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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 to department or college September 1 September 1
    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.


1. Each faculty member with tenure shall undergo post-tenure review once every six years. At the start of each spring semester, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs shall notify faculty members who will undergo review in the coming academic year. Post-tenure review is waived for any faculty member who has contractually committed to resign within 24 months. Unlike annual performance evaluations, post-tenure review provides a summative assessment of a tenured faculty member’s performance for a six-year review period, viewed in the context of the faculty member’s overall career. It provides an opportunity to assess both past accomplishments and future directions and facilitates and encourages professional vitality through collaborative discourse between the faculty member and the college concerning his or her role in the college and the university, as well as in the discipline or field.

2. Each college or department responsible for conducting post-tenure review shall adopt criteria that state the expectations of the unit for tenured faculty. Colleges with multiple departments may adopt criteria expressing expectations for all units within the college, to which departmental criteria must conform. In developing such criteria, units may draw on statements used in their faculty promotion and tenure standards.

A. College or department criteria shall reflect the expectations and responsibilities of faculty set out in the provisions of department and college standards and this Handbook (2.3.1-4). Criteria shall be consistent with the summative character of post-tenure evaluation and establish expectations that encourage continuing faculty development, including promotion from associate to full professor. The criteria shall provide for the assessment of whether a faculty member’s performance in each area (1) meets expectations; (2) exceeds expectations; or (3) fails to meet expectations. Librarians tenured only in the library shall not be evaluated on the expectations contained in Handbook 2.3.1.

B. Criteria should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate faculty with differing responsibilities and interests and the variation in a faculty member’s activities over time. Criteria should recognize that innovative work may take time to reach fruition and may sometimes fail. The application of the criteria must account for an individual faculty member’s job description.

3. Each college or department responsible for conducting the post-tenure review shall adopt post-tenure review procedures for the evaluation of a faculty member’s performance. Colleges may adopt the procedures used for promotion and tenure applications. Colleges with multiple departments may develop general procedures for all units to follow. While the procedures adopted by the departments may reflect the distinctive circumstances and practices of the unit, each unit’s procedures shall include the following elements:

A. Procedures for the initial review shall provide for the preparation of a dossier that includes the materials required for a dossier by Appendix 18 as well as all annual performance reviews for the period under review.

B. The procedures shall provide for the formation of a committee of tenured faculty to conduct the review. The unit may elect to conduct post-tenure reviews using the same committee that conducts evaluations for promotion and tenure. If the college or department chooses not to use the same committee that conducts promotion and tenure reviews, the procedures shall specify the composition and selection of the committee and any additional qualifications for serving on the committee.

C. The review committee shall provide a written evaluation of the faculty member’s performance in light of the applicable college and department criteria and university standards. The evaluation shall be a summative review that considers the faculty member’s performance during the review period in light of his or her overall career. While annual evaluations during the review period should be consulted for relevant information, the review is conducted separately from the annual evaluations and may not simply aggregate their results. The review shall include a narrative description of the faculty member’s teaching, scholarship, service and/or professional performance (as appropriate to the unit and position), the committee’s ratings in each category, as well as an overall evaluation and rating, and recommended outcomes (as described in paragraph 12, below).

D. The review committee shall forward its final evaluation to the chair of the department, or if the college does not have departments, the Dean. The committee shall provide a copy of the evaluation to the faculty member, who may file a written response with the chair or Dean. The chair or Dean shall indicate his or her agreement or disagreement with the determinations of the committee. In the event the chair/director or Dean disagrees with the committee’s determinations, he or she shall explain the reasons for the disagreement in writing and provide a copy to the faculty member and the committee.

E. Each level of review conducts an independent evaluation of a candidate’s record of performance and makes independent recommendations. Later stages of review neither affirm nor reverse earlier recommendations, which remain part of the record. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the review process to exercise his or her own judgment to evaluate a faculty member based upon the entirety of the data and information in the record.

F. No person should participate in any aspect of the review process when participation would create a clear conflict of interest or compromise the impartiality of an evaluation or recommendation.

1. No person shall serve simultaneously on more than one review committee, except when all faculty holding the necessary rank serve as a committee of the whole for the department or college.

2. Department chairs and others having an independent responsibility to evaluate the faculty member shall not serve as members of the department or college committee.

3. A faculty member who is a spouse or partner of an individual being reviewed shall not serve on a departmental committee, a college committee, or library committee.

G. If any stage of review includes a rating of “fails to meet expectations” in any category, or if the chair or Dean disagrees that the faculty member has met expectations in any category, the faculty member may submit a written response for inclusion in the dossier.

H. The Dean of the college shall forward the dossier and the review to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost may accept the review or determine that further review by the department or college is required. If the Provost determines additional review is required, he or she shall return the review to the Dean with written instructions regarding areas for further or additional review.

4. Based on its evaluation of the faculty member’s performance, the review shall include recommendations to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs concerning outcomes. These recommendations are not binding and the responsibility for determining appropriate steps remains with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. Possible recommendations include, but are not limited to the following:

A. Recognition of Achievement: When a faculty member’s performance in one or more areas has exceeded expectations, the college may recommend steps to recognize the faculty member’s accomplishments appropriate to the circumstances.

B. Career Development: The college post-tenure review may identify support that would leverage a faculty member’s development and promote excellence in teaching, scholarship, service, and/or professional performance. Such recommendations may include faculty development opportunities, differential allocation of effort to concentrate on areas of strength, and other forms of support that will facilitate a faculty member’s career objectives.

C. Improvement of Performance: The college post-tenure review may recommend steps to address aspects of a faculty member’s performance that require improvement. Such recommendations shall include a Performance Improvement Plan developed in concert with the Dean with specific performance targets and a time period for achieving the targets. It shall be the responsibility of the Dean or his or her designate to meet periodically with the faculty member to monitor the Performance Improvement Plan and to provide evidence that his or her prescribed performance targets are met.

D. Recommendation for Dismissal: If the review sent to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs reflects a sustained failure to meet faculty expectations, the college or Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs may recommend that the University take steps to dismiss the faculty member in accordance with the provisions of the Faculty Handbook and the procedures for removal of tenured faculty. If the recommendation is for dismissal, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs shall forward the entire file (along with a statement indicating his concurrence or dissent) to the President for further action in accordance with the Handbook.

5. Timing for Post-tenure Reviews:

A. The information described herein should be provided for the period extending from the year in which the last tenure/post-tenure review was conducted up to the year in which the post-tenure review dossier is submitted not to exceed the prior six years.

B. The dates for submission and consideration of the materials are:

*Submission of dossier to department or college: November 15
Recommendations from college committees to deans: January 31
Recommendations from deans to Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs: February 15

*The period from November 15 to January 31 may be divided in such a way as to make appropriate review of the files possible by the department 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 or college. The file must also include the recommendations, vote and rationale of the several levels. The file contents must reflect the evidence on which judgment about the applicant's performance is made. For example, in the case of peer evaluations, results of class visitations, as made, must be included. Student evaluations should indicate the course and academic year and cover all courses taught in the three years prior to the review.


The first post-tenure reviews under this Appendix 17 will occur during Academic Year 2017-2018. The expectation is that in each of the next six academic years one-sixth of the tenured faculty will be reviewed each academic year. In determining the number and identity of the faculty to be reviewed, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs will identify all faculty who will be entering their sixth year post tenure, and add to them a sufficient number of tenured faculty (beginning with the earliest tenure date and working back to the most recent tenure date) so that one-sixth of the tenured faculty are reviewed in any academic year. For the first review following tenure, faculty tenured before 2011 may submit materials outside the prior six years. The faculty members to be reviewed will be notified in accordance with paragraph 9.A of this Appendix.


(Taken from Appendix 17 of the 2016-17 Faculty Handbook.)