Delta State University faculty appointments are at the ranks of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, and Instructor. Initial appointment to rank is determined at the time of hire by the department/division chair in consultation with the departmental tenure and promotion committee and the dean and is based on academic credentials and/or exceptional discipline-related experience as defined by appropriate accrediting agencies. The normal minimum standards for these ranks are given below.
Instructor: A Master’s degree in the appropriate field.
Assistant Professor: A terminal degree in the appropriate field and potential for achievement in teaching, scholarship, and service.
Associate Professor: (1) Six years of university teaching experience or equivalent professional experience. (2) A minimum of three years experience at the rank of Assistant Professor. (3) Documentation of effectiveness in teaching. (4) Documentation of scholarship or creative activities. (5) Documentation of professional, university, and community service.
Professor: (1) Twelve years of university teaching experience or equivalent professional experience. (2) A minimum of five years experience at the rank of Associate Professor. (3) Documentation of sustained effectiveness in teaching. (4) Documentation of substantial accomplishment in scholarship or creative activities which has led to recognition in professional circles at the state, regional, or national level. (5) Documentation of leadership in the form of service to the community, the profession, and the university.
Criteria for Awarding Promotion: Decisions in favor of awarding promotion are made in recognition of accomplishments in response to the following criteria: teaching, scholarship, and service, as well as the appropriate academic background for a tenure appointment. Evaluation shall be based on all three areas although it is realized that differences in emphasis may exist, depending on the academic discipline. Each of the criteria is defined below.
Teaching: Delta State University is primarily a teaching institution. Therefore, effective teaching and efforts to support an environment where teaching and learning are nurtured are considered essential requirements for consideration for promotion. Effective teachers demonstrate qualities that may include the following: high academic standards, concern for learning, a thorough knowledge of the subject, good organization of subject matter and course syllabi, incorporation of research in instructional settings, excellent communication skills, respect toward students, fairness in examinations and grading, and willingness to experiment with new teaching methods. Contributions to the teaching, learning, and academic support environment include, but are not limited to, developing and implementing new courses and programs, developing instructional materials, participating in faculty development initiatives, using new technologies and methodologies for accessing information, and incorporating new strategies for enhancing student learning.
Scholarship: Delta State University recognizes the important contributions that scholarship makes in the advancement of a profession or discipline and as an important component of the teaching/learning process. Scholarly inquiry and learning vary by discipline and are reflected in, but are not limited to, the following: dissemination of research and scholarly findings through books, journal articles, monographs, and presentations at professional meetings; presentation of creative achievements through exhibitions, performances, and publications; development of new research methodologies; grants or contracts that support scholarly and creative activity; honors and awards for significant scholarly and creative activity, and participation as an editor and/or referee in support of scholarly and creative publications.
Service: Delta State recognizes the importance of service as a part of its mission. The service component is based on performance in three areas: service to the faculty member’s academic profession, service to the University, and public service to the community that is related to the faculty member’s academic discipline. Efforts to advance accreditation-related initiatives, such as the Quality Enhancement Plan, shall be considered as service to the University.
Department/Division Tenure and Promotion Committee
Each academic department/division in the University shall have a standing tenure and promotion committee. This committee shall consist of at least three persons. All of the tenured faculty members of the department/division, excluding the department/division chair, shall serve on the committee. If there are not enough tenured faculty members within the division/department to meet this criterion, the tenured faculty, in consultation with the department/division chair, shall appoint tenured faculty to the committee to meet the required criterion of at least three persons. The committee members shall come from tenured faculty within the same college or school or from tenured faculty in the same discipline outside the University. Department/division chairs shall notify candidates for promotion of the non-departmental appointees to the committee reviewing their application prior to the initiation of their review for promotion. Any concerns of the candidate regarding non-departmental appointees shall be forwarded to the Chair of the University Tenure and Promotion Committee, who shall meet with the departmental tenure and promotion committee to seek resolution. In the absence of agreement, the Provost will mediate a resolution. The department/division tenure and promotion committee shall have the responsibility for reviewing portfolios of candidates for promotion and making recommendations, with reasons, as to whether promotion should be granted. The committee shall also be responsible, with assistance from the department/division chair and tenure-track faculty, for recommending promotion procedures and for recommending guidelines for the portfolio to be used by candidates from that department/division for tenure or promotion consideration.
University Tenure and Promotion Committee
Guideline for Recommending Further Consideration of an Applicant
Tenure and Promotions Appeals Committee
The University shall have a standing tenure and promotions appeals committee. The Tenure and Promotions Appeals Committee shall consist of three tenured faculty members at the rank of Professor. No two members of the committee shall be from the same college or school, nor shall they be members of the University Tenure and Promotion Committee. The members shall be appointed by the Faculty Senate as a standing committee at the beginning of the academic year and shall serve one-year terms. Committee members shall not hear appeals from members of their respective academic department/division. If a member of the committee cannot hear a particular appeal, the Faculty Senate Chair shall appoint a temporary replacement.
Application for Promotion
Application for promotion will be initiated by the faculty member. When a faculty member has met the criteria for promotion to the next higher rank, the faculty member shall notify the chair of the department/division tenure and promotion committee in writing of his/her desire to be considered for promotion by September 1. Application for promotion must be submitted by December 1 of the academic year in which the candidate wishes to be considered. Since the probationary period in a tenure-track position is six years, and the period of service for promotion to the rank of Associate Professor is also six years, a faculty member may be considered for tenure and promotion to that rank simultaneously.
Pre-Tenure and Pre-Promotion Review
By February 1 of a faculty member’s second year and fourth year in a probationary appointment at the University, the faculty member shall submit his/her portfolio to the chair of the department/division’s tenure and promotion committee. This committee shall review the portfolio and make written recommendations and shall, by March 1, forward the portfolio and the committee’s written recommendations to the department/division chair. The department/division chair shall review the portfolio and make written recommendations and shall, by March 15, forward the portfolio and the chair’s recommendations and the department/division tenure and promotion committee’s recommendations to the dean. The dean shall review the portfolio and make written recommendations and shall, by April 1, forward the portfolio and all written recommendations to date to the faculty member. Copies of all written recommendations to date shall be retained in the dean’s office and in the department/division office. In cases where minimal progress is made between the second year and fourth year, as determined by the committee, the department/division chair, or the dean, the faculty member shall, in consultation with the chair, develop and have on file in the dean’s office, by May 1, a plan of action for improvement. This pre-tenure and pre-promotion review process shall serve as a mentoring function for the faculty member to identify strengths and weaknesses, not as a vote on tenure/promotion consideration.
Faculty who are eligible for consideration for promotion shall compile and maintain a portfolio that provides evidence of their accomplishments in response to all three criteria used to make promotion decisions. These include teaching, scholarship, and service. Unless otherwise specified in the faculty member’s contract, the primary emphasis among the three criteria shall be teaching. Evaluation shall be based on all three areas although it is realized that differences in emphasis may exist, depending on the academic discipline and the nature of the faculty member’s assignment. Ultimately, the portfolio must demonstrate an excellent record of faculty productivity, through performance on the three criteria, which improves the academic quality of the University. Guidelines and suggestions for portfolios are available through the department/division chair.
A candidate applying for promotion must submit for review, no later than December 1 of the year in which the candidate is being considered for promotion, his/her portfolio to the department/division chair, who then forwards it by December 5 to the department/division tenure and promotion committee. The department/division chair forwards a list of tenure and promotion candidates for his/her department/division to the College or School dean, University T & P Committee chair, and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs by December 1. The department/division committee for tenure and promotion shall meet and make its recommendation (with reasons) as to whether promotion should be granted to the candidate and forward the portfolio and recommendation to the department/division chair by February 1. The department/division tenure and promotion committee will send a copy of the recommendation letter to the candidate. The department/division chair shall review the portfolio and make a recommendation (with reasons) regarding the award of promotion and shall transmit to the appropriate college or school dean the portfolio and both recommendations by February 15. The department/division chair will send a copy of his/her recommendation to the candidate. The college or school dean shall review the portfolio and make a recommendation (with reasons). If the dean’s recommendation for promotion is in disagreement with the recommendation of the department/division committee, it shall be the responsibility of the dean to meet with the department/division committee to inform the members of such and provide an explanation. The dean will send a copy of his/her recommendation to the candidate. By March 1, the dean shall send the portfolio and the recommendations from the department/division committee, the chair, and the dean to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The dean shall send a copy of all recommendations to the chair of the University T & P Committee. The University T & P Committee shall schedule a meeting during the first two weeks of March to review the recommendations for compliance with Board, University, and department/division policies and procedures. The committee chair shall contact all promotion candidates to identify any potential grievance and/or concern. In the event procedural problems and/or concerns are discovered, the chair of the University T & P Committee shall meet with the appropriate college or school dean to seek resolution. Annotation of any unresolved procedural problems shall be forwarded by the chair of the University T & P Committee to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs as soon as possible after the meeting of the University T & P Committee and no later than the fourth Friday in March. The Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs shall review each candidate’s portfolio and make a recommendation (with reasons) regarding the award of promotion and shall forward the portfolios and the promotion recommendations to the President by April 1, citing any unresolved procedural problems and/or concerns from the University T & P Committee. If the recommendation regarding promotion from the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs or the President is in disagreement with any of the previous recommendations, it shall be the responsibility of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs or the President to inform the candidate, the department/division tenure and promotion committee chair, the department/division chair, the dean, and the chair of the University T & P Committee and provide an explanation. Upon approval by the President, successful candidates for promotion shall be notified in writing by May 1 by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Candidates who are not recommended for promotion shall be notified in writing by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs by April 15. Faculty members who wish to appeal must refer the case to the University Tenure and Promotions Appeals Committee by May 1. This committee shall hold a hearing within fifteen days to review the decision and submit a recommendation to the President, who shall make a final determination within seven days and notify the candidate of such in writing.