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Procedures for Application for Promotion, Tenure, and Renewable Contract


General:  Each college and library (library) are required to have published standards and procedures for promotion, tenure and renewable contracts.  These standards must, at a minimum, encompass each of the faculty expectations identified in Handbook Section 2.3.1-4.  The department, college or library may provide for additional criteria, provided however, that any such additional criteria may not limit or alter any of the University standards. 

Tenure:  Meeting the minimum departmental, college, library and University criteria is necessary for the award of tenure; it is not sufficient to create a right to the award of tenure.  A tenure decision is a prediction of future accomplishment, based primarily on past performance.  As a result, the decision necessarily requires that a judgment as to quality must be made.  In making this judgment, the University will be guided by the following understanding. 

Teaching and scholarship are inextricably intertwined.  Neither teaching nor scholarship standing alone justifies the granting of tenure.  Unless a determination is made that the faculty member involved is an effective teacher (Handbook Section 2.3.1), tenure will not be granted.  In the absence of quality scholarship (Handbook Section 2.3.2), teaching effectiveness alone will not permit the granting of tenure.  The two functions cannot be separated.  Because tenure creates a long-term relationship between the University and the faculty member, demonstrated commitment to the University (Handbook Section 2.3.3) and to the candidate’s colleagues (Handbook Section 2.3.4) is an essential expectation.  Librarians whose tenure extends only to the library are eligible for tenure without demonstrating compliance with the requirements of Handbook Section 2.3.1.


The following minimum standards for the application dossier are given so that all applications from throughout the University can be given proper consideration and be equitably evaluated.  The complete dossiers of the applicants are to be reviewed for recommendation by departments, college committees, deans, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President, and are available to members of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees for their review and recommendation before action is taken by the Board.

The complete dossier submitted by the candidate for promotion/tenure/renewable contracts must include the following items:

  1. A letter requesting promotion/tenure/renewable contract. The letter must include a summary of how the applicant fulfills each of the criteria of the department, college or library and of the University for promotion/tenure/renewable contract. If the candidate is seeking tenure before the end of the probationary period (Handbook Section 2.4.2), the letter must provide an explanation of how the candidate exceeds each of the criteria to support the conclusion that the performance is extraordinary.
  2. Documentation supporting the University criteria set out in Section 2.3.1-4 of the Handbook. The complete dossier must include, but is not limited to, the following information:
    1. Current Curriculum Vitae and all annual evaluations/retention reports received while at the University.
    2. Teaching service at ONU (terms, courses, credit hours, number of students, number of student credit hours) and at other institutions, including dates and rank(s).
    3. Evidence of effectiveness in teaching (Handbook Section 2.3.1). This should include any peer evaluations that have been reduced to writing, together with summaries of all student evaluations prepared by University Institutional Research. Student evaluations must be provided for all courses taught in the previous three years; additional evaluations may be provided at the discretion of the faculty member.
    4. Other assigned responsibilities at the University.
    5. Memberships and participation in professional organizations (meetings attended, papers given, offices held, etc.).
    6. Evidence of scholarship (Handbook 2.3.2). This may include, but is not limited to, the following: publication of paper or article in a professional/refereed journal, magazine or government publication; presentation of professional paper at a regional, state, or national meeting or seminar; publication or review of a book; receipt of a research grant or support from industry or a government agency (an unfunded grant may also be included with professional/refereed evidence of merit); ; inventions or patents; juried exhibitions; guest performances in regional or national groups; or activities recognized or encouraged by the relevant departments or college. For any multi-authored work, the candidate must provide a brief statement clearly describing the candidate’s contribution to the work.
    7. Honors, grants, and awards, if any.
    8. Work experience that is relevant to the teaching duties of the person or his/her professional standing. If current outside employment/service is relied upon to demonstrate professional growth, the relationship of the work/service to the professional work of the professor at the University should be described, together with an estimate of the time dedicated to the outside employment/service.
    9. Contributions to departmental, college, University or discipline (Handbook Section 2.3.3-4). These may include, but are not limited, to the following: serving on a national or regional review body for grants and awards; serving as a referee for journal or magazine publications; committee membership, attendance participation in university, college or department sponsored activities such as science fair, homecoming, advising professional and social organizations; aiding in the recruitment of prospective students; any other activity which benefits the university community; or activities recognized or encouraged by the relevant discipline, department, or college.
  3. A five-year professional development plan describing actions to be accomplished the coming five years. The plan must address each of faculty the expectations contained in Handbook Section 2.3.1-4.
  4. The college or library shall not unreasonably restrict the physical size of the dossier so as to impact adversely the candidate’s ability to meet the requirements of Sections 1 through 3 of the Appendix 18.


    1. Unless otherwise provided, the information described herein should be provided for the period extending from the year in which the last promotion/change of status was awarded up to the year in which the application is submitted.
      1. Where promotion to full professor is requested, the information provided should ordinarily begin with the first year at associate professor rank.
      2. Where promotion to associate professor is requested, the information provided should ordinarily begin with the first year at assistant professor rank.
      3. Where promotion to assistant professor is requested, the information provided should ordinarily begin with the first year at instructor (or other current) rank, or the year of the initial appointment, where there has been no change in rank since the initial appointment.
    2. Sections 2.4, 2.4A and 2.8 of the Faculty Handbook specify the dates for the submission and review process for consideration for tenure (and renewable contract) and for promotion, respectively. The dates are summarized below:
    Tenure and Renewable Contract Promotion
    Submission of Requests for Consideration or Application September 1 September 1
    *Departmental recommendations to college committees and
    *Recommendations from college committees to deans (library director)
    October 15 October 15
    Recommendations from deans (library director) to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs November 1 November 1
    Recommendations from Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs to the President November 20 November 20
    Recommendations from President to Trustees January 10 January 10

    *The period from September 1 to October 15 may be divided in such a way as to make appropriate review of the files possible by the departments and by the college committees.

    A complete file must be forwarded through the entire application process for subsequent levels of review.  The file must include all of the above material and any other documents required by the department, college or library.  The file must also include the recommendations, vote and rationale of each level of review.  The file contents must reflect the evidence on which judgment about the applicant's suitability is made.