a positive recommendation.

        3. Evaluation of Teaching

          Any evidence on teaching ability that has been organized as part of the evaluation process should be submitted with the dossier. Course ratings, when available, must also be included.

        4. Supporting Letters

          If letters have been solicited as part of the evaluation procedure, they should be submitted with the dossier.

      2. Notification of Candidate

        After receiving the concurrence of the Dean the Chair should notify the candidate in writing of the official action prior to June 30. A letter similar to that suggested in SAS Form 99-21 should be used for this notification. Failure to provide timely notice may result in automatic reappointment of the faculty member for one additional terminal year regardless of the priorities of the department or of the opinion of the faculty members of the department. A copy of the letter countersigned by the candidate must be sent to the Dean's Office together with a Faculty Equal Opportunity Compliance Statement (SAS Form 99-5).

      3. Appeal Procedures

        A candidate who believes that the department has not dealt equitably with him or her may appeal to the Dean. If the Dean feels that the department has not fully considered all aspects of the candidate's case, the Dean may ask the department to reconsider the case or forward the dossier to the Personnel Committee for its advice. If there is a reconsideration by the department and it again proves negative, the Dean still has the option of forwarding the dossier to the Personnel Committee. In this event, which should be extraordinarily rare, the Dean must inform the Chair of the department of this action and of the reasons for it.

    6. Procedures for Resubmission of Case by Department - See section F.