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Tenure and Promotion Policies

Tenure and Promotion Policy

Revised and approved by LAC: 5/4/2016; effective 9/1/2016

Note: To access the Policy and Procedure Statements and forms referred to in this document, click on the highlighted links or visit



1. This document states the criteria of the College of Liberal Art for tenure and promotion and sets forth policies and procedures used in the annual tenure/promotion cycle. The following university documents are also relevant, and candidates should review them:

a. Tenure and Promotion Policy of the Candidate’s Academic Department
b. AA/PPS 04.02.01, Development/Evaluation of Tenure-Tenure Track Faculty
c. AA/PPS 02.03.20, Maintenance and Improvement of Quality in Teaching
d. AA/PPS 04.02.20, Tenure and Promotion Review
e. Faculty Handbook, Texas State University


2. Candidates for tenure and promotion prepare a portfolio to document their accomplishments in teaching, scholarly/creative activity, and service. In addition to the Review Group Information Form (Form 2) required by the University (see AA/PPS 04.02.20 (8.10) § 03.03a), candidates must submit an up-to-date Texas State Vita, Form 1A (see AA/PPS 04.02.20 (8.10) § 03.03b). Candidates should place the Group Review Information Form and the Vita in a separate folder at the beginning of the portfolio. For other items to include in the portfolio see: Teaching (paragraph 4), Scholarly/Creative Activity (paragraph 12), and Leadership/Service (paragraphs 15).


3. The Personnel Committee and Chair evaluate candidates’ teaching based on scholarly preparation, peer evaluation (through class observations), and review of a teaching portfolio. Teaching is understood to include not only classroom performance but also such factors as preparing syllabi and other course materials; remaining current in the discipline; using appropriate testing and grading methods; supervising or mentoring thesis and dissertation students; providing academic or career counseling; and improving curricula. The College Review Group and Dean base their evaluations of teaching on the department’s assessment and on an independent review of the teaching portfolio.

4. In preparing the teaching portfolio, candidates for tenure and promotion to associate professor should include material collected since the initial date of employment. Candidates for promotion to professor should include material collected since the latest promotion. All candidates must include the following:

  1. a statement (no longer than two pages) summarizing teaching accomplishments
  2. a summary of student evaluation results from all classes that evaluated the candidate using departmental forms
  3. sample course syllabi and assignments/examinations
  4. documentation of any other achievements relevant to teaching, such as awards, funded teaching grants, or curriculum development
  1. written statements and/or letters from colleagues who have observed their classes


5. The Personnel Committee and Chair evaluate the scholarly/creative activity of candidates based on department and college criteria. Each department establishes appropriate criteria, approved by the Dean, submitting those criteria with candidates’ portfolios. Minimum college expectations for refereed scholarly publication are spelled out it paragraphs 6 and 7, below. Departments may establish quantitative minimums that exceed those of the College. The College Review Group and Dean apply departmental and college expectations when evaluating scholarly/creative activity. With approval of the Dean, departments may establish alternatives to scholarly articles or books that are appropriate to their disciplines (e.g., novels, law review articles). Additionally, upon the recommendation of the department, the College Review Group and Dean may recognize other exceptional achievements.

6. For tenure and promotion to associate professor, the College of Liberal Arts requires a minimum of five refereed scholarly works—which may include articles, book chapters, and comparable electronic projects—or a scholarly book. In addition, candidates may include achievements in other categories of scholarly/creative work listed in the Texas State Vita (Form 1A), such as externally funded grants and refereed papers presented at regional or national meetings.

7. Promotion to professor requires a minimum of five refereed, scholarly works—which may include articles, book chapters, and comparable electronic projects—or a scholarly book. This work must be in addition to publications previously credited to the candidate for promotion to associate professor. Candidates identify their additional publications on the Texas State Vita (Form 1A) by placing an asterisk beside each entry and a footnote at the bottom of each page: *Since promotion to Associate Professor. In addition to refereed scholarly publications, candidates may include achievements in the other categories of scholarly/creative work listed in the Texas State Vita (Form 1A), such as externally funded grants and refereed papers presented at regional or national meetings. While reviewers emphasize scholarly/creative work published since promotion to associate professor, they also consider the entire academic career.

8. In addition to the minimum quantitative requirement (which is intended as a standard of eligibility, not a guarantee of tenure and/or promotion), there is an important qualitative component involved in assessing the scholarly/creative work of candidates. The Chair and a representative of the Personnel Committee of each candidate’s department provide a written assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work based on such factors as acceptance rates of journals, citation record, prestige of publishers, prestige of organizations to which papers were presented, prestige of granting agencies, and opinions of experts outside the University. These assessments "should describe the scholarly and creative work of each candidate in its totality and assess its impact on the expansion of knowledge in the discipline"; the assessments are "particularly critical for promotion to full professor" (see AA/PPS 04.02.20 (8.10) § 04.01d). In addition, the Chair and Personnel Committee representative "should fully develop a rationale for recommending the candidate, leaving no doubt about the candidate's suitability and importance to the future development of the department or school." (see AA/PPS 04.02.20 (8.10) § 04.01f). The Chair and the Personnel Committee representative record their assessments on the Evaluation Form (Form 3). The Dean and a representative of the College Review Group also provide assessments using Form 3.

9. All candidates must include a statement summarizing their accomplishments in scholarly/creative activities. The statement should be no longer than two pages and must indicate the significance/importance of the candidate’s work in the field.

10. All candidates must include a minimum of three external reviews of their scholarly/creative work. Reviewers are selected according to the following procedures: The candidate proposes a list of at least five experts in the field who might serve as external reviewers, subject to endorsement by the Chair and the Personnel Committee. The Chair then selects reviewers from the list and sends them copies of the candidate’s scholarly/creative work. As reviews are received, the Chair adds them to the candidate’s portfolio. External reviewers should ordinarily hold the terminal degree appropriate to the discipline and, in cases of promotion to professor, the rank of professor. To minimize bias, external reviews should not be solicited from thesis advisors, co-authors, former students, or former professors. Reviewers should be informed that the content of the tenure/promotion portfolio is open to the candidate. To assist referees in writing their evaluations, the Chair’s invitation to submit a review should include a brief statement about the mission of the university and the department, including an indication of teaching load and research expectations. Referees should be asked to indicate the nature of their professional contact with and knowledge of the candidate, and to provide an assessment of the significance and quality of the candidate’s scholarly and/or creative contributions to the discipline.

11. Only scholarship or creative work that is in print, or documented as forthcoming, will be counted as part of the Scholarly/Creative record. In a separate folder labeled “Forthcoming Scholarly/Creative Work,” the candidate must provide documentation, i.e., letters of acceptance from publishers or journal editors listing date of publication. All documentation in this folder must be received by the date of the College Review Group’s meeting to vote on applications for tenure and promotion. Written work that is in progress, submitted, under review, under contract, or being revised or resubmitted will not count and should not be listed under “Works in Print” (section III.A.) of the Texas State Vita (Form 1A). Such work should be listed instead under the appropriate headings in section III.B.5. (“Other Works Not in Print”).

12. In preparing the scholarly/creative portfolio, candidates should use the checklist given below, arranging documentation to follow the sequence of categories in the Texas Sate Vita (Form 1A). Note that the Vita requires that candidates clearly identify which works are refereed and which are not. Note also, that each published work or presentation on the Vita must list any coauthors exactly as they appear in the work or conference program and that all entries for publications must list inclusive page numbers or a word count, as appropriate. The portfolio for Scholarly/Creative Activity should be organized in the following order.

  1. the candidate’s two-page research statement (see paragraph 9 above)
  2. letters from external reviewers (see paragraph 10, above)
  3. books and book chapters (with a notation on the Vita to indicate any non-refereed work)
  4. journal articles (classified on the Vita as “refereed” and “non-refereed”)
  5. abstracts, reports, book reviews, and other published work
  6. a folder labeled “Forthcoming Scholarly/Creative Work,” with copies of the work and the letters of acceptance
  7. externally funded grant proposals
  8. copies of papers or materials presented at regional and national meetings and other items under “Works Not in Print” on the Texas State Vita (Form 1A)
  9. other relevant documents


13. The College of Liberal Arts defines leadership/service as any professionally related activity, other than teaching or scholarship, that contributes to the well being of the university, both in its internal and external aspects. A faculty member is expected to demonstrate contributions—related to his or her field of expertise—in one or more of the following areas: department, college, university, profession, or community. Examples of leadership/service are holding office in professional organizations; chairing sessions at professional meetings; serving on departmental, college and university committees; and in general, any other activity that advances the best interests of the university. The quality of leadership/service is more significant than the quantity, e.g., a long list of committee memberships.

14. Leadership/service includes collegiality, i.e., expected "collegial contributions to the university community" and to the positive functioning of the department and the university (see AA/PPS 04.02.20 (8.10) § 04.02a1). In its "Statement of Professional Ethics," AAUP addresses collegiality as follows: “As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas professors show due respect for the opinions of others. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.”

15. On the Texas State Vita (Form 1A), candidates should list their leadership/service to the department, college, university, profession, or community. They may include copies of correspondence, descriptions of projects, or other evidence to document effective leadership/service. Candidates must also prepare a summary statement no longer than two pages documenting their activities and achievements in service. Candidates for promotion to professor should provide fuller detail because an "outstanding record of leadership and service is normally expected" for promotion to this rank. (see AA/PPS 04.02.20 (8.10) § 04.02a5).


16. All tenured and tenure-track faculty in the College of Liberal Arts are subject to the policies contained in this document (effective 9/1/2016). Any contradictions between this document and university tenure and promotion documents, such as AA/PPS 04.02.20 (8.10), will be resolved in favor of the latter.