Tenure and Promotion Standards
1. Standards for Faculty Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion
In determining whether a faculty member's appointment shall be renewed or whether such member be tenured or promoted, the Committee shall consider the following:
- For renewal of appointment -- Demonstrated competence in teaching and satisfactory performance of service obligations.
- For promotion to or renewal of appointment as Associate Professor -- Above average teaching ability, evidence of scholarly potential sufficient to indicate the likelihood of a career as a productive scholar, and significant performance of service obligations. Research in progress is sufficient to demonstrate scholarly potential.
- For tenure or promotion to Professor -- Substantially above-average teaching ability, a substantial contribution to scholarship, and significant performance of service obligations.
- Teaching: Quality of teaching will be evaluated by students, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Dean, and when feasible by a law teacher from another school. Student evaluation of whether the faculty member meets the above average standard will be based upon the terminology of regularly administered evaluation forms. The standards used by faculty peers or the Dean to evaluate quality of teaching will be based upon their knowledge of and experience with legal education both at Washburn and elsewhere. The evaluation by each of the evaluating entities will receive substantial weight in judging quality of teaching.
- Scholarship: A substantial contribution to scholarship normally consists of at least two significant law review articles or a book of similar or greater magnitude, accompanied by other less significant contributions. Those other contributions may include but are not limited to publications of notes and reviews, the preparation of unique teaching materials, and drafting of legislation. A judgment of the quality of scholarly activities will be made by the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the Dean, and, when appropriate, by professionals from outside of the Law School with relevant special expertise. The evaluation by each of the evaluating entities will receive substantial weight in judging quality of scholarly activity.
- Service: Significant performance of service obligations includes fulfilling customary administrative and committee responsibilities, and may include responsible activities in local, state, or national bar associations, service for local, state, or federal government agencies, community service, or legal pro bono service.
- Scholarly contributions by faculty on twelve-month contracts who have substantially greater than normal administrative duties: Eligibility for promotion to Associate Professor will depend primarily upon quality performance of their duties other than scholarship. For tenure and promotion to Professor there is an expectation of significant contribution to scholarship. However, the sufficiency of the scholarly contribution will be measured in light of the demands of the additional administrative responsibilities.
2. Minimum Degree and Years of Service Requirement
- Tenure requires a probationary period not to exceed seven years. Three years at another institution of higher learning may count toward the seven years if agreed upon at the time of the initial contract.
- The following are minimum requirements for the School of Law, and achievement of them will not automatically result in promotion.
- Assistant Professor. Appointments to the faculty of the School of Law are normally made in the rank of Assistant Professor where the appointee has no prior Law School teaching experience and less than three years of law practice. Minimum qualifications include the J.D. or equivalent, and appointments without post-degree professional experience would be rare. Appointment in appropriate cases may be made where the appointee's degree is in a discipline other than law.
- Associate Professor. Promotion to the rank of Associate Professor may be earned upon three years service in the rank of Assistant Professor. Factors considered in the promotion decision include demonstrated teaching effectiveness, performance of faculty duties other than teaching, and scholarly publications or other contributions to the profession.
- Professor. Promotion to the rank of Professor may be earned upon three (3) years service in the rank of Associate Professor, if the initial appointment was as Assistant Professor, or upon six (6) years of service, including years of service at another institution that count toward the probationary period, if the initial appointment was as Associate Professor.
- The Committee on Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure (hereinafter called the Committee) for the School of Law shall consist of all tenured members of the Law School faculty except ex officio members. In any year in which he or she will personally be considered by the Committee for promotion, a tenured member of the faculty shall not consider promotion of any other member of the Committee.
- The Dean of the School of Law shall be the convening authority and serve as chairperson of the Committee, but shall in no case vote as a member of the Committee. In the event of the inability of the Dean to serve, the senior serving member of the Law School faculty shall act in this capacity and shall be entitled to vote as a Committee member.
- In any year in which any member of the faculty is eligible to be considered for reappointment, promotion, or tenure under the University Bylaws or Personnel Policies, the Dean shall convene the Committee for consideration of such matters at a date sufficiently early that the Committee's work may ordinarily be concluded by October 15. Where appropriate, the Committee may defer reappointment decisions until any later date consistent with University policy on notice of non reappointment, and shall notify the faculty member concerned of the date upon which the matter will be considered.
- At the time of convening the Committee, the Dean will notify each faculty member eligible to be considered, and will request each such faculty member to submit to the Committee such information or materials as he or she may wish the Committee to consider in reaching a decision on the standard forms determined by the CPT. Notice shall also be given to all faculty of those faculty members under consideration for reappointment, promotion, or award of tenure.
- The Committee shall have available to it the faculty member's file, which shall include at least the faculty information form and summaries of student evaluations of the faculty member under consideration.
- Upon call by the convening authority, the Committee shall meet and, having due regard for the standards established hereunder and by University policy, shall determine whether to recommend the faculty member under consideration for reappointment, promotion, or tenure. The affirmative vote by secret ballot of a majority the full Committee shall be required for favorable recommendation. Anything less, including a tie vote, shall be deemed a determination that the faculty member under consideration should not be recommended for reappointment, promotion, or tenure. Two-thirds (67%) of the Committee members shall constitute a quorum, and no absentee voting shall be permitted.
- Upon reaching a determination in any case, the Committee shall make its recommendation to the Dean who shall immediately advise the faculty member concerned of the recommendation of the Committee and proceed thereafter in accordance with University policy.