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Interim Policy 6-321 Tenured Faculty Reviews ("TFR")

Revision 1. Effective date: May 17, 2024


  1. Purpose and Scope

    1. Purpose: In keeping with the principle that the faculty and administrative officers of the University have jointly “an affirmative obligation to manage its tenured faculty positions in a manner clearly conducive to the achievement of excellence in the discharge of its academic mission” and that there is a specific obligation of departments and colleges for “effectively carrying out programs for performance review and career development of tenured faculty members,” (Policy 6-311-III- Sec. 7-A), and in accord with Utah Board of Regents Policy requiring reviews of tenured faculty (both annual reviews along with all other faculty members, and also in-depth periodic tenured faculty reviews—Regents Policy R481 Post-Tenure Review), the University establishes the following review processes for tenured faculty.

    2. Scope: This Policy applies to all tenured members of the University faculty, and to all academic departments and University libraries which appoint tenured faculty members. It governs two types of performance review processes for tenured faculty members—routine abbreviated reviews conducted annually, and routine in-depth reviews conducted every five years, and for those two processes it assigns certain functions to departmental faculty review committees, academic department chairpersons, and academic college deans, the Senate Faculty Review Standards Committee (SFRSC), the University Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee, and the Senate Consolidated Hearing Committee.

      [EndNote 1]

      Other review processes for University faculty members are governed separately by other Policies, including: tenured faculty members reviewed for promotion-in- rank (Policy 6-303); faculty members holding any special “named position” such as an endowed chair (Policy 9-003); RPT reviews of tenure-track faculty members (Policy 6-303); and reviews of career-line, adjunct, and visiting faculty members (Policy 6-310).

      In the course of any review of a tenured faculty member under this Policy, any issues that arise under the Code of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities (Policy6-316), and/or are appropriate for consideration by the Senate Committee on academic Freedom and Faculty Rights (Policy 6-010), or the Senate Consolidated Hearing Committee (Policy 6-011), will proceed as is appropriate under the relevant Policy.

  2. Definitions

    The faculty categories “Tenure-line,” “Tenured,” and “Tenure-track,” are defined for purposes of this Policy as they are described in Policy 6-300—The University Faculty—Categories and Ranks.

  3. Policy

    1. Overview:
      1. This Policy governs the criteria, standards, evidence, and procedures for tenured faculty review (TFR) and protects the faculty member’s academic freedom in research, teaching, and in a faculty member’s personal life.
    2. TFR Review File Requirements
      1. The TFR review file shall include at least the following:
        1. Evidence of Research/Creative Activity as relevant, including intellectual property owned wholly or partly by the faculty member and commercialization efforts attributed to the faculty member.
        2. Evidence of Teaching Activity as relevant, including course feedback reports for the past five years and at least one additional form of evidence.
        3. Evidence of Service Activity as relevant, including examples of professional, university, and public service.
        4. Evidence of Faculty Responsibility. Letters of administrative reprimand and the latest findings, decisions, or recommendations from University committees or officials arising from relevant concerns about the faculty member should also be included in the candidate's file.
        5. Annual performance reviews from the last five years.
        6. All reports and responses from the most recent TFR review as relevant, including any improvement plans for underperformance.
    3. Review Schedules, Procedures and TFR Statements

      Each tenured faculty member shall receive an annual performance review (through an abbreviated process along with all other faculty members), and shall be reviewed every five years through a more in-depth tenured faculty review process.

      Departmental procedures for these five-year periodic reviews shall be formulated by the department faculty, consistent with this Policy and other University Regulations, and shall involve a faculty review committee. They shall be described in a written Tenured Faculty Review (“TFR”) Statement (based on the approved University template.) The TFR Statement (and any revisions) must be approved by a majority of the tenure-line faculty of the department, the dean of the college, and finally jointly by the cognizant senior vice president and the Senate Faculty Review Standards Committee. Two or more departments within a college may, by majority vote of the tenure-line faculty of each, adopt a single joint Statement. If all departments within the college so join, it shall be a college-wide Statement.

      In its role in approving TFR Statements, the Senate Faculty Review Standards Committee acts as delegee of the authority of the Academic Senate, pursuant to Policy 6-002-III-D-1-k. In accord with that Policy the Committee, in consultation with the cognizant vice president, will (i) prepare a University TFR template and other guidance materials for use in developing and approving Statements, and otherwise assist departments and colleges with development of Statements, including by identifying and sharing best practices developed by other departments.

    4. Five-year Tenured Faculty Review process

      1. It shall be the duty of the department chairperson to ensure that a review of the work of each tenured faculty member of the department is completed every five years, in accord with this Policy and the departmental procedures described in the approved TFR Statement.

      2. The review will be conducted by a departmental faculty review committee, which will report its findings and recommendations, including a specific statement of whether the faculty member is meeting the standards for a tenured member in the department. The committee’s report will be copied to the reviewed faculty member, and then submitted to the department chairperson, the college dean, and the cognizant senior vice president. The faculty member under review shall have adequate opportunities to provide input at each step in the process. The committee’s findings and recommendations will then be implemented, unless a University Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee (“UPTAC”) review is sought.

      3. A reviewed faculty member, department chairperson, or dean who disagrees with the findings or recommendations of the review committee may seek a review of the findings and/or recommendations by UPTAC [see Policy 6-304]. In these cases, UPTAC shall review the entire file consistent with requirements of Policy 6-304, to determine if: (i) the review committee reasonably applied the criteria, standards and procedures applicable to the case, and (ii) the findings and recommendations are supported by the evidence presented.

        If UPTAC determines that the departmental review committee’s findings and recommendations satisfy these standards, those findings and recommendations will be the final result of the review procedure under this Policy. If UPTAC determines that the review committee’s findings or recommendations do not satisfy the standards, UPTAC will describe the particular errors and appropriate means of correcting those errors. The departmental review committee will submit revised findings and recommendations which, when determined by UPTAC to meet the above standards, will be the final result of the review procedure under this Policy.

      4. If, as the final result of the review procedure (including any appeals), the faculty member under review is found to be meeting the standards for a tenured faculty member in the department, the cognizant senior vice president will formally acknowledge the evaluation and will consult with the dean and department chair to designate an appropriate recognition for the achievement. If instead, the faculty member is found not to be meeting the minimum standards required of a tenured faculty member in the department, the department chairperson, together with the review committee, shall consult with the reviewed faculty member and develop an improvement plan for underperformance, including strategies, timelines (including those for follow-up reviews and by when the faculty member will address any underperformance), and recommendations for improvement.

        EndNote 1. Adaptation for other organizational structures. The roles of participants in the TFR process are here described based on the most common academic organizational structure within the University, of a faculty member holding a tenured appointment in an academic department administratively headed by a department chairperson, situated within a multi- department academic college administratively headed by a dean. The Policy shall be interpreted as needed to adapt to other types of academic structures. Responsibilities described here for both the department chairperson and the college dean shall be carried out by the dean alone in a single- department college structure and by the library director (or equivalent) alone in a University library structure. See Policy 6-001 for further information regarding organizational structures.

        [Note: Parts IV – VII of this Regulation (listed below) are Regulations Resource Information – the contents of which are not approved by the Academic Senate or Board of Trustees, and are to be updated from time to time as determined appropriate by the cognizant Policy Officer and the Institutional Policy Committee, as per Policy 1-001 and Rule 1-001.]


  4. Rules, Procedures, Guidelines, Forms and other Related Resources

    1. Rules (Reserved)

    2. Procedures (Reserved)

    3. Guidelines (Reserved)

    4. Forms (Reserved)

    5. Other related resource materials: 

      1. Current TFR Statements
  5. References

  6. Contacts

    The designated contact officials for this Policy are

    1. Policy Owner (primary contact person for questions and advice): Associate Vice President for Faculty and the Associate Vice President for Health Sciences.

    2. Policy Officers: Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Sr. Vice President for Health Sciences.

      See University Rule 1-001 for information about the roles and authority of policy owners and policy officers.

  7. History

    Revision History:

    1. Current Version: Revision 1

      1. Approved May 17, 2024 with effective date of May 17, 2024.
      2. Legislative History of Revision 1
    2. Previous Versions.
      1. Revision 0, Effective dates. July 1, 2017 to May 16, 2024
        Approved: Academic Senate, February 6, 2017

        Approved: Board of Trustees, February 14, 2017
        Legislative History of Revision 0 

    3. Renumbering.
      1. From 2014 until July 1, 2017 the primary contents of University Regulations related to tenured faculty reviews were located in Policy 6-303-III-L and as of 2017 those contents were moved here to new Policy 6-321 and extensively revised. Information about the contents of the regulations as they existed prior to July 2017 may be seen in the legislative history of Policy 6-303 Revision 21.

Policy: 6-321 Rev: 1
Date: May 17, 2024

Last Updated: 5/17/24