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IV. Procedures For Review of Faculty Members For Extension, Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion

In department action on matters pertaining to extensions, reappointments, tenure, and promotions, the right to vote shall be restricted to members who have academic suffrage in the general faculty and who are of rank superior to that of the person under consideration, except that tenured professors shall be entitled to vote in cases involving others of the same rank and that tenured associate professors shall be entitled to vote on all new appointments and on tenure decisions regarding other associate professors.  No faculty member on visiting or adjunct appointment shall vote on departmental matters pertaining to extensions, reappointments, tenure, and promotions.

All department, program, or committee members eligible to participate in a decision about a candidate for extension, reappointment, tenure, or promotion shall review the criteria relevant to such decisions as they appear in the Governance (Part B, Article I, Section 1) and in the Faculty Handbook.  Consideration must be made on the basis of the established criteria and must be taken without regard for sex or minority status.  Recommendations should address themselves to the criteria which have been used. 

Chairs of departments and directors of programs must meet with all tenure-track faculty members at the time of their first salary recommendation to make sure that they have familiarized themselves with the following procedures of review and the criteria employed in each of the reviews, as stated in The Governance and the Faculty Handbook and interpreted by the department.

If the candidate has questions prior to the review, the candidate may speak to the department chair and/or program director or to a member of FASC. In order to preserve the integrity of the review, when preparing review materials, candidates may not consult with members of the department and/or program that are eligible to participate in that review, including those on leave at the time of review.

Confidentiality shall be maintained at every stage of the process and concerning all matters of substance involved in the review by all members of the faculty who have the responsibility of reviewing a candidate.   The candidate is bound by this principle of confidentiality not to seek any information about the candidate’s review which would result in the breaking of confidentiality by any faculty members who have the responsibility of participating in the review If a participant in a review believes that there is some irregularity, that participant must voice their belief to their colleagues, to the chair of the review committee, to the dean of the faculty, to a member of FASC, or the president.  When participants in a review consider it possible that the review, as it is being conducted, is discriminatory, they should consult with the faculty director of affirmative action. Under no circumstances is it appropriate for a faculty member responsible for a review to speak of such concerns to the candidate during the process of review.  Conversations reported out of context may harm or mislead the candidate and violate the right of those involved in a review to expect that they are speaking within the context of a confidential exchange.  Such a confidential exchange ensures that faculty involved in the review fully express their consideration of the candidate's materials and supply the candidate with useful, appropriate and complete comments in the departmental or program letter (see Faculty Handbook C.IV.B4, A-E).

(Amended by the faculty May 18, 2005)

In the meeting of the candidate and the chair of the department and/or program to discuss the departmental or program letter the chair may clarify the letter for the candidate but may not reveal or discuss any aspects of the deliberations that are not documented in the letter.  Further exchange between the candidate and the members of the department or program about the meaning or interpretation of the letter should be in the form of the candidate's written response and the possibility of a subsequent discussion between the department, FASC, the dean and the president.  However, any member of the department or program is encouraged to discuss with the candidate the implications for the candidate’s professional development of specific issues raised in the letter.  To avoid violations of confidentiality, such discussion should focus on plans for the future and must not reference, directly or indirectly, any aspects of the review process.

Confidentiality must be maintained even after a review has been completed, except when the review is being appealed under the provisions of the Governance and the Faculty Handbook.   In that case members of the department and/or program and the members of FASC must respond to the questions of the appeal committee addressing the process of review, abridgement of academic freedom, or discrimination.   Although substantive advice to candidates up for review will inevitably reflect the accumulated knowledge of past reviews in which the advisor has participated, no particular circumstances or details of a past case may be divulged as a form of advice.  The maintaining of confidentiality is a professional obligation to the members of the community and breaking it endangers the integrity of the whole community.

Chairs of departments and directors of programs must meet with all tenure-track faculty members at the time of their first salary recommendation to make sure that they have familiarized themselves with the following procedures of review and the criteria employed in each of the reviews, as stated in The Governance and the Faculty Handbook and interpreted by the department.

Conflict of Interest—Family relationships and other close personal relationships between faculty members potentially involve a conflict of interest in cases where one member of the relationship is eligible to participate in institutional decisions that might directly benefit the other member of the relationship. In cases of potential conflict of interest, ethical practice and the need to protect the integrity of the review process require that one abstain from participating in such decisions. Direct benefits include initial employment, retention, salary, work assignments, research and travel funds, leaves of absence, promotion, tenure, and the availability of tenure positions.

In the case of the Appeal Committee or Review Committees, conflict of interest is deemed to exist in any case where a person on the committee has previously voted on a matter of appointment, extension, reappointment, or promotion concerning the appellant.

Questions concerning the applicability of this policy in specific cases may be raised by any faculty member. They should be directed either to the dean of the faculty or to the Faculty Appointment and Salary Committee. Final authority in resolving disputes over the applicability of this policy in specific cases rests with the dean of the faculty in consultation with the Faculty Appointment and Salary Committee.

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A. Faculty Under Review for Extension, Reappointment, Tenure, or Promotion

  1. A faculty member desiring early review should consult, first, with the departmental chair, then with the dean of the faculty. In cases of review for promotion to full professor, if the chair is an associate professor, the candidate should consult with the senior full professor in the department. (All references to departments pertain to programs as well.)

  2. If an ad hoc committee is required, the candidate shall submit to the dean of the faculty the names of three members of the faculty, senior in rank, whose expertise might be appropriate for service on an ad hoc committee.

  3. Candidates for extension of contract shall prepare and submit to the dean of the faculty and the department or ad hoc committee chair (a) an up-to-date vita, (b) a teaching portfolio, and (c) the personal statement for evaluators within the college that describes the candidate’s career and professional development as reflected in teaching, scholarly or artistic activity, and service to the college, department, and community. (See Appendices A, B, and C for additional information.) 

  4. Candidates for reappointment shall prepare and submit to the dean of the faculty and the 
department or ad hoc committee chair (a) an up-to-date vita, (b) a teaching portfolio, (c) the personal statement for evaluators within the college that describes the candidate’s career and professional development as reflected in teaching, scholarly or artistic activity, and service to the college, department, and community, (d) scholarship or artistic work produced since appointment (a separate list of the items submitted should be included); if candidates are unsure about how to submit digital materials, they should consult the office of the Dean of the Faculty for current guidelines for the submission of such materials for faculty reviews.(See Appendices AB, and C for additional information.)
    (Amended by the faculty September 18, 2013)

  5. Candidates for promotion to indeterminate tenure at the associate professor rank prepare and submit to the dean of the faculty and the department or ad hoc committee chair (a) an up-to- date vita, (b) a teaching portfolio, (c) the personal statement for evaluators within the college that describes the candidate’s career and professional development as reflected in teaching, scholarly or artistic activity, and service to the college, department, and community, (d) all scholarship or artistic work from the 6 1⁄2 years prior to submission of materials for review (a separate list of the items submitted should be included); if candidates are unsure about how to submit digital materials, they should consult the office of the Dean of the Faculty for current guidelines for the submission of such materials for faculty reviews. (e) the statement for outside evaluators that places their scholarship or artistic activity in context for the scholars or practitioners in their field. The outside evaluators shall also receive the vita and the scholarly or artistic materials. (See Appendices ABC, and D for additional information.) 

    (Amended by the faculty April 19, 2006, May 15, 2013)

  6. Candidates for promotion to full professor shall prepare and submit to the dean of the faculty and the department or ad hoc committee chair (a) an up-to-date vita, (b) a teaching portfolio, (c) the personal statement for evaluators within the college that describes the candidate’s career and professional development as reflected in teaching, scholarly or artistic activity, and service to the college, department, and community, (d) scholarship or artistic work produced since the promotion to indeterminate tenure review (a separate list of the items submitted should be included); if candidates are unsure about how to submit digital materials, they should consult the office of the Dean of the Faculty for current guidelines for the submission of such materials for faculty reviews, and (e) the Statement for Outside Evaluators that places their scholarship or artistic activity in context for the scholars or practitioners in their field. The outside evaluators shall also receive the vita and the scholarly or artistic materials. (See Appendices ABC, and D for additional information.)
    (Amended by the faculty May 18, 2005)

  7. In tenure decisions and promotions to full professor, candidates shall provide the names of at least six scholars who might serve as outside evaluators of the scholarship or artistic activity to be considered in the review. The names shall be ranked in order of preference; such ranking will be among the factors considered by FASC and the Dean of the Faculty in the selection of evaluators. Candidates shall include the titles and full addresses of the outside evaluators and their qualifications for serving as evaluators. Candidates shall not suggest as outside evaluators friends, working colleagues, or former teachers. Candidates for full professor shall not suggest evaluators listed for their tenure review.
(Amended by the faculty, April 1, 2008) 


  8. To assist in the preparation of the personal statement of faculty under consideration for extension, reappointment or tenure, the dean of the faculty shall send Fall semester CEQ reports directly to the faculty member's campus mailbox by the first day of classes in the Spring semester, with the second copy sent to the department chair. If the CEQ reports have not been delivered to the faculty member by this date the candidate shall be afforded the opportunity to amend, without prejudice, the candidate’s teaching portfolio and Personal Statement to address any issues raised by these CEQ reports. 

    (Approved by the faculty February 5, 2003) 


  9. In addition to the materials listed in 3, 4, 5, or 6 above, a candidate’s review dossier shall include the following materials produced during the period under review and kept in files of the Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the department: (f) student course evaluations (CEQ), (g) annual activities reports submitted by the candidate, (h) departmental performance evaluations, salary recommendations, and, where appropriate, recommendations for extension and reappointment, together with any replies from the candidate, dean of the faculty, or president, (i) any recommendations requested by candidates from other departments or multidisciplinary programs in which they have participated in the review period, and (j) where required, letters from outside evaluators. In the case of reviews for promotion to full professor, the “period under review” noted above is the period between the granting of tenure and the review for promotion.

  10. Any materials that are not specifically called for in the provisions of the Governance or the Faculty Handbook, such as unsolicited letters, shall be deemed extraneous and shall not be considered in the review process.

  11. In the case of unpublished works or grant proposals that have been accepted, candidates should include copies of contracts, acceptances, or other communications about the status of the scholarly work as part of the dossier with any confidential or evaluative information redacted.
    (Approved by the faculty December 14, 1994; Amended by the faculty May 18, 2005)

  12. If the publication status of a work submitted as part of a candidate’s scholarly portfolio changes after materials have been submitted (and prior to December 1 for full professor review and May 1 for reappointment and tenure reviews as described in the calendar in section C, XI of the Faculty Handbook), the candidate is permitted to provide an update to the Dean in the forms specified above in #11. Candidates should not, as part of the update, provide details about or the continuing development of a manuscript or other work beyond notification of a change in status. Candidates should not provide copies of editor's comments, readers' reports, or other material that offers evaluative comments. 
     (Approved by the faculty May 10, 2017)

  13. In cases of a successful appeal of a review decision, any documents related to procedures found to be flawed shall be removed from the review dossiers of candidates (but not from their files). Whether appeals are successful or unsuccessful, any documents concerning the appeals themselves shall be removed from review dossiers.  
    (Adopted by the faculty December 14, 1994; Amended by the faculty May 18, 2005)

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B. Departments and Programs

  1. The department chair or program director should ask department or program members under review to submit material pertinent to the department’s or program’s consideration. Materials assembled by the chair or director should include an up-to-date vita, all annual activities reports, and all relevant evidence of scholarship or artistic activity.

  2. All of the materials pertinent to the review should be made available by the department chair or program director to all of the members of the department eligible to take part in the review. The reports of outside evaluators, however, will be made available to the eligible members only after a full discussion has taken place based on the criteria listed in Sec. III, above, but before the final vote is taken. The chair or director then will request, in writing, the evaluations from the dean of the faculty, confirming in this request that the appropriate discussion has taken place. These evaluations, with the identification of writer removed, will also be given to the candidate at the same time. The purpose of this procedure is to maintain the independence of the departmental or program evaluation, while also providing an opportunity for the department or program to respond, as it sees fit, to the judgment of the outside evaluators.

  3. The department’s or program’s deliberations are conducted in accord with the Governance provisions regarding suffrage (Part B, Article III, Section 6) in formal meetings, with votes taken and recorded (by secret ballot if called for) and in strictest confidentiality.

  4. The department chair or program director shall report the result of the vote to the other voting members, giving the figures in case of any division of opinion. The chair or director shall write a full statement of the department’s or program’s recommendation, reporting the vote and summarizing the points of view presented, including differences of opinion. All department or program members involved in the decision and not absent from campus on leave, shall be afforded an opportunity to suggest changes in the chair’s or director’s statement, and shall indicate by their signatures that the statement is a fair, accurate, and full report of the departmental or program discussion. If any such member is unwilling to sign the departmental or program statement, a separate letter must be submitted as an attachment to the departmental or program recommendation. This letter must be shown to and initialed by the other voting members of the department or program present on campus before the departmental or program recommendation is submitted to the dean of the faculty.

    In submitting the department’s or program’s recommendation, the chair or director is asked to write specifically and analytically on:

    1. The candidate’s teaching record, including an assessment of all student evaluations, role in the department or program, and contribution to its curriculum.

    2. Publications, unpublished papers and research progress or evidence of artistic activities.

    3. Where appropriate, significant contributions to the college outside the department or program and, if of special importance, to relations between the college and the larger social community.

    4. Any significant difference between the judgments reflected in previous performance evaluations, salary recommendations, and the departmental or program recommendation.

    5. Any significant difference between the judgments reflected in the outside evaluator’s reports and the departmental or program recommendation.

  5. At the time that the recommendation is submitted to the dean of the faculty, the candidate will be provided with a copy of the full recommendation modified so as to indicate the numerical vote but not the votes of the individual voting members. If a separate letter is submitted, it will also be provided to the candidate with the names of those signing or initialing it deleted. When a separate letter is submitted, the names of those signing the departmental or program statement shall also be deleted. The chair or director shall meet with the candidate to discuss the full recommendation and the remainder of the review procedure.

  6. In the case of extension of instructor and first-term assistant professor contracts if the department or program recommends extension and the dean of the faculty concurs, the recommendation does not come before the Faculty Appointment and Salary Committee. If the department, program, or dean does not recommend extension, the recommendation will be reviewed by FASC.

  7. In the case of review for promotion to indeterminate tenure and to full professor, the chair or director, after reaching agreement with eligible members of the department or program, submits to the dean of the faculty at least six names of outside evaluators of the research of each member of the department or program who is to be reviewed. The names shall be ranked in order of preference; such ranking will be among the factors considered by FASC and the dean of the faculty in the selection of evaluators. Neither the chair or director nor other eligible members of the department or program may consult with the candidate in selecting the departmental or program list of outside evaluators. (The candidate also provides independently a list of possible outside evaluators—see IV.A.3 above) Before the department or program makes its selection, however, the candidate may provide the department or program and the dean of the faculty with a memorandum indicating, with brief explanation, if there is any potential evaluator who the candidate believes would be unable to give an objective review of the candidate’s work.
    (Amended by the faculty April 1, 2008)

  8. In the case of promotion to full professor, every effort will be made to meet the dates assigned in the Calendar for notifying chairs or directors of questions or objections regarding departmental or program recommendations and for notifying faculty members under review of the president’s recommendation to the Board of Trustees. If delays occur, both the chairs or directors and faculty members will be notified by the dean.(Revisions to Section B approved by the faculty May 18, 1994)

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C. Joint Appointments

If a faculty member holds a joint appointment or requests to be treated as such due to participation in a multidisciplinary program (see section D below, the following procedures are added to the review process:

1. Following an initial independent evaluation by the department(s) and/or progam(s) in which the faculty member holds a joint appointment, two members from each (e.g. the chair or director and one other) participating in the review shall meet to share their evaluations of the candidate’s qualifications relevant to the review.  They shall make a written report of their deliberations, stating areas of agreement and disagreement.  The report of this group (the “bridge report”) shall be transmitted to the candidate, to the departments and programs in which the candidate is appointed, FASC, the dean of the faculty and the president.

2. The department(s) and programs(s) in which the faculty member holds a joint appointment shall make their own separate recommendation to FASC, the dean, and the president, taking this report into consideration.

3. A faculty member who is eligible to vote in both groups by which a faculty member is being reviewed shall choose to participate and vote in only one (i.e. such a faculty member may choose to participate in a department or program review of a candidate, but may not participate in both.)

4. In the case of review for promotion to indeterminate tenure and promotion to full professor, the two groups in which the faculty member holds a joint appointment, after a consultation, shall submit separate lists of nominations. Ordinarily, at least one evaluator shall be selected from each list.

5. In arriving at their final recommendation, FASC and the dean shall consider the bridge report and all the departmental and program recommendations in conjunction with the teaching evaluations and, in the case of appointment to indeterminate tenure and promotion to full professor, the letters by outside evaluators.

6. These procedures are designed to accommodate recommendations from both department(s) and program(s).  They do not imply that a negative recommendation by one carries with it the power of veto, nor does a positive recommendation assure a positive outcome.  It is the responsibility of FASC, the dean, and the president, who alone have access to all of the evidence, to weigh it fairly in arriving at the final decision.

7. Departments or individuals may have formal or informal agreements to teach or contribute sections to specific programs or to the curriculum of the multidisciplinary programs in general.  These agreements or contractual obligations are not joint appointments, but they permit and, in some instances, require a faculty member to undergo review by a program (as described in sections D.2 and D.3 below.)

            (Amended and approved by the faculty March 3, 2016)

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D. Reviews of faculty participating in multidisciplinary programs who are not appointed to the program(s)

In extensions, reappointments, tenure, and promotions candidates with full-time appointments in a program are reviewed in accordance with the procedures for “departments and programs” in B above.

2. Candidates with a joint appointment in a program are reviewed in accordance with the procedures for “departments and programs” and “joint appointments” in sections B and C above.

3. Candidates who have taught at least half-time in a program (an average of 2.5 courses per year) during the period of service under review but are not appointed to the program MUST ELECT EITHER to be reviewed by the program in accordance with the procedures for “departments and programs” and “joint appointments” in sections B and C about OR to receive a partial review by the program, consisting of an evaluation of teaching in and service to the program, as specified below and by the program’s by-laws.

4. Candidates who participate in a program by who do not have a joint appointment and do not teach at least half-time in the program MAY ELECT to request EITHER to be reviewed by the program in accordance with the procedures for “departments and programs” and “joint appointments” in sections B and C above OR to receive a partial review by the program, consisting of an evaluation of teaching in and service to the program, as specified below and by the program’s by-laws.  Such candidates should consult with the program director before electing either type of review.  Requests for a review must be submitted in writing to the program director by September 15 (or April 1 for promotion to full professor) with a copy to the dean of the faculty and the chair of the candidate’s home department or program.

5. In determining whether or not a faculty member has taught half-time in a program, only courses that originate in a program shall count as teaching in the program.  In reviews, however, CEQ results for all courses taught in the program, including cross-listed courses originating elsewhere, shall be considered.

When a review has been requested or is mandated, CEQs for cross-listed courses shall be provided to the program director by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. 

(Amended and approved by the faculty March 3, 2004 and May 13, 2009)

6. The procedures for a partial review are as follows:

a.  A partial review of a candidate by a program shall be conducted according to the program’s by-laws, which have been reviewed by FPCC and the dean of the faculty to ensure conformity with the Governance. 
(Amended by the Faculty March 3, 2004)

b. A report resulting from a partial review shall be transmitted to FASC, the dean of the faculty, and the president.

c. In arriving at their final recommendation, FASC and the dean will consider the departmental and program recommendations in conjunction with the teaching evaluations and the majors committee reports of the department and program and, in the case of appointment to indeterminate tenure and promotion to full professor, the outside evaluators.

d. These procedures are designed to accommodate recommendations from both department(s) and program(s).  They do not imply that a negative recommendation by one carries with it the power of veto, nor does a positive recommendation assure a positive outcome.  It is the responsibility of FASC, the dean, and the president, who alone have access to all of the evidence, to weigh it fairly in arriving at the final decision with due consideration to the relative importance of service to the program.

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E. Faculty Appointment and Salary Committee

The Faculty Appointment and Salary Committee (FASC) shall act as a whole on appointments, recommendations not to extend contracts, reappointments, promotions (to the ranks of assistant or associate professor), the granting of tenure, and dismissal.

1. Evidence

a. In all cases FASC shall review as evidence: 

• An up-to-date vita, teaching portfolio, and personal statement.

• A personnel record beginning with the member’s first appointment to Vassar, including all promotions and leaves.

• Copies of pertinent scholarly material or evidence of artistic activities.

• The annual activity report.

• Student course evaluations.

• All earlier departmental recommendations for reappointment and promotion, all departmental performance evaluations, and salary recommendations.

• All letters concerning reappointment and promotion from the dean and president.

• The departmental recommendation and program recommendation (when appropriate)

b. In the case of promotion to indeterminate tenure and to full professor, FASC shall also review outside evaluations of the member under consideration.  Ordinarily, four outside evaluators shall be selected by the dean, in consultation with FASC.  Effort shall be made to select at least one evaluator from the department’s list and one from the candidate’s list, but there can be no guarantee that someone from each list will be among those who agree to submit evaluations.  Should at least four evaluators not be obtained from these lists, the candidate and the department will be asked to submit additional names.  

c. Outside evaluation of candidates for tenure or promotion to full professor will be made available, to both candidates and their department as specified in IV.B.2. above.  Names and other identifying information will be deleted from the copy sent to the candidate and the department.

2. Procedure

a. Confidentiality is maintained by the committee in all deliberations and matters involving the evaluation of individual faculty members for appointments, extensions, reappointments, terminations, and promotions.

b. The committee shall keep a procedural log for each candidate of the dates on which it met to consider that case, by itself, with the dean of the faculty, and with the president.  It shall also record in the log its final vote.

c. After each group of departmental recommendations has been received by the dean of the faculty, the committee makes a preliminary review of each case, after study of the evidence; it meets at this stage by itself.

d. The committee meets with the dean for further review of each case.

e. The committee next meets with the president and the dean of the faculty at which time both the dean and members of the committee report their respective views of each case.

f. Any consultation with departmental chairs as called for by the Governance takes place subsequent to this meeting with the president.

g. The committee’s final recommendation on each case is made to the dean of the faculty.  The dean then gives a final recommendation to the president.  The president then submits the final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

(Amended by the faculty May 18, 1994)

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E. Ad Hoc Committees

  1. When a department or multidisciplinary program has fewer than two members of rank higher than that of the member under consideration for extension, reappointment, promotion or tenure, an ad hoc committee of three members shall be appointed by the dean to make a recommendation in lieu of a departmental recommendation.  In composing the committee, the dean shall consult with FASC after soliciting separately from the candidate and the senior member of the department, should there be one, the names of three members of the faculty deemed appropriate to review the candidate’s work.  Effort shall be made to select at least one committee member from each list, but there can be no guarantee that the committee will include members from these lists.  The candidate shall be informed by the dean of the composition of the committee.  The department member eligible for participation in the decision shall serve on the ad hoc committee as chair.  In other instances, the chair shall be appointed by the dean. 

    2. When a candidate is being reviewed for tenure or promotion to full professor, the minimum number of submitted outside evaluations shall be three if the department is represented on the ad hoc committee and four if it is not. 

    3. After studying the candidate’s file but before beginning its deliberations, the ad hoc committee, at the request of the candidate, shall meet with the candidate for purposes of clarification and amplification of the available materials.  In addition, the candidate may use this meeting to inform members of the committee of any circumstances relevant to the review of which they may not be aware. 

    4. When an ad hoc committee returns the dossier on a candidate with its recommendation to the dean, it also returns all related documents and destroys all copies of preliminary drafts or materials otherwise related to its considerations.

    5. In all other respects, ad hoc committees follow the same procedures as departments.

    (Amended by the faculty May 18, 1994)

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