Policy:                   RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION REVIEW – STANDARDS AND TIMELINES

Effective date:        July 1, 2017

Review date:          July 1, 2020

Revised:                  

Responsible Party: Office of the Provost


1. RETENTION, TENURE, AND PROMOTION REVIEWS

Retention, tenure, and promotion reviews are summative reviews of the faculty member’s performance in teaching, scholarship, and service over the designated Review Period. Retention reviews may also include formative feedback to the candidate.

Performance is measured against standards specified by the university in Sections 5 through 8 of this policy and through the indicators delineated in the Role and Scope Documents of the university and its academic units. Only the standards and indicators in these approved documents may be used in the assessment of performance.

All reviews are conducted using the procedures in the university policies and the applicable Role and Scope Documents. The standards applicable to retention, tenure, and promotion reviews are set forth in Sections 5 through 8 below.

2. REVIEW TIMELINES AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS

The provost will establish the university deadlines related to Retention, Tenure, and Promotion Reviews and will publish them at least sixty (60) days prior to the date of the first deadline each year. The deadlines published by April 15 each year will apply to those reviews conducted the following year.

  • Retention Review. Faculty are reviewed for retention in the academic year specified in their Letter of Hire, unless extended under the Extending Tenure Review Period policy.
  • Tenure Review. Tenure reviews commence no later than the academic year designated in the faculty member’s Letter of Hire, or as extended under the Extending Tenure Review Period policy. Faculty may initiate a tenure review only once during their employment at Montana State University.

    Faculty may initiate a tenure review earlier than designated in the letter of hire in “exceptionally meritorious cases”. Faculty seeking early tenure review must meet the same standards used in evaluating candidates who seek tenure after completion of the full tenure review period. Faculty who wish to apply for early tenure will submit a written notification of their intention to apply for tenure to their primary review administrator by the deadline established by the provost. If faculty has not been reviewed for retention, the applicable Role and Scope Document is the document in effect at the time of hire.

    The award of tenure automatically advances a faculty member at the rank of Assistant Professor to the rank of Associate Professor.
  • Terminal Employment Contract. A faculty member who fails to submit the required materials for retention or tenure by the established deadlines or who withdraws from the review will receive a terminal MUS employment contract for the year following the year scheduled for the review. A faculty member who is not awarded retention or tenure after review will receive a terminal MUS employment contract for the academic year that follows the decision of the provost.

3. EXPEDITED TENURE REVIEW AT HIRE

The finalist for a tenurable faculty or administrator position who holds tenure at an accredited institution of higher education with comparable tenure standards is eligible for an expedited tenure review at the time of hire. With the agreement of the finalist, the provost will authorize the administrator of the relevant primary academic unit to forward the finalist’s application materials and any supporting materials to the unit’s promotion and tenure committee for consideration.

The primary review committee will forward their recommendation for successive consideration by the primary review administrator, the intermediate review administrator (if applicable), and the provost. The provost will assess the application materials and previous recommendations, and make a recommendation to the president.

If the president approves the award of tenure at hire, they will forward that recommendation to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for consideration by the Board of Regents at the next appropriate Board meeting. If the decision of the Board is favorable, the effective date of tenure will be recorded as the date of hire.

4. PROMOTION REVIEW

Faculty may be promoted from the rank of Assistant Professor to Associate Professor or from the rank of Associate Professor to Professor. Assistant Professors without tenure will be reviewed simultaneously for tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. Only Associate Professors with tenure may be promoted to the rank of Professor.

Normally, faculty are reviewed for promotion after the completion of five (5) years of service in the current rank. Faculty seeking promotion before the completion of five (5) years of service in rank must meet the same standards of effectiveness, and accomplishment or excellence used in evaluating candidates who seek promotion after five (5) years in rank.

Faculty seeking promotion from Associate Professor to Professor will provide written notification of their intent to apply for promotion to the primary review administrator by the deadline established by the provost. A tenured faculty member seeking promotion may withdraw from promotion review at any time and may reapply in any subsequent year.

5. UNIVERSITY STANDARDS FOR RETENTION

The University standards for the retention of probationary faculty members are:

  • effectiveness in teaching, scholarship, and service during the review period, and
  • integration of no less than two of the following during the review period: teaching, scholarship, and service, and
  • satisfactory progress towards meeting the standards for tenure by the candidate’s tenure review year.

Candidates for retention are reviewed under the Role and Scope Documents in effect on the first day of employment in a tenurable position.

6. UNIVERSITY STANDARDS FOR TENURE

The University standards for the award of tenure are:

  • sustained effectiveness in teaching and service during the review period, and
  • integration of no less than two of the following during the review period: teaching, scholarship, and service, and
  • accomplishment in scholarship.

Candidates for tenure are reviewed under the Role and Scope Documents in effect on the first day of employment in a tenurable position. Candidates may select a more recent, approved Role and Scope Document by notifying the primary review committee.

7. UNIVERSITY STANDARDS FOR PROMOTION TO THE RANK OF ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

The University standards for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor are the standards for the award of tenure. Appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor does not demonstrate, in and of itself, that standards for tenure have been met.

8. UNIVERSITY STANDARDS FOR PROMOTION TO THE RANK OF PROFESSOR

The University standards for promotion to the rank of Professor are:

  • sustained effectiveness in teaching and service during the review period, and
  • sustained integration of no less than two of the following areas during the review period: teaching, scholarship, and service, and
  • excellence in scholarship.

Faculty members seeking promotion to Professor must notify the primary reviewing administrator of their intent by the deadline established by the provost. The faculty member will be reviewed using standards and indicators in effect two (2) years prior to the deadline for notification of intent to apply for promotion.

Only tenured Associate Professors may be promoted to the rank of Professor. Unsuccessful candidates may reapply.

9. EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL REVIEWS

External peer reviews are required for tenure and promotion reviews. Each primary unit will include requirements for the solicitation and use of such reviews in the unit’s Role and Scope Statement. Units may seek internal peer reviews if the procedures and use of internal peer reviews are included in the unit’s Role and Scope Document.