3.3.4 Tenure and Promotion Overview

3.3.4 Tenure and Promotion Overview abruneau3 Thu, 06/26/2014 - 17:56

This section sets forth guidelines for promotion of Tenure-Track Faculty and criteria to be used in granting of tenure. It is to be emphasized that this document lists criteria intended only as guidelines and not as a prescription for tenure and promotion. The possible factors to be used for evaluation are listed to aid the Faculty in their career development and to be used with, but not substituted for, enlightened judgment on the part of responsible administrators and Faculty in providing for the long-term development of Georgia Tech. (See Sections 3.3.5, 3.3.6, & 3.3.7.

Promotion and tenure decisions are made separately, and guidelines for evaluation relative to each of these decisions are required. The philosophy underlying the two decisions differs, although the criteria used as a basis for each decision are similar. The performance of a Faculty member may justify promotion but not the awarding of tenure. The converse can occur, although it is not likely.  

Promotion is based on the intrinsic merit of the individual's work. It recognizes the Faculty member for meeting the criteria of the next higher level in the professional hierarchy. The decision is based on an evaluation of the individual's scholarly activity including a) teaching, b) student success activities, c) research/scholarship/creative activities, d) service, and e) professional development. The decision to promote or not to promote should not be tied in any way to questions of tenure. 

In contrast to promotion, which is based on the merit of the individual’s work, tenure represents the Institute's selection of a Faculty member for a long-term commitment. Individuals are selected whose performance is outstanding and whose capabilities and interests, as manifested in performance, most closely support the objectives of the Institute, the College, and the Instructional Unit. The decision is based on an assessment of the compatibility of the individual's performance and interest with the needs and objectives of the Institute, the college, and the individual Instructional Unit. 

For a Faculty member to be considered for tenure, the individual's performance must be judged to be at or above the level appropriate to their professorial rank. That judgment should be based on the criteria set forth in the "Guidelines for Promotion at Georgia Tech" (see Section 3.3.6). All dimensions of the performance must be considered, that is teaching, student success activities, research/scholarship/creative activities, service, and professional development. In appraising a candidate's qualifications for tenure, the weighting of the five (5) categories set forth above may vary for each case. It is recognized that the Institute has varied responsibilities and these responsibilities may best be met by a Faculty whose members have a mix of strengths. Given an appropriate level of performance, the primary criterion for tenure is the compatibility of the individual's performance and interests with the objectives of the Unit, the College, and the Institute. Statements and supporting documentation from the candidate, the Unit Head, and the Dean should address this question. Assuming an appropriate performance level, the individual's professorial activity is evaluated relative to its compatibility with stated objectives. 

Each Instructional Unit should have a set of clearly defined and prioritized objectives defined in accordance with the mission of that Unit. The more clearly and specifically the objectives are articulated, the more precisely can an individual's capability and interest be compared to those objectives. The objectives are not static; however, they must be influenced or modified by factors such as changing enrollment patterns and changes in the unit's and Georgia Tech's mission within the University System of Georgia. Modifications in objectives typically occur gradually, not instantaneously, thus permitting faculty awareness of the changes. 

Normally, only Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors who are employed full-time (as defined by Regents' policies) by an institution are eligible for tenure.  The term "full-time" is used in these tenure regulations to denote service on a 100% work load basis for at least two (2) out of three (3) consecutive academic terms.  Faculty members with adjunct appointments shall not acquire tenure. The award of tenure is limited to the specified academic ranks and shall not be construed to include honorific appointments.

Individual Faculty members may initiate a request for consideration for promotion or tenure, and this request must be processed through the prescribed channels.  Candidates may, by written request, withdraw their candidacy at any stage without prejudice.

Promotion and tenure decisions may be appealed through the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee.  Additional criteria or guidelines for promotion and conferral of tenure in professorial ranks may be established by the President in consultation with the Faculty Executive Board and shall be published and distributed to the Faculty.

Tenure resides at the Institutional level. Institutional responsibility for employment of a tenured individual is to the extent of continued employment on a 100% workload basis for two (2) out of every three (3) consecutive academic terms (normally for fall and spring terms) until retirement, dismissal for cause, release because of financial exigency, or program modification as determined by the Board of Regents.

These guidelines are in full accord with the policies and procedures of the Board of Regents; however, the Georgia Tech criteria are more demanding than those established by the Regents.  These guidelines are intended to aid Tenure-Track Faculty in the conduct of their affairs in order to satisfy the requirements for promotion and/or tenure. They are not, however, a substitute for the advice and counsel of the Unit Head. All Faculty members should receive at a minimum an annual administrative review of their progress.