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Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University

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Tenure and Promotion

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Unified College Policies for Tenure and Promotion

Bouve College of Health Sciences

Adopted June, 1999 Revision Adopted June 14, 2001

Original Committee Members

  • Karin Lifter (Chair), Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology
  • Thomas Barnes, Cardiopulmonary Sciences
  • Roger Giese, Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Ann Kennedy, Nursing
  • Susan Lowe, Physical Therapy
  • Peggy Matteson, Nursing
  • Kristin Oberg, Pharmacy Practice
  • Robert Schatz, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Committee Members for Revised Document

  • Karin Lifter (Chair), Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology
  • Thomas Barnes, Cardiopulmonary Sciences
  • Susan Lowe, Physical Therapy
  • Robert Schatz, Pharmaceutical Sciences

The 1998-1999 Tenure and Promotion Policy Committee (TPPC) developed the following policies for the newly merged Bouve College of Health Sciences. These policies are organized as follows: review of existing department/unit policies; proposed policies for tenure and promotion; safeguards for the interdisciplinary review of the candidate; proposed policies for promotion to full professor; proposed policies for promotion of clinical specialist faculty; and, finally, rights of tenure-track faculty during the merger.

Table of Contents

I. Review of Existing Department/Unit Policies for Tenure and Promotion

II. Proposed Unified College Policies for Tenure

A. General Policies

B. The Tenure and Promotion Committee of the Department/Unit

C. The School Dean

D. The College Advisory Committee

E. The Dean of Bouve College of Health Sciences

III. Safeguards for the Interdisciplinary Review of the Candidate

IV. Proposed Unified College Policies for Promotion to Full Professor

A. General Policies

B. The Promotion Committee of the Department/Unit

C. The Pathway and Timetable

D. The Criteria for Promotion

V. Ensuring Protection of the rights of Tenure-Track Faculty during Merger

A. Specification of Policies

B. Specification of Dean

I. Review of Existing Department/Unit Policies for Tenure and Promotion

The policies and procedures for tenure and promotion according to each department/unit in the College were reviewed and are presented in the document dated June, 1999. Similarities and discrepancies exist across the departments/schools. In particular, departments/units differ on schedules of review during pre-tenure review years, with some departments/units providing annual reviews and others conducting reviews at the three year interval. The TPPC noted that an annual review is required for all probationary candidates, and this review is distinguished from an annual merit review. The College policies were developed to be independent of the particular policies of a department or unit.

II. Proposed Unified College Policies for Tenure (with the assumption of Promotion to Associate Professor)

The proposed policies were developed with the assumption that the award of tenure includes promotion to the Associate Professor rank. In cases in which a candidate for tenure holds the rank of Associate Professor, the policies are for tenure only.

A. General Policies

1. The annual and third year reviews of the candidate's progress towards tenure should follow the policies set out by the Draft University Faculty Handbook, dated April 25, 2001 (section VI, A, 8, d, pg. 82).

2. For assembling a dossier, the candidate is advised to follow the format put forth in the Model Tenure and Promotion Dossier that was developed by the Provost's Office.

3. The Department/Unit is to advise the candidate in writing, in the spring preceding the year of projected tenure consideration, that he/she will be considered for tenure the following year. For those faculty members who wish to be considered for tenure prior to the end of their probationary period, they need to refer to the policies outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

B. The Tenure and Promotion (Promotion to Associate) Committee of the Department/Unit.

1. The Department/Unit Committee is constituted by the Department or Unit in which the candidate holds an appointment, and it is the primary evaluative unit for the candidate. It consists of at least three full-time, tenured faculty. If the home unit does not have an adequate number of tenured faculty, up to two members for this committee may be selected by the School Dean (or department chair where applicable) from other units in the School/College in consultation with the tenured faculty of the home unit and the Dean of the College, with review and approval by the Provost.

2. External evaluators shall be chosen and solicited by the Committee after receiving suggestions from the candidate. The candidate may suggest why certain evaluators may be inappropriate, but he or she may not forbid their inclusion as evaluators. The names of the external evaluators are to be kept confidential. The Committee shall solicit a number of external evaluations to ensure that it receives six to ten of them. It is the Committee?s responsibility to obtain a curriculum vitae from each evaluator and to provide some statements regarding each evaluator's qualifications to evaluate the candidate. The external evaluators' comments may be used in the tenure report, but they are to be made without attribution.

3. Although the candidate's materials are not sent out to these reviewers until September 1st, which gives the candidate the maximum amount of time to develop his/her dossier, the Committee should ensure that the external referees are able to meet the specified timetable for the review of materials (i.e., a return by the third Monday in September). This date may be set earlier at the discretion of the department/unit.

4. In addition to the standard procedures for evaluation of the candidate in terms of scholarship, teaching, and service, the Department/Unit Tenure and Promotion Committee evaluates the candidate in relation to the specified and agreed upon candidate's goals, which are a subset of the unit goals, that have been established for the candidate at the time of appointment and annual review. While relative weights may vary, all faculty are expected to be productive in each of the three areas (Draft, University Faculty Handbook, 4/25/01, pgs. 68-69). The Tenure and Promotion Policy Committee suggests that the candidate be aware that scholarship, including practice-oriented research, are major emphases at Northeastern University In addition, reviews of individual faculty should refer, as appropriate in individual cases, to their effectiveness in co-op integration activities, and in such cases, the departmental evaluation committee chairperson shall solicit input from the appropriate individuals in Cooperative Education.

5. As per the Corrections to Tenure and Promotion Procedures in 1999-2000 Faculty Handbook (October, 7, 2000), the department/unit's chairperson/director writes a report focusing on matters related to the candidate's performance as a faculty member, promise for future development, and the long-range need of the University (p.27), which goes to the candidate and is submitted to the Committee, prior to the Committee's vote. This report is appended to the candidate's dossier.

6. The department chairperson/unit director serves as a voting, ex officio member of the Committee.

7. The Committee members may not vote unless they have attended all the meetings at which the candidate and the candidate's dossier have been discussed. Each department/unit should specify what constitutes a majority of those voting on tenure (with promotion to Associate Professor) for its department/unit.

8. The Committee completes its work. The Committee Chairperson notifies the candidate in writing of the Committee's recommendations, its vote tally, and the reasons for its recommendations. The report is to be hand delivered or sent via overnight, certified mail to the candidate's home. Every effort is to be made to ensure that the candidate is notified in a timely manner.

9. The candidate has five days from the date of the Committee's report to respond in writing, and the candidate's response is to be written.

10. If the candidate requests a reconsideration of the dossier, the Department/Unit Tenure and Promotion Committee must meet to reconsider the candidate's request and to re-vote. In such cases, only the final vote and the final report will go forward in the review process.

11. The Committee forwards its recommendation and a report of its vote, the candidate's response (if there is a response), the candidate's dossier and all supporting materials to the Dean of the respective School in the College (or College Advisory Committee in the case of the School of Health Professions).

C. The School Dean

1. The School Dean reviews the dossier and all supporting material.

2. The School Dean writes an evaluative report and forwards it to the candidate. The report is to be hand delivered or sent via overnight, certified mail to the candidate's home. Every effort is to be made to ensure that the candidate is notified in a timely manner.

3. The candidate has five days from the date of the School Dean's report to respond, and the candidate's response is to be written.

4. The School Dean submits his or her recommendation and any candidate response, with the entire dossier and all supporting materials, to the College Advisory Committee.

D. The College Advisory Committee

1. The College Advisory Committee is a standing committee of the College that is constituted each year.

2. Its membership should consist of five full-time, tenured faculty members at the Associate Professor level or higher elected by their Schools, with one member from the School of Nursing, one member from the School of Pharmacy, two members from the School of Health Professions, and one at-large member. In cases of review for promotion to Full Professor, a College Advisory Committee for Promotion to Full Professor will be elected, with the same distribution of members, to review the candidate.

3. The College Advisory Committee's charge is to evaluate the candidate's research, teaching, and service in relation to their weighting as set by the candidate's home department/unit, which should be consistent with the goals and missions of both the College and the University.

4. The distribution of weight given to scholarship, teaching, and service is to be in accordance to that specified by the home department/unit in relation to the goals and mission of the College. The College Advisory Committee suggests that the candidate be aware that scholarship, including practice-oriented research, are major emphases at Northeastern University.

5. As per the 11/2/98 Resolutions of the Faculty Senate: Any member of the College Advisory Committee from a unit whose faculty member is being considered for tenure by that Committee may not participate in any College Advisory Committee discussion regarding that candidate and must abstain from voting.

6. A candidate is entitled to present his or her case orally to the College Advisory Committee.

7. The College Advisory Committee forwards its report to the candidate. The report is to be hand delivered or sent via overnight, certified mail to the candidate's home. Every effort is to be made to ensure that the candidate is notified in a timely manner.

8. The candidate has five days from the date of the College Advisory Committee's report to respond in writing to the Committee.

9. The College Advisory Committee forwards its recommendation and a report of its vote, any candidate response, the candidate's entire dossier and all supporting materials to the Dean of the College.

E. The Dean of Bouve College of Health Sciences

1. The Dean of the College reviews all materials in the candidate's dossier in relation to (1) the criteria set by the candidate's home unit and the University, and (2) the mission and direction of the College.

2. The Dean completes his or her evaluation, and forwards his/her report to the candidate. The report is to be hand delivered or sent via overnight, certified mail to the candidate's home. Every effort is to be made to ensure that the candidate is notified in a timely manner.

3. The candidate has five days from the date of the Dean's report to respond in writing.

4. The Dean forwards his or her recommendation, any candidate response, the candidate's entire dossier, and all supporting materials to the Provost.

III. Safeguards for the Interdisciplinary Review of the Candidate

A. In order to recognize and safeguard the interdisciplinary work of a tenure candidate, in particular, and the faculty, in general, the College should develop explicit statements regarding the significance of interdisciplinary work and its impact on reviews of all faculty, whether for tenure, promotion, or annual review. The departments/units should also develop such statements so that a candidate may integrate goals for interdisciplinary scholarship and/or teaching with the department/unit goals.

B. In the newly merged Bouve College of Health Sciences, which represents personnel from many practice-oriented disciplines, both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work should be developed. To clarify the distinction between multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work, the Tenure and Promotion Transition Subcommittee (1997-1998) proposed definitions of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary work in terms of their possible manifestations in research, teaching, and service. In multidisciplinary work, persons from different disciplines address the same problem from the perspective of their disciplines. For example, in teaching they may teach segments of a course according to their discipline or they may teach courses for students in a different discipline. In interdisciplinary work, persons from different disciplines attempt to integrate information from other disciplines to modify and adapt the nature of the problem so that the problem is understood at a greater level of integration. For example, in teaching, instruction is shared and integrated so that students begin to understand problems from a variety of perspectives. The process of teamwork generally begins in a multidisciplinary format and slowly transforms to an interdisciplinary framework as people begin to understand each other's disciplines more fully.

IV. Proposed Unified College Policies for Promotion to Full Professor

A. General Policies

1. If a candidate wishes to be considered for promotion to full professor, the candidate is to notify the Department Chairperson/Unit Director, in writing, during the Spring quarter/semester that precedes the year of consideration for promotion.

B. The Promotion Committee of the Department/Unit(for Promotion to Full Professor)

1. The Promotion Committee for Full Professor shall be composed of not less than three members of the Department/Unit. The membership may consist of anyone holding the rank of Associate Professor or above. Unless a department or comparable unit decides to have only full professors on the Committee (especially in the case of promotion for full Professor), the majority shall be of a rank above that of the candidate (Corrections to Tenure and Promotion Procedures in 1999-2000 Faculty Handbook, 10/17/00, p. 39). If the home unit does not have an adequate number of faculty at the appropriate rank, additional members for this committee may be selected by the Dean of the School from other units in the School/College in consultation with the tenured faculty of the home unit and the Dean of the College, with review and approval by the Provost. The Department Chairperson/Unit Director shall serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member, and shall submit a written recommendation to the Department/Unit Committee for review. The same guidelines for letters of recommendation from external evaluators will be followed that exist for tenure decisions.

2. In departments/units in which reviews for promotion to full professor are ongoing with reviews for tenure, the committee for promotion serves as the committee for tenure, unless the Department/Unit decides to have only full Professors on the committee.

C. The Pathway and Timetable

1. A candidate's review for promotion to full professor follows the same pathway and timeline as that for tenure: a) review by the Department/Unit Committee; b) review by the School Dean (where applicable); c) review by the College Advisory Committee; d) review by the Dean of the College; e) review by the Provost.

2. The timelines for review by the Department/Unit Committee, the School Dean, the College Tenure and Promotion Committee, the Dean of the College, and the Provost are the similar as those detailed earlier for tenure review. (See timeline posted under Administrative information on Bouve web site.)

D. The Criteria for Promotion

1. As per the Faculty Handbook, the two most significant criteria for evaluating achievement are teaching effectiveness and scholarly productivity, and these criteria are presented in detail in the Faculty Handbook. In regard to these criteria for promotion to full professor, the TPPC emphasizes the importance of substantial productivity in the three areas (scholarship, teaching, and service) that are evaluated for tenure, with demonstration of sustained productivity during the post-tenure years and the accomplishment of a significant level of professional recognition.

2. Given the significant practice-orientation of the College, substantial professional activities and community service may be valued highly as criteria for promotion since they bring stature and visibility to the College and the University. Professional activities involve participation in professional organizations at the state, national, and international levels, to include the assumption of leadership positions. Significant community service may involve service on boards and commissions, to include the assumption of leadership positions, and it may involve the development of significant collaborations with other institutions.

V. Ensuring Protection of the Rights of Tenure-Track Faculty During Merger

A. Specification of Policies to be Followed

The Committee has stressed that the Unified College Policies are to be applied to a candidate's review for tenure for those candidates hired after the approval of the merger of the Bouve College of Health Sciences and the College of Nursing. On the other hand, those candidates hired before the approval of the merger are to be reviewed under the policies that existed at the time they were hired, unless the candidates choose otherwise. In either case, the candidate hired before merger must decide, following a three month examination period of these policies subsequent to sufficient notification (namely, in the winter quarter, [or at the start of the spring semester when the semester conversion is in place] preceding the projected tenure consideration) by the Department/Unit that the candidate will be considered for tenure in the following year, which procedures the candidate will follow.

B. Specification of Dean

For those candidates who were hired before the creation of the new Bouve College of Health Sciences, the "Dean of the College" noted in the respective policies is the Dean of the merged Bouve College of Health Sciences. The TPPC also notes that the policies contained in this document were developed to ensure the rights of tenure track faculty so that the development of new policies would not compromise any candidate's review for tenure.

Note: At the time the tenure candidate initiates the tenure process, if there are any inconsistencies between the applicable College Policy (as chosen by the pre-merger candidate) and the Northeastern University Faculty Handbook that currently is in effect, the procedures in the Faculty Handbook will govern.

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