Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure
The faculty of the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CFAM) hereby establishes these standards including criteria, policies, and procedures which will guide the granting of faculty reappointment, promotion, and continuous appointment (tenure).
The College is committed to the recruitment and retention of the finest scholars and artists who are dedicated to teaching, research/creative activity, and service both within and outside the University. While it is recognized that faculty differ in interests and professional practices, it is the belief of the College faculty that all faculty must be exemplary teachers who pursue research/creative activity that is germane to the College's mission and vision presented below.
CFAM Mission Statement
CFAM embraces imagination and human communication as inseparable aspects of the creative process. We are committed to an exceptional liberal arts education, enriched by professional practice. We achieve excellence by encouraging discovery through learning, research, creative activity and engagement with all communities -- metropolitan to global.
CFAM Vision Statement
CFAM will become the preeminent academic model of innovation and collaboration in communication and the arts. We will achieve this through dynamic teaching, world class faculty and professionals, innovative research and creative activity, extraordinary facilities and technology, and engaging community partnerships.
The College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media operates under general guidelines of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents (UN-BOR) and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). In addition, full-time faculty are members of the UNO American Association of University Professors (AAUP) bargaining unit and subject to the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement between the UN-BOR and the UNO AAUP. The UN-BOR, UNO, and AAUP directives referenced in the document are current as of the formal acceptance date by the CFAM faculty of these reappointment, promotion, and tenure (RPT) guidelines, policies, and procedures. If any of these directives should subsequently change, the revised directive(s) will take precedent.
1. University of Nebraska Board of Regents Bylaws
Relevant to CFAM’s RPT process are sections on “Standards for Promotion, Continuous Appointment, and Salary Adjustment” and “Evaluation of Faculty Performance: Procedure” in the University of Nebraska Board of Regents Bylaws.
However, faculty are advised to note that, while the UN-BOR Guidelines refer to an “annual review” as the document used in RPT, UNO is governed in part by its faculty having voted to be represented in bargaining by the AAUP. The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the UNO AAUP and the NU-BOR stipulates that annual reviews are submitted by all faculty members, tenured or not, in February, and are used primarily to determine performance based increases and to give yearly documentation of professional activities. While material in each annual review might well be used in compiling the documentation for RPT, applications for RPT are substantially more comprehensive, are usually due in the fall semester, and should include such material and evidence as outlined in these CFAM guidelines.
Faculty in the RPT process are also encouraged to remember that, pursuant to UN-BOR and UNO Guidelines, each department/school (hereafter referred to as academic unit) is charged with developing and maintaining the specific criteria for RPT as they apply to the areas of teaching, research/creative activity, and service within and outside the university.
2. UNO Guidelines on Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Recommendations
Relevant to CFAM’s RPT process is the first paragraph under the “Criteria” section of the UNO Faculty Evaluation and RPT Guidelines. That paragraph states:
The statement makes clear the individual academic units are responsible for establishing appropriate criteria and measuring each candidate against them before presenting the candidate’s RPT file to the college personnel committee.Other sections of the UNO Guidelines will be referenced later in this document.
3. UNO AAUP Contract
Relevant to CFAM’s RPT process is the section of the UNO AAUP contract which refers to the “Reappointment, promotion, and granting of continuous appointment.”
Within the context of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and American Association of University Professors guidelines, the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media reappointment, promotion and tenure criteria, policies, and procedures are as follows.
1. Initial Appointment
A. Tenure Track
It is the responsibility of each academic unit within CFAM to specify and document according to accepted standards within a discipline (e.g. national accrediting agencies, etc.) what is considered to be the terminal degree. There may be circumstances in which some combination of other graduate degrees and/or experience or distinction in a discipline may be considered as the equivalent of a terminal degree. Such instances will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will require recommendation by the academic unit and concurrence by the Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Any such extraordinary circumstances or any conditions with respect to completion of a terminal degree will be detailed in the initial appointment letter from the Dean. When an alternate to the terminal degree is approved, performance requirements for the faculty member will be the same as for persons holding the terminal degree.
B. Non-Tenure Track
It is the responsibility of each academic unit within CFAM to specify and document according to accepted standards within a discipline what are considered to be academic and/or professional qualifications for appointment to a full-time, non-tenure track position within the academic unit. Such appointments are normally for one academic year and may be renewed according to the criteria detailed in section II.3.B below. Any special conditions related to such an appointment will be detailed in the initial appointment letter from the Dean.
2. Time Considerations
The UNO Faculty Evaluation and RPT Guidelines (p. 4) state: "The minimum period of service before an individual can be awarded tenure shall be three years of full-time teaching (or service of professionals such as librarians and research professors) at the college or university level. At least two years of this service normally must be at the University of Nebraska at Omaha...The period of service required for the granting of a continuous appointment will normally approach the seven year maximum."
The UNO Faculty Evaluation and RPT Guidelines (p. 3) state: “Promotion is not to be viewed as a matter of professional right based merely upon length of service, but instead must be treated as a reward for outstanding contributions to the department, college and university. It is imperative that each department and college exercise extreme discretion in evaluating faculty for promotion purposes. All departmental recommendations to the cognizant dean must be substantially documented. Evidence must be included to demonstrate that the faculty member's capabilities and potentialities are commensurate with the recommended rank.”
The time considerations for promotion within the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media shall be uniform and as follows:
- An Instructor occupying a full-time non-tenure track position must be considered for promotion to Lecturer during the sixth year of full-time teaching at UNO. It is the responsibility of each academic unit within CFAM which has non-tenure track full-time positions to develop specific criteria and procedures to govern this process, to communicate these criteria and procedures in writing to the faulty member, and to have these documents on file with the CFAM Dean's office. Academic unit recommendations for promotion to Lecturer must follow the normal CFAM promotion process including review by the CFAM Faculty Personnel Committee.
- An Assistant Professor normally may not be recommended for promotion before the completion of the third full year of service in rank and until the candidate has held a terminal degree or its equivalent for at least two full academic years.
- An Associate Professor normally may not be recommended for promotion before the completion of the fourth full academic year of service in rank
3. Reappointment Criteria
A. Tenure Track Faculty
Each tenure track faculty member must demonstrate in each year's reappointment portfolio that progress is being made toward developing a profile that will lead to a positive tenure outcome in the tenure decision year. The annual reappointment portfolio must clearly demonstrate professional growth and development and must address any concerns or shortcomings identified in previous years' College evaluations.
B. Non-Tenure Track Faculty
Each CFAM academic unit which employs full-time non-tenure track faculty will develop specific criteria and procedures to govern yearly reappointment of these faculty members. In these cases, the annual review may be used as the basis for reappointment decisions. It is the responsibility of each CFAM academic unit to communicate these criteria and procedures in writing to the faculty member, and to have these documents on file with the CFAM Dean's office.
4. Tenure Criteria
The University of Nebraska at Omaha RPT Guidelines (p. 5) stipulate that "the department [or school] desiring to recommend tenure or promotion is required to present evidence that performance has been outstanding in... [either teaching or research/creative activity] and above average in at least one of the three remaining areas [from Teaching, Research/Creative Activity, Service inside the University, and Service outside the University]."
Because the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media places emphasis on both teaching and research/creative activity, and values service, these CFAM RPT guidelines further stipulate the following: If the area of outstanding performance is research/creative activity, teaching must be judged above average or outstanding; and if the area of outstanding performance is teaching, and the person has had regular research/creative activity assignments, the faculty member must be judged above average or outstanding in research/creative activity. In addition, the faculty member must be judged at least average overall in service.
As a teacher, the candidate for tenure must demonstrate teaching effectiveness by student, administrative, and peer evaluations. As an artist or scholar, the candidate for tenure must document peer reviewed creative or scholarly activity which demonstrates at least strong regional recognition, and preferably national or international recognition. In addition, the tenure decision is also based on evidence of an ongoing commitment by the candidate to sustain teaching, research/creative activities, and service throughout the candidate's UNO employment.
5. Promotion to Associate Professor Criteria
The University of Nebraska at Omaha RPT Guidelines (p. 4) state: "Normally, granting of continuous appointment to Assistant Professor should be accompanied by promotion to Associate Professor." Any exception to this guideline must be explained and documented in the academic unit's evaluation narratives and must be consistent with statements made in previous reappointment recommendations. In CFAM, the criteria specified for tenure in section II.4. above apply to promotion to Associate Professor.
Based on an exceptional record which may include prior full-time teaching experience at an accredited institution of higher education other than UNO, promotion to Associate Professor may be considered prior to the tenure decision date. Attainment of the rank of Associate Professor, by itself, is not sufficient for granting of tenure.
6. Promotion to Professor Criteria
The candidate for promotion to professor must present compelling evidence and documentation of significant advancement in either teaching or research/creative activity (which may be pedagogical in nature) since attainment of the rank of Associate Professor. If the candidate chooses to be evaluated on research/creative activity, there must be a demonstration of outstanding work, as judged by the candidate’s academic unit standards and an external reviewer, and above average ranking in teaching. If the candidate chooses to be evaluated on teaching, there must be a demonstration of outstanding work, as judged by the candidate’s academic unit standards and an external reviewer, and above average ranking in research/creative activity. The external reviewer must be at the level of professor and/or must have achieved a level of distinction in the field, as explained by the candidate’s unit head.
The unit’s guidelines for promotion to professor must be submitted with the portfolio.
To document activities and accomplishments related to each of the major categories (Teaching, Research/Creative Activity, Service inside the University, and Service outside the University) used to determine recommendations for reappointment, promotion, and tenure the candidate will submit a portfolio (see section IV.1 below). The following sections present types of documentation that may be used. These items are intended as suggestions; common items appear in their most appropriate categories. The lists are neither exhaustive nor exclusive, and individuals may choose to justify certain items as applying to categories that vary from their placement here. The clarity of the evidence is a key consideration. It is the primary responsibility of the applicant to provide specific and complete information to spell out in detail all relevant accomplishments.
CFAM requires standardized evaluations by students for all courses taught. Each academic unit will provide standard evaluation forms and reports of the statistical analysis summaries for each class. These reports must be provided in the portfolio submitted for reappointment, promotion, or tenure consideration. In addition, each candidate should provide an overall summary of and reflection on of these evaluations. If written student comments from the standardized evaluation forms for a particular course are submitted by the candidate, all such comments must be included.
While CFAM values these standardized student evaluations, statistics gained through them will not, by themselves, be the determining factor in granting or denying reappointment, promotion, or tenure.
In order to document an above average or outstanding rating in teaching, the following types of activities should also be used. These categories and types of activities are meant to be suggestive, not definitive, and evidence is not required for every area in each category.
A. Classroom or Studio Teaching
- Evaluations by appropriate faculty colleagues or administrators, within and outside the department/school, college, or university
- Letters of support or evaluation from students, majors within the academic unit, or alumni
- Student evaluations on an evaluation form developed by the faculty member, provided that all forms distributed and returned are included
- Awards or other recognition for outstanding performance as a teacher (e.g. excellence in teaching awards, finalist in competition, etc.)
- Evidence of curriculum development activities (e.g. new or revised courses, distance education)
- Successful innovative teaching techniques (e.g., incorporation of service-learning projects)
- Student achievements that result from work completed in a course, such as conference presentations, publications, or competitions
- Evidence of concern and success with teaching improvement, such as participation in UNO TABS
- Faculty development in teaching (e.g., attendance at teaching conferences)
- Achievement of certification by a recognized professional body
B. Teaching Outside the Classroom
- Chair or member of thesis, special project, recital, capstone, or doctoral committee
- Presentations/lectures to other classes at UNO or other institutions
- Tutoring, coaching, advising, or other teaching outside of a regular course or in the community
- Supervision of independent studies or internships
- Sponsorship of student professional clubs/societies or other professional involvement with students outside the classroom
- Sponsorship of student presentation of papers at conferences (including student awards)
- Organization of professional conferences oriented to students
- Evidence of student engagement in service-learning activities
- UNO Teaching Circles – chair and participation
- Active participation in university programs such as the Honors’ Program, International Studies and Programs
- Professional workshops presented at conferences, meetings, etc.
C. Service to Teaching
These are activities related to teaching and can be considered service, but, if they are included under Teaching, they should not be included in the Service category.
- Participation on college teaching-related committees, such as undergraduate program committee, graduate program committee
- Participation in professional organizations devoted to teaching
- Participation in campus “teaching” activities (e.g. Fall Faculty Development Workshop)
- Presentations/lectures in the community
- Mentoring activities
D. Pedagogical Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities
These are activities related to teaching and can be considered research/creative activity, but, if they are included under Teaching, they should not be included in the Research/Creative Activity category. Just as in research/creative activity, there needs to be clear evidence of the extent these activities are juried or reviewed in some way by peers in the field.
- Books, articles, papers, workshops, or panel participation at professional conferences related to pedagogy in a particular discipline
- Publication of teaching-related research or descriptions of teaching-related creative activities
- Instruction-related funded proposals; external funding of instruction proposals
2. Research/Creative Activity
A. Definitions and Overview
Research refers to any scholarship or scholarly work that, through discovery or synthesis, provides new knowledge or adds to existing knowledge. Creative activity refers to original works created by an individual or to an interpretation or performance of a work of art.
Research and creative activity are manifested through publication or public presentation. Regional, national, or international recognition of work quality is imperative in judging the merit of the research or creative activity. To receive an outstanding or above average rating in research or creative activity, a faculty member must provide evidence of a research or artistic program that will continue to develop and receive critical acclaim by colleagues and peers at a regional, national, or international level.
Clear evidence must be presented that growth and development of research/creative activity is an ongoing process for the faculty member. Quality and, to some extent, quantity of the work are important.
Collective research and creative activity are appropriate in some fields. There must be evidence, however, that the faculty member is a major or valuable contributor to the work. A percentage of contribution for all collective work cited must be included in the documentation of the candidate.
The frequency of research assignments will be taken into consideration in RPT decisions. Individual unit guidelines may define the expectations of Research/Creative Activity (RCA) in relation to Research/Creative Activity (RCA) workload. Brief or extended absences from campus because of a professional project or necessitated by professional commitments should not be an excuse for not developing a body of work.To document an outstanding or above average rating in research/creative activity, the following types of evidence may be used. Because of the diversity within the College, each CFAM academic unit must provide guidance to the RPT candidate about the relative importance of the following activities and other activities that may be related to research/creative activity in the individual disciplines.
The following activities are examples of research. However, each item listed requires explanatory evidence such as being peer reviewed; being regional, national, or international in nature; and having a reputation as a forum for scholarship in a particular discipline or area.
- Publication of an academically recognized book or monograph
- Publication in a professional or academic journal
- Extramural research grants and awards
- Professional or academic conference participation (e.g. papers delivered, discussant roles, reputation of the conference, scope of audience, and method of participant selection)
- Additional forms of recognition for research (e.g. invited book reviews in major journals, invited keynote or plenary session addresses to international, national or regional conferences or meetings, election to honorary and/or administrative positions in international or national scholarly societies, internal research grants and rewards, letters from generally recognized scholars in the field)
- Editor, associate editor, advisery or consulting editor on a professional journal
- Editor or associate editor of a book series
- Publications or research committee of a professional society
- Session organizer at a professional or academic conferenceInvited speaker or scholar-in-residence at another university or college
- Invited speaker or scholar-in-residence at another university or college
- Citation by other scholars
- Reviews of one’s books in professional journals
- Book review essays (e.g. essays written about a field based on a set of current books)
C. Creative Activity
Given the diverse nature of the disciplines in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, the definition of creative activity must be left to individual academic units. Each item proposed as evidence of creative activity requires explanatory evidence. What is essential in determining the relevance and significance of creative activity is how the individual’s work was selected, the review or outcome, impact and scope. There must be some form of peer or professional evaluation that validates the activity.
The following examples of creative activity serve as a guideline but are not exhaustive:
- Concerts and recital (e.g. singer, instrumentalist, conductor, composer, etc.)
- Original compositions and arrangements
- Competitive and invitational regional, national, and international exhibitions
- Solo or group curated exhibitions
- Poetry, prose fiction and nonfiction, personal writing, plays
- Performances (e.g. actor, actor/singer, director, dancer, etc.)
- Designs (e.g. lighting, set, costume, sound, make-up, etc.)
- Theatrical or media productions (e.g. technical director, technical consultant, etc.)
- Guest artist appearances, residencies, presentations
- External grants and awards
- Media design, creation and/or production (e.g. print, broadcast, digital, etc.)
3. Service (within and outside the University)
A. Definition and Overview
Service within the University refers to active contribution to departmental, school, college and university committees and activities. Faculty members are expected to demonstrate pertinent activity in these areas, and should be able to show evidence of willingness and ability to assume a leadership role on departmental, school, college and university committees, regular instructional and advising assignments, and acceptance of responsibility for and participation in informal campus activities and responsibilities. Service outside the University refers to public service in areas directly related to professional expertise.It is important for the candidate to explain and detail the extent of responsibilities and activities in any item listed under Service.
In order to document at least average performance in service within the university and service outside the university, the following types of evidence may be used (these are meant to be suggestive, not definitive). Some items listed below might conceivably be placed in the Teaching or Research/Creative Activity categories. If this is done, they should not be listed in either of the Service categories. It is the candidate's responsibility to determine and justify the appropriate category.
B. Service within the University
This includes active contribution in fulfilling administrative, committee, and special assignments at the department, school, college, or university level or levels. Peer evaluations, administrator evaluations, and accomplishments, for example, might be cited to provide evidence of effectiveness. Such contributions might also include:
- Promotional activities that support the University’s educational mission
- Institutional advancement activities (e.g. activities supporting fundraising, development, strategic planning, etc.)
- Member of thesis, special project, recital, capstone, or doctoral committee
- Sponsorship of student professional clubs/societies
- Managing a speakers or performance series that supports the University’s educational or outreach mission
C. Service outside the University
This involves substantial contributions to educational, scientific, cultural, or civic organizations at the community, state, national, or international levels. It shall be understood that such contributions shall normally be clearly related to a faculty member's professional expertise, and will not include involvement in activities of a nonprofessional nature unless these activities are clearly supportive of the University's educational mission. Such contributions might include:
- Officer or active committee member of a professionally related organization
- Speeches and panel participation in a faculty member's professional area of expertise but outside professional conferences in the discipline (e.g. a speech to a Rotary Club about nonverbal communication, rather than to the National Communication Association)
- Journal editorial board member/reviewer
- Textbook reviews
- Paper reviewer for professional conference
- Officer of professionally related organization
- Session organizer at a professional conference
- Panel chairperson at professional conference
- Participation in professional organizations devoted to teaching
- Adjudication of a competition or festival
D. Service that could be inside or outside the University
- Awards and other evidences of accomplishment
- Committee chairship or membership
- Planning/organizing events and performances
- Lectures/panel participation other than at professional/scholarly conferences
- Workshops given
- Service which draws upon professional skills or expertise (e.g., conflict mediator, public speaker, grant writing in one’s area of expertise for a community agency)
- Performances other than professional creative activity (e.g., music faculty member singing in choir at place of worship)
- Letters of appreciation for service
- Organization of professional conferences oriented to students
- Teaching workshops on or off campus
1. Candidate Portfolio
Each candidate for reappointment, promotion, or tenure must prepare a portfolio addressing the issues presented in these RPT guidelines. Until, and unless, the University requires electronic portfolios for all faculty RPT processes, CFAM will accept either the traditional portfolio organized within a binder or a portfolio in electronic form. If a traditional portfolio is presented, this portfolio should be in a primary binder no more than two inches thick. A supplemental binder may also be submitted which could contain secondary information the candidate wishes to present, but evaluation will be made on the basis of the primary binder.
The primary binder or electronic presentation will be organized beginning with all standardized forms required by the University, followed by copies of the most recent department/school, chair/director, CFAM Faculty Personnel Committee, and Dean evaluations of the candidate, followed by sections addressing in order: teaching, research/creative activity, service within the University, and service outside the University.
2. CFAM RPT Process
The portfolio will be presented to a committee that has been established within the academic unit to make a recommendation concerning the specific type of personnel action being considered. Each academic unit shall establish detailed policies and procedures for composition of the committee and conduct of the committee's charge. These policies and procedures will be communicated to the candidate prior to submission of the portfolio. The committee of the academic unit will submit its report to the academic unit head, who will complete an evaluation of the candidate. All recommendations and materials will be submitted to the CFAM Faculty Personnel Committee, which will make its evaluation according to established CFAM policies and procedures. The CFAM Faculty Personnel Committee will make its recommendation and submit all recommendations and materials to the Dean
3. RPT Ratings
Each recommendation by the academic unit committee, academic unit head, and CFAM Faculty Personnel Committee will clearly indicated ratings of Outstanding, Above Average, Average, or Below Average in each of the four categories: Teaching, Research/Creative Activity, Service within the University, and Service outside the University.
4. Time Deadlines
At the beginning of each academic year, the CFAM Dean's Office shall determine and communicate to all faculty specific dates for completion of each step in the process. These dates shall be in compliance with all requirements dictated by the University and the AAUP contract.