II.D.1. Procedures for Academic Appointments and Promotions
(Source: Standing Resolution of the Trustees, September 9, 1983)
Uniformity of Procedures
The diversity of professions and disciplines within the academic community of the University and the valued traditional customs of the several faculties preclude wholly uniform procedures for appointments and promotions at the school level. The primary responsibility for developing and maintaining a high quality faculty rests with the individual discipline. Each faculty shall adopt bylaws prescribing procedures for review of proposals for appointments or promotions within the faculty. Each faculty shall also establish procedures for the appointment of a school personnel committee. Uniform procedures should be followed when appointments and promotions are considered at the University level under the aegis of the President and Provost. Consistent with policies adopted by the Trustees, additional procedures concerning academic appointments and promotions may be promulgated by the President and Provost.
Where the President and Provost propose to recommend an appointment or grant of tenure without the approval of the faculty concerned, they shall inform the dean, the body responsible for articulating the opinion of that faculty in personnel matters and the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility of that faculty. These bodies shall be provided an opportunity to respond before the proposed appointment is submitted to the Trustees.
Every recommendation for Trustee action shall specify the date of commencement and the duration of the employment relationship thereby created; whether the faculty member is a member of the Standing Faculty, the Standing Faculty—Clinician-Educator, or the Associated Faculty; and whether the faculty member already has tenure, is receiving tenure by this action, is in a tenure probationary position, or is in a position without tenure significance.
Every recommendation for Trustee action of appointment or promotion of a faculty member to a tenure probationary position shall indicate the date (month, day and year) that the probationary period began and the latest date by which such faculty member shall be reviewed for purposes of a timely tenure decision (hereafter referred to as the date of mandatory review).
The Secretary of the University and the Provost shall arrange for suitable means of notifying each faculty member and the respective dean of such action. The notice shall contain the minutes entered in the records of the Trustees.
Reappointments and Promotions
1. Reappointments and Promotions of Faculty Members on Term Appointments in the Standing Faculty and Standing Faculty-Clinician-Educator.
When a faculty member’s initial term appointment is for three years or more and has not been previously modified, consideration of the faculty member’s continued employment on a new term appointment should occur no later than the penultimate year of the term. Renewal of such term appointments should be made only after systematic serious evaluation of the faculty member’s qualifications, the programmatic needs to be met by continuation, and the resources available.
Occasionally term appointments are made in the Standing Faculty for terms of less than three years. Consideration of such a faculty member’s continued employment on a new term appointment should occur as soon as practicable in light of the nature of the faculty member’s role and responsibilities to the faculty concerned.
No single term appointment or combination of such appointments shall exceed the appropriate maximum period of time permitted in a tenure-qualifying position in the Standing Faculty. Where a faculty member’s total years of actual service in one or more term appointments approaches the maximum period, a timely decision on promotion to tenured status shall be made. Such consideration shall be no later than the date of mandatory review; that is, at the end of the academic year preceding the last year of the permitted period.
If a faculty and its dean determine not to recommend continued employment of a faculty member on a term appointment, the faculty member should be so advised as soon as possible, in order to enable him/her to explore other employment opportunities. A faculty member who has served more than two years in the Standing Faculty should be given by the dean one full year’s notice of non-reappointment. A faculty member who has served fewer than two years in the Standing Faculty should be so informed by the Dean on or before March 1 of the final academic year of the term. In the rare instances where certain time limits on notification of termination are not followed, a faculty member may acquire tenure. A faculty member who is in tenure probationary status approved by the Trustees, if not notified on or before the date of mandatory review that the appointment will be terminated, will be granted tenure in his or her present rank after the date, provided that the faculty member has been notified in writing not later than November 1 that he/she is due for mandatory review prior to the following July 1, or, if this does not occur, the faculty member has notified the dean and the Provost in writing no later than February 1 that he/she believes that review is required before the following July 1.
A faculty member who is not notified of forthcoming tenure review, as in the above, and who does not notify the dean and Provost as in the above, and who does not receive notification of a tenure decision, shall not receive tenure after the date of mandatory review. Such a faculty member shall automatically receive an additional one-year appointment still in tenure probationary status at his or her current rank. The above procedures and obligations of notification shall then again apply in this additional year, and if not observed, still another year in tenure probationary status shall be automatically granted. If, however, the faculty member is not notified either of tenure or termination within two years after the expiration of the normal probationary period (i.e., by the end of nine years for Assistant Professor, or Associate Professor with no previous academic experience, and twelve years for faculty with substantial clinical responsibilities in tenure probationary status) the faculty member will receive tenure at the current rank.
2. Reappointments and Promotions of Faculty Members in the Standing Faculty-Clinician-Educator Rank
There shall be a limit of ten years on the length of full-time service as Assistant Professor-Clinician-Educator in accordance with procedures set by the faculty. Clinician-Educators with the rank of Professor or Associate Professor shall have continuing appointments, subject to their generation of income to support their appointments and subject to satisfactory performance of their responsibilities. Action to terminate members of the Standing Faculty-Clinician-Educator at the rank of Professor and Associate Professor for failure to generate appropriate levels of practice funds shall be carried out according to policies and procedures promulgated by the President and Provost.
3. Reappointments and Promotions of Faculty Members in the Associated Faculty or Academic Support Staff
The University assumes no obligation of continuing appointment to faculty members in the Associated Faculty or Academic Support Staff. Some appointments in these categories are self-limiting with no expectation of renewal. Others are expressly conditional on the availability of funds such as research grants or clinical practice funds, or are subject to changing plans of the school or department. In all appropriate cases, the University through the deans of the faculties should seek to provide notice as soon as possible to any faculty member whose employment will not be continued. The timing of such notice of termination depends in part on the nature of the reason for the decision. Where the basis is loss of funding for a project of research or service, the length of notice to affected faculty members is dependent on the date of the announcement of the decision of the funding agency.
(See page 16 – Standing Resolution of the Trustees, September 9, 1983)
The Appointments Process
(Source: Resolution of the University Council, February, 1973; the practices of the Provost’s Staff Conference since 1973 and subsequent Provost’s memoranda)
The procedure for making all appointments to and/or promotions within the Standing Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania involves the following steps:
- In the case of a new appointment, a search conducted in compliance with the University’s policy on affirmative action.
- Initiation of a proposal for appointment or promotion by an academic department (or school, if without department structure) after review of its faculty needs, academic plans, and objectives.
- Review by the school personnel committee to determine the academic qualifications of the candidate for membership on the faculty at the rank proposed.
- Evaluation of the qualified candidate’s credentials by the dean for consistency with the academic standards, plans, priorities, and budget of the school.
- Review by the Provost’s Staff Conference to advise the Provost that University-wide academic standards are being met, that the proposal is consistent with approved academic and financial plans of both the school and the University, and that it is in accord with statutory provisions.
- Approval by the University Trustees, upon the recommendation of the President, and following approval by the Provost.
In general, the appointments and promotions process is initiated by the department (or school, if without departmental structure). A department can initiate the process on the basis of consultation within the department and with other knowledgeable persons in its faculty and in the University. The initial decision as to whether a particular person is to be appointed or promoted should be made by faculty members having rank equal to or higher than the position being considered; faculty members without tenure cannot vote on appointments or promotions to tenured ranks. Whenever the department does not have at least three faculty eligible to vote, the dean can establish a school-wide or University-wide faculty ad hoc committee to initiate the process. Departmental review committees should provide mechanisms to obtain student opinion on the candidate’s teaching performance. The department chair is obligated to forward to the Dean any positive recommendations of the review committee even when he or she might be personally opposed to it. In such a case, of course, the department chair can also transmit his or her personal opinion on the merits of the case. The department chair should also communicate to the dean any minority opinion that dissents from the positive recommendation. The dean and, at his/her request, the school personnel committee can review any negative decision of a department that would have the effect of terminating an individual’s appointment.
The department’s recommendations for appointments and promotions should be reviewed by a personnel committee appointed according to procedures established by the faculty of the school in which the department is situated. The committee should be composed entirely of faculty members, with none currently serving in an administrative position. The vote required for a positive recommendation should be established by each school. The positive recommendations of the school personnel committee should be forwarded to the Provost’s Staff Conference by the dean, who may choose to concur with or dissent from the proposal.
The overriding objective of the faculty appointment and promotion policy and procedures should be the recruitment and retention of a distinguished faculty. While the means to this end may vary, particularly in some of the professional schools, generally the objective will be met by stressing intellectual leadership as the chief criterion. Accordingly, a high degree of excellence is expected in both research and teaching. The relative weight given to research and teaching varies from case to case and should be determined by the individual faculties, but always with significant achievements in research if they are to be assigned teaching responsibilities. An acceptable standard of competence in research should be required even of outstanding teachers, and at a research institution such as the University of Pennsylvania an acceptable standard in research is very high indeed. The initial determination of competence in research should be made by scholars in the same or closely related disciplines, subject to review at the school and University levels. In identifying good teaching, it is essential to make use both of carefully tested forms for evaluation by current and former students and also of some type of peer evaluation. Teaching evaluation forms may differ from school to school.
In matters of appointment and promotion, some weight should also be given to unusual service in such “citizenship” activities as University governance, curriculum development, service to the profession, editing of professional journals, or academic programs carried out in residences.