II:01:05B Policies and Procedures for Promotion of Tenured and Tenurable Faculty

I. INTRODUCTION

This policy is in compliance with Tennessee Board of Regents Policy 05:02:02:20 Faculty Promotion at Universities and in the case of any conflict later discovered is subordinated to that particular policy.

It is important to note that the listed criteria represent minimum standards set by Middle Tennessee State University. College and/or department policies relating to the promotion process must meet the criteria as specified herein, but may exceed and be more specific than the minimum standards required by the university. All college and department policies will be reviewed for consistency with Middle Tennessee State University and Board of Regents policies by the provost and approved by the president. Approved college and department policies will be made available to faculty members in the office of their department chairperson and dean.

II. DEFINITIONS

The following are general definitions of words and terms used in this policy that are not hereinafter specifically defined; however, the words and terms are subject to further qualification and definition in the subsequent sections of this policy or those of colleges and departments.

A. Teaching. Teaching includes strategies by which information is imparted so that others may learn, and may include, but is not limited to, a variety of techniques including instruction, student advising and/or mentoring, and development of course materials, courseware, and innovative approaches to instruction.

B. Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity. Research/scholarship/creative activity encompasses the studious inquiry, examination, or discovery that contributes to disciplinary and interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge and is disseminated to an appropriate audience. Research/scholarship/creative activity may include, but is not limited to, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities that focus on the boundaries of knowledge, field-based scholarship, creative activities (e.g., film-making, performances, or other artistic creations), research in teaching and learning, and seeking grants to support such activities.

C. Service/Outreach. Service/Outreach encompasses a faculty member's activities in three areas: public service; university service; and professional service.

1. Public service is the university's outreach to the community and society at large, with major emphasis on the application of knowledge for the solution of problems with which society is confronted. Public service primarily involves sharing professional expertise and should directly support the goals and mission of the university.

2. University service refers to work other than teaching and research/scholarship/ creative activity done at the department, college, and/or university level. Participation in university service is expected of every faculty member. University service includes, but is not limited to, participation on department, college and university committees. Some faculty members may accept more extensive citizenship functions, such as a leadership role in the Faculty Senate, membership on a specially appointed task force, advisor to a university-wide student organization, and/or membership on a university search committee.

3. Professional service refers to the work done for organizations germane to one's discipline or to the teaching profession generally. Service to the profession includes, but is not limited to, association leadership, journal editorships, articles and grant proposal review, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities. While it is difficult to define the exact nature of significant professional service, clearly more is required than organizational membership and attendance; examples of significant service would be that done by an officer of a professional organization or a member of the editorial staff of a journal.

III. CONSIDERATION FOR PROMOTION

A. Promotion in Rank

1. Promotion in rank is recognition of past achievements of the candidate. In addition, the advancement in rank is recognition of future potential and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of even greater accomplishments and of assuming greater responsibilities. The policy of Middle Tennessee State University is to make promotions strictly on consideration of merit tempered by university and fiscal considerations. The purpose of this policy is to help ensure that promotions are made objectively, equitably, impartially, and as recognition of merit in line with the following policy guidelines.

2. Tenure and promotion are not formally linked, but typically promotion to associate professor comes with tenure, and granting of tenure comes with promotion to associate professor.

3. The president of the university is responsible for the master staffing plan of the university. In developing such a plan, the president will consider the fiscal impact of each promotion recommended to the Board of Regents; i.e., resources allocated and distributed within the university.

B. Promotion Process

1. Procedures for Promotion Recommendations

a. General Guidelines

(1) Consideration for promotion originates in the department or academic program unit to which the faculty has been assigned. Faculty members are responsible for initiating the promotion process by written notification to the department chairperson by the deadlines specified in the promotion calendar. Candidates for promotion are also responsible for submitting to the department chairperson the Outline of Faculty Data form and such pertinent supporting materials as are called for in Section IV.B.

(2) Administrators and committees involved in the review process shall submit materials, forms, letters, and other documentation as appropriate in the course of the review process outlined below. Letters of recommendation directed to the next reviewing body should specify the performance criteria used and explain how the candidate has or has not met those criteria.

(3) No material can be added to the Outline of Faculty Data or Supporting Materials once the department and/or academic program unit review process has formally begun. It is important that all participants in the review process have access to the same set of materials.

(4) Members of department and college promotion review committees should not make individual recommendations concerning candidates to other administrators or committees in the review process outside committee procedures.

(5) In the case of departments or academic program units not affiliated with an academic college, the department promotion review committee will forward recommendations directly to the appropriate dean or the vice provost, who will serve as dean for the purposes of the review process. When conflicting recommendations result between the dean/vice provost and the department tenure review committee, they will meet in an attempt to resolve conflicts before forwarding recommendations to the provost.

(6) The TBR Policy 5:01:00:06 Nepotism will apply to all levels of the promotion process.

(7) The candidate for promotion may withdraw from the review process at any level without prejudice. Withdrawal from the process does not preclude the candidate from reapplying.

b. Department and/or Academic Program Unit Review

(1) The review process for promotion recommendations at the department and/or academic program unit level consists of separate considerations by the department chairperson and a department promotion review committee. Departments and/or academic program units may establish a single committee for both tenure and promotion review, or if deemed desirable and necessary, departments and/or academic program units may create two peer review committees (a promotion review committee and a tenure review committee) as outlined in department policies, subject to approval by the provost and president.

(2) Department Promotion Review Committee. Each department and/or academic program unit will develop written policies that cover the structure, annual election of committee members, and operating procedures of the department promotion review committee. A copy of these policies will be available to faculty members in the offices of their department chairperson and dean. At a minimum, these policies will include the following:

(a) Committee members must be tenured;

(b) All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the department and/or academic program unit are entitled to a vote on the committee membership;

(c) Temporary faculty are not entitled to vote on committee membership;

(d) Candidates for promotion and the department chairperson cannot be members;

(e) A committee chairperson will be elected by the members of the committee; and

(f) Whether there will be academic rank requirements for committee membership.

In situations where the staffing procedures described in the department policy cannot be implemented (for example, in the case of an inadequate number of tenured faculty or of specified academic rank), an alternate committee composition may be proposed subject to approval of the provost, appropriate dean, and faculty senate president prior to review of the candidate application(s).

(3) Review Process. The department chairperson, after examining all materials submitted by each candidate for promotion, then forwards the materials to the department promotion review committee. The department promotion review committee will separately consider each candidate's qualifications for promotion on such department, college, and university criteria as have been approved. After consideration the committee will consult with the department chair. If the recommendations of the department chairperson and committee are in concert, separate reports will by filed by the department chairperson and by the committee to the appropriate dean. If the recommendations of the department chairperson and committee are in conflict, they will meet in an attempt to resolve the conflict prior to submitting written recommendations to the appropriate dean. If the conflicts cannot be resolved, reports submitted to the dean by the committee and by the department chairperson will each describe the points of conflict.

(4) When deliberations are concluded, the department chairperson and the committee will separately notify each promotion candidate of the recommendation that has been forwarded to the appropriate dean. Each candidate will be afforded the opportunity to meet with the department chairperson and/or the department promotion review committee to discuss the review process and the data upon which the decision was made. It is the candidate's responsibility to initiate requests for a meeting with the department chairperson and/or department committee.

c. College Review

(1) The review process for promotion recommendations at the college level consists of separate considerations by the dean and a college promotion and tenure review committee.

(2) College Promotion and Tenure Review Committee. Each academic college will develop written policies that cover the structure, election of members to terms of three (3) years and the operating procedures for the college promotion and tenure review committee. A copy of these policies will be available to faculty members in the offices of their department chairperson and dean. At a minimum, these policies will include the following:

(a) Colleges with six or more departments will elect one faculty member from each department to the committee; colleges with five or fewer will elect two faculty members from each department to the committee. (To provide for committee rotation, those tenured faculty elected to serve on the first college promotion and tenure review committee will draw numbers to determine whether they serve for periods of one, two, or three years; one-third of the members will rotate off the committee each year.)

(b) Committee members must be tenured;

(c) All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the department and/or academic program unit are entitled to a vote to elect their representative(s);

(d) Temporary faculty are not entitled to vote on committee membership;

(e) Candidates for promotion and department chairpersons cannot be members. In the event that an elected committee member initiates the promotion process during his or her three-year term, the department will elect a replacement;

(f) A committee chairperson will be elected annually by the members of the committee; and

(g) Whether there will be rank requirements for those faculty members serving on the committee

In situations where the staffing procedures described in the college policy cannot be implemented (for example, in the case of an inadequate number of tenured faculty or of a specified academic rank in a department), an alternate committee composition may be proposed subject to approval of the provost, appropriate dean, and faculty senate president prior to review of the candidate application(s).

Each college dean will provide the faculty senate president with the names of those elected to the college promotion and tenure review committee according to the timetable specified in the promotion calendar. The faculty senate president, in consultation with the faculty senate steering committee, may in turn appoint up to two additional faculty members to each college promotion and tenure review committee to ensure diversity, which will provide for representation that reflects the make-up of the university.

(3) Review Process. Upon receipt of recommendations and other materials from the department chairperson and department promotion review committee, the college dean then forwards the materials to the college promotion and tenure review committee. The college committee is responsible for: a) consideration of each candidate's qualifications using approved department, college and university criteria; and b) reviewing the promotion recommendations of the departments committees and chairperson for each candidate. After consideration the committee will consult with the college dean. If the recommendations of the dean and committee are in concert, the committee will forward all materials submitted, along with their own recommendations to the appropriate dean. If the recommendations of the college dean and committee are in conflict, they will meet in an attempt to resolve the conflict prior to submitting formal recommendations. If the conflicts cannot be resolved, reports submitted by the committee to the dean will describe the points of conflict. Deans are responsible for: a) consideration of each candidate's qualifications using approved department, college and university criteria; and b) reviewing the recommendations of department chairpersons, department promotion review committees, and college promotion and tenure review committees for each candidate. Deans will forward all materials submitted, along with their own recommendations, to the provost.

(4) When deliberations are concluded, the academic dean and the college promotion and tenure review committee will notify each person considered for promotion of their recommendations. Each candidate will be afforded the opportunity to meet with the dean and/or the college committee to discuss the review process and the data upon which the decision was made. It is the candidate's responsibility to initiate requests for a meeting with the dean and/or college committee.

d. Provost's Review

(1) The provost will review all recommendations and materials sent forward on promotion and forward his/her recommendations to the president of the university.

(2) On the same date a decision is forwarded to the president, the provost will notify each person considered, along with the appropriate dean and department chairperson, of his/her decision. The provost will afford each person considered an opportunity to meet and discuss the review process and the data upon which the decision was made. It is the candidate's responsibility to initiate any request to review the process and data upon which the decision was made.

e. President's Review

(1) The president will review the recommendations forwarded to him or her, and then prepare a list of faculty recommended for promotion, which will be submitted to the chancellor of the Board of Regents. The president will notify candidates, department chairpersons, deans, and provost of his or her recommendations. When notified of board action, the president will inform the parties concerned of the Board's decisions.

f. Appeals

(1) The appeals process for official review by members of the University Grievance and Appeals Committee and others is outlined in MTSU Policy II:01:05C Tenure and Promotion Appeals Process. The appeal process should commence after the provost has rendered his or her decision and notified the candidate of the decision.

2. Calendar of the Review Process

Each spring semester, the office of the provost will issue a calendar for the promotion review process for the upcoming academic year, which will include key dates at each major step in the process.

3. Qualified Privilege of Academic Confidentiality for Promotion Review Committees

a. Peers and other faculty members serving on committees that make evaluations are expected to observe the highest appropriate standards of confidentiality concerning deliberations. Promotion review committees have qualified privilege of academic confidentiality against disclosure of individual promotion votes unless there is evidence that casts doubt upon the integrity of the committee. This policy will be interpreted in a manner consistent with the Tennessee Public Records Act, as recorded in Tennessee Codes Annotated Sections 10-7-101 et seq.

b. In general, no such privilege is recognized for proceedings outside of the university. The records created during the promotion process are subject to disclosure pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, 10-7-503 et seq., and information regarding the process may be sought by subpoena or court order.

C. Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Consideration in Initial Appointment and Promotion

1. Initial appointment in academic rank is based on specific criteria and expectations as outlined in the following. Promotion in rank at any level is not simply a reward for length of service, but rather is recognition of fulfillment of higher expectations and more specific criteria at each academic rank.

2. In general, each academic rank requires an advanced degree in the academic discipline. Where the degree is from a related area, the department chairperson and dean must approve the degree as being related to the academic discipline and forward such recommendation to the provost. Upon receipt of these recommendations, the provost will determine whether the degree is appropriate to the teaching field, normally at the time of initial appointment of the faculty member.

3. When a faculty member's initial appointment begins in January, service for that semester will be counted toward promotion as one whole academic or fiscal year.

D. General Criteria for Initial Appointment and Promotion in Rank

The following are the minimum criteria that distinguish between academic ranks (See Section V below for "Exceptions to Minimum Academic Rank Criteria").

1. Instructor

a. Evidence of potential ability in teaching, service/outreach, and research/scholarship/creative activity.

b. Master's degree in the academic discipline or related area from an accredited college or university.

c. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.

2. Assistant Professor

a. Earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution in the academic discipline or related area.

b. Evidence of potential ability in teaching if initially appointed at this rank or documented ability if promoted into this rank.

c. Evidence of potential ability in research/scholarship/creative activity and service/outreach.

d. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.

3. Associate Professor

a. Earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution in the academic discipline or related area.

b. Five (5) years of full-time collegiate experience in the academic discipline or related area as an assistant professor.

c. Evidence of high quality professional performance in teaching.

d. Evidence of continuing direct participation in research/scholarship/creative activity and in service/outreach;

e. Evidence of high quality professional productivity in either research/scholarship/creative activity or service/outreach and quality professional productivity in the other area.

f. Evidence of thorough and systematic study of the research/scholarship/creative activity of others.

g. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity.

4. Professor

Since there is no higher rank, promotion to professor will be considered with great care and requires a level of superior achievement within the discipline with every expectation of continuing contribution to the university and larger academic community.

a. Earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution in the academic discipline or related area.

b. Ten (10) years full-time collegiate experience in the academic discipline or related area.

c. Five (5) years of full-time collegiate experience in the academic discipline or related area as an associate professor.

d. Evidence of sustained excellence in teaching.

e. Evidence of sustained high quality professional productivity in both research/scholarship/-creative activity and service/outreach. In one of these categories, the candidate will demonstrate a level of excellence in the academic discipline that is recognized at the national level. "National recognition" must be defined in department policies with approval at the college level.

f. Evidence of thorough and systematic study of the research/scholarship/creative activity of others.

g. Evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity

IV. CRITERIA TO BE CONSIDERED IN PROMOTION RECOMMENDATIONS

A. General Promotion Criteria

1. While the nature and relative importance of the criteria for recommendation for promotion depend upon the nature, missions and goals of the college and the department or academic program unit, all faculty members considered for promotion will be evaluated with respect to their performance in (1) teaching; (2) research/scholarship/creative activity; and (3) service/outreach. All candidates for promotion are expected to demonstrate high quality performance in teaching. In the remaining two categories of evaluation, expectations for promotion to academic rank are described in Section III.D above. In all categories of evaluation, documentation of quality as evaluated by peers will be stressed over quantity. Within the context of teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service/outreach, the faculty member must demonstrate a willingness and ability to work effectively with colleagues to support the mission of the university and the common goals both of the university and of the academic organizational unit.

2. The academic units of the university must develop written policies with specific criteria for evaluating the faculty in teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service/outreach. College and/or department policies relating to the promotion process must meet the criteria as specified herein, but may exceed and be more specific than the minimum standards required by the university. "National recognition" must be defined in department policies with approval at the college level. College and department policies will be available to faculty members in the offices of their department chairperson and dean.

3. College and department policies should use the following general criteria as minimum requirements.

a. evidence of high quality professional experience and performance in teaching;

b. evidence of continuing direct participation in scholarship through research and/or creative activity;

c. evidence of thorough and systematic study of the research, scholarship, and/or creative activity of others;

d. evidence of continuing direct participation in public service, university service, and/or professional service germane to their discipline;

e. evidence of good character, mature attitude, and professional integrity that will ensure cooperation with colleagues and commitment to the programs and students of the department, the college, and the university;

B. Outline of Faculty Data and Supporting Materials

Candidates for promotion will submit a completed Outline of Faculty Data form. Candidates will also submit an orderly file of supporting materials (reprints, letters of support, creative works, etc.). A list of these supporting materials will be attached to the Outline of Faculty Data form. However, the supporting materials themselves will be stored in the department. Administrators and committees involved in the review process may ask to review any or all of these supporting materials at their discretion. Departments and/or colleges may require additional specific supplemental documentation, at outlined in department and/or college policies, subject to approval by the provost and president.

C. Teaching

1. Overview. All faculty members are expected to demonstrate high quality performance in teaching. Teaching applies to any strategy in which information is imparted so that others may learn, and may include, but is not limited to, a variety of techniques including instruction, student advising and/or mentoring, development of course materials and courseware, and development of innovative approaches to instruction. Effective teaching is an essential qualification for promotion, and promotion should not be granted in the absence of clear evidence of a candidate's teaching ability and potential for continued development.

2. Performance Criteria. All faculty members are expected to demonstrate high quality performance in teaching. Although academic units of the university may assign varying degrees of significance to individual criteria, all faculty members will be evaluated with respect to each of the following criteria for teaching.

a. Performance in teaching of students as evaluated by students and peers;

b. Performance in the advisement and mentoring of students;

c. Improvement of their own courses and also the curricular offerings of the department, college and university;

d. Effectiveness in teaching methods (including efforts to improve pedagogy with new techniques and integration of new instructional technologies);

e. Supervision of specialized instructional activities (student research/scholarship/creative activity, thesis and dissertation direction, experiential learning, service learning, internships, student teaching, etc.);

f. Honors received and recognition for teaching;

g. Currency and continued intellectual development in the field of specialization;

h. Seeking internal and external funding for instructional activities. Whether funded or unfunded, the quality of the proposal will be stressed in the evaluation. Other factors may include the reputation of the funding source and the competition for funding;

i. Contributions to teaching (for example, textbooks, articles, workshops, presentations, instructional technology resources, etc.) could be appropriate here or under research/scholarship/creative activity depending on the nature of the work.

3. Documentation

a. Supporting materials as described in Section IV.B above will, at a minimum, include a statement of teaching philosophy; course materials; evidence of student projects and other forms of student mentorship; and evidence of evaluation by faculty peers.

b. Student evaluations for each course section evaluated since initial appointment or most recent promotion will be added to the candidate's supporting materials by the department chairperson.

c. Other supporting material may include, but will not be limited to grant proposals, additional student input, results of alumni surveys and/or student exit interviews, textbooks or educational articles, and innovative contributions to teaching, if published or presented in a peer-reviewed forum.

D. Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity

1. Overview. All faculty members are expected to demonstrate quality research, scholarship, and/or creative activity. Candidates for promotion must present evidence of their research, scholarship and/or creative activity when they apply for promotion. Research/scholarship/creative activity applies to the studious inquiry, examination, or discovery that contributes to disciplinary and interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge. Research/scholarship/creative activity may include, but is not limited to, disciplinary and interdisciplinary activities that focus on the boundaries of knowledge, field-based scholarship, creative activities (e.g., film-making, performances, or other artistic creations), and the development of innovative teaching approaches.

2. Performance Criteria.  Although academic units of the university may assign varying degrees of weight to each criterion, all faculty members will be evaluated with respect to each of the following criteria:

a. Direct participation in research, scholarship, and/or creative activity. Faculty collaboration with undergraduate and/or graduate students may be included here;

b. Thorough and systematic study of the research, scholarship, and/or creative activity of others; and

c. Seeking internal and external funding for research, scholarship, and/or creative activity. Whether funded or unfunded, the quality of the proposal will be stressed in the evaluation. Other factors may include the reputation of the funding source and the competition for funding.

3. Documentation

a. The Outline of Faculty Data and supporting materials as described in Section IV.B above must include evidence of peer-review of some elements of the candidate's research/scholarship/creative activity.

b. Other supporting materials may include, but will not be limited to the following:

(1) Publications (articles, monographs, books, electronic media, and other published works). Publications that are subject to a formal review process by recognized scholars in the field are considered more significant than those subject to less rigorous examination;

(2) Written reviews and evaluations of performances, compositions, and other creative activities by qualified peers, either in person or aided by other forms of reports, are considered appropriate documentation;

(3) Published programs or reviews of public performance or public display will constitute documentation of original creative work;

(4) Presentations before one's professional peers at regional, national, or international meetings/conferences;

(5) Appropriate textbooks, educational articles, and/or instructional technology resources and innovative contributions to teaching, if published or presented in a peer-reviewed forum, constitute "scholarship of teaching." The scholarship of teaching is a valid measure of research capability;

(6) Funded internal grants from the university or external grants from public or private sources;

(7) Unfunded proposals for internal and external grants, where the documentation supports the quality of the proposal.

E. Service/Outreach

1. Overview. As a vital component of the university's mission, service/outreach must be performed at the same level of quality that characterizes the teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity programs. Service/Outreach encompasses a faculty member's activities in three areas:

a. Public service refers to the university's outreach to the community and society at large, with major emphasis on the application of knowledge for the solution of problems with which society is confronted. Public service primarily involves sharing professional expertise and should directly support the goals and mission of the university.

b. University service refers to work other than teaching and research/scholarship/creative activity done at the department, college, and/or university level. A certain amount of such service is expected of every faculty member. University service includes, but is not limited to, participation on department, college and university committees. Some faculty members may accept more extensive citizenship functions, such as a leadership role in the Faculty Senate, membership on a specially appointed task force, advisor to a university-wide student organization, and/or membership on a university search committee.

c. Professional service refers to the work done for organizations germane to one's discipline or to the teaching profession generally. Service to the profession includes, but is not limited to, association leadership, journal editorships, articles and grant proposal review, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities. While it is difficult to define the exact nature of significant professional service, clearly more is required than organizational membership and attendance; examples of significant service would be that done by an officer of a professional organization or a member of the editorial staff of a journal.

2. Performance Criteria

Participation in university service is expected of every faculty member. Although it is recognized that differences in emphases may exist, evaluation of service/outreach will be based on an appraisal of the candidate's performance, resourcefulness, and creativity in each of the three areas defined above: public service, university service, and professional service. Evaluation will be based on the following criteria, with the academic unit of the university to which the faculty member is assigned determining the degree of weight for each criterion. These criteria should include: community service programs; public service consultation; university, committee and administrative responsibilities; and active contributions to professional associations. In each case, documentation of the evaluation process and criteria used will be as complete as possible.

3. Documentation

a. The Outline of Faculty Data and supporting materials as described in Section IV.B above must include evidence of peer-review of some elements of the candidate's service/outreach.

b. Other supporting materials may include, but will not be limited to the following:

(1) A description of the candidate's service/outreach that permits evaluation of performance. This should include a statement of the mission or purpose of the activities, and of the objective(s) of the candidate's service unit, as well as the specific assigned tasks and responsibilities of the candidate.

(2) An evaluation of the candidate's effectiveness, as judged by his or her impact on individuals, groups, or organizations served. This should include indices of the success of his or her service/outreach, in terms of improvement of communities, programs, operating agencies, production processes, or management practices. The evaluations should also include indications of satisfaction with the service/outreach provided by the candidate, and of the magnitude and complexity of his or her work (as opposed to perfunctory activity that does not lead to useful results).

(3) An appraisal of the candidate's local, regional and national stature. Although the achievement of national stature is sometimes difficult for service/outreach faculty whose activities are primarily directed to groups within the state, the faculty member should take advantage of every opportunity to project his or her accomplishments among peers on a local, regional, and national basis. Service/outreach work is sometimes not publishable. The results may be in the form of direct consultations, planning reports, or instructional time directed largely to the recipients of university service programs. Certain aspects of service work may be suitable for publication in professional journals. For example, unique techniques developed to motivate clients, or new approaches to the transfer and application of knowledge, would be of interest to peers in other service/outreach programs across the nation.

(4) Evidence of applications seeking internal and external funding for service/outreach activities; funded grants from Middle Tennessee State University, public agencies, or private foundations; submitted proposals for external funding by public agencies or private foundations. The quality of the grant proposals, whether funded or unfunded, will be stressed in the evaluation.

V. EXCEPTIONS TO MINIMUM ACADEMIC RANK CRITERIA

To ensure the development of a faculty of the highest caliber and to ensure access to appropriate rank for all members of the faculty, justifiable exceptions to these criteria may be recommended.

Exceptions to the minimum rank qualifications established by the Board of Regents can be recommended by the president but are subject to approval by the Board. Such exceptions will be recommended only upon a showing of a candidate's exceptional merit and/or other extraordinary circumstances, such as an objective need to deviate from these minimum qualifications in filling positions and/or retaining otherwise qualified faculty within certain academic disciplines. This determination will be made at the time of hire.

Petitions for exceptions to promotion criteria may include consideration of the appropriateness of the degree, extraordinary qualities that the candidate may possess, and/or equivalent work experience credit.

The department chairperson and dean are responsible for evaluating a candidate's professional experience and record of accomplishments and recommending consideration for an exception to the provost.

VI. TERMINAL DEGREE DESIGNATION

The Board of Regents will use national discipline standards to determine which degrees are considered to be "terminal" within each discipline and will provide each university with a list that delineates these degrees. The university may request blanket exceptions to these standards by classification based upon its mission and hiring practice. The university may also petition the Board of Regents for "equivalent work experience credit" when a candidate has not obtained a terminal degree, but has a record of extraordinary achievement in a germane field.

NOTE 1: This policy became effective on July 1, 2004 for all faculty whose employment in the Board of Regents' system began on or after that date. Faculty members appointed prior to July 1, 2004, may elect to be considered under the August 1, 1999 promotion policy or under the revised policy for a four-year phase-in period. The revised policy on promotion will be applicable to all promotion actions taken on or subsequent to July 1, 2008, for faculty whose employment began prior to July 1, 2004.

NOTE 2: Not later than January 2008, the President will appoint a committee to initiate a campus-wide review of the MTSU Policies and Procedures for Promotion of Tenured and Tenurable Faculty.

Revisions: August 1, 1996; August 1, 1999; July 1, 2008.

Cross-references: TBR Policy 05:02:02:20 Faculty Promotion; TBR Policy 5:01:00:06 Nepotism; MTSU Policy II:01:05C Tenure and Promotion Appeals Process; T.C.A. Sections 10-7-101 et seq.; T.C.A. 10-7-503.